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Tackling Audience Experiences in Games - Gdc19 UX

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Tackling Audience Experiences in Games - Gdc19 UX

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Tackling Audience Experiences in Games - Gdc19 UX

  1. 1. Tackling Audience Experiences in Games Dr. Johanna Pirker, TU Graz Rainer Angermann, Rarebyte
  2. 2. Outline ● Who is "the spectator"? ● How to design to engage the spectator? ● How to evaluate spectator engagement?
  3. 3. Who Is the Spectator?
  4. 4. The Player ● Good playing and streaming experience ● Interaction possibilities with viewers ● Entertainment of viewers ● Building a communitiy The Spectator ● Understanding the gameplay/mechanics/rules ● Interactions with the player and/or other viewers ● Being entertained and surprised ● Being part of a community
  5. 5. Streaming At Home eSports Event Event Game Where to Find Spectators
  6. 6. The Psychology of the Spectator ● Spectators != Fans ● The fan is more motivated by the achievements, the spectator is motivated by the aesthetics, the skill of the player(s), drama ● Spectator behavior fulfill social / psychological needs ● Maslow's needs, escape-seeking model Loyalty Attraction Adhesion Conscience Fan Viewer
  7. 7. Motives for Spectating ● Identification: associated with successful player, self-esteem, success ● Aesthetics: appreciation of the beauty of the game ● Drama & Excitement: experience pleasent stress/stimulation, entertainment, risk, competition ● Escape: escape from the daily routing, fantasy ● Knowledge: – enjoy players' skills ● Social Interaction: affiliation to a community, to a group ● Team/Player Support: connection to a player/ esports team, local support (Matsuoka, 2014 and Dos Santos, Rios 2014)
  8. 8. How to Design to Engage the Spectator?
  9. 9. Main Goals Create a playable game vs. Create a watchable game Viewers need to be able to understand the game, be able to keep track of everything, and need reasons to keep watching
  10. 10. Designing for Spectator Personas ● The Bystander ● The Curious ● The Inspired ● The Pupil ● The Unsatisfied ● The Entertained ● The Assistant ● The Commentator ● The Crowd (Cheung and Huang, 2011)
  11. 11. Three Phases of Spectator Engagement Attract & Teach Attract viewers with gameplay. The game needs to be understood fast and simply by watching someone else play the game. Retain The game should be interesting & entertaining to watch; entertain and surprise viewers Involve & Engage Involving viewers in the experience, allow interactio n with the player,other viewers, the game Goal: Create a watch-able game: viewers need to be able to understand the game, be able to keep track of everything, and need reasons to keep watching
  12. 12. … to Support the Spectator's Motives Attract & Teach Aesthetics Drama/excitement Simplicity - easy to grasp through observation Retain Drama Build up knowledge Unpredictability/ close call Involve & Engage Social interaction Achievement Identification Teach others Team/player support
  13. 13. A Viewer Walks into a… Stream: „What is happening here?“ ● The game needs to be easy to pickup ● Viewers learn about the game while watching
  14. 14. Design to Attract Viewers ● Game design, battles, graphics, UI features give spectators visual hints and experiences about the actions, tactics, and emotions ● Graphics/colour/scenery helps them to understand the emotion and the current situation in the game (e.g. winning/losing) LoL: Color scheme indicating what is "happening"
  15. 15. Design to Teach ● UI for players ● Focus on the player’s character ● Feedback ● UI for spectators/viewers ● Overview of all players (multiplayer) ● Comparison of players/stats For spectators For the player
  16. 16. Why do Viewers stay or come back? ● Competition ● Drama ● Affiliation/ Support
  17. 17. Design for Drama ● Create intense playthroughs/matches ● Mechanics to rebalance different player skills
  18. 18. Design to Create the Unexpected As a viewer you should never know exactly what will happen next ● Add random events/story twists to change the balance within the game ● Add surprise boxes/crates, loot, … „We Are Screwed!“: Procedural content and random events force players to change roles
  19. 19. Strategy to keep spectator interested: Information Asymmetry Spectator and player have different information pieces of the game Known by spectator: ● Position of other players ● Composition of other teams ● Traps Known by player: ● Stategies, plans, capabilities Example: League of Legends Design Information Asymmetry
  20. 20. Let Viewers Participate ● Passive: Rename in-game characters ● Active: Let viewers decide/vote for choices, item drops etc.
  21. 21. Build a Community ● Make it accessible ● Audience should feel welcome ● Players should feel save ● Let viewers be „a part of something“
  22. 22. Evaluation Strategies
  23. 23. Evaluation Strategies - Overview ● Observation ● Think-out loud ● Physiological data ● In-game metrics and data ● Interviews ● Focus groups ● Questionnaires ● ….
  24. 24. Example: The Indie's Point of View Evaluation Strategies - "The Party Test" ● Goal: Understand the first-time users and also spectators' experience, identify issues (onboarding, usability, playability) and identify both player and spectator engagement and experience. ● Procedure: Similar to focus group. Invite 15-20 people to the office ("play party"). First players are asked to play through parts of the game and the other participants are engaged to actively watch/observe the others play the game. Let 2-4 play the game. Only basics instructions are given such as “Run!” ● Data Analysis: Data is collected through interviews/questionnaires/logs/TA logs. The analysis is then qualitative or quantitative. E.g. ask bother players and spectators of the session questions about the game to learn if the mechanics are clear. Also questions related to motivation/engagement are crucial.
  25. 25. Example: The Academic's Point of View Evaluation Strategies - "Interaction Data Analysis" ● Goal: Understand the behavior of spectators as a part of a community by analyzing the interaction data of spectators or community data (e.g. Twitch or Twitter data). ● Procedure: The interaction data of spectators is logged and analyzed to create engagement measures. An interaction graph can be constructed based on spectator interaction data. ● Data Analysis: Data is collected through in-game or in-stream logs showing the spectator's interaction with the game. Different data analysis methods can be applied such as interaction graphs or interaction charts.
  26. 26. Evaluation Strategies Research Institution Meets Game Studio Data Definition Plan & Prototype Playtest •Observe •Collect Data Evaluate ● Data definition: involvement of the research institution in the process to define evaluation points and logging data ● Plan & prototype: studio develops prototype including data definition strategies ● Playtest: studio collects data based on the defined strategies ● Evaluation: research institution supports with evaluation strategies and analysis
  27. 27. Thanks! Dr. Johanna Pirker, TU Graz @JoeyPrink Rainer Angermann, Rarebyte @rangermann