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uAdventure simplifying narrative serious games development - icalt 2019 (1)


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uAdventure: Simplifying Narrative Serious Games Development

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uAdventure simplifying narrative serious games development - icalt 2019 (1)

  1. 1. uAdventure: Simplifying Narrative Serious Games Development Baltasar Fernández-Manjón e-UCM Research Group Víctor Manuel Pérez-Colado, Iván José Pérez-Colado, Manuel Freire-Morán, Iván Martínez-Ortiz @baltaFM
  2. 2. Introduction Serious Games (SGs) ● Multiple benefits for students regarding learning [1], as better engagement. ● SGs still not widely used in formal education [2]. ● Drawbacks: High costs: Purchase or develop is expensive. ● Sometimes non-developers have to create the games. Popularity of free game engines: ● More possibilities for SGs market [3]. ● Still not too much impact in SG compared with regular Games. ● SG Authoring Tools (SGAT) -> Simplify SG development [4], [5]. ● Accessible for non programmers -> Teachers
  3. 3. Introduction uAdventure: ● Serious Games Authoring tool built on top of Unity and intended for non-experts. ● Geolocalization features. ● Learning Oriented features (such as Learning Analytics).
  4. 4. Adventure genre for serious games ● "Point and Click" adventure games proven to be effective for SG [8] ● Interact with the environment (Scene, Items, Characters, etc.) ● Player needs to use knowledge to solve puzzles -> progress
  5. 5. uAdventure Release
  6. 6. e-Adventure ● SGAT free and open. ● Raised and developed to solve the issues. ● Built in java ● Produces Standalone games as Java Applets. ✓ Fits the genre: Point and Click Adventure games. ✓ Reduce the costs: Easy, simple and Free. ✗ Distribution: Java. Issues on Tablets and Smartphones (iOS and Android)
  7. 7. Unity ✓ Multiplatform: Major OS, Mobile (iOS & Android), Consoles. ✓ Generic functionalities: Animations, physics, cameras, effects. ✗ Scripting is needed -> non-experts ✗ Environment very complex -> cumbersome for non-experts Unity Highly customizable uAdventure on top of Unity uAdventure
  8. 8. uAdventure Features uAdventure (uA) is a framework built on top of Unity with the goal of simplifying the creation of narrative “point and click” SGs by non-experts. Why On top of Unity? ● Always supports latest technologies -> Not likely to become obsolete [13] ● Extending the lifecycle of the games created with uA too Features: ● Narrative model editor ● Simplified scene editor ● Integrated experience ● Simplified Builder ● Learning analytics ● Extensions
  9. 9. Main Window Narrative Model Editing area (Chapter scenarios) Project variables
  10. 10. Narrative model editor Heavily based on narrative game elements: ● Scenes -> Where the action takes place, contains the elements ● Cutscenes -> Linear narrative sequences ● Interactive/non-interactive elements ● Characters ● Items Conversation editor: ● Tree based editor ● Support nonlinear story if required Converse, move, give, grab, use... Effects
  11. 11. Narrative Model Options Conversations Editor
  12. 12. Simplified Scene Editor ● Manages scenes and their elements ● Limited to 2D -> more common and way simpler ● Simplified compared with Unity Native editor ● Automatic Camera Control ● Background may have points of interest or barriers ● Unity-Like Inspector -> Affordable for native unity developers
  13. 13. Simplified Builder Very important feature -> Multiplatform support ● Each platform require significant tuning: ● Improve performance: Quality, lighting, shaders… ● Video formats and locations Simplified builder: ● Select all platforms desired ○ removed non-school feasible such consoles ● Export -> Build'o'matic running! .mp4 ? .mov ? .avi ?
  14. 14. Transparent Integration of Learning Analytics ● Measure success/failure -> Understand causes. ● Gathering of main relevant events ○ Educational Objectives ● uA uses xAPI -> Profile for Serious Games [17]. ● Tracked Events ○ Element Interactions ○ Scene changes ○ Questions and Answers ○ Progress and state of Completables ○ Scores and completion ● Additionally: ○ Changes in Flags and Variables
  15. 15. Extensions Unity will evolve following the videogame industry uAdventure has an extensible architecture to integrate new technologies (i.e. AR) Two extensions are being developed so far: ● Geolocalization: with augmented maps and location-based mechanics ● QR code: with QR code based positioning and QR scanning.
  16. 16. Testing user experience Objectives Find out the difficulties and issues in uA. Verify if any user is capable of: i. Develop point and click game examples ii. Create nonlinear stories & multiple endings iii. Use the software autonomously iv. Build their games Experimental design 1. Define independent tasks 2. Make users do them 3. Ask users about difficulty Guided examples & documentation creating a story
  17. 17. Experimental design: users taks Provided users with: Software, quickstart guide, manual and examples Users have to: 1. Read the manual 2. Make the examples 3. Complete a post-survey with a. Narrative background b. Questions about the manual c. Questions about their goals d. Individual tasks difficulty e. Extra doubts and comments 1. Analyze the results 2. Verify the objectives 3. Release the software
  18. 18. Experiment results 10 people: 2 non-tech, 2 artists and 6 programmers Regarding difficulty: ● 95% of examples completed ● 65% of tasks found simple ● Artists have more difficulty (no dev. background) Regarding goals 7 out of 10 people created stories & mult endings Narrative experience → less doubts in the model Doubts → less simplicity in tasks perceived Additionally 29 software or manual issues to fix or clarify
  19. 19. Discussion Software development has grown, SG not so much. ● uA tries to impulsate SGs -> Simple, Easy and Free. uA: Unity heavily modified -> Native unity High-level concepts ● Still impossible to hide every unity feature -> Distractions ● Overall results are very promising Pilot -> non-programmers can create (simple) games. ● Users care about the narrative ● Generate new revision of the manual
  20. 20. Conclusions Preliminary evaluation of SGAT uAdventure: Evolution of eA. ● uA: non-experts -> start developing adventure SGs ● uA: Simplifies development: ○ Simplifying the model -> easy to understand ○ Simplifying the interfaces -> genre-focused windows ○ uA is neither an Unity Extension or an independent AT but an environment for non-experts. To improve the AT: ● Formally evaluated with different users. ● Very promising results -> non-experienced people in SG development ● Feedback -> Improved user experience.
  21. 21. Future Work ● New iteration of the tool based on the analysis and observations ● uA in a formal course on Interactive Narrative for Graphic Designer ● Current Development of uA features ○ Location Based Games ○ Improving Learning Analytics Games connected with Real World and easy to integrate in the learning cycle with Learning Analytics
  22. 22. References [1] S. De Freitas, “Are Games Effective Learning Tools? A Review of Educational Games,” Educ. Technol. Soc., vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 74–84, 2018. [2] R. Dörner, S. Göbel, W. Effelsberg, and J. Wiemeyer, Serious Games Foundations, Concepts and Practice. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2016. [3] A. Kovanto, “The Improvements for Indie Game Development,” KARELIA UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES, 2013. [4] E. J. Marchiori, J. Torrente, Á. Del Blanco, P. Moreno-Ger, P. Sancho, and B. Fernández-Manjón, “A narrative metaphor to facilitate educational game authoring,” Comput. Educ., vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 590– 599, 2012. [5] Á. del Blanco, J. Torrente, E. J. Marchiori, I. Martínez-Ortiz, P. Moreno-Ger, and B. Fernández-Manjón, “A framework for simplifying educator tasks related to the integration of games in the learning flow,” Educ. Tech. Soc., vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 305–318, 2012. [6] R. Aust, M. Nitsche, and J. Pelka, “Digital game-based learning and video games in teacher training. Conception, evaluation and results from Leipzig University,” Perspect. Innov. Econ. Bus., vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 113–131, Sep. 2014.
  23. 23. References [7] Center for Technology Implementation in Education, “Learning with Computer Games and Simulations,” Am. Institutes Res., 2014. [8] M. D. Dickey, “Game Design Narrative for Learning: Appropiating Adventure Game Design Narrative Devices of Interactive Learning Environment,” Educ. Technol. Res. Dev., vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 245–263, 2006. [9] U. Spierling, “Models for Interactive Narrative actions,” in Proceedings of the Sixth Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment - IE ’09, 2009, pp. 1–8. [10] K. Q. Omnipedia, “Dead end.” [Online]. Available: [11] J. Torrente, A. del Blanco, E. J. Marchiori, P. Moreno-Ger, and B. Fernandez-Manjon, “<e-Adventure>: Introducing educational games in the learning process,” in IEEE EDUCON 2010 Conference, 2010, pp. 1121–1126. [12] Á. del Blanco, E. J. Marchiori, J. Torrente, I. Martínez-Ortiz, and B. Fernández-Manjón, “Using e-Learning standards in educational video games,” Comput. Stand. Interfaces, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 178–187, 2013.
  24. 24. References [13] I. J. Perez-Colado, V. M. Perez-Colado, I. Martínez-Ortiz, and B. Fernández-Manjón, “uAdventure: The eAdventure reboot,” in IEEE Education Engineering EDUCON 2017 Conference, 2017. [14] A. Salter, What Is Your Quest?: From Adventure Games to Interactive Books. University of Iowa Press, 2014. [15] G. Disterer and C. Kleiner, “BYOD Bring Your Own Device,” Procedia Technol., vol. 9, pp. 43–53, 2013. [16] I. Škorić and M. Milić, “Computers in school: A student’s perspective,” in MIPRO 2010 - 33rd International Convention on Information and Communication Technology, Electronics and Microelectronics, Proceedings, 2010, pp. 1056–1061. [17] M. Freire, Á. Serrano-Laguna, and B. Iglesias, Game learning analytics: Learning analytics for serious games. 2016. [18] V. M. Pérez-colado, I. J. Freire-morán, I. Martínez-Ortiz, M. FreireMorán, and B. Fernández-Manjón, “Simplifying location-based serious game authoring.”
  25. 25. Introduction To Simplify the development: ● Facilitate high level tasks ● Reduce flexibility in game mechanics -> 1 genre ● Adventure games fit educational games = narrative + puzzles -> learning [8] VS
  26. 26. Integrated experience + = Specific layout that prevents user info overflow ● Adapt the interface to our specific genre Unity interface hooks = native buttons for our own purposes ● Control what we cannot take off Automatic asset importing and configuration