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Game Design

Game Research

Dr Peter Howell

I am a Games Researcher, Designer, Developer and Lecturer based at the University of Portsmouth in the sunny south of England. I also founded and manage Cold Cactus Games, a microstudio working on experimental titles.


Through my work, I aim to challenge preconceptions of games and play, to poke and prod at the limits of the game medium, and to break a few rules in the process.


Because there is nothing less exciting than being normal.

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Recent Media and Publications

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Vampire Survivors: how developers used gambling psychology to create a Bafta-winning game

April 13th, 2023

Published on The Conversation UK

The Last of Us: HBO’s adaptation elevates the video game’s themes of love and family

January 27th, 2023

Published on The Conversation UK


Co-authored with Adam Jerrett

Practical Considerations for Values-centred Pervasive Games

July 11th, 2022

Published in the Proceedings of DiGRA 2022

Co-authored with Adam Jerrett and Koos De Beer

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