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Toftedahl, M. & Engström, H. (2019). A Taxonomy of Game Engines and the Tools that Drive the Industry. In: Akinori Nakamura (Ed.), DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix. Paper presented at DiGRA 2019, The 12th Digital Games Research Association Conference, Kyoto, Japan, August, 6-10, 2019.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Taxonomy of Game Engines and the Tools that Drive the Industry
2019 (English)In: DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix / [ed] Akinori Nakamura, 2019Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Game engines are a vital part of a game production pipeline, but there is a vagueness of definitions regarding the boundaries of components in a game engine and the rest of the production tools used in a game development pipeline. The aim of this paper is to nuance the use of the term game engine and to put it into the context of a game development pipeline. Based on data from the current state of game production, a proposed taxonomy for tools in game development is presented. A distinction is made between user facing tools and product facing tools. A defining characteristic of the production pipeline and game engines is their plasticity. One of the conclusions is that a “game engine” as a single entity containing the whole game production pipeline is not desirable due to the large number of competences and needs involved in a game development project.

Keywords
Game production, Game research, Game industry, Game engines, Game production tools
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-17706 (URN)
Conference
DiGRA 2019, The 12th Digital Games Research Association Conference, Kyoto, Japan, August, 6-10, 2019
Projects
Game Hub Scandinavia 2.0
Funder
Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak, NYPS 20200428
Available from: 2019-09-19 Created: 2019-09-19 Last updated: 2019-09-24Bibliographically approved
Bevilacqua, F., Engström, H. & Backlund, P. (2019). Game-Calibrated and User-Tailored Remote Detection of Stress and Boredom in Games. Sensors, 19(13), 1-43, Article ID 2877.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Game-Calibrated and User-Tailored Remote Detection of Stress and Boredom in Games
2019 (English)In: Sensors, ISSN 1424-8220, E-ISSN 1424-8220, Vol. 19, no 13, p. 1-43, article id 2877Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Emotion detection based on computer vision and remote extraction of user signals commonly rely on stimuli where users have a passive role with limited possibilities for interaction or emotional involvement, e.g., images and videos. Predictive models are also trained on a group level, which potentially excludes or dilutes key individualities of users. We present a non-obtrusive, multifactorial, user-tailored emotion detection method based on remotely estimated psychophysiological signals. A neural network learns the emotional profile of a user during the interaction with calibration games, a novel game-based emotion elicitation material designed to induce emotions while accounting for particularities of individuals. We evaluate our method in two experiments (n = 20 and n = 62) with mean classification accuracy of 61.6%, which is statistically significantly better than chance-level classification. Our approach and its evaluation present unique circumstances: our model is trained on one dataset (calibration games) and tested on another (evaluation game), while preserving the natural behavior of subjects and using remote acquisition of signals. Results of this study suggest our method is feasible and an initiative to move away from questionnaires and physical sensors into a non-obtrusive, remote-based solution for detecting emotions in a context involving more naturalistic user behavior and games.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2019
Keywords
human–computer interaction, games, affective computing, remote photoplethysmography
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-17485 (URN)10.3390/s19132877 (DOI)000477045000038 ()31261716 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85069267193 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-07-29 Created: 2019-07-29 Last updated: 2019-11-08Bibliographically approved
Engström, H. (2019). GDC vs. DiGRA: Gaps in Game Production Research. In: Akinori Nakamura (Ed.), DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix. Paper presented at DiGRA 2019, The 12th Digital Games Research Association Conference, Kyoto, Japan, August, 6-10, 2019.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>GDC vs. DiGRA: Gaps in Game Production Research
2019 (English)In: DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix / [ed] Akinori Nakamura, 2019Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Previous studies have revealed a gap between game research and industry game production. This article presents an analysis of this research gap using the tracks and summits at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) as a point of reference. The result shows that there are several areas where there exists very little research. The DiGRA conference is no exception – since 2006, only a handful of papers present empirics from game production. Studies are in particular rare for content producing areas, such as audio, visual arts, and narrative. There are plenty of opportunities for researchers to extract experiences and knowledge from game professionals and to identify problems to be addressed. To do this, collaboration models need to be established that endure non-disclosure agreements and crunch cultures.

Keywords
Game production, Game research, Literature review, Game industry, Game developers conference
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-17559 (URN)
Conference
DiGRA 2019, The 12th Digital Games Research Association Conference, Kyoto, Japan, August, 6-10, 2019
Projects
Game Hub Scandinavia 2.0
Funder
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), NYPS20201849
Note

Akinori Nakamura (conference chair)

Available from: 2019-08-21 Created: 2019-08-21 Last updated: 2019-09-13
Engström, H. (2019). ‘I have a different kind of brain’: a script-centric approach to interactive narratives in games. Digital Creativity, 30(1), 1-22
Open this publication in new window or tab >>‘I have a different kind of brain’: a script-centric approach to interactive narratives in games
2019 (English)In: Digital Creativity, ISSN 1462-6268, E-ISSN 1744-3806, Vol. 30, no 1, p. 1-22Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In a computer game narrative, a user influences the ordering of events. To model this behaviour, game designers and writers need to use some kind of programming primitives. A computer game script will hence differ from, for instance, a movie screenplay in that traditional dialogue text is complemented with some textual or visual logic formalism. Not all groups involved in production of a game have a programming background and may therefore be unable to easily comprehend such formalisms. This paper presents a novel approach to game dialogue writing where traces from play-throughs are used as the core of the script. Alternative branches are identified and presented in relation to the main trace. The approach has been implemented in a tool that has been used successfully by three professional writers in mobile game production. The results indicate that this is a promising approach to enable non-programmers to work with interactive narratives.

Keywords
Computer game, interactive narrative, interdisciplinary, writing tool
National Category
Media and Communication Technology
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-16582 (URN)10.1080/14626268.2019.1570942 (DOI)000460163600001 ()2-s2.0-85060635694 (Scopus ID)
Projects
Inkluderande julkalender
Funder
The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS)
Available from: 2019-01-24 Created: 2019-01-24 Last updated: 2019-11-13Bibliographically approved
Su, Y., Backlund, P., Engström, H. & Strand, M. (2019). The Fish Tank Model for Mobile Game Publishing Business Performance Evaluation. In: : . Paper presented at The 28th International Conference on Information Systems Development (ISD2019), Toulon, France, August 28-30, 2019.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Fish Tank Model for Mobile Game Publishing Business Performance Evaluation
2019 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Business intelligence has been applied in the area of game development research for many years. However, few systematic research efforts are focusing on the game publishing side, especially for the mobile game publishing business. We aim to identify and remedy the shortcomings of the existing ARM funnel model for free-to-play mobile game analytics by introducing a new model, the Fish Tank Model, which combines the analysis of players’ behavior with in-game system data to drive the whole process of mobile game publishing. Based on the new model, we also bring and create relevant metrics for effectively measuring the business performance of mobile game publishing. Our main contributions are a survey of business intelligence used in game research and an analysis to reveal the insufficiency of an existing model for game publishing. Finally, we discuss business requirements for mobile game publishing and propose a brand-new model which better suits the free-to-play mobile game publishing business performance evaluation.

Keywords
Business Intelligence, Game Analytics, Game Publishing, Game Metrics, Model-driven.
National Category
Other Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-17729 (URN)
Conference
The 28th International Conference on Information Systems Development (ISD2019), Toulon, France, August 28-30, 2019
Available from: 2019-09-27 Created: 2019-09-27 Last updated: 2019-11-07
Westin, T., Engström, H. & Brusk, J. (2019). Towards Sustainable Inclusive Game Design Processes. In: : . Paper presented at ArtsIT 2019 – 8th EAI International Conference: ArtsIT, Interactivity & Game Creation, November 6-8, 2019, Aalborg, Denmark.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Sustainable Inclusive Game Design Processes
2019 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

While many studies have been done about creation of accessible games, they have mainly been conducted in an academic context and represents a gap between game research and the game industry. The pilot project presented in this paper (PowerUp) addresses inclusive design by involving both the game industry and disabled people. The goal is to identify activities that constitute the biggest obstacles to realising sustainable design processes for inclusive game de- sign (IGD). Four activities were identified through two full-day workshops with the game industry and game studios, disabled people and authorities: 1) Find op- portunities for IGD with disabled people; 2) Handle integrity and security of dis- abled people; 3) Recruit the right competence among disabled people; and 4) Adapt workplaces and tools for IGD processes. These activities are tentative and will hopefully be subject to discussion and further development to achieve sus- tainable inclusive game design.

Keywords
Game industry, Game design processes, Inclusion, Disabled people
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB); Media, Technology and Culture (MTEC)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-17891 (URN)
Conference
ArtsIT 2019 – 8th EAI International Conference: ArtsIT, Interactivity & Game Creation, November 6-8, 2019, Aalborg, Denmark
Projects
PowerUpGame Hub Scandinavia 2
Note

This work was funded by the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (Vinnova) and Game Hub Scandinavia 2.0, Projektid: NYPS20201849, EU Interreg Öresuns-Kattegat-Skagerrak.

Available from: 2019-11-19 Created: 2019-11-19 Last updated: 2019-12-03
Berg Marklund, B., Engström, H., Hellkvist, M. & Backlund, P. (2019). What Empirically Based Research Tells Us About Game Development. The Computer Games Journal, 8(3-4), 179-198
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What Empirically Based Research Tells Us About Game Development
2019 (English)In: The Computer Games Journal, E-ISSN 2052-773X, Vol. 8, no 3-4, p. 179-198Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper reviews empirically grounded research on practices in game development with the intent to give a comprehensive overview of contemporary development practices used in the video game industry. While there are many intangible elements that inform game development processes, this review specifically covers the more immediate practical challenges. The review covers a total of 48 papers published between 2006 and 2016, which were all subjected to thematic analysis by three reviewers. The results of the review show that an almost universal characteristic of game development is that it is almost impossible to accurately plan a development project in detail, largely due to the soft requirements inherent in game production which emerge mid-process during development projects, during when testing is coupled with continuous ideation and refinement. Practicing game developers have created their own frameworks that accommodate for this lack of planning. They include flat hierarchies, democratic decision-making, creative autonomy, and informal communication, which are designed to create an environment that maintains creativity and openness to product changes long into the production process. These frameworks vary significantly between studios and often between individual projects. This review also shows that the term ‘Agile’, while often used by both researchers and developers to characterize the process of game development, is not an apt descriptor of how game developers actually work. Agile is used as shorthand for unstructured and flexible development, rather than serving as a descriptor of a definable or unified work method. Finally, as companies develop more complicated hierarchies of stakeholders and staff, the desired flexibility and autonomy of game development becomes increasingly complicated to maintain, and often necessitates more formalized management processes and company structures. In these cases, inherent tensions of game development become more pronounced, and continuous creativity is hard to maintain due to a growing need to formalize processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019
Keywords
Game development, Empirics, Management, Development processes, Game industry, Literature review
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-17732 (URN)10.1007/s40869-019-00085-1 (DOI)
Projects
Game Hub Scandinavia
Funder
Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak, NYPS 20200428
Available from: 2019-09-27 Created: 2019-09-27 Last updated: 2019-11-21Bibliographically approved
Bevilacqua, F., Engström, H. & Backlund, P. (2018). Accuracy Evaluation of Remote Photoplethysmography Estimations of Heart Rate in Gaming Sessions with Natural Behavior (1ed.). In: Adrian David Cheok, Masahiko Inami,Teresa Romão (Ed.), Adrian David Cheok, Masahiko Inami, Teresa Romão (Ed.), Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology: 14th International Conference, ACE 2017, London, UK, December 14-16, 2017, Proceedings. Paper presented at 14th International Conference, ACE 2017, London, UK, December 14-16, 2017 (pp. 508-530). Springer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Accuracy Evaluation of Remote Photoplethysmography Estimations of Heart Rate in Gaming Sessions with Natural Behavior
2018 (English)In: Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology: 14th International Conference, ACE 2017, London, UK, December 14-16, 2017, Proceedings / [ed] Adrian David Cheok, Masahiko Inami, Teresa Romão, Springer, 2018, 1, p. 508-530Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Remote photoplethysmography (rPPG) can be used to remotely estimate heart rate (HR) of users to infer their emotional state. However natural body movement and facial actions of users significantly impact such techniques, so their reliability within contexts involving natural behavior must be checked. We present an experiment focused on the accuracy evaluation of an established rPPG technique in a gaming context. The technique was applied to estimate the HR of subjects behaving naturally in gaming sessions whose games were carefully designed to be casual-themed, similar to off-the-shelf games and have a difficulty level that linearly progresses from a boring to a stressful state. Estimations presented mean error of 2.99 bpm and Pearson correlationr = 0.43, p < 0.001, however with significant variations among subjects. Our experiment is the first to measure the accuracy of an rPPG techniqueusing boredom/stress-inducing casual games with subjects behaving naturally.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018 Edition: 1
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743, E-ISSN 1611-3349 ; 10714
Keywords
Games, Emotion assessment, Remote photoplethysmography, Computer vision, Affective computing
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-14772 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-76270-8_35 (DOI)000432607700035 ()2-s2.0-85043535153 (Scopus ID)978-3-319-76269-2 (ISBN)978-3-319-76270-8 (ISBN)
Conference
14th International Conference, ACE 2017, London, UK, December 14-16, 2017
Funder
EU, European Research Council, Project Gamehub Scandinavia
Note

Also part of the Information Systems and Applications, incl. Internet/Web, and HCI book sub series (LNISA, volume 10714)

Available from: 2018-02-23 Created: 2018-02-23 Last updated: 2019-08-23Bibliographically approved
Bevilacqua, F., Engström, H. & Backlund, P. (2018). Automated analysis of facial cues from videos as a potential method for differentiating stress and boredom of players in games. International Journal of Computer Games Technology, Article ID 8734540.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Automated analysis of facial cues from videos as a potential method for differentiating stress and boredom of players in games
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Computer Games Technology, ISSN 1687-7047, E-ISSN 1687-7055, article id 8734540Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Facial analysis is a promising approach to detect emotions of players unobtrusively, however approaches are commonly evaluated in contexts not related to games, or facial cues are derived from models not designed for analysis of emotions during interactions with games. We present a method for automated analysis of facial cues from videos as a potential tool for detecting stress and boredom of players behaving naturally while playing games. Computer vision is used to automatically and unobtrusively extract 7 facial features aimed to detect the activity of a set of facial muscles. Features are mainly based on the Euclidean distance of facial landmarks and do not rely on pre-dened facial expressions, training of a model or the use of facial standards. An empirical evaluation was conducted on video recordings of an experiment involving games as emotion elicitation sources. Results show statistically signicant dierences in the values of facial features during boring and stressful periods of gameplay for 5 of the 7 features. We believe our approach is more user-tailored, convenient and better suited for contexts involving games.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2018
Keywords
games, boredom, stress, facial expression, affective computing, computer vision
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-14771 (URN)10.1155/2018/8734540 (DOI)000427897600001 ()2-s2.0-85046279378 (Scopus ID)
Funder
EU, European Research Council, Project Game Hub Scandinavia
Available from: 2018-02-23 Created: 2018-02-23 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
Backlund, P., Maurin Söderholm, H., Engström, H., Andersson Hagiwara, M. & Lebram, M. (2018). Breaking Out of the Bubble Putting Simulation Into Context to Increase Immersion and Performance. Journal Simulation & Gaming, 49(6), 642-660
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Breaking Out of the Bubble Putting Simulation Into Context to Increase Immersion and Performance
Show others...
2018 (English)In: Journal Simulation & Gaming, ISSN 1046-8781, E-ISSN 1552-826X, Vol. 49, no 6, p. 642-660Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective. Simulation based training with full-size mannequins is a prominent means of training within the healthcare sector. Prehospital missions include all parts of the healthcare process which take place before a patient is handed over to the receiving hospital. This implies that the context for prehospital care is varied and potentially challenging or dangerous in several ways. In this article we present a study which explores immersion and performance by emergency medical services (EMS) professionals in in a training situation which takes the specifics of prehospital interventions into account.

Methods. The study was carried out as a field experiment at an ambulance unit. The experiment was designed to compare the differences between two types of medical scenarios: basic and contextualized. We analyzed the levels of immersion throughout the scenarios and then team performance was evaluated by independent experts. Both analyses were made by observing video recordings from multiple camera angles with a custom made analysis tool.

Results. Our results show that the contextualization of a medical scenario increases both immersion as measured by the Immersion Score Rating Instrument (ISRI) and team performance as measured by the Global Rating Scale (GRS). The overall ISRI score was higher in the contextualized condition as compared to the basic condition, with an average team wise difference of 2.94 (sd = 1.45). This difference is significant using a paired, two-tailed t-test (p<.001). The GRS score was higher for overall clinical performance in the contextualized scenario with an average team wise difference of 0.83 (sd = 0.83, p=.005).

Conclusions. Full-size mannequin simulation based training for EMS professionals may be enhanced by contextualizing the medical scenarios. The main benefits are that the contextualized scenarios better take prehospital medical challenges into account and allow participants to perform better.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2018
Keywords
immersion, prehospital medicine, simulation-based training
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-15165 (URN)10.1177/1046878118772612 (DOI)000453535000004 ()2-s2.0-85047428895 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-05-24 Created: 2018-05-24 Last updated: 2019-01-07Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-9972-4716

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