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The Number One Educational Resource for the Game Industry

Session Name:

Designing Discomfort


In game design, the "flow" state is seen as the holy grail of player experience for which all must strive: we engineer smooth difficulty curves for fear of losing the player to anxiety or boredom. Yet, as games mature as a medium and aim to explore more complex emotions in a narrative sense, there is untapped potential in using gameplay itself to take the player out of flow and instead deliberately invoke uncomfortable emotions. This talk will discuss techniques on how to create a more varied emotional palette in play experiences, and why it is important to do so in today's gaming landscape.

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  • GDC 2016
  • Dietrich Squinkifer
  • Independent
  • free content
  • Design
  • Design