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Most user interfaces require the user to focus on one element at a time, but StarCraft 2 is a game where players often control more than a hundred units simultaneously. The game interface provides an optional mechanism called "control groups" that allows players to select multiple units and assign them to a group in order to quickly recall previous(More)
The first time a player sits down with a game is critical for their engagement. Games are a voluntary activity and easy to abandon. If the game cannot hold player attention, it will not matter how much fun the game is later on if the player quits early. Worse, if the initial experience was odious enough, the player will dissuade others from playing.(More)
Players can change the rules of a multi-person game to experience a different gameplay mechanic, add thematic color, or fine-tune its balance. To better understand game variants, we use a grounded approach to analyze 62 variants for Texas Hold'em, a popular card game, and a follow-up case-study of 91 variants of Halo 2, a popular video game. We study their(More)
According to the Free Software Movement, the user ought to have "the freedoms to make changes, and to publish improved versions" and "to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs". The Open Source Initiative expects users to access source code, explaining that "you can't evolve programs without modifying them. Since our purpose is to make(More)
System designers who build customization into games ought to consider how players think about adjustments. The distinctiveness of gaming contexts suggests that closer inspection of customization in games is warranted and will inform the design of customizable game systems. Presented here is an analysis of 82 collected reports about variations to the rules(More)
Card Board is an online application for playing almost any traditional card game without restricting who can change the rules or when. Its design goal is to facilitate socially negotiated play, where the pace and the rules are determined by the players rather than the computer. In its first iteration, Card Board offers a generic simulation of a card deck(More)
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