The player experience encompasses all the feelings and choices a player has while playing the game. It has to do with elements of the game itself in conjunction with the motivations of the player, the reasons she or he is playing the game.
Start by reading the following linked articles plus the PDFs in the next sections of this tutorial. While reading ask yourself these questions:
1. What is the purpose of playing a game? Who should or must decide that purpose - the designer or the player?
2. What about a game's design makes it "fun"? To what extent is "fun" determined by the designer and to what extent by the player?
3. What are the elements of the design that determine how the player experiences the game?
The tremendous and still growing popularity of computer and video games has inspired Communication Researchers and Media Psychologists to investigate the factors of the enjoyment experienced by the players.
This paper investigates the prevalence of deliberate design for player experience in big game studios, and how potential visions of intended player experience are articulated and communicated to the team in the course of the development process.
Take time this week and sit down with a person, preferably one in the target age range for your project, and observe them as they play a video game of their choosing for about 45 minutes. Write down anything you notice about them as they play - do they talk while playing or go quiet? Are they multi-tasking or fully focused on the game?
Afterwards sit down with them and fill out the IEQ instrument (see next section of the tutorial) with them. Bring your observations and the IEQ results with you to the next class to discuss.
Immersive Experiences Questionnaire (IEQ)
The IEQ was created based on Brown and Cairns (2004)'s conceptualisation of video game immersion (Jennett et al., 2008).
It consists of 31 items that are rated on a likert scale and has been successfully used to indicate participant levels of immersion in several studies (see Jennett et al., 2008; Seah & Cairns, 2008; Sanders & Cairns, 2010).
Source: Jennett, C., Cox, A. L., Cairns, P., Dhoparee, S., Epps, A., Tijs, T. & Walton, A. (2008). Measuring and defining the experience of immersion in games. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 66, 641-661.