Scott Rogers, a creative manager at THQ, gave a presentation at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco on game design lessons to be learned from the design of Disneyland.

The notes

Scott Rogers has released the notes from his talk and they can be found here. Some of the highlights:

  • When I designed by first game, I didn’t know what to do, so I hearkened back to Disneyland, specifically a “fun-map” of Pirates of the Caribbean, which included vignettes of the scene
  • Start with your interests — Walt built the park as an homage to all that he loved in his life
  • Walt was interested in urban planning — beyond Epcot
  • Started from the top down — Disneyland starts as a model train set with stuff inside, subdivided into thematic lands


My favorite term Walt used consistently in his approach to destination design

  • How Weenies Work
    1. First weenie is the castle — you walk down linear Main St, and as you reach the hub, more weenies open up, the fronts of the lands, prompting the player/guest to choose where to go
    2. As you go further, more weenies open up, the rivers, treehouse, Matterhorn, Space Mtn — peeking over the horizon, giving a tantalizing glimpse


Flickr set of the talk

Actual slides from the author