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2020 SIG Awards (Growth): Games Research and User Experience

15 Oct 2020

Do you like having brilliant ideas? Do you like game development? Have you struggled with getting a game project off the ground? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you need to check out the IGDA GRUX SIG. GRUX, or Games User Research and Games User Experience, is a core part of modern game development. The goal of the IGDA Games User Research and Games User Experience Special Interest Group is to help game designers reach their design goals by applying scientific and UX design principles and by understanding players. By further understanding our players, we can create a better experience. This year, the IGDA GRUX SIG is hosting various events you can attend from the comfort of your home! With this year’s many challenges, the SIG has moved its engagement to a total virtual experience. Their membership is a broad mix of games UX, research, and development professionals, and they will be joining the SIG in presenting a safe virtual experience for gamers and developers.

The IGDA GRUX SIG recently hosted a Games User Research Summer Camp, organized by member John Hopson and attended by 150 aspiring developers. Since they can’t hold physical meetings and events, Steering Committee member Laura Levy organized a Mozilla Hubs virtual get together! The SIG’s virtual camp this past summer featured various lectures with in-depth discussions on the immersion, flow, and usability in video games, major design Barriers for deaf & hard-of-hearing gamers, and the understanding player behavior through visualization. Each lecture held a wealth of knowledge for anyone in the game development industry. All of the lectures from the Summer 2020 camp are up on the IGDA GRUX SIG’s YouTube Channel.

The SIG will be continuing its virtual experience by hosting GRUX Online, another free online summit organized by Steering Committee member Emma Varjo. The lectures are open to anyone interested in game UX & research and streamed for free on 27 November on YouTube! New and interesting topics will be announced soon, all lead game developers and strategists with experience. Whether you are new and eager to start your career in game research or a veteran of the game development community looking to learn new tricks, all are welcome!

GRUX Online 2020

The topics will feature presentations and networking opportunities. You will be able to socialize and ask the speakers questions live through Zoom. The SIG has various speakers lined up for the event, from industry veterans to student voices, so it’s expected that you’ll walk away with something new regardless of your experience level.

We hope folks are staying safe and relatively sane, and we welcome anyone in-game dev to join us! The IGDA Games Research and User Experience SIG has an active Discord for anyone working in or professionally interested in games UX & research if you get the chance. It’s the go-to place for day-to-day advice, connections, and community! Come on over to our webpage as well for more information and updates about our upcoming events.

by Mack Andrews

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