FPA – COVID19The well-being of our members is paramount to the Fair Play Alliance. We are all experiencing an unprecedented event with the current pandemic, and we felt we should acknowledge this and offer a safe space for our members to discuss concerns, share ideas and most importantly, support one another.
7/22/20 Player Dynamics 101, Weszt Hart (Head of Player Dynamics, Riot Games)This session provides an introduction to the craft of Player Dynamics. The key takeaways include a high-level understanding of the nascent field of Player Dynamics, insight into how Riot Games is onboarding people into the craft, and just enough definitions, philosophies, and concepts to get you started!
7/29/20 EA’s Inclusive Design Framework, Tülay Tetiker McNally (Sr Development Director, EA)The Inclusive Design Framework is a practice that many development teams across Electronic Arts use. It is intended to help guide developers to create inclusive player experiences that enable greater cultural and diverse representation in our games. We will discuss how teams work with ERG’s and share examples from games such as FIFA and The Sims, in order to inspire you to join the movement.
2020 FPA Summit @ GDC Highlights
Due to Covid-19, GDC and the Fair Play Summit were shifted to a combined summer schedule.
Business of Fair Play, Weszt Hart (Head of Player Dynamics, Riot Games) Getting company buy-in for fair play and Player Dynamics can be challenging. Fortunately, we can leverage many lessons and techniques from UX design, a field with a long history of “selling” itself. Weszt Hart from Riot Games will cover what fair play means for game companies; the history of UX and Player Dynamics at Riot; plus tools, models, and approaches that can help design get a seat at the table. The talk will include concrete examples from a number of UX and gaming companies.
What Online Games Can Learn from the Failures of Social Media, Daniel Kelley (Associate Director, ADL’s Center for Technology and Society)74% of adults in the US experience harassment in online games.65% of adults in the US experience severe harassment, which includes stalking, sexual harassment and physical threats.53% of adults were targeted on the basis on their identity.This data from Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL’s) Center for Technology and Society highlights a real problem with online games as digital social spaces, and the need to address the social nature of online games from a civil rights perspective in order to ensure justice and fair treatment for all people in online games.In this talk, an ADL expert will do a deep dive into this troubling data and discuss how online games as social platforms can learn from the mistakes of traditional social media to fight hate, discrimination, harassment and extremism in online game spaces.
Designing Game Communities for Kindness, Victoria Tran (Communications Director, Kitfox Games)Developers tend to know they want “a community”, AKA passionate fans of their game and studio, but neglect considering what kind of belongingness they want from them. And then those who do consider it might decide they want “positive”, “healthy”, and “engaged” communities, which is a great goal, but doesn’t concretely describe what actions to take. How do you get there? Beyond just “having good soft skills”, what structures encourage kindness? What makes a good rule set? How is trust created through faceless communication? Designing kinder communities is more than just about risk management. Its lifetime value will reward you – people will stick around for your future games to come, and recruit others to join. Let’s start the kindness revolution.
Ask Me Anything: Mental Health Q&A with Eve Crevoshay, Eve Crevoshay (Executive Director, Take This)Attendees can expect a wide-ranging discussion on mental health in games: the mental health of people who make games, the portrayal of mental illness & mental health care in games, and the research on the impact of games on mental health. We’ll cover online toxicity & harassment, cultural myths in the industry, and current plans to tackle some of the most challenging issues in games. Alex Warwo, Editor of Gamasutra, will be joining this session as moderator.
Designing for Multiple Minds, Kimberly Voll (Co-Founder & Designer/Programmer/Researcher, Stray Bombay Company), Weszt Hart (Head of Player Dynamics, Riot Games)Over the last 40 years game design has largely focused on the mechanics of the game itself, rather than the complexity of human players, who bring their own needs, expectations, and interpretations into the game. This is especially apparent today with the dominance of online games and players’ increasing social expectations as we struggle to foster healthy player-to-player interactions that bring out the best in our games vs. the worst in our players. To help this talk introduces “Player Dynamics”, a design craft to address how player interactions and motivations create and enhance our in-game and meta-game experiences. Already an established part of Riot Games’ design department and increasingly at other companies, the talk will focus on the how and why, give applied examples, and equip designers with tools and frameworks to intentionally design for healthier player dynamics, whether launching a new title or improving an old one.
Addressing Ethics & Content Responsibility as Game Developers, Kat Lo (Visiting Researcher, University of California, Irvine), Kate Edwards (CEO, Geogrify), Carlos Figueiredo (Director of Community Trust & Safety, Two Hat), Celia Hodent (Game UX Consultant, Independent)Beyond the regular (and mostly exaggerated) attacks our industry is getting regarding addiction, loot boxes, or violence, it is important for us to get a clear understanding of our ethical responsibilities as content providers. Discussions around ethics in the game industry are still too rare. Celia Hodent (Game UX Consultant, former director of UX at Epic Games), Kate Edwards (CEO at Geogrify, a consultancy which pioneered content culturalization), Kat Lo (Visiting Researcher at the University of California, Irvine), and Carlos Figueiredo (Director of Community Trust & Safety at Two Hat, and Co-Founder of the Fair Play Alliance), propose to dive into this topic by sharing their experience and perspectives. We will address how design impacts social behavior, how to recognize dark patterns, and how to assess the potential impact of the content we put in our games on players. The idea is to discuss the state of our industry as related to ethics and what we should strive to do better so that we can own the conversation about video games in our society.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Practical Tips to Prevent Abuse & Build Team Trust, Emily Greer (Founder & CEO, Double Loop Games)Over the last few years, many members of the game development community have come forward with upsetting stories of harassment and abuse, both recent & past. It’s easy to feel helpless, but thoughtful leaders can take many steps, large & small, to help minimize harassment & abuse, increase the likelihood that it will be reported, and handle it effectively when it happens. This talk will examine the patterns and conditions of harassment and give concrete strategies that not only counteract abuse but also make teams more effective, with reduced turnover and higher trust.
Changing the Game: Cultivating Female Talent in AAA Studios, Victoria Setian (Senior Producer, Avalanche Studios) Research shows that ~50% of gamers are women and companies with diverse leadership are more profitable. With only 22% of game developers being female, there’s never been a better time to cultivate change. The session will cover how to increase the female talent pool, nurture our current female developers, and support their growth into leadership roles via research-backed actions and programs. Changing the game starts with how we run our productions and studios. Come and hear how you can shift your development practices with an eye towards the future.
Designing Social Play for Sky: Children of the Light, John Hughes (Feel Engineer, thatgamecompany) The definition of “social” gameplay can be elusive and counterintuitive. What makes some online games so much more socially fulfilling than others? How do you create lasting connections between players in online games? This talk hopes to share some learnings from the development of thatgamecompany’s Social Adventure game, Sky: Children of the Light.
2019 FPA Summit @ GDC Highlights
Fair Play Alliance Keynote, Dave McCarthy (Xbox), Chris Priebe (Two Hat), Jarrod Doherty (Blizzard)When it comes to topics around player behavior, the gaming industry has changed quite a bit in the last few years. These topics are larger than any one individual company, and industry collaboration (like the Fair Play Alliance) is key. The Fair Play Alliance Summit keynote promises a lively discussion around why publishers, game developers, and gaming platforms should consider applying best practices of player behavior and content moderation/online safety approaches as a key element of their design strategies.
Basic Tools for Healthy Communities, Laura Warner (Niantic), Kenny Shores (Riot), Jess Hollmeier (Supercell)This session consists of a set of micro-talks where several Fair Play Alliance member companies share some of their easy-to-implement tools that can make a real and measurable difference in terms of protecting your users as well as your brand.
Dispelling Common Player Behaviour Myths, Natasha Miller (Blizzard)This talk is intended to dispel some common myths around player behavior and motivations to be disruptive in games and provide alternative theories as to the player motivations. The talk is comprised of learning from several of the companies involved in the FPA including: Blizzard Entertainment, Riot Games, Epic Games, Cold Furnace Studios, Intel, Ubisoft, and academic researchers.
Impact of Social Systems and Game Design on Player Interactions, Naomi McArthur (Riot) & Kenny Shores (Riot)Although important, punitive systems are only a small piece of how we can foster healthy player interactions. This segment examines ways to address or redress behaviour patterns and enhance player cohesion through systems and game design, and includes learnings from several companies. Wherever possible we will pull concrete examples from live games to illustrate key points. Topics include best practices for player-to-player interplay and communication (verbal and non verbal) as well as systems that foster stronger social cohesion in game and in the larger playerbase. We will also discuss known and potentially hidden factors for designers to consider when designing new games or assessing live games.
Player Behaviour Research Microtalks, Kimberly Voll (Riot), Jamie Sherman (Intel), Elise Lemaire (Rovio), Chris Norris (Ubisoft)In a world of “live” games, and amidst an ever-expanding number of 3rd party platforms, not only are player populations growing and becoming more diverse, but HOW people play is fundamentally changing. It is critical, then, that game developers have a better understanding of both player motivations and subsequent in-game (and online!) behaviors. This session will feature a handful of speakers from the FPA at the forefront of research in the field of player behavior, in a series of “rapid fire” micro-talks, each lasting no more than six minutes. Come join for an insightful look at how better understanding player behavior ultimately results in a more positive experience for your community.
Reporting Metasystem Design and Penalization Strategy Best Practices, Jiayin Wang (Tencent), Carlos Figueiredo (Two Hat), Peter Alau (Spirit AI), George Kennedy III (Intel)This talk is intended to examine result-driven penalization and user reporting designs that members of the Fair Play Alliance including Intel, Riot Games, Tencent Game Security and Two Hat Security have successfully implemented. The talk will include examples that will outline how systems were implemented as well as a look at measurable results from those projects. One underpinning point is to analyze how those best practices can be conducive to reforming player behavior by focusing on providing timely feedback to players, and how penalization practices can be leveraged to produce the desired outcome of fostering productive interactions in games.