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APOGEE - smArt adaPtive videO
GamEs for Education:
the Game Generation Platform
Boyan Bontchev
Department of Software Engineering,
Fac. of Math. and Informatics,
Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski, Bulgaria
February, 2018
http://www.apogee.online/
Computer games as a new media
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 2
Credits:
Hitbox Team
Computer
games
Video
games
Computer video games
Text
games
3
APOGEE
Audio
games
COMPUTER
VIDEO
GAMES
Tablet
games
TV/Console
games
Web
games
Handheld
games
A Video Game Generation Platform
A Video Game Generation Platform
4
Entertainment games
APOGEE
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 5
Serious Games (SG)
Digital interactive applications that allow users to make
specific experiences that promote active and experiential paths
of learning in various domain of human existence,
 through virtual/augmented simulations
 through ludic and playing formats
“A serious game or applied game is a game designed for a
primary purpose other than pure entertainment” (Abt, 1970)
“A serious game is a digital game in which education is the
primary goal, rather than entertainment” (Micheal & Chen, 2006)
SG enable self-controlled, active and playfully learning
5
Differences between entertainment games
and SG
 Games
Criterion
Serious games Entertainment games
Task vs. rich
experience
Problem solving in
focus
Rich experiences
preferred
Focus
Important elements of
learning
To have fun
Simulations
Assumptions necessary
for workable
simulations
Simplified simulation
processes
Communication
Should reflect natural
(non-perfect)
communication
Communication is
often
perfect
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 6
Source: Susi, Johannesson and Backlund, 2007.
The three kernels of SG design
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 7Source: Serious Games for education and
training, Alessandro De Gloria et al., 2014
Theory Contents
Game design
Pedagogy
Cognition
Psychology
Flow/presence
Perception
Behaviour
Learning
Museums
History
Mathematics
Science
HCI Goals A/V (audio/video)
Storytelling Rules 2D/3D graphics
AI Levels Programming
SG development concepts
 Challenges – to be confronted with a problem you have
to solve
 Reification – to create, produce and make experiments
 Socialities – to communicate and take part in
communities and social networks
 Achievements – to get acknowledgment and enjoy
respect
 Pleasure – to interact in sensitive and pleasurable
situations
 Exploration – to explore and act on basis of curiosity
 Self interpretation – to search and experiment identities
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 8
Source: Sørensen, 2002
A taxonomy of serious games
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 9
Source: Sawyer and Smith, 2008
Types of Serious Video Games for Education
1/2
1. 3D role-playing action/adventure games applied to specific
scientific or cultural domain – include language training
games and games for acquisition of cultural/language
knowledge, intercultural skills, and intangible heritage such
as traditions and habits, with high-fidelity 3D cultural settings
(Bontchev, DIPP’2015)
2. Interactive virtual museums and environments - use gaming
technology for both entertaining and educating visitors
usually by incorporating some exploration and reassembling
tasks and quizzes
3. Historical documentary games, prototypes and
demonstrators – take the players to a specific historical
epoch using increasingly realistic behavioral and realistic
visual simulations with historical accuracy of political,
religious and artistic walkthrough (Fullerton, 2008)
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 10
Types of Serious Video Games for Education
2/2
4. Board, word, and logic games applied for education
purposes – make use of structured didactic content shown
in puzzles, Hangman, anagrams, etc. (Bontchev, 2012)
5. Simulators and simulator games – e.g., a car driving
simulator, flight simulators, etc.
6. Social tagging and knowledge acquisition SG – such as
games collecting information about cultural artifacts
embedded into the games for further knowledge verification
and mining
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 11
Serious Problems with the Serious games
 Higher development cost
 Lower attractiveness compared to entertainment games
 Transition between instructional design and actual game
design implementation - how Game Mechanics impact
and interact with the Learning Mechanics
 Assessment - effectively tracking and analyzing of the
right parameters related to learners’ progress
(knowledge gain, reflection and application)
 How psychological theories should be used in the design
of realistic and convincing NPCs?
 How different pedagogical paradigms relate to SG and
SG mechanics - reference framework needed!
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 12
D1.6 GALA Roadmap 2, Nov. 2011
The greater challenges:
 Higher development cost …
and, on the other side,
 … lack of enough free and customizable platforms
for automatic creation of serious games …
are addressed by the project APOGEE (2018 -2020)
funded by the Bulgarian Fond of Scientific Research
and aiming at creation and practical validation of
an innovative open software platform for creation of
smArt adaPtive videO GamEs for Education
(APOGEE).
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 13
http://www.apogee.online/
The APOGEE Project: Goals 1/2
 construction, automatic generation and
customization of educational video games based on
formal descriptive model including semantic
structuring of both game and didactic content – this
ambitious issue addresses the current lack of such platforms
and tools in global aspect. Especially for a effective usage of
the platform, a methodology will be created for facilitating
non-IT professionals in creation of video games for
education;
 dynamic adaptation of features of created
educational video games according to outcomes,
arousal and emotional state of the individual player
– the platform will allow game rules, dynamics and audio-
visual effects to be tailored to the changes in the player
model inferred in an implicit way at run time;
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 14
The APOGEE Project: Goals 2/2
 3D virtual players in the game (so called non-
player characters, or NPCs) will apply intelligent
agents answering player questions using
knowledge and facts extracted from lexical corpuses
with didactic contents as learn books and Web pages;
 the validation of both the methodology and
platform for creation of smart adaptive video
games will make use of practical experiments
with construction of games for education in
Bulgarian medieval history by educationalists and
teachers, for assessing the usability of the game platform
in terms of being used by non-IT professionals and, on the
other hand, playability and learnability of the smart
adaptive video games constructed by the platform.
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 15
What type of educational games will be
generated? 1/2
Our choice – educational labyrinths (mazes), because:
 Mazes are broadly used in entertainment games and that
makes them very appropriate for interactive
representation of content, like virtual museums and other
interactive environments
 Mazes can be used in various 3D role-playing action/
adventure games applied to specific scientific or cultural
domain - the player explores the educational content in
the maze and moves from one place to another by:
 choosing one of the several options for an action
 solving didactic tasks located in maze rooms
 Mazes are good for procedural content generation
 Maze graph, nodes, tasks, audio, etc… - in an XML doc
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 16
What type of educational games will be
generated? 2/2
 Furthermore, mazes can be combined with board/logic/
word games such as quizzes, puzzles, or other mini-
games situated at appropriated places into the labyrinth
that makes them suitable for game-based learning in any
learning domain
 The connecting graph of the labyrinth is to be designed
by the educator, according a given learning curriculum,
i.e. aligned with pedagogical goals and methods
 Good for personalization and adaptation - while passing
from a room to another, the player has solve additional
didactic tasks appropriate to his/her current knowledge
and outcomes
 Mazes may have intelligent NPC for tutoring/helping the
learnerAPOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 17
Manually
created XML
document +
audio/video
content
Unity3D API
Unity3D Game
Editor
Didactic
game tasks
Maze Builder Online games
Unity3D game
engine
(browser plugin)
Game
managers
3D maze
Maze Builder: the APOGEE platform for
construction of 3D online video games for
education – the current version
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 18
Note: blocks in dotted line are future extensions
Textual content
Graphics
Audio content
Generated
XML +
A/V
content
Unity3D API
Unity3D Game
Editor
Didactic
game tasks
Metadata
(XSD)
Graph Editor
Didactic tasks
Property Editor
Maze Editor Maze Builder
Virtual
players
Intelligent Q&A
agents
Online games
Unity3D game
engine
(browser plugin)
Adaptive game
managers
Virtual players
3D maze
Maze Builder: the APOGEE platform for
construction of 3D online video games for
education – the future version
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 19
Automatic
game
generation
Existing platforms for automatic creation of
serious games
Criteria/
Solution Quandary Qedoc Quiz
Maker ADAPTIMES Maze Builder
Distribution Web Desktop Desktop Desktop/Web/
Mobile/Console
Type 2D 2D 3D 3D
Game platform None None None Unity 3D
Programming
language None None Python C#
Learning
resources
slides, test
questions
slides, test
questions,
learning games
slides, test
questions,
arranging images
slides, test
questions,
arranging 3D
objects, hidden 3D
objects
Customization
images,
music,
video, font
images, font,
sound effects Textures, rooms Textures, images,
music
Open code No No Yes Yes
Price Free Free Licensed Free
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 20
OUR GOAL: To provide a FREE and open
solution based on a popular game engine
Criterion 
Game Engine
Unreal
engine 4
CryEngine Ogre 3D Blender Godot Unity3d
Distribution Windows,
Linux, Mac
OS X, Xbox
One,
PlayStation
4, HTML5,
iOS and
Android
Windows, Linux,
PlayStation 3,
PlayStation 4,
Wii U, Xbox 360,
Xbox One, iOS
and Android
Windows,
Linux, Mac
OS X
Windows,
Linux, Mac
OS X
Windows,
OSX, Linux,
HTML5, iOS,
Android,
BB10
Windows, OSX,
Linux, Windows
Phone, iOS,
Android,
BlackBerry 10,
Tizen, Xbox 360,
Xbox One, Wii U,
PlayStation 3/4,
PlayStation Vita,
Nintendo Switch,
WebGL
Supported
languages
C++,
Blueprints
C++, C#, Lua C++ Python C++,
GDscript
C#, JavaScrtipt
Community and
documentation
Big Big Little Big Little Very big
Price Free $9.90/month Free Free Free Free
Requirements for
developer PC
High High Low Medium Medium Medium
Graphic quality Very high Very high Medium Medium Medium High
Extensibility Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 21
Conceptual process of the Maze Builder
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 22
Unity 3D
Game Platform
Maze Builder
Custom
Package
XML Maze
Description
Game Assets
(text, images,
audio)
3D
Maze
3D Maze
Game
Read
Import
Generate
Build
Import
Arrange
4 min
2 weeks
5 min
4 days 2 s
20 s
4 h
12 min
Guess the timing for
creating a six room
maze game?
Performance
The performance testing of the Maze Builder with creating
a six room maze game was performed on a developer
laptop with Windows 10:
 Importing of Maze Builder unity package – 4 minutes
 Importing of 4 audio files with total volume 28MB - 176 s
 Importing of 86 images with total volume of 212MB – 65 s
 Importing of a XML document describing a 6 room maze
and generation of the maze - 12 seconds
 Building a desktop standalone (executable) – 3 minutes
20 seconds
 Building a WebGL game distribution - 12 minutes
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 23
Restrictions to the maze construction 1/2
 Each node (i.e., room) can have maximum four
doors
 The maze connectivity graph must be planar
 Cycles are possible within the maze graph
 A par of incoming and outgoing doors is shown as
a lack of door
 Each door can be unlocked by correct answering
a question
 Each question may have text and raster graphic
 Walls have maximum one door per wall
 Walls have maximum two slides per wall
 Each slide may have text and/or raster graphic in
JPG, PNG, TIFF or BMP format
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 24
Restrictions to the maze construction 2/2
Each room can have a game with balls, circles
and/or rings
Each room can have zero or N hidden objects.
Each room can have textures for the walls,
ceiling and the floor
Each room can have no more than one map
laid over the floor
Each room can have no more than one audio
file for playing while the player is inside it (one
or in repeating mode)
The maze should have one starting room
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 25
The APOGEE workflow
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 26
Prefabs
Labyrinth
class
MazeBuilder
class
2. Deserialize XML
3. Return instance
of Labyrinth
Room HiddenObject
BallBoard
CircleBoard
TorusBoard
GameManager
GlobalGameManager
Open scene
4. Instantiate
prefabs
5. Set properties and
positions in 3D space
Game
Content
1. Import of
content
Importing the Maze Builder package in Unity 3D
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 27
After the import: Custom panel of the
Maze Builder platform in the Unity editor
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 28
A Sample XML maze description
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 29
The maze is generated just after the XML
import
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 30
Case study: Educational 3D Maze Games
for Carpet Handicraft in Bulgaria
 Target: vocational training and education in Bulgarian
ethnography.
 Focus: the game is dedicated to the fabrication of carpets in
Bulgaria since 17th century to the present times.
 Maze connectivity graph: six rooms interconnected by doors
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 31
RoomCenter
Intro
RoomNorthWest
Tciprovtzi - 2
RoomWest
Tciprovtzi - 1
RoomEast
Kotel - 1
RoomNorth
Sliven
RoomNorthEast
Kotel 2DoorE
DoorE
DoorW
DoorW
DoorS
DoorNDoorN
RoomCenter
Intro
RoomNorthW
est
Tciprovtzi - 2
RoomWest
Tciprovtzi - 1
RoomEast
Kotel - 1
RoomNorth
Sliven
RoomNorthE
ast
Kotel 2
DoorE
DoorE
DoorW
DoorW
DoorS
DoorNDoorN
The maze from top camera view in Unity
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 32
A screenshot of the initial view of the
game (the central room)
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 33
Current types of didactic game tasks
1. Answering a question for unlocking a door to
another room
2. Rolling balls marked with given content to
specific positions on the floor map
3. Rolling balls marked with given content to
specific rings on the floor
4. Finding/discovering hidden semi-transparant
objects and gaining points
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 34
Answering the question for unlocking the
door to the west room
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 35
Rolling a ball to the location of the town of
Tsiprovtci
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 36
A game task for rolling three balls (right) to
their correspondent rings (left)
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 37
Finding a semitransparent hidden object
(in this case, hanging from the top)
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 38
Future types of didactic game tasks
1. Answering several (selected adaptively!) questions for
unlocking doors to other rooms
2. Unlocking a door by solving a 2D puzzle (generated
automatically)
3. Labyrinth traversal by using an interactive map of the maze
4. Finding/discovering objects hidden within other interior
objects (with dynamic adaptation of difficulty!)
5. Collecting found objects into an asset store and viewing them
6. Selecting appropriate found objects for leaving them on a
specific position (e.g., items of a treasure into a box or area)
7. Asking a NPC for help
8. Putting questions to a NPC presenting an intelligent agent
retrieving knowledge from a lexical corpus (Wikipedia)
9. What more (please propose more ideas)? ….
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 39
Towards an online game generation platform
of intelligent and adaptive online games
 Automatic online maze generation using a metadata-driven
XSD-based maze editor with a Web-based visual graph
editor and checker, used by non-IT professionals for
creation of video games for education, based on a
generation of the XML maze description
 Creation of intelligent agents for question answering based
on extraction of facts from domain content (Wikipedia)
 Dynamic adaptation of features of created educational
video games according to outcomes, arousal and emotional
state of the individual player – the platform will allow game
rules, dynamics and audio-visual effects to be tailored to
the changes in the player model inferred in an implicit way
at run time, by using a RAGE game component for
recognizing the player excitement based on electrodermal
activity (http://rageproject.eu/)
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 40
Practical experiment
with two groups of users
 Educators - passed though a demonstration of generation
of a maze game and arrangements of didactic objects
embedded into it and watched a video about the maze
creational process. Next, they filled in a questionnaire about
platform usability and game playability
 Students – learners through the generated serious game
available online at http://adaptimes.eu/carpetgame/ and who
played the game
 either online by a Firefox browser with Unity Web Player
Plugin installed from https://unity3d.com/webplayer,
 or offline by downloading the desktop version of the game
from this Web page.
Next, they filled in a questionnaire about game playability
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 41
View of the Web page with the generated
game (http://adaptimes.eu/carpetgame/)
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 42
Videos
A video about the maze creational process
available at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IBqY
ooKwQg (2:39 min.)
A video containing a demonstration of a game
session with the generated game is available
at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLH4F6gq
9Gs (3:21 min.)
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 43
Results for the question “Do you think that educational video
maze games are an effective tool facilitating education?”
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 44
0.00%
10.00%
20.00%
30.00%
40.00%
50.00%
60.00%
70.00%
definitely no more likely no I can't say more likely yes definitely yes
Results for “The idea to use text in XML format for describing video maze
games is very good and has future”
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 45
0.00%
10.00%
20.00%
30.00%
40.00%
50.00%
60.00%
definitely no more likely no I can't say more likely yes definitely yes
Results for “The utilized learning tasks, answering test questions
for unlocking doors and finding hidden objects, are very
appropriate for educational games”
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 46
0.00%
10.00%
20.00%
30.00%
40.00%
50.00%
60.00%
70.00%
definitely no more likely no I can't say more likely yes definitely yes
Results for the question “The time spent on game and
amusement obtained is GREAT”
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 47
0.00%
5.00%
10.00%
15.00%
20.00%
25.00%
30.00%
35.00%
40.00%
definitely no more likely no I can't say more likely yes definitely yes
Current and future works
 New extensions of the platform:
 JavaScrips for controlling texts over pictures
 Other embedded mini-games – e.g. a puzzle game for unlocking
a door
 More prefab objects – e.g. torches instead lamps, stony doors
instead wooden doors, etc.
 More than one question for unlocking a door
 Text decorations specified in the XML document
 Collecting hidden objects and placing them on specific places
 Sounds for events like unlock/open/close a door, find a hidden
object, etc.
 Interactive map showing the current player location in the maze
 More …?
 Other application of the ball games – e.g. a game
ordering the balls in a line
 Using the platform for other case studies, with greater
number of participants
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 48
Conclusions
The market space of both entertainment and applied
video games entertainment games and applied will
continue to grow in next years
The impact of serious video games will be higher
thanks to their synergy of story, art and technological
achievements including affective and adaptive
gameplay.
Applied maze games for cultural heritage will be
used more and more for immersive cultural
presentation, teaching, assessment and training
Open and free gaming platforms will be a must
APOGEE
A Video Game Generation Platform
49
Thank you for your attention!
 Questions ?
 Proposals !
 Remarks …
 Disappointments 
 Doubts 
 Congrats 
 Donations €
 Sth else ®
Write to:
 Boyan Bontchev, bbontchev@fmi.uni-sofia.bg
 http://www.apogee.online/
APOGEE
A Video Game Generation Platform
50
Games create illusions but are reality
APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 51

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Online generation of smArt adaPtive videO GamEs for Education (APOGEE)

  • 1. APOGEE - smArt adaPtive videO GamEs for Education: the Game Generation Platform Boyan Bontchev Department of Software Engineering, Fac. of Math. and Informatics, Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski, Bulgaria February, 2018 http://www.apogee.online/
  • 2. Computer games as a new media APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 2 Credits: Hitbox Team
  • 4. A Video Game Generation Platform 4 Entertainment games APOGEE
  • 5. APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 5 Serious Games (SG) Digital interactive applications that allow users to make specific experiences that promote active and experiential paths of learning in various domain of human existence,  through virtual/augmented simulations  through ludic and playing formats “A serious game or applied game is a game designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment” (Abt, 1970) “A serious game is a digital game in which education is the primary goal, rather than entertainment” (Micheal & Chen, 2006) SG enable self-controlled, active and playfully learning 5
  • 6. Differences between entertainment games and SG Games Criterion Serious games Entertainment games Task vs. rich experience Problem solving in focus Rich experiences preferred Focus Important elements of learning To have fun Simulations Assumptions necessary for workable simulations Simplified simulation processes Communication Should reflect natural (non-perfect) communication Communication is often perfect APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 6 Source: Susi, Johannesson and Backlund, 2007.
  • 7. The three kernels of SG design APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 7Source: Serious Games for education and training, Alessandro De Gloria et al., 2014 Theory Contents Game design Pedagogy Cognition Psychology Flow/presence Perception Behaviour Learning Museums History Mathematics Science HCI Goals A/V (audio/video) Storytelling Rules 2D/3D graphics AI Levels Programming
  • 8. SG development concepts  Challenges – to be confronted with a problem you have to solve  Reification – to create, produce and make experiments  Socialities – to communicate and take part in communities and social networks  Achievements – to get acknowledgment and enjoy respect  Pleasure – to interact in sensitive and pleasurable situations  Exploration – to explore and act on basis of curiosity  Self interpretation – to search and experiment identities APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 8 Source: Sørensen, 2002
  • 9. A taxonomy of serious games APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 9 Source: Sawyer and Smith, 2008
  • 10. Types of Serious Video Games for Education 1/2 1. 3D role-playing action/adventure games applied to specific scientific or cultural domain – include language training games and games for acquisition of cultural/language knowledge, intercultural skills, and intangible heritage such as traditions and habits, with high-fidelity 3D cultural settings (Bontchev, DIPP’2015) 2. Interactive virtual museums and environments - use gaming technology for both entertaining and educating visitors usually by incorporating some exploration and reassembling tasks and quizzes 3. Historical documentary games, prototypes and demonstrators – take the players to a specific historical epoch using increasingly realistic behavioral and realistic visual simulations with historical accuracy of political, religious and artistic walkthrough (Fullerton, 2008) APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 10
  • 11. Types of Serious Video Games for Education 2/2 4. Board, word, and logic games applied for education purposes – make use of structured didactic content shown in puzzles, Hangman, anagrams, etc. (Bontchev, 2012) 5. Simulators and simulator games – e.g., a car driving simulator, flight simulators, etc. 6. Social tagging and knowledge acquisition SG – such as games collecting information about cultural artifacts embedded into the games for further knowledge verification and mining APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 11
  • 12. Serious Problems with the Serious games  Higher development cost  Lower attractiveness compared to entertainment games  Transition between instructional design and actual game design implementation - how Game Mechanics impact and interact with the Learning Mechanics  Assessment - effectively tracking and analyzing of the right parameters related to learners’ progress (knowledge gain, reflection and application)  How psychological theories should be used in the design of realistic and convincing NPCs?  How different pedagogical paradigms relate to SG and SG mechanics - reference framework needed! APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 12 D1.6 GALA Roadmap 2, Nov. 2011
  • 13. The greater challenges:  Higher development cost … and, on the other side,  … lack of enough free and customizable platforms for automatic creation of serious games … are addressed by the project APOGEE (2018 -2020) funded by the Bulgarian Fond of Scientific Research and aiming at creation and practical validation of an innovative open software platform for creation of smArt adaPtive videO GamEs for Education (APOGEE). APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 13 http://www.apogee.online/
  • 14. The APOGEE Project: Goals 1/2  construction, automatic generation and customization of educational video games based on formal descriptive model including semantic structuring of both game and didactic content – this ambitious issue addresses the current lack of such platforms and tools in global aspect. Especially for a effective usage of the platform, a methodology will be created for facilitating non-IT professionals in creation of video games for education;  dynamic adaptation of features of created educational video games according to outcomes, arousal and emotional state of the individual player – the platform will allow game rules, dynamics and audio- visual effects to be tailored to the changes in the player model inferred in an implicit way at run time; APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 14
  • 15. The APOGEE Project: Goals 2/2  3D virtual players in the game (so called non- player characters, or NPCs) will apply intelligent agents answering player questions using knowledge and facts extracted from lexical corpuses with didactic contents as learn books and Web pages;  the validation of both the methodology and platform for creation of smart adaptive video games will make use of practical experiments with construction of games for education in Bulgarian medieval history by educationalists and teachers, for assessing the usability of the game platform in terms of being used by non-IT professionals and, on the other hand, playability and learnability of the smart adaptive video games constructed by the platform. APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 15
  • 16. What type of educational games will be generated? 1/2 Our choice – educational labyrinths (mazes), because:  Mazes are broadly used in entertainment games and that makes them very appropriate for interactive representation of content, like virtual museums and other interactive environments  Mazes can be used in various 3D role-playing action/ adventure games applied to specific scientific or cultural domain - the player explores the educational content in the maze and moves from one place to another by:  choosing one of the several options for an action  solving didactic tasks located in maze rooms  Mazes are good for procedural content generation  Maze graph, nodes, tasks, audio, etc… - in an XML doc APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 16
  • 17. What type of educational games will be generated? 2/2  Furthermore, mazes can be combined with board/logic/ word games such as quizzes, puzzles, or other mini- games situated at appropriated places into the labyrinth that makes them suitable for game-based learning in any learning domain  The connecting graph of the labyrinth is to be designed by the educator, according a given learning curriculum, i.e. aligned with pedagogical goals and methods  Good for personalization and adaptation - while passing from a room to another, the player has solve additional didactic tasks appropriate to his/her current knowledge and outcomes  Mazes may have intelligent NPC for tutoring/helping the learnerAPOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 17
  • 18. Manually created XML document + audio/video content Unity3D API Unity3D Game Editor Didactic game tasks Maze Builder Online games Unity3D game engine (browser plugin) Game managers 3D maze Maze Builder: the APOGEE platform for construction of 3D online video games for education – the current version APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 18
  • 19. Note: blocks in dotted line are future extensions Textual content Graphics Audio content Generated XML + A/V content Unity3D API Unity3D Game Editor Didactic game tasks Metadata (XSD) Graph Editor Didactic tasks Property Editor Maze Editor Maze Builder Virtual players Intelligent Q&A agents Online games Unity3D game engine (browser plugin) Adaptive game managers Virtual players 3D maze Maze Builder: the APOGEE platform for construction of 3D online video games for education – the future version APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 19 Automatic game generation
  • 20. Existing platforms for automatic creation of serious games Criteria/ Solution Quandary Qedoc Quiz Maker ADAPTIMES Maze Builder Distribution Web Desktop Desktop Desktop/Web/ Mobile/Console Type 2D 2D 3D 3D Game platform None None None Unity 3D Programming language None None Python C# Learning resources slides, test questions slides, test questions, learning games slides, test questions, arranging images slides, test questions, arranging 3D objects, hidden 3D objects Customization images, music, video, font images, font, sound effects Textures, rooms Textures, images, music Open code No No Yes Yes Price Free Free Licensed Free APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 20
  • 21. OUR GOAL: To provide a FREE and open solution based on a popular game engine Criterion Game Engine Unreal engine 4 CryEngine Ogre 3D Blender Godot Unity3d Distribution Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, HTML5, iOS and Android Windows, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, iOS and Android Windows, Linux, Mac OS X Windows, Linux, Mac OS X Windows, OSX, Linux, HTML5, iOS, Android, BB10 Windows, OSX, Linux, Windows Phone, iOS, Android, BlackBerry 10, Tizen, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3/4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, WebGL Supported languages C++, Blueprints C++, C#, Lua C++ Python C++, GDscript C#, JavaScrtipt Community and documentation Big Big Little Big Little Very big Price Free $9.90/month Free Free Free Free Requirements for developer PC High High Low Medium Medium Medium Graphic quality Very high Very high Medium Medium Medium High Extensibility Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 21
  • 22. Conceptual process of the Maze Builder APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 22 Unity 3D Game Platform Maze Builder Custom Package XML Maze Description Game Assets (text, images, audio) 3D Maze 3D Maze Game Read Import Generate Build Import Arrange 4 min 2 weeks 5 min 4 days 2 s 20 s 4 h 12 min Guess the timing for creating a six room maze game?
  • 23. Performance The performance testing of the Maze Builder with creating a six room maze game was performed on a developer laptop with Windows 10:  Importing of Maze Builder unity package – 4 minutes  Importing of 4 audio files with total volume 28MB - 176 s  Importing of 86 images with total volume of 212MB – 65 s  Importing of a XML document describing a 6 room maze and generation of the maze - 12 seconds  Building a desktop standalone (executable) – 3 minutes 20 seconds  Building a WebGL game distribution - 12 minutes APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 23
  • 24. Restrictions to the maze construction 1/2  Each node (i.e., room) can have maximum four doors  The maze connectivity graph must be planar  Cycles are possible within the maze graph  A par of incoming and outgoing doors is shown as a lack of door  Each door can be unlocked by correct answering a question  Each question may have text and raster graphic  Walls have maximum one door per wall  Walls have maximum two slides per wall  Each slide may have text and/or raster graphic in JPG, PNG, TIFF or BMP format APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 24
  • 25. Restrictions to the maze construction 2/2 Each room can have a game with balls, circles and/or rings Each room can have zero or N hidden objects. Each room can have textures for the walls, ceiling and the floor Each room can have no more than one map laid over the floor Each room can have no more than one audio file for playing while the player is inside it (one or in repeating mode) The maze should have one starting room APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 25
  • 26. The APOGEE workflow APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 26 Prefabs Labyrinth class MazeBuilder class 2. Deserialize XML 3. Return instance of Labyrinth Room HiddenObject BallBoard CircleBoard TorusBoard GameManager GlobalGameManager Open scene 4. Instantiate prefabs 5. Set properties and positions in 3D space Game Content 1. Import of content
  • 27. Importing the Maze Builder package in Unity 3D APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 27
  • 28. After the import: Custom panel of the Maze Builder platform in the Unity editor APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 28
  • 29. A Sample XML maze description APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 29
  • 30. The maze is generated just after the XML import APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 30
  • 31. Case study: Educational 3D Maze Games for Carpet Handicraft in Bulgaria  Target: vocational training and education in Bulgarian ethnography.  Focus: the game is dedicated to the fabrication of carpets in Bulgaria since 17th century to the present times.  Maze connectivity graph: six rooms interconnected by doors APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 31 RoomCenter Intro RoomNorthWest Tciprovtzi - 2 RoomWest Tciprovtzi - 1 RoomEast Kotel - 1 RoomNorth Sliven RoomNorthEast Kotel 2DoorE DoorE DoorW DoorW DoorS DoorNDoorN
  • 32. RoomCenter Intro RoomNorthW est Tciprovtzi - 2 RoomWest Tciprovtzi - 1 RoomEast Kotel - 1 RoomNorth Sliven RoomNorthE ast Kotel 2 DoorE DoorE DoorW DoorW DoorS DoorNDoorN The maze from top camera view in Unity APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 32
  • 33. A screenshot of the initial view of the game (the central room) APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 33
  • 34. Current types of didactic game tasks 1. Answering a question for unlocking a door to another room 2. Rolling balls marked with given content to specific positions on the floor map 3. Rolling balls marked with given content to specific rings on the floor 4. Finding/discovering hidden semi-transparant objects and gaining points APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 34
  • 35. Answering the question for unlocking the door to the west room APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 35
  • 36. Rolling a ball to the location of the town of Tsiprovtci APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 36
  • 37. A game task for rolling three balls (right) to their correspondent rings (left) APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 37
  • 38. Finding a semitransparent hidden object (in this case, hanging from the top) APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 38
  • 39. Future types of didactic game tasks 1. Answering several (selected adaptively!) questions for unlocking doors to other rooms 2. Unlocking a door by solving a 2D puzzle (generated automatically) 3. Labyrinth traversal by using an interactive map of the maze 4. Finding/discovering objects hidden within other interior objects (with dynamic adaptation of difficulty!) 5. Collecting found objects into an asset store and viewing them 6. Selecting appropriate found objects for leaving them on a specific position (e.g., items of a treasure into a box or area) 7. Asking a NPC for help 8. Putting questions to a NPC presenting an intelligent agent retrieving knowledge from a lexical corpus (Wikipedia) 9. What more (please propose more ideas)? …. APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 39
  • 40. Towards an online game generation platform of intelligent and adaptive online games  Automatic online maze generation using a metadata-driven XSD-based maze editor with a Web-based visual graph editor and checker, used by non-IT professionals for creation of video games for education, based on a generation of the XML maze description  Creation of intelligent agents for question answering based on extraction of facts from domain content (Wikipedia)  Dynamic adaptation of features of created educational video games according to outcomes, arousal and emotional state of the individual player – the platform will allow game rules, dynamics and audio-visual effects to be tailored to the changes in the player model inferred in an implicit way at run time, by using a RAGE game component for recognizing the player excitement based on electrodermal activity (http://rageproject.eu/) APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 40
  • 41. Practical experiment with two groups of users  Educators - passed though a demonstration of generation of a maze game and arrangements of didactic objects embedded into it and watched a video about the maze creational process. Next, they filled in a questionnaire about platform usability and game playability  Students – learners through the generated serious game available online at http://adaptimes.eu/carpetgame/ and who played the game  either online by a Firefox browser with Unity Web Player Plugin installed from https://unity3d.com/webplayer,  or offline by downloading the desktop version of the game from this Web page. Next, they filled in a questionnaire about game playability APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 41
  • 42. View of the Web page with the generated game (http://adaptimes.eu/carpetgame/) APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 42
  • 43. Videos A video about the maze creational process available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IBqY ooKwQg (2:39 min.) A video containing a demonstration of a game session with the generated game is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLH4F6gq 9Gs (3:21 min.) APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 43
  • 44. Results for the question “Do you think that educational video maze games are an effective tool facilitating education?” APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 44 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% definitely no more likely no I can't say more likely yes definitely yes
  • 45. Results for “The idea to use text in XML format for describing video maze games is very good and has future” APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 45 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% definitely no more likely no I can't say more likely yes definitely yes
  • 46. Results for “The utilized learning tasks, answering test questions for unlocking doors and finding hidden objects, are very appropriate for educational games” APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 46 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% definitely no more likely no I can't say more likely yes definitely yes
  • 47. Results for the question “The time spent on game and amusement obtained is GREAT” APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 47 0.00% 5.00% 10.00% 15.00% 20.00% 25.00% 30.00% 35.00% 40.00% definitely no more likely no I can't say more likely yes definitely yes
  • 48. Current and future works  New extensions of the platform:  JavaScrips for controlling texts over pictures  Other embedded mini-games – e.g. a puzzle game for unlocking a door  More prefab objects – e.g. torches instead lamps, stony doors instead wooden doors, etc.  More than one question for unlocking a door  Text decorations specified in the XML document  Collecting hidden objects and placing them on specific places  Sounds for events like unlock/open/close a door, find a hidden object, etc.  Interactive map showing the current player location in the maze  More …?  Other application of the ball games – e.g. a game ordering the balls in a line  Using the platform for other case studies, with greater number of participants APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 48
  • 49. Conclusions The market space of both entertainment and applied video games entertainment games and applied will continue to grow in next years The impact of serious video games will be higher thanks to their synergy of story, art and technological achievements including affective and adaptive gameplay. Applied maze games for cultural heritage will be used more and more for immersive cultural presentation, teaching, assessment and training Open and free gaming platforms will be a must APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 49
  • 50. Thank you for your attention!  Questions ?  Proposals !  Remarks …  Disappointments   Doubts   Congrats   Donations €  Sth else ® Write to:  Boyan Bontchev, bbontchev@fmi.uni-sofia.bg  http://www.apogee.online/ APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 50
  • 51. Games create illusions but are reality APOGEE A Video Game Generation Platform 51