Published Papers

1- Understanding and Evaluating Cooperative Games

Abstract: Cooperative design has been an integral part of many games. With the success of games like Left4Dead, many game designers and producers are currently exploring the addition of cooperative patterns within their games. Unfortunately, very little research investigated cooperative patterns or methods to evaluate them. In this paper, we present a set of cooperative patterns identified based on analysis of fourteen cooperative games. Additionally, we propose Cooperative Performance Metrics (CPM). To evaluate the use of these CPMs, we ran a study with a total of 60 participants, grouped in 2-3 participants per session. Participants were asked to play four cooperative games (Rock Band 2, Lego Star Wars, Kameo, and Little Big Planet). Videos of the play sessions were annotated using the CPMs, which were then mapped to cooperative patterns that caused them. Results, validated through inter-rater agreement, identify several effective cooperative patterns and lessons for future cooperative game designs.

Keywords: Game Design, Cooperative Patterns, Cooperative Game Design, User Experience, Testing, Engagement.


2- The Effect of Age, Gender, and Previous Gaming Experience on Game Play Performance

Abstract: It is common sense that people don’t play games that are too difficult for them. Thus Game developers need to understand the performance abilities of players. Several studies suggest a clear dissimilarity in video game playing abilities between different genders and age groups. In this paper, we report on a study investigating impact of age, gender and previous gaming experience on gameplay performance. The study explored the performance of 60 kids 6-16 years old within three video games: Rock Band 2, Lego Star Wars and Kameo. The paper outlines clear impact of age and gender and less prior gaming experience on performance parameters: score and game progression.

Keywords: Game Play Performance, Player Modeling, Game Design.

3- Experiencing Interactive Narrative: A qualitative analysis of Façade

Abstract: The topic of interactive narrative has been under research for many years. While there has
been much research exploring the development of new algorithms that enable and enhance interactive
narratives, there has been little research focusing on the question of how players interpret and
experience an interactive narrative. Most previous research targeted evaluating a technological
advancement. In this paper we take a different approach. We aim to report on an in-depth qualitative
content analysis study, specifically analyzing users’ interpretations, emotions, and behavioral responses
to an interactive narrative called Façade. An independent experienced psychologist, who has over 15
years of experience in psycho-therapy, was hired to analyze user data, including interviews and scene
logs which include dialogue uttered between participants and characters that inhabit Façade. In this
paper, we discuss the results of the study and limitations of the approach. The results discussed
contribute useful design lessons for future interactive narratives.

Keywords: Design, Interactive Narrative, Storytelling

4- A Guided Teaching Pattern-based Method for Game Design Camps for Middle and High Schools Kids