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DevDays Games UX Talk

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My talk on video game usability and user experience from DevDays event in Belfast. The videos I presented are not included.

DevDays Games UX Talk

  1. 1. Making Games Better Graham McAllister
  2. 2. Based in Brighton, first company in the UK to focus on games from a human perspective
  3. 3. Based in Brighton, first company in the UK to focus on games from a human perspective Not QA
  4. 4. Based in Brighton, first company in the UK to focus on games from a human perspective Not QA Clients are AAA ($M) game industry
  5. 5. Based in Brighton, first company in the UK to focus on games from a human perspective Not QA Clients are AAA ($M) game industry Interest from iPhone studios
  6. 6. It’s about people
  7. 7. It’s about people The value of an idea lies in the using of it (Edison)
  8. 8. It’s about people The value of an idea lies in the using of it (Edison) Programming is difficult ...
  9. 9. It’s about people The value of an idea lies in the using of it (Edison) Programming is difficult ... ... but understanding your users is harder
  10. 10. It’s about people The value of an idea lies in the using of it (Edison) Programming is difficult ... ... but understanding your users is harder Analyze your reaction to this last statement
  11. 11. Jargon
  12. 12. Jargon Usability - “can I do it?”
  13. 13. Jargon Usability - “can I do it?” User Experience (UX) - “do I like it?”
  14. 14. Jargon Usability - “can I do it?” User Experience (UX) - “do I like it?” User Interface (UI) - the look of an app
  15. 15. Jargon Usability - “can I do it?” User Experience (UX) - “do I like it?” User Interface (UI) - the look of an app Interaction Design (IxD) - how the interface is used
  16. 16. Jargon Usability - “can I do it?” User Experience (UX) - “do I like it?” User Interface (UI) - the look of an app Interaction Design (IxD) - how the interface is used ALL of these affect the ratings of your app
  17. 17. Game reviews
  18. 18. Game reviews Very rare for a technical reason to be mentioned as a key reason for a bad review
  19. 19. Game reviews Very rare for a technical reason to be mentioned as a key reason for a bad review Usability / UX almost always most significant factor
  20. 20. Reviews
  21. 21. Reviews Why it so important to get good reviews?
  22. 22. Reviews Why it so important to get good reviews? Reviews drive sales
  23. 23. Reviews Why it so important to get good reviews? Reviews drive sales Sales gives you
  24. 24. Reviews Why it so important to get good reviews? Reviews drive sales Sales gives you - $$
  25. 25. Reviews Why it so important to get good reviews? Reviews drive sales Sales gives you - $$ - opportunity to try new original IP
  26. 26. Reviews Why it so important to get good reviews? Reviews drive sales Sales gives you - $$ - opportunity to try new original IP - Build brand identity / loyalty
  27. 27. Reviews / Sales 1,281 PS2 games sold in N. America in 2006 http://www.dreamdawn.com/sh/features/sales_vs_score.php
  28. 28. Marketing Ceiling
  29. 29. Marketing effect
  30. 30. Quality vs sales - lessons
  31. 31. Quality vs sales - lessons Good games can fail (high score, low sales) 19 games sold > 2M units, only 1 < 80%
  32. 32. Quality vs sales - lessons Good games can fail (high score, low sales) 19 games sold > 2M units, only 1 < 80% However, difficult for bad games to do well No bad games sold > 1 million units
  33. 33. Quality vs sales - lessons Good games can fail (high score, low sales) 19 games sold > 2M units, only 1 < 80% However, difficult for bad games to do well No bad games sold > 1 million units Strong motivation to get above 60%, but how?
  34. 34. Quality vs sales - lessons Good games can fail (high score, low sales) 19 games sold > 2M units, only 1 < 80% However, difficult for bad games to do well No bad games sold > 1 million units Strong motivation to get above 60%, but how? Let’s look at what we’re trying to avoid ... (video)
  35. 35. Video showing a gamer experiencing frustration
  36. 36. So we’ve learned?
  37. 37. Design intent
  38. 38. Design intent experience game interface game play time
  39. 39. Design intent experience game interface game play time experience game interface game play time
  40. 40. All change
  41. 41. All change Episodic game content is coming
  42. 42. All change Episodic game content is coming In a micro-payment model, Bioshock and Assassin’s Creed could have been financial failures
  43. 43. All change Episodic game content is coming In a micro-payment model, Bioshock and Assassin’s Creed could have been financial failures Both have serious usability / UX errors early in the game
  44. 44. All change Episodic game content is coming In a micro-payment model, Bioshock and Assassin’s Creed could have been financial failures Both have serious usability / UX errors early in the game Downloadable demos (or lite versions on the app store)
  45. 45. Shellshock 2
  46. 46. Shellshock 2 “Gun sight obscures the target”
  47. 47. Shellshock 2 “Gun sight obscures the target” “Stop making games like this or stop making the good ones so we know what to expect”
  48. 48. Shellshock 2 “Gun sight obscures the target” “Stop making games like this or stop making the good ones so we know what to expect” “One almighty dung- heap of a game”
  49. 49. Shellshock 2 “Gun sight obscures the target” “Stop making games like this or stop making the good ones so we know what to expect” “One almighty dung- heap of a game” 2
  50. 50. Stormrise
  51. 51. Stormrise “Units are woefully indistinct from one another”
  52. 52. Stormrise “Units are woefully indistinct from one another” “Nondescript icons”
  53. 53. Stormrise “Units are woefully indistinct from one another” “Nondescript icons” “Over-complicated controls”
  54. 54. Stormrise “Units are woefully indistinct from one another” “Nondescript icons” “Over-complicated controls” Lacks finesse”
  55. 55. Stormrise “Units are woefully indistinct from one another” “Nondescript icons” “Over-complicated controls” Lacks finesse” 4
  56. 56. HAWX
  57. 57. HAWX “It’s the missions themselves where HAWX shows it’s major limitations”
  58. 58. HAWX “It’s the missions themselves where HAWX shows it’s major limitations” 6
  59. 59. Res Evil 5
  60. 60. Res Evil 5 “The core focus of the game rubs the wrong way against the series fundamental, the control system”
  61. 61. Res Evil 5 “The core focus of the game rubs the wrong way against the series fundamental, the control system” “The control system is never worse than serviceable, but it’s a baseline that the game should have aimed beyond”
  62. 62. Res Evil 5 “The core focus of the game rubs the wrong way against the series fundamental, the control system” “The control system is never worse than serviceable, but it’s a baseline that the game should have aimed beyond” 7
  63. 63. Warhammer
  64. 64. Warhammer “Relic seems afraid to let any of its ideas meaningfully vary your experience”
  65. 65. Warhammer “Relic seems afraid to let any of its ideas meaningfully vary your experience” 7
  66. 66. Empire
  67. 67. Empire “most accessible game in the series”
  68. 68. Empire “most accessible game in the series” “immersed slowly enough to give you time to evolve”
  69. 69. Empire “most accessible game in the series” “immersed slowly enough to give you time to evolve” “slick, intelligent, accessible, opens up to a new crowd”
  70. 70. Empire “most accessible game in the series” “immersed slowly enough to give you time to evolve” “slick, intelligent, accessible, opens up to a new crowd” 9
  71. 71. Usability and User Experience
  72. 72. Usability and User Experience Edge scores last month:
  73. 73. Usability and User Experience Edge scores last month: 2 - 4 - fatal usability issues
  74. 74. Usability and User Experience Edge scores last month: 2 - 4 - fatal usability issues 5 - 6 - key usability issues, impacts enjoyment
  75. 75. Usability and User Experience Edge scores last month: 2 - 4 - fatal usability issues 5 - 6 - key usability issues, impacts enjoyment 7 - 8 - no usability issues, but UX was lacking
  76. 76. Usability and User Experience Edge scores last month: 2 - 4 - fatal usability issues 5 - 6 - key usability issues, impacts enjoyment 7 - 8 - no usability issues, but UX was lacking 9 - 10 - praised for how accessible the game was, good tutorials, player feedback
  77. 77. Profits of AAA vs App Store
  78. 78. Profits of AAA vs App Store £30 game
  79. 79. Profits of AAA vs App Store £30 game £4.50 VAT (15%)
  80. 80. Profits of AAA vs App Store £30 game £4.50 VAT (15%) £6 distribution (20%)
  81. 81. Profits of AAA vs App Store £30 game £4.50 VAT (15%) £6 distribution (20%) £8.75 Publisher (30%)
  82. 82. Profits of AAA vs App Store £30 game £4.50 VAT (15%) £6 distribution (20%) £8.75 Publisher (30%) £5.75 Cost of goods (19%)
  83. 83. Profits of AAA vs App Store £30 game £4.50 VAT (15%) £6 distribution (20%) £8.75 Publisher (30%) £5.75 Cost of goods (19%) £2.50 Licensor (8%)
  84. 84. Profits of AAA vs App Store £30 game £4.50 VAT (15%) £6 distribution (20%) £8.75 Publisher (30%) £5.75 Cost of goods (19%) £2.50 Licensor (8%) £2.50 Developer (8%)
  85. 85. Profits of AAA vs App Store £30 game £2.99 app £4.50 VAT (15%) £6 distribution (20%) £8.75 Publisher (30%) £5.75 Cost of goods (19%) £2.50 Licensor (8%) £2.50 Developer (8%)
  86. 86. Profits of AAA vs App Store £30 game £2.99 app £4.50 VAT (15%) £0.90 Apple £6 distribution (30%) (20%) £8.75 Publisher (30%) £5.75 Cost of goods (19%) £2.50 Licensor (8%) £2.50 Developer (8%)
  87. 87. Profits of AAA vs App Store £30 game £2.99 app £4.50 VAT (15%) £0.90 Apple £6 distribution (30%) (20%) £8.75 Publisher (30%) £2.10 Developer (70%) £5.75 Cost of goods (19%) £2.50 Licensor (8%) £2.50 Developer (8%)
  88. 88. dev - today
  89. 89. dev - today Pitch Prototype Pre-production Production Alpha, beta, release AAA Vertical Slice QA
  90. 90. dev - today Pitch Prototype Pre-production Production Alpha, beta, release AAA Vertical Slice QA Pitch Prototype Production release iPhone tested with developer or friends
  91. 91. Case study - Launchball
  92. 92. Case study - Launchball Approached by Bright AI
  93. 93. Case study - Launchball Approached by Bright AI Porting a web game called Launchball
  94. 94. Case study - Launchball Approached by Bright AI Porting a web game called Launchball Client is Science Museum, London
  95. 95. Case study - Launchball Approached by Bright AI Porting a web game called Launchball Client is Science Museum, London Have games on App store ...
  96. 96. Keepy Uppy
  97. 97. Developer
  98. 98. Developer James
  99. 99. Developer James 23
  100. 100. Developer James 23 PhD student in compiler design
  101. 101. Developer James 23 PhD student in compiler design Has apps on App store
  102. 102. Developer James 23 PhD student in compiler design Has apps on App store UX question - what if you only test with people like yourself?
  103. 103. Casual user
  104. 104. Casual user Jeremy
  105. 105. Casual user Jeremy 34
  106. 106. Casual user Jeremy 34 BSc in Psychology
  107. 107. Casual user Jeremy 34 BSc in Psychology MSc in HCI
  108. 108. Casual user Jeremy 34 BSc in Psychology MSc in HCI iPhone owner, doesn’t play games on it
  109. 109. Gamer
  110. 110. Gamer Ed
  111. 111. Gamer Ed iPhone owner
  112. 112. Gamer Ed iPhone owner Gamer
  113. 113. Gamer Ed iPhone owner Gamer MSc in HCI
  114. 114. PC gamer
  115. 115. PC gamer Simon
  116. 116. PC gamer Simon 21
  117. 117. PC gamer Simon 21 MSc in HCI
  118. 118. PC gamer Simon 21 MSc in HCI Former iPod Touch owner
  119. 119. PC gamer Simon 21 MSc in HCI Former iPod Touch owner Plays PC games
  120. 120. Core values
  121. 121. Video showing Sussex University research into games UX. We show a combined image of eye tracking, brainwave monitoring, GSR and heart rate.
  122. 122. Take-away
  123. 123. Take-away Test as soon as possible with real users
  124. 124. Take-away Test as soon as possible with real users Your game is assessed from a human factors point of view
  125. 125. Take-away Test as soon as possible with real users Your game is assessed from a human factors point of view What’s going to sell your app / game
  126. 126. Take-away Test as soon as possible with real users Your game is assessed from a human factors point of view What’s going to sell your app / game - Usability
  127. 127. Take-away Test as soon as possible with real users Your game is assessed from a human factors point of view What’s going to sell your app / game - Usability - UX
  128. 128. Take-away Test as soon as possible with real users Your game is assessed from a human factors point of view What’s going to sell your app / game - Usability - UX - UI
  129. 129. Take-away Test as soon as possible with real users Your game is assessed from a human factors point of view What’s going to sell your app / game - Usability - UX - UI - IxD
  130. 130. Contact g.mcallister@sussex.ac.uk grmcall vsgr (Vertical Slice)

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