Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
June 20, 2019
arrowPress Releases
If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

How the gorilla concentration test could help your game design skills

January 25, 2017 | By Bryant Francis

January 25, 2017 | By Bryant Francis
More: Console/PC, Design, Video

Okay, before you read any further, stop and watch this video. Trust us, it’ll help.

Back? Okay, how many of you spotted the gorilla? Whether you did or didn’t, you might not realize that the misdirection at play in the video (commonly called the selective attention test), is a skill that could help you as a game designer. 

How you might ask? Well while we were chatting with escape room designer Laura Hall in advance of her 2017 GDC talk, it’s a way to take advantage of people’s natural survival instincts and get them to pay attention to certain details of your game, so their imagination can fill in the gaps. 

“You don’t have to fill out every detail because people’s imaginations will fill in the blanks, especially when it comes to archetypical themes like fear responses, that sort of thing. You don’t have to say there’s something in the next room, or show a scary picture of it, you can just make a scratching noise on the door.”

That might sound a bit obvious—especially in the context of the horror genre—but when you’re making puzzle rooms, real or virtual, it’s a tool you can use to overcome budgetary limitations. 

This tactic—and the many others Hall talked about in our conversation earlier—will be a part of her upcoming talk at GDC 2017, one you should check out if your’e going to the show. In the meantime, be sure to watch the ful video above for more tips on puzzle design and spatial design that can help your career. 

And if this video helped you, please be sure to subscribe to the Gamasutra Twitch Channel for more regular developer interviews, editor roundtables, and gameplay commentary. 

Related Jobs

Behaviour Interactive
Behaviour Interactive — Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Senior Game Designer
Ubisoft RedLynx
Ubisoft RedLynx — Helsinki, Finland

Senior Game Designer
New Moon Production
New Moon Production — Hamburg, Germany

User Interface Artist - New Moon Production (all genders)
Insomniac Games
Insomniac Games — Burbank, California, United States

Open-World Designer

Loading Comments

loader image