I'd like to know what the title says. Basically, everything I have found deals with heuristics from developer's side, from device's side and the economical side of gaming development. However, couldn't find anything about the user's side and experience. More specifically, the formula that tells the developers and/or analysts some part of the game has to be changed, enhanced, deleted or added to improve playability and decrease frustration

Of course I understand lab testing, surveys and tracking are tools that can be used to get this info, and it's quite simple to define some kind of algorithm to understand the information this data provides, and how does it affect playability or any other aspect of the game. And obviously, I know any decent game factory will have their own algorithms. But I wouldn't like to reinvent the wheel and having to test my own process as well.

In short: I'd like to know if there's something publicly available, at least on a basic form so I can use or at least contrast with my own algorithms

  • 1
    Its an interesting question, and there has to be a big chunk of psychology in there somewhere: a game has to be 'challenging' - but not 'too challenging'. I have a book somewhere on 'Game Design' and will post the title if I can find it.
    – PhillipW
    Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 8:35
  • 1
    This one: amazon.co.uk/Andrew-Rollings-Ernest-Adams-Design/dp/1592730019
    – PhillipW
    Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 8:37

1 Answer 1


I have always been a little bit critical of the way popular game review websites try to compare games, as least when it comes to the user experience (which I believe 'playability' is a big part of. While there are some quite objective metrics when it comes to graphics (polygon count, fps, etc.), you'll be pressed to find any reasonable comparison for elements such as gameplay, replayability, genre and many others.

Previously I have given this topic a fair bit of thought (as I was trying to come up with my own 'objective' review system), and these were the main aspects that I was able to break the 'playability' of the game down to:

Environment compatibility/accessibility

  • Console vs. PC availability
  • Console offerings (exclusive or cross-platform)
  • PC offerings (exclusive or cross-platform)
  • Network requirements
  • Graphics requirements

Player experience/game design

  • Genre(s) execution
  • Default level design (difficulty, replayability)
  • Custom level design (mods, developer tools)
  • Playing modes (single, multiplayer, co-op)
  • User interface (learning, remembering and customizing)
  • Story/character development
  • Environment/atmosphere
  • Music, SFX, soundtrack
  • Originality (story, character, concept, objects, music score, etc.)

I am sure there are plenty more that I have missed here, but hopefully you can get a nice list and apply some weighted scoring to derive your own algorithm.

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