Influencing gameplay in support of early synthetic prototyping studies
Ross, Douglas J.
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Early Synthetic Prototyping (ESP) is a concept being developed by the Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) to utilize a game environment and crowdsourcing techniques to receive end-user feedback on proposed acquisition programs early in the concept development stage. To be effective, ESP will need soldiers to participate, both to produce data and to interact with the game environment in such a way that the data is meaningful. This study proposed a methodology for creating scoring algorithms and examined its ability to influence player behavior and enjoyment. A group of students and faculty from the Naval Postgraduate School executed two scenarios in a VBS3 game environment. A scoring algorithm was applied to one scenario and data collected to determine the effect on player behavior and motivation. The study found qualitative evidence that scoring mechanisms enhanced enjoyment and could influence desired behavior. However, quantitative data was not statistically significant to demonstrate a corresponding effect on gameplay. The results of this preliminary work can be used to support future studies on how to utilize scoring algorithms to support ESP research.
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