Visual Richness of Detail and Its Effect on Character Attachment in Games


Carl Sommer: Game Designer

Project Highlights



I created this game to be used for my masters thesis research on how visual richness of detail affects character attachment in games. There are four versions of the game, each with different art reflecting four levels of visual richness of detail. It is a point and click adventure featuring a tangram-like puzzle system.

Research Goals




The core idea behind the study was to determine whether players were more emotionally attached to video game characters with more or less visual richness of detail. Visual richness of detail was defined as the level in which the art provides distinctly identifiable physical traits. The study hoped to determine whether players would be more invested in characters with specific demographic information in which they could empathize, or if they would be more invested in visually generic characters which allow for them to attribute any features they wished to a character.

Successes


Carl Sommer: Game Designer


Many players found the characters interesting and likeable.

The goals associated with each level/puzzle helped facilitate investment in the characters.

Challenges


Carl Sommer: Game Designer


Because the game was intended to be used for research, it was important that it was never too challenging for gamers of varying levels of experience. This consideration, along with the fact that players would experience the game with different levels of visual richness of detail made the puzzle system incredibly delicate to design.

Given that items with varying levels of detail may be interpreted differently by different players, the puzzles could not rely too heavily on a traditional crafting system. Additionally, I could not use traditional tangram puzzles, given the necessity for some players to collect richly detailed objects from the environment.

Project Details


Tools: Construct 2, Illustrator, HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, Excel, Word, Mendeley, SASS.

Team: Carl Sommer.

My Role: All roles.



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