2nd Edition

Game Usability Advice from the Experts for Advancing UX Strategy and Practice in Videogames

Edited By Katherine Isbister, Celia Hodent Copyright 2022
    452 Pages 50 Color & 39 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    452 Pages 50 Color & 39 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    452 Pages 50 Color & 39 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    This book introduces the basics in game usability and overall game UX mindset and techniques, as well as looking at current industry best practices and trends. Fully updated for its second edition, it includes practical advice on how to include usability in already tight development timelines, and how to advocate for UX and communicate results to higher-ups effectively.

    The book begins with an introduction to UX strategy considerations for games, and to UX design, before moving on to cover core user research and usability techniques as well as how to fit UX practices into the business process. It provides considerations of player differences and offers strategies for inclusion as well as chapters that give platform and context specific advice. With a wealth of new interviews with industry leaders and contributions from the very best in game UX, the book also includes brand new chapters on:

    • Accessibility
    • Mobile Game Usability
    • Data Science
    • Virtual and Augmented Reality
    • Esports

    This book will be vital reading for all professional game developers and game UX advocates, as well as those students aspiring to work in game development and game UX.

    Section One: UX and Usability

    Chapter 1
    Introduction: What’s New in This Edition, How to Read This Book
    Katherine Isbister & Celia Hodent

    Chapter 2
    Advancing Game UX Maturity
    Celia Hodent

    Interview with Anouk Ben-Tchavtchavadze, UX Designer at Riot Games
    Interview with Mike Mariano, Senior UX/UI Designer at Roblox
    Interview with Laura Taylor, Senior UX Designer, Unity Technologies

    Chapter 3
    Usability and Game Feel
    Steve Swink

    Interview with Jenova Chen, President & Creative Director for thatgamecompany

    Section Two: Techniques

    Chapter 4
    Games Research Evolution at Microsoft
    Randy Pagulayan, Daniel V. Gunn, Deborah Hendersen, Melissa Boone, JJ Guajardo, Jessie Thomas, and Dennis Wixon

    Chapter 5
    Try One Yourself: A Guide to Running a Practice User Study
    Katherine Isbister

    Chapter 6
    Heuristic UX Evaluation in Games
    Noah Schaffer

    Chapter 7
    Let the Game Tester Do the Talking: Think Aloud and Interviewing to Learn About the Game Experience
    Jettie Hoonhout

    Chapter 8
    How Bias Affects Games – And What You Can Do About It
    Melissa Boone

    Chapter 9
    Working with Game Analysts and Data Scientists
    Gaelle Arlaut

    Chapter 10
    Physiological Measures for Game Evaluation
    Regan Mandryk and Madison Klarkowski

    Section Three: Fitting into Business Processes

    Chapter 11
    Integrating UX Practices into the Production Pipeline
    Heather Chandler

    Interview with Nana Wallace, Senior Director, User Research at PlayStation (US) and Rob Johnson, User Research Manager at PlayStation (UK)
    Interview with Joe Florey, Senior User Researcher at PlayStation (UK)
    Interview with Alexandra Perry, Producer at Media Molecule
    Interview with Tobi Saulnier, Founder and CEO of 1st Playable Productions

    Section Four: Deeply Understanding Players - Strategies for Inclusion

    Chapter 12
    Trust & Safety and Fair Play in Video Games: Intentionally Designing Positive Communities
    Carlos Figueiredo

    Chapter 13
    Accessibility Then and Now - History, Myths, Considerations and Tools
    Ian Hamilton

    Chapter 14
    Reframing Inclusion: The Case for Allyship
    Jessica Murrey

    Interview with Tülay McNally, Director of Inclusive Design & Product Development at Electronics Arts
    Interview with Trinidad Hermida, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Niantic
    Interview with Jessica Zammit, UX Researcher at Mighty Kingdom, and Director at Represent Me
    Interview with Kishonna Gray, Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago
    Interview with Nick Yee, Co-Founder of Quantic Foundry
    Interview with Roppyaku Tsurumi, Japanese game producer and designer, by Kenji Ono, game journalist, IGDA Japan
    Interview with Kate Edwards, CEO and Principal Consultant of Geogrify

    Section Five: Platform and Context Specific Advice

    Chapter 15
    Mobile Game Usability: Design and Research
    Holly Grothues, Andrea Abney, Ryan Boughter

    Chapter 16
    Designing for "Everyone": The Triumph of Casual Mechanics
    Nicholas Fortugno

    Chapter 17
    The Design of Virtual and Augmented Realities
    Alexandria Heston

    Chapter 18
    The Esports Experience: Fan, Player, and Beyond
    Laura Levy, Sven Charleer, Taylor Wright

    Interview with Erin Hoffman-John, Senior Staff Interaction Designer at Google
    Interview with Nicolas Pouard, Vice President, Strategic Innovation Lab, Ubisoft
    Interview with Phylissa Li, Principal Design Architect at Roblox

    Section Six: Conclusions

    Chapter 19
    (Re)Discovering the Rich History of Game User Research: An 'Undisciplined' Approach
    Bridget Hapner and Carly A. Kocurek

    Interview with Yvonne Rogers, Director of UCLIC, University College London

    Chapter 20
    How to Keep Up with What’s Happening and Last Comments
    Celia Hodent and Katherine Isbister



    Katherine Isbister is Professor of Computational Media at UCSC’s Engineering School, where she directs the Social Emotional Technology Lab https://setlab.ucsc.edu/. Her research team creates interactive experiences at the intersection of HCI and Games/Play to heighten social and emotional connections and wellbeing, with over 100 peer-reviewed publications and games shown at IndieCade (Yamove! and SceneSampler) and other public venues. Her most recent book from MIT Press is How Games Move Us: Emotion by Design, winner of an American Library Association award. Isbister is a Founding Fellow of the Higher Education Video Games Alliance, a recipient of MIT Technology Review's Young Innovator Award, and is an ACM Distinguished Scientist. http://www.katherineinterface.com/

    Celia Hodent holds a PhD in psychology and has over ten years of experience in the development of UX strategy and processes in video game studios. Through her work at Ubisoft, LucasArts, and as Director of UX at Epic Games (Fortnite), she has contributed to many projects across multiple platforms, from PC to consoles, mobile, and VR. Celia is also the founder of the Game UX Summit, and advisor for the GDC UX Summit. She is the author of The Gamer’s Brain: How Neuroscience and UX can Impact Video Game Design and of The Psychology of Video Games. She currently works as an independent game UX consultant.

    Twitter: @CeliaHodent
    Blog: celiahodent.com