Jumping Caveman: A Tool for Manipulating Player Experience and Answering Questions in Games Research
Hossain, Rasam 1992-
Standard tools exist for assessing player experience; however, there are few tools for inducing play experiences. Game researchers without the resources to operationalize an experimental factor of interest as an implemented mechanic in the design of a custom game are therefore limited in the types of controlled experiments they can conduct. Modifying an existing off-the-shelf game leverages the design and resources of game studio development, but researchers are limited in what type of questions they can ask due to the lack of access control on the source code. We present an open-source system that can be used by game researchers to manipulate player experience in a reliable way and at a finer time resolution than has previously been reported. We simulate the experience of success and failure by providing covert assistance or hindrance to a player, as this has been shown to reliably affect player experience measures. Through three studies, we show that the system manipulates experience in an intended and predictable way. With our system, researchers can also modify the experiment design through simple configuration interface - which allows them to quickly create experiment conditions even if they do not possess technical knowledge of game development. There are many research questions that revolve around the experience of in-game success or failure and our tool allows researchers to ask and answer interesting questions in games research through controlled experiments.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
CommitteeStanley, Kevin; Stavness, Ian; McWalter, Emily
Copyright DateJanuary 2018
Games User Research, Player Experience. Research Tool