Stéphane Bura




Consultant - Game & Experience Design - Game Writing & Worldbuilding - Public Speaking




Game Design Theory

Emotion Engineering in Videogames, Toward a Scientific Approach to Understanding the Appeal of Videogames - a theory about how to design game systems that can induce a chosen emotion in a player. This is a more detailed model than the one I presented at Game Focus Germany 2008. This article has been published on Gamasutra.

A Game Grammar - my take on Raph Koster's Game Diagramming.

Explicit Intent: Shared Story Ownership between Player and Game - a paper I presented at AISB'06 (Adaptation in Artificial and Biological Systems - Symposium on Narrative, AI and Games).

Ontologie de la fiction interactive dans les jeux vidéo (Ontology of Interactive Fiction in Videogames) - a French article. It's a chapter I've written for Nicolas Szilas and Jean-Hugues Réty's book Création de récits pour les fictions interactives (Story Creation for Interactive Fiction).

Project Horseshoe

Project Horseshoe 2013 Group Report - Psychology for Game Designers

Project Horseshoe 2008 Group Report - Our group continued the ongoing work on skill atoms and game grammar, expanding it to multiplayer games and coming up with a method for using skill atoms as a formal design tool. Written and compiled from the group members' feedback by Daniel Cook.

Project Horseshoe 2007 Group Report - I was part of the Fabula Rasa group and we worked on the relashionship between game experience and story. This report, written by Daniel Cook, has been published on Gamasutra.

Other Articles

MINIMEME: Of Life and Death in the Noosphere - an old paper I wrote for From Animals to Animats 3, the third international conference on simulation of adaptive behavior. It's an attempt to obtain some objective knowledge about emergent behaviors in a complex system. In my defense, it was published a few years before memes became a meme.

Information Economy in RPGs - a piece of gamemastering advice (English abstract, French text) that I wrote for Conspirations, the French adaptation of Atlas Games' Over The Edge. It deals with the economy of information in the game and how "Knowledge is power" doesn't necessarily means that "Secrets are power". Incidentally, I believe that this model would be great for a new kind of adventure games, less puzzle-oriented and more focused on character interactions.

Videogame Genres


War and Peace - The One-Button Civilization - a small game I developed over a couple of days for Gamma 4's One-Button Games challenge.

Cortical - a game I developed in order to test a theory of mine about game design innovation. The corresponding article is forthcoming.


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