Thursday, March 8, 2012

Games User Research Summit, GDC 2012

My GDC trip this year is shaping up to be a lot more exciting than I'd expected it to be.  I'm enjoying the chilly San Francisco breeze (I miss it a little), and marveling at the city architecture.

Tuesday I attended the Games User Research Summit, and definitly learned a few things:

On Touch Interface
Visual assets for touchable buttons should be at least 7-9mm in width.

The visual asset should be at 60% of the touch target size.

Three ways to classify Interfaces are by their Freedom, Precision, and Direct Manipulation.

Intuitive is misleading, because everything is learned.  Familiarity and Awesomeness is a more efficient targets.

On ABC model of attitude
Affect -> Emotion
Behavior -> Action
Cognition -> Thinking

Each of the three affect the other, and recursively affect themselves.  They are immeasurable because this state is always changing and in the moment.

Behavior is observable while Affect and Thinking can only be intuited.

Media can affect one of these aspects to influence another.

Bartle's Player Types and Biometrics
A researcher presented a study that he did on players of a trivia game, as requested by the developers.  He quickly realized that the data that was needed required observation of the four Bartle player types in relation to one another.

It is important to note that the decision to use Player Types: Killer, Explorer, Achiever, and Socializer, were a result of the data, and determined to be fitting after properly analyzing player behavior under their target behaviors.

The researchers watched for the interactions between two players and measured the frequency of:
Shared awareness
Requesting Info
Shared History
Shared Sucess
Shared Failure
Team Optimisation
Trash Talk
Self Indulgence

ABC in Games
During this talk I realized that this would allow me the vocabulary and surface understanding to put one aspect of Spectra into words.  The purpose of Spectra was to place players in a situation where they would have to help the other player, their partner.  My intended result would be that these repeated acts of kindness would influence the player's emotions and thoughts about each other.

The game never yielded an answer, as I haven't observed enough play sessions of it, or run lab tests with specific player-types, but I have had good reaction to the premise and players tell me that they enjoy the game.

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