Publication: A Design Framework for Awareness Cues in Distributed Multiplayer Games

In the physical world, teammates develop situation awareness about each other's location, status, and actions through cues such as gaze direction and ambient noise. To support situation awareness, distributed multiplayer games provide awareness cues - information that games automatically make available to players to support cooperative gameplay. The design of awareness cues can be extremely complex, impacting how players experience games and work with teammates. Despite the importance of awareness cues, designers have little beyond experiential knowledge to guide their design. In this work, we describe a design framework for awareness cues, providing insight into what information they provide, how they communicate this information, and how design choices can impact play experience. Our research, based on a grounded theory analysis of current games, is the first to provide a characterization of awareness cues, providing a palette for game designers to improve design practice and a starting point for deeper research into collaborative play.

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Participants

Jason Wuertz Sultan A. Alharthi
William A. Hamilton Scott Bateman
University of New Brunswick
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Anthony Tang
Zachary O. Toups Jessica Hammer

Citation

Wuertz, J., Alharthi, S., Hamilton, W., Bateman, S., Gutwin, C., Tang, A., Toups, Z., Hammer, J. 2018. A Design Framework for Awareness Cues in Distributed Multiplayer Games. In Proceedings of the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2018), Montreal QC, Canada. 14. DOI=10.1145/3173574.3173817.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {532-DesignFramework,
author= {Jason Wuertz and Sultan A. Alharthi and William A. Hamilton and Scott Bateman and Carl Gutwin and Anthony Tang and Zachary O. Toups and Jessica Hammer},
title= {A Design Framework for Awareness Cues in Distributed Multiplayer Games},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2018)},
year= {2018},
address= {Montreal QC, Canada},
pages= {14}
}