Thursday, April 06, 2006


Context issues are especially relevant to mobile game applications, since the game-playing environment can vary substantially. Typically, mobile game sessions last less than ten minutes and take place when the user is waiting for something — for the bus to arrive, for a lecture to begin, and so on. Even so, there is great variability: The game can be played outside or inside, under different lighting conditions, and so on. In short, context is the essence of mobility.


In general, mobile games (both single- and multiplayer) should be designed for relatively short sessions, since a game can be interrupted at any time, for example by an incoming call. With single-player and two-player mobile games, it is possible to simply save the soccer bet, but with games that have more than two players, it is not, since other players may want to continue after one player departs. As a result, multiplayer mobile games should be designed either to be played to completion in a relatively brief period or to be playable in short sessions over time.


Based on user interviews, the typical scenario for playing a mobile game is when users are waiting. However, users may not remember or take into account all possible situations. Moreover, multiplayer mobile game, games might bring up new use situations that we are not yet aware of. Even if users do not play in certain places, it may not be because of the environment but, rather, because of the game. If the game uses sounds that can’t be turned off, then game play is limited to places where it is acceptable to make noise.

A small screen size may make the game difficult to play in certain locations, or the correct keys may be difficult to hit when the user is wearing gloves. A user may not be interested in playing a mobile game at a sports event, but if the game is about the same sport as the event, user motivation may change. A variety of factors affect the environment where games are played.

The concept of location awareness is beginning to emerge, and it offers numerous possibilities for combining the game world with the real world. Multiplayer games utilizing location-based technologies may give a whole new meaning to "place" in mobile gaming.

Social interaction can be one of the factors that motivate people to play. Mobile devices are predominantly well suited for social playing because of their portability and connectivity. It is easy to pull out a portable game phone and start playing while hanging out with friends. soccer bet, In these situations, the importance of device interconnectivity increases because the challenge and excitement is much greater when playing against a friend than when playing alone (Paavilainen, 2004).

A high-score list that allows users to compare their own performance with the performance of others can be very rewarding and motivating. However, an awareness of how other players are performing during the actual game is as important as after the game. When people play together over a wireless network it is very important that they are aware of the game situation, including the status of others. In single-player games the status of the mobile game is easy to communicate to the user, but when more players join the game there is a greater need for the user to know the status of others. Several guidelines in this documentation package address this issue.

tanning lotion

Several items are necessary in order to play a game. Naturally, there must be a device to play on and a game to play. There must be sufficient power in the battery or a power supply. If the game is played outside and the weather is cold, the battery will run down much more quickly. If the game is intended to be played outdoors, this must be taken into account.

There must be a SIM card with certain settings in the device for it to work, and there must be a connection open to use the network all tanning lotion. The light must not be so bright that it obscures the screen, and the ambient sound level can’t be higher than the game sounds.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Game design is about action (Designing Single-Player Mobile Game). Thus, the important question for the game developer is, “What do the players do and how do they do it?"

Single-player actions

In single-player games, users struggle with challenges provided by the game. Basic challenge types in single-player games are physical challenges, puzzles, beating Artificial Intelligence (AI) opponents, and the learning of game-world mechanics. These actions are usually connected to learning (see the table below).

For example, when players are beginning to play an action game, they first learn the basic controls. After this, they continue to learn how to use controls efficiently. The players learn which actions are efficient against certain opponents in certain situations, and their reaction times become faster and more reliable. This learning of physical controls is also connected to learning the mental model of the game, since correct use of controls is only possible when the player knows how to correctly interpret the game world and anticipate game actions.

Users overcome game challenges with different actions:

  • Moving
  • Moving player: jumping, running, crouching, moving focus
  • Moving objects: transferring, giving orders
  • Doing
  • Attacking, blocking
  • Manipulating objects
  • Manipulating the game world
  • Thinking
  • Guessing
  • Making decisions
  • Solving
  • Remembering

Learning to overcome challenges with these basic actions — that is, trying, sometimes succeeding, and sometimes failing — is an essential part of game design, and has a great effect on the game experience. To ensure a good user experience, basic actions should be intuitive, but they should also be hard to master. For example, game controls should be relatively simple, but mastering them should be difficult. If the challenges are too tough, players will get frustrated. On the other hand, if there is no real challenge, they will be bored.
Game experience and actions should be designed to help players perform these actions and give them the feeling of beating the challenge.

Multiplayer actions

In multiplayer games, other players provide the main challenge for the game, by acting with the player. Players beat the challenge cooperatively or try to beat each other. Although the basic actions — moving, thinking and doing — are the same, players need to understand how their own actions affect other players, and how the other players’ actions affect them.
In addition, a player may act with other players outside the actual game. Game communities, high-score lists, or discussions with other players about game strategies and tactics can be an essential part of the game experience. The presence of other players has a great effect on the game experience; even simple games like Paper-Rock-Scissors can become interesting if played with a human opponent whose actions other players try to predict.

Examples of possible actions outside the actual game include:

  • Communicating with other players
  • Commenting, chatting, discussing
  • Sharing knowledge
  • Competing with other players
  • Comparing scores and achievements
  • Challenging, accepting, and denying challenges
  • Sharing
  • Uploading scores
  • Uploading ghosts

Designers should design multiplayer game actions that give players the feeling of beating the challenge in interaction with other players.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Motivation refers to things that direct and energize human behavior. So, why do people play games and what keeps them playing? It is often stated that a good game is fun, challenging, and entertaining. Thus, we presume that these are the motives for playing games: to experience fun, challenge, and entertainment. But what drives people to these three elements?
Human motivation can be classified into three categories: physiological, cognitive, and social (Wagner 1999, 4). Motivation to play mobile game can be found among the cognitive and social categories, because playing games doesn’t fulfill some physiological need like thirst or hunger. People play games to be thrilled (curiosity), to succeed (achievement motivation), and to interact with others (social motives). Multiplayer games supply additional social motivating factors: interaction, competition, and respect.
Curiosity is a simple motive at first glance — avoiding boredom. However, curiosity is related to seeking the optimal level of arousal for each activity. The level of arousal may be too low or too high. A game continues to arouse curiosity as long as it provides something new. When a game is fully explored, it doesn’t raise the player’s arousal level and playing becomes boring. If the arousal level is too high, it can result in anxiety, irritation, nervousness, or restlessness, and these psychological states may hinder performance. Striking a balance between a challenging game and a frustrating or a boring game is one of the greatest challenges for game designers. The following usability guidelines can help designers minimize needless arousal, so that the game itself provides the challenge.
Achievement motivation (advancing, succeeding) and competition are closely linked. An individual sense of achievement is often reached when competing against others, and a social sense of competition can be reached in a fierce battle against one’s own previous score. The universality of high-score lists indicates how obviously achievement and competition are related to playing games. Games are an excellent channel for gaining a sense of achievement quickly, which is rare in real life. Studying, working, and exercising may provide greater senses of achievement, but only after greater investments. Achievement motivation and competition can be viewed as motives to energize playing and to make people keep playing.
Games fulfill social motives by letting the avatar enjoy respect, love, or power, which the player will feel when really immersed in a game. Multiplayer games bring social concepts into play. Humans are such social beings that the mere presence of others is rewarding. Interacting with others makes people feel they belong to a group and that they get respect from others. Cooperation and competition are two sides of a coin. Being a member of a group requires friendly cooperation, but at the same time there is a constant competition for status within the group. Playing against real people means that power and admiration are at stake.
Curiosity, achievement, and sociality are such broad motives that they can be responded to in many different ways. Garneau (2001) has presented Fourteen Forms of Fun in Gamasutra. These are excellent and concrete examples of how games can respond to the motives presented above. In the table below, these 14 forms of fun are classified according to the motive they respond to. A player's level of arousal can be increased by providing variable game settings to explore and getting emotions involved in playing. Players have a sense of achievement when they see results for their efforts. Sociality can be virtual (love, power) or real through multiplayer mode (competition, social interaction).

Mobile game user experience

These articles and guidelines have been written from the user-experience point of view. User experience is the result of a motivated action in a certain context. The user’s previous experiences and expectations influence the present experience, and the present experience leads to more experience and modified expectations.These articles and guidelines have been written from the user-experience point of view.
Motivated action always happens in a certain context, and this defines the present experience of the user. The context of an experience means the time, people, place, and things that surround the user. For example, watching a good movie in a theatre with good company is very different from watching the same movie at home, alone, in front of a lousy TV.
A motive is understood here as a need that is driving the user to interact with the game. This need is often emotionally directed. The user has many needs in any situation, but not all of them prompt the readiness to act. Some needs arise from physiological states of tension such as hunger, thirst, and pleasure, and some arise from psychosocial states of tension like the need to enhance self-esteem. A need becomes a motive when it has gained a sufficient level of intensity.
Besides motivational level needs, people have action level needs. Motivational level needs address “why people are doing what they are doing”; action level needs address “how people are doing what they are doing.” Action level needs are cognitive level needs that are related to a mental model of how to conduct an action.
Satisfying the need that motivates a user to interact with a mobile game is not enough to guarantee a positive user experience. Game performance must match or exceed the user’s expectations. User expectations are based on previous experiences, advice from friends and associates, and information and promises from marketers and competitors. If game performance does not match the user’s expectations, the user will be dissatisfied with the product. If performance matches expectations, the user will be satisfied. If performance exceeds expectations, the user will be very satisfied.
Not all product features cause great satisfaction or delight among users, although their absence might be experienced as negative. Moreover, when features that provide great satisfaction become familiar to users, their value may increase. However, in some cases these features may eventually be taken for granted and cease to exceed expectations — these features face value erosion.
Previous user experience can also be a basis for expectations about product performance; therefore, they are mentioned as a separate factor affecting user experience in this conceptual model. This is because previous user experience might increase the user's inclination and readiness to utilize the possibilities of an application in richer ways than in previous use situations. In other words, previous user experience can affect the learning curve for using an application.
The following sections will discuss the three elements of user experience — motivation, action, and context — in more detail, and from a game-developing point of view.