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Attend GDC for Epic insight into the psychology of player engagement

Epic Games' director of user experience explains how neuroscience can influence game design in one of the many great Design talks happening at GDC 2016.

As the GDC 2016 lineup begins to come together, organizers would like to highlight a few notable Design track talks you should know about ahead of the March conference.

Chief among them is "The Gamer's Brain, Part 2: UX of Onboarding and Player Engagement," Epic Games director of user experience Celia Hodent's follow-up to her popular talk at GDC last year on the psychology of player engagement.

Engaging your players within the first few minutes of play is a delicate endeavor, but it's become a critical aspect of development in the era of free-to-play games. Drawing on her experience at Epic on games like Fortnite (pictured), Hodent will show you the common onboarding pitfalls of F2P game design and offer some basic brain facts related to how people learn -- and how you can apply this knowledge to improve your game's design.

She'll also share some concrete examples of what a great player experience looks like, and share guidelines and best practices you can use in your own projects.

Elsewhere on the Design track of talks at GDC 2016 you'll find great sessions like "Chasing Space: Storytelling in 8 Words or Less" from King's Stephanie Prue, Ubisoft's Jason VandenBerghe speaking about "Engines of Play: How Player Motivation Changes Over Time," and Psyonix design director Corey Davis' talk "Rocket League: The Road From Cult Classic to Surprise Success."

Plus, conference officials look forward to announcing many more GDC 2016 sessions spanning a diverse array of game industry issues in the months ahead. For now, don't miss the opportunity to save money by registering for the conference early -- the deadline to register for passes at a discounted rate is Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016.

GDC 2016 itself will take place March 14-18th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. For more information on GDC 2016, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via FacebookTwitter, or RSS.

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech.

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