Master Class on Game UX and Cognitive Science

This workshop (composed of 2 main modules and an optional 3nd module) proposes to delve into how the human brain works in terms of perception, attention, and memory (critical elements for usability), and offers insights on human motivation, emotion, and gameflow (critical elements for engaging games).

Based on these elements, the workshop proposes a UX framework and UX guidelines during the different game development stages.

The ultimate goal of this workshop is to provide game developers with tools to significantly improve the experience of the game they are developing, as perceived by their target audience, not only in terms of usability, but in terms of engagement.

This workshop offers numerous examples, from video games and beyond, to illustrate each point (including examples from Fortnite, since the game UX framework covered in this workshop was used during the development process).

Lecturer: Celia Hodent, Game UX Consultant / PhD in Psychology

Celia Hodent is a leader in the application of user experience (UX) and cognitive science in the game industry and has over 10 years of experience. Celia is also the founder of the Game UX Summit, advisor for the GDC UX Summit, and author of The Gamer’s Brain: How Neuroscience and UX can Impact Video Game Design.

The 3-day Master Class is structured as follows:

  1. Introduction to cognitive science and psychology
  2. Focus more specifically on the User Experience (UX) framework
  3. Direct analysis of a variety of UX within games


April 26 – 28, 2021 (online)

Whenever possible, any of these parts and topics covered can be shortened or extended depending on the level of expertise of attendees and their expectations. For example, we can dive deeper into how to make free to play games more engaging, or how to set up user research in indie studios.


Anyone can benefit from knowing more about the brain and about user experience.

This Master Class will however benefit designers, artists, gameplay/UI programmers, producers, and junior UX practitioners even more.

Main Takeaways

  • Understand the main characteristics and limitations of the human brain (in terms of perception, attention, memory, motivation, and emotion), and how they impact game development.
  • Learn what makes a game engaging (in terms of motivation, emotion, and game flow) and how to foster these components in your game.
  • Have a clear and concrete understanding of what having a UX mindset and developing a UX strategy entail.