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Missing: Understanding the Reception of a Serious Game by Analyzing App Store Data
University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. (Interaction Lab)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8291-1793
University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. (Interaction Lab)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9287-9507
University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. (Interaction Lab)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9972-4716
2018 (English)In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SERIOUS GAMES, E-ISSN 2384-8766, Vol. 5, no 4, p. 3-22Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The focus of this paper is the design and player reception of a serious game called Missing released on Google Play with the intention of spreading awareness of trafficking and its impact on individuals and society. The aim of the paper is to investigate how the game has been received by its players, focusing on its trafficking theme, by analyzing player metrics and app store data available from the Google Play digital distribution system. The paper presents results focusing on three main knowledge contributions: the identification and characterization of the tension between the designer’s intention with a game’s mechanics and how they help to convey the message of the game, the identification of the complexity of finding relevant reviews relating to the serious theme of the game and the identification and characterization of the tension between the star rating and the content of the reviews. One of the conclusions is that even a negative review can mirror a positive result in terms of fulfillment of the purpose.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Serious Games Society , 2018. Vol. 5, no 4, p. 3-22
Keywords [en]
Serious games, Games for change, Metrics, App store, Smartphone, Trafficking
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-16533DOI: 10.17083/ijsg.v5i4.251ISI: 000457988700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-16533DiVA, id: diva2:1274069
Projects
Game Hub Scandinavia
Funder
Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak, NYPS 20200428
Note

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Available from: 2018-12-27 Created: 2018-12-27 Last updated: 2022-09-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Being Local in a Global Industry: Game Localization from an Indie Game Development Perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Being Local in a Global Industry: Game Localization from an Indie Game Development Perspective
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

During recent years a rise of small, independent game developers have become a large part of the global game industry. These indie developers are often distributing their games using digital distribution with a self-publishing business model. While the possibilities to reach a large global audience are expanding with digital distribution, there are also challenges for the developers, where the work tasks previously handled by a publisher now has to be handled by the developers themselves. One such work task directly related to the globalness of the game industry is localization, which is the process of altering a product in such ways it can be used by consumers in a specific target market. 

The main objective of the thesis project is to understand how indie game developers are working with game localization as a part of the development process. In this case, "indie" refers to developers with limited resources in terms of financing and manpower, using a self-publishing business model. The research has partly been carried out through participatory field studies in close connection to indie game developers and development clusters in Sweden, China, and India. In addition to this, the technical aspects of game localization have been scrutinized through studies of localization support in commonly used game engines and game development tools.

The results of the thesis show that game localization is an important development task due to the global nature of the game industry, but that its complexity often is underestimated by the developers. To reach a large player base, localization is a must and should be planned for early in the process. Further, the results show that game localization is less resource demanding ifusing a localization friendly production pipeline, and that the tools to set up such production pipelines are available in all major game engines

Abstract [sv]

Under de senaste åren har en ökning av små, oberoende spelutvecklare blivit en stor del av den globala spelindustrin. Dessa indieutvecklare distribuerar ofta sina spel med hjälp av digitala distributionskanaler och agerar ofta även utgivare för sina egna spel. Samtidigt som möjligheterna att nå en stor global publik ökat med digital distribution finns det även utmaningar. Ett exempel är de arbetsuppgifter som tidigare sköttes av en förläggare eller utgivare och som nu måste skötas av utvecklarna själva. En sådan arbetsuppgift är lokalisering, en arbetsuppgift som dessutom är av stor vikt för att kunna nå en global spelarbas. 

Huvudsyftet med denna avhandling är att förstå hur små, oberoende spelutvecklare, ofta kallade indiespelsutvecklare, arbetar med lokalisering som en del av spelutvecklingsprocessen. I det här fallet syftar "indie" på utvecklare med begränsade resurser vad gäller finansiering och arbetskraft och som använder en självpublicerande affärsmodell. Avhandlingsarbetet har delvis utförts genom deltagande fältstudier i nära anslutning till indiespelsutvecklare och spelutvecklingskluster i Sverige, Kina och Indien. Utöver detta har de tekniska aspekterna av spellokalisering granskats genom studier av lokaliseringsstöd i vanligt förekommande spelmotorer och spelutvecklingsverktyg.

Resultaten från avhandlingen visar att spellokalisering är en viktig arbetsuppgift i spelutvecklingssammanhang. Detta på grund av att spelindustrin är global och att ett spel direkt har möjligheten att nå en stor internationell målgrupp. Däremot underskattas komplexiteten gällande lokaliseringsarbete vilket medför att lokaliseringsrelaterade frågor prioriteras ner i tidigt utvecklingsprocessen. Detta kan få stora konsekvenser i ett senare stadie, och resultaten från avhandlingen visar att lokalisering bör planeras tidigt i processen för att spara tid och resurser. Vidare pekar resultaten på att spellokalisering är mindre resurskrävande om man använder en lokaliseringsvänlig produktionspipelineoch att verktyg för att sätta upp sådana produktionspipelines finns tillgängliga i alla vanligt förekommande spelmotorer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Skövde: University of Skövde, 2022. p. x, 75
Series
Dissertation Series ; 47
Keywords
game development, localization, game development process, indie games
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Research subject
GAME Research Group
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-21822 (URN)978-91-987906-1-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2022-09-29, Portalen, Insikten, Kanikegränd 3B, Skövde, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Ett av sex delarbeten (övriga se rubriken Delarbeten/List of papers):

Toftedahl, M. (2021). Towards a deeper understanding of localization as a game development process: Game studio studies in Sweden and China. Submitted to Entertainment Computing (in review).

Available from: 2022-09-19 Created: 2022-09-16 Last updated: 2022-09-26Bibliographically approved

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Toftedahl, MarcusBacklund, PerEngström, Henrik

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