The hidden intricacy of loot box design: A granular description of random mone-tized reward features

Ballou Nick Gbadamosi Charles Zendle David
2022 DiGRA ’22 – Proceedings of the 2022 DiGRA International Conference: Bringing Worlds Together

While loot boxes are frequently treated as a monolithic feature of games by re-searchers and policymakers, loot box implementations are not uniform: the features of loot boxes vary widely from game to game in ways that may have important consequences for player spending and behavior. In this work, we attempt to illustrate the nuance present in loot box implementation in a preliminary Loot Box Features model (LoBoF v0.1). Using our lived experience, a qualitative coding exercise of 141 games, and consultation with an industry professional, we identify 32 categorical features of loot box-like mechanics that might be expected to influence player behavior or spending, which we group into 6 domains: point of purchase, pulling procedure, contents, audiovisual presentation, unpaid engagement, and social. We conclude with a discussion of potential implications of this wide variation in loot box design for researchers, regulators, and players.


Designing Fun: A Method to Identify Experiential Elements in Analog Abstract Games

Dhamelia Malay Dalvi Girish
2022 DiGRA ’22 – Proceedings of the 2022 DiGRA International Conference: Bringing Worlds Together

To play a game, players interact with the game system by following rules. Upon interaction, different properties emerge. The experience of fun is one of the fundamental emergent properties that players seek from a game. There are many conceptual viewpoints of fun; yet, little research on how a rule system’s qualities help create fun. We present a qualitative empirical method that connects the players’ fun experience in context to the rule system. We describe the protocol for the method and its rationales. Two case studies employing our method on abstract analog (non-digital) games are presented. Our method helps researchers identify experiential elements of games and design-attributes to modulate them. The design-attributes also aid in interpreting the conditions generated by the rule system for fun to emerge. Lastly, we discuss the method’s strengths in terms of findings and potential applications in research and practice.


The Principal Characteristics of a Serious Game to Ensure Its Effective Design

Ben Amara Besma Sellami Hedia Mhiri Ben Said Amjed
2022 DiGRA ’22 – Proceedings of the 2022 DiGRA International Conference: Bringing Worlds Together

Serious games (SG) adoption increased in multiple fields. As a first step towards a global SG design approach, it is crucial to characterize the game intended. However, there is still a lack of what the principal and necessary characteristics are to specify SG. This paper explores SG Characteristics (SGCs) to bridge this gap by first analyzing features from SG studies in different domains (education, health, business) and purposes (SG classification, learning impacts, design, and evaluation), then identifying shared features. The findings showed 12 high-level abstraction classes of characteristics, which we named Common SGCs (CSGCs), reducing features overlapping and describing the general structure of the game. The CSGCs set serves as a foundation for SG design and reusability. It also provides the main criteria for SG classification and evaluation. Designers could implement CSGCs by matching each one of them with related concrete game mechanics plethora. We present future research directions in the scope of the SG design approach using the CSGCs proposal.


Playing For Keeps: Digital Games to Preserve Indigenous Languages & Traditions.

Harbord Charly Lyons David Dempster Euan
2022 DiGRA ’22 – Proceedings of the 2022 DiGRA International Conference: Bringing Worlds Together

This paper examines the potential for digital games to be used as a conduit to preserve and share Indigenous languages and traditions. It does this by interviewing game industry and academic representatives from a variety of Indigenous communities around the world to ask their opinions on the topic via three questions. The paper aims to provide justification for a model of co-design utilizing the methodology of two-eyed seeing which allows Indigenous communities to be involved in every step of the design process and also to retain Sovereignty over their cultural practices and how they are portrayed and shared with the wider populace. The benefits of which may be felt by not only the Indigenous communities themselves but also communities like DiGRA as it will help to inform and build lasting bonds between the game industry/academia and Indigenous peoples.


Design of a Serious Game for Cybersecurity Ethics Training

Ryan Malcolm McEwan Mitchell Sansare Vedant Formosa Paul Richards Deborah Hitchens Michael
2022 DiGRA ’22 – Proceedings of the 2022 DiGRA International Conference: Bringing Worlds Together

Serious moral games offer a tool for moral development that can help players translate ‘head knowledge’ of ethical principles into habits of everyday practice. In this paper, we present the design process behind one such game: Prescott & Krueger, a serious game for training information technology students in cybersecurity ethics. Our design draws on the Four Component Model of moral intelligence and the Morality Play model for serious moral game design. We reflect on how these models influenced our design process. The Four Component Model proved a useful set of lenses for developing learning outcomes and game narrative and mechanics, however the more prescriptive Morality Play model was more difficult to apply as the development of a sophisticated ‘moral toy’ required modelling both low-level cybersecurity systems and high-level ethical interpretations. We reflect on the broader implications of this problem for serious moral game design.


Towards a Model of the Design Process for Games

Healy John P. Cullen Charlie
2022 DiGRA ’22 – Proceedings of the 2022 DiGRA International Conference: Bringing Worlds Together

In this paper, we present an approach to studying the game design process by drawing upon general models of design to support research into the process of game design. Several general models of design exist to consider the processes through which designers work. Many of these fit within a structure of analysis, synthesis and evaluation that was first proposed by Christopher Jones in 1963 and later adapted by Bryan Lawson to account for the messy nature of design and the undertaking of these activities while negotiating between problem and solution. This paper proposes the adaptation of Lawson’s model of design to study the activities of game designers and to potentially find opportunities to improve and refine the process of game design. Specifically, the paper seeks to propose a model for facilitating the study of the game design process as it relates to the individual actions designers take when developing games.