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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Annotating Player Experience in Telltale Games The Wolf Among Us

  • Author(s): Murray, John Thomas
  • Advisor(s): Wardrip-Fruin, Noah
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC' version 4.0 license

Modern adventure games combine storytelling with gameplay using conventions familiar to film and television audiences. These games are different from others in that the experience depends on narrative content, and so is challenging to evaluate for improving content. The subgenre pioneered by Telltale Games uses dramatic choices to shape player experience. I developed and applied an annotation schema to a dataset of 6 player traversals of the first episode of The Wolf Among Us by Telltale Games. The schema supports comparison of player responses consisting of a combination of psychophysiological measurements and self-report events. These events are segmented and classified based on concepts drawn from Robert McKee, including the beat and story values, as well as traditional narrative elements such as character and plot. The results provide evidence that content annotations can facilitate analysis of players responses in longer traversals in spite of different levels of expressivity.

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