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Alexandre Mandryka's Blog   Expert Blogs


My name is Alexandre Mandryka, I am a game design consultant working in Canada. I started my career in 2000 in France where I spent 5 years working on various game genres as a total scrub. In 2005, I was hired by Ubisoft Montreal where I participated on many of the company’s recent franchises (Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed, Rainbow Six …) as a lead designer, creative director or creative manager. More importantly for me, this is where, as a studio design director, I started digging into the nuts and bolts of the craft of design, and established a comprehensive description of the different disciplines of design. This is when I proposed a model that would be used globally by Ubisoft to assess and direct designers in their skill growth as well as allow their managers to support them efficiently.

I was then lucky enough to strengthen these theories by applying them at Relic Entertainment, helping the deeply talented designers of the company see the bigger picture in which their technical knowledge applied, and structure the creative effort accordingly.

I base my approach on my scientific training in math, biology and psychology and work at deconstructing the terms and processes of design and creativity. I establish links to academic fields as well as existing theories and studies to give proper tools to designers and limit the hit-and-miss approach that is unfortunately quite common in our industry.

I recently started Game Whispering Inc., a company through which I propose consulting services in the fields of design and creativity.

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Expert Blogs

Posted by Alexandre Mandryka on Wed, 10 Aug 2016 12:13:00 EDT in Design
The compulsion loop is one of the most popular ways to keep players motivated. Here is an analysis of the inner mechanisms at play at psychological level, a recipe on how to build one, and the limits of this tool.

Posted by Alexandre Mandryka on Tue, 09 Jun 2015 01:20:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
An analysis on the psychological principles that make Assassin's Creed reach high point system the main motivation loop, and a retelling of its design with the original team.

Posted by Alexandre Mandryka on Wed, 11 Feb 2015 03:39:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Serious, Indie, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
Game balancing is fascinating for game designers, so much that we often rush to our beloved spreadsheets and forget the big picture. Here are my tips on how to approach game balancing and best support your game vision.

Posted by Alexandre Mandryka on Wed, 29 Jan 2014 09:34:00 EST in Design
Providing fun is the objective of every game and better understanding it is key. A research paper from Alan Dix and Masitah Ghazali explores uncertainty as a key component of fun. Here is my opinion on how it relates to game design.

Posted by Alexandre Mandryka on Fri, 18 May 2012 01:09:00 EDT in Design
This article advocates that the key goal of play is personal development, and that pleasure without learning only creates an empty experience that can be dangerously addictive.

Alexandre Mandryka's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 06/22/2015 - 06:35]

Great content, and I love ...

Great content, and I love your approach. Also thanks for the holler r n r nFunny, I bumped into your website recently too. r n r nMaybe you 'll like this series that digs into more details on gameplay:

Comment In: [Blog - 02/11/2015 - 03:39]

Thanks ...


Comment In: [Blog - 03/23/2014 - 05:07]

If we use motivation instead ...

If we use motivation instead of retention and we make the actions and reward intrinsically fulfilling, maybe we can create better games. r n r nI believe the difference between addiction and motivation is whether the focus is on the drive to get pleasure itself or on the drive to ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/29/2014 - 09:34]

Thanks for all the comments ...

Thanks for all the comments r n r nI guess it 's probably a matter of wording, cause I actually agree with all your arguments r n r nWhat I mean with exploring uncertainty covers learning, as there would be no learning if you are certain about something. r n ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/29/2013 - 06:49]

Great article Dan Thanks for ...

Great article Dan Thanks for the mention too

Comment In: [Blog - 06/26/2012 - 06:07]

Thanks for this great write-up ...

Thanks for this great write-up r nI agree with Dr. Dunne. I first picked up biology because I wanted to study the human brain, and a couple of years after I switched to game design, I realized how much it borrowed from neuroscience and cognitive sciences: Learning theory, motivation, reward ...