How Games Work: Exploring the Instructional Design of Diablo III

Carly Finseth


This paper describes a portion of a three-part case study designed to research the instructional patterns that occur within role-playing games (RPGs). It presents a set of nine heuristics for learning in RPGs and analyzes how and where those heuristics occur within the game Diablo III. The findings from the study include an overview of a cyclical learning pattern that occurs with RPGs, as well as theoretical and practical implication for both industry and academic contexts.