A Model-Driven Authoring for Serious Game

‘Enabling Control of 3D Visuals, Scenarios and Non-Linear Gameplay in Serious Game Development through Model-Driven Authoring’ is the title of the Best Paper awarded at the Fifth EAI International Conference on Serious Games, Interaction and Simulation.

SGAMES 2015 took place last September at the Università degli Studi eCampus in Novedrate, Italy, and gave the opportunity to many researchers to present their innovative studies in the field of Serious Games. Among them, the Research introduced by Sofie Van Hoecke, from Ghent University, presented a model-driven authoring framework able to allow not specialized people to produce serious games easily and quickly, at lower cost.

An introduction Serious Games are games designed for educational and training purposes, using the same interaction and motivation context of games made for entertaining. The need to allow people without design skills to create or modify serious games, combined with the necessity to contain the production cost, drove the team led by Dr. Van Hoecke. Furthermore, as the main result of the study, the framework was used within the Friendly ATTAC project, and was applied to a game aimed at fighting young cyberbullying.

Model-Driven Authoring Framework Few steps are necessary to generate scenarios and levels for serious games:

  1. Social scientists have to write scenarios containing the theories and hypotheses they want to test or model;
  2. Then, via the authoring framework, they can translate their scenarios into ATTAC-L scenarios and add non-linear narrative. The ATTAC-L language is a graphically illustrated modelling language for educational virtual scenarios, understandable by nontechnical people. In parallel, they can model the visual aspects of the game levels using a sandbox, an environment enabling users to manipulate the 3D elements;
  3. The third step consists of the XML file generation based on the ATTAC-L scenarios on one hand and the sandbox configuration on the other hand;
  4. Finally, an “interpreter” translates the constructed XML files into actual game levels.

The Messenger The resulting game is an online, single player, adaptive and personalized role-playing (RPG) detective game, called ‘The Messenger’. Scenarios and interactions in the game are based on theoretical and empirical knowledge of personal and contextual determinants of cyberbullying. The game allows youngsters to experience different roles, bully, bystanders and victim, with the scope to make them more aware of the consequences of certain behaviors.

Are you interested in this paper? The full text will be available on EUDL.