About The MA in Independent Games and Playable Experience Design

Independent Games and Playable Experience Design is an MA program at Goldsmiths, University of London. This unique course offers critically-engaging themes and technologies, providing skills in immersive storytelling to reflect rapid changes in the games industry.

We focus on developing aesthetic awareness, designing meaningful spaces, creating compelling mechanics and the ability to craft innovative narratives in games and immersive experiences. Students on this course push games into new territories both through expanding into new physical spaces as well as intellectual domains.

Welcome to Playful Experiences, a brave new exhibition of work from the program where games find purchase in the creative arts to engage conversation, inspire personal expression and explore social issues.

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Playful Experiences 2018 Conference

Playful Experiences 2018 Conference
Opening Night - Thursday Sept 20th, 6pm - 10pm.

Keynote Speakers

This talk series will run from 7:00 until 8:30pm

Phoenix Perry : New Visions

How can games change culture? This talk explores the importance of establishing creators willing to engage cultural narratives using play and games. It highlights the important work done this year by students participating in this course.

Phoenix Perry creates physical games and embodied experiences. Her work looks for opportunities to bring people together to raise awareness of our collective interconnectivity. Current research underway at Goldsmiths, University of London looks at leveraging our other senses, with particular focus on sound and skin based feedback to trigger affective response. A consummate advocate for women in game development, she founded Code Liberation Foundation. In her role at Goldsmiths, University of London, she leads an MA in Independent Games and Experience Design which she created.

Cara Ellison : Environmental Storytelling

I design stories for video games. Some people think this means I'm the person who writes the line, Oh my god we've got to get out of here! Some studios still believe that this is all I should do: "Isn't that what scriptwriters do? They write what characters say." But "narrative designers" have a broader remit.

Cara Ellison is a narrative designer for videogames and often writes for TV and comics.

She is originally from Aberdeen, Scotland, lives in Edinburgh, and works in & out of office for many game studios worldwide. Previously an itinerant journalist, she has also written books and worked in radio. She is the second most prominent defender of Britney Spears in the games industry.

Robin Baumgarten : Making Strange Hardware Games

Robin will explore the thriving experimental hardware game scene with its weird contraptions, strange arcade machines, and new controllers that push the boundaries of what games can be. He’ll talk about his own journey with the critically acclaimed Line Wobbler from door stopper spring experiment to museum exhibitions.

Robin Baumgarten is an Independent Hardware Game Designer based in London. Coming from an Artificial Intelligence and commercial game development background, he is now building award-winning interactive installation art and experimental custom controller games. He's also a keen game jammer, wannabe nomadic and photographer.

Federico Fasce: Games as a language

By looking into how language can influence a culture and how some games influence the life of small communities this talk will encourage a more adventurous exploration of games as a language and a more diverse use of verbs.

Born in Genova in 1975 Federico has worked in and out the game industry since 1996. He sees himself as a game designer, though lately is questioning what games even mean, and he all in all doesn’t really care as long as people keep making cool things. He has also been an event organiser, a teacher and a mentor. He’s a strong advocate of personal games and he firmly believes that getting more people making games is the way to save the industry and push the form of expression forward. He now lives in London where he explores self caring and relationship in game spaces. He recently worked at The Guardian as a creative technologist for virtual reality experiences. He’s constantly excited about something. Even before morning coffee.

Student Final Thesis Presentations

Friday Sept 21st, 10:30AM - 4:30PM.

Students in this MA in the 2017-2018 cohort will be presenting their thesis work all day on Friday the 21st within their exhibitions. Everyone is welcome, campus wide to come and learn about their work and see the process behind their project's creation.

Name Project Time
Raymond Vermeulen With Feeling!
An Analysis of the DDE framework through Tabletop Role-Playing-Game Design
Jade Hall Smith Natural Tone
Breaking Barriers: How Natural Tone Creates Empathy and Awareness Through Narrative Gameplay
Guest: Hannes Flor Natural Tone
Designing for Impact
Alex Fletcher Soli
Mental State Recognition via Personal EEG as a Game Controller for Audio-Visual Applications
Ece Seyrek Hasdoğan Chronofold
A time bending puzzle game where reality is not what it seems.
Doruk Hasdoğan Chronofold
A time bending puzzle game where reality is not what it seems.
Billy Karnchanapee Chronofold
Puzzle Games and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation in Different Personality Types.
Tommy Graven Slippery Slope
Player Motivation in Hyper-Casual Games
Hugh Kennedy Evolyte
Critiquing the Political Economy of Cryptocurrencies Through Play
Matthew Deline Campfire Tales
Augmenting Modern Oral Traditions Through Performance and Procedural Generation.


With Feeling!


Slippery Slope


Natural Tone



Campfire Tales

More Games


You Got Servered

Void of Memory

Turkey Street

Singing Tree

Shape Arcade

Seven Sisters

Richmond Park

Pollock Ball



Normal for Norman?

Mobile Arcade

Insert A Disk VR

CyberArc VR


Jade Hall-Smith

Part coder, part artist, all nerdy designer, Jade enjoys making games about mental health and disabilities. Her games focus on inclusivity and diversity as a means of inspiring players to empathise with others.

Matthew Deline

Matt does his best thinking while on the road. When he’s not traveling, hiking, or sitting upside down in a roller coaster, he makes experimental board, arcade, narrative, and spatial games that encourage personal growth through interaction and play.

Alex Fletcher

Alex is an experienced Audio Engineer, who happens to play the trumpet. Not to toot his own horn, but he has now turned these skills to making games as well!

Ben Tandy

Ben is an interactive developer who started his career building interactive experiences for museums, galleries and expos. He transitioned over to game design and now seeks to create games that can help to present ideas and information in a captivating manner.

His main passion is loud, over-stimulating arcade experiences that expect way too much from the player.

Billy Karnchanapee

Billy is a musician-turned-programmer-turned-game designer who is interested in way too many things. Right now, he endeavors to create emergent and expressive experiences that he hopes will make the world a better place. He is also interested in understanding player psychology and discussing game design.

Doruk Hasdogan

A Turkish game artist, environment designer, and game developer, Doruk is committed to turning bold ideas into even bolder work in the games space, with a particular focus on level design.

Ece Seyrek Hasdoğan

Ece hails from Turkey, and works as a graphic designer and artist for games. From UI and logos to concept art and beautifully sculpted faces, Ece’s strong use of color shines everywhere!

Julia Makivic

Julia Makivic is a narrative game designer with a background in computer science and illustration. Her work contains a strong narrative and graphic element and explores themes of desire, obsession and voyeurism in an age where technology and surveillance have become embedded in everyday life. She is interested in using computation as a tool for creating non-linear narratives. As a part of her practice, she has been crafting a speculative world where every second of a given person’s existence is collected and analyzed using organic server farms that grow and mold according to the data that they store.

Phoenix Perry

Phoenix Perry creates physical games and user experiences. As an advocate for women in game development, she founded Code Liberation Foundation. In her role at Goldsmiths, University of London, she lecturers on Physical Computing and games and leads an MA in Independent Games and Experience Design.

Raymond Vermeulen

Raymond is a games writer and narrative designer currently living in the UK. He holds graduate degrees in writing and game design, following a major in philosophy of science. His work has been prominently featured on both his fridge and his corkboard.

Tommy Graven

Tommy is a 22 year old game developer working in C# and Unity and passionate about mobile games.

Hugh Kennedy

Hugh is a roaming creative developer originally from Sydney, Australia. He's been making websites, interactive experiences and realtime visualisations since 2010, and has spent this year looking at games for activism and social change.