The video game industry is all about the players, but that doesn’t mean all the design talent in the world can be put to good use.
A new video game design course from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has the answer.
“We call it ‘design training’ because it’s about designing games for the human brain,” said David Berenson, a professor in the MIT Interactive Media Program and one of the founders of MIT’s game design school.
“The goal is to teach people how to design for the brain.”
The course, titled “Designing for Human Brain,” takes students through the process of creating games for a human mind, with an emphasis on teaching students how to make video games with human emotions and players’ own stories in mind.
“In the course, we teach the students to imagine their own emotional states, and then to understand how these emotional states change over time, with a focus on how those changes can affect the gameplay,” Beren, a graduate of MIT and New York University, said in a video on the class’s website.
In order to make the game that students want to play, Beren’s students create a fictional world that includes characters who have different personalities and interests, as well as realistic environmental details, like trees and bushes.
“This video game world is based on real life, and it allows us to really see what we’re working with and to see how it can be changed for the better,” B, a game designer, said.
The course was developed to address a particular type of criticism that many game designers and designers in the industry are facing, he said.
“Most people are frustrated when they find a game that doesn.
They don’t know what the right response is, and they’re not confident in their ability to make it right,” B said.
In a game like “Doom,” the developer was criticized for not including a single human in the game world, which many people deemed too “realistic” and unrealistic.
“It’s one of those things where the designers say, ‘We should have a lot of humans in the movie because they have their own life stories, and their own experiences, and that’s how we want to tell the story,'” Beren said.
But, according to the course’s creator, Barenson, there is a solution.
“For many games, people say that the human emotions are a bit too artificial, and there’s something about them that’s too real and we’re not really going to make them real,” Berens said.
He said the game designers’ response is to give the player a choice.
“A choice is a choice,” he said, adding that the students learn to use their own emotions and experience to make decisions about the game.
“That’s where the challenge comes in, is the human emotion comes from the player.”
The students in the course are encouraged to write a game story, and Beren described them as “very smart students.”
They’re also encouraged to create games based on their own personal experiences.
“They’re allowed to make their own games, but they’re encouraged to use our games, our experiences, our ideas,” Barens said, explaining that students can create games that are “just for themselves.”
The courses curriculum includes a variety of interactive learning tools for the students, including a “gamescape,” a design and production environment where the students can work on their projects, as long as they are not too difficult or too long.
Berenns said that the goal is for the course to be available online and to become a regular part of the curriculum.
“Our goal is not to replace the actual design work that the designers do, but to add a little bit of that, and we hope to be able to make that happen,” he explained.
“So that’s really our hope.””
Ultimately, we’re going to see more of this kind of work,” he added.
“So that’s really our hope.”