Almost every major game production studio is shifting its development process and culture to be more player-centric. Production now focuses on these important areas for the best results: Community management, analytics, UX design, and games user research.
The most successful video games share some key characteristics, one such characteristic being a simple and exciting universe that focuses on immersing the player in the game and making it easy for them to grasp how to win. By using psychology and human sciences, ‘UX’ (or ‘user experience’) programmers and designers have built better gameplay experiences for their users. The are various games, including online casino games and video games like The Last of Us, and Monument Valley, which have credited UX with helping to create seminal video games and retain a loyal, thriving customer base.
The variety of terms, techniques, and viewpoints used in UX might be perplexing – what exactly does it do? Who is it intended for? So, for developers or civilians who aren’t familiar with UX or want a quick primer, here’s a list of valuable tips collected from the game’s various systems—starting with the question “What is game user experience (UX)? “
What is Game User Experience (UX)?
User experience (UX) is a design theory and discipline that focuses on the psychology of the end-user — or, in the case of the games listed above, the player — and their behaviors, thought processes, and capacities. UX is part of a more extensive arsenal for ensuring that the experience you’ve created is accurately reflected in your player’s thoughts. It combines data collection, an iterative design process, and several sorts of testing with real players with a proper understanding of players’ behaviors and thought processes.
What Does it Mean to You and Your Game?
UX is always there to help, moving back and forth between assisting with design and then testing it on real people. This technique, as a whole, eliminates significant risks associated with creating things for people to use, such as”’complexity creep”, which refers to games that are difficult to comprehend, and having to redo work over and over because players just don’t understand it. Using UX means less duplication of work.
How Can I Tell Whether My Game Requires UX Help?
It isn’t easy to stay neutral while discussing something you’ve created or with which of you’re intimately aware. It’s easy to become blind to the causes of discrepancies between our game’s design and real-world player experience. Being unaware of these issues can harm our games since the sense of fun and enjoyment we know resides in our players may not be realized the way we want.
The problem of not knowing if gamers have the expected experience might cause unnecessary complications throughout the already complex development process:
Be ready to ask yourself – will the players understand the rules of the game? Will they fully understand the concept? Do we require extra or different features? Are the ones we have sufficient? Is the game’s friction where we want it to be and is it balanced? Is the game experience good enough for us to release it right now? What aspects of the game require our attention throughout iteration? Leaving these questions unanswered, or worse, just taking guesses instead of doing the research, causes games to deviate significantly from their intended experience. This means that players don’t “find the pleasure,” resulting in lost development time, investments not being recouped and lost profits.
What are the Options for Dealing with Problems?
To reduce these risks, you need someone on the team who can maintain creative objectivity and impartiality. Someone who comprehends various player audiences’ perceptions, thoughts, and learning processes to provide valuable feedback. Because with that feedback you can evaluate a player’s experience with game mechanics on a piece-by-piece basis as well as take ownership of the player-centric development process right from the start.
These, in a nutshell, are the responsibilities of “user experience” (or “UX”) specialists.
Games user experience is a science and design discipline that focuses on solving the challenges of creating games that deliver on their experiential objective. It employs structured methods and job roles to identify problems in a game’s design and communication with the user. UX draws on a collection of academic knowledge about human-centered design that spans decades of research in various fields. Without UX techniques, games which have obstacles intrinsic to creativity, such as a lack of impartiality and difficulties training and accommodating players who don’t look or think as we do, would never make it past development.
So take another look with a different perspective at The Last of Us, Portal, Destiny, Monument Valley, Clash Royale and see that it takes more than luck to feature in the top games of all time.