Game Illusionization: A Workflow for Applying Optical Illusions to Video Games


Optical illusions have been brought into recent video games to enhance gaming experiences. However, a large corpus of optical illusions remains unused, while few games incorporate illusions seamlessly. To mitigate the gap, we propose a workflow to guide game designers in applying optical illusions to their video games, i.e., in making more illusion games. In particular, our workflow consists of 5 stages: (1) choosing a game object, (2) searching for a matching illusion, (3) selecting an illusion mechanic, (4) integrating the selected illusion into the game, and (5) optionally revealing the illusion. To facilitate our workflow, we provide a tag database with 163 illusions that are labeled by their in-game visual elements and desired effects. We also provide example editing interfaces of 6 illusions for game designers. We walk through our workflow and showcase 6 resulting illusion games. We implemented these 6 games (with and without illusion) and conducted a 12-participant study to gain a preliminary understanding of how illusions enhance gaming experiences. To evaluate our workflow, we invited 6 game designers and 6 experienced players to follow our workflow and design their own illusion games, where 3 experienced game designers completed 2-week in-depth developments. We report their games, qualitative feedback and discuss reflection on our workflow, database and editing interfaces.

The 34th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology