If you don’t know how you’re aiming to change your players’ lives, you’re not necessarily a bad game designer, but you might be a bad person.
I’ve been feeling guilty about it ever since. Not because it’s not true, but because all too often I’m a massive hypocrit, and don’t have a clear answer to that question myself. Working on SuperMe made me particularly aware of it, since that entire project was about trying to encode more positive ways of thinking into the core mechanics of the games that would sit within it. And, having learned a lot more about happiness from the research Somethin’ Else and Coney undertook for SuperMe, I also now have better tools at my disposal to figure out how to design for happiness, and how to recognise good happiness design in other games.
I’ll do a proper write-up shortly, but for now, here are the slides. Bonus points for anyone who can find me a credit for the awesome photo.