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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.

Intrinsically Motivated Teams: The Science of Motivation

Alexandre Moufarek  (Product Manager, DeepMind)

Date: Wednesday, July 21

Time: 8:30am - 9:30am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Production & Team Management

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: N/A: I prefer to present live on-site but I am open to delivering a virtual presentation

Have you ever wondered how to motivate your team to create great games? 30+ years of academic research on human motivation has shown that the way to get optimal and sustainable performance is actually to create the conditions under which your team can motivate itself. Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2000) is a macro theory of human motivation that emerged from research on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and identifies three universal psychological needs that, if satisfied, enable optimal function and growth: competence, autonomy and relatedness. In this talk, Alexandre Moufarek discusses how SDT can help build intrinsically motivated teams that sustainably show a high-level of performance and find great satisfaction in their work. "Happy game developers make happy gamers" is not just a saying. It's science.


An introduction to Self-Determination Theory, an understanding of how intrinsic and extrinsic motivation impact your team's performance and well-being (supported by research findings and real world examples) as well as recommendations to help you create a need-supportive environment for your team.

Intended Audience

Game developers of all levels curious about what makes a motivating environment for their teams and interested in understanding how to build and nurture one.