CIRCA:Assessment Tools


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This page gathers together a variety of techniques for evaluating and assessing video games.


General List of Assessment Techniques

Note: See the Assessment Framework for more information regarding the assessment frameworking we're developing

Qualitative Assessment Techniques

Qualitative techniques are likely to dominate video game assessment, for the success of a video game experience is often predicated upon difficult to quantify human elements such as "fun" and "enjoyment".

Evaluation by Game Creators

Evaluation by Game Players

Game players may be asked to evaluate a game in a variety of ways.

Quantitative Assessment Techniques

Quantitative assessment of video games generally entails analyzing data collected about the progress of players through the game.

Quantitative assessment can involve the measurement of:

  • of tickets/tokens purchased
  • Success/failure rates
  • Journaling
  • Time in-game
  • Amount of content interacted with
  • Locations the game was accessed from
  • specific times the game was accessed

Specific approaches to projects

Draft Revised List For Methods/Techniques

Note: Below is a list of some methods that may be used to assess parts of game design and assessment. Each method includes a brief explanation why it may be relevant to design as well as a few associated sources from our literature review. Please feel free to add or the revise to the list.

Guidelines for Methods:

  • Add only relevant methods.
  • Use a brief description to define the method.
  • Link it to relevant literature in the Literature Review & Precises section when possible.
  • Use proper citation
  • Alphabetical order is preferred.
  • Link to the Grand Assessment Framework for which method may be useful for which section of the framework. For example, Interviewing can be linked to Stakeholders and Expectations as '1.0', under recommended use with framework.

Developmental Evaluation

Developmental Evaluation makes use of a developmental evaluator to inquire into developments, track developments, facilitate interpretation of developments and their significance, and engages with multiple parties engaged in and affected by the product regarding making judgements about what is being developing, how long it is being developed, and the consequences and impacts of what has been developed, and what are the next stages of development. Recommended Use with Framework: Associated Literature:

  • Patton, Michael. Developmental Evaluation: Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use . New York: Guiford, 2011.


Play-testing focuses on measuring the product’s quality and functionality. Recommended Use with Framework: Associated Literature:

  • Warren, Scott, Greg Jones, and Line Lin. "Usability and Play Testing: The Often Missed Assessment." In Serious Educational Game Assessment: Practical Methods and Models for Educational Games, Simulations and Virtual Worlds . Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2011. 131-146.


Usability-testing focuses on measuring the capacity for the product to meet its intended purposes with the use of user-centered interaction. Recommended Use with Framework: Associated Literature:

Standardized Criteria

Including checklists and rubrics, standardized criteria sets expectations and a focus on measuring specific objectives. Recommended Use with Framework: Associated Literature:

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