Investigation of Usability Heuristics in Game Design
The aim of this project was to develop a 2D puzzle platformer video game that incorporates a number of game design heuristics. Usability heuristic evaluation is a technique used to improve software usability according to a set of principles. These principles have been adapted to be relevant to game design. Testing was then carried out to see if the design heuristics incorporated into the game led to a better gameplay experience for the user.
The aim of this project was to develop a 2D puzzle platformer video game that incorporates six game design heuristics. Game design heuristics have been used for game development for a number of years and were originally adapted from more general usability heuristics. By following these heuristics, a game developer can design a video game with “rule of thumb” characteristics that act as a guide to effective game design. Six game design heuristics were incorporated into the game. These heuristics cover areas including audio, visuals, and providing information to the user. The finished game is a 2D puzzle platformer adventure game that was created in Unity game engine and requires the player to navigate a world and solve puzzles by interacting with their environment. Testing was then carried out to see if the design heuristics incorporated into the game led to a better gameplay experience for the user. The results gathered from the heuristic evaluation suggests that the average user found the heuristics effective.
Heuristic testing was used as the method of evaluating the game based on the heuristics chosen for the research study. The heuristic evaluation of the game suggests that the users on average thought the design heuristics were implemented successfully and effectively. Play-testing the game also proved to provide valuable feedback on how less effective heuristic components could be better implemented. The student would like to take this feedback and better implement them into the game.