Ubisoft creative director Jason VandenBerghe presents his research in translating human motivation models into game design decisions in this free GDC 2012 video lecture.
Courtesy of GDC Vault
, VandenBerghe's hour-long lecture first introduces the pillars of the widely contributed to "Big 5" human motivation model: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. He then correlates these to his own "5 Domains of Play," discussing how designing for novelty, challenge, external stimulation, harmony between players, and threat to trigger negative emotions can motivate and appeal to players.
The 5 Domains of Play: Applying Psychology's Big 5 Motivation Domains to Games
Track / Format:
Over the last 20 years an often unobserved modern motivational psychology has coalesced around a system called "The Big 5" or OCEAN. Why should we care? Because unlike its predecessors, this one has a titanic landslide of repeatable, scientific evidence behind it. But how does it apply to games?
The speaker has been collaborating with academics and industry colleagues to try and answer that problem - and we have found that we can, without difficulty, connect specific game elements directly to measurable Big 5 personality "facets". By doing this, we have uncovered a completely new way of looking at the motivations of play.
The potential of this connection is broad: it guides the speaker's game design decision-making, it helps explain why particular games satisfy (or otherwise), it offers a statistical framework for playtest evaluation and shows us which audiences we have been missing out on.
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