Playtesting Forms

I wrote up consent and information forms based on my ethics from and proposal and then made a questionnaire and interview questions based on my framework for case studies and the way I wrote about Proteus.

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Participant Consent Form

Project Title: Meditational Games: FX Art, the Formal Elements and Aesthetics Led Design

I agree to take part in the above University of Abertay, Dundee undergraduate research project.  I have read and understand the full the information sheet provided and have also had further opportunity to ask questions.  I understand that agreeing to take part means that:

  • I participate in a single session and following debriefing.
  • I consent to being filmed whilst partaking in the session.
  • I consent to my comments being used anonymously within the project’s written documentation and online blog.
  • I will be asked to play though a short prototype. I understand I can stop playing at any time.
  • I will be asked to complete a short questionnaire before and after using the prototype.  I understand I don’t have to answer any question I do not wish to.
  • I am over the age of 18.
  • I am aware that playing the prototype may alter my mood.
  • I have no issues with watching moving or projected images.
  • I am aware of whom to contact for further information regarding this study.

Data Protection

I understand that any information I provide is confidential and anonymous, and that no identifiable information will be disclosed in any reports on the project, or to any other part in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. All information will be stored securely on University M drives and will be destroyed when the project is completed.

Withdrawal from study

I understand that my participation is voluntary; that I can choose not to participate in part or all of the project, and that I can withdraw at any stage of the project.

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Participant Information Sheet

Project Title: Meditational Games: FX Art, the Formal Elements and Aesthetics Led Design

Project Context:

Despite the medium’s status as an art form, it can be argued that the current computer game market lacks diversity in terms of emotional output. When designing emotionally effecting games, an aesthetic led process may be beneficial to the intended outcome of the work. An often overlooked aspect of visual art for games, FX art can use the formal elements of art to create stunning designs. As classic art relied heavily on these elements to create mood and meaning, this project proposes that they can be used to create emotionally effecting games. Player presence is the idea that the media reality becomes a game player’s dominant reality, effectively separating the player from the real world. This removal is akin to a meditational experience, where extreme relaxation is felt. The project seeks to create a meditational game that will provide an experience different from the norm in computer games, diversifying the emotional bounds of interactive media.

Project Aims and Objectives:

Project Aim

To create a piece of aesthetics driven interactive media that explores how the formal elements of art can be applied to game effects to create player presence and relaxation.

Project Objectives

  1. Examine how emotion and aesthetics driven game experiences influence their players.
  2. Create effects animation for games that uses the formal elements of art to affect a player emotionally.
  3. Create a relaxation driven experience in the form of interactive media where the player feels present within the game world.

Participant Information:

As a project participant, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire about your current mood and state of relaxation before playing a prototype game. You will have the option of stopping play or leaving the study at any time. Whist playing, you are invited to use think aloud protocol, articulating your thoughts and feelings whilst playing. This is entirely optional but will be very useful in terms of research data. You will be filmed whist playing so that your facial expressions, body language and reactions can be noted. You can take part in the research without being filmed if this is more comfortable for you.

After playing, you will be asked to complete another questionnaire about your mood and relaxation. You will then be asked to talk a little about your experience and answer some questions about your opinion of specific elements of the game.

This should take about 30 minutes of your time.

Contact Information:

Should you have any questions regarding the project, you should contact Amy Stevens by e-mail at 1201419@abertay.ac.uk.

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Presence Mood Questionnaire

Before Play

Statement Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree or

Disagree

Disagree Strongly Disagree
I feel relaxed and calm.
My mood is positive.
I have a lot on my mind.
I feel stressed.
I feel anxious.
I feel present in the moment. *

*I am fully aware of and am paying attention to what is happening in this moment. I am not distracted, worried or dwelling on past/future incidents.

During Play

Statement Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree or

Disagree

Disagree Strongly Disagree
I felt relaxed and calm.
My mood was positive.
I had a lot on my mind.
I felt stressed.
I felt anxious.
I felt present in the moment.*
I felt present in the game.**

**I was fully aware of and was paying attention to what was happening in the game world. I was unware and uncaring of what was happening in the real world. I was not distracted, worried or dwelling on past/future incidents.

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Presence Interview Points

Let the participant guide the discussion as much as possible. Do not use questions/prompts unless completely necessary. As well as noting what they say, note the order of comments, as this may indicate what was important to the player.

Make sure to note when and where particular feelings were felt.

Feelings

Did they feel present?

Did they feel relaxed?

Did they feel positive?

Did they feel awe?

Did they feel contentment?

Experience

Did they enjoy the overall experience?

Were they engaged or bored?

How did the different lighting/fx states affect their experience and feelings?

Did they feel that the hub represented them and did they notice its evolution?

Was there enough to do – is just exploring and using the hub ok?

Visual Style

Did they feel that any particular visual element contributed to their feelings or experience?
What did they think of the art style?
Did the art style support or detract from the experience? (Was it distracting or engaging?)

FX Art

What did they think of the fx art?

Did they feel that any particular effect contributed to their feelings or experience?

Did the fx art support or detract from the experience? (Was it distracting or engaging?)

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