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

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

Recruiting in or with games…

17/06/2016 22:03

This is a very interesting article to read: “Serious Recruiting Games: 6 Tips For Using Games And Simulations For Recruiting Success

It gives a nice summary of using games as a tool in a “light” way towards the more “heavy” versions or application of play.

Some remarks I would like to note extra as tips: Read more


about play, article, behaviorchange, educational, english, game

Talking at QS in Groningen

15/06/2016 10:24

Am invited to talk (june 14th ’16) at this QS-event in Groningen about my Face A Day QS experiment. Then Gary Wolf will be talking about: ‘Against Behaviour Change’

Read and see more about my experiment on drawing faces every day here >>



about play, english, event, habits, psychology, QS

Workshop Internet of Elephants

29/05/2016 21:57

Together with Little Chicken and Newzoo we brainstorm a full day at the THNK home to co-create the future of the Internet of Elephants, are we able to design a game to engage people worldwide to the life and health and whereabouts of elephants and Wild life globally? We will keep you posted…. ; )


english, event, play

Ellis was in W*india*land

16/05/2016 15:34

A group of 11 Dutch game-entrepeneurs, game-researchers, game-developers and designers were invited by Dutch Culture (centre for international cooperation) to go Roadtrip India. To meet the Indian Industry, government and organisations to learn from each others challenges, opportunities and see how there are possibilities for future cooperations on the topic of games, applied games and play.

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about play, Alice, english, event, favorite, play

Empathy game design: Shape Quest

24/04/2016 13:29

Three students at the University of Amsterdam developed within a few month a game for youth on the topic of problematic social behaviour, how to deal with anxiety, how to respond to cooperation or how to cope with missing cooperation when to be expected. I have been so lucky to coach this team in their last few weeks of development. And the overcome obstacles in their process. Team hurdles to overcome, stress management, the alleged lack of certain talents, they showed amazing stamina and resilience while continuing the great work, and managed to create a working game with several interesting levels to be played.

I will never forget to see all three of them crying of joy while watching and listening to their own humoristic trailer for the first time finished.

They won the first prize of the Games4health Awards Utah 2016 in the category “Empathy Challenge”.

So well deserved since they covered the wide range of game design, it’s complexity, it’s multi- ánd disciplinary character, and they made a create trailer on top of that: see the Shape Quest trailer here >> 


Alice, educational, favorite, game, play