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How expert players choose and play strongly identifiable characters: A study of how players behave and strategize in character-based shooter games
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media. (Human - Computer Interaction)
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [sv]

Olika spel har olika val för spelare vad gäller spelkaraktärer. I en del spel får spelare välja mellan karaktärer med definierade utseenden, egenskaper och roller. En typ av dessa spelkaraktärer kallas hjältar, vilka är skapade speciellt för ett spel eller också är de redan kända från annan media så som filmer. Online multiplayer skjutspel är en kategori av spel som kan innehålla hjältar, där spelare tävlar mot andra spelare. Detta projekt har utforskat hur olika hjältar från olika online multiplayer karaktärsbaserade skjutspel spelas. Målet var att undersöka hur expertspelare väljer och spelar olika hjältar i dessa spel genom att titta på varför spelare valde olika hjältar, deras beteende med dem och vilka strategier de använde. I projektet utfördes två speltest på två olika karaktärsbaserade online multiplayer skjutspel, en studie inkluderade intervjuer. 

 

Studierna resulterade i olika aspekter som visades påverka deltagarnas val av hjälte och val av strategier. Dessa aspekter inkluderade interna aspekter så som deltagarnas preferenser och förväntningar, och externa aspekter så som speldesignerna och andra spelare. Det visade sig att för att göra meningsfulla beslut i spelen så krävdes en viss kunskap av spelen och dess hjältar. Strategier var också beroende av hur hjältarna var designade och deras funktioner. Det visades också att deltagarna tog olika beslutsvägar. Antingen så valde deltagarna först en hjälte att spela med och anpassade därefter strategierna till den valda hjälten, eller så valde deltagarna en hjälte med en strategi i åtanke. De olika beslutsvägarna markerade olika behov hos spelarna angående speldesign. Om valet av hjälte var det första så var kraven på speldesign att få en bild utav hjältens karaktär, om istället valet av strategi var det första så var kraven på speldesign mer om att få information om funktionaliteten hos hjältarna. 

Abstract [en]

Heroes are a category of game characters that have a defined set of abilities and predefined roles. Depending on game, the heroes have different functionalities and roles, and are either created for the game and its lore, or are already known from other medias. Heroes occur in different types of games, including online multiplayer shooter games where players compete online in teams against other players. The following project has focused on exploring how different kinds of heroes, in different online multiplayer character-based shooter games, are played. The aim of the project was to investigate how expert players chose and played heroes in online multiplayer shooter games by looking at reasons behind hero choices, player behavior and used strategies when playing different heroes. Two playtest studies have been carried out on two different online multiplayer character-based shooter games, one study including interviews. 

The result of the studies demonstrated that hero choice and strategy choice was affected by different aspects including internal factors such as player preferences and expectations, as well as external factors such as game design and other players. It was found knowledge of the game and its heroes to some extent were needed to make meaningful decisions in the game. Strategies used and behaviors with the heroes were dependent on the design of the heroes. Furthermore, it was found that participants took different decision paths, either first choosing hero and thereafter adjusting the strategy to the chosen hero, or choosing a hero with a strategy already in mind. Choosing hero first, participants were affected by internal and external factors. Choosing strategy first, the influencing aspect were only internal. These paths highlighted different player needs in game design. If choosing hero first the player needs concerned understanding the hero as a character, and if choosing strategy first the player needs concerned getting information about the functionality of the heroes. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 55
National Category
Human Aspects of ICT
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-331757OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-331757DiVA, id: diva2:1150055
External cooperation
EA Digital Illusions CE AB
Subject / course
Human-Computer Interaction
Educational program
Master Programme in Human-Computer Interaction
Presentation
2017-08-31, Ekonomikum, 16:20 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-10-18 Created: 2017-10-17 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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