Published on June 17, 2007
Fun Meters for Games: Fun Meters for Games Nicole Lazzaro, President XEODesign® Larry Mellon, System Architect Emergent Game Technologies AGC Oct 28, 2005 Slide2: Measure Fun Pulled Pork Sandwiches: Yum! (But Why?): Pulled Pork Sandwiches: Yum! (But Why?) Structured observations of the people - Smiling? Savoring? - Structured questionnaires Insertion of probes into the sandwich - Temperature? Sauce balance? - Sandwich mods? Slide4: Fun meter requirements Multiple data sources Repeatable andamp; validity Game andamp; player variance What could you use it for? Pre-ship evaluation Early evaluation of game play Nicole Lazzaro: Nicole Lazzaro President and Founder XEODesign 15 years of design and research player experiences Sony, EA, LeapFrog, Sega, Ubisoft, PlayFirst Cognitive Psychology Stanford Recent Play: Tombstone Hold ‘em CTO: Emergent Game Technologies 20+ years of tools and engines for distributed systems andamp; supercomputers Jade, EA, DARPA, … Parallel simulation andamp; virtual worlds Automated testing andamp; metrics in games Recent Play: Go Larry Mellon Next-gen: I get the graphics, but where’s the game?: Next-gen: I get the graphics, but where’s the game? Computational power Visual effects Innovative game play Blocking IssueIn next-gen games, how much innovation will be fundable? : Blocking Issue In next-gen games, how much innovation will be fundable? Cost andamp; Risk Innovation Slide8: Next Gen Games Increased Complexity Increased Complexity of Analysis Slide9: Slide10: Next Gen Games Slide11: Mobile Off-Computer Play Next-gen gambling: roll dem bones!: Failure Next-gen gambling: roll dem bones! Success Blocking IssueBig games are hard to change at the last minute!: Blocking Issue Big games are hard to change at the last minute! Project Start Gold 2. Fun Meters Today: 2. Fun Meters Today We can measure aspects that contribute to fun today Probes showed us how players interacted with each other: socialization more important to players than dancing: Probes showed us how players interacted with each other: socialization more important to players than dancing House Categories (Beta Test): House Categories (Beta Test) ………………. The house categories mini-game just wasn’t rewarding enough to players: a game 'dead spot' Fun Meter: Fun Meter 'Where is the fun in that?' – Bruce Shelly Knowing in Time: Knowing in Time The 4 Keys “The Ride”: The 4 Keys 'The Ride' 4 Flavors of Fun Hard Fun: Challenge andamp; Mastery Easy Fun: Filling Attention Altered States: Change Internal Sensations The People Factor: Social Mechanism www.xeodesign.com/whyweplaygames The 4 Keys “The Ride”: The 4 Keys 'The Ride' 4 Flavors of Fun Hard Fun: Challenge andamp; Mastery Frustration andamp; Fiero Easy Fun: Filling Attention Surprise andamp; Curiosity Altered States: Change Internal Sensations Excite andamp; Relax The People Factor: Social Mechanism Shadenfreude andamp; Naches www.xeodesign.com/whyweplaygames Hard Fun - Fiero: Hard Fun - Fiero Personal Triumph Over Adversity My Fun Meter Read Out: My Fun Meter Read Out Some Players: Some Players Other Players: Other Players LeapFrog’s FLY Pentop: LeapFrog’s FLY Pentop Player Prototypes and Field Studies Fun Meter: Fun Meter 'Pace is everything. User attention is the game.' – Mark Terrano 3. Fun Meter Challenge: 3. Fun Meter Challenge More than 20 aspects to measure fun Larry andamp; Nicole have a bet Left and Right sides compete Winner gets a duck! List posted w/slides 260 ideas/hour = 4.3/min (21.5 / 5 mins) What to Measure: What to Measure Pace Exploits Rewards Power Ups Score Jumps Fun Meter Challenge: Fun Meter Challenge Take Away Lots of Aspects Effect Fun Each Needs a Meter 4. Sources of Data: 4. Sources of Data Every Meter Needs a Data Source Data Relates to the Question Slide31: Section 4. Data extraction is always tricky… Indirect (asking players) Direct (observing players) Fun Meters: Fun Meters 'Are people around the company (e.g. non-testers) playing?' – Steve Meretzky Indirect Measures: Indirect Measures Gathering Opinions Co-Worker Focus Group Survey Beta/QA Testing Lots of noise Cheap to implement Requires player to interpret events Internal: Internal Indirect Measures Internal: Internal Indirect Measures Beta/QA Testing: Beta/QA Testing Strengths Many People Playing Game Bugs and Exploits Easy to Set Up Forgive Artifacts Fill in What’s Missing Rapid Iteration Limits Professional Testers Bug Focus vs. Fun Player Filters Data Not Target Market Seen Earlier Versions Group Think The Vocal Minority: The Vocal Minority Hate It! Love It! Silent Majority Beta/QA Testing Forums/Chat Focus Groups On Line Surveys Post Play Surveys Type of play they expect? Focus Group: Focus Group Strengths Brainstorming Packaging Generating Ideas Limits Ø Behavior Group Think Opinion Leader Fibbing Post Play Watch not Play Meta Critic: Meta Critic Automated Opinions of Play Limits Reviews 'Weighted' Comes too Late Online Surveys: Online Surveys Strengths 35K/5yrs How Many Play w/Their Partner? Limits Ø Behavior Fibbing Question Bias Daedalus Project, Nick Yee On Line Surveys: On Line Surveys Strengths Nifty Charts Measure Existing Ideas with Accuracy Automated Low Cost per Respondent Limits Self Select Ø Behavior Fibbing Mostly Quantitative Find What Ask For Bias in Questions Fun Meter: Fun Meter 'We didn't have the techniques then that you are creating now to measure where the person was, and instead looked at progress vs. time or survey results after playing to try to determine where the person was at.' – Jeff Pobst Direct Measures: Direct Measures Observation Data Probes Behavior Based Data Requires Expert Interpreter Tell us things that the user can’t tell us. Observe Player: Observe Player XEOAnalysis Usability Un-fun Player Experiences Emotions andamp; Drivers 4 Flavors of Fun SWG Fun Btn: SWG Fun Btn Usability: Remove Un-Fun (51UI) Frustration w/o Fiero: Frustration w/o Fiero [Fiero flowchart w/hard and easy fun] Observe Player Experience: Observe Player Experience Strengths Behavior Data Directly Observe Player, Game, Context What and Why Explore New Ideas Less Up-Front Bias Paper or Electronic Limits More Effort to Collect Data and Analyze Time Automation Trained Observer Slide48: Context - Last Call Poker Observe Players Early: Observe Players Early Paper Fun Meters New Roles for NPCs Wire Frame UIs Paper Prototype Play Test the Fun Automate Data Collection w/ Consumables or Tokens Fun Meter: Fun Meter 'There's a core rule, a way to interact, and then tuning, an adjustment to see if it is ‘gripping and attractive’ or is it a ‘drag on the experience’?' - Hal Barwood Slide51: Tuning imbalances can throw your entire economy out of kilter (killing fun), but remember to triangulate! Economy: Detailed View: Economy: Detailed View More tuning imbalances: visitor bonus did not provide enough incentive to attract other players to your home, lowering in-game social connections Play styles vary wildly across player types: hardcore players will go to great lengths for a minor cash advantage: Play styles vary wildly across player types: hardcore players will go to great lengths for a minor cash advantage Slide54: 4 of top 5: windows?? ………………. Looking at what people spend their in-game money on gives you clues into what entertains them Slide55: Click rate Time Correlated data is much more valuable than single-source data Screenshots! Measurement techniques:probes embedded in the game: Measurement techniques: probes embedded in the game Strengths Concrete, accurate metrics Easy, fast, automated Limits Does not directly measure fun at all, only things that indirectly impact fun Limited insight into player motivations Best uses Hot spot / dead spot analysis, tuning feedback Understanding the true actions of your players Future Fun Meters: Future Fun Meters New Data Sources Biometrics Eye Tracking GSR Facial Tracking FMRI Vittorio Gallese, 2004 Conclusions: Conclusions Knowing When: Knowing When Player Testing andamp; Reviews Data Probes Observation and Prototyping Play We need more than better visuals in next-gen games: We need more than better visuals in next-gen games Visual impact eventually tapers off And who can afford it? Breakout games – games that establish a new genre – have innovative gameplay: Breakout games – games that establish a new genre – have innovative gameplay Populous Pac Man Doom The Sims Habitat Grand Theft Auto Katamari Damacy … What new types of gameplay will open up new genres in next-gen? Measured innovation, early in the design cycle, is a way to break out of the box: Measured innovation, early in the design cycle, is a way to break out of the box Pac man visual Cost Complexity Scale Fun meters of the future: unite!: Fun meters of the future: unite! Q&A: Qandamp;A Slides are on the web www.maggotranch.com/MMP www.xeodesign.com/funmeter Our contact data firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
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Fun Meters for Games Fun Meters for Games . Nicole Lazzaro, President. XEODesign ? Larry Mellon, System Architect. Emergent Game Technologies . AGC Oct 28,
... President XEODesign® Larry Mellon, System Architect Emergent Game Technologies AGC Oct ... com/funmeter/xeodesign_agc_funmeters300n102805.ppt