Bill Fulton founded Ronin User Experience, a design and user-testing consultancy, with the goal of helping clients maximize the fun in their games. Roninís approach is to integrate principles of social & behavioral psychology into the game development process.
Bill is an eleven year veteran of the games industry, both as a game designer and user-research engineer. As a designer, he was responsible for the online matchmaking system, UI and the social aspects of play on Shadowrun. Prior to Shadowrun, Bill started and led the Microsoft Game Studios User-research program from 1997 to 2004. The User-research group uses psychological research methods to detect where and why games fail to be fun, in time to fix those problems prior to releasing the game.
In his pre-Microsoft life, Bill gave up playing video games (well, mostly) in order to complete four years of graduate training in Social Psychology and Research Methodology at the University of Washington.
Bill will going into greater detail about Social Design at ION 2008 Conference in mid-May.
Features by Bill Fulton:
Fixing Online Gaming Idiocy: A Psychological Approach [04.02.08]
Beyond Psychological Theory: Getting Data that Improves Games [03.21.02]