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Session Information

TitleResearching Spore: A New Approach to Player Testing
Presenter(s)Nate BoltNate Bolt, El Presidente of Bolt | Peters, Inc., is fascinated by the personal, social, and cultural role of technology, and how research and design can transform those roles. After pioneering and directing the User Experience department at Clear Ink in 1999, which included the construction of Natural Environment and Remote Observation laboratories, Nate co-founded Bolt | Peters. He now serves as president and CEO where he has overseen hundreds of user research studies for Hallmark, Oracle, Time Warner, Levi's, Restoration Hardware, and others. Beginning in 2003, he led the creation of the first moderated remote user research software, Ethnio, which is being used around the world to recruit live participants for research on web sites and applications.

Nate regularly gives presentations on native environment research methods in both commercial and academic settings. Working with faculty at the University of California, San Diego, he created a degree titled "Digital Technology and Society," which focused on the intersection of technology and mass population usage. He also completed a year of communications studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he was jailed briefly for playing drums in public without a license.
TimeFriday, October 10, 2:30p-3:30p
DescriptionIn researching the player experience of Spore for EA, Bolt | Peters set out to challenge the traditional focus group method of game research. Combining a simulated native environment with new observational technology and the PENS (Player Experience of Need Satisfaction) evaluation model, we captured a more accurate reading of the user's mood and comfort level.

We'll talk about using remote voice chat to moderate multiple gamers simultaneously, removing the disruptive physical presence of the moderator, relaying 18 streams of live video, and other benefits and methodological pitfalls of this approach as applied to Spore.

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