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

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Information about Serco Usability Research, Ben Weedon, The challenge of measuring game...
Design

Published on March 23, 2009

Author: Use8.net

Source: slideshare.net

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 ..

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 ..

August 2008 Ben Weedon Principal Consultant, Serco Games Research The challenge of measuring gameplay experience

Overview Introduction Who we are What we do and how we do it New areas New techniques required Suggestions Your input welcomed!

Introduction

Who we are

What we do and how we do it

New areas

New techniques required

Suggestions

Your input welcomed!

W h o we are The UK’s most experienced usability consultancy Over 35 years experience Backing of Serco Group Valued for objectivity and independence At the leading edge of user research Advisors on standards and best practice Coordinators of international research Experts in multiple technologies and applications iTV, mobile, web, PC apps, electronics SGR is our specialist gaming group Here’s what we do …

The UK’s most experienced usability consultancy

Over 35 years experience

Backing of Serco Group

Valued for objectivity and independence

At the leading edge of user research

Advisors on standards and best practice

Coordinators of international research

Experts in multiple technologies and applications

iTV, mobile, web, PC apps, electronics

SGR is our specialist gaming group

Here’s what we do …

What we do Primarily gameplay-based user research Console (360, PS3, Wii) PC gaming The supplementary stuff that goes on around the games Game categorisation Online registration process for PS’s Central Station The process of downloading game content onto PS3 and PSP

Primarily gameplay-based user research

Console (360, PS3, Wii)

PC gaming

The supplementary stuff that goes on around the games

Game categorisation

Online registration process for PS’s Central Station

The process of downloading game content onto PS3 and PSP

How we do it (usually) Lab-based sessions in our studios Easy to record reactions Easy to make observations Developers, producers and publishers sit behind the one-way mirror and discuss Replicates the living room experience well So participants relax quickly It’s not an office, it’s like where they actually play games This works well with console and PC games and portable games, to a certain extent

(usually)

Lab-based sessions in our studios

Easy to record reactions

Easy to make observations

Developers, producers and publishers sit behind the one-way mirror and discuss

Replicates the living room experience well

So participants relax quickly

It’s not an office, it’s like where they actually play games

This works well with console and PC games

and portable games, to a certain extent

New(er) gaming areas Casual, mobile, portable gaming Growing all t he time It’s not always a good idea to simply port across to these platforms Does MonkeyBall really work on an iPhone? Tris Devel o pment on these devices has to consider extra factors, such as: The game won’t always be used in the same place On t he move; in public; differ e nt locations Time available for a session might be short and sweet It has to be quick to pick up, and quick to put down The controls on a PS are different to a mobile phone But these are all assumptions …

Casual, mobile, portable gaming

Growing all t he time

It’s not always a good idea to simply port across to these platforms

Does MonkeyBall really work on an iPhone?

Tris

Devel o pment on these devices has to consider extra factors, such as:

The game won’t always be used in the same place

On t he move; in public; differ e nt locations

Time available for a session might be short and sweet

It has to be quick to pick up, and quick to put down

The controls on a PS are different to a mobile phone

But these are all assumptions …

New(er) gaming areas So how do we discover the real requirements of these types of games? SGR is planning some independent research to find out what works in general for mobile, casual and portable gaming Are there different requirements between the three? These could be used in the early stages of development How to provide user feedback on a mobile/casual title in development? The research in our studios only tells us so much The context of use is different We have some suggestions, but we’d like your feedback and ideas too

So how do we discover the real requirements of these types of games?

SGR is planning some independent research to find out what works in general for mobile, casual and portable gaming

Are there different requirements between the three?

These could be used in the early stages of development

How to provide user feedback on a mobile/casual title in development?

The research in our studios only tells us so much

The context of use is different

We have some suggestions, but we’d like your feedback and ideas too

User research techniques Your input welcomed! Based on research from a variety of other domains A lot of work for mobile telecoms by SUS Some work for government too Adapted to work for gaming T wo main motivating forces for development Understanding how titles in development perform ‘in t he real world’ on mobile devices Quick feedback to developers for quick iterations So here are a couple of techniques that could be used …

Your input welcomed!

Based on research from a variety of other domains

A lot of work for mobile telecoms by SUS

Some work for government too

Adapted to work for gaming

T wo main motivating forces for development

Understanding how titles in development perform ‘in t he real world’ on mobile devices

Quick feedback to developers for quick iterations

So here are a couple of techniques that could be used …

User research techniques Ethnographic, contextual research More for understanding of general needs of users Visiting casual gamers and following them about Observing when and where they play games, or use other devices Noting particular requirements and issues Understanding their needs These findings can inform the early stages of casual, mobile, portable game development

Ethnographic, contextual research

More for understanding of general needs of users

Visiting casual gamers and following them about

Observing when and where they play games, or use other devices

Noting particular requirements and issues

Understanding their needs

These findings can inform the early stages of casual, mobile, portable game development

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.

User research techniques Diary studies, phone follow ups For individual titles in development But we’re not advocating using a piece of wood for playtesting …

Diary studies, phone follow ups

For individual titles in development

But we’re not advocating using a piece of wood for playtesting …

User research techniques Method of directly playtesting a product in development Providing gamers with a slice of the game for a week (maximum) Ideally to be played on their device in some form Flash on a phone? Are there issues of confidentiality leaks here? Providing them with a simple diary, or asking for an email back each day Where and when they play it Reactions to the game Usual user research areas Clarity of instructions, understanding of objectives, controls, etc Is it fun? Why? Why not? Questions relating to context of use How does it fit in their lifestyle? Have they been able to play it as part of their normal day? Can they quickly pick it up and put it down when the bus comes? Have they had any issues playing it? Phone follow ups (prods). Probing for ‘why?’

Method of directly playtesting a product in development

Providing gamers with a slice of the game for a week (maximum)

Ideally to be played on their device in some form

Flash on a phone?

Are there issues of confidentiality leaks here?

Providing them with a simple diary, or asking for an email back each day

Where and when they play it

Reactions to the game

Usual user research areas

Clarity of instructions, understanding of objectives, controls, etc

Is it fun? Why? Why not?

Questions relating to context of use

How does it fit in their lifestyle?

Have they been able to play it as part of their normal day?

Can they quickly pick it up and put it down when the bus comes?

Have they had any issues playing it?

Phone follow ups (prods). Probing for ‘why?’

Summary In mobile, casual, portable gaming: We think there are methods that would work well to playtest individual products in development Giving an idea of issues of context, which are an integral part of the game use Feeding back quickly to developers for iteration To locate key issues requires small numbers of users We also think there are methods that can be used to discover general requirements If there are any further comments on how to playtest mobile/portable games in situ, we’d be delighted to hear!

In mobile, casual, portable gaming:

We think there are methods that would work well to playtest individual products in development

Giving an idea of issues of context, which are an integral part of the game use

Feeding back quickly to developers for iteration

To locate key issues requires small numbers of users

We also think there are methods that can be used to discover general requirements

If there are any further comments on how to playtest mobile/portable games in situ, we’d be delighted to hear!

Contact Ben Weedon Principal Consultant Serco Games Research T: +44 (0)20 7421 6487 E: [email_address]

Ben Weedon

Principal Consultant

Serco Games Research

T: +44 (0)20 7421 6487

E: [email_address]

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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