Call For Papers


Due to the growing complexity and system dependent nature of video games, prototyping has become an important part of the game design process. Prototypes give designers the ability to quickly test an idea for minimal cost in time and resources, and provide early feedback in the design process. However, prototyping is not an exact science; choosing the proper representation and determining which mechanics to abstract are an important part of the process and are not always obvious decisions. In games research, this problem is often compounded by the number of unknowns in both mechanics and design. The prototypes no longer focus on making the best possible game according to a design idea, but instead are created to explore a particular research question. Additionally, when creating a research prototype, it is important to design it with the evaluation in mind.

For this workshop, we invite participants to bring both their research questions and the prototypes built to answer them. The day will be dedicated to demonstration and discussion, with ample time for collaboration and comparison of practice, method and result.

Important Dates

Paper submission:Mar 12, 2012
Notification to authors: Mar 25, 2012 (early registration is Mar 28)
Workshop held: May 29, 2012 (day before main conference)

Workshop Organization

The workshop will be a mixture of a peer-reviewed short paper (4 - 6 page) presentations and hands-on working meeting.


The purpose of this workshop is to allow hands-on time to share experience and methodologies from the practice of building research games and game prototypes. The expected outcome is a better understanding of the process of creating and evaluating prototypes specifically for games research.

Planned Activities

Participant preparation would entail the following:

Submitting a short paper describing the research question(s), the design, methodological aspects concerning development, and play testing (can also be a play-test plan if it is too early for the project).

Upon acceptance, submitting separate prototype instructions, or materials describing the prototype. This can take the form of a recorded demonstration session, an executable version of the demonstration with written instructions, or a detailed description of the demonstration heavily illustrated with screenshots.

Reading submissions in advance to assess prototypes of those presenting in the same session. (This in order to ensure rewarding discussions).

Participating in the workshop. Presentations will be done in sessions with presentations followed by a panel of the presenters. The workshop will conclude with discussions and hands-on break-out sessions addressing common themes in major methodological challenges and future directions.

Research Areas

Each submission is encouraged to address all of these topics*:
research questions or focus of exploration
game design created to explore hypotheses
realized prototypes
play testing and evaluation methods
data collection, processing and analysis

*Depending on the stage of maturity of the work the topics can address planned or future work.

Submission Instructions

Submissions to the Research Prototyping in Games workshop should follow ACM SIG conference formatting guidelines. Please use Option 1 as directed at the following URL:

Papers may be submitted using the Easychair submission system:


We are requesting that all papers be archived in the ACM Digital Library.

Workshop Organizers

Mirjam P Eladhari (Gotland University)
Elina M.I. Ollila (Independent)
Anne Sullivan (Univ. of California, Santa Cruz)

Program committee:
Stephane Bura, (Namaste Entertainment)
Joris Dormans (Univ. of Amsterdam)
Daniel Cook (Spry Fox)
Jussi Holopainen (Nokia)
Ian Horswill (Northwestern University)
Mark Nelson (IT University of Copenhagen)
Brian Schwab (Blizzard Entertainment)

Questions regarding the workshop can be sent to