Posts Tagged ‘Veronica Zammitto’

The Science of Playtesting – GDC 2011 – Game UX talk coming up!

Posted in Conferences - Events on February 26th, 2011 by Veronica Zammitto – Be the first to comment

GDC ’11 is just one day away!

This year I’ll be giving a talk at GDC on Game User Experience.

Here is the description:

The Science of Play Testing: EA’s Methods for User Research

Speaker: Veronica Zammitto (Electronic Arts)
Day / Time / Location: Thursday 9:00-10:00 Room 3006, West Hall 3rd Fl.
Track / Format: Game Design / Lecture

Description: Playtesting is an aspect of the game development process that is gaining more recognition. It contributes to a better understanding of gamers, and provides information to developers that in turn are transformed into design decisions. This talk focuses on the newest methods for identifying gamers’ emotions, attention, and in-game behavior. From the broad array of techniques in the User eXperience (UX) field, we will address scientific methods that have been employed at Electronic Arts for assessing player experience in a more objective, reliable, and continuous way, such as employing eye-tracking, psychophysiology, and telemetry.
Takeaway: Attendees will gain knowledge on: new game user experience techniques (eye-tracking, biometrics, telemetry), identifying the concrete information these techniques provide, assessing the suitability of these methods according to their needs, and how to capture an emotional profile and engagement level of players.
Intended Audience: This talk is intended to people involved or interested in gaming user experience and playtesting. There is no mandatory pre-requisite, but previous knowledge on playstesting techniques would be beneficial.
Eligible Passes: Main Conference Pass, All Access Pass of the Game Developers Conference.

Post Event Update: Here is link to the GDC’s Vault where you can find the presentation slide-deck:




Game User Research Summit (GUR)

Posted in Conferences - Events on April 24th, 2010 by Veronica Zammitto – Be the first to comment

San Francisco, CA, USA – The 1st Game User Research (GUR) Summit was on March 10th 2010, and it was awesome. The objective of this summit was to gather user-research professionals who work in the games industry, and share experience, knowledge and techniques.

GUR summit started with an update of the group by David Tisserand and Bill Fulton. The Games User Research Special Interest Group (SIG) has been created as part of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), there is a provisional board and the group is taking shape and organization.

Game User Research Summit 2010

There were presentations covering current practices:

Graham McAllister talked about ‘Promoting UX: Educating the Video Game Industry on User Research’, he nicely tackled an array of common statements and misunderstandings when people in the game industry are faced to user research, for example from “We don’t need it”, passing through “Our game isn’t ready”, to “We do this”.

Bill Fulton’s ‘From 0 to 35 in 7 years: scaling up a games user-research group’ was a neat presentation on his experience at Microsoft Game Studios and how he managed to get an user research team growing. Once upon a time (circa 1997), there was only Bill as a contractor at Microsoft Game Studios. He highlighted three aspects for growth:
1) Focus user research resources to maximize product improvement: how to impact the return-on-investment (ROI), to recognize limits, to be efficient, to have visible success.
2) Do UR in a way that generates more demand for UR: deliver high-quality, acknowledge and optimize the time of the development team, and stay in communication with them.
3) Have the right people 🙂 by rigorous hiring process, and investing in your people.

Dmitri Williams from the University of Southern California presented his work on online games and how he harvests information. A lot of the analysis is done with a tool called Katana Analytics Engine.

Bruce Phillips showed us the amazing work he’s been doing on player experience using behavioral data at Microsoft Game Studios. The fascinating idea of keeping track of what people do with their XBox live games while players are comfy at their homes. They remotely track data to understand better what happen with the game after is shipped.

I presented the work that we are doing at Electronic Arts. We are looking at game user experience on sports games by employing psychophysiological techniques and telemetry data. We used eye tracking, EMG, HR, GSC to identify the emotional profile of the player.

Ben Weedon talked about the work done at Playable Games. First, he showed us how fun and challenging getting feedback from kids can be. Later, he explained the process of international user research and how many things have to be taken into account in order to run smooth sessions for collecting data, for instance just to mentioned a few, the cultural differences and legislation about recording information, power supplies, local translators/facilitators even if you speak the same language, having local assistants.

Carla Fisher also works with kids. She shared a chart that leads the comments and annotation when kids try her hand-held device games.

Heather Desurvire is a consultant at Behavioristics and faculty at the University of Southern California. She explained game accessibility principles (GAP), a way of evaluating and designing games, and how that can be applied to game tutorials.

GUR summit was a great event that strengthened the game industry user research community.


User Experience in Gaming grant Announcement

Posted in Research on November 16th, 2009 by Veronica Zammitto – Be the first to comment

Dr. Magy Seif El-Nasr (SIAT Assistant Professor) along with her future PhD student Veronica Zammitto (currently SIAT Master’s student) have received funding from MITACS in the amount of $15,000 to support Veronica working as an intern at Electronic Arts Canada (EA). The overall goal of the study is to look at user experience methods for evaluating sports games. Different techniques will be explored in terms of their efficiency, ability to automate them, and their value to the EA team.