WEARPG: Augmenting Tabletop Role-Playing Games with Arm-Worn Devices and Movement-Based Gameplay
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Extracting Design Guidelines for Wearables and Movement in Tabletop Role-Playing Games via a Research Through Design Process

Abstract

We believe that wearables and movement are perfect fit for enhancing tabletop role-playing (TTRPG) experience, since they can provide embodied interaction, are perceived as character-costumes, enhance ludic properties and increase the connectedness to the imaginary game worlds. By providing these improvements, they can increase the immersiveness and player/character relationship which are critical for an ideal TTRPG experience. To investigate this underexplored area, we conducted an extensive research through design process which includes a (1) participatory design workshop with 25 participants, (2) preliminary user tests with Wizard-of-Oz and experience prototypes with 15 participants, (3) production of a new game system, wearable and tangible artifacts and (4) summative user tests for understanding the effects on experience with 16 participants. As a result of our study, we extracted design guidelines about how to integrate wearables and movement in narrative-based tabletop games and communicate how the results of each phase affected our artifacts.

 

Role: Concept Creator, Game Designer, Design Researcher, Product Designer, Hardware and Software Developer, Main Author

Awards: Honorable Mention

Type: Full Paper

Conference: Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems [acceptance rate: %23, h5-index: 85]

Date: 2018

Co-Authors: Oğuzhan Özcan (Advisor)

 

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WEARPG: Movement-Based Tabletop Role-Playing Game with Arm-Worn Devices and an Augmented Die

Abstract

Augmenting tabletop role-playing games (TTRPG) with computers took much attention of researchers recently. Nevertheless, these efforts mostly remained as functional augmentations. We believe that integrating new gameplay styles to this genre is still an underexplored area. Drawing upon the previous studies, we believe that wearables which support movement-based gameplay can be a good step taken in this direction as previous studies claim that wearables can strengthen the link to the imaginary worlds which is critical for TTRPG experience while the movement-based play can increase the player engagement. However, previous studies did not investigate these concepts with an implemented technology. Therefore, to get a better understanding of how wearables can alter the TTRPG experience, we designed a new RPG game system and developed the Elemental Gauntlet and the Luck Stone which enable movement-based game play in TTRPG context. Our preliminary results showed that, movement-based play and wearable props strengthen the identification feeling with the fictional character and resulted in a better immersion to the imaginary world of the game.

 

Role: Concept Creator, Game Designer, Product Designer, Hardware and Software Developer, Main Author

Awards: CHI PLAY '17 Student Game Design Competition, Audience Choice Award, 2nd Place

Type: Extended Abstract (Student Game Design Competition Finalist)

Conference: Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play

[acceptance rate %35, h5-index: 12]

Date: 2017

Co-Authors: İsmet Melih Özbeyli, Oğuzhan Özcan (Advisor)

 

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Augmented Table-Top Role-Playing Game with Movement-Based Gameplay and Arm-Worn Devices

Abstract

Augmenting table-top role-playing games (TTRPG) is a trending subject in game research. Different objects and interaction modalities such as surface displays, tangible devices or interactive rooms are used for the augmentation of TTRPG. Still, usage of wearable devices and movement-based gameplay in such games is a rather underexplored area although they have a potential for enhancing the player experience according to the previous studies. To delve into this area, we developed a new interactive environment comprised of arm-worn devices and an augmented die. These devices, together with a new role-playing game system, facilitate movement-based gameplay which encourage players to enact their characters with their bodies. In this paper, we explained the specifications of this gaming environment and our demonstration setting.

 

Role: Concept Creator, Game Designer, Product Designer, Hardware and Software Developer, Main Author

Type: Extended Abstract (Demo)

Conference: ACM Conference Companion Publication on Designing Interactive Systems [h5-index: 31]

Date: 2017

Co-Authors: İsmet Melih Özbeyli, Oğuzhan Özcan (Advisor)

 

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WEARPG: Game design implications for movement-based play in table-top role-playing games with arm-worn devices

Abstract

Combining the physical and the digital is one of the most trending topics in game research in HCI. Augmenting the table-top role-playing games (TTRPG) by adding electronic devices is a growing research area, yet the introduction of new play styles is still open for exploration. We believe that integration of wearable devices and movement-based play, which are also prominent research areas for gaming, hold potential for increasing the TTRPG experience since these are observed to increase the connectedness of players to imaginary world of games by previous studies. However, such augmentation will also bring changes in game design and these changes were not investigated thorougly in previous studies. To understand how game design of such games may change due to the usage of wearables and movement-based play, we conducted a participatory design workshop with (1) 25 participants, (2) designed a new game system according to our findings and (3) evaluated it with iterative tests with 15 participants in TTRPG sessions. Our study resulted in 8 player-centered game design implications for the use of arm-worn devices and movment-based play in narrative based long-term games like TTRPG. The implications present clues about forming the narrative, regulating the rules and the functional use of the device in game mechanics.

 

Role: Concept Creator, Game Designer, Main Author

Type: Full Paper

Conference: 20th International Academic Mindtrek Conference [acceptance rate: %52, h5-index: 11]

Date: 2016

Co-Authors: Oğuzhan Özcan (Advisor)

 

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User Oriented Design Speculation and Implications for an Arm-Worn Wearable Device for Table-Top Role-Playing Games

Abstract

Augmenting table-top role-playing games (TTRPG) with computers is an extensive research area. Nevertheless, wearable devices were not considered a part of TTRPG before. Previous studies speculate that wearables may be valuable additions for games by altering many aspects some of which can address TTRPG such as character identification. Still, we did not encounter a player oriented exploratory study which suggests possible utilization ways for these devices. Therefore, we organized a participatory design workshop with 25 participants aiming at eliciting ideas from users to produce design knowledge about the interaction techniques, actions, visual properties and the GM’s role. We also wanted to understand users’ overall reactions to the idea of wearables in TTRPG. The workshop resulted in 5 conceptual device designs which led to design implications that can guide designers in this unexplored area. Moreover, we proposed a speculative arm-worn device drawing upon these implications.

 

Role: Concept Creator, Main Author, Design Researcher

Type: Full Paper

Conference: DUXU 2017: Design, User Experience, and Usability: Designing Pleasurable Experiences, Held as Part of HCI International 2017 [h5-index: 20]

Date: 2017

Co-Authors: Oğuzhan Özcan (Advisor)

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Augmented Tabletop Games Workshop

Abstract

This workshop gathers researchers and practitioners interested in augmented tabletop games: physical games that include digital augmentation. Participants will compile ways of knowing for this unique research space and share their methods of research, demonstrating, where possible, through a research gaming and prototyping session. Post-workshop, we will assemble an online compendium for findings, which will include video sketches recorded during the workshop and an annotated bibliography.

 

Role: Co-Author

Type: Extended Abstract (Workshop)

Conference: Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
[h5-index: 12]

Date: 2017

Co-Authors: Zachary O. Toups, Nick LaLone, Joshua Tanenbaum, Aaron Tremmell, Jessica Hammer,

Ansgar E. Depping

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