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Game Usability

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One reader reviewed and judged as following: "The collection Evaluating #User-Experience in #Games, edited by #Regina-Bernhaupt, focuses on understanding and evaluating the experience of players for a variety of #game-genres. I read several chapters, which seemed of rather heterogeneous quality:

The good:
5. The Life and Tools of a #Game-Designer by #Emily-Brown
7. Video #Game-Development and User Experience by Graham McAllister and #Gareth-R-White

The ok:
2. Enabling Social Play: A Framework for Design and #Evaluation by #Katherine-Isbister
4. Assessing the Core Element of the #Gaming-Experience by Eduardo H Calvillo-Gámez, Paul Cairns and #Anna-L-Cox


My main concern with this book is that its non-good chapters read as if they were written as skimmed-down versions of the authors' earlier research; more like an afterthought than innovative stuff.

Overall, the two chapters on gaming in the #Human-Computer-Interaction Handbook: Fundamentals Evolving Technologies and Emerging Applications Second Edition edited by #Julie-A-Jacko are of much better quality and readability. Recommended only for people in the business."
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If I'm honest, my son – and even his sister, who's one and a half – have an ease around #technology that I find #scary sometimes. The baby scares me because she keeps deleting stuff off my #iPad. Patrick scares me because he could use the Nintendo Wii controls, shift from game to game, choose players, set up teams by the time he was four. He still can't tie his shoelaces. There is research that says he is not alone: a survey of 2,200 mothers in 11 countries found that 70% of their two- to #five-year-olds were comfortable #playing #computer-games, but only 11% could pass the shoelace test.
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Zitat: "Für ein Werk, dessen Welt sich um #Engel und Dämonen dreht, stellt "Diablo 3" strenge Regeln auf, wenn es um die Benennung von Spielcharakteren geht. Wie Branchenseite #Destructoid mit Hilfe eines Lesers herausgefunden hat, darf man seinem eigenen Protagonisten nicht jeden Namen geben, der eine Glaubensrichtung offenbart. So darf man seinen Mönch oder Barbaren etwa nicht " #Christian", " #Catholic" oder "Islam" "taufen". Besonders ärgerlich, wenn man wirklich Christian heißt und sein virtuelles alter ego nach sich selbst benennen möchte.


Merkwürdige Ausnahmen

Mit religiöser Unparteilichkeit argumentieren könnte Hersteller #Blizzard noch, wenn man alle Glaubensrichtungen ausschließen würde. Doch wie sich herausstellte, machen die Entwickler Ausnahmen - etwa für " #Buddhism". "Mormon" und "Hindu" sind wiederum nicht erlaubt und auch "Atheist" als Gegenpol geht nicht. "Protestant" und der Name des muslimischen Propheten "Mohammed" sind zugelassen. Vermutlich die Ansicht zum Ausdruck bringend, dass es sich bei Scientology um eine Sekte und keine Religion handelt, ist " #Scientology " erlaubt. Offensichtlich hat die Blacklist für die Namensgebungen noch #Wartungsbedarf.

(red, #derStandard.at, 24.5.2012)


Namenspolicies sind eine schwierige Sache und #Erfolgsfaktor, werden meist zu eng gehandhabt und aus meiner Sicht oft sehr hinderlich was Community-Entwicklung angeht.
 
Ui. Nun auch noch Zensur bei Diablo 3. Wird ja immer besser.
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Wenn man +Blizzard Entertainment, +DiabloIII.de und +Diablo 3 mag, dann wird man vielleicht richtig gut finden, was mich um ehrlich zu sein wie schon Diabolo 2 ziemlich enttäuscht hat grad: Die Beta des neuen Diabolo 3. Das Spiel ist sicher nichts für erfahrene #WoW oder #Guild-Wars - Spieler, meine ich, vor allem weil die Grafik doch sehr an Computerspiele der ersten Stunde erinnert. Dementsprechend gibt es durchaus einige enttäuschte Leute.

Beim #Betatest waren ca. 80-150 Leute zweitgleich (deutscher Client und US-Server) auf dem Server in den USA im Chat vertreten, davon haben allerdings nur 10-20 aktiv gechattet und ich meine auch, das die #Server die ganze Zeit überlastet waren, wie es eben beim #Beta-Stress - #Testen so ist dann oft.

Untere Bild - #Erfolg- sbelohnung (?) dann taucht auf, wenn man als Gruppe ein Zwischenziel dann erreicht, es ist an sich nicht ganz präzise aber egal. Ich bin mir auch nicht sicher, wer das Spiel nun betreibt, #Blizzard meine ich fast nicht mehr, allerdings laufen die Accounts über Blizzards #Battle-Net. Ich hab mal ein paar #Screenshots testend gemacht, vermutlich ist es nicht mein Spiel, ist auch schwierig als Christ die #Zeit auskaufend (?) in Games um des Herrn willen dann zu sein.

#Gruppenmodus ist an sich was nettes, so richtig innovativ wirkt das Game aber nicht:

* Grafik #veraltet und wenig geändert (erster Eindruck)
* Skill- und #Levelsystem wirkt nicht sehr variabel und ausgereift
* Old Style Räume und #Spiellogiken
* #Monster - (Mob-) #Spawn - Verhalten teilweise ungewöhnlich dadurch interessant
* ...


Kann noch nicht so viel sagen dann, weil der Server andauernd "laggte" wie man so schön sagte, Leute sind an sich freundlich trotz provokantem Namen, wenn im Spiel später genauso - #Community #Stimmung und Restriktionen sind wichtig schon - dann vermutlich akzeptabel.
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Expert evaluation of a #social-games usability

An expert evaluation is an assessment by 1 or more usability/user experience consultants using their knowledge and previous experience to look for usability issues. Expert evaluations are still one of the more common methods used to assess #game-usability - they're quick and inexpensive. They have a lot to offer a developer, and are a great method to kick-start a larger game usability project, removing all the 'low hanging fruit' before looking further up the tree.

Ensure any expert evaluation of a #social-game also includes an assessment of the 'social' aspect of play. This can be low level, such as how easy it is for players to invite friends to join, or higher level, looking at the whole experience on offer for players and their interaction with and between friends.

One reservation around an #expert-evaluation is that the whole process can be completed without any contact with users. This means you miss a great opportunity to see your players #interact with your products, and as a result developing a greater understanding of your players and their needs, motivations and desires. This is a real value add to #user-research as this understanding can be used directly to improve the current/future games.
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#Allaeys, Sabinr. Mobile Phone Games Designed for Girls
Unlike many game developers, one company #creates-games primarily targeted at young women and girls. MiniFizz is certainly not just a traditional boys’ game painted pink. - #User-Interface October 2004

#Federoff, Melissa Heuristics and Usability Guidelines for the Creation and #Evaluation-of-Fun in Video Games. 2000

#Folmer, Eelke. #Interaction-patterns for games - Pattern library in process (2005)

#Houser, Rob and Scott #Deloach - Learning from Games: Seven Principles of Effective Design
Why do players of #computer-games seem to approach those applications without fear, eagerly exploring and learning as they go, whereas users of business applications will go out of their way to keep from using the tools? - Journal of #Technical-Communication, 45, No. 3 (August 1998): 319-329.

#Kieras, David. #User-Interface Design for Games, University of Michigan, 2000).

#Laitenen, Sauli. Better Games Through Usability #Evaluation and Testing
#Heuristics and #usability-guidelines for games. The article describes the importance of usability for #games and describes two testing methods. - CMP Game Group, June 23, 2005

#Light, Ann. It’s Official, Games can make you Smarter... - Usabilty News, 2003
.....
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Game Usability

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One person read and reviewed it and wrote - not sure if true for every reader: "Reading it as a graduate #game-designer, and a practitioner hoping to put some good usability features into my projects, I was utterly put off by paragraph after paragraph which tried to sell the worth of game #usability-professionals, and also its #viability as a study. It is, I believe, a book about the field of game usability rather than the actual practise, and in that I found it #disappointing. There may be some useful advice hidden in there somewhere, but I think I'm looking at the wrong publication if I hope to find any."
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Und nun: #Diablo 3. Zweifellos keine Neuerfindung des #Spielprinzips. Zweifellos grafisch keine Offenbarung. Sicherlich nicht ein Spiel, das das Medium voranbringt, das die Grenzen erweitert oder neue Gruppen zum Spielen bringt. Stattdessen ein wahnsinnig komplexer einarmiger Bandit, in dem man auf Monster klickt, Prozentbalken beim Steigen beobachtet und per #Zufallsgenerator benannte Gegenstände hortet.

Das klingt zu negativ? Okay: außerdem eine einzigartige Faszination, ein perfekt wie aus einem Guss gemachtes #Spielerlebnis, das auf unserem Belohnungszentrum im Gehirn wagnerianische Symphonien spielt, uns die Nachtruhe raubt und unsere Tage mit dem nagenden Gefühl erfüllt, lieber wieder in den Dungeons sein zu wollen.

Zitat Ende.


Nach dem Antesten der Beta würde ich das genauso einschätzen. Guter Blog, Artikel und Einschätzung, das es dennoch ein Erfolg wurde - #PR war riesig, Prinzip funktioniert was ich bei an sich höherem grafischen Anspruch der User doch erstaunlich finde und fand.
 
So ist es!
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Pretty good #analysis of #Diablo-3. It looks as if my thought might be right from the Beta Test, that it is simply a remake with an attempt to push #game-store item sells and to melk the #Diablo community. Maybe I am wrong, but this video strongy confirms this thought.
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I've very much enjoyed opportunities to #work-on-games (typically games that are included as part of #educational websites or CDs). While often we're trying to design things so that #customer can find their way around efficiently, games have a #new-challenge - they need to be entertaining and #engaging. (There may also be pedagogy to tuck in to the game so that players can learn while playing.)

#Challenge is one way off doing this - making a game where it is possible to lose or possible to win, according to some combination of luck and skill. Getting the level of challenge right is then a big, er, challenge. One of the weirder things I did at work once was to spend some time moving a plastic dinosaur around a chessboard, and sometimes putting coins on the squares. Yes, I did bill for doing this: I was #designing-a-game that was a bit like minesweeper - players had to maneuver a character across a grid, attempting not to land on any of the hidden #traps. If they landed close to a trap they received #limited-feedback that there was a trap on a neighbouring square. My dinosaur exercise was a way to make sure that these clues were not to hard and #not-to-easy.
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Testing the PUSH-MODE in THE GOOGLE+-STREAM. Child games btw are easily tested by every usability tester I guess.
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Chapter 5

This chapter discusses the use of #think-alouds in user #game-research. A think-aloud, in which the player is asked to verbalize their thinking while working through a task, allows the researcher to get a “glimpse” of what is going on inside a #player’s head. These #verbalization reports are often called verbal protocols. #Practically any question regarding the usability aspects of a game interface can be addressed in a verbal #protocol analysis. Typical #research questions include:

Does the #game pose an interesting and adequate challenge? (Is the challenge due to game content or #game-controls?)

Does the game stay challenging til the end of the test session? Does it stay challenging after several sessions?

How do the different elements in the application contribute to the user’s #experience?

How easily can the player learn how to work with the #application?

For #multiplayer games, how does the (social) interaction develop?


Note that think-alouds are less suitable for questions about the level of #enjoyability of a #game or to #investigate the potential engaging power of a game (bc asking a player to “think aloud” while playing changes the experience).
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