How practitioners approach gameplay requirements? An exploration into the context of massive multiplayer online role-playing games

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    Gameplay requirements are central to game development. In the business context of massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMOGs) where game companies' revenues rely on players' monthly subscriptions, gameplay is also recognized as the key to player retention. However, information on what gameplay requirements are and how practitioners `engineer' them in real life is scarce. This exploratory study investigates how practitioners developing MMOGs reason about gameplay requirements and handle them in their projects. 12 practitioners from three leading MMOGs-producing companies were interviewed and their gameplay requirements documents were reviewed. The study's most important findings are that in MMOG projects: (1) gameplay requirements are co-created with players, (2) are perceived and treated by practitioners as sets of choices and consequences, (3) gameplay is endless within a MMOG, and while gameplay requirements do not support any game-end goal, they do support a level-end goal, (4) `paper-prototyping' and play-testing are pivotal to gameplay validation, (5) balancing the elements of the gameplay is an on-going task, perceived as the most difficult and labor-consuming, (6) gameplay happens both in-game and out-of-the game. We conclude with discussion on validity threats to our results and on implications for research and practice.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publication2014 IEEE 22nd International Requirements Engineering Conference, RE 2014
    EditorsRobyn Lutz
    Place of PublicationUSA
    PublisherIEEE Computer Society
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4799-3031-9
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2014
    Event22nd IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference, RE 2014 - Karlskrona, Sweden
    Duration: 25 Aug 201429 Aug 2014

    Publication series

    PublisherIEEE Computer Society


    Conference22nd IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference, RE 2014
    Internet address


    • SCS-Services
    • EWI-25407
    • Play-centric requirements engineering
    • Play-testing
    • Gameplay balancing
    • METIS-309717
    • Empirical Research Method
    • IR-94000
    • Exploratory case study
    • Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games
    • Gameplay design

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