Experiential Modes of Game Play Dr. Bob Appelman Instructional Systems Technology Indiana University - Bloomington
Abstract • In order to gather empirical & qualitative data on game play across all genres, and at the same time addressing multiple research questions, a framework was established at the VX Lab at Indiana University to standardize methodology. This Experiential Mode Framework allows for the inclusion of player perceptions, experiences, and allows for coupling with game structures and functionality. It incorporates a post-positivist methodology devised by Robert Yin.
Standard Measures • Player Demographics • Age • Gender • Ethnicity • Education level • Handedness • Game Platform Preferences • Game Platform Ownership • Game Purchasing Habits • Days per Week of Game Play • Hours per Day of Game Play • Mode of Play (PC, Console, On-line) • Specific Game & Over-all Genre Favorites • Percentage of play alone, team play, competing with others
Standard Measures • Player Skill • HCI manipulation and dexterity • UI manipulation effectiveness • The use of effective goal reaching game strategies • Time to goal and sub-goal completions • Point accumulations • Direct comparisons to expert play
Standard Measures • Game Aspects • Genre • RPG, MMORPG, ACTION, SPORTS, FPS, etc. • Degree of Fidelity • Functionality • Authenticity • Game Play • ESRB Rating • Strategies, Skills, necessary in the Design • But how does one compare one game to another?
Experiential Modes Framework (EMF) Player Experience (PX) • Cognition – encompassing all cognition in both cognitive and affective domains • Metacognition – encompassing all that the player is aware of: vision, audio, olfactory, kinesthetic, and hapticsenses; plus awareness of time, objects, content or information encountered. • Choice – encompassing the player’s perception of degree of control; access to variables and information during game play. • Action – encompassing the player’s perception that they can do things such as: interact with objects, elements within the game, that they have a degree of control; that they have a degree of mobility to move through the virtual environment; that the control interface allows their psychomotor capabilities to effect change.
Experiential Modes Framework (EMF) GameStructure(GS) • Content– the story, the context, the amount of information available, the degree of concreteness or abstraction of the content, the authenticity, and its variability • Environment – the virtual spaces and boundaries, the objects within these spaces and their functionality capabilities, plus any time limits imposed by the game • Affordances – encompassing the abilities made available within the game for the player to change, manipulate, and/or to seek alternatives or information
Game Play Analysis using an EMF Methodology Case-Based Analysis • Post-positivist methodology developed by Robert K. Yin • Each instance of game play is a Case • Analysis of multiple experiences within the same game is an Embedded Case • Analysis of multiple players in different instances is a Multiple Case
Game Play Analysis using an EMF Methodology • Pre-Play Analysis • of both the Player and the Game • Game Play Data Capture • using both quantitative and qualitative inquiry • Game Play Data Analysis • using descriptive, pattern and ethnographic analysis • Summative Conclusions
Console Data • INPUT
Console Data • PLAYER ACTION
PC Data • INPUT
PC Data • PLAYER ACTION
PAD Data • PLAYER ACTION
Wii Data • PLAYER ACTION
Data Capture Station • Game Screen & Audio (L), Player & Audio (R) • DVD examples Camera w/zoom& Pan/Tilt control DVD Recorder MiniDV & VHS Audio Mixer Video Mixer
The Proposition • This dictates: • The specific tasks you ask of your player to perform • Your methodology of testing • The data you gather • The analysis of the data • The conclusions you draw
Propositions • Charcter level & degree of agressivness combine to determine longevity in WoW • Social isolation during WoW results in loss of social dependency • Non-Athlete but expert Madden Football players will beat Real College Football players. • In-Game goal content information will enhance performance to level completion • ….. Example of Shrek II game play
GPA Log Sheet Shrek II 060508_PIE14_SHK2 05/08/2006 00 X X X Listens and Views Cut Scene 25 X X X Begins searching with Shrek 30 X X X X X Finds Slug -Clobbers it -Eye Ball #1 33 X Is not aware he has to hit it twice 40 X X Contin- searching 43 X X X X Tries to beat down Outhouse 1 02 X X Contin-searching, jumping, hitting 1 40 X X X X Switches Character to Donkey 1 45 X X Contin-seraching, jumping, kicking 1 55 X X X Switches Character back to Shrek 1 15 X X X X Encounters Magic Mirror 2 15 X X X X X X Hits Slug twice & Eye Ball #2 2 15 X X X X Hits Slug twice & Eye Ball #3 2 15 X X X X Hits Slug twice & Eye Ball #4
More to come later … • Experiential Modes of Game Play • drBOB Appelman – VX Lab (Indiana University) • http://www.indiana.edu/~games/research/ • http://www.indiana.edu/~drbob