Projekt.ID: investigating how game elements and mechanics can be aligned to players preferences

Ferro, L 2016, Projekt.ID: investigating how game elements and mechanics can be aligned to players preferences, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Media and Communication, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Projekt.ID: investigating how game elements and mechanics can be aligned to players preferences
Author(s) Ferro, L
Year 2016
Abstract Existing research in personality and motivation psychology has developed many theories and player typologies to explain an individual’s behaviour. Many of these theories and typologies have used similar approaches to personality types to understand how and why individuals play, through finding traits, and in-turn types to categorise players based on their behaviour. Many of the typologies have also been context specific, causing concern with their practicality of use in contexts outside of their conception. To date, no research exists that categorises players based on their preferences for game elements and mechanics (GEMs). Embracing the possibility of developing such a framework based on players preferences for GEMs, would afford game designers an opportunity to design experiences regardless of context. Therefore, the aim of this research is understanding how to map a player’s preferences for GEMs and how this information can be used during the game design process.

To this end, I describe the design and method of four studies. The first three studies are surveys (n=279, n=231, n=162) that assess players Australian Personality Inventory (API) type, preferences for game elements, and mechanics (surveys 2 and 3), and the Basic Psychological Needs of Satisfaction (BPNS) score (surveys 2 and 3). The data from these surveys were analysed using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to identify any existing relationships between the data; stepwise linear regression to determine if API and/or BPNS could be used to predict factors; bi-variate correlations to observe if relationships existed between the factors and API and/or BPNS types. EFA revealed that GEMs are preferred by players in three unique factors groups for game elements and four factor groups for game mechanics. In addition, stepwise linear regression and bi-variate correlation revealed that both API type and BPNS did not affect a player’s preferences for GEMs (including their factors) and were not a suitable assessment for mapping a player’s preferences for GEMs on. Following these three surveys, the GEM Framework was developed, which included a separate model for each GEM factor group. The GEM Framework was then adapted to an existing game design tool titled Gamicards. The fourth study was a workshop (n = 47) that assesses the practical use of the GEM framework and Gamicards. The results of the workshop revealed that both the GEM Framework and its adaption to Gamicards provided game designers from various skill levels a useful resource during the game design process and would likely use it again during their next game design session.

Through these four studies, this work contributes to the current literature in the following manner. Firstly, this work extends the current understanding the impact personality and motivation types have on a player’s preferences for GEMs, via the data from the surveys. As such, this work explores three areas: personality, motivation, and game design to develop a novel framework. Secondly, this thesis discusses practical implications of using the GEM framework through Gamicards. To conclude, this work encourages game academics to look at player typologies through the lens of the GEMs of games itself and not through psychometric assessment.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Media and Communication
Subjects Information and Computing Sciences not elsewhere classified
Personality, Abilities and Assessment
Keyword(s) personality
game design
game elements
game mechanics
GEM Framework
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Created: Thu, 19 Oct 2017, 09:40:31 EST by Denise Paciocco
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