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Placing a Value on Aesthetics in Online Casual Games Erik Andersen, Yun-En Liu, Richard Snider, Roy Szeto, and Zoran Popovic
 

Summary: Placing a Value on Aesthetics in Online Casual Games
Erik Andersen, Yun-En Liu, Richard Snider, Roy Szeto, and Zoran Popovi┤c
Center for Game Science
Department of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington
{eland,yunliu,mrsoviet,szetor,zoran}@cs.washington.edu
ABSTRACT
Game designers frequently invest in aesthetic improvements
such as music, sound effects, and animations. However,
their exact value for attracting and retaining players re-
mains unclear. Seeking to estimate this value in two popu-
lar Flash games, we conducted a series of large-scale A/B
tests in which we selectively removed aesthetic improve-
ments and examined the effect of each component on play
time, progress, and return rate. We found that music and
sound effects had little or no effect on player retention in ei-
ther game, while animations caused users to play more. We
also found, counterintuitively, that optional rewards caused
players to play less in both games. In one game, this game-
play modification affected play time three times as much as
the largest aesthetic variation. Our methodology provides a

  

Source: Anderson, Richard - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington at Seattle
PopoviŠ, Zoran - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington at Seattle

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences