Game Research

Blog by the game research group

Our students’ 2017 thesis works, part 1

Our students has been doing some great stuff in their Bachelor Thesis at 2017 (in alphabetical order).

Bräysy, A. and Arkö, A. Fourth Wall Manipulation in Digital Games and its Impact on the Gameplay Experience (fulltext)

This thesis explores how manipulation of the fourth wall can affect players’ Gameplay Experience in digital games, due to the lack of any significant research regarding the matter. In preparation of the study, multiple commercially released digital games with instances of fourth wall manipulation were analysed. This led to the creation of four distinct game design patterns. These patterns were implemented into a game artefact specifically created for the study, which was played by eight participants. After playing, the participants were interviewed about how they experienced the game artefact. The results show that the majority of the patterns had a positive effect on both the participants’ immersion and engagement, which both form part of the Gameplay Experience model.

Cautin, S. and Holmström, M. Uppfattning av karaktärsroller genom visuell design: Tolkning av associationer, utrustning och kroppsattribut i MOBA-spel (fulltext, in Swedish)

This qualitative study analyses how gamers perceive and visually interpret characters from two MOBA games: League of Legends, and Defense of the Ancients 2, to broaden the research of visual character design. Subjects were randomly presented with an image and a video of one of six characters from either game. Interviews and thematic analysis reveal that gamers are able to explain a character’s personality and role in the game with help from visual attributes, shapes, animations and abilities, despite the lack of a presented backstory. The top-down view and the absence of a traditional narrative forced gamers to pay attention to the characters’ abilities, body attributes, visual expressions and movement patterns. Gamers perceived characters in the video differently from the image because of their in-game presentation, which also influenced believability of the character.

Flodén, A. Tutorials effect on learning in digital games. (fulltext, in Swedish)

This paper researches how players with different experiences in games can learn and experience a tutorial. The purpose of this study is to get a better understanding about the practical application of a tutorial and how it needs to be adjusted for different kinds of audiences for them to be able to learn and understand the game. This qualitative study was conducted with 12 participants, six men and six women, who played through a tutorial in a First-Person Puzzle Platform game. The study showed that people with different experiences learn and experience very differently from one another and that the tutorial should be adjusted so that the targeted audience can understand, control and play as they wish.

Gast, A. Identification with Game Characters: Effects of visual attributes on the identification process between players and characters (fulltext)

Concept of identity within digital games is believed to be a prominent subject as the bond between the player and the character could potentially enhance the gameplay experience. There is as yet a lack of studies addressing the visual identification of predefined game characters. Therefore, this study aims to examine how the identification is established through visual attributes of a game character. To this end, a qualitative online survey was undertaking, gathering responses from 350 respondents. The responses were analysed using thematic analysis, and the elicited themes indicate that the identification has in fact been established, where visual attributes such as hair, weapons, outfits and even abilities had an influence on how the participants perceived and identified themselves with the character.

Hellqvist, M. and Härjeström, H. Measuring the Impact of Heads-Up Display on Player Experience in FPS Games (fulltext)

In this study, we investigate the effect of Heads-Up Display on player experience and performance when playing the first person shooter games Battlefield 1 and Battlefield 4. Participants played a mission twice, once with Heads-Up Display and once without. After each session, the participant answered a PENS questionnaire. The amount of enemies killed and the amount of times the player character died during the session was recorded. No significant differences were found other than that the participants who answered that they only played first person shooter games a few times every month killed more enemies with the Heads-Up Display active, and that the overall amount of kills was generally lower when the Heads-Up Display was active.

More thesis in the part 2.

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