In 1950 Johan Huizinga wrote about the playful human being; the ‘homo ludens’. People and cultures have changed a lot since then but what is at the core of every person has not: We are still biologically hard-wired to play. From the moment we are born we learn and experiment through play. To me, it only makes sense to do this for the rest of our lives. I make games that do just that, for any aspect desired.
As a designer I view games in the broadest sense possible. Where others see problems, I see possibilities for improvement or to do new things. The games I make are specifically aimed at the context they are to be used in. They connect people and get them to play. Through that playing I teach them skills, bring them new experiences or simply have them engage with other players on a deeper level. I involve them with the material and through this give them something they won’t only remember but also apply in a natural fashion. I specifically design behaviour through games and gamification. People are biologically programmed to think in rules and rule-sets and therefore excel at experimenting, learning and evolving through play and games.
“Tell me, and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.” – Confucius
Platforms, media and genres are tools, not objectives. I design with the final experience of the player in mind, using whatever tools prove to be best for bringing that experience. Coming from a background of interactive theatre I employ dramaturgy in everything I design. This brings about a practice of designing where the final experience as it is perceived by the player(s) is the focus, which is therefore very suited for designing serious games, artistic games and any other interactive product that has a higher motive than just being a fun game. I adept upon what is already present in the social and spatial structures of groups and society and create an experience building from the top down, using and abusing social rules and dynamics to create games that are focused on human interaction, with the game, with other players and with the world around them. Whether designing for a digital game or something completely analogue, the experience of the player is key and all options in style and media to get there are open. Doing so allows me to design meaningful games for a wild variety of purposes.
As such you will find I have worked on various types of projects, bound together by the fact that they are user experience focused and interactive. My expertise is broad and specialized at the same time, for once you’ve learned to design the behaviour of people and build rule-sets that get them to play, you can apply this to any platform.
Besides working as a designer I also work as a writer, both on projects I design for, as on projects I only do the writing in. In games, writing and gameplay are often closely tied together, and the writing isn’t just the text the players read or hear. I’ve worked as a copywriter, scriptwriter, scenario or world designer, and also behind the scenes as a writer on manuals for the managing of games, design docs and other deliverables for pervasive game projects. You will find there is great value in having a writer that understands the dynamics and design decisions of game design and knows how a game is managed or puppet-mastered, but also has the skills to put that to clear and good text, both front-end and back-end.