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IE Tables of Contents: 0607080910121314

Proceedings of the 2006 Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment

Fullname:Proceedings of the 3rd Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment
Editors:Kevin K. W. Wong; Lance C. C. Fung; Peter Cole
Location:Perth, Australia
Dates:2006-Dec-04 to 2006-Dec-06
Standard No:ISBN: 86905-902-5; ACM DL: Table of Contents; hcibib: IE06
Links:Conference Website | Conference Website
DIGMA: a role playing game with agent plan reformulation and situational reassessment BIBAFull-Text 1
  Paul Inventado; Merlin Suarez; Stephen Dellosa; Deryk De Guzman; Paul Lao
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been used in various game genres such as strategy, adventure, and role-playing. Though it is widely used, there are still many issues that have yet to be addressed. Among these issues are the need for detection and handling of changes in the game environment, as well as the ability to generate an adaptive strategy. These issues in particular became the motivation for the development of this research. It focuses on the genre of role-playing games (RPG) and aims to improve the design and implementation of non-player characters (NPC) through the use of decision trees with node grading and adjustment. An RPG system was developed to implement agent NPCs capable of performing plan reformulation and situational reassessment.
Multi-threaded game engine design BIBAFull-Text 9
  James Tulip; James Bekkema; Keith Nesbitt
Game engines are specialized middleware which facilitate rapid game development. Until now they have been highly optimized to extract maximum performance from single processor hardware. In the last couple of years improvements in single processor hardware have approached physical limits and performance gains have slowed to become incremental. As a consequence, improvements in game engine performance have also become incremental. Currently, hardware manufacturers are shifting to dual and multi-core processor architectures, and the latest game consoles also feature multiple processors. This presents a challenge to game engine developers because of the unfamiliarity and complexity of concurrent programming. The next generation of game engines must address the issues of concurrency if they are to take advantage of the new hardware. This paper discusses the issues, approaches, and tradeoffs that need to be considered in the design of a multi-threaded game engine.
NGS: an application layer network game simulator BIBAFull-Text 15
  Steven Daniel Webb; William Lau; Sieteng Soh
In the last five years the popularity of Massively Multi-player Online Games (MMOGs) has exploded. Unfortunately, the demand has far outweighed the resources developers can provide. Many MMOGs are suffering from scalability issues, resulting in sharding, down time, and server crashes. To solve these problems, the research community is investigating peer-to-peer (P2P) overlay networks to support MMOGs, as P2P networks are theoretically and practically scalable. The majority of analysis of P2P gaming architectures has been qualitative, making it difficult to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each system. This is partially due to the lack of appropriate simulation tools. To address this problem we have developed an application layer network game simulator -- NGS -- for modelling network game architectures. NGS includes mechanisms to collect quantitative metrics, which may then be used to perform comparisons with other architectures. NGS is flexible enough to model Client/Server, Region based, Neighbour based, and hybrid architectures. It is extensible and modular, and will enable the research community to evaluate the benefits and weaknesses of existing and new network gaming architectures. Results demonstrating the extensibility and performance of NGS, and comparisons of the performance of several different architectures are included.
Real-time boundary detection for cricket game BIBAFull-Text 23
  Gurvinder Singh; Irfan A. Mohammed; Sreela Sasi
Cricket is a unique sport and is played globally across 17 countries including England, Australia, India, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, South-Africa, New-Zealand, Bangladesh, and West Indies. Cricket is the most popular sport in the world after soccer. Boundary situation in a cricket game occurs when a fielder (cricket player) is very close to the boundary line with the cricket ball or he touches the boundary line while chasing the ball. Detection of the boundary situation in a cricket game is highly time-consuming and very difficult. Conventional approaches using the video replays for detecting the boundary whenever the player touches the boundary line with the ball is very difficult, and gives inaccurate results in complex situations. Accuracy is extremely critical for the cricket game since one team may loose if an incorrect decision is made, and this will affect the overall score of the team. Also, this may affect the performance of the team, and the morale of the players. In this research, a computer vision-based system using a robust algorithm is proposed to resolve the boundary situation automatically in near real time.
Similarities and differences between "learn through play" and "edutainment" BIBAFull-Text 28
  Kowit Rapeepisarn; Kok Wai Wong; Chun Che Fung; Arnold Depickere
The idea of integrating education and entertainment can be widely observed over the last few decades. Recently, two commonly known terms when referring to combining learning and entertainment are "learn through play" and "edutainment". The objective of this paper is to present an investigation into the similarities and differences of these two terms. This includes definitions, applications, and discussions from different point of views. The results of the study found that "learn through play" and "edutainment" are important areas that both use entertainment activity for learning. Learn through play is a much broader term in fun activity while edutainment relies heavily on technology, especially computer games. They are effective teaching strategy both inside and outside school. This paper also shows their success so far and could provide some guidelines in future research in this field.
DEMO exegesis: virtual songs BIBAFull-Text 33
  Tsen Wang
Karaoke Television [KTV] denotes a stereo sound system equipped with a screen, which plays the melody of a song. The lyrics scroll over appropriate images designed to provide the signer with an idea of the song's context. KTV clubs provide specially designed and fitted-out sound-proofed rooms which patrons can use to entertain themselves and their friends in privacy with the added comforts of room service.
Morphological study of the video games BIBAFull-Text 36
  Julian Alvarez; Damien Djaouti; Rashid Ghassempouri; Jean-Pierre Jessel; Gilles Methel
The aim of this article is first to present V.E.Ga.S., a tool which intend to classify video games, study their nature and to corroborate hypothesis by a pragmatic approach. It consists in studying a significant number of video games in order to index their composition of elementary "game bricks". Basing our study on this bricks and crossing them, we try to classify and study video games. In a second time, this paper presents the classification deduced from the results of V.E.Ga.S.
Time and computer games or "no, that's not what happened" BIBAFull-Text 44
  Michael Hitchens
Time in computer games is not singular. Time in the game world may progress at a different rate to the real world time of the player. Game time may be non-linear, as previous saved games or checkpoints are reloaded. This paper presents a model aimed at understanding time in relation to the play of computer games. Various ways of looking at time in computer games are presented, including from the point of view of the player, game progress and chronological game world time. Both linear and non-linear representations of time are included in the model, as is the mapping between the views.
Facial expression recognition for multiplayer online games BIBAFull-Text 52
  Ce Zhan; Wanqing Li; Philip Ogunbona; Farzad Safaei
The Multiplayer Online Game (MOG) becomes more popular than any other types of computer games for its collaboration, communication and interaction ability. However, compared with the ordinary human communication, the MOG still has many limitations, especially in communication using facial expressions. Although detailed facial animation has already been achieved in a number of MOGs, players have to use text commands to control avatars expressions. In this paper, we briefly review the state of the art in facial expression recognition and propose an automatic expression recognition system that can be integrated into a MOG to control the avatar's facial expressions. We evaluate and improve a number of algorithms to meet the specific requirements of such a system and propose an efficient implementation. In particular, our proposed system uses fixed and less facial landmarks to reduce the computational load with little degradation of the recognition performance.
Is interactivity actually important? BIBAFull-Text 59
  Debbie Richards
It appears that it is a well-accepted assumption that interactivity will improve the entertainment and/or learning value of a media. This paper reviews various studies exploring the role of interactivity and reports on a study conducted to see whether a novice could learn some basic skills on how to be a customs officer from watching a game demonstration compared to being an active participant in the same game. The study suggests that basic knowledge about a domain may be best gained passively, but that knowledge about how to behave and what questions to ask in that domain are best gained through active involvement. Intuitively the findings make sense, and provide some guidance on when interactivity is actually important.
Battleship by foot: learning by designing a mixed reality game BIBAFull-Text 67
  Nicola J. Bidwell; Jason Holdsworth
We reflect upon a novel set of pedagogical methods to innovate a mixed-reality Location-Based-Game (LBG). Undergraduate students in two 2nd and 3rd year IT subjects designed, specified and coded a Battleship LBG. This required them to consider physical and cognitive play experiences in figural and physical design spaces and address emergent properties of ubiquitous contexts. Our methods reconciled physical methods and enacted knowledge with traditional systematized design and development processes. We iteratively, integrated tangible and conceptual activities (e.g. bodystorming, prototyping of different fidelities, game concept abstraction, agile UP). We suggest these, differentially, supported students use of indexical resources and the assimilation of their embodied knowledge into design.
Role playing games: comparative analysis across two media platforms BIBAFull-Text 75
  Anders Tychsen
Role Playing Games (RPGs) is a popular game form. RPGs have been translated into all media formats, and are also a rare example of functioning interactive narratives. Despite the popularity of these games, especially within computer games, and the possibility that experiences from RPGs could be used in designing interactive storytelling systems for next generation interactive entertainment systems, there have been very few academic studies focused on cross-platform studies of role playing games. In this paper, the results of a comparative analysis of pen and paper RPGs and computer RPGs, using an information systems perspective coupled with games analysis, is presented. The differences of the two game forms revolve around the different media formats and the limitations these impose and the options they provide. The formation of the collaborative story is a core feature of these games. While the formation of the storyline in multiplayer RPGs are complex, it appears that information systems modeling of multiplayer RPG story and control processes enables quantifiable modeling of an interactive storytelling systems.
Changing the virtual self: avatar transformations in popular games BIBAFull-Text 83
  Pippin Barr; Robert Biddle; Judy Brown
During play, players of video games intentionally change their avatars, altering how the avatar looks, behaves, or can be manipulated. This process is integral to gameplay, forming an important component both of successful and enjoyable play. We present an activity theoretic analysis of qualitative data from players to provide a grounded description of avatar transformation in four popular games. The resulting discussion aids understanding of this component of gameplay, and helps validate an under-used theoretical and practical approach to the study of video games.
Take a load off: cognitive considerations for game design BIBAFull-Text 91
  Chris Lawrence
As the quest for designing and developing exciting and engaging computer games continues, one must cast a thought towards what it is that makes such entertainment engaging, or indeed, disengaging. One might be of the mind that an interesting and captivating computer game would be one that evoked a high level of thought activity and concentration. On the other hand, it could be argued that if the player of a game is bombarded with instructions, information, tasks and decisions, the result is a confusing, stressful and generally unpleasant experience. To avoid giving our gaming audiences mind indigestion, some sort of strategy must be employed to facilitate an acceptable supply of cognitive stimulation. This article uses cognitive load theory to explore and discuss a number of considerations and possible tactics in presenting and organising complexity in a computer game.
Proximity-based chat in a first person shooter: using a novel voice communication system for online play BIBAFull-Text 96
  Martin Gibbs; Greg Wadley; Peter Benda
Voice communication between players can have many benefits relative to text-based communication for game play and social experience in fast-paced multiplayer online games. However, previous research has highlighted some problems with existing implementations of voice-over-IP in online games and suggested the need to carefully design voice communication systems if they are to positively contribute to the game play and social experience of online multiplayer games. In this paper we present the results of a field trial of the "Immersive Communication Environment", a novel voice-over-IP system designed to support player communication in online games by simulating in the game world the way utterances travel through air in the physical world. We found that the proximity-based constraints imposed by this voice communication system created some advantage for players in terms of their game play and their experience of the game as a social event. The findings suggest that players benefit from voice communications systems that make socially salient information available to them according to interactional affordances and constraints that are sensibly designed and well understood.
The mobile phone: a hybrid multi-platform medium BIBAFull-Text 103
  John McMullan; Ingrid Richardson
In this paper we argue that the mobile phone must be considered both in terms of telephone functionality, and as an emergent entertainment media interface. As services based upon telecommunications -- mobile telephony, the internet, video-on-demand, personal video recorders (PVRs), interactive television (iTV) -- become progressively experienced as everyday media content, the environments of information and communication merge. We suggest that the mobile phone is enabling new ways of engaging with media content, and new ways of negotiating and communicating within both actual and virtual environments. In particular we consider the specificities of the mobile phone interface, and then turn to one of the most interesting and emerging areas of mobile phone-enabled entertainment -- location-based and multiplayer games.
An interaction framework for scenario-based three dimensional environments BIBAFull-Text 109
  Alyx Macfadyen; Andrew Stranieri; John Yearwood
Although popular and engaging, three dimensional environments are rarely deployed to depict strong narratives involving complex characters engaged in reasoning. The design of three dimensional environments rich in narrative and character depth can be facilitated with a detailed representation of interactions between characters. However, the representation of interaction in current 3D development environments such as game engines is quite basic. This work advances a scheme for representing interactions that integrates a representation of semantics from linguistics called FrameNet with conceptualizations of drama and narrative by Georges Polti and Joseph Campbell. The resulting interaction frame facilitates the design of 3D environments by providing designers rich, yet standard elements that include spatial and temporal data, with which to represent complex interactions in 3D environments. This has application for the authoring of dynamically generated interactive narrative environments.