Mental State Transition in Gaming Experiences

Wang Hao Sun Chun-Tsai
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

Theories about sources of fun from video gaming have been developed, such as challenge, reward, learning, growth, immersion, etc. Currently, there is not much work that integrates them. In this paper, we propose a model that describes the dynamics of gamers’ experiences and behaviors utilizing these theories. Experiences and behaviors are presented as mental states in the model, and we analyze the forces that pulls/repels players into/from each of the states. This study is cross game genre: single player, multiplayer, and team match games are included in the framework. We found that reward mechanics and mental efforts are forces that drives state transition. We also believe that players do not stay in certain states for long: dynamic balances and state transitions are essential in keeping long-term gaming experiences.


Effects of Game Design Features on Player-Avatar Relationships and Motivation for Buying Decorative Virtual Items

Wang Hao Ruan Yu-Chun Hsu Sheng-Yi Sun Chun-Tsai
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

Many online game players are developing strong psychological attachments with the avatars they use for gameplay. Player-avatar relationships can affect gaming experiences in terms of enjoyment, immersion, and virtual character identity, among other factors. For this study we tested various propositions regarding the effects of game design features on player-avatar relationships, and the effects of those relationships on decorative virtual item consumption motivation. Participants recruited from 15 online game forums were asked to complete two questionnaires on these topics. Our results indicate significant correlations between player-avatar relationships and both game design features (e.g., death penalties and pet systems) and decorative item consumption motivation. Our results offer insights into how game designers can, to some extent, manage player-avatar relationships by fine-tuning design features, perhaps facilitating marketing objectives in the process.


Rating Logic Puzzle Difficulty Automatically in a Human Perspective

Wang Hao Wang Yu-Wen Sun Chuen-Tsai
2012 DiGRA Nordic '12: Proceedings of 2012 International DiGRA Nordic Conference

Logic puzzle games like Sudoku are getting popular for they are flexible in playing time and space and are useful in education. For puzzles, difficulty is arguably one of the most important factors in problem design. A problem too easy is boring, yet a problem too hard is frustrating. Providing problems with adequate difficulty to avoid boredom or anxiety is thus an important issue. In this paper we rate difficulty level of Sudoku problems with human oriented, general difficulty criteria so that the method can be used to evaluate problems of most logic puzzles. Only few previous Sudoku difficulty research are based on real playing data and the rating methods are limited to Sudoku or at most, constraint satisfaction problems (CSP). We found that the proposed method, despite of its simplicity and generality, can sort Sudoku problems in an order similar to average player solving time, the player perceived difficulty.


Game reward systems: Gaming experiences and social meanings

Wang Hao Sun Chuen-Tsai
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

The authors give an overview of how various video game reward systems provide positive experiences to players, and propose classifications for rewards and reward characteristics for further analysis. We also discuss what reward systems encourage players to do, and describe how they provide fun even before players receive their rewards. Next, we describe how game reward systems can be used to motivate or change behaviors in the physical world. One of our main suggestions is that players can have fun with both rewards and reward mechanisms—enjoying rewards while reacting to the motivation that such rewards provide. Based on relevant psychological theories, we discuss how reward mechanisms foster intrinsic motivation while giving extrinsic rewards. We think that reward systems and mechanisms in modern digital games provide social meaning for players primarily through motivation, enhanced status within gaming societies, and the use of rewards as social tools.