Edward F. Melcer and Marjorie Ann M. Cuerdo. (2020). “Death & Rebirth in Platformer Games”. In Game User Experience and Player-Centered Design. Springer.
Marjorie Ann Cuerdo and Edward Melcer. (2020). “’I’ll Be Back’: A Taxonomy of Death and Rebirth in Platformer Video Games”. In Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. CHI '20, Honolulu, HI, USA. ACM.Advised by Edward Melcer.
Failure is a central aspect of almost every game, driving player perceptions of difficulty and impacting core aspects of game user experience. At the heart of failure in many game genres is player death, and platformer games in particular rely heavily on the use of death within their design. This work addresses the rich, underexplored space of in-game death (and respawning) through the creation of a generalized taxonomy of death in platformer games. The taxonomy consists of five notable dimensions: (1) obstacles, (2) death conditions, (3) aesthetics, (4) changes to player progress, and (5) respawn locations. These different dimensions have a number of potential implications for key aspects of player experience and design. The taxonomy could also be used to help improve the effectiveness of related engagement techniques such as dynamic difficulty adjustment.
I'm extending the work by developing a platformer game (work-in-progress pictured above), in which I modify conditions for a death and rebirth mechanic and analyze effects on PX constructs, such as immersion, autonomy, curiosity, and challenge -- also taking into account player orientation traits.
"Mad Mixologist is an AR alternative controller game where players must work together to create the ultimate drink. The game employs collaborative play and perspective switching to encourage player reflection and understanding of another’s viewpoint during collaborative tasks. Both players in the game wear customized VR headsets that have been modified to allow for phone cameras to capture and broadcast video of the view from the front of the headsets. Rather than being able to look out of the headsets normally, each player is instead shown video of themselves from the other player’s camera/view (i.e., swapping perspectives). Not only are the players’ vision swapped, but they also have to pour, mix, and garnish drinks in the real world—resulting in a messy, challenging, entertaining, and wholly unique alternative controller spectacle."
Cynthia Putnam, Melisa Puthenmadom, Marjorie Ann Cuerdo, Wanshu Wang, and Nathan Paul. (2020). “Adaptation of the System Usability Scale for User Testing with Children”. In Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. CHI '20, Honolulu, HI, USA. ACM.
Advised by Cynthia Putnam.
In this paper, we describe a pilot study in which we adapted and tested the System Usability Scales (SUS) for children between ages of 7-11. We began the study with interviews with four elementary school teachers in which we asked their help with modifying the SUS usability statements for children. We then tested those questionnaire statements with 30 children after they completed puzzles in mobile apps; we assessed the statements' understandability, dimensionality, construct validity and reliability. Our adapted SUS statements were mostly understandable. A Principal Component Analysis resulted in a four-Component model; two of those components were established as reliable. However, we were only able to support construct validity for four questionnaire statements (and none of the four Components). This pilot study contributes to the knowledgebase of user testing with children.
As an RA, I moderated in-lab studies with child participants and their parents, as well as participated in qualitative analysis and writing.