Successfull students from the EXPERIMEDIA Student Competition visited the Schladming Smart Venue to turn their ideas into reality. Two pervasive games where designed called GeoExplorer and LightMiners.
LightMiners Design Concept
Schladming Geoexplorer Design Concept
A team of 7 students and 2 supervisors from Interactive visited Schladming to test two games developed by the students using the EXPERIMEDIA Platform. Both games did two runs each (apart from short technical test runs), one taking place in the town of Schladming and the other up on the Planai mountain. The locations provided two very different landscapes in terms of connectivity, scenery, distances and visibility and a key requirement was for the game mechanics to adapt to these different conditions.
A conclusion on the general level is that the combination between Creator and EXPERImonitor is well suited for pervasive games since QoE and QoS data can show a game master where the game worked or not and the game master can adapt further iterations of the game from this. We also concluded that Creator can be used to connect several minigames to the same session with the same users, thus accumulating player stats over several games. This can be especially useful in touristic places like Schladming where you can use mini games and save all results to one account that is easy to connect to the summer card and various offers. This can be part of a general pervasive game theme in schladming where it would be easy to add and change mini games and have one central structure for this.
The main lesson learned from Schladming GeoExplorer is that the game itself has no limited physical space where it is played and that it is easy for players to get out of range for the wifi, which in this prototype would break the connection to the game server. Further prototypes would have to take this into consideration. For LightMiners, the key lessons learned was how to adapt the distance between the interactive lanterns to ensure the best game balance. There was also an issue with battery power running out quickly in this game and a solution for this needs to be found for when the game is played in areas without electrical supplies.
Both games used Creator to orchestrate the game experience and EXPERImonitor to collect QoS and a questionaire to collect QoE. However, due to connectivity issues, QoS data was also stored locally on the mobile phones used to play the game in order to be transfered to the server afterwards. However, partial lack of connectivity can be used to an advatage as a game mechanic in a game like LightMiners where a player without connectivity would be able to temporarily turn “invisible” for the other players.
The event was promoted through Austrian media