Interactive Dynamic Response for Games
Riverside UC, USA
|Authors: Victor Zordan, UC Riverside|
Adriano Macchietto, UC Riverside
Jose Medina, UC Riverside
Marc Soriano, UC Riverside
James Wu, UC Riverside
|Dynamic response is a technique for employing a physical reaction to an animated character. The technique utilizes a database of reactions as example motions to transition to following a dynamic simulation of an interaction. The search for the example to follow has been the stumbling block for bringing such a system into realtime applications and in this paper, we address that issue by proposing a number of speed-ups which make the approach faster than realtime and appropriate for an electronic game implementation. We accomplish this speed-up by using a supervised learning routine which trains offline on a large set of dynamic response examples and predicts online among the choices found in the database. Also, we propose a near-optimal routine which finds the alignment of the selected motion for the given scenario based on a sparse sampling with an additional order of magnitude speed-up over the original algorthim. With both of these changes in place, we enjoy a tremendous speed-up with inperceptable difference in the final motion compared to previous published results. Finally we offer a few additional alternatives that allow the user to choose between quality and speed based on their individual needs.|
WiiMedia: motion analysis methods and applications using a consumer video game controller
ENSAM Presence and Innovation, FRANCE
"WiiMedia" is a study to use the WiiRemote, a new consumer video game controller from Nintendo's, for media art, pedagogical application, scientific research and innovative unprecedented entertainment system. Normally, consumer hardwares like standard controllers of new video game platforms are closed to public developers. But, the Nintendo's WiiRemote can be connected easily thanks to a BlueTooth adapter with an ordinary PC. Thus, public developers can access to the WiiRemote's acceleration and IR sensors via this wireless connection. We think it might enlarge non-professional game development environment with a new innovative game controller. However, when we tried to develop our projects with the WiiRemote,we encountered many difficulties because the only data that can be captured are basic data and not the full player's motion with the controller. Through the WiiMedia project with the development of a few applications, we compared some motion analysis methods using the WiiRemote. This paper describes case studies that include states of arts and several motion analysis methods.
Mapping the Mental Space of Game Genres
|Authors: J.P. Lewis, Stanford|
Pamela Fox, USC
Morgan McGuire, Williams
|In this short paper we explore the application of manifold learning algorithms to build maps of the ``space'' of game genres. The gaming community has produced an informal classification of games that defines genres such as first-person shooters, real-time strategy games, etc. While these genres are generally accepted, producing a more formal taxonomy of game types is challenging, both because it involves subjective opinions and because the mental space of game types is clearly high-dimensional. Psychological research has in some cases successfully addressed the problem of creating visual models of subjective mental concepts using multidimensional scaling. %, though the problem domains have mostly been low-dimensional. Recent manifold learning approaches provide a way to make similar maps of potentially high-dimensional data, though they have been mainly targeted to physical rather than conceptual data. We illustrate applying manifold learning to pairwise similarity ratings between games. The resulting map shows clustering of related games into spontaneously arising ``genres''. Maps such as this can help support discussion and analysis of games, provide a spatial framework for recommender systems, and perhaps suggest opportunities for new types of games in the empty spaces in the map.|
GameLog: Fostering Reflective Gameplaying for Learning
Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
|Authors: Jose P. Zagal, Georgia Institute of Technology|
Amy S. Bruckman, Georgia Institute of Technology
On the surface, it seems like teaching about games should be easy. After all, students are highly motivated, enjoy engaging with course content, and also have extensive personal experience with videogames. However, games education in reality is surprisingly complex. In game classes, students are often asked to use reflect, generalize, and articulate their understanding of games as they play and analyze them. Educational research suggests that these tasks are particularly challenging for students. We report on the use of GameLog, an online blogging environment for supporting reflection on gameplaying experiences. GameLog differs from traditional blogging environments because each user maintains multiple parallel blogs, with each blog devoted to a single game. GameLog was used in two university level games-related classes. Our results indicate students perceived writing GameLogs as a positive learning experience for three reasons. First, it improved their relationship with videogames as a medium. Second, it helped them broaden and deepen their understanding of videogames. Third, it provided a vehicle for expression, communication, and collaboration. Students found that by reflecting on their experiences playing games they began to understand how game design elements helped shape that experience. Most importantly, they stepped back from their traditional role of “gamers” or “fans” and engaged in reasoning critically and analytically about the games they were studying. Our analysis of the students’ GameLog entries supports the students’ perceptions. We identified six common styles of GameLog entry: overview, narrative, comparative analysis, plan/hypothesis, experiment, and insight/analysis. These styles align with practices necessary for supporting learning and understanding. We propose that blogging about gameplay experience, as a reflective writing activity, can help lay the foundations on which further learning and understanding of games can happen.
The Experience of Telepresence with a Foreign Language Video Game and Video
Center for Language Research,
The University of Aizu, JAPAN
|Authors: Jonathan deHaan, The University of Aizu|
James Diamond, New York University
We investigated the experience of telepresence elicited by foreign language media with different interactivities (i.e., a video game and a video recording of the video game being played) with 10 undergraduates. Self-report questionnaires and open-ended interviews showed that, in general, telepresence was experienced more strongly with the video game. There was some variation in the results, however, depending on individuals' immersion tendencies and other media preferences and habits. Additionally, many participants reported not feeling as telepresent with this project's media as with other media and framed this experience by discussing investment, involvement, narrative, and play. We offer several implications for game designers aiming to create virtual realities for their players.
Drawing a line in the sand: border/boundary theory and games
Quinnipiac University, USA
|Authors: Gregory P. Garvey Professor, Department of Computer Science and Interactive Digital Design Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT, USA|
Thomas Vander Wal [Roush, 2005] uses the term info cloud to describe the always on media landscape of personal communication, social networking, entertainment, gaming and news. Temporary immersion in any one facet of the info cloud such as game play, however brief, monopolizes a player's time, physical engagement, cognition, and even identity. How best to understand, describe and explain how people navigate between these worlds, cross social boundaries while maintaining a sense of identity? Border and Boundary theory seeks to understand and explain the transitions and balance between the domains work and family. Boundary theory even admits the possibility of third places which suggests that these theories may be a useful analytical tool to broadly apply to the info cloud or specifically to gaming. However, the work of other authors [Bateson 1972: Gee 2003: Goffman 1974: Jenkins 2004: Juul 2005: Salen & Zimmerman 2003 etc.] suggest that Border and boundaries theories as currently formulated are inadequate to explain the full dynamic of immersion in game play or even in the info cloud. This paper introduces some additional concepts listed as a Dictionary of Terms (nano transitions, consonance, dissonance, Boolean operations, nano domains, meta domains, superposition, role identity, role playing etc.) that may address these shortcomings of border and boundary theories, thereby providing greater analytical power to the consideration of gaming as a subset of the info cloud.
The Birth of the Virtual Clinic: The Virtual Terrorism Response Academy as Serious Game and Epistemological Space
University of California, Irvine, USA
The Interactive Media Laboratory at Dartmouth Medical School produces computer games and multimedia programs for public health preparedness. With funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the IML is now developing the Virtual Terrorism Response Academy, which uses game technology to prepare first responders for rescue efforts in which hazardous materials may be involved. This paper looks at the taxonomy of related game genres, the history of the Virtual Clinic concept that shapes the user's spatial experience, and the original rationale for creating what Max Boisot calls epistemology space. It also offers an account of the VRTA designers' responses to potential criticism from learning specialists in game studies who object that the game is too didactic and discourages trial-and-error by restraining the learner in the narrative conceit of a simulation of a simulation.
Journey of Discovery: The Night Journey Project as Video/Game Art
USC School of Cinematic Arts, USA
|Authors: Tracy Fullerton, USC School of Cinematic Arts/EA Game Innovation Lab,|
Todd Furmanski, USC School of Cinematic Arts/EA Game Innovation Lab,
Kurosh Valanejad, USC School of Cinematic Arts/EA Game Innovation Lab
This paper describes the development of a unique video/game project being produced by artist Bill Viola in collaboration with a team from the USC Game Innovation Lab, which uses a combination of both video and game technologies to explore the universal experience of an individual's journey towards enlightenment. Here, we discuss both the creative and technical approaches to achieving the project's goals of evoking in the player the sense of undertaking a spiritual journey.
Optimal Information Placement in an Interactive 3D Environment
UNC Charlotte, USA
|Authors: Priyesh Dixit, University of North Carolina at Charlotte,|
Dr. G. Michael Youngblood, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The correct placement of important artifacts and information in interactive three-dimensional (3D) environments is important to ensure that those key artifacts and information are seen and absorbed by the immersed user. This can include training information, advertisements, clues, interaction points, and other information that needs to be conveyed to or manipulated by the user. We propose a novel algorithm for calculating the optimal positioning of such artifacts and information based on a corpus of prior play testers, which are used to determine distance-weighted and radially focused observation densities on surfaces of interactive 3D environments. We have developed a tool called HIIVVE (Highly Interactive Information Value Visualization and Evaluation) which allows for interactive evaluation as well as offline processing of the information value surfaces. A user study involving information placement using the calculated information value surfaces and observation densities shows that higher valued locations do yield improved user observation by as much as 58.3%.
University of Central Florida, USA
True Impostors offers an efficient method for adding a large number of simple models to any scene without having to render a large number of polygons. The technique utilizes modern shading hardware to perform ray casting into texture defined volumes. To achieve this, a virtual screen is set up in texture space for each impostor and inherits the same camera dependent orientation as the impostor. Each pixel on the impostor corresponds to a point on its virtual screen. By casting the viewing ray from this point into our texture defined volumes, the correct color for the target pixel can be found. The technique supports self-shadowing on models, reflection, refraction, a simple animation scheme, and an efficient method for finding distances through volumes.
Using Prototypes in Early Pervasive Game Development
|Authors: Elina Koivisto, Nokia,|
Riku Suomela, Nokia
In this paper, we discuss using various prototyping methods in early game development. We have playtested pervasive game prototypes using agile software prototype development methods and guided paper prototyping method. We give examples of four pervasive games where both paper-prototyping and software-prototyping methods are used. We also compare results that have been achieved by testing games with the potential end users of the game and with colleagues or other experts. The benefits and disadvantages of the methods are discussed and their use in the game development process is described, i.e. when the methods should be used and what should be considered when using them.
Principles of Emergent Design in Online Games: Mermaids Phase 1 Prototype
Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
|Authors: Celia Pearce, Emergent Game Group (EGG), Georgia Institute of Technology|
Calvin Ashmore, Emergent Game Group (EGG), Georgia Institute of Technology
This paper outlines the first phase prototype of Mermaids, a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) being developed by Georgia Institute of Technology's Emergent Game Group. We describe Mermaids in the context of the group's research mission, to develop specific games, techniques and design features that promote large-scale emergent social behavior in multiplayer games. We also discuss some of the innovative design features of the Mermaids game, and describe the rapid prototyping and iterative development process that enabled us to create a working prototype in a relatively short period of time on a zero budget project using a student-based development team. We also discuss the special challenges encountered when trying to develop a nontraditional game, one of whose stated research goals was to interrogate MMOG conventions, using a relatively conventional game engine.
Managing the Tradeoffs in the Digital Transformation of an Educational Board Game to a Computer-based Simulation
Northeastern University, USA
|Authors: Seth Sivak, Northeastern University,|
Mark Sivak, Northeastern University,
Dr. Jacqueline Isaacs, Northeastern University,
Jay Laird, Northeastern University and Metaversal Studios,
Ann McDonald, Northeastern University
There is a need for new pedagogical strategies to educate the current generation of engineering students who are still typically taught using standard lecture practices. The desire to address complex technological and social issues in an engaged manner inspired the development of a prototype board game created to raise the awareness of environmental issues in engineering. The board game, Shortfall, was designed as part of a graduate thesis for in-class play by undergraduate and graduate engineering students as well as business students. The game structure was based on team competition of companies in the automobile supply chain, with the game objective set to achieve the highest profit. In 2005, it was evident that developments in digital technology allowed new opportunities to engage students in collaborative and active learning. A team of engineers, educators and designers further developed the board game with more in-depth scenarios and graphic organization. The game was then play tested and assessed learning and game play as an initial step in the process of developing a multi-player computer-based version of Shortfall.
Student feedback from play testing, focus groups and surveys provided insights for redesigning the game for the computer platform. Two senior undergraduate engineering students in an independent study took these results and have created a prototype computer-based simulation designed as an experimental educational technology for an engineering course on environmentally benign manufacturing. This prototype was created to be the first computer-based step towards a fully networked multiplayer implementation. The transformation from board game to computer-based simulation presented many new challenges and tradeoffs, which are detailed in this paper. The goal was to maintain the core mechanics of the board game so that intellectual merit was not lost in translation while forging the first computer-based implementation.
Interactive Shader Development
Technical University of Denmark,
Over The Edge Entertainment, Deadline Games A/S, DENMARK
|Authors: Peter Dahl Ejby Jensen, Technical University of Denmark, Over The Edge Entertainment, Deadline Games A/S|
Nicholas Francis, Over The Edge Entertainment
Bent Dalgaard Larsen, Technical University of Denmark
Niels Jørgen Christensen, Technical University of Denmark
Since the introduction of programmable graphics hardware the creation of shader programs has played an increasingly important role in real-time graphics.
Programming shaders is not a trivial task, which has lead to the introduction of graphical shader editor tools. Using these tools, shaders are authored by connecting nodes and thereby building a shade tree.
In this paper we present an improved approach to graphical shader authoring that abstracts several programming difficulties away. Our approach automatically handles type- and geometrical space transformations by using intelligent variables as connection slots in the nodes.
Our work also offers workflow enhancements for a more interactive creation process. When shaders are to be used in interactive applications like games, they need to be optimized. Therefore we present a scheme for automatic optimization in two steps: Optimal code placement and optimizations of inserted transformations. Performance will be compared to hand-optimized programs showing that our technique yield as interactive shaders.
The Dynamic Controller Toolkit
|Authors: Ari Shapiro, UCLA|
Derek Chu, UCLA
Brian Allen, UCLA
Petros Faloutsos, UCLA
We introduce a system for creating dynamic controllers for articulated characters under physical simulation. This system allows users to create dynamic controllers for interactive or offline use through a combination of both visual and scripting tools.
Users can design controllers by specifying keyframe poses, using a high-level scripting language, or by manipulating the rules of physics through a group of helper functions that can temporarily modify the environment in order to make the desired animation more feasible under physical simulation. The goal of the toolkit is to integrate dynamic control methods into a usable interactive system for non-computer scientists and non-roboticists, and provide the means to quickly generate physically-based motion.
Assembling an Expressive Facial Animation System
|Authors: Alice Wang, Northrop Grumman|
Michael Emmi, University of California, Los Angeles
Petros Faloutsos, University of California, Los Angeles
In this paper we investigate the development of an expressive facial animation system from publicly available components. There is a great body of work on face modeling, facial animation and conversational agents. However, most of the current research either targets a specific aspect of a conversational agent or is tailored to systems that are not publicly available. We propose a high quality facial animation system that can be easily built based on affordable off-the-shelf components. The proposed system is modular, extensible, efficient and suitable for a wide range of applications that require expressive speaking avatars. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the system with two applications: