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Games are tools to connect you with the people you love (or those you want to get to know). But how can we effectively design games for the purpose of bringing people together?
This talk presents a design philosophy for “Heads Up” gameplay — gameplay that brings your attention to your environment and the people around you rather than your screen. A “Heads Up” game embodies these values:
Eye Contact: Players engage in face-to-face interactions with each other
Conversation: Players actively converse with each other using a relatable vocabulary that’s easily understood by spectators
Physical Contact: The game encourages playful physical contact between players
Context: The game makes use of the physical environment it’s being played in
Flexibility: The game adapts itself to different environments and skill sets
Personality: Players can express their personalities through their chosen style of play
These qualities, when working effectively together, create a memorable shared experience for those involved.
To demonstrate how to practically apply the “Heads Up” design philosophy, this talk presents a series of prototypes and finished games that explore this space. Each game will be related back to the “Heads Up” design values as a measure of its success.
At the end of the talk, attendees will understand both the value of “Heads Up” design as well as the practical ways to incorporate these values into their own designs.