University of York
Alex has an academic background in Psychology and Human-Computer Interaction, and their Master’s dissertation comparing measures of perceived challenge and demand in video games was published at the recent CHI 2023 conference. Alex currently works as a Research Operations Consultant for PlaytestCloud and a freelance Games User Researcher. They are also a Student Video Games Ambassador for UKIE, and regularly volunteer at conferences such as CHI Play and the GamesUR Summit. When they aren’t at their desk, you can find Alex figure skating or DJing 80’s rock.
Alex’s research focuses on levelling up the narrative testing practices of indie video game developers. Narrative testing is a specialised games user research (GUR) practice that requires resources and knowledge not easily accessible to indie developers, meaning they are often disadvantaged compared to their larger AAA counterparts. Thus, my work proposes the direct study of indie developers to level the playing field by democratising narrative testing best practices and empowering non-research team members to conduct GUR activities. I aim to achieve this goal by:
Defining narrative testing best practices.
Identifying key challenges indie developers face when evaluating narrative.
Co-designing and evaluating narrative testing prototype(s).
Assessing methods for disseminating GUR knowledge.
The successful completion of this work will impact how indie studios conduct narrative testing, ultimately leading to the creation of better games.