Ellis on playful living: "this is my personal library of what I've learnt so far while I'm still mischievously exploring..."

Ellis, game alchemist

Pac-man is alive and kicking!

18/02/2017 13:23

As most people might know by now, I am a big fan of Pacman, and often talk about pacman when trying to explain the theory of gamedesign.

Now I am happy to announce that Paladin Studios made a tribute to Pacman in their game Galaga Wars. Read more about the how and what here >>

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about play, english, pacman, play

Once i was a product designer…

31/01/2017 23:12

About 7 years ago, I “designed” this ring, to be as cheap as possible, customisable in size on the spot, sold for one euro at Queens day in Amsterdam….

Found the photo just now, and it made me think of the magic circle as a model… also born approx. 7 years ago?


english, favorite

Interesting book Game Didactics (in Dutch)

30/01/2017 21:04


Boek: Gamedidactiek, het hoe en waarom van spellen in de les.

Beknopte samenvatting

Spellen en computergames worden steeds meer ingezet in de les. Gamedidactiek legt uit wat het nut van spellen in de les is. Waarom en hoe kun je spellen inzetten in je les?


learninggames.nl >>
databankgames.nl >>
gamesvooronderwijs.nl >>
MASS project >>
leerspellen.nl >>
Center for Games & Impact >>
gameplaylearn.com >>
Science Center >>
Room Recess >>
Wise Play >>
Portmantoo >>


about play, educational

Ellis was in W*india*land – part 2

12/01/2017 15:02

“Ellis was in W*india*land – part 1” can be read here

In November 2017 a group of Dutch game developers went for the GDC (game developers conference) in Hyderabad. We were invited to speak, discuss and expo different applied games from Holland. Read more


Alice, educational, english, event, game, gamification, pacman, workshop

Ellis in (paper) magazine crossing borders

07/11/2016 09:01

For my quantify self experience on Happy Faces I have been interviewed by the Belgium Magazine Charlie Mag. Talking about Happy… can that smile be any bigger? Read the article in full here >>charliemag


Alice, data-visualisation, english, event, favorite, QS

Workshop Sanitary Awarness Game design

04/10/2016 19:00

For the first time a hosted a game design workshop in Hanze Applied University Groningen via Skype since the train did not take me there. I was a very new experience, and I really miss the contact with the students and their work, but it worked out rather well, within 2 hours time, the team managed to create a member profiles, a persona, the team goal and a game concept to proceed with for next phase.

The slide used during the workshop can be found here >>

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Alice, english, event, workshop

Students designing play for Zoo

07/09/2016 08:24

At the University of Applied Science Amsterdam, for the launch of the new academic year, students are Challenged to develop games at the Zoo (Artis), to engage visitors with the less popular animals.

I am invited to give an introduction lecture about designing games and apply play. Off course I will mention some elephants ; )  see the slides here >>

Everyone is invited to become a test player at: Internet of Elephants Playgroup


about play, english, event

talking about happy faces QS

29/07/2016 23:27

The video of the QS conference on my faces happiness project. See the video here >>

Or see more here on this project >>


Alice, braintraining, english, event, psychology, QS, R&D

Interesting talk on VR and our brains

Game makers have spent the past four decades trying to pull players into games, developing a bag of tricks and techniques to make people feel immersed in virtual worlds.

See this video if you are interested in our behavior and what we can design to emerge:  “Video: The psychology of doing VR game design right”

What i personally explicitly love in this talk is how she explains how you as developer risk the breaking a contract with your player…. design is a negotiation with your user…


behaviorchange, braintraining, design thinking, english, game, play, psychology, serious

Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment

26/06/2016 12:10

People who know me, know; I love to talk about flow, and how to manage to stay in flow, or how to apply this in design to help someone else manage his experience. I often used the term “Dynamic Difficulty Levelling” but only now I found out the real term for this via this article on flow by Jenova Chen:

Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment, also known as DDA, is a fairly straightforward and ideal concept in the game design field. The difficulty of a game should change dynamically based on its player’s skill and performance. However, designing and implementing a DDA system is not trivial. Every so often, DDA systems take control away from the game designers, which potentially causes more problems than a linear game. Few commercial developers have implemented DDA systems for their games, and even fewer have shipped them. [Arey & Wells 2001] Over all DDA is just part of the core elements of Flow, it cannot stand-alone and reach Flow by itself. Rather than focusing on designing a DDA system for games, designing a general Flow system based on all core elements will be more direct and useful for the game designers”

Read the article: Flow in Games a Jenova Chen MFA Thesis

When still questions on flow, mail or call me ; P

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about play, design thinking, favorite, pdf, psychology, R&D, userfriendly