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Institute of Computer Graphics
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Game User Research (GUR)

Lecturer: Claire Dormann

Games User Research relates to human-computer interaction, user experience design, game development and computer science. As acknowledged by the game industry, Games User Research (GUR) has become an important part of designing and developing games. It leads to better and more playful games, and increase games competitiveness as well as players retention.

Games that are hard to control or that confuse users by not providing sufficient feedback become quickly frustrating. Moreover, games need to be tested for bugs and design flaws before release. Developers need to know how convenient it is for players to interact with the game elements including the user interface, gaming controls, tutorials, etc. As importantly, designers have to find out if the game is enjoyable, fun or may drive players crazy.

GUR ©https://www.playerresearch.com/learn/what-is-games-user-experience-ux-and-how-does-it-help-copy/

The course focused on understanding and measuring players’ behaviours, experiences and preferences in order to enhance game design, for example to increase games competitiveness and players retention. It is designed to provide students with the opportunity to acquire basic knowledge of methods used to evaluate games, and develop skills in GUR through hands-on practice. Throughout the course, students will participate in, design and carry out, games evaluation and assessment in small teams.

Syllabus content

Part 1: Playing and Developing Games
- Introduction to Game User Research,
- Context-- Game Design and Development
- Knowing Players: Player Profiles and Player Experiences (PX)

Part 2: GUR methods
- Introduction to Research Methods
- From Game Usability and Playtesting to Fun
- Special Case: Evaluation of Serious Games
- Analytics and Game Metrics

Part 3: Evaluating games: from mobile to video games
- GUR in the Development Process
- Setting up and conducting evaluation
- Case studies
- Applications  

Readings, from
- Bromley S. (2021) How to be a games user researcher, gamesuserrearch.com
- Lankoski, P., & Björk, S. (2015). Game research methods: An overview.
- Isbister, K., and Schaffer, N. (2008) Game usability: Advancing the player experience. CRC press
- Additional articles and references, videos and tools will be provided throughout the course.