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Level Design Workshop: The Illusion of Choice

Jim Brown  (Senior Designer, Epic Games)

Date: Thursday, March 18

Time: 1:00pm - 1:30pm

Track: Design

Format: Discussion Session

Vault Recording: TBD

This GDC 2016 talk will feature real-time interaction with the speaker through online chat messaging during its scheduled broadcast. Designers often discuss the importance of player autonomy and the importance of choice in games, but in practice we often use subtle methods to influence our players' decision making process or provide the illusion of choice where none actually exists. These influences, however well intentioned, start early in the design process and carry through to impact our players' experiences at almost every level.
This talk will briefly examine the psychological and biological underpinnings of how people make choices, and pull examples from shipped games to show how and when we use these "rules" to impact our players, intentionally and otherwise. With a better understanding of the "theory of choice" we could leverage that knowledge into better designs and better experiences for our players.