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Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience
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Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game play experience

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    • 1. Event Title: “Exploring the UX Dimensions of GameDesign” Date: 29th of August 2008 Speaker: Ben Weedon Company: Serco Games Research Topic: “The Challenge of measuring gameply Experience” www.use8.net www.twitter.com/use8 *The contents of this slideshow was presented at a Use8 event and reflects the views of the presenting parties ..
    • 2. Event Description The Games industry has created a whole series of challenges for games developers and designers. Games narratives, structures and controls have got to a level of complexity that offers new ground for inventing and developing different methods of interacting with games. To be successful, in such a crowded and competitive industry, games developers must consider the context of experience. Unlike traditional software, where more traditional performance metrics can be applied, measuring experiential dimensions such as 'fun' and 'playability' becomes a daunting task. Games are a tremendously varied set of applications, defying a one-size-fits-all approach. Even a broad and relevant concept such as flow falls short of capturing all classes of game experience. 'Play' will go beyond simple usability issues exploring different dimensions of User Experience that make games enjoyable. *The contents of this slideshow was presented at a Use8 event and reflects the views of the presenting parties ..
    • 3. August 2008 Ben Weedon Principal Consultant, Serco Games Research The challenge of measuring gameplay experience
    • 4. Overview <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Who we are </li></ul><ul><li>What we do and how we do it </li></ul><ul><li>New areas </li></ul><ul><li>New techniques required </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Suggestions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your input welcomed! </li></ul></ul>
    • 5. W h o we are <ul><li>The UK’s most experienced usability consultancy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 35 years experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Backing of Serco Group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Valued for objectivity and independence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>At the leading edge of user research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advisors on standards and best practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordinators of international research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experts in multiple technologies and applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>iTV, mobile, web, PC apps, electronics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>SGR is our specialist gaming group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Here’s what we do … </li></ul></ul>
    • 6. What we do <ul><li>Primarily gameplay-based user research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Console (360, PS3, Wii) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PC gaming </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The supplementary stuff that goes on around the games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Game categorisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online registration process for PS’s Central Station </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The process of downloading game content onto PS3 and PSP </li></ul></ul>
    • 7. How we do it <ul><li>(usually) </li></ul><ul><li>Lab-based sessions in our studios </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to record reactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to make observations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developers, producers and publishers sit behind the one-way mirror and discuss </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Replicates the living room experience well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>So participants relax quickly </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It’s not an office, it’s like where they actually play games </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>This works well with console and PC games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>and portable games, to a certain extent </li></ul></ul>
    • 8. New(er) gaming areas <ul><li>Casual, mobile, portable gaming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Growing all t he time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s not always a good idea to simply port across to these platforms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does MonkeyBall really work on an iPhone? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tris </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Devel o pment on these devices has to consider extra factors, such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The game won’t always be used in the same place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>On t he move; in public; differ e nt locations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time available for a session might be short and sweet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It has to be quick to pick up, and quick to put down </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The controls on a PS are different to a mobile phone </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But these are all assumptions … </li></ul>
    • 9. New(er) gaming areas <ul><li>So how do we discover the real requirements of these types of games? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SGR is planning some independent research to find out what works in general for mobile, casual and portable gaming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Are there different requirements between the three? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These could be used in the early stages of development </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How to provide user feedback on a mobile/casual title in development? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The research in our studios only tells us so much </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The context of use is different </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>We have some suggestions, but we’d like your feedback and ideas too </li></ul></ul></ul>
    • 10. User research techniques <ul><li>Your input welcomed! </li></ul><ul><li>Based on research from a variety of other domains </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A lot of work for mobile telecoms by SUS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some work for government too </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adapted to work for gaming </li></ul></ul><ul><li>T wo main motivating forces for development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding how titles in development perform ‘in t he real world’ on mobile devices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quick feedback to developers for quick iterations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>So here are a couple of techniques that could be used … </li></ul></ul>
    • 11. User research techniques <ul><li>Ethnographic, contextual research </li></ul><ul><li>More for understanding of general needs of users </li></ul><ul><li>Visiting casual gamers and following them about </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Observing when and where they play games, or use other devices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Noting particular requirements and issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding their needs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These findings can inform the early stages of casual, mobile, portable game development </li></ul>
    • 12. User research techniques Contextual research on videocalling continues... Trying to understand what people want from the service, and why (or why not) they might use it.
    • 13. User research techniques <ul><li>Diary studies, phone follow ups </li></ul><ul><li>For individual titles in development </li></ul><ul><li>But we’re not advocating using a piece of wood for playtesting … </li></ul>
    • 14. User research techniques <ul><li>Method of directly playtesting a product in development </li></ul><ul><li>Providing gamers with a slice of the game for a week (maximum) </li></ul><ul><li>Ideally to be played on their device in some form </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flash on a phone? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are there issues of confidentiality leaks here? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Providing them with a simple diary, or asking for an email back each day </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where and when they play it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reactions to the game </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usual user research areas </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clarity of instructions, understanding of objectives, controls, etc </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is it fun? Why? Why not? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Questions relating to context of use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How does it fit in their lifestyle? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have they been able to play it as part of their normal day? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can they quickly pick it up and put it down when the bus comes? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have they had any issues playing it? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Phone follow ups (prods). Probing for ‘why?’ </li></ul>
    • 15. Summary <ul><li>In mobile, casual, portable gaming: </li></ul><ul><li>We think there are methods that would work well to playtest individual products in development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Giving an idea of issues of context, which are an integral part of the game use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feeding back quickly to developers for iteration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To locate key issues requires small numbers of users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We also think there are methods that can be used to discover general requirements </li></ul><ul><li>If there are any further comments on how to playtest mobile/portable games in situ, we’d be delighted to hear! </li></ul>
    • 16. Contact <ul><li>Ben Weedon </li></ul><ul><li>Principal Consultant </li></ul><ul><li>Serco Games Research </li></ul><ul><li>T: +44 (0)20 7421 6487 </li></ul><ul><li>E: [email_address] </li></ul>
    • 17. Thank you! For more information about Use8 events please visit: www.use8.net Or follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/use8 *The contents of this slideshow was presented at a Use8 event and reflects the views of the presenting parties ..

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