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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Board Game Design Summit: 'Root': A Usability Postmortem

Joshua Yearsley  (Usability Developer, Leder Games)

Date: Monday, July 19

Time: 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Board Game Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

The critically acclaimed board game Root, published by Leder Games, is an intricate competitive wargame that captured people's attention—so let's talk about all the mistakes we made! In this talk, Root's usability developer will tell some stories of Root's development gone right and wrong, and what game developers can learn from our mistakes in rules writing, graphic and component design, user experience research, and more. Whether or not you know about gestalt principles, cognitive load, and the like, you will learn something new about how people can better understand board games.


The audience will leave with an understanding of how Leder Games investigated and solved several real-world problems in usability and user experience design. They will understand some of the best practices and pitfalls of usability work.

Intended Audience

This talk will interest anyone who wants to know more about game development in usability and user experience. Because this specialty in board games is still relatively young, even experienced UX developers in video games will gain new knowledge from a case study on a board game.