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Session Name:

Designing for Empathy with Sensory Replication in D4


D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die is the latest thriller from SWERY, the eccentric mind behind the 2010 cult hit Deadly Premonition. In this session, he will discuss the development of D4 and his attempts to empathetically connect to players using a design method called "sensory replication." One of the core design goals in D4 was to engage players at an emotional level. Another was to find a way to allow players who hate motion controls to enjoy the game using a Kinect. After much trial and error, SWERY and his team at Access Games realized that these two goals could be addressed at the same time. The answer was a game design pattern called "sensory replication." Sensory replication attempts to connect the player to the moment-to-moment events on the screen at a visceral level. When it works, the empathetic impact is dramatic. However, building a game around sensory replication is difficult, and its effects are not guaranteed. In this talk, SWERY will discuss the theory behind sensory replication and show how it influenced his design of D4. In addition, he'll talk about how building this game forced him to reevaluate many of his preconceived notions about game design.

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  • GDC 2015
  • Hidetaka 'SWERY' Suehiro
  • Access Games
  • free content
  • Design
  • Design