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ICEC Tables of Contents: 040506070809101112131415

Proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Entertainment Computing

Fullname:ICEC 2013: 12th International Conference on Entertainment Computing
Editors:Junia C. Anacleto; Esteban W. G. Clua; Flavio S. Correa da Silva; Sidney Fels; Hyun S. Yang
Location:São Paulo, Brazil
Dates:2013-Oct-16 to 2013-Oct-18
Publisher:Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Series:Lecture Notes in Computer Science 8215
Standard No:DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-41106-9 hcibib: ICEC13; ISBN: 978-3-642-41105-2 (print), 978-3-642-41106-9 (online)
Papers:30
Pages:214
Links:Online Proceedings | Conference Website
An Empirical Examination of Behavioral Factors in Creative Development of Game Prototypes BIBAKFull-Text 3-8
  Michail N. Giannakos; Letizia Jaccheri; Sandro Morasca
In the last few years, several learning programs, workshops, technologies, and activities have been introduced and applied to game prototyping activities. The research goal of this work is to investigate how participants experience game prototyping activities. This paper presents a one-day intensive course consisting of both learning and hands-on sessions with open source software (OSS) tools, tangible materials, and sensor boards for creative development of games prototypes. The intensive course program was developed using the empirical experience of the instructors from numerous prior programs. We present the results of an empirical examination regarding participants' attitude towards the program. A group of 12 MSc/PhD students, teachers, and designers participated in the program in our empirical evaluation. We used a survey grounded in motivational factors for technology and open-ended questions to obtain both quantitative and qualitative data from the participants. Quantitative statistical analysis indicates that, in our study, participants' satisfaction and activity's usefulness are the most influential factors for participants' intention to attend similar activities in the future. Qualitative analysis suggests improvements on how to prepare the participants, introduce the software used in the courses, and enrich the variety of the materials in our program.
Keywords: Game Prototyping; Empirical Examination; Creative Development; Software Engineering Activities; Behavioral Factors; OSS for Entertainment
A New Chess Variant for Gaming AI BIBAKFull-Text 9-16
  Azlan Iqbal
In this article, we describe a newly-invented chess variant called Switch-Side Chain-Chess that is demonstrably more challenging for humans and computers than the standard, international version of the game. A new rule states that players have the choice to switch sides with each other if a continuous link of pieces is created on the board. This simple rule increases significantly the complexity of chess, as perceived by the players, but not the actual size of its game tree. The new variant therefore more easily allows board game researchers to focus on the 'higher level' aspects of intelligence such as perception and intuition without being constrained by a larger search space as they would be if using a game like Go or Arimaa. They can also immediately build upon the tried and tested approaches already being used in strong chess engines instead of having to start from scratch or a lower level of progress as is the case with other games of this type.
Keywords: Chess; variant; complexity; intelligence; intuition; perception
A Systematic Review of Game Design Methods and Tools BIBAKFull-Text 17-29
  Marcos Silvano Orita Almeida; Flávio Soares Corrêa da Silva
The game designer's craft is very young if compared to filmmaking and software development. The knowledge base and formal techniques of these areas is far more comprehensive. Even after decades of evolution of the games production software, the range of design centered techniques and tools is still limited, as observed by many authors. Thereby, efforts have been made towards the establishment of game design formal methods. This paper presents a systematization over the contributions of researchers and designers towards conceptual and concrete tools. These efforts converge to two approaches: the build of a shared design vocabulary and a game design modeling language. While valuable, the existing implementations of these approaches are not mature enough to gain industry adepts, serving only as reference to future works. Moreover, it is needed to discover the designer's particular methods, which may contribute to-wards the constitution of a unified design toolbox.
Keywords: Game design; game design methods; game design tools
Augmented Home BIBAKFull-Text 30-35
  Serge Offermans; Jun Hu
To combine these opportunities offered by both virtual words and the physical world, we have developed the Augmented Home, a game which combines the qualities of both worlds and integrates them into one. The Augmented Home draws the virtual world into the physical by binding it to the physical environment for children and parents to experience the virtual world together, being engaged in activities that benefit the child's educational, social and creative development.
Keywords: virtual worlds; physical play; educational games; development of children
Debunking Differences between Younger and Older Adults Using a Collaborative Virtual Environment BIBAFull-Text 36-47
  Oswald D. Kothgassner; Anna Felnhofer; Helmut Hlavacs; Leon Beutl; Jasmine Gomm; Nathalie Hauk; Elisabeth Kastenhofer; Ilse Kryspin-Exner
Collaborative virtual environments allow younger and older people to interact over long distances and stay in contact with their families and friends. Thus, these virtual environments are considered to be both, a crucial factor for active and healthy ageing and a great chance for future developments that may enhance and alter communication for specific age groups. Yet, to date there is a lack of studies examining differences between younger and older adults with special regards to technology usage factors, presence related factors as well as anxiety measures and psychophysiological arousal during social interactions in a collaborative virtual environment. Consequently, the objective of the current study was to evaluate the above mentioned factors in a group of 20 younger and 20 older adults using a slightly stressful collaborative virtual environment. The corresponding results indicate that virtual environments could indeed be beneficial tools for the communication of both, younger and older adults. Yet, older adults reported significantly lower levels of social presence during the interaction and were less able to handle the system than younger adults. Interestingly however, both groups did not differ in their technology related anxiety or regarding physiological measures of stress during the experience of the virtual environment.
Exploring Opponent Formats BIBAKFull-Text 48-60
  Mads Møller Jensen; Majken Kirkegaard Rasmussen; Kaj Grønbæk
The recent growth in development and research in computer-supported physical games has sprouted a wide variety of games merging qualities from both computer games and sports. Despite the increasing interest in this type of games, exploration of their specific game mechanics and the understanding of how the opponent format and relationships impact a game are almost absent in current research. Thus, this paper aims to elucidate how the perception of a competition differs, depending on the opponent format, by presenting a game mechanic framework. The paper furthermore presents an interactive football-training platform, as well as games designed to explore the different opponent formats. The games are qualitatively evaluated to illuminate the qualities of and distinctions between different types of opponent formats, proposed by the framework terminology.
Keywords: Sports; framework; game mechanics; exergames; competition
Investigating the Role of Composition Conventions in Three-Move Mate Problems BIBAKFull-Text 61-68
  Azlan Iqbal
In improving the quality of their chess problems or compositions for tournaments and possibly publication in magazines, composers usually rely on 'good practice' rules which are known as 'conventions'. These might include, contain no unnecessary moves to illustrate a theme and avoid castling moves because it cannot be proved legal. Often, conventions are thought to increase the perceived beauty or aesthetics of a problem. We used a computer program that incorporated a previously validated computational aesthetics model to analyze three sets of compositions and one set of comparable three-move sequences taken from actual games. Each of these varied in terms of their typical adherence to conventions. We found evidence that adherence to conventions, in principle, contributes to aesthetics in chess problems -- as perceived by the majority of players and composers with sufficient domain knowledge -- but only to a limited degree. Furthermore, it is likely that not all conventions contribute equally to beauty and some might even have an inverse effect. These findings suggest two main things. First, composers need not concern themselves too much with conventions if their intention is simply to make their compositions appear more beautiful to most solvers and observers. Second, should they decide to adhere to conventions, they should be highly selective of the ones that appeal to their target audience, i.e. those with esoteric knowledge of the domain or 'outsiders' who likely understand beauty in chess as something quite different.
Keywords: Chess; problem; convention; beauty; composer
Mappets: An Interactive Plugin for Transmedia Machinima on Unity3D BIBAKFull-Text 69-74
  Rafael Kuffner dos Anjos; Eugenio Di Tullio; Rui Prada
The popularity of Machinima movies has increased greatly in the recent years. From a transmedia point of view, there was little development regarding tools to assist the production of Machinima. These are still mainly focused on the gaming community, and 3D animators. The developed tool aims to bring the typical workflow present on a normal movie set, into a machinima creation environment, expanding possibilities for transmedia productions. With Mappets as a plugin for the Unity3D game engine, we allow a translation from the typical movie dimension to a virtual one. This work evaluates the current state of art of machinima development tools and presents a working solution more adequate for transmedia productions and non-expert users interested in the production of machinima.
Keywords: TransMedia; Entertainment; Machinima; Narratives; Authoring System; Digital Entertainment; Entertainment Technology; Artificial Intelligence
MobileWars: A Mobile GPGPU Game BIBAKFull-Text 75-86
  Mark Joselli; Jose Ricardo, Jr. Silva; Esteban Clua; Eduardo Soluri
Nowadays mobile phones, especially smartphones, are equipped with advanced computing capabilities. Most of these devices have multicore processors such as dual-core CPUs and many-core GPUs. These processors are designed for both low power consumption and high performance computation. Moreover, most devices still lack libraries for generic multicore computing usage, such as CUDA or OpenCL. However, computing certain kind of tasks in these mobile GPUs, and other available multicores processors, may be faster and much more efficient than their single threaded CPU counterparts. This advantage can be used in game development to optimize some aspects of a game loop and also include new features. This work presents an architecture designed to process most of the game loop inside a mobile GPU using the Android Renderscript API. As an illustrated test case for the proposed architecture, this work presents a game prototype called "MobileWars", completely developed using the proposed architecture.
Keywords: Mobile; Mobile Multicore Computing; Game Architecture; GPGPU; Game Physics; Game AI; RenderScript API; Android
StepByStep: Design of an Interactive Pictorial Activity Game for Teaching Generalization Skills to Children with Autism BIBAKFull-Text 87-92
  Alberto Gruarin; Michel A. Westenberg; Emilia I. Barakova
Translating acquired behavioral skills from training environments to daily-life situations is difficult for children with autism. This study introduces the StepByStep platform, in which pictorial activity schedules are implemented. Design decisions that increase the sameness in the environment and the comfort of the children were implemented to isolate the learning task and promote the training of generalization skills. Differently from existing visual scheduling systems, we use photographs of the child that is trained instead of general activity pictures. The design promotes the features of easy individualization of the training and of playfulness while learning. StepByStep was used by one participant in a pilot study, who showed behavior acquisition and translation to real life situations.
Keywords: Interactive game design; training generalization skills; assistive technology; pictorial activity; personalized training for children with ASD; visual scheduling
Technologically Mediated Intimate Communication: An Overview and Future Directions BIBAKFull-Text 93-104
  Elham Saadatian; Hooman Samani; Arash Toudeshki; Ryohei Nakatsu
Emerging field of intimate computing relates to the technologies that aim to mediate affective communication across distance. Conventional telecommunication media are originally designed for collaborations and task oriented goals with the poor support of intimate experiences. Contemporary lifestyle changes leaded to design and adoption of technologies in support of long distance relationships. The present work is a study of existing prototypical systems and related conceptual studies in this realm of study. Their design perspective, mechanism and human factors are described. Challenges coupled to this domain are studied and future research directions are proposed.
Keywords: Telepresence; Mediated intimacy; Telematic emotional communication; User interface; Perspective
2D vs 3D Visualization and Social Networks Entertainment Games: A Human Factor Response Case Study BIBAKFull-Text 107-113
  Zlatogor Minchev
In today's world modern 3D visualization screens are already entering the entertainment world of future smart homes together with the social networks popular games. The paper describes and experimental study of volunteers' focus group spontaneous EEG dynamic changes related to 2D/3D screen modes stimuli during short-time gaming activities. A quantitative difference between 2D and 3D gaming stimuli have been found by implementing relative power spectra approach.
Keywords: social networks entertainment games; human factor response; visualization; EEG
A Game Design Analytic System Based on Data Provenance BIBAKFull-Text 114-119
  Lidson B. Jacob; Troy C. Kohwalter; Alex Machado; Esteban W. G. Clua
This paper presents a game system approach to assist game designers to make decisions and find critical points in their game through data provenance collected from a game. The proposed approach is based on generating graphs from collected data to quickly visualize the game flow. We test and validate our approach with an infinity run genre for mobile devices.
Keywords: Provenance; Game Analytics; Infinity Run
Evaluation of Interaction Methods for a Real-Time Augmented Reality Game BIBAFull-Text 120-125
  Frederic Pollmann; Dirk Wenig; Mareike Picklum; Rainer Malaka
Augmented reality is a way to enhance mobile games and can be easily implemented on today's powerful smartphones. Developers need to consider additional constraints when choosing the input method for such an AR game. We implemented three control methods for a mobile AR multiplayer fighting game using a virtual joystick, a touch interface and continuous crosshair tracking. We evaluated the effect of the control methods on the game experience with 43 participants and conducted a survey using a questionnaire for intuitive use (QUESI [1]) and individual interviews. We found significant differences between two of the three implemented input methods, but in the interviews the test persons did not prefer the control method with the highest survey score.
Exercise My Game: Turning Off-The-Shelf Games into Exergames BIBAKFull-Text 126-131
  Benjamin Walther-Franks; Dirk Wenig; Jan Smeddinck; Rainer Malaka
Exercise video games (exergames) can motivate players to be more physically active. However, most exergames are controlled by confined and predefined movements and do not promote long-term motivation. Well-funded commercial games often excel at long-term motivation, but are not operated with motion input. Exercise My Game (XMG) is a design framework for turning off-the-shelf action games into full-body motion-based games. Challenges with this approach involve finding mappings from control input to game-action, as well as blending active input feedback with the game's interface. XMG facilitates transforming well-produced, non-exercise video games into captivating exergames by structuring the design space and outlining game requirements. We illustrate XMG with the example of turning the popular first-person action game Portal 2 into the exergame Sportal.
Keywords: exergames; active games; design framework
How Do People Talk with a Virtual Philosopher: Log Analysis of a Real-World Application BIBAKFull-Text 132-137
  Xuan Wang; Ryohei Nakatsu
Conversation with computers is an important form of human computer interaction. Inappropriately designed conversational agents can easily lead to unsatisfying user experience and even frustration, and this is especially true when the application is deployed in the real world. Currently, research on casual non-task oriented systems and our understanding in how people interact with such agents are still limited. To gain more insights on this issue, we carried out both quantitative and qualitative content analysis of conversation logs collected from a real-world application, featuring a non-task oriented conversational agent as a virtual philosopher. We construct a taxonomy of user utterances to the agent and discuss a few strategies that an agent might employ to provide a better user experience.
Keywords: non-task oriented conversational agent; log analysis; virtual philosopher
Life-Like Animation System of Virtual Firefly Based on Animacy Perception BIBAKFull-Text 138-144
  Daiki Satoi; Hisanao Nakadai; Matteo Bernacchia; Jun'ichi Hoshino
In this paper, we propose a computational model to generate life-like motion for firefly-like creatures. By using a two-stage stochastic process and simple operational elements, we could generate various life-like motion patterns. Then, we incorporated these patterns in our animation system, where virtual fireflies move and emit light dynamically. We experimented and verified using surveys that the virtual fireflies look like living beings, and that different animations give rise to different impressions.
Keywords: Procedural Animation; Artificial Life; Firefly; Animacy Perception
A Model-Driven Engineering Approach for Immersive Mixed-Reality Environments BIBAFull-Text 147-150
  Marija Nakevska; Jasen Markovski; Matthias Rauterberg
We propose a model-based engineering approach for development of immersive mixed-reality environments based on supervisory control theory that provides for automated software synthesis. The proposed approach greatly improves the consistency of the design process by employing models as means of communication, whereas supervisory control synthesis caters for system flexibility and evolvability.
A Technique to Improve Freehand Sketches of Multi-touch Interactions BIBAKFull-Text 151-155
  Gil Barros; Leandro Velloso; Luis Carli
Sketching is a core activity in design, but sketching practices in interaction design are sometimes insufficient, especially in the case of freehand sketching. In this article we indicate how a technique developed originally for the WIMP paradigm was extended to include multi-touch interfaces. We describe the technique, provide examples and show some future directions.
Keywords: Sketching; multi-touch; freehand; technique; ActionSketch
An Artificial Emotional Agent-Based Architecture for Games Simulation BIBAKFull-Text 156-159
  Rainier Sales; Esteban Clua; Daniel de Oliveira; Aline Paes
Emotions are fundamental in any person's life, and would be no different in games. While games are based at the gameplay for achieving the necessary fun factor, emotive elements are becoming common and in some cases even necessary. In some computing entertainment based systems, including and bringing emotional aspects from the real world may aspects of reality, turning the virtual characters more believable. This poster proposes a novel architecture for supporting Non-player character (NPC) behavior modeling, enhancing emotive agents. Personality, mood and emotive features are determined to the agents, based on well-established models developed in psychology. We validate our system in simulation games.
Keywords: Emotional Agents; Digital Games; Artificial Intelligence; NPC
An Enriched Artifacts Activity for Supporting Creative Learning: Perspectives for Children with Impairments BIBAKFull-Text 160-163
  Michail N. Giannakos; Letizia Jaccheri
In this paper we present the results of a creative development program for young students with the name, OurToys. In our empirical evaluation, a group of researchers and artists designed and implemented two workshop pro-grams of a total of 66 pupils, exploring their experiences with open source software and hardware. The workshops were based on Reggio Emilia philosophy of creative reuse and the open-source software Scratch. The results showed that: software and hardware intensive activities raise awareness of technology, intensify the experience, and invite students to explore boundaries and increase collaboration and the exchange of views and ideas.
Keywords: Creative activities; empirical evaluation; software and hardware development; physical digital creativity
Automatic Emotional Reactions Identification: A Software Tool for Offline User Experience Research BIBAKFull-Text 164-167
  Pedro A. Nogueira; Vasco Torres; Rui Rodrigues
Current affective response studies lack dedicated data analysis procedures and tools for automatically annotating and triangulating emotional reactions to game-related events. The development of such a tool would potentially allow for both a deeper and more objective analysis of the emotional impact of digital media stimuli on players, as well as towards the rapid implementation of this type of studies. In this paper we describe the development of such a tool that enables researchers to conduct objective a posteriori analyses, without disturbing the gameplay experience, while also automating the annotation and emotional response identification process. The tool was designed in a data-independent fashion and allows the identified responses to be exported for further analysis in third-party statistical software applications.
Keywords: Player modelling; digital media; emotional reaction identification
Evaluating Paper Prototype for Tabletop Collaborative Game Applications BIBAKFull-Text 168-171
  Marylia Gutierrez; Maurício Cirelli; Ricardo Nakamura; Lucia Filgueiras
Identifying the natural gestures for a tabletop application is one of the most challenging tasks developers must accomplish in order to achieve a good system user interface. This problem is even more difficult in a collaborative environment. Cooperative Gestures allow richer interaction and must be evaluated when designing a new multi-user tabletop interface. In this paper we present the use of paper prototyping to analyze user interaction on a tabletop collaborative game application. Our results show that it is possible to extract natural gestures for an application using this technique, regardless of some limitations.
Keywords: Paper prototyping; game design; tabletop interfaces; test
Initial Perceptions of a Touch-Based Tablet Handwriting Serious Game BIBAKFull-Text 172-175
  Chek Tien Tan; Junbin Huang; Yusuf Pisan
This paper aims to evaluate a handwriting serious game that makes use of popular modern touch-based tablets to preserve traditional handwriting practice. A first playable prototype was built and a pilot study performed on an initial group of twenty participants. Significantly positive results were observed in the perceptions of usefulness and also across all gameplay dimensions except for flow.
Keywords: Serious Games; Player Experience; Handwriting
Motivation-Based Game Design: A Framework for Evaluating Engagement Potential BIBAKFull-Text 176-179
  Charles Butler
Video games excel at capturing and maintaining the interest of players all around the world. However, actually moving a game from an initial concept to an attention-grabbing best-seller is quite a difficult and unlikely event. Even though the best games seem to have an almost magical ability to generate engagement among players, the vast majority of games fall far short of this mark. Likewise, many serious games and gamified products have considerable difficulty achieving their desired levels of engagement. Success with in these areas can be even more elusive as they are burdened with some disadvantages of traditional games without being able to leverage all of the advantages. This paper presents a motivation-based framework intended to evaluate the engagement potential of a game design, whether it be a traditional game, serious game, or gamified product.
Keywords: game design; game mechanics; gamification; motivation; serious games
Mubil: Creating an Immersive Experience of Old Books to Support Learning in a Museum-Archive Environment BIBAKFull-Text 180-184
  Alexandra Angeletaki; Marcello Carrozzino; Michail N. Giannakos
In this paper we present our design approach of transposing old books and manuscripts using 3D technology in a game frame. MUBIL is an interdisciplinary collaboration initiated by the NTNU University library of Trondheim and PERCRO at Scuola Santa Anna in Pisa. The books are enriched with 3D objects, additional explanatory content, in pictures, drawings, videos audios and texts in both Norwegian and English. This experimental setting is also supplemented by a game, the Alchemist's lab with content related directly to the book of medicine by Adam Lonicer written in 1590. The experiment to be carried out in the digital lab is a reconstruction of a distillation process described in this particular book that can be played as an interactive game using a stereo Powerwall and Nvidia 3D glasses in our MUBIL digital Laboratory in Trondheim. The applications are under development and we present here the system description and the workshop design adapted to visits of school children in our 3D lab.
Keywords: Augmented Books; Cultural Heritage; Immersive Systems; 3D; Archives and Libraries; XVR Systems
Suspended Walking: A Physical Locomotion Interface for Virtual Reality BIBAKFull-Text 185-188
  Benjamin Walther-Franks; Dirk Wenig; Jan Smeddinck; Rainer Malaka
We present a novel physical locomotion interface for virtual environments. It suspends the user in a torso harness so that the feet just touch ground. Low friction materials allow walking motions with ground contact similar to real walking, while maintaining the user in the same position. We detail the hardware and motion tracking setup and outline results of a first user study.
Keywords: physical locomotion interfaces; virtual environments; games
Usability Evaluation of an Application Designed for the Older Adults BIBAKFull-Text 189-192
  André Luiz Satoshi Kawamoto; Valéria Farinazzo Martins; Flávio Soares Corrêa da Silva
Nowadays, population aging has attracted the interest of research areas such as Health, Social Sciences, and Economics. Aging can trigger unwanted phenomena associated to muscle weakness, loss of memory and loss of autonomy. This paper presents a computer application based on the Corsi Test designed for the elderly audience, which can be used for testing and for training of the visuospatial memory. The application development is presented, as well as the results of an Usability Evaluation. This work aims to contribute to the usability evaluation of gesture interfaces, especially in applications aimed to the elderly audience.
Keywords: Gesture-based interface; Usability Evaluation; Kinect
Demonstrating Hundreds of AIs in One Scene BIBAFull-Text 195-199
  Kjetil Raaen; Andreas Petlund; Håkon Kvale Stensland
This demo shows how a server can process heavy, game-enhancing workloads without sacrificing response time by implementing a highly parallelisable game server architecture. The architecture "LEARS" allows for the utilisation of more processing resources for tasks that will enhance the game experience. Using the A* path-finding algorithm, we demonstrate how the server distributes the resources under different levels of load, and how this impacts the response time for the game-clients. The demo allow the viewers to adjust game parameters such as the number of pathfinding entities, the number of player characters and the number of available threads and observe the impact on response time and CPU utilisation.
Educational: 3D Design for Mobile Augmented Reality BIBAKFull-Text 200-203
  Ivar Kjellmo
Using Unity and the Vuforia platform in the course "3D design for Mobile Augmented reality" at The Norwegian School of IT. In the course students learned to make efficient, optimized and visually coherent content for Augmented Reality apps for mobile devices.
Keywords: Educational; Augmented Reality; Unity; Vuforia; 3D; IoS; Android; Mobile