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International expert to speak on psychology behind 'Fortnite' video game

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

International video game user experience (UX) consultant, author and former UX director for the internationally video game hit Fortnite, Celia Hodent, will give a free public lecture on the psychology behind Fortnite’s success at Dunedin’s Signal ICT Graduate School on Wednesday 26 February.

Ms Hodent holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Paris and has been working in the games industry since 2005. Before starting her consultancy in 2017, she was Director of User Experience at Epic Games, where she developed UX practices and strategy for games produced by the studio - including Fortnite, Unreal Engine 4, Paragon and Battle Breakers.

The public lecture will follow a sold-out masterclass Ms Hodent is running on Tuesday on the topic of game-based UX and cognitive science, with reference to her 2017 book The Gamer’s Brain; How Neuroscience and UX Can Impact Video Game Design.

Ms Hodent’s visit is sponsored by the Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE) and was arranged by Managing Director of Dunedin-based game development studio Runaway, Zoe Hobson.

Mrs Hobson says, "Making good games is challenging in so many ways, and with thousands of games being released every year, there is a lot of competition. UX and cognitive science disciplines provide developers with ingredients that can help create successful games, so we’re really excited to bring Celia to Dunedin to share her knowledge and experience with the local game development community."

CODE Working Group member, Tim Ponting, says Ms Hodent’s visit aligns well with CODE’s objective of providing local game developers access to national and international experts and follows hard on the heels of visits by other international game development experts, including representatives from Tokyo-based JP GAMES.

"We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have some high-profile visitors coming to Dunedin since the October announcement and while CODE is still in its establishment phase. This is building real momentum and credibility for CODE and Dunedin as a game development hub," Mr Ponting said.

Ms Hodent’s public lecture will start at 6.30pm at Signal ICT Graduate School, located in Vogel Street.

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