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Video: Designing your game to offer meaningful choices

At GDC 2014, 2K Games' Matthias Worch (former lead designer of the cancelled Star Wars 1313) investigates how we can better design games to afford players the opportunity to make meaningful choices.

Quality games have been famously described as "a series of interesting decisions." But how do you design games to afford players the opportunity to make those interesting decisions?

Meaningful choice is one of the staples of good and compelling game design, but as a concept it's still poorly understood and rarely explored in detail, especially through the lens of level design.

As part of the GDC 2014 "Level Design In A Day" series of talks, 2K Games' Matthias Worch (former lead designer of the cancelled Star Wars 1313) took a deeper look at choice in games: why it is important, how it ties into the psychological underpinnings of why we play games, and how it connects to other fundamental concepts of game design like the space of possibility, motivation, player agency and the actual level design of a game.

It's a thought-provoking talk worth watching for all developers, especially designers. The free video (embedded above) of 'Decisions That Matter - Meaningful Choice in Game and Level Design' is now available to watch here on the GDC Vault.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault 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, GDC Europe, and GDC Next 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.

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