November 13-15, 2015
New York City

Welcome to PRACTICE: Game Design in Detail. Where game designers of every stripe come together, share ideas, and break bread together.

PRACTICE is an annual event that takes a close look at the concrete challenges of game design, bridging dialog across industries. Where else can a console developer discuss level design with a tabletop RPG writer? Or an iPhone puzzle creator debate economy balancing with a collectible card game designer? Or a professional sports official share secrets with an experimental indie game artist? No other conference brings together such a diverse group of game designers for high-level dialog.

We explore the day-to-day, nuts and bolts practice of game design – where the rubber of design ideas and methods meets the road of meaningful, playable games. Join us for three days of lectures and panels, workshops and discussions, mixed with plenty of game-playing and socializing.


PRACTICE brings together videogame designers, board and card game designers, designers of sports and LARPs, and just about any other kind of game designer you can imagine.

PRACTICE 2015 line-up includes:

  • Mare Shepard, founder of Metanet, developer of the highly-acclaimed N++
  • Chris Avellone, CRPG designer whose 20-year career credits include Fallout 2Knights of the Old Republic II, and Pillars of Eternity 
  • Brian Moriarty, interactive fiction and adventure game legend (Wishbringer,LOOM, Beyond Zork)
  • Leslie Scott, designer of Jenga and founder of Oxford Games.
  • Erik Svedäng, designer of acclaimed independent games like Shot Shot Shoot and else Heart.Break()

A full list of speakers is available here.

If you’d like to read more from past PRACTICE speakers, check out our Three Questions series, where Game Center MFAs asked speakers three questions to dive deeper into their design philosophies and methods.

Talks, Panels, and Discussions

Each year PRACTICE features presentations from a variety of expert and accomplished game designers representing all corners of game design. Speakers focus on design challenges and solutions in a wide range of games, from AAA videogames to collectible card games, to indie experiments to military simulations.

To see what a PRACTICE talk is like, here’s Samantha Kalman’s talk from last year’s conference where she explores the design choices behind past iterations of her game, Sentris:

To see talks from all four past PRACTICE conferences, visit the PRACTICE albums on our Vimeo.

Open Problems

Open Problems is a high-energy “open mic” session in which any conference attendee can present a work or idea in progress for discussion and feedback.

Attendees get five minutes to present a game design problem from a current prototype, idea, or just in general, and get ideas, answers, and debate from the entire room.

If you’re interested in presenting an Open Problem, we’ll send out a call for submissions about a month out from the conference.

Feedback Loops

Feedback loops are brief sessions between talks where we invite conference attendees to come up and discuss and debate topics from the conference. The feedback loops can be a reaction to a talk, a conversation happening on twitter, or stem from a question at the end of a talks.



PRACTICE: Game Design in Detail will be at the home of the NYU Game Center at 2 Metrotech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn, NY, located in the heart of Brooklyn and minutes away from Lower Manhattan. PRACTICE is surrounded by great places to stay and eat, as well as tons of exciting things going on for games in New York City!


Experience PRACTICE

Every year we ask conference attendees to share tweets, talk slides, photos, and more via twitter, tumblr, and instagram, and we combine all of it on the NYU Game Center tumblr. See all of the conversations, debates, and talk re-caps from past PRACTICE conferences here.

Below are photos and artwork from the past four years of PRACTICE conferences.