Publication

A Good Scare: Leveraging Game Theming and Narrative to Impact Player Experience

Feb. 1, 2019

Holmes, J., To, A., Zhang, F., Ali, S., Bai, Z., ... & Hammer, J.. (2019). A Good Scare: Leveraging Game Theming and Narrative to Impact Player Experience. In Proceedings of CHI 2019.

Abstract

Game narrative and theming are ways in which game designers can affect player experience. In this work, we incorporate theories of emotion into game design, to explore the relationship between aesthetic elements and player experience. We designed and playtested two differently themed variants of the game Outbreak, a 'Horror' and a 'Sanitized' version. We present preliminary findings about playing differently themed versions of the same game which suggest that scary content can sustain interest throughout play and transform players' emotional response to uncertainty.

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