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Exploring Video Game Retention Mechanics - a Longitudinal Case Study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
(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: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147782OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-147782DiVA, id: diva2:1149460
Available from: 2017-10-16 Created: 2017-10-16 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Extending Game User Experience - Exploring Player Feedback and Satisfaction: The Birth of the Playsona
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Extending Game User Experience - Exploring Player Feedback and Satisfaction: The Birth of the Playsona
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. p. 67
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 17-007
Keyword
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:nbn:se:su:diva-147770 (URN)978-91-7797-035-4 (ISBN)978-91-7797-036-1 (ISBN)
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

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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