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Messages - Oleaster

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Chit-Chat / Re: Introduce Yourself!
« on: December 09, 2013, 01:47:09 pm »
Thanks for your interest! I apologize for hijacking the intro thread but I'll try to address these questions briefly. Maybe I should start another thread with more in-depth information.
...what do you specifically learn from watching a person's actions that isn't innately understandable from very basic psychology and game understanding, and what do off-screen stimuli-based choices tell you about the games themselves?
  • First off, I think I may have misled you a little bit. I try not to interfere when watching someone play a game. While I think noting a player's choices amid off-screen stimuli gives insight as to what a user is experiencing (i.e. asking a player questions while they're focusing may elicit a delayed or zero response), this can cause some unnecessary frustration. Plus, depending on the game that's being played, off-screen stimuli may not be helpful. For example, having a phone conversation while playing a music-based game that requires accurate timing is probably not "ideal." On the other hand, depending on what you're testing for, rapidly firing questions at someone may reveal to you exactly what you're seeking.
  • For your first question, analyzing facial (especially oral) and other bodily responses to games can lead to some important realizations. Tongue/mouth movement can mean the player is focused or having trouble, while sweating can be the result of adrenaline from some serious engagement. This translates to testing interface design, too! Sit someone in front of a game they haven't played, ask them to change some obscure setting, and watch how they navigate. How much time and how many button presses does it take? Test people of different skill levels and backgrounds. Ever watch a parent or grandparent search for something online? Chances are they'll do it much differently than you. Let's not forget that our understanding of psychology comes from watching and studying people :).

Game Art / Re: Programs For Making Music
« on: December 09, 2013, 08:32:47 am »
Though it's probably a little silly, I use the Figure app on my iDevice to lay down quick beats.
Aside from more professional tools like FL, Reason, etc., I know that Nanoloop and FamiTracker work for a lot of chiptune artists if that's what you're into.

Game Art / Re: Opinions on my first stepping animation?
« on: December 09, 2013, 08:24:59 am »
Agreed with Casdak7, and I wanted to add to not forget that when walking naturally, each arm swings with the motion of the opposite leg. Check out the attached image I grabbed from Wikipedia.

Chit-Chat / Re: Introduce Yourself!
« on: December 09, 2013, 08:06:51 am »
Thanks, Photon! Happy to be here!  :D
In the past, I've recorded players' actions on- and off-screen to compare choices based on in-game stimuli. There's much to be gained from asking individuals their thoughts on games, but so much more from really watching them engage in play.

Chit-Chat / Re: Introduce Yourself!
« on: December 06, 2013, 02:01:31 pm »
Hey all!

I'm a Philadelphia-based graphic designer, self-proclaimed game theorist, and part-time music man. I have a bachelor's degree in graphic design, and had the pleasure of developing my thesis on gaming addiction partly under the tutelage of the great Anna Beresin, a double PhD holder, and visionary on the topics of play and interaction.

Like many here, I've been an avid gamer since I was young, and have always been attracted to emergent gameplay, user interface/user experience, and those tiny details. I know enough HTML/CSS to get by, but learning another language or two to make my own games seemed daunting. So here I am.

While my expertise lies in branding and print design, I can draw from life, have a solid foundation in typography, and make some motion graphics. I'm most comfortable in a vector environment, but I've dabbled in pixel art and yearn for more. I currently have plans for my first few games, and am working on art styles and preparing assets for development.

Anyways, that's me. I've been lurking for a couple weeks and am psyched to join in!

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