Title: The Research and Evaluation of Serious Games: Towards a Comprehensive Methodology
I will present the methodological backgrounds and underlying research design of an on-going scientific research project concerned with the “scientific evaluation of serious games and/or computer-based simulation-games (SG) for advanced learning”. The main questions of this research project are: 1. what are the requirements and design principles for a comprehensive social-scientific methodology for the evaluation of SG? 2. To what extend does SG contribute to advanced learning? 3. What factors contribute to, or determine this learning? 4. To what extend and under what conditions can SG-based learning be transferred to the real world? Between 2004 and 2012, several hundreds of SG-sessions in the Netherlands with thirteen different SG were evaluated systematically, uniformly and quantitatively to give a date-set with more than 2000 respondents in higher education and work-organizations. I will discuss some of the methods and techniques to gather data from SG and of course give a few examples of different serious games for advanced learning.
Dr. Igor S. Mayer (1965) is a senior associate professor in the faculty of Technology, Policy and Management (TPM) at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. He is also the director of the TU-Delft Centre for Serious Gaming. He is a co-founder and a board member (from 2004 until 2008) of SAGANET- the Netherlands’ Simulation and Gaming Association – as well as GaLA, the European Network of Excellence in Serious Games (2010-2014), and the European Serious games Society (est. may 2012) and a member of the Netherlands Institute of Government (NIG). His main research and professional interests are the development, use and evaluation of interactive and participatory methods for policy analysis and policy development in general, and gaming-simulation / serious games / virtual worlds in particular. He teaches serious gaming-simulation for policy making and infrastructure design and management in Delft, the Netherlands and in Harbin, China.
Title: Entertainment and Writing for Games
With games becoming a much more diverse and readily available form of entertainment, how does this affect the way game developers approach game creation and design?
A look at the way that treating games as a form of entertainment affects my approach to writing and design and how this follows through into voice-over direction and actor performance.
The way I view my audience has changed over the years and the way it will continue to do so, as the industry broadens and deepens in ever-richer ways, will affect the evolution of my thinking in order to write games as an entertainment medium.
Steve is a Writer-Designer with 19 years of game development experience. Starting as an artist, he moved into production before settling into writing and design.
He was nominated for Excellence in Writing at the Game Developers Choice Awards 2004 for Broken Sword – The Sleeping Dragon, which was awarded Game of the Year by the UK national newspaper, The Independent. Steve turned freelance in 2004 and has worked with developers and publishers in various countries.
In 2008 he received a nomination from the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain in the category of Best Video Game Script for So Blonde.
Title: Games and Narrative – A New Model for Ludonarratives
This talk will outline a new model for understanding how stories and games are integrated as entertainment products, based on game ontology, narrative theory, and quest theory. The question of whether games are a kind of story or not has plagued games research for more than a decade, and much of the reason for its persistence and lack of fruitful results has been that a rigorous understanding of narrative theory has not been applied. Do ludonarratives warrant a new definition of “story”, or is standard narratology sufficient? This talk will solve the conceptual problem and suggest how the model can be used to explore the design space of ludonarrative genres.
Espen Aarseth is principal researcher at the Center for Computer Games Research, IT University of Copenhagen, and adjunct professor at the Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo. From 1996 Aarseth was associate professor and from 2002 professor at the Department of Humanistic Informatics at the University of Bergen, which he co-founded. He holds an Cand.Philol. in comparative literature and a Dr.Art. in humanistic informatics, both from the University of Bergen. He has published research on digital power and democracy, SF and cyberpunk, digital media, digital literature, humanistic informatics, games and narrative, women and gaming, game ontology, games and crossmedia, game addiction, and mobile games. He is also co-founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Game Studies, founder of the Digital Arts and Culture conference series, and co-founder of the Philosophy of Computer Games conference series, and author of Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature (Johns Hopkins UP 1997), a comparative media theory of games and other aesthetic forms.
Title: Of Spheres and Squares – Packing and Using them
Dr. Gabriel Zachmann is professor for computer graphics, visual computing, and virtual reality at University of Bremen, Germany, since 2012. Before that, he established and headed the computer graphics group at Clausthal University, Germany, where he was a professor with the computer science department since 2005. Prior to that, he was assistant professor with Prof. Reinhard Klein’s computer graphics group at Bonn University, Germany, and head of the research group (Nachwuchsgruppe) for novel interaction methods in virtual prototyping, which was funded by the DFG within the Emmy-Noether programme (“Aktionsplan Informatik”). In 2000, Dr. Zachmann received a PhD in computer science, and in 1994 a Dipl.-Inform (MSc), both from Darmstadt University. He worked on his Diploma thesis during a half-year visit to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. He began his studies of computer science at Karlsruhe University.
From 1994 until 2001, he was with the Virtual Reality group at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics in Darmstadt, where he carried out many industrial projects in the area of virtual prototyping. Overall, he was one of the pioneers in Europe who helped develop first Virtual Reality applications for the automotive manufacturing domain.
In 2010, Prof. Zachmann became a Visiting Professor with the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. From 2009 through 2014, he also served on the board of experts of the “Innovationsallianz Virtuelle Techniken (IA VT)”, which was established by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) within its IKT 2020 framework.
Title: Really Real-Time 3D Shape Modeling and Animation
Unfortunately, we had to cancel the keynote by Olga Sorkine due to important private reasons.
Irregular triangle meshes are a powerful digital shape representation: they are flexible and can represent virtually any complex shape; they are efficiently rendered by graphics hardware; they are the standard output of 3D acquisition and routinely used as input to simulation software. Yet irregular meshes are difficult to model, edit and animate because they lack a higher-level control mechanism, contrary to classical parametric surfaces such as NURBS. In this talk, I will present a series of research results on 3D shape modeling with irregular meshes and show how high-quality shapes can be created and manipulated in a fast and intuitive manner. The underlying principle of the proposed modeling algorithms is variational optimization, which enables to minimize various shape objective functionals (smoothness, detail preservation and even high-level structure) under the imposed modeling constraints. The variational approach on meshes allows for much freedom to the user, yet comes at a relatively high computational price. We will see how novel space reduction techniques enable truly real-time shape editing and animation while retaining high quality and intuitiveness of the results.
Olga Sorkine is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at ETH Zurich, where she leads the Interactive Geometry Group at the Institute of Visual Computing. Prior to joining ETH she was an Assistant Professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University (2008-2011). She earned her BSc in Mathematics and Computer Science and PhD in Computer Science from Tel Aviv University (2000, 2006). Following her studies, she received the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship and spent two years as a postdoc at the Technical University of Berlin. Olga is interested in theoretical foundations and practical algorithms for digital content creation tasks, such as shape representation and editing, artistic modeling techniques, computer animation and digital image manipulation. She also works on fundamental problems in digital geometry processing, including parameterization of discrete surfaces and compression of geometric data. Olga received the EUROGRAPHICS Young Researcher Award (2008) and the ACM SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award (2011).