Developing an Evaluation Framework for Analysing Educational Simulation Games


  • Souad Slyman University of Roehampton
  • Marco Gillies Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
  • Vally Lytra Goldsmiths, University of London, UK



game evaluation heuristics,, usability testing, game design, human computer interaction, simulation games


Despite the emergence of new methodologies for analysing and evaluating games using usability testing and heuristics evaluation frameworks, there is still lack of inclusive game heuristics for analysing educational simulation games. To address this, we conduct two case studies: professional critic game reviews and focus group interviews. We have looked at the effects of games on players’ gaming experiences in different gaming context (i.e. playing educational versus (vs.) entertaining simulation games).  Findings show various game design similarities & differences between playing these simulation games. It also highlights game design issues. In this paper, we propose a new game evaluation heuristics model (GADDIE) that consists of Game Analysis (GA), Design (D), Development (D), Implementation (I) and Evaluation (E). These heuristics were compiled as a result of game design issues identified from the professional critic game reviews and the focus group interviews.  On the basis of the data obtained it is argued that the GADDIE model could provide further guidance that leads on from previous research, since it encapsulates research findings, game design principles, human computer interaction, usability testing guidelines, educational perspectives and overall our experiences as educators and game researchers. Consequently, the proposed framework would support our ongoing research project in game evaluation process (educational vs. entertaining), and other researchers, more effectively.