Bio: David Milam is an academic researcher from Simon Fraser University. The author has contributed to research in topics: Game design & Game Developer. The author has an hindex of 9, co-authored 18 publications receiving 314 citations.
10 Apr 2010
TL;DR: A set of cooperative patterns identified based on analysis of fourteen cooperative games are presented and validated through inter-rater agreement, and several effective cooperative patterns and lessons for future cooperative game designs are identified.
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.
28 Jul 2010
TL;DR: A set of design patterns for level design was developed based on a process involving interviews with game designers as well as gameplay analysis of different games, and a timeline video annotation method based on these patterns was developed.
Abstract: Video games today increasingly situate play in imaginative 3D worlds. As a result, the industry devotes much time and effort to level design. However, this subject has received very little research. Documentation on the process of level design or how designers push or pull players through a level within a video game is very sparse. In this paper, we propose a set of design patterns for level design. The patterns were developed based on a process involving interviews with game designers as well as gameplay analysis of different games. We established face validity of these patterns through expert review; we also established reliability using inter-rater agreement. In addition, we also developed a timeline video annotation method based on these patterns. This visualization method provides a very effective approach to view players' play style and preference as well as level design problems. The patterns as well as the visualization method will be discussed in the paper.
11 Nov 2008
TL;DR: In this article, the authors provide an analysis of the experience of playing Assassins' Creed from the perspectives of this paper's four co-authors, who represent two different cultural viewpoints: Middle-Eastern and Western, as well as different intellectual disciplinary backgrounds, including architecture, theatre, and computer science.
Abstract: Video game playing is becoming a predominant part of popular culture. Games, like Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft, released 2007), The Sims (Maxis, released 2000), Guitar Hero (RedOctane, released 2005), and World of War Craft (Bilizzard, released 2004), have attracted many players from different cultures and age groups. In this paper, we propose that the experience of playing a video game, like Assassin’s Creed, is a personal experience shaped through one’s emotional values, expectations, knowledge, and attitudes as influenced by culture. To validate this claim, we provide an analysis of the experience of playing Assassins’ Creed from the perspectives of this paper’s four co-authors, who represent two different cultural viewpoints: Middle-Eastern and Western, as well as different intellectual disciplinary backgrounds, including architecture, theatre, and computer science. To someone from the Middle-East, for example, the game aroused many nostalgic feelings through its simulated Middle-Eastern cities, the use of Arabic words, accents and gestures, and the detailed Middle-Eastern architectural design. While such small details meant much when viewed through a Middle-Eastern eye, their values were different when viewed through a Western eye. From a Western perspective, the game play experience was heightened through the beautiful architectural detail and the use of the environment layout as a function of gameplay, such as the use of rooftops for platforming, fast movement and flying-like actions, and stealth. Thus, apparently the way the game was experienced was very different when viewed through people with different cultural backgrounds. In this paper, we aim to show this claim through thorough analysis of the game as experienced by the co¬authors.
19 Jun 2010
TL;DR: This paper investigates the differences between 3D level designs in 21 popular games using one walkthrough play session per game to reveal methods by which designers push and pull players through levels.
Abstract: This paper investigates the differences between 3D level designs in 21 popular games. We have developed a framework to analyze 3D level designs based on patterns extracted from level designers and game play sessions. We then use these patterns to analyze several game play sessions. Results of this analysis reveal methods by which designers push and pull players through levels. We discuss an analysis of these patterns in terms of three level affordance configurations, combat, environmental resistance, and mixed goals in 21 different games using one walkthrough play session per game. By looking at the variety of games, we can further explore the level similarities and differences between games.
TL;DR: An in-depth qualitative content analysis study analyzing users’ interpretations, emotions, and behavioral responses to an interactive narrative called Facade uncovers several useful lessons that can help guide the design of future single user interactive narratives similar to Facade.
Abstract: The topic of interactive narrative has been under research for many years. While there is research exploring the development of new algorithms that enable and enhance interactive narratives, few research projects focused on the question of how users interpret and experience an interactive narrative. In this paper we specifically focus on a single user interactive narrative experience since most work within this area focused on technological advancement and less on measurements of participants’ experiences. Taking this angle, 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 Facade . We analyzed user data, including interviews and action logs, which include dialog uttered between participants and characters that inhabit Facade . Results from this analysis are discussed in the paper along with the methodology used and its limitations. These findings uncover several useful lessons that can help guide the design of future single user interactive narratives similar to Facade .
TL;DR: The authors present the methodology and dataset, which form a sound foundation for forthcoming publications on the empirical results, which comprises data on 2488 respondents in higher education or work organizations.
Abstract: The authors present the methodological background to and underlying research design of an ongoing research project on the scientific evaluation of serious games and/or computer-based simulation games (SGs) for advanced learning. The main research questions are: (1) what are the requirements and design principles for a comprehensive social scientific methodology for the evaluation of SGs?; (2) to what extent do SGs contribute to advanced learning?; (3) what factors contribute to or determine this learning?; and (4) to what extent and under what conditions can SG-based learning be transferred to the real world? In the Netherlands between 2005 and 2012, several hundred SG sessions with 12 SGs were evaluated systematically, uniformly and quantitatively to create a dataset, which comprises data on 2488 respondents in higher education or work organizations. The authors present the research model, the quasi-experimental design and the evaluation instruments. This focus in this paper is on the methodology and dataset, which form a sound foundation for forthcoming publications on the empirical results.
TL;DR: Making games not only more genuinely introduces children to a range of technical skills but also better connects them to each other, addressing the persistent issues of access and diversity present in traditional digital gaming cultures.
Abstract: There has been considerable interest in examining the educational potential of playing video games. One crucial element, however, has traditionally been left out of these discussions—namely, children's learning through making their own games. In this article, we review and synthesize 55 studies from the last decade on making games and learning. We found that the majority of studies focused on teaching coding and academic content through game making, and that few studies explicitly examined the roles of collaboration and identity in the game making process. We argue that future discussions of serious gaming ought to be more inclusive of constructionist approaches to realize the full potential of serious gaming. Making games, we contend, not only more genuinely introduces children to a range of technical skills but also better connects them to each other, addressing the persistent issues of access and diversity present in traditional digital gaming cultures.
26 Apr 2014
TL;DR: A systematic review of 87 quantitative studies suggests that game enjoyment describes the positive cognitive and affective appraisal of the game experience, and may in part be associated with the support of player needs and values.
Abstract: Enjoyment has been identified as a central component of the player experience (PX), but various, overlapping concepts within PX make it difficult to develop valid measures and a common understanding of game enjoyment. We conducted a systematic review of 87 quantitative studies, analyzing different operationalizations and measures of game enjoyment, its determinants, and how these were related to other components of PX, such as flow, presence and immersion. Results suggest that game enjoyment describes the positive cognitive and affective appraisal of the game experience, and may in part be associated with the support of player needs and values. Further, we outline that enjoyment is distinct from flow in that it may occur independently of challenge and cognitive involvement, and argue that enjoyment may be understood as the valence of the player experience. We conclude with a discussion of methodological challenges and point out opportunities for future research on game enjoyment.
05 May 2012
TL;DR: In this article, the authors investigate if altering the level of challenge in a videogame influences people's experience of immersion, and they find that adding time pressure to games does not result in increased immersion.
Abstract: Previous research into the experience of videogames has shown the importance of the role of challenge in producing a good experience. However, defining exactly which challenges are important and which aspects of gaming experience are affected is largely under-explored. In this paper, we investigate if altering the level of challenge in a videogame influences people's experience of immersion. Our first study demonstrates that simply increasing the physical demands of the game by requiring gamers to interact more with the game does not result in increased immersion. In a further two studies, we use time pressure to make games more physically and cognitively challenging. We find that the addition of time pressure increases immersion as predicted. We argue that the level of challenge experienced is an interaction between the level of expertise of the gamer and the cognitive challenge encompassed within the game.