January 13, 2013 | Comments Off
The Influence of Quality in Video and Audio on the Perceptions of Gameplay
This proposal focuses on the impacts of visual and audio quality on the perceptions of gameplay. Understanding choices made in the creation of art and sound for video games has previously been determined through application of technology bandwidth and project timelines. This thesis will look at the sacrifices frequently made in the development process of video games to assess the impact on player perception of quality.
A few decades ago, there was an MIT study which attempted to quantify the value of a live orchestra of musicians recorded for a soundtrack as opposed to a synthesized, computer generated score being used. In this study, the same animated clip was shown twice to the same person. One time with the live, recorded, orchestral score and a second time with a digitally generated synthesized score. Overwhelmingly, the participant viewers, not knowing what had been changed, commented that the picture quality had been diminished when the visuals were accompanied by the digital, synthesizer music.
This study has always intrigued me and I would like to develop a similar test, whereby either visuals and/or sound and music are swapped in order to assess the efficacy of current video game industry workflows and asset implementation on the final user perception.
Possible focuses could be on animation frame rates, color resolution, or polygon counts in the visual realm. In the audio realm the focus could be on sample rates, compression schemes, sound file variability, and music system approaches. The assets would be delivered through a web-based game level using the Unity 3D engine and would be adjustable within a controlled environment.