search.noResults

search.searching

dataCollection.invalidEmail
note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
KALAMBA GAMES The User Experience Kalamba Games’ recently-hired UX expert,


Graham McAllister, gives his view on what the gambling industry can learn from the video games sector to improve player experience.


H


uge numbers of new online casino developers have entered the market over the last few years and new games are being launched on a weekly basis, all fighting for attention in what has become a very saturated and crowded market. But has this endless stream of new game releases lead game studios to lose track of one of the main things that can ensure the success, longevity and profitability of a game? I’m talking about the user experience, an area that I have spent a big part of my life researching and analysing – later using my expertise to help improve many aspects of the game development process. I founded Player Research in 2012, a company which provides UX research and playtesting services to the video games industry worldwide, including major studios such as EA, Sony and NaturalMotion [Graham is also part of the Google Experts network where he helps start-ups by providing UX advice on games for Android – Ed.]. My aim was to help studios deliver successful games by applying repeatable methods for objectively evaluating key assumptions about the way a game will be played and experienced. User research draws upon multi-disciplinary roots of computer science (interaction, interfaces), psychology (attention, perception, memory) and design (user- centred design) among many other academic disciplines to form a toolbox of methods which, when structured into a scientific process, will allow developers to make informed decisions based on objective evidence, rather than opinion. So – you might ask – what can my experience and expertise in the video gaming sector bring to the table in the real-money gambling industry? Well there’s actually a lot of crossover between the two sectors, in particular when it comes to creating games that are engaging and fun for the player. In the end, the aim of a developer – whether creating a slot or a video game – is surely to ensure that players enjoy the experience enough to keep coming back. Having the player in mind when creating new games might seem like an obvious statement and something that the studios are well aware of, but in my experience it’s not always that simple. Studio designers spend a long time with the game while developing it, getting to know the ins and outs of it, familiarising themselves with every quirk. But you must remember that players are completely new to a game  easily choose to play any of your competitors’ games.


For example, design is not just about creating a product but creating a product for an intended audience. So, one thing to evaluate is how a player interacts with a game: are players playing a game as the designer intended? If not, why not? If so, is it enjoyable? Offering a unique and superior product is becoming more important as competition increases but


one should not forget the more basic things such as ensuring you are living up to the expectations a player has on the game and making sure it is easy to understand and not too complex.


I know that innovation has been a buzzword in the gambling industry over the last few years, however it is not always necessary to change things drastically. In my experience, keeping with what is familiar to the player but changing a hundred small things can improve a lot and be a preferred action. This is just a few examples of what developers should consider at the early design stage of a game. User research is a complex science that could not be easily explained in a short article such as this, but I really believe it can help the whole development team to better understand players and ensure the studio and operators alike build a successful long-term business.


The aim of a developer –


whether creating a slot or a video game – is surely to ensure that players enjoy the


experience enough to keep coming back


CIO FEBRUARY 2019 83


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94