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Video: What cats can teach you about empathic game design

In this 2019 GDC session, Mew and Me's Willem Delventhal explains how designing games for house cats helped him think about designing games for humans as well.

In this 2019 GDC session, Mew and Me's Willem Delventhal explains how designing games for house cats helped him think about designing games for humans as well.

After all, a player can only articulate so much, so spending a moment to understand them can vastly improve the quality of your games. Who better to teach you that ability than the humble house cat?

Delventhal reveals how making games for cats is extremely challenging in ways that many frustrated game designers will find familiar: they cannot communicate, and most of the time will want nothing to do with whatever you need them to do. But it turns out that, just like any human player, cats have a few quirks that once understood, can be overcome to make engaging experiences for an animal that would otherwise not care.

It was a great talk, and now you can watch it 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

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