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Quality and Usability LabAssessment and Prediction of the QoE of Mobile Gaming

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Subjective assessment and instrumental prediction of mobile online gaming on the basis of perceptual dimensions

Motivation

The assessment of the perceived quality of the user (Quality of Experience) of pure audio and video material differs in many ways from the quality of computer games. The later possess a variety of factors due to their interactive nature. Not only factors of complex and innovative game systems have an impact on the QoE, but also the players themselves. A quality judgment, that results by comparing the expected and perceived composition of an entity, depends highly on the preferences, expectations and abilities of the player.

In this still young area of research standard methods for determining the QoE are not directly applicable. This is apparent since in a task oriented human-computer interaction the goal should be achieved with minimal effort. However in a game  the player exerts an effort in order to influence the outcome and thereby feels emotionally attached. Thus new concepts such as immersion and flow, a state of happiness while being in an equilibrium between competence and challenge, appear.

An analysis of the gaming market shows, that the proportion of mobile games has risen sharply in recent years. Mobile games are special in a sense that mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets were originally not designed for games and are therefore not optimally adapted to them. This also applies to the new concept of cloud gaming, where the entire game is executed on a server and only the video and audio material is transferred to the end user.

 

Aim of the project

The aim of this research project is to develop methods to assess the QoE of mobile games. In addition, based on a database containing subjective quality judgments, a model similar to the well known E-model should be constructed to predict the QoE. The following concrete steps are planned for this purpose:

  • Set up and modification of a testbed for conducting experiments including a cloud gaming system for mobile games
  • Development of a classification of games to choose representative games and identify system and user factors
  • Building a questionnaire covering a large space of relevant quality dimensions
  • Identification of quality-relevant perceptual dimensions and analysis of their impact on the overall quality
  • Analyzing the performance of current objective metrics which were proposed for different contents and services in mobile gaming
  • Building a QoE model based on game, system and network characteristics as well as user and context factors
Time Frame: 
01/2016 - 06/2019
T-labs Team Members:
Steven Schmidt
Funding by:
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Project Number:
MO 1038/21-1

List of Publications

Questionnaires embedded in virtual environments: reliability and positioning of rating scales in virtual environments
Citation key regal2019a
Author Regal, Georg and Voigt-Antons, Jan-Niklas and Schmidt, Steven and Schrammel, Johann and Kojić, Tanja and Tscheligi, Manfred and Möller, Sebastian
Pages 1–13
Year 2019
ISSN 2366-0147
DOI 10.1007/s41233-019-0029-1
Journal Quality and User Experience
Volume 4
Number 1
Month oct
Note online, print
Publisher Springer
How Published Fullpaper
Abstract Current developments in virtual reality (VR) hardware have made immersive VR experiences more affordable through commercially available head-mounted displays. As more studies are likely to be conducted using these devices, the question arises how to embed questionnaires in virtual environments without impairing the immersive user experience. In this work we investigate two different aspects: (1) if a rating performed in a virtual environment is comparable to a rating obtained via a paper questionnaire and (2) how questionnaires for assessing virtual experiences should be designed and integrated into the virtual environment. For this research, we used our own extended version of VRate–-a VR questionnaire asset for Unity. In the first study with 27 participants, we compared ratings assessed within VR with ratings obtained using a paper questionnaire. We found that the ratings gathered in VR are comparable to the ratings gathered in the real world by paper–pencil questionnaires (subscales: global presence, spatial presence, and experience realism). In the second study with 48 participants, we investigated the users' perceived suitability of the VR questionnaire and the optimal mounting position of the questionnaire (hand-mounted, head-up display or billboard). Moreover, we investigated whether the questionnaire should be answered in the same or in a separate dedicated virtual environment and how the users' feeling of presence in VR is influenced by this placement. Results indicate a subjective preference for the billboard position, with a significant preference for billboard over hand-mounted and no significant preference between billboard and head-up-display. Regarding the placement of the VR questionnaire (in-scene vs. dedicated virtual environment) we did not find any influence on presence. In the following, we discuss the pros and cons of different placement/mounting options and provide suggestions for designing and implementing questionnaires embedded in virtual environments.
Link to publication Link to original publication Download Bibtex entry

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