Thesis Research

Toward a Supplemental Haptic Interface for Novice Gameplay

Example user interaction
Example user interaction

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Haptic glove prototype
Haptic glove prototype

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Screenshot of custom tutorial level
Screenshot of custom tutorial level

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Example user interaction
Example user interaction

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Goal: Develop a novel solution to address common barriers that new players face when engaging with an unfamiliar video game for the first time.

Strategy: For my Masters Thesis research, I have chosen to focus my work on the use of supplemental haptic feedback as a tool to help novice gamers learn to play video games. In late 2021 I conducted an exploratory survey study of video game players of different levels of skill and experience in order to better understand the barriers that new players face when learning to play games for the first time. The results of this survey led me explore the possibilities of using a multimodal approach to UX design in order to supplement the user interface with haptics to strengthen the player's understanding of game mechanics. I developed a prototype set of gloves using Arduino and Processing that provide the player with supplemental haptic cues to let them know which finger to use when prompted to press a specific button in-game. This system addresses a prominent issue identified through my research related to the difficulties new players have with learning unfamiliar control schemes. Additionally, I built a short first-person shooter game using the Unity Engine, which is being used to test the validity of the haptic glove prototype. UX testing of this system is ongoing and is expected to be completed late spring 2022.