Designing for Games & VR

This event was held on 10 May 2016.

This evening event will investigate how UX and user research is implemented in the development of video games. Speakers will be covering a wide range of games UX and user research topics, discussing how the best games really focus on the player experience.

The current state of UX in the games industry will be discussed, as well as how it will change moving forward with new technologies like VR.

Photo of Deborah Amar
Photo of Steve Bromley
Photo of Henry Ryder

Running user tests for Virtual Reality games - Steve Bromley

2016 is a big year for virtual reality, with the launch of new VR headsets from Sony PlayStation, Oculus Rift and Valve. For user researchers, virtual reality offers new challenges due to new technology, interaction methods and types of experiences.

In this talk, Steve will talk about lessons learned from designing and moderating user tests for virtual reality games, and give some best practises on how to get reliable and useful data from user research sessions.

Steve is a Games User Researcher currently working for Sony PlayStation on their hardware, games and system software.

Steve has run many user tests for PlayStation over the last 5 years, including for the PlayStation VR headset, their virtual reality launch line-up, and for popular PlayStation franchises such as LittleBigPlanet, SingStar and WonderBook.

He has extensive experience of designing, running and reporting usability and user experience tests, with adults and children, both in lab tests and at participants homes.


Differences between mainstream UX and games UX – Deborah Amar

Coming from Psychology and Human Computer Interaction, Games User Research is a growing field facing its own challenges, sometimes different from traditional User Research. In this talk we will explore the similarities and differences between Games User Research and Mainstream User Experience.

Deborah is a User Researcher currently working at Player Research, a video game UX consultancy.

Before that she was responsible for the development of User Research methods for Ubisoft User Research Lab in Paris and also did several UX contracts for web companies.

Over the last 3 years she has worked on over 30 games, running Usability and User Experience studies, from large franchises such as Assassin’s Creed to indie mobile games.

Applying UX Lessons to Game Design - Henry Ryder

Coming from a background of motion graphics and interactive design, Henry is a User Interface Designer currently working at Natural Motion’s Brighton studio BossAlien. Creators of several highly successful games on iOS and Android.

Before that he was an interactive designer working to promote video games and movies through the web & social media, for The Picture Production Company in London.

In this talk, Henry will talk about applying the lessons learnt from user testing to the development of a game.


Cool extra stuff

The lovely folks at Make Real will be bringing along some VR experiences for people to try out at the event.

The team at Make Real are pioneers, explorers and innovators. Our purpose is to inspire, immerse and enable people to grow – at work, at home and on the move.

We believe that immersive digital products are transforming the way we work, play and learn. We make virtual reality experiences, augmented reality devices, collaborative ‘serious games’ and other tools that support new types of work, play and learning.

Smart learners, collaborative innovators and self-directed humans are the work-force of the future. We’re here to help organisations serve them, here, now and into the future.

Our leadership team has strong established relationships with a range of specialist partners in hardware and software development including Oculus, HTC, Sony and Unity as well as partner studios specialising in film and 3D modelling.

Slacker Games will also be there, showing their game Private Eye.

Private Eye is a cinematic, neo-noir psychological thriller, crafted exclusively for virtual reality, fully immersing players in the gripping, fragmented narrative of a mysterious detective.

Following an accident that has left you paralysed from the waist down and in a dissociative state, you must investigate a series of murders whilst uncovering your own past and identity.

Evolving the point-and-click genre for VR, we place visual exploration and environmental storytelling at the forefront. Private Eye aims to be offer a thought-provoking and complex experience to VR gaming.

Also…Games! There will be a couple of multiplayer games that people can enjoy after the talks. The games themselves are TBC, but they will be fun and multiplayer, so start challenging people now!


  • Curated by Harvey Owen