Karl is a Lecturer in the Game Design & Development department at the University of Wisconsin – Stout where he teaches courses related to Game Art. He is also currently enrolled in the MFA in Design program to further his studies in the field of games & interactive art.

Outside of school, Karl is an avid snowboarder, and formerly coached alpine snowboard racing,  was a founding member of a college A Capella singing group, and once upon a time competed in triathlons. He lives in Apple Valley, Minnesota with his kind, very supportive wife Jessie & their two adorable children.

Karl -  Bio

Karl Koehle spent over a decade developing his design skills in the fields of computer animation, & video production while creating demonstrative exhibits for use in litigation.

(He wouldn’t fault you for making the association with the popular show “C.S.I. Miami,” but can assure you it was nothing of the sort!)

While he thoroughly enjoyed learning about different practice areas, and presenting compelling visuals to accurately describe a  product, tutorial, or medical process, he found the majority of the work - re-creating animated fatalities such as plane crashes, car crashes, and factory-related dismemberments… well… kinda depressing. Strong personal interests in the area of play, discovery, and delight led him to teaching game design, where he is delighted to share his knowledge and passion with others.

  • Work by University of Minnesota professor Barry Kudrowitz references Association Mapping for delightful design.
  • in a 2017 podcast on the Psychology of Games, Dr. Scott Rigby highlighted the 1985 work of Deci & Ryan in the Self Determination Theory, and how that is applied to games.
  • Exploration of curious, creepy, and comedic examples found in art and entertainment that especially capture my interest; Outstanding examples vary greatly from Illustrator Chris VanAllsburg and his book “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick” in which creative prompts are used to engage the readers, the use of visual puns and morbid  sense of humor in Gary Larson’s “Far side” single panel comics, and the unique, unusual or dissonant delivery of comedians such as Steven Wright, or Emo Phillips.
  • Exploration of methods of hypertext (hypermedia) delivery (such as Axial, Arborescent, Heterarchy, or Networked) that may encourage curiosity or prolong the engagement of the viewer beyond traditional linear time-based delivery methods.

Design Philosophy
Exploratory Poster -
PDF - 8 MB

MFAiD Statement of Purpose

While I have not formally begun my research, I have identified fundamental areas of interest and desired outcomes that I wish to pursue.  One overarching goal is to research player curiosity, discovery, and the associated emotional outcomes of surprise and delight in what could be described as a “Eureka!” or “Ah-HA!” moment, and how it may be possible to create novel experiences in games and interactive media.

Interactive art can be used to create novel, humorous and joyful experiences
that surprise and delight the viewer.

During DES700 - a Design Seminar course taken the fall of 2018, I created a design philosophy poster which allowed me to explore interests and potential research areas. Outcomes of this exercise include frameworks, theories, or methods that may direct my thesis and future projects, including: