ACM - Computers in Entertainment

Combining gameplay and narrative techniques to enhance the user experience of viewing galleries

By Annika Wolff, Paul Mulholland, Zdenek Zdrahal, Richard Joiner
Interactive entertainment, [Vol. 5, No. 1]

DOI: 10.1145/1236224.1236234

Owing to high production costs, the reuse of film and television broadcast content in spin-off merchandise is often necessary. Games and DVDs are popular spin-off products, and when aimed at children in particular, they often include viewing galleries in which a user can browse scenes from the original broadcast. This is a highly economic form of literal content reuse, since it minimizes authoring additional resources. There is also the potential to improve the experience of users as they interact with content in viewing galleries. Ways to do so become apparent by examining the principles of both narrative and gameplay which underpin the original broadcasts and their spin-offs. Scene-Driver is a narrative-driven game architecture that enables the user, via a domino-like interface, to select and order content. This mechanism creates an engaging means for a user to interact with existing broadcast content. Three versions of the Scene-Driver approach to content reuse have been developed, each using content from a children's animated television series called Tiny Planets. Four studies to evaluate the Scene-Driver game have been done, all with positive results.

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