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Extending Game User Experience - Exploring Player Feedback and Satisfaction: The Birth of the Playsona
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Video games are experience-based products and user satisfaction is key for their popularity. To design for as strong an experience as possible, game developers incorporate evaluation methods that help to discover their users’ expectations and needs. Despite such efforts, problems still occur with the game design that lower the user experience. To counter these problems, the evaluation methods should be investigated and improved.

To address this need, I have explored various design tools and user experience theories. Applying these in a game evaluation context, I have analyzed user-created game reviews and conducted longitudinal user interview- and game diary studies in connection to playing a newly released game, in other words different methods to take advantage of users' expectations, opinions, attitudes and experiences. One result of the analysis of the obtained data is a set of “slogans” that illustrate how and why users lose interest in a game. A second result is a method for extracting user attitudes from pre-produced user reviews and how this can be used in game development. Thirdly, I introduce an alternative model, aimed at game user experience development, the Playsona. The Playsona is a lightweight tool that introduces a variant of the Persona-method, specifically for video game design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, Stockholm University , 2017. , 67 p.
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 17-007
Keyword [en]
video game design, user experience, game user experience, playsona, aspect based sentiment analysis, focused player diaries
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Man-Machine-Interaction (MMI)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147770ISBN: 978-91-7797-035-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7797-036-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-147770DiVA: diva2:1150266
Public defence
2017-12-01, L50, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2017-11-08 Created: 2017-10-18 Last updated: 2017-11-09Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Does Game Quality Reflect Heuristic Evaluation? Heuristic Evaluation of Games in Different Quality Strata
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Does Game Quality Reflect Heuristic Evaluation? Heuristic Evaluation of Games in Different Quality Strata
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations, ISSN 1942-3888, E-ISSN 1942-3896, Vol. 6, no 4, 4Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Usability evaluation tools in the form of heuristic lists can be very helpful in software development. In the field of video game design, researchers are continuously developing new heuristic tools aimed specifically at video game productions. However, through previous studies, the authors have found that even though these tools are frequent and common, design issues regularly appear in video games. This study examines whether video game heuristics are able to capture and evaluate softer values of video game interaction, based on the challenges, flow and immersion of gameplay. By conducting a heuristic evaluation on low scoring and high scoring games the authors manage to show which kind of design issues are most frequent in both high and low scoring games. As a further result of the study, two new heuristics are presented.

Keyword
Evaluation Method, Game Design, Heuristics, Video Game Interaction
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Man-Machine-Interaction (MMI)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132864 (URN)10.4018/ijgcms.2014100104 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-08-25 Created: 2016-08-25 Last updated: 2017-10-24Bibliographically approved
2. Vox Populi – A Case Study of User Comments on Contemporary Video Games in Relation to Video Game Heuristics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Vox Populi – A Case Study of User Comments on Contemporary Video Games in Relation to Video Game Heuristics
2014 (English)In: GameOn 2014: Simulation and AI in Computer Games / [ed] Patrick Dickinson, Philippe Geril, EUROSIS , 2014, 5-9 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
EUROSIS, 2014
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Man-Machine-Interaction (MMI)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-114737 (URN)9789077381854 (ISBN)
Conference
GameOn, Lincoln, United Kingdom, 9-11 September 2014
Available from: 2015-03-09 Created: 2015-03-09 Last updated: 2017-10-24Bibliographically approved
3. Top Versus Bottom: Game Evaluation from an Expert or Player Perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Top Versus Bottom: Game Evaluation from an Expert or Player Perspective
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2015), Society for the Advancement of the Science of Digital Games , 2015Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In recent years, many video game researchers have developed domain specific heuristics for video games. Heuristic evaluation is a common way to measure software usability, both during development and to assess existing systems. Video games are very different from productivity software in terms of purpose, design and execution, and thus require specially developed heuristics. Heuristics developed for video games can however only guide the game developers, and are in themselves no guarantee of a positive game experience. The questions examined in this paper concern the extent to which heuristics developed by experts can address the issues that the end users – the players – experience. Furthermore, we examine what kinds of design issues are most frequent, and whether these issues are reflected in online user comments. The results show that users focus their criticism on narrative, game graphics and sound rather than the issues that the heuristics involved in this study were designed to counter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Society for the Advancement of the Science of Digital Games, 2015
Keyword
Games, Experience, Heuristics, Evaluation, User comments
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Man-Machine-Interaction (MMI)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124024 (URN)978-0-9913982-4-9 (ISBN)
Conference
Foundations of Digital Games Conference, Pacific Grove, CA, USA, 22nd - 25th of June, 2015
Available from: 2015-12-10 Created: 2015-12-10 Last updated: 2017-10-24Bibliographically approved
4. Exploring Video Game Retention Mechanics - a Longitudinal Case Study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring Video Game Retention Mechanics - a Longitudinal Case Study
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Lasting player engagement is essential for pushing a video game beyond a successful release. While previous research on retention and engagement in games exists, this has mainly focused on general models and factors. Through a longitudinal study of players’ attitude on specific game elements we can in more detail determine how, why and how the appeal of a game changes.

In this paper, we present a longitudinal study of seven participants who played a newly released game. The participants played freely for 20 hours over five weeks, and were instructed to fill in player diaries at specified times. At the end of this period, the participants were interviewed about their experience. The results show that all participants felt less excited about the game, less inclined to play more, and more bored at the end of the period than at the start. No single satisfactory explanation for this development could be deduced from the data. Instead, this article suggests four retention mechanics that must be adhered to in order to maintain player retention.

National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Man-Machine-Interaction (MMI)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147782 (URN)
Available from: 2017-10-16 Created: 2017-10-16 Last updated: 2017-10-24Bibliographically approved
5. Probing User Opinions in an Indirect Way: An Aspect Based Sentiment Analysis of Game Reviews
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Probing User Opinions in an Indirect Way: An Aspect Based Sentiment Analysis of Game Reviews
2017 (English)In: Proceedings of the 21st International Academic Mindtrek Conference, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2017, 1-7 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a method for gathering and evaluating user attitudes towards previously released video games. A three-part video game franchise was selected, and all user reviews of these games were collected. The most frequently mentioned words of the game were derived from this dataset through word frequency analysis. The words, called “aspects” were then further analyzed through a manual aspect based sentiment analysis. The final analysis show that the rating of user review to a high degree correlate with the sentiment of the aspect in question. This knowledge is valuable for a developer who wishes to learn more about previous games success or failure factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2017
Keyword
User experience, user expectations, sentiment analysis, evaluation method
National Category
Other Social Sciences Information Systems
Research subject
Man-Machine-Interaction (MMI)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147644 (URN)10.1145/3131085.3131121 (DOI)978-1-4503-5426-4 (ISBN)
Conference
AcademicMindtrek'17, Annual Academic Mindtrek Conference, Tampere, Finland, September 20 - 21, 2017
Available from: 2017-10-10 Created: 2017-10-10 Last updated: 2017-10-27Bibliographically approved

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1011121314151613 of 21
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