Player-Centred Game Design : Experiences in Using Scenario Study to Inform Mobile Game Design Introduction : Players ’ Role in Game Design The Aims of the Research
There is a need for systematic, research-based and tested game design methodologies that take the needs and preferences of different players into better consideration than the current industry practices. In order to investigate the future of pervasive game playing on mobile devices the University of Tampere Hypermedia Laboratorys research project Wireless Gaming Solutions for the Future (MOGAME) has developed a prototype of a persistent multiplayer game. Rather than starting from the research teams own game preferences or by analyzing or imitating existing games, the team decided to commence the game design process by researching different real players and their preferences. The player study used gameplay scenarios that were presented to the informants in a comic strip format. After analysis, the key findings were summarized into design requirements that were then adopted as goals for the game design. A player-centred game design approach like this can be laborious and has its challenges, but it also provided useful information and inspiration for design. Thus, we argue that players should be more involved in game design and development than is currently typical. This paper describes and evaluates the experiences gathered while using a scenario-based player study to inform pervasive mobile game design.