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Abstract

With hundreds of new games being released every week, designers rely on existing knowledge to design control schemes for their products. However, in the case of games with new game mechanics, designers struggle to implement new button schemes due to the lack of research on players’ adaptation to new and non-standard controls. In this study we investigated PC players habits when playing a game they have no knowledge of, and how they adapt to its non-standard control scheme. Data was collected by using a specifically designed game instead of relying on pre-existing ones, allowing us to design specific game mechanics to exploit users’ habits and monitor players’ behaviour in their home environments. Preliminary results seem to indicate that PC players do pay attention to control schemes and are able to quickly learn new ones, but they also prefer to make mistakes in favour of execution speed.
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Iterative design is an expensive yet necessary task in the creation of coherent game levels. However, it often requires many resources, something that many projects, especially in the academic field, are usually lacking. This paper discusses the results of a test performed on EscapeTower, a pre-existing customer-ready research game where hand-crafted levels have been replaced by procedural ones to speed up the development process. A custom room generator has been developed and used to procedurally generate several levels for the EscapeTower project. A User Study was subsequently conducted to assess how the procedurally generated levels affect the user experience within the game and how they compared to the original levels designed by professionals. Results are in line with current literature, showing that players have a significant preference over manually designed spaces. However, data also shows that procedurally generated environments did not impact users’ ability to navigate the spaces, leading to the possibility to use such systems in early prototyping and designing phases.
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Only very few studies exist linking preference in controller usage to physiological effects and user experience (UX). While many games already feature different controller layouts, there is a lack of research on whether giving control to participants over their button choices affects their UX in the game. In our study, participants were given two predetermined button configurations for playing FIFA 12. Their preferences were assessed through electroencephalography (EEG) and a Game Experience Questionnaire (GEQ). Our results show no significant difference in EEG intensity between participants using their preferred or non-preferred button settings. Preference also appears to have no significant effect on subjective feelings assessed by the GEQ. We have identified three distinct factors that may have potentially compromised this study. These findings could help to structure future research in this area.
Article
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An increasing amount of games is released on multiple platforms, and game designers face the challenge of integrating different interaction paradigms for console and PC users while keeping the core mechanics of a game. However, little research has addressed the influence of game controls on player experience. In this paper, we examine the impact of mouse and keyboard versus gamepad control in first-person shooters using the PC and PlayStation 3 versions of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. We conducted a study with 45 participants to compare player experience and game usability issues of participants who had previously played similar games on one of the respective gaming systems, while also exploring the effects of players being forced to switch to an unfamiliar platform. The results show that players switching to a new platform experience more usability issues and consider themselves more challenged, but report an equally positive overall experience as players on their comfort platform.
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Game peripherals refer to the input-output devices assisting players to interact with video games. An interesting phenomenon related to game peripherals is bringing your own peripherals (BYOP) which means video game players, especially the advanced players, usually tend to use their own devices to play video games. An important reason for the popularity of BYOP is the players’ belief that the best tools to play the game are their own devices, in terms of game experience and performance. Thus, the game peripherals used in the BYOP situation imply the excellent quality. However, the limited research on the game peripherals leads to the lacking understanding of what determines the good game peripherals and how the good game peripherals influence players’ positive gaming experience and their performance. In order to call for more attention to the research on game peripherals and players’ cognition, this paper focuses on two important dimensions of game peripherals (i.e., controller fit and vividness of interfaces) and their influences on players’ positive in-game experience (i.e., sense of control, immersion and enjoyment). Furthermore, this research also discusses the relationship between positive gaming experience and in-game performance. A relational framework including seven propositions is proposed to guide and suggest future research on the game peripherals’ influences and the positive gaming experience in the field of player-video game interaction.
Article
How does the changing representation of the body in virtual environments affect the mind? This article considers how virtual reality interfaces are evolving to embody the user progressively. The effect of embodiment on the sensation of physical presence, social presence, and self presence in virtual environments is discussed. The effect of avatar representation on body image and body schema distortion is also considered. The paper ends with the introduction of the cyborg's dilemma, a paradoxical situation in which the development of increasingly “natural” and embodied interfaces leads to “unnatural” adaptations or changes in the user. In the progressively tighter coupling of user to interface, the user evolves as a cyborg.
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Video and computer games controls and controllers have gone through a large amount of change recently. The intro-duction of new, more immersive control technologies such as motion sensing and touchscreens into the commercial games market has and will change the design of games. This pa-per looks at how games have spurred on the development of controllers fitted to their needs and how some games adapt themselves to the controller technology already present.
Article
Many studies have investigated how different technological features impact the experience of playing video games, yet few have focused on how control schemes may affect the play experience. This research employed a between-subjects design to explore the relationship between the type of console played (Nintendo Wii, Playstation 2) and feelings of flow and enjoyment during the game-play experience. Results indicated that participants reported greater feelings of control and enjoyment with a traditional control scheme (Playstation 2) than with the more technologically advanced control scheme (Nintendo Wii). Further mediation analysis showed that enjoyment was driven by the sense of control that participants experienced and not simply by whether they won the game. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
The Ultimate History of Video Games: Volume Two: from Pong to Pokemon and beyond. the story behind the craze that touched our li ves and changed the world
  • S L Kent