IGDA Albany has a professional talk every 1st Wednesday of the month, except when they don’t. This month’s IGDA Albany speaker is Stephen Kohler, and he will provide the talk, “Can We Move the Furniture? Using Intelligent Design to Guide Players.” The presentation will describe the game design challenges behind escape rooms and live role-playing games (LARPs).
The talk will begin at 7pm, but feel free to arrive around 6 and stay until 9 if you’d like to mingle before and after.
In the digital realm, the game designer has (mostly) full control over the range of actions that players can take. However, games that take place in physical reality, such as escape rooms, can’t choose to limit player actions by just not programming them in. How can a designer design their environments to guide players towards desired actions, and away from detrimental ones, without coming across as too condescending? And how can you do so with game challenges actively designed to be non-obvious, such as puzzles? This talk will cover observations and theories from the first six months of running an escape room, and the lessons learned regarding teaching players without using brute-force tutorials or directions.
About the Speaker
Stephen Kohler is the CEO of Lime Shirt Studios LLC, and the designer and co-founder of Enigmatic Escapes, Troy’s first escape room. He also runs theatrical-style live action roleplaying games as the head of Lime Shirt LARPing, and has given several talks at the New England LARP theory convention, NELCO, about the logistics of running live-action roleplaying games. He’s been involved with running and analyzing games of one kind or another for over a decade, both at an amateur and professional level.
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