OC4 Talks: Designing for Feeling – Robin Hunicke

Notes from OC4 Designing for Feeling – Robin Hunicke

Philosophy of Exploration and Design

Robin opened with her concept of triple E content (a play on AAA, disambiguated below) and extolled the value of figuring out where you want to go first

  • Elegant Expressive and Emotional content (EEE)
  • She presented a 2×2 matrix with high impact, low cost as the quadrant where most content aims… the problem, she expressed, was that the matrix leaves out elegance as a focal point
    Tips
  • Evolve concepts, tools, & solutions, to reduce cost & improve impact
  • Evolve ux
  • Expressive – Players Speak

Process & the Broad Applicability of EEE

Axes in her slide graphic included rational, eee, baroque, and scripted (e.g. Sims, Black ops)

  1. Test your concept like it isn’t your
  2. Throw away ideas
  3. Find the feeling in your idea (lock in on it)
  4. This is your secret sauce
  5. Test the prototype like it isn’t yours
  6. the prototype is different than what is on paper
  7. the process is what helps
  8. Repeat

Luna

Uncertainty is surpassed only by the effort that needs to go into it

For Luna she took inspiration for the design from a paper world feel, influenced by origami, and during the process she packed her mind with fairytales

Not everyone needs to get into hands-on design influences, but she
thought that making origami and the concepts and learning how the
tactile quality turned out were really informative
 I’ve definitely found with Project Futures: The Future of
Farming it’s really key to actually gain some influence from real world knowledge and folks that have built
constructs or structures that are going to lend to the look and feeling of the world space in the app. Namely
Infarm.

One important side note Robin dropped was that none of the characters in Luna have genders.

Other Random Notes

  • Mood boards
  • Luna started out as a PC and VR title from the beginning
  • The demo and vision existed before the actual prototype (i.e. the hands
    controlling the stars)
  • Tested prototype part 2 and threw it away
  • Music is integrated into the testing process with feeling at the center, namely, “what kind of feeling is it communicating?”

Timeline
4 year process for Luna – started out as a drawing in a book

  • They went through a massive phase where no VR was implemented, then in November 2016 it came to life in VR (7 person
    team)
  • By 2017 the pieces are starting to become cohesive and informed by the feeling

Fail Forward was key, it takes a lot of work.

Have to lean into the idea of interesting different challenging titles

UPSHOT = Diverse and inclusive teams, failure is ok, and the belief that you’re
going to get there. Leads to the triple EEEs and successful titles.

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