Exploring Help Facilities in Game-Making Software

by   Dominic Kao, et al.
Purdue University

Help facilities have been crucial in helping users learn about software for decades. But despite widespread prevalence of game engines and game editors that ship with many of today's most popular games, there is a lack of empirical evidence on how help facilities impact game-making. For instance, certain types of help facilities may help users more than others. To better understand help facilities, we created game-making software that allowed us to systematically vary the type of help available. We then ran a study of 1646 participants that compared six help facility conditions: 1) Text Help, 2) Interactive Help, 3) Intelligent Agent Help, 4) Video Help, 5) All Help, and 6) No Help. Each participant created their own first-person shooter game level using our game-making software with a randomly assigned help facility condition. Results indicate that Interactive Help has a greater positive impact on time spent, controls learnability, learning motivation, total editor activity, and game level quality. Video Help is a close second across these same measures.


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