Project: Game Heuristics

Video gaming is a common and popular entertainment. The primary goal of video games is to entertain and engage users. This includes aspects such as storylines, visual and audio effects, and pacing, which are important to the popularity of games. However, most video games require constant interaction; thus, game usability stands a critical role in game development. Failing to make a game usable can cause huge negative effects to the success of the game. Despite the importance of game usability, there are few formal methods for evaluating the usability of games.

Our goal is to develop usability heuristics for game design, so that the heuristics can be used in both mockups and functional game prototypes, resulting in more usable video games.

Participants

David Pinelle
College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Nelson Wong
University of Saskatchewan
Tad Stach
Queen's University
Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan
Ian Livingston
Electronic Arts

Publications

Critic-Proofing: Robust Validation Through Data-Mining
Livingston, I., Nacke, L., Mandryk, R. (2010), Playability and player experience: Proceedings of the Fun and Games 2010 Workshop, NHTV Expertise Series 10. Leuven, Belgium. 81-94. Workshop paper.
Critic-Proofing: How Using Critic Reviews and Game Genres can Refine Heuristic Evaluations
Livingston, I., Mandryk, R., Stanley, K. (2010), FuturePlay 2010, Vancouver, Canada. 48-55. <doi:10.1145/1920778.1920786>
Usability Heuristics for Networked Multiplayer Games
Pinelle, D., Wong, N., Stach, T., Gutwin, C. (2009), Proceedings of GROUP 2009, 169-178. <doi:10.1145/1531674.1531700>
Using Genres to Customize Usability Evaluations of Video Games
Pinelle, D., Wong, N., Stach, T. (2008), Proceedings of Future Play 2008, 129-136. <doi:10.1145/1496984.1497006>
Heuristic Evaluation for Games: Usability Principles for Video Game Design
Pinelle, D., Wong, N., Stach, T. (2008), Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2008), 1453-1462. <doi:10.1145/1357054.1357282>
Gameplay experience testing with playability and usability surveys - An experimental pilot study
Nacke, L., Schild, J., Niesenhaus, J. (2010), Playability and player experience: Proceedings of the Fun and Games 2010 Workshop, NHTV Expertise Series 10. Leuven, Belgium. 31-45. Workshop paper.