Summary: Game testing researches the notion of fun. Compared with mainstream UX studies, it involves many more users and relies more on biometrics and custom software. The most striking findings from the Games User Research Summit were the drastic age and gender differences in motivation research.
What stands out about the latest release in the Grand Theft Auto series is the overwhelming size of the game’s map and storyline. However, after playing the game for a while, it becomes apparent that Rockstar Games has done an excellent job at balancing the game by utilizing multiple characters to provide just enough open-endedness for players to explore, while also constraining in-game activities with careful narrative design to keep engagement high during gameplay.
As game-based learning gains momentum in education circles, teachers increasingly want substantive proof that games are helpful for learning. The game-makers at the non-profit GlassLab are hoping to do this with the popular video game SimCity.
GlassLab is working with commercial game companies, assessment experts, and those versed in digital classrooms to build SimCityEDU, a downloadable game designed for sixth graders. Scheduled to be be released in the fall of 2013, it builds on SimCity’s city management theme, but provides specific challenges to players in the subject of STEM.
New Nintendo Wii, Star Wars Game Using Microsoft’s Kinect, and PlayStation Vita Portable
Coverage update from the world’s leading video game conference: the E3 Expo in Los Angeles
Situated Research is bringing you the hot news from the world’s largest annual video game conference, the E3 Expo, which began this week in Los Angeles. So far, Nintendo has announced it’s next-generation console, called the Wii U, and Sony has launched a new handheld called the PlayStation Vita. Microsoft has announced some interesting new games for the Kinect, including Star Wars, Disneyland Adventures, and Halo 4.
As a fan of football games, going back to the days of classics like Tecmo Bowl (NES), we were excited to play this year’s redesign of the successful Madden NFL series. We can report that Madden NFL ’11 is the most realistic, graphically stunning, and holistic football simulation to date. However, the new “GameFlow” play calling system has many hardcore Madden fans up in arms, due to the departure from classic play calling in football games. We will discuss some of the new features in Madden NFL ’11, why GameFlow is a step in the right direction, and some features that could be improved for next year’s release of Madden NFL.