Empathy & Emotion in Game Design with Robin Hunicke

Robin Hunicke is an innovative American video game artist. She's also a professor of game design at UC Santa Cruz and the co-founder of Funomena.

Hunicke is recognized in the industry for her support of independent game development, experimentation in game design, research in dynamic difficulty adjustment, and the advocacy of women within the games industry.

In this interview, we discuss her unique take on games as art, and the process she uses to imbue her games with emotion.

"Games are about interactivity and expression of yourself" - Robin Hunicke

"Games are about interactivity and expression of yourself" - Robin Hunicke


Connect with Robin

Twitter: @hunicke
Robin's Undergraduate Program: Games & Art
Robin's Research Lab: Ludo Lab

Selected Links from this Episode

International Game Developers Association (IGDA)
VIA Survey or StrengthsFinder
Jonathan Blow
Warren Spector
Doug Church
Will Wright
Rod Humble
The Productivity Planner

Featured Show Highlights

  • How Robin was part of the world's first Game Jam. [05:40]

  • Mentors in the game industry who I collaborated with and who supported me throughout the years. [10:00]

  • Robin talks about how to use games to communicate feelings. [16:00]

  • Robin shares details on mechanics and aesthetics when designing a game. [37:30]

  • Robin stays organized and productive by using "The Productivity Planner" [48:00]

  • The unique principles for her studio, Funomena [51:00]