The Freedom Fallacy: Understanding Player Autonomy in Game Design

In this 2017 GDC session, Immersyve’s Scott Rigby explains why it is extremely valuable for developers to have a nuanced understanding of player autonomy, enabling them to satisfy players while avoiding common traps that lead down bad design roads.

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  • I really feel if you try to put too much psychoanalysis behind a game though you really lose the soul and it ends up being terrible.

    M_S June 27, 2020 10:54 am Reply
  • Great talk. Just great!

    Zer0li June 27, 2020 10:54 am Reply
  • this talk is EXACTLY what I was looking for, explanation of why and how to approach the problem, many thanks, this was truly helpful

    Bekjan Z June 27, 2020 10:54 am Reply
  • Not a gamedev, but this talk was EXTREMELY USEFUL and very-very interesting especially in "the challenge" perspective. I hope some gamedevs would take those lessons to heart and use them responsibly (I'm looking at you, EA).

    Иван Рявкин June 27, 2020 10:54 am Reply
  • This is largely why 4X games suck players in for so long.

    eskimo June 27, 2020 10:54 am Reply
  • For the most part I like this talk and think it's valuable, except near the end when he goes full hog behaviorist. Especially at the end when he dreams of games that adjust to your psychological profile it becomes really scary. The problem is that companies will not use this to make better games but they will and probably do already to a degree use these methods to keep players engaged, hooked, addicted and exploit them.

    Sir Diealot June 27, 2020 10:54 am Reply
  • 4:50 lol, he's wrong. an open world game analysis that's lacking "curiosity" as basic motivation is way off. Should be entertaining to finish watching though.

    12:26 oops now he's comparing open world and linear story based games on how similar they are. :/ I'm done.

    MrSmartass42 June 27, 2020 10:54 am Reply
  • Fundamentally in Wild Hunt, players are roll playing as a Witcher. The fact that they are Geralt only narrows your range of agency they have to shape the game world. Assuming they are invested in their play through y. Contrarily in Skyrim, players can be one of many races and class. Immersion in the narrative here is different depending on the character selection. If in fact these two games provide identical age risk ability, then is the player’s autonomy more freedom to explore the world rather than volition to engage in the narrative/world?

    BamboeFacets June 27, 2020 10:54 am Reply
  • 18:00 this just seems like common sense you shouldn't need research to understand. basic design 101

    postblitz June 27, 2020 10:54 am Reply
  • I don't understand how anyone can talk about player agency without talking about Mount and Blade.

    Jordan Beeston June 27, 2020 10:54 am Reply
  • Chris Roberts is shooting for just this. I hope we get it.

    George Hall June 27, 2020 10:54 am Reply
  • It is basically about yet another own interpretation of Self-Determination Theory (Autonomy, Relatedness, Competence)

    That Guy June 27, 2020 10:54 am Reply
  • Wasn't that already up on the channel?

    Raphael Maia Ribeiro June 27, 2020 10:54 am Reply
  • Calling the RPG systems of Skyrim dense and rich (!) seems a bit silly to me. Otherwise good talk.

    volkanhto June 27, 2020 10:54 am Reply
  • seems like a huge issue for a lot of games these days.

    Nithish June 27, 2020 10:54 am Reply

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