Publication: Those are not the Stories you are Looking For: Using Text Prototypes to Evaluate Game Narratives Early

In game design, evaluation is important to do early and often; however, evaluating game narratives early in development is an open problem. We don't know how the evaluation of a game narrative will be affected when it is experienced outside of the context of the game's mechanics and graphics. In this paper, we test the plausibility of using a text-based narrative prototype, by evaluating player experience and narrative experience in two studies using different game genres. In both studies, we compare the narrative evaluation of low- and high-fidelity graphics, but in study 1 (N=78), we kept interaction mechanics intact, and in study 2 (N=124), we removed game interaction in the text prototype. We observed no significant differences in player experience or narrative engagement in either study, indicating that text-based narrative prototypes could be an effective playtesting tool for game studios to integrate into their development cycle early.

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Participants

Jason Bowey Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan

Citation

Bowey, J.T., Mandryk, R.L. 2017. Those are not the Stories you are Looking For: Using Text Prototypes to Evaluate Game Narratives Early. In Proceedings of the 2017 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, Amsterdam, Netherlands. DOI=10.1145/3116595.3116636.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {500-nareval_camera_FINAL,
author= {Jason Bowey and Regan Mandryk},
title= {Those are not the Stories you are Looking For: Using Text Prototypes to Evaluate Game Narratives Early},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the 2017 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play},
year= {2017},
address= {Amsterdam, Netherlands}
}