Heuristics and Usability Guidelines for the Creation and Evaluation of Fun in Video Games
Author: Melissa A. Federoff
Description: This study examines the implicit and explicit heuristics and usability evaluation processes utilized by a leading game developer. The heuristics created in this study are a starting point for the construction of a standard list of game heuristics for use by the game development community.
User-centered Design in Games (PDF)
Authors: Randy J. Pagulayan, Kevin Keeker, Dennis Wixon, Ramon L. Romero, and Thomas Fuller
Description: The intent of this [article] is to review principles and challenges in game design and evaluation and to discuss user-centered techniques that address those challenges. That discussion provides a framework for what we believe are the core variables that should be measured to aid in game design and evaluation. The [article] will conclude with some examples of how those variables can be operationalized in which we will present the methods used by the Microsoft Games User-Testing group.
User Interface Design for Games (PDF)
Author: David Kieras
Description: 35 page PDF covering Desirable Properties of User Interfaces for Games, Software for Fun, Wrong Ideas about Usability in Games, How to Develop a Usable System, and more.
Do Usability Expert Evaluation and Testing Provide Novel and Useful Data For Game Development?
Author: Sauli Laitinen
Description: A case study was done to study whether usability expert evaluation and testing are suitable for game development. It was found that the usability expert evaluation and testing provided both novel and useful data for game development.
Better Games Through Usability Evaluation and Testing
Description: The best way to make sure that unintended problems do not hinder enjoying the game is to take usability into account in game development. This article presents how this can be done and what kind of results to expect.
Player-Centred Game Design: Experiences in Using Scenario Study to Inform Mobile Game Design
Authors: Laura Ermi and Frans Mäyrä
Description: We argue that players should be more involved in game design and development than is currently typical. This paper describes and evaluates the experiences gathered while using a scenario-based player study to inform pervasive mobile game design.
A survey method for assessing perceptions of a game: The consumer playtest in game design
Authors: John P. Davis, Keith Steury, and Randy Pagulayan
Description: In this paper we describe the playtest method we have developed, a method that combines traditional, scientific survey methods with a controlled laboratory environment to collect systematic, quantitative information about consumers’ perceptions of games.
What We Learned Evaluating the Usability of a Game
Authors: Shannon Lucas and Denise Fulton
Description: Papers often approach either the need for usability testing in games or the differences between what makes a game useful versus what makes a productivity application useful. This article focuses on the methods employed for the usability testing of Ion Storm’s game Thief: Deadly Shadows.
Why Game Documentation is Essential to a Satisfying User Experience
Author: Martin Peterson
Description: This is a short article on the importance of usable documentation for others on a video game design team.
Everything I need to know about usability, I learned at the arcade
Author: Peter Seebach
Description: A program that is integral to the operation of your business can be hard to use — yet you will use it anyway. A video game that is hard to use is no fun, and you won’t use it. Forged in this crucible is an attitude that’s common to most games: Usability is paramount. Productivity software should learn some of the same lessons.
Games meets Interaction Design: War, Indifference or Love?
Author: Ann Light
Description: The relationship between games and interaction design clearly exists at a number of levels but the politics of the industries and their different goals keep them largely separate.
Game Over, Man
Author: Kevin Cheng (OK/Cancel)
Description: Videogames have, like most applications, been rather hit and miss with their interfaces. Ultimately, videogames are businesses, too. As long as games keep selling, there’s little reason to change their tact. As long as the customers keep supporting the sale of unfinished and unusable products, the games will keep selling and the cycle will continue.
The Fight of Challenge vs. Usability in Games
Author: Kevin Cheng (OK/Cancel)
Description: The designer wants to create a game that is challenging enough to be fun but not so challenging that gamers are fed up with the game before even starting. Taking a step back to evaluate and isolate where the challenge lies in a game can help create a more defined gaming experience.
A Cognitive Ergonomics Approach to the Process of Game Design and Development (PDF)
Author: Yves Grassioulet
Description: In this qualitative study, the main features for a foundational framework of game design and development process will be described, using cognitive ergonomics methods such as semi-structured interviews, critical incidents gathering, and free mind mapping.
Accounting for User Needs and Motivations in Game Design
Authors: Lucy A. Joyner and Jim TerKeurst
Description: This early research suggests that games are used differently to support personal and social needs and motivations. Focusing on the players’ definition of the gaming situation and how they orient themselves to the game could provide insight as to how game playing captivates the player and promotes identification within the game.
Usability Guidelines For J2ME Games v1.2
Description: This updated document provides guidelines for developing easy-to-use, fun, and challenging J2ME(TM) games for Nokia devices based on Series 40 Developer Platform 1.0
Series 60 Developer Platform 2.0: Usability Guidelines For J2ME Games
Description: This document provides guidelines and an implementation model for developing easy-to-use, fun, and challenging J2ME(TM) games for Series 60 Developer Platform 2.0 devices.