New publications on game analytics

At the Foundations of Digital Games 2011 in Bordeaux, France, I am with a couple of good colleagues presenting some new research findings on games, user experience and game metrics (game analytics) – here are the titles and links to PDF pre-prints:

Arrgghh!!! – Blending Quantitative and Qualitative Methods to Detect Player FrustrationPDF

Frustration, in small, calibrated doses, can be integral to an enjoyable game experience, but it is a very delicate balance: just a slightly excessive amount of frustration could compel players to terminate prematurely the experience. Another factor with high relevance when analyzing player frustration is the difference in personality between players: some are less willing to endure frustration and might give up on the game earlier than others. This article seeks to identify patterns of behavior that could point to potential frustration before players resolve to quit a game. Furthermore, in order for this method to be relevant during game production, it has been decided to avoid relying on large numbers of players, and instead depend on highly granular data and both qualitative approaches (direct observation of players) and quantitative research (data mining gameplay metrics). The result is a computational model of player frustration that, although applied to a single game (Kane & Lynch 2), is able to raise a red flag whenever a sequence of actions in the game could be interpreted as possible player frustration.

Towards a Framework of Player Experience ResearchPDF

Player Experience (PX), user experience in the specific context of digital games, is currently a nebulous term with no commonly accepted definition or coherent backing theory. In this paper, a brief overview of the current stateof-the-art of PX knowledge is presented, with a specific emphasis on comparing PX research with the massive amount of knowledge currently being generated about user experience in other areas of HCI, notably productivity applications. Furthermore, to outline the current gaps in the knowledge of PX and integrate current research into a unified theoretical framework, creating a shared point of reference for the decidedly multi-disciplinary PX research.


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