DJ Game - Exploring New Interactions in Mobile Music Games
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This thesis explores the possibility of creating new interactions in mobile music games. It begins with the creation of a research goal and research questions. These questions were aimed at the discovery of how a game implementing these interactions might affect user perception of both music and gameplay elements. By conducting a thorough prestudy, it was found that there might be some new ground to break when it comes to simplification of complex actions on small touch screens. And on the gameplay side of things, there was found to be an obvious overweight in games using rhythm-pattern interactions, where players react to on-screen prompts through simple mechanics to cause some musical output. Few games attempt to flip this music-gameplay relation on its head, having manipulation of music be the central gameplay mechanic. With this prestudy as a backdrop, a game prototype was designed and developed. The interaction design for this prototype was largely inspired by how DJs interact with and manipulate pre-recorded music. Gameplay mechanics were then designed to support these player interactions. By conducting observations and interviews, and analyzing the collected data, the prototype was found to be successful in several areas. Participants showed a better understanding of musical structure and music production and performance, indicating value in simplification when mapping complex real-world interactions to mobile screens. Some of the participants were observed to reach something close to a state of flow while playing the game, confirming the viability of music interaction and manipulation as a core gameplay mechanic. The thesis concludes with a discussion of these findings, and lastly presents potential future work.