Media Technology MSc

MSc Thesis


The Influence of Non-diegetic UI Elements in 3D Touch Controlled Games


Nana Tian




3D touch technology has been introduced by Apple since 2015, and got serious attentions since the innovative pressure-sensitivity technology can bring more space for creativity. Some developers have claimed that it does not usually intuitive for beginners to use because lack of proper visual hints for pressure. Meanwhile, it could be noticed that the non-diegetic UI elements in games can direct the users a lot better than solely the instruction text. However, former researches have proven that the non-diegetic UI elements in games could reduce the level of immersion, and there is a tendency for non-diegetic UI elements to be as minimum as possible by reason of the smaller screen capacity. Therefore, it is important to figure out whether non-diegetic UI elements related to 3D touch will function positively in games while maintaining a balance of immersion. In this paper, an empirical experiment has been conducted to study non-diegetic UI elements' influence on 3D touch control and the level of immersion with a 2D shooter game called “PlaneWar”. 35 participants have participated in this study to compare the two versions: 1. The game with non-diegetic UI elements demonstrating the pressure ranges in real-time. 2. The game removed the non-diegetic UI element that is relevant to 3D touch controller. The results indicate that non-diegetic UI elements indeed highly suggestive for beginners to adapt the 3D touch control. The outcomes illustrate that there is a statistically significant difference in control accuracy between the two conditions. No statistically significant difference, however, is found on the level of immersion. Finally, some implications have been made for game developers to make more effective selections when using 3D touch in games.

Full Reference

Nana Tian, "The Influence of Non-diegetic UI Elements in 3D Touch Controlled Games", Master's Thesis for the Media Technology programme, Leiden University (The Netherlands), 2016