Towards Communicative, Collaborative and Constructive Multi-Player Games

Manninen Tony
2002 Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference Proceedings

This paper provides a description and applicable models of the concept of interaction in the context of multi-player games. The description is not restricted to the level of current implementations. More concrete takeaway consists of the conceptual interaction model and the hierarchical interaction model, which can be used as basic guidelines for richer interaction design. Furthermore, the empirical part describes several cases providing deeper insight into the area of combining games and academic research.


Supporting visual elements of non-verbal communication in computer game avatars

Kujanpää Tomi Manninen Tony
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

Communication between players in networked computer games is often inadequately implemented. The games do not exploit the full potential of using different forms of communication possibilities between players, and therefore result in problems in sending and receiving messages. This paper introduces a model that describes how visual aspects of non-verbal communication (NVC) in avatars could be systematically designed. The model can be used as a guideline in the design process of more communicative avatars. The study was conducted using a variety of research methods. The topic has been approached from both the constructive and theoretic-conceptual viewpoints. Nonverbal communication theories have been used as the framework to construct avatars for game environments and to form a model that supports the design of NVC elements into avatars. The primary result of the work is a model that describes how to design more communicative avatars. The model introduces the aspects required when considering the designing of the visual elements of NVC. As an empirical result, the avatars based on the model determine how different elements of NVC work, and how NVC could be used in the avatar context. The results can be applied for design and construction purposes, as well as for further research into the diverse areas of avatar design. The model describes three layers that can be used to guide the work of avatar designers and creators in supporting the visual elements of communication in computer game avatars. The model shows that designers and creators should search for the required elements of the NVC, vary these elements to form a rich set of ways to use them, and finally, personalise the avatars by selecting varied elements for separate avatars to support natural communication.


What’s My Game Character Worth – The Value Components of MMOG Characters

Kujanpää Tomi Manninen Tony Vallius Laura
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

How does one’s game character gain value in online multiplayer game? What are the elements that contribute to the overall virtual identity of a player? Throughout the history of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) game characters have remained central figures for all types of in-game interaction and value perception. Recently, MMOGs have evolved to a stage where at least parts of one’s identity are for sale. In this paper, we apply a motivational framework to analyse the specific value structures of one’s virtual identity. As a result, we indicate how achievement, social and immersive aspects of one’s game character form the personal value that player bestows on the game character. Furthermore, we conclude how these aspects offer possibilities for new business implications on the future MMOGs.


Designing Puzzles for Collaborative Gaming Experience – CASE: eScape

Manninen Tony Korva Tuomo
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

This paper examines the issues of puzzle design in the context of collaborative gaming. The qualitative research approach involves both the conceptual analysis of key terminology and a case study of a collaborative game called eScape. The case study is a design experiment, involving both the process of designing a game environment and an empirical study, where data is collected using multiple methods. The findings and conclusions emerging from the analysis provide insight into the area of multiplayer puzzle design. The analysis and reflections answer questions on how to create meaningful puzzles requiring collaboration and how far game developers can go with collaboration design. The multiplayer puzzle design introduces a new challenge for game designers. Group dynamics, social roles and an increased level of interaction require changes in the traditional conceptual understanding of a single-player puzzle.


Interaction Manifestations at the Roots of Experiencing Multiplayer Computer Games

Vallius Laura Manninen Tony Kujanpää Tomi
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

Today’s computer games offer players stunning audiovisual environments, intense action, adventures, puzzles and crowded worlds with vast amounts of other players to play with. Consequently, play experience is a combination of numerable variables. This study focuses on understanding how interaction manifestations of games participate in the process of experiencing multiplayer game environments. Rich Interaction Model is used as a theoretical framework for analysing experiencing of interaction. Two experimental games are used in the analysis as examples. The results of this study are preliminary guidelines of how interaction manifestations affect experiencing games