Developing a hybrid of MMORPG and LARP using usability methods: the case of Takkar


This paper examines the idea of combining Live Action Role-Playing (LARP) and MMORPG into a hybrid game named Takkar. We developed three versions of Takkar in an iterative fashion. In each iteration we constructed and tested game play and features using principles and ideas drawn from game development theory and usability/Participatory Design such as user interviews and expert reviews. Between iterations we made use of LARP-theory and theories of virtual environments to further develop the concept. Considerations of embodiment, concurrency in actions and rich communication emerge as central factors for the successful transfer between the two parts of the hybrid. Usability methods proved effective during game development giving a better and faster understanding of the needs of the players.