Publication: Critic-Proofing: How Using Critic Reviews and Game Genres can Refine Heuristic Evaluations

Heuristic evaluation - a technique where experts inspect software and determine where the application violates predetermined policies for good usability - is an effective technique for evaluating productivity software. The technique has recently been applied to video games, examining playability and usability for both single and multiplayer games. However, the severity ratings assigned to usability problems and used as a coarse categorization method for triage are still subjectively and somewhat arbitrarily assigned by evaluators, offering limited organizational value. In addition, they fail to account for the diversity found between games and game genres. In this paper we present a modified heuristic evaluation technique, which produces a prioritized list of heuristic violations based on the problem's frequency, impact, persistence, the heuristic it violates, and the game's genre. We evaluate our technique in a case study and show that the technique provides substantial value with little additional effort.

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Participants

Ian Livingston
Electronic Arts
Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan
Kevin Stanley

Projects

Game Heuristics
Video gaming is a common and popular entertainment. The primary goal of video games is to entertain and engage users.

Citation

Livingston, I.J., Mandryk, R.L., Stanley, K. 2010. Critic-Proofing: How Using Critic Reviews and Game Genres can Refine Heuristic Evaluations. In FuturePlay 2010, Vancouver, Canada. 48-55. DOI=10.1145/1920778.1920786.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {184-p48-livingston,
author= {Ian Livingston and Regan Mandryk and Kevin Stanley},
title= {Critic-Proofing: How Using Critic Reviews and Game Genres can Refine Heuristic Evaluations},
booktitle= {FuturePlay 2010},
year= {2010},
address= {Vancouver, Canada},
pages= {48-55}
}