Player Research Blog


Player Research Wins at the Develop Awards!

Last night Player Research was honoured to be selected as the winner at the 2014 Develop Awards for services. We are thankful to the judges and to all the developers we have worked with. Helping you realise your vision for a great player experience has been, and always will be, a pleasure!


Interview: “My love is for games and game music, not the music by itself”

Graham McAllister of Player Research recently sat down with Thatgamecompany’s Vincent Diamante to discuss the importance of sound design:

The first game that Vincent Diamante wrote the soundtrack for was Dyadin. You might not have heard of it, but it went on to be selected as a winner of the student showcase at the 2005 Independent Game Festival. His fellow USC classmates and co-developers on the game also included Jenova Chen and Rick Nelson, who he would be reunited with at thatgamecompany. Out of that partnership would come games like Flower and Journey.

Read the rest of the interview in on GamesIndustry International


EDGE Column: The Pixar principle, or how to build risk and creativity into large-scale game development

In a recent Edge article Epic’s Tim Sweeney said that in the future we’re likely to see about a third of the number of triple-A games available as the costs involved with making these titles rises threefold. In addition, Ubisoft’s Jade Raymond claims that these rising development costs will stifle innovation, and the $100m-plus budgets necessary to create a triple-A game will mean that developers are even more likely to focus on sequels as they’ve more chance of returning a profit.

Yet there is a company which despite having similar risks has managed to develop many unique IPs over the years, all of which have been a success. That company, is Pixar.

Read the article in full on EDGE


Usability Examples – Tutorials start from the main menu

SpaceTeam and Fruit Ninja teach gestures players need before the game begins… Continue Reading..


Develop Award Nominated!

We’re absolutely delighted to be nominated for a Develop Award, for the second time, this year!

The Develop Awards are the European games industry’s highest accolade – presented during the Develop conference held right here in sunny Brighton.

Congratulations to the other nominees from all of us at Player Research.


Simulation Sickness and VR – What is it, and what can developers and players do to reduce it?

[This blog post by Player Researcher Ben Lewis-Evans was featured on Gamasutra]

With the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus somewhere on the horizon for consumers, and the work that Valve is doing, virtual reality (VR) is once again a hot issue for games with all the interest, hype, and business hypothesising that comes along with it.

One often mentioned issue with VR is that some people can feel sick when using it. Indeed, when Sony showed off the Morpheus at GDC this year they warned people if they started to feel sick to let the attendants know and stop playing. In academia this is often referred to as Simulator Sickness (or sometimes “Cybersickness”, if you want to go all Gibsonian).

Simulator sickness is a real problem for some people when using any simulator, although VR is particularly notorious, likely because of the sensory immersion, latency issues, and the added weight of a headset. Simulator sickness is also an issue that is of particular interest to me given my background working with driving simulators. As such, this article aims to lay out what the current science, that I am aware of, has to say about simulation sickness, what it is, why it occurs, and what developers and players can do about it.Continue Reading..


Player Research at Brighton University

At the invite of Dr Lyn Pemberton, Player Researcher Ben Lewis-Evans presented a talk on Games User Research methodology to third year and masters students at the University of Brighton today. The talk covered general tips related to Games User Research as well as a run through of various methodologies such as surveys, interviewing, observation, and game metrics. Ben will return to the University in May to give a talk on Biometrics in Games User Research.


Game Developers Conference 2014

Player Researchers Seb Long and Graham McAllister paid a trip to San Francisco again for GDC 2014, joining UKIE and UKTI‘s United Kingdom Booth on the show floor.


Player Research at the GURSIG Summit

The GURSIG Summit had record attendance this year, with over 200 researchers from across the world meeting to discuss the past, present and future of games user research.

Talks from Bungie, Disney, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Player Research and more, and special guest appearance from the first games user research team from Atari in the 1970s.

All the talks are archived online, you can view them at the GURSIG Library.


Seb Quoted in Develop’s OFT Coverage

Seb Long is quoted in Develop’s coverage of the OFT guidelines clarification on F2P games, concluding that:

“Many of the OFT’s principles have crossover with best practices in game usability. Developers will need to work carefully to avoid unintentional breaches as a result of latent usability issues – especially in games for children. The new OFT guidelines could assist developers in not only making games that meet their fair trade obligations, but should also result in games with better usability, understandability, and which deliver better experiences for players of all ages.”

Read the full article online, or pick up the GDC special edition of the print magazine.