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Video: How to solve design problems through examining real sports

January 26, 2018 | By Emma Kidwell

January 26, 2018 | By Emma Kidwell
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More: Design, Video

Video games are played in a simulated world with arbitrary rules for imaginary points. Players are not harmed when the lose, and for the most part they do not lose money or status.

Because the events of a video game don't really matter at all in a practical sense, how can developers design their games to retain player engagement? Game designer Bennett Foddy argues that the answer is to look at non-digital sports. 

In this 2013 GDC session, Foddy discusses five different ways that real world sports have solved risk/reward problems in game design, explaining why sports have become a religion for billions of fans and a matter of life and death for athletes.

Foddy examines the relationship between real world sports and video games, noting that the biggest design challenge developers have to face is making the events in their game world matter to the player. As he puts it: the player needs to care about his or her performance. 

Designers interested to hear about how real world sports and games intersect can now watch the talk completely free via the official GDC YouTube channel!

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its accompanying YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC or VRDC already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas.

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