Take GUESSwork out of video game satisfaction


Take GUESSwork out of video game satisfaction

People who play video tend to worry about buying new games – they don’t know if it’s really fun to play games. So before they decide to buy, read the reviews and try out games at a store or friend’s home.

Game designers have similar problems – how to create the next great breakthrough game, which will attract millions of fans and make millions of dollars. As a result, they engage in what they call “game testing,” introducing gamers to games that are being built and giving feedback to their attitudes and preferences for new games.

Some designers have a simple question: is the game interface easy to understand and operate? Other, more complex, art tastes: do you like the graphics of the game? The deepest level of doubt has to do with the gaming experience: are you so obsessed with games that you lose your time or where you are?

But it’s hard to understand the exact meaning of the test’s answer, and it’s harder to figure out how to consider the different ideas of multiple players. In order to best understand the player’s response to a particular game, what are the best questions developers have to ask the tester? Is there a way to objectively measure players’ subjective enjoyment of any given video game?

Look at games and research

We and our doctoral Mikki Phan together, from the “world of warcraft” and “new super Mario bros.” to “candy crush saga” and “trivial cracks” and other popular types of 450 different games. We developed the GUESS – game user experience satisfaction rating scale. It can help determine which aspects of the game help users enjoy and help developers introduce their experiences to players.

Through a very thorough analysis of more than 1,300 participants, we identified nine factors that combined to provide a complete game with satisfactory images. These include:

Usability/playability – the learnability of games, and the immediacy of game interfaces and menu systems. In world of warcraft game of large space and many actions need time to learn, “Madden 17” by providing a series of actions and their respective controller button to improve playability, in order to easily control the NFL star on the screen.

Narrative – the story elements of how to play a fascinating game, and how to play the story in the game. The foundation of the new super Mario bros. is a relentless, simple trip to save the princess peach. “Radiation: the new Vegas” offers a fascinating, deep emotional journey to discover what unidentified killer leaves the player “dead” in the wasteland.

Play the game – the game triggers the state of immersion, including losing time and excitement while playing the game. In “radiation 3”, players are brought into a nuclear wasteland that will never stop and opportunity.

Enjoy – how interesting this game is to players. The “lego movie game” continues to provide players with the protagonist’s ignorance and reference blockbusters.

Creative freedom – how games stimulate curiosity and allow imaginative control. In “my world”, players are free to choose the world, including mining resources, construction structures and handicrafts.

Audio aesthetics – how attractive players find music and sound effects. For example, “Star Wars: the front line” has a complete score that changes when the scene changes.

Visual aesthetics – how attractive players find the graphics of the game. “Extreme racing 6” players can open their doors, hoods and suitcases in highly detailed vehicles through a variety of scenic environments, showing off every sweet journey.

Personal satisfaction – how to motivate the game is to play and continue to play. In “talking to friends”, players are essentially playing the same game with different people, but they often want to play. “Shanggu scroll 5: the sky” increases the player’s level, pushes the player to continue to play and rewards with higher power, ability and ability.

Social connection-how games let live people play games. In “pokemon go”, players do not support chat, and friends cannot choose to play against each other. The league of heroes players must carefully communicate and coordinate strategies with teammates to defeat the enemy.

Use the results

Industry, game developers and consumers will find value in GUESS. The industry can use GUESS as a tool to assess which aspects of the game can help users to be satisfied and as a tool to help users listen to their game experiences.

GUESS’s score can be calculated by looking at the specific elements of each factor, scoring a score of 1 to 7 on the game performance of the factor. To get the total score of the game and synthesize all the factors, we averaged nine points. This allows us to compare different games directly.

But it provides more information than simply saying one game is better than another. For example, perhaps a first-person shooter than major massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) has a much higher availability, audio and visual aesthetic, but an MMORPG to narrative, creative freedom and social connectivity has been high score.

Developers can use this information to scale up the game to help them discover their strengths. They can also find places where their designs can be improved. For example, adding a narrative element to a first-person shooter can make other games cross. Or more investment in MMORPG’s music, which could make it stand out from other similar games.

Consumers can use the GUESS score to help them choose what is important to them. If you like a lot of graphics and cool sounds, but don’t know what type of game you want to buy, you can look for a game with a high score in the aspect you’re looking for. Also, if you don’t care about sound or story, because you plan of waiting in line at the same time on the phone to play games, then you may need some social components, these components can be easily and attractive.


We hope that others will expand our research and learn more about the playability of the game – and improve the GUESS – we have already offered it for free under Creative Commons license. Learning about the fun people enjoy in video games can make games and players experience better.


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