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ICEC Tables of Contents: 040506070809101112131415

Proceedings of the 2014 International Conference on Entertainment Computing

Fullname:ICEC 2014: 13th International Conference on Entertainment Computing
Editors:Yusuf Pisan; Nikitas M. Sgouros; Tim Marsh
Location:Sydney, Australia
Dates:2014-Oct-01 to 2014-Oct-03
Publisher:Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Series:Lecture Notes in Computer Science 8770
Standard No:DOI: 10.1007/978-3-662-45212-7 hcibib: ICEC14; ISBN: 978-3-662-45211-0 (print), 978-3-662-45212-7 (online)
Links:Online Proceedings | Conference Website (defunct)
  1. Digital Games and Interactive Entertainment
  2. Entertainment for Purpose and Persuasion
  3. Computational Methodologies for Entertainment
  4. Entertainment Devices, Platforms and Systems
  5. Interactive Art, Performance and Novel Interactions

Digital Games and Interactive Entertainment

Trees of Tales: A Playful Reading Application for Arabic Children BIBAKFull-Text 3-10
  Fatma Alaamri; Stefan Greuter; Steffen P. Walz
In this study, we have developed a playful interactive reading and storytellng application called 'Trees of Tales'. The tablet application was designed to motivate Arabic children to read more for pleasure. 'Trees of Tales' was evaluated with 18 primary school children in Oman to investigate its effectiveness as an enjoyable reading tool. To assess the impact on usability and the children's experience of fun and reading preference, we conducted three reading sessions in which all participants read stories from 'Trees of Tales', non-interactive e-books and conventional printed books. This paper describes the design of the 'Trees of Tales' application as well as the results obtained with the 'fun toolkit'.
Keywords: Interactive Reading Application; Trees of Tales; Children e-books; Arabic children; Reading for pleasure
Gamicards -- An Alternative Method for Paper-Prototyping the Design of Gamified Systems BIBAKFull-Text 11-18
  Lauren S. Ferro; Steffen P. Walz; Stefan Greuter
This paper introduces an early prototype concept known as Gamicards, for use in the design of gamified systems. With the popularity of gamified approaches and the varying knowledge of designers of these systems, not enough resources exist that can assist to guide designers through the process, ensuring important elements (such as motivation) are considered. Gamicards are an early prototype deck of cards that are designed to provide a resource for designers from a range of different backgrounds and knowledge of gamified design, with the intention to develop more meaningful gamified approaches.
Keywords: gamification; paper prototyping; game design; motivation; brainstorming; idea generation; personalization
Design for Creative Activity: A Framework for Analyzing the Creative Potential of Computer Games BIBAKFull-Text 19-26
  Wilawan Inchamnan; Peta Wyeth; Daniel Johnson
This paper describes a design framework intended to conceptually map the influence that game design has on the creative activity people engage in during gameplay. The framework builds on behavioral and verbal analysis of people playing puzzle games. The analysis was designed to better understand the extent to which gameplay activities within different games facilitate creative problem solving. We have used an expert review process to evaluate these games in terms of their game design elements and have taken a cognitive action approach to this process to investigate how particular elements produce the potential for creative activity. This paper proposes guidelines that build upon our understanding of the relationship between the creative processes that players undertake during a game and the components of the game that allow these processes to occur. These guidelines may be used in the game design process to better facilitate creative gameplay activity.
Keywords: Videogames; Creative gameplay; Behavioral analysis; Expert review
Conceptual Model and System for Genre-Focused Interactive Storytelling BIBAKFull-Text 27-35
  Börje F. Karlsson; Antonio L. Furtado
This paper describes a conceptual model for the definition of a genre in the context of Interactive Storytelling and its implementation in LogTell-R, a system for the interactive creation of stories. This work builds on a previous system and experiments with plan recognition and discusses the foundations of our model to allow the creation of varied and coherent stories within a genre.
Keywords: storytelling; conceptual model; genre; plan generation / recognition
Workflow Patterns as a Means to Model Task Succession in Games: A Preliminary Case Study BIBAKFull-Text 36-41
  Simone Kriglstein; Ross Brown; Günter Wallner
Over the last decade, people involved in game development have noted the need for more formal models and tools to support the design phase of games. In this paper we present an initial investigation into whether workflow patterns -- which have already proven to be effective for modeling business processes -- are a suitable way to model task succession in games. Our preliminary results suggest that workflow patterns show promise in this regard, but some limitations, especially with regard to time constraints, currently restrict their potential.
Keywords: Game Design; Design Tools; Workflow Patterns
Spheres and Lenses: Activity-Based Scenario / Narrative Approach for Design and Evaluation of Entertainment through Engagement BIBAKFull-Text 42-51
  Tim Marsh; Bonnie Nardi
Building on A.N. Leontiev's original activity theory, we propose extensions to bridge conceptual gaps to operationalize an activity-based scenario / narrative approach leading to a universal framework to inform design and reason about the user experience of entertainment through engagement in task-based, as well as improvised, extemporaneous and serendipitous interaction and gameplay.
Keywords: activity theory; design; analysis; engagement; user experience; interaction; gameplay; improvisation; interactive storytelling; scenario; narrative
Interactive Storytelling in a Mixed Reality Environment: The Effects of Interactivity on User Experiences BIBAKFull-Text 52-59
  Marija Nakevska; Anika van der Sanden; Mathias Funk; Jun Hu; Matthias Rauterberg
Interactive storytelling in a mixed reality environment merges digital and physical information and features. It usually uses an augmentation of the real-world and physically-based interaction to create an immersive experience that corresponds to the dramatic storyline of the interactive narrative influenced by the actions of the user. Immersiveness is a crucial aspect of such an installation, and can be influenced by multiple factors such as video, sounds, interaction and, finally, the density of all combined stimuli. We used one of the stages from our interactive ALICE installation to investigate immersiveness and its contributing factors in a between-group design with a special focus on the effects of interactivity, and the feedback and feedforward stimuli of the environment on the users' experiences. The study was carried out with 41 participants and the results showed that immersiveness not necessarily depends on the modality of stimuli, but instead on their time-density.
Keywords: interactive storytelling; mixed reality; immersiveness
A Tool for Evaluating, Adapting and Extending Game Progression Planning for Diverse Game Genres BIBAKFull-Text 60-65
  Katharine Neil; Denise de Vries; Stéphane Natkin
Game progression design is a demanding, data-intensive design activity that is typically performed by game designers without even basic computational support. To address this, a concept for tool-supported "progression planning" has been proposed and implemented by Butler, Smith, Liu & Popovic for the design of their educational puzzle game Refraction. Refraction is a game that has relatively undemanding progression design needs. Further tool development and practice-based evaluation is needed to establish whether -- and if so, how -- a generic, tool-supported progression design process can address the diverse range of often complex progression design challenges that game designers find themselves engaging with. In this paper we describe how we used three game design case studies in contrasting game genres to inform the development of a tool that adapts and extends the progression planning approach.
Keywords: game design; progression planning; design tools
The Active Use of Online Presence, Movies and Gameplay to Improve Classroom Engagement BIBAKFull-Text 66-73
  Sean Costain; Dale Patterson
The online world is filled with rich interactive games, spaces, motion pictures and personas. Despite a rapid growth in online education, the tertiary classroom looks quite different to the entertaining online world it exists within. The design of mobile online resources, both official and unofficial, plays a key role in student engagement and learning. From the teachers perspective designing an online presence and in particular engaging online learning resources, is critical to the success of the learning environment. This project looked at the use of popular forms of online materials, including gameplay, movies and social media, and whether the application of entertainment centered tools enhanced the learning environment. The results of the 9 year, 984 participant study indicate that the increased and active use of the entertainment based tools had a significant positive effect in terms of student engagement and a significant positive effect on learning outcomes for international students.
Keywords: online learning; student engagement; gameplay; social media

Entertainment for Purpose and Persuasion

A Focused Review and Initial Conceptual Design for Merging Exergame and Activity Monitoring Technologies BIBAKFull-Text 77-83
  Reem Altamimi; Geoff Skinner; Keith Nesbitt
In an era of increasing technology use, it has been recognized that children and adolescents have become more sedentary and engage in less physical activity. Motivating children to be more physically active is not an easy task given their preference for seated leisure activities. Video games are a favorite leisure activity amongst children and adolescents. Exergames have been suggested as one form of game that may make children more active. Activity monitoring technologies are another proposed solution. This paper reviews literature in the areas of exergaming and activity tracking technology and proposes an initial design that involves merging the two areas. This work builds on our previous research in this area and makes an original contribution through the suggestion of added benefits that stem from the integration of exergames and activity tracking technologies. Furthermore, we plan to expand our research beyond the scope of this paper to propose a model based on this incorporation. Here we conclude that the careful integration of exergames and physical activity tracking technology provides the greatest potential to increase and maintain physical activity levels in children and adolescents.
Keywords: Physical Activity; Exergames; Activity Monitoring Technologies
Ora -- Save the Forest! Designing a Social Impact Game BIBAKFull-Text 84-91
  Hazel Bradshaw; E. Penelope Holland; Mark Billinghurst
Computer models for designing educational games need to have practical applications as well as underlying theoretical principles. In this paper, we present the Structural Playability Process (SPP), a new approach for designing and implementing serious games. Using the SPP designed game Ora -- Save the Forest! as a case study, we describe the four SPP spaces: education, translation, design and engine. Ora is a forest-pest-management game based on scientific models and intended to inform players about the complexities of ecosystem management. Preliminary user study results show that SPP is an effective method of producing motivating and successful learning environments.
Keywords: Serious/Educational games; Game-design; Structural Playability (SPP); Flow; Motivation; Game-play
Designing Digital Climbing Experiences through Understanding Rock Climbing Motivation BIBAFull-Text 92-99
  Richard Byrne; Florian 'Floyd' Mueller
Interactive systems have been used successfully in sports to assist people in achieving their performance goals, however, we believe that some aspects are often overlooked. In this paper we focus on rock climbing and we examine existing work on climbing from varying fields, including sports science, psychology, and climbing literary works, in order to identify recurring motivational themes. In total we identify and describe five key themes from these works: "risk as a measure of progress", "maintaining challenge", "social engagement", "experiencing beauty and nature", and "documenting and reliving the experience". We then examine how existing digital climbing experiences address these themes and suggest ways in which these interactive climbing designs could embrace the themes they do not yet address. We believe this work will be important not only when designing digital climbing experiences, but also digital experiences for other extreme sports.
Assessing the Kinect's Capabilities to Perform a Time-Based Clinical Test for Fall Risk Assessment in Older People BIBAKFull-Text 100-107
  Jaime A. Garcia; Yusuf Pisan; Chek Tien Tan; Karla Felix Navarro
The Choice Stepping Reaction Time (CSRT) task is time-based clinical test that has shown to reliably predict falls in older adults. Its current mode of delivery involves the use of a custom-made dance mat device. This mat is a measurement tool that can reliably obtain step data to discriminate between fallers and non-fallers. One of the pitfalls of this test is that the technology in use still imposes an obstacle on the degree of freedom to be able to perform adaptive exercises suitable for the elderly. In this paper, we describe a Kinect-based system that measures stepping performance through the use of a hybrid version of the CSRT task. This study focuses on assessing this system's capabilities to reliably measure a time-based clinical test of fall risk. Results showed a favorable correspondence and agreement between the two systems, suggesting that this platform could be potentially useful in the clinical practice.
Keywords: Kinect; Elderly; Fall Risk Assessment; Reaction Time Test; Stepping Performance
Code Your Own Game: The Case of Children with Hearing Impairments BIBAKFull-Text 108-116
  Michail N. Giannakos; Letizia Jaccheri
It is well known in the computer science community that is important to encourage children to acquire coding skills and become creators of their own experiences and not only mere game consumers. Different children have different needs when approaching coding and making activities. Specifically, Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) children, even when provided with accessible visual translations through sign language interpreters or real-time captions, need customized support. In our approach we have designed, implemented, and evaluated a workshop program of 12 children total, with the final goal of exploring and improving the design of appropriate workshops using the current learning environments. This paper presents an initial exploratory evaluation of a coding experience for children with hearing impairments and the development of a set of guidelines for improving the teaching of coding to children with DHH difficulties. An initial set of best practices was first developed through a focus group with experts; and afterwards, by employing content analysis, a revised set of guidelines was obtained. The results should be useful for special education teachers, curriculum designers and developers for K-12 education environments for DHH.
Keywords: Accessibility; Coding; Design Guidelines; Deaf; Hearing Impairments; Empirical Evaluation; Focus Groups; Games; Programming; Workshops
Developing Emergent Play in Collaborative Online Experiences BIBAKFull-Text 117-124
  Damian Hills
This paper will discuss common features of emergent play in the context of developing an online collaborative practice-based research project, assimilate. Emergent play features, such as development of fictional worlds will be identified, followed by a discussion of player experience of emergent play. The paper proposes an system framework that invites narrative emergent play facilitated by a set of clearly defined and simplified affordances that provide recognisable metaphors for collaboration.
Keywords: Interaction Design; Creativity Support Tool; Interactive Digital Storytelling; Narrative Intelligence; Conversational Information System; Cybernetics
Race By Hearts BIBAKFull-Text 125-132
  Tobias Sonne; Mads Møller Jensen
In this paper, we explore the qualities of sharing biometric data in real-time between athletes, in order to increase two motivational factors for gym-goers: Enjoyment and social interaction. We present a novel smartphone application, called Race By Hearts, which enables competition based on heart rate data sharing between users in real-time. Through an empirical study conducted in the gym, we show that sharing biometric data in real-time can strengthen social relations between participants, increase motivation, and improve the enjoyment of the fitness activity. Nevertheless, we found that introducing competition based on real-time sharing of biometric data can cause exasperation and discouragement for some athletes. Based on our findings from the study, we discuss how technology can facilitate and modify competition in fitness exercises in general.
Keywords: Exertion interfaces; interactive sport-training systems; biometric feedback; heart rate; wearable computing
The Effect of Familiar and Fantasy Aesthetics on Learning and Experience of Serious Games BIBAFull-Text 133-138
  Erik D. van der Spek; Tatiana Sidorenkova; Paul Porskamp; Matthias Rauterberg
Serious games have shown potential as learning material, but are not very engaging. One reason why games are considered to be fun is their ability to provide us with an interesting fantasy world to explore and play in, but this seems at odds with the more serious nature of formal training. In this study, a two by two (familiar versus unfamiliar visual setting and familiar versus unfamiliar story setting) single-blind experiment (N=60) was performed, testing the effect of the familiarity of aesthetics on game experience and learning. Significant effects of story condition on learning and game experience was found, with a familiar story setting leading to better learning, but subdued game experience. Other effects were not significant.
Designing a Digital Experience for Young Children with Developmental Disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 139-146
  Peta Wyeth; Joshua Hall; Daniel Johnson
This paper reports on the development of a playful digital experience, Anim-action, designed for young children with developmental disabilities. This experience was built using the Stomp platform, a technology designed specifically to meet the needs of people with intellectual disability through facilitating whole body interaction. We provide detail on how knowledge gained from key stakeholders informed the design of the application and describe the design guidelines used in the development process. A study involving 13 young children with developmental disabilities was conducted to evaluate the extent to which Anim-action facilitates cognitive, social and physical activity. Results demonstrated that Anim-action effectively supports cognitive and physical activity. In particular, it promoted autonomy and encouraged problem solving and motor planning. Conversely, there were limitations in the system's ability to support social interaction, in particular, cooperation. Results have been analyzed to determine how design guidelines might be refined to address these limitations.
Keywords: Young children; developmental disability; interactive experience; design guidelines; evaluation; play and games

Computational Methodologies for Entertainment

ARENA -- Dynamic Run-Time Map Generation for Multiplayer Shooters BIBAKFull-Text 149-158
  Anand Bhojan; Hong Wei Wong
In this paper, we present simple and novel method to procedurally generate the game maps for multiplayer shooter games faster (in order of seconds) without compromising the expected features of a good multiplayer shooter environment.
Keywords: games; procedural content generation; game map generation
Personas versus Clones for Player Decision Modeling BIBAFull-Text 159-166
  Christoffer Holmgård; Antonios Liapis; Julian Togelius; Georgios N. Yannakakis
The current paper investigates how to model human play styles. Building on decision and persona theory we evolve game playing agents representing human decision making styles. Two methods are developed, applied, and compared: procedural personas, based on utilities designed with expert knowledge, and clones, trained to reproduce play traces. Additionally, two metrics for comparing agent and human decision making styles are proposed and compared. Results indicate that personas evolved from designer intuitions can capture human decision making styles equally well as clones evolved from human play traces.
Fractal Complexity in Built and Game Environments BIBAKFull-Text 167-172
  Daniel Della-Bosca; Dale Patterson; Sean Costain
Fractal patterns provide an automated mathematical method to create rich and engaging visuals. These methods have been applied in the design of physical and game spaces to only a limited extent. The current physical and virtual game worlds are dominated by rectangles, squares and linear concepts. This research studied the nature of fractal patterns and in particular the use of differing levels of fractal complexity to design physical and virtual environments. The findings from the randomized trial identified differing levels of fractal complexity and their aesthetic appeal to participants. These levels of fractal complexity were then applied to spatial environments in games to create spaces that were more or less appealing to the participant. The principle of using fractal complexity as a design tool to make an environment more or less comfortable provided game and architectural designers an additional mechanism to enhance spaces and levels of participant engagement.
Keywords: fractal; surface; complexity; built environment; computer game
Artificial Intelligence Model of an Smartphone-Based Virtual Companion BIBAKFull-Text 173-178
  Elham Saadatian; Thoriq Salafi; Hooman Samani; Yu De Lim; Ryohei Nakatsu
This paper introduces an Artificial Intelligence (AI) model of a virtual companion system on smartphone. The proposed AI model is composed of two modules of Probabilistic Mood Estimation (PME) and Behavior Network. The PME is designed for the purpose of automatic estimation of the mood, under uncertain and dynamic smartphone context. The model combines Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Dynamic Bayesian Networks (DBNs) to estimate the probabilistic mood state of the user. The behavior network contorts the behavior of the interactive and intelligent virtual companion, considering the detected mood and external factors. In order to make the virtual companion more believable, the system consists of an internal mood state structure. The mood of the agent, could also be inferred from another real human such as a remote partner. The fitness of the artificial companion behavior in relation to the users mood state was evaluated by user study and effectiveness of the system was confirmed.
Keywords: Artificial Intelligence; Entertaining Virtual Companion; Affective Computing

Entertainment Devices, Platforms and Systems

SONAR: Communication System for Supporting Information Gathering and Social Interaction in a Niche Market BIBAKFull-Text 181-188
  Junichi Hoshino; Takeru Umemura; Sachi Urano; Daiki Satoi
We propose a new communication system by which niche people can obtain cross-cutting information and communicate with other people based on each personality. The system graphically displays the degree and direction of other people's hobbies who are interested in the keyword niche people input, and relation between the knowledge e.g. movies, music, animation, history, geography using nodes. So, we can search friends who have similar interest and direction in hobbies. From the demonstration experiments, we obtained good results that the system could help niche people to gain and exchange useful information.
Keywords: Niche; Communication System; Cross-Cutting Information
HANASUI: Multi-view Observable and Movable Fogscreen BIBAKFull-Text 189-196
  Yu Ishikawa; Masafumi Muta; Junki Tamaru; Eisuke Nakata; Akira Uehara; Junichi Hoshino
In this paper, we propose the method for creating multi-view movable fogscreen, and then implement it in our system called "HANASUI". "HANASUI" displays handheld-like fireworks through a fog screen instead of sparkles. Our method generates projection data dynamically from a virtual space and then casts it with multiple projectors, tracking the marker attached to the device which spouts fog at the fogscreen with infrared cameras and infrared floodlights. Finally, we conducted a survey to verify the capabilities of "HANASUI" and its potential for art and entertainment purposes.
Keywords: Fogscreen; Multi-View Observable; Projection Mapping; Entertainment

Interactive Art, Performance and Novel Interactions

Designing Interactive Public Art Installations: New Material Therefore New Challenges BIBAFull-Text 199-206
  Jun Hu; Mathias Funk; Yu Zhang; Feng Wang
The new materials in public art installations give the birth to interactivity and participation, which in turn, introduces new challenges, not only in the creative design process, but also in how to involve the participants in this process and in evaluating the targeted experience such as such as social connectedness and inclusion. Six design cases are presented, as examples for interactive and participatory forms of these installations. The design techniques and the user experience evaluation methods overlap in these cases and many of these techniques and methods have been found to be useful in our practice.
Interactive Performance Art Using Musical Instrument Daegeum for Healing BIBAKFull-Text 207-213
  YoungMi Kim
The piece called healing bamboo is a drawing concept utilizing daegeum interface as a performance interactive art. The piece has an aim of manifesting spiritual culture of Bamboo healing by drawing fake bamboo on screen while daegeum is being played. Drawing bamboo trees was a representative healing method of the Korean ancestors. Although joys and sorrows of our ancestors differ from those of modern day, the idea of bamboo tree purifying consciousness and making mind upright continued up until now. A performer draws pictures by meditating upon the symbolization of bamboo trees and the old classical scholar' spirits. Accordingly, the daegeum sound that embraces mental values of an oriental culture and the bamboo tree drawing based on such sound offer emotional elements to heal the mind and body of a performer. We reinterpreted the cultivation of mind of bamboo tree healing as a modern tendency walking with the trend without discoloration of its meaning.
Keywords: Healing Art; Interactive Art; Performance; Cultural Technology