Review of Social Features in Social Network Games

Paavilainen Janne Alha Kati Korhonen Hannu
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

Although social network games on Facebook have become popular, their actual sociability has been questioned. In this paper we review the social features of 16 social games and as a result present a list of 30 social features in three categories: presence, communication, and interaction. A common set of features which were found from all examined games are mainly focused on presence and communication aspects, while neglecting player interaction. In addition, social features are primarily used for acquisition and retention purposes, rather than monetization. These findings are useful for the study and design of social features in social games and in other games with social network integration.


Exploring Playful Experiences in Social Network Games

Paavilainen Janne Koskinen Elina Korhonen Hannu Alha Kati
2015 DiGRA '15 - Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference

Social network games are popular pastime for millions of players on Facebook. Despite their popularity, qualitative research on experiences in these games has been scarce. In our study, 110 informants played 23 games on Facebook and reported their experiences using the Playful Experiences (PLEX) framework. We analyzed 110 reports containing 330 PLEX descriptions and present findings from three perspectives. First, we provide an overall analysis on playful experiences in social network games. Then we focus on genre specific experiences in casual puzzle, casual simulation, and mid-core strategy games. Lastly, we provide examples of interesting outlier experiences. Based on our study, Competition, Completion and Challenge are the most common playful experiences in these games. The genre-specific analysis revealed both similarities and differences between the genres, while the outlier experiences provide new perspectives on social network games. Through the PLEX framework, this research helps to understand the playful experiences in social network games.


Playability and Player Experience Research [Panel Abstracts]

Nacke Lennart E. Drachen Anders Kuikkaniemi Kai Niesenhaus Joerg Korhonen Hannu Hoogen Wouter M. van den Poels Karolien IJsselsteijn Wijnand A. IJsselsteijn
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

As the game industry matures and games become more and more complex, there is an increasing need to develop scientific methodologies for analyzing and measuring player experience, in order to develop a better understanding of the relationship and interactions between players and games. This panel gathers distinguished European playability and user experience experts to discuss current findings and methodological advancements within player experience and playability research.


Player Perception of Context Information Utilization in Pervasive Mobile Games

Paavilainen Janne Korhonen Hannu Saarenpää Hannamari Holopainen Jussi
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

Pervasive games combine real world and virtual game elements in game design. A player might need to find WiFi hot spots, move to different locations based on mobile network cell IDs, or to do certain tasks at different times of the day. These are just few examples how the real world elements can be utilized in game design. The possibilities for using this kind of context information seem versatile, but there is very little knowledge about how players perceive these features. In this paper, we describe a user study where we investigated utilization of multiple context information types in a pervasive mobile game. The results indicate that context information creates a new challenge layer to the game as the players also need to consider issues outside the game world. In addition, the players found context utilization interesting, but it should be carefully explained for what purposes context elements are used in the game design. If the players do not understand the connection between the context and the game design, the feature is not attractive. In our study, time of the day was perceived as the most interesting context information in the game because the utilization was straightforward and easily understood by the players.