Courseware design of project research based on interactive game design
Post on 06-Jun-2016
Embed Size (px)
Courseware Design of ProjectResearch Based on InteractiveGame DesignYULUNG WU
Department of Information and Communication, Kun Shan University, No. 949, DaWan Rd., Yung-Kung City, Tainan
Hsien, 71003, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Received 29 September 2009; accepted 18 January 2010
ABSTRACT: Interactive game design stretches over two domain knowledge: games and interactivetechnologies. The two so different domains are too difficult for students to learn at same time. In this research,
the course design of interactive game design is based on motion-sensing technology and presents a multiple
input interface development platform. Finally, three case studies are presented to verify that the proposed
framework is useful for educating of project research. 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Comput Appl Eng Educ;Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com); DOI 10.1002/cae.20419
Keywords: interactive game design; project research; virtools; motion sensing
The growing digital content is various with the joining of
multimedia and Internet. Computer games play important roles in
the digital content industry. Computer games affect deeply in
home entertainment, e-learning, and audio/video media. With the
performance improvement of computer hardware, computer
games provide more real game environment and operation. The
home entertainment market is the next market to be developed in
the post-PC era in this saturated computer development environ-
ment. However, this market has been monopolized by Japanese
manufacturers since its inception. Nintendo, SEGA and Sony
have been market leaders at different times.
At the end of 2006, Nintendo developed a new generation of
home entertainment console, called Wii. The revolution of this
console is not in the strengthening of computing performance or
visual effect, but in the major advancement in humanmachineinteractive interface. The humanmachine interface of a tradi-tional PC comprises the keyboard and mouse. Considering the
operating capabilities of computer users, the home entertainment
computer further simplifies the humanmachine interface intoa gamepad and remote control to enable the computer to be
controlled by a few buttons. However, these operating styles
simply send out orders by fingers, and are not intuitive
humanmachine interactive styles. The novel feature of the Wiiis that its operating gamepad can detect motion and rotation in 3D
space. Additionally, the gamepad can be adopted as a bat, baton,
fishing rod, or sword in computer games. The game player can
perform motions such as waving, cutting, flinging, and chopping,
thus considerably increasing humanmachine interactivity andamusement. Hence, Wii has sold more than the Sony PS3 since its
launch, and has revolutionized the home entertainment market.
For training and bringing up interactive game designers, this
research proposes a game design platform of motion-sensing
technology. The platform helps students developing interactive
game without understanding too much detail specification of
hardware interface that helps students concentrating their
attentions on creative design and game content.
This article is organized as follows. Second section
introduces the literature on game design and interactive design.
Third section then describes the main part of this research
course design of Project Research. Subsequently, fourth
section presents framework of the proposed system. Next,
fifth section performs evaluations to gather learning outcomes
and demo. Finally, conclusions and future works are presented in
Reigeluth  says interactivity means mutual activities
between two organisms. In computer aided learning activities,
interactivity means interactive relationship between learners and
computers. Interactive system provides various ways to send
commands to system and obtain feedback from system.
Virtual reality (VR) provides various interactive methods to
let user immerse in a virtual environment. Users using VR and
interactivity features observe or play objects in the virtual world,
Correspondence to Y. Wu (email@example.com).Contract grant sponsor: National Science Council of the Republic
of China, Taiwan; Contract grant numbers: NSC 96-2815-C-426-005-E, NSC 97-2815-C-426-002-E.
2010 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
or discuss and communicate with other people. The rich
situational experience of VR promotes focus and interest in
users. Besides entertainment, VR can be adopted in teaching
assistance to increase the learning motivation of users [2,3].
The greatest advantage of VR is that it can portray a scene
close to reality. Some dangerous or hidden aspects of nature or
real life may not be freely accessible to most people. The
properties can be exploited to create virtual scenes to allow users
to browse and experience these aspects at any time. Although
documentary filming can depict such natural scenes and features,
VR has higher interactivity and freedom in perspective. Due to
improvements in 3D technologies and reduction of video card
price, VR is no longer confined to high-level server and expensive
devices for implementation, and can now be implemented simply
by general-purpose PCs. Hence, the VR-related applications are
now increasingly extensive and widespread.
Game maker [http://www.yoyogames.com] is a game design
software with visual interface without the need to write a single
line of code. User can design game by using mouse to drag-and-
drop sprites, resources and events, and then constructing required
functions. Game maker focuses on 2D game design and provides
many animation effects to integrate into game project. Game
maker can simulate 3D screen with pre-rendering 2D image, but
not real 3D game design platform.
Song and Lee  adopted 3D in teaching geometry. They
adopted polyhedral teaching as an example, teaching students the
relationship among points, lines, surfaces, and the polyhedron.
Plane graphics could not fully express the features of poly-
hedrons, while too few physical teaching objects were available
to allow all students to spend enough time observing then. In
contrast, various polyhedrons were easy to build using 3D
technologies. The students were able to turn the polyhedrons
around to learn their features. Therefore, this system significantly
helped the students in their learning.
Jong  adopted 3D technology to create a multiple-people
interactive learning environment and to teach elementary science
courses. The learning activities were performed in groups. To
understand the personal interactive relations in between students,
the range of activities of students in the virtual learning
environment was analyzed.
Terrell and Rendulic  also adopted the computer-game
learning software to teach elementary school students. Their
results indicated that the computer-game-style learning improved
the intrinsic motivation and learning achievements of students.
The method and process of presenting the computer games were
consistent with the suggestions of Gagne : (1) provide sensory
stimulation; (2) carefully guide the learners activities; (3)
provide the way to reach the goal; (4) provide external driving
forces; (5) guide the direction of thinking; (6) stimulate the
transfer of knowledge; (7) assess the learning results, and (8)
obtain feedback. The computer game approach, if it is guided
correctly, plays an educational role to obtain teaching tasks.
Additionally, 3D can be adopted to teach spatial sense. The
round earth  project grouped learners into pairs. One learner
acted as driver to control the virtual space shuttle, and the other
acted as navigator to guide the direction of space shuttle. The
scenes helped learners to understand relative spatial positions,
and taught them to describe directions and positions. Addition-
ally, classroom explanations are inadequate in experiment-related
courses. The students have to verify what they have learnt from
the class by experiment. Hence, operating experimental materials
in experiment-related courses can provide students with deep
impressions . Raymond and Nathan  adopted VR
technologies to teach remote control and operation of motors.
Virtual reality peripheral network (VRPN)  proposed an
integrated library to support many devices that used in VR. VRPN
supports an abstraction layer that makes all devices of the same
base-class look the same. The information that VRPN obtains
from trackers is raw data. That means, though VPRN supports the
same interface to control devices, for motion-sensing pro-
grammer, developing methods of transforming raw data into
motion sensing is required. Our research proposes the same
interface and transforming method to provide a high extensible
and flexible system. And all devices are ensured that providing
necessary information of motion-sensing design. Besides,
Virtools is more suitable to design game and 3D system than
VRPN with C language.
THE COURSE DESIGN OF PROJECT RESEARCH
Project Research is compulsory for third-year undergraduates of
Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering,
Leader University, Taiwan. And the course period lasted three
semesters. Project Research educates students obtaining the
ability of analyzing and solving problems. Students have to master
and integrate their professional skills and work together to finish a
large-scale project. All students are grouped with 35 students forteamwork. In the course, many students have not much experience
in interactive game design; the following course design is designed
for students to follow. The course design shows as Figure 1.
In the first semester, students have to review the related
literature for understanding the theories, trends, and applications
of interactive game design. In the same time, students have to plan
their project topic and system framework; and the studying of
developing tools, 3DMax and Virtools, is also required.
In the following semester, students design their project with
Virtools and the proposed frame, multiple input interface (MII).
Due to the course, process is in the form of teamwork, students in
group have to finish different sub-systems by themselves. In the
phase, students design the interface and protocol among sub-
system and integrate finished sub-system.
In the last semester, the prototype of project finished,
including title animation, background music, and sound effects.
Figure 1 The course design of Project Research.
The next step is testing and revising system. System documenta-
tion and user manual also prepared. At the end of this semester, a
project achievement show will be hold for demonstrating the
For designing interactive game, motion-sensing device is
required for detecting user motion and providing feedback.
Managing motion-sensing device with low-level control is not
easy for students. They must pay much more attention to design
code of control hardware and do not have enough time to finish
their system. This research proposes the MII framework to reduce
development processes and hide hardware characteristics, and then
students can focus on system function and creative design. The
following introduces teaching materials in first semester, which
teach the students hardware and software used in the course.
Hardware Specifications of Interactive Devices
Many hardware devices in support of motion sensing are
currently available in the market, with various operating
principles and properties. The positioning of motion-sensing
devices falls mainly into two broad categories, namely relative
displacement and absolute coordinates. Relative displacement
means that the motion-sensing device can only sense the direction
of the current movement, which is the relative displacement
direction with the starting position, and cannot know the exact
position at any moment. Such positioning adopts a gyroscope to
detect movement. In a motion-sensing device based on absolute
coordinates can acquire its exact position in space, which is
represented generally by 3D coordinates. A positioning device
based on absolute coordinates can judge precise movements more
accurately than a relative positioning device, since it can acquire
the movement tracks. Such positioning generally adopts infrared
or ultrasound to detect movement.
The immersion VR system (Cave)  positioning and
operating device comprise two components, Wanda, and soni-
strip. Wanda is a device that looks like a gamepad, as shown in
Figure 5. The structure includes a direction stick and a few
buttons, and has similar functions to general computer gamepads
that send out control orders by finger. The sonistrip comprises a
few metal stripes placed on top of Cave to send out ultrasound
waves. Wanda calculates its position in space by time delay
between ultrasound reception and transmission, and then locates
and identifies the operations of the user.
The MX Air is a 3D wireless mouse produced by Logitech,
and is connected with PC by a 2.4GHz RF signal. It is similar in
appearance to a general wireless mouse, and has a built-in
gyroscope. When the MX Air is off the desktop, the gyroscope
accumulates displacement information, which is transformed into
mouse cursor coordinates by the built-in chip. The MX Air can be
held in air to control the mouse cursor when operating the
computer or briefing, and is very easy to apply in motion sensing.
Since the movements of the user are transformed into displace-
ments of the desktop mouse cursor inside the mouse, the X and Y
coordinates of the mouse cursor are ultimately transmitted to the
computer. Therefore, general windows programs can easily
acquire the mouse cursor data without the need for any specific
platform or operating system.
Wii remote is the new generation of gamepad introduced by
Nintendo, and is connected to a console by bluetooth signals with
built in gyroscope and infrared receptor. The gyroscope also
detects the movements of the user to obtain the displacement
information. Therefore, the displacement information is also the
relative displacement. Unlike in MX Air, Wii remote does not
process displacement information, but instead directly transmits
the data to the main console, which performs the computations to
obtain the 3D displacement information.
Software Specifications of Course Used
The development platforms adopted in this research are Virtools
and PC. Virtools is a 3D interactive construction software
application developed by 3DVIA [http://www.3dvia.com], and
provides a WYSWYG development environment. The interactive
functionality design method of Virtools does not request writing
programmable codes as in general programming languages.
Instead, program design is represented in a flowchart to present a
more intuitive and more easily accessible development environ-
ment than traditional programming languages. This type of
development interface is called a schematic. In Virtools, each
function is called a building...