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The Player
Rui Prada
23 de Junho
Faculdade de Letras, Universidade de Lisboa
The Player
A player is a person that interacts with the
game and lives the experience it offers.
The Audience
The audience of a game if the set of groups
of players it targets.
Examples: “teenage girls”, “students of
IS...
Player? Why?
How to measure the success of a game?
A game is successful if it satisfies the
needs of its (target) audience...
Player? Why?
Can a game target everyone?
Merging two game genres please both
audiences?
Player? Why?
Different players have different needs!
Choosing the target players is a crucial
step in the game development...
Player? Why?
Is that the only reason?
Player as a consumer
Player as a producer/author
Player? Why?
Player–author “conflict”
Balance the author and player
intentions
Player
intentions
Author
intensions
Player? Why?
Player and author contribute together to
the experience (in different moments)
Player
intensions
Author
inten...
Player? Why?
Players build actively
and voluntarily the
experience
Define the Audience
Select the audience
Detail the audience
Understand the audience
Player Profile
For each group of players identify
Motivation
Needs, preferences, interests, expectations, values,
fears, d...
Racing Car Game Player Profiles
Motivation Have a nice time
with the family
Dreams to drive a
car
Capabilities
Limitations...
Models of Players
Player profiles are crafted with contact with
users
Can be supported by existent models
Models by Game Genre
Common genres
Action
Adventure
Driving
Puzzle
Role-play
Simulation
Sports
Strategy
Shooter
Models by Game Genre
Do they really define the Audience?
All shooters!?
Game Genres
Players play the same game differently
Genres show the current state of the art
Not good if you want to innova...
Hardcore vs Casual
Hardcore
Familiar with game conventions
Read about games (e.g. magazines, forums)
Playing games as a li...
Hardcore vs Casual
Casual
Unaware of game conventions
Play few games
Games must adapt to their life
Play to relax and “kil...
Hardcore vs Casual
Literacy Motivation Quantity
Hardcore High Challenge Many
Casual Low Kill time Few
Players of MUDs (Bartle, 1996)
Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and
Spades
Players
Environment
Socializers
Explorers
Killers
Achiev...
Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and
Spades
Socializers
Enjoy learning about or communication with
other players
Killers
Enjoy mani...
Play Styles
Particular form of play. Patterns of play
behaviour.
Achiever
Explorer
Competitor
Director
Collector
Creator
S...
Play Styles
There are particular play styles in some
genres
RTS: turtle, rusher, etc.
Play Personality
Player preference of play styles
A player may adopt different play styles
+ Achiever: 60%
+ Explorer: 30%...
DGD1 Model
Demographic Game Design 1
Developed by International Hobo
Players model based on personality
Myers-Briggs
Build...
Myers-Briggs
Myers-Briggs
Influence on Game Design (E vs I) - How
games are played
Duration of game sessions
Sociability
Connection wit...
Myers-Briggs
Influence on Game Design (S vs N) -
Learning and problem solving
Level of abstraction of challenges
Approach ...
Myers-Briggs
Influence on Game Design (T vs F) –
Motivation to play
Encouragement
Rewards and progression
Collectables (ae...
Myers-Briggs
Influence on Game Design (J vs P) - Goal-
orientation
Goals and progress
Victory conditions
Open or closed ga...
DGD1 Model
Thinking
Feeling
Conqueror Manager
Participant Wanderer
Judging Perceiving
(TJ) (TP)
(FP)(FJ)
DGD1 Model
Conqueror Manager
Participant Wanderer
H1 H2
H3H4
C1 C2
C3C4
DGD1 Model
Type 1 – Conqueror (T + J)
Needs to “beat” the game in all possible ways
H1 (I)
Beat their own limits
Failure a...
DGD1 Model
Type 1 – Conqueror (T + J)
Game characteristics
Fast pace (game progression)
Story is irrelevant (C1) or does n...
DGD1 Model
Type 2 – Manager (T + P)
Need to understand and explore the game
H2 (I)
Like to explore strategies
Failures are...
DGD1 Model
Type 2 – Manager (T + P)
Game characteristics
Stable progression
Implicit goals, focus on the process
The plot ...
DGD1 Model
Type 3 – Wanderer (F + P)
Seeks new experiences
H3 (I + N)
Seeks fantasy
Likes to play with “style”
C3 (E + N)
...
DGD1 Model
Type 3 – Wanderer (F + P)
Game characteristics
Slow progression
Progression implies new “toys”
Non-linear struc...
DGD1 Model
Type 4 – Participant (F + J)
Want to participate in a story or social
interaction
H4 (E + S)
Seek participation...
DGD1 Model
Type 4 – Participant (F + J)
Game characteristics
Game progression connected to the story
Emotional connection ...
DGD1 Model
http://ihobo.com/_oldsite/articles/DGD1.shtml
Progression Narrative Social
Conqueror Fast No / Plot Competition...
BrainHex
Synthesis of
Survey data
60,000 respondents
+ DGD1 and DGD2
Neurobiological findings
http://blog.brainhex.com/
BrainHex
7 classes
Seeker Survivor Daredevil Mastermind
Conqueror Socialiser Achiever
BrainHex
Seeker
Pleasure of discovery
(Positive) surprise
Aesthetics
Preferable activity
Searching
BrainHex
Survivor
Pleasure of survival
Difficult situations
Sense of danger and intensity
Fear
Preferable activity
Escapin...
BrainHex
Daredevil
Pleasure of taking risks
Likelihood of the risk
Consequences
Seek and confront danger
Different from su...
BrainHex
Mastermind
Pleasure of finding solutions
Complex problems
Explore options
Define strategies
Preferable activity
S...
BrainHex
Conqueror
Pleasure of winning
Type and greatness of the win
Quality of the adversary
Preferable activity
Defeatin...
BrainHex
Socialiser
Pleasure of interacting
Frequency and quality of the interactions
Feeling of belonging
Preferable acti...
BrainHex
Achiever
Pleasure of completing goals
Complete tasks
Complete collections
Difficult of the tasks
Preferable activ...
BrainHex
A player can have more than one strong
class (class and subclass)
Ex: Mastermind / Survivor
A player usually also...
The Daedalus Project
The psychology of MMORPG players
Nick Yee
Based on players surveys [2003-2009]
More than 35000 player...
Conclusions
Game design should be focused on the
satisfaction of players’ needs
Players have and active role in the creati...
Conclusions
Different kind of people like different type
of games
Select the audience of your game
Define player profiles ...
Rui Prada
rui.prada@tecnico.ulisboa.pt
http://ajist.tecnico.ulisboa.pt
http://www.spcvideojogos.org
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The Importance of the Player in Game Design

A presentation on the importance of taking a user-centred approach in game design with discussion of player models.

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The Importance of the Player in Game Design

  1. 1. The Player Rui Prada 23 de Junho Faculdade de Letras, Universidade de Lisboa
  2. 2. The Player A player is a person that interacts with the game and lives the experience it offers.
  3. 3. The Audience The audience of a game if the set of groups of players it targets. Examples: “teenage girls”, “students of IST”, “visitors of a museum”, “football lovers”, “sportive people”
  4. 4. Player? Why? How to measure the success of a game? A game is successful if it satisfies the needs of its (target) audience (players)
  5. 5. Player? Why? Can a game target everyone? Merging two game genres please both audiences?
  6. 6. Player? Why? Different players have different needs! Choosing the target players is a crucial step in the game development You need to know who to please to define the experience
  7. 7. Player? Why? Is that the only reason? Player as a consumer Player as a producer/author
  8. 8. Player? Why? Player–author “conflict” Balance the author and player intentions Player intentions Author intensions
  9. 9. Player? Why? Player and author contribute together to the experience (in different moments) Player intensions Author intensions Good Bad
  10. 10. Player? Why? Players build actively and voluntarily the experience
  11. 11. Define the Audience Select the audience Detail the audience Understand the audience
  12. 12. Player Profile For each group of players identify Motivation Needs, preferences, interests, expectations, values, fears, dreams Capabilities References, knowledge, limitations Context of play Where, with whom and when they will play
  13. 13. Racing Car Game Player Profiles Motivation Have a nice time with the family Dreams to drive a car Capabilities Limitations Some limitations regarding dexterity and vision Can deal with complex controls Knowledge Follows car races on TV, knows famous drivers, has real-life driving experience Has played driving games, follows gaming news Context of Play Family homes At home, when not studying Type A Type B
  14. 14. Models of Players Player profiles are crafted with contact with users Can be supported by existent models
  15. 15. Models by Game Genre Common genres Action Adventure Driving Puzzle Role-play Simulation Sports Strategy Shooter
  16. 16. Models by Game Genre Do they really define the Audience? All shooters!?
  17. 17. Game Genres Players play the same game differently Genres show the current state of the art Not good if you want to innovate Show the current users *not* the potential ones
  18. 18. Hardcore vs Casual Hardcore Familiar with game conventions Read about games (e.g. magazines, forums) Playing games as a life-style Adapt theirs life to the game Look for challenge Buy a lot of games
  19. 19. Hardcore vs Casual Casual Unaware of game conventions Play few games Games must adapt to their life Play to relax and “kill time” Buy few games
  20. 20. Hardcore vs Casual Literacy Motivation Quantity Hardcore High Challenge Many Casual Low Kill time Few
  21. 21. Players of MUDs (Bartle, 1996) Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and Spades Players Environment Socializers Explorers Killers Achievers ManipulateInteract
  22. 22. Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and Spades Socializers Enjoy learning about or communication with other players Killers Enjoy manipulating other players Explorers Enjoy interacting with the game world Achievers Enjoy manipulating the game world
  23. 23. Play Styles Particular form of play. Patterns of play behaviour. Achiever Explorer Competitor Director Collector Creator Storyteller Actor Joker Athlete
  24. 24. Play Styles There are particular play styles in some genres RTS: turtle, rusher, etc.
  25. 25. Play Personality Player preference of play styles A player may adopt different play styles + Achiever: 60% + Explorer: 30% + Collector: 10%
  26. 26. DGD1 Model Demographic Game Design 1 Developed by International Hobo Players model based on personality Myers-Briggs Build on Player surveys and interviews More than 400 participants
  27. 27. Myers-Briggs
  28. 28. Myers-Briggs Influence on Game Design (E vs I) - How games are played Duration of game sessions Sociability Connection with the outside world Physical components Ex: Dance Dance Revolution (Konami, 2001)
  29. 29. Myers-Briggs Influence on Game Design (S vs N) - Learning and problem solving Level of abstraction of challenges Approach to challenge resolution Trial and error (common sense) vs “Lateral Thinking” Game progression Complex problems should not stop the progression (S) Tutorials and help (S, not N)
  30. 30. Myers-Briggs Influence on Game Design (T vs F) – Motivation to play Encouragement Rewards and progression Collectables (aesthetics) Suggestions and help Deal with failure (“Game Over”) Don’t punish (F)
  31. 31. Myers-Briggs Influence on Game Design (J vs P) - Goal- orientation Goals and progress Victory conditions Open or closed games Game structure
  32. 32. DGD1 Model Thinking Feeling Conqueror Manager Participant Wanderer Judging Perceiving (TJ) (TP) (FP)(FJ)
  33. 33. DGD1 Model Conqueror Manager Participant Wanderer H1 H2 H3H4 C1 C2 C3C4
  34. 34. DGD1 Model Type 1 – Conqueror (T + J) Needs to “beat” the game in all possible ways H1 (I) Beat their own limits Failure and frustration is positive C1 (I + S) Beat the other players The most hardcore of the casual sector
  35. 35. DGD1 Model Type 1 – Conqueror (T + J) Game characteristics Fast pace (game progression) Story is irrelevant (C1) or does not give importance to characters (H1) Likes hidden components Online support/extension Need voice (often complain)
  36. 36. DGD1 Model Type 2 – Manager (T + P) Need to understand and explore the game H2 (I) Like to explore strategies Failures are new opportunities to improve the strategy C2 (I + S) Likes to build artefacts Low tolerance to failure
  37. 37. DGD1 Model Type 2 – Manager (T + P) Game characteristics Stable progression Implicit goals, focus on the process The plot is more important than the characters Does not need a strong social component
  38. 38. DGD1 Model Type 3 – Wanderer (F + P) Seeks new experiences H3 (I + N) Seeks fantasy Likes to play with “style” C3 (E + N) The game is just pastime, it cannot… … irritate, tire, “force to think” Needs progress but without much effort Share: plays single-player games in pairs
  39. 39. DGD1 Model Type 3 – Wanderer (F + P) Game characteristics Slow progression Progression implies new “toys” Non-linear structure Simple controls Emotional connection with the characters The game is a means to share experiences May be to talk about unrelated subjects
  40. 40. DGD1 Model Type 4 – Participant (F + J) Want to participate in a story or social interaction H4 (E + S) Seek participation in the development of the game and/or story Seek involvement with the real world Favour collaboration C4 (E + S) ? Seek social entertainment Implies the same physical space Favours group play (with friends)
  41. 41. DGD1 Model Type 4 – Participant (F + J) Game characteristics Game progression connected to the story Emotional connection with the characters Group interactions Preferably face to face
  42. 42. DGD1 Model http://ihobo.com/_oldsite/articles/DGD1.shtml Progression Narrative Social Conqueror Fast No / Plot Competition Manager Stable Plot No Wanderer Slow / novelty Character / emotion Sharing Participant Story Character / emotion Cooperation (in loco)
  43. 43. BrainHex Synthesis of Survey data 60,000 respondents + DGD1 and DGD2 Neurobiological findings http://blog.brainhex.com/
  44. 44. BrainHex 7 classes Seeker Survivor Daredevil Mastermind Conqueror Socialiser Achiever
  45. 45. BrainHex Seeker Pleasure of discovery (Positive) surprise Aesthetics Preferable activity Searching
  46. 46. BrainHex Survivor Pleasure of survival Difficult situations Sense of danger and intensity Fear Preferable activity Escaping Just in time
  47. 47. BrainHex Daredevil Pleasure of taking risks Likelihood of the risk Consequences Seek and confront danger Different from survivor that likes to avoid danger Preferable activity Hunting Invading
  48. 48. BrainHex Mastermind Pleasure of finding solutions Complex problems Explore options Define strategies Preferable activity Solving problems
  49. 49. BrainHex Conqueror Pleasure of winning Type and greatness of the win Quality of the adversary Preferable activity Defeating Competing
  50. 50. BrainHex Socialiser Pleasure of interacting Frequency and quality of the interactions Feeling of belonging Preferable activity Relating to others Helping
  51. 51. BrainHex Achiever Pleasure of completing goals Complete tasks Complete collections Difficult of the tasks Preferable activity Collect Things Achievements
  52. 52. BrainHex A player can have more than one strong class (class and subclass) Ex: Mastermind / Survivor A player usually also has some weak classes (exceptions) Player avoid the activities involved Ex: weak seekers hate to have to search for things
  53. 53. The Daedalus Project The psychology of MMORPG players Nick Yee Based on players surveys [2003-2009] More than 35000 players http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus
  54. 54. Conclusions Game design should be focused on the satisfaction of players’ needs Players have and active role in the creation of the experience There are clear differences in the way people play Hardcore vs casual Play styles
  55. 55. Conclusions Different kind of people like different type of games Select the audience of your game Define player profiles to guide the design and development of the game Player models support the definition of profiles Consider more than one profile Deal carefully with conflicts/synergies
  56. 56. Rui Prada rui.prada@tecnico.ulisboa.pt http://ajist.tecnico.ulisboa.pt http://www.spcvideojogos.org

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