International Journal of Computer Games Technology The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Nowcasting Mobile Games Ranking Using Web Search Query Data Thu, 15 Sep 2016 11:37:45 +0000 In recent years, the Internet has become embedded into the purchasing decision of consumers. The purpose of this paper is to study whether the Internet behavior of users correlates with their actual behavior in computer games market. Rather than proposing the most accurate model for computer game sales, we aim to investigate to what extent web search query data can be exploited to nowcast (contraction of “now” and “forecasting” referring to techniques used to make short-term forecasts) (predict the present status of) the ranking of mobile games in the world. Google search query data is used for this purpose, since this data can provide a real-time view on the topics of interest. Various statistical techniques are used to show the effectiveness of using web search query data to nowcast mobile games ranking. Yoones A. Sekhavat Copyright © 2016 Yoones A. Sekhavat. All rights reserved. 30 : 2: A Game Designed to Promote the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Protocol Wed, 04 May 2016 16:35:39 +0000 Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a first-aid key survival technique used to stimulate breathing and keep blood flowing to the heart. Its effective administration can significantly increase the survival chances of cardiac arrest victims. We propose 30 : 2, a videogame designed to introduce the main steps of the CPR protocol. It is not intended for certification and training purpose. Driven by the 2010 European Resuscitation Council guidelines we have designed a game composed of eight mini games corresponding to the main steps of the protocol. The player acts as a helper and has to solve a different challenge. We present a detailed description of the game creation process presenting the requirements, the design decisions, and the implementation details. In addition, we present some first impressions of our testing users (25 children, five of each age from 8 to 12 years old and 12 males and 13 females). We evaluated clarity of instructions and three settings of the game: the aesthetics of scenarios, the playability, and the enjoyability of each mini game. All games were well punctuated, and there are no significantly differences between their sex. The proposed game can be a suitable tool to disseminate and promote CPR knowledge. Imma Boada, Antonio Rodriguez-Benitez, Juan Manuel Garcia-Gonzalez, Santiago Thió-Henestrosa, and Mateu Sbert Copyright © 2016 Imma Boada et al. All rights reserved. RAGE Architecture for Reusable Serious Gaming Technology Components Thu, 17 Mar 2016 14:28:33 +0000 For seizing the potential of serious games, the RAGE project—funded by the Horizon-2020 Programme of the European Commission—will make available an interoperable set of advanced technology components (software assets) that support game studios at serious game development. This paper describes the overall software architecture and design conditions that are needed for the easy integration and reuse of such software assets in existing game platforms. Based on the component-based software engineering paradigm the RAGE architecture takes into account the portability of assets to different operating systems, different programming languages, and different game engines. It avoids dependencies on external software frameworks and minimises code that may hinder integration with game engine code. Furthermore it relies on a limited set of standard software patterns and well-established coding practices. The RAGE architecture has been successfully validated by implementing and testing basic software assets in four major programming languages (C#, C++, Java, and TypeScript/JavaScript, resp.). Demonstrator implementation of asset integration with an existing game engine was created and validated. The presented RAGE architecture paves the way for large scale development and application of cross-engine reusable software assets for enhancing the quality and diversity of serious gaming. Wim van der Vegt, Wim Westera, Enkhbold Nyamsuren, Atanas Georgiev, and Iván Martínez Ortiz Copyright © 2016 Wim van der Vegt et al. All rights reserved. Integrated Solution of a Back Office System for Serious Games Targeted at Physiotherapy Wed, 16 Mar 2016 10:01:45 +0000 Serious games targeted at physiotherapy can be a solution to help the physical therapy professionals. However, the entire game management, in its various aspects, is under the professional’s responsibility. One way to reduce the professional management work will be to integrate a Back Office system in the game. Following this trend, the purpose of this paper is to present a modular Back Office system for centralized management of one or more games targeted at physical therapy. Tiago Martins, Vítor Carvalho, and Filomena Soares Copyright © 2016 Tiago Martins et al. All rights reserved. KioskAR: An Augmented Reality Game as a New Business Model to Present Artworks Mon, 14 Mar 2016 13:18:55 +0000 This paper presents the architecture of KioskAR, which is a pervasive game implemented using augmented reality (AR). This game introduces a new business model that makes it possible for players to present their artworks in virtual kiosks using augmented reality, while they are having fun playing the game. In addition to competition between the players in the game, this game requires social interaction between players to earn more points. A user study is conducted to evaluate the sense of presence and the usability of the application. The results of experiments show that KioskAR can achieve a high level of usability as well as sense of presence. Yoones A. Sekhavat Copyright © 2016 Yoones A. Sekhavat. All rights reserved. Turn-Based War Chess Model and Its Search Algorithm per Turn Thu, 03 Mar 2016 11:39:45 +0000 War chess gaming has so far received insufficient attention but is a significant component of turn-based strategy games (TBS) and is studied in this paper. First, a common game model is proposed through various existing war chess types. Based on the model, we propose a theory frame involving combinational optimization on the one hand and game tree search on the other hand. We also discuss a key problem, namely, that the number of the branching factors of each turn in the game tree is huge. Then, we propose two algorithms for searching in one turn to solve the problem: () enumeration by order; () enumeration by recursion. The main difference between these two is the permutation method used: the former uses the dictionary sequence method, while the latter uses the recursive permutation method. Finally, we prove that both of these algorithms are optimal, and we analyze the difference between their efficiencies. An important factor is the total time taken for the unit to expand until it achieves its reachable position. The factor, which is the total number of expansions that each unit makes in its reachable position, is set. The conclusion proposed is in terms of this factor: Enumeration by recursion is better than enumeration by order in all situations. Hai Nan, Bin Fang, Guixin Wang, Weibin Yang, Emily Sarah Carruthers, and Yi Liu Copyright © 2016 Hai Nan et al. All rights reserved. A Dynamic Platform for Developing 3D Facial Avatars in a Networked Virtual Environment Thu, 25 Feb 2016 12:01:52 +0000 Avatar facial expression and animation in 3D collaborative virtual environment (CVE) systems are reconstructed through a complex manipulation of muscles, bones, and wrinkles in 3D space. The need for a fast and easy reconstruction approach has emerged in the recent years due to its application in various domains: 3D disaster management, virtual shopping, and military training. In this work we proposed a new script language based on atomic parametric action to easily produce real-time facial animation. To minimize use of the game engine, we introduced script-based component where the user introduces simple short script fragments to feed the engine with a new animation on the fly. During runtime, when an embedded animation is required, an xml file is created and injected into the game engine without stopping or restarting the engine. The resulting animation method preserves the real-time performance because the modification occurs not through the modification of the 3D code that describes the CVE and its objects but rather through modification of the action scenario that rules when an animation happens or might happen in that specific situation. Anis Zarrad Copyright © 2016 Anis Zarrad. All rights reserved. Visualizing Changes in Strategy Use across Attempts via State Diagrams: A Case Study Thu, 28 Jan 2016 13:22:12 +0000 Game log data have great potential to provide actionable information about the in-game behavior of players. However, these low-level behavioral data are notoriously difficult to analyze due to the challenges associated with extracting meaning from sparse data stored at such a small grain size. This paper describes a three-step solution that uses cluster analysis to determine which strategies players use to solve levels in the game, sequence mining to identify changes in strategy across multiple attempts at the same level, and state transition diagrams to visualize the strategy sequences identified by the sequence mining. In the educational video game used in this case study, cluster analysis successfully identified 15 different in-game strategies. The sequence mining found an average of 40 different sequences of strategy use per level, which the state transition diagrams successfully displayed in an interpretable way. Deirdre Kerr Copyright © 2016 Deirdre Kerr. All rights reserved. How Color Properties Can Be Used to Elicit Emotions in Video Games Sun, 10 Jan 2016 08:21:01 +0000 Classifying the many types of video games is difficult, as their genres and supports are different, but they all have in common that they seek the commitment of the player through exciting emotions and challenges. Since the income of the video game industry exceeds that of the film industry, the field of inducting emotions through video games and virtual environments is attracting more attention. Our theory, widely supported by substantial literature, is that the chromatic stimuli intensity, brightness, and saturation of a video game environment produce an emotional effect on players. We have observed a correlation between the RGB additives color spaces, HSV, HSL, and HSI components of video game images, presented to participants, and the emotional statements expressed in terms of arousal and valence, recovered in a subjective semantic questionnaire. Our results show a significant correlation between luminance, saturation, lightness, and the emotions of joy, sadness, fear, and serenity experienced by participants viewing 24 video game images. We also show strong correlations between the colorimetric diversity, saliency volume, and stimuli conspicuity and the emotions expressed by the players. These results allow us to propose video game environment development methods in the form of a circumplex model. It is aimed at game designers for developing emotional color scripting. Erik Geslin, Laurent Jégou, and Danny Beaudoin Copyright © 2016 Erik Geslin et al. All rights reserved. Enhancing Video Games Policy Based on Least-Squares Continuous Action Policy Iteration: Case Study on StarCraft Brood War and Glest RTS Games and the 8 Queens Board Game Sun, 03 Jan 2016 09:50:28 +0000 With the rapid advent of video games recently and the increasing numbers of players and gamers, only a tough game with high policy, actions, and tactics survives. How the game responds to opponent actions is the key issue of popular games. Many algorithms were proposed to solve this problem such as Least-Squares Policy Iteration (LSPI) and State-Action-Reward-State-Action (SARSA) but they mainly depend on discrete actions, while agents in such a setting have to learn from the consequences of their continuous actions, in order to maximize the total reward over time. So in this paper we proposed a new algorithm based on LSPI called Least-Squares Continuous Action Policy Iteration (LSCAPI). The LSCAPI was implemented and tested on three different games: one board game, the 8 Queens, and two real-time strategy (RTS) games, StarCraft Brood War and Glest. The LSCAPI evaluation proved superiority over LSPI in time, policy learning ability, and effectiveness. Shahenda Sarhan, Mohamed Abu ElSoud, and Hebatullah Rashed Copyright © 2016 Shahenda Sarhan et al. All rights reserved. Development of a Car Racing Simulator Game Using Artificial Intelligence Techniques Mon, 16 Nov 2015 12:27:47 +0000 This paper presents a car racing simulator game called Racer, in which the human player races a car against three game-controlled cars in a three-dimensional environment. The objective of the game is not to defeat the human player, but to provide the player with a challenging and enjoyable experience. To ensure that this objective can be accomplished, the game incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, which enable the cars to be controlled in a manner that mimics natural driving. The paper provides a brief history of AI techniques in games, presents the use of AI techniques in contemporary video games, and discusses the AI techniques that were implemented in the development of Racer. A comparison of the AI techniques implemented in the Unity platform with traditional AI search techniques is also included in the discussion. Marvin T. Chan, Christine W. Chan, and Craig Gelowitz Copyright © 2015 Marvin T. Chan et al. All rights reserved. Game Factors and Game-Based Learning Design Model Tue, 04 Aug 2015 12:44:07 +0000 How to design useful digital game-based learning is a topic worthy of discussion. Past research focused on specific game genres design, but it is difficult to use when the target game genre differs from the default genres used in the research. This study presents macrodesign concepts that elucidates 11 crucial game-design factors, including game goals, game mechanism, game fantasy, game value, interaction, freedom, narrative, sensation, challenges, sociality, and mystery. We clearly define each factor and analyze the relationships among the 11 factors to construct a game-based learning design model. Two application examples are analyzed to verify the usability of the model and the performance of these factors. It can assist educational game designers in developing interesting games. Yen-Ru Shi and Ju-Ling Shih Copyright © 2015 Yen-Ru Shi and Ju-Ling Shih. All rights reserved. Procedural Content Graphs for Urban Modeling Wed, 17 Jun 2015 10:02:27 +0000 Massive procedural content creation, for example, for virtual urban environments, is a difficult, yet important challenge. While shape grammars are a popular example of effectiveness in architectural modeling, they have clear limitations regarding readability, manageability, and expressive power when addressing a variety of complex structural designs. Moreover, shape grammars aim at geometry specification and do not facilitate integration with other types of content, such as textures or light sources, which could rather accompany the generation process. We present procedural content graphs, a graph-based solution for procedural generation that addresses all these issues in a visual, flexible, and more expressive manner. Besides integrating handling of diverse types of content, this approach introduces collective entity manipulation as lists, seamlessly providing features such as advanced filtering, grouping, merging, ordering, and aggregation, essentially unavailable in shape grammars. Hereby, separated entities can be easily merged or just analyzed together in order to perform a variety of context-based decisions and operations. The advantages of this approach are illustrated via examples of tasks that are either very cumbersome or simply impossible to express with previous grammar approaches. Pedro Brandão Silva, Elmar Eisemann, Rafael Bidarra, and António Coelho Copyright © 2015 Pedro Brandão Silva et al. All rights reserved. Schoolcube: Gamification for Learning Management System through Microsoft SharePoint Wed, 03 Jun 2015 05:58:59 +0000 A Learning Management System (LMS) is a system which acts as an integrated platform for the management of the learning process used to facilitate the process of communication between students and instructors. Although LMS is considered an important element in learning, most students do not utilise the system to its fullest extent, finding it more convenient if the activities carried out on the system are done outside the system. These factors have contributed to the issues as to why LMSs are not being used effectively and efficiently. With the accelerating pace of information technology, educational institutions should attempt to revolutionise their teaching techniques. Furthermore, combining gaming concepts can potentially increase the LMS’s usability level helping to foster healthy competition among students and increase their interest in their daily learning. With regard to this objective, a prototype was developed as a proof of concept. The prototype is a web-based software and can be accessed via the Internet at all times. The teacher monitors the students’ performance through the analysis of test results or tutorials conducted by the system. In conclusion, this study will present the modules that have been built into the system that could improve the overall process of education. Mohd Amir Azmi and Dalbir Singh Copyright © 2015 Mohd Amir Azmi and Dalbir Singh. All rights reserved. Organizational Gameplay: The Player as Designer of Character Organizations Mon, 11 May 2015 07:26:17 +0000 Looking at the ways in which players interact with computer games (the gameplays), we perceive predominance of character-centered and/or microcontrolled modes of interaction. Despite being well established, these gameplays tend to structure the games in terms of challenges to be fulfilled on an individual basis, or by thinking collectively but having to microcontrol several characters at the same time. From this observation, the paper presents a complementary gameplay in which the player is urged to face collective challenges by designing character organizations. The basic idea is to make the player structure and control group of characters by defining organizational specifications (i.e., definitions of roles, collective strategies, and social norms). During the game, commanded by the player, artificial agents are then instantiated to play the roles and to follow the strategies and norms as defined in the organizational specification. To turn the idea into practice, the paper proposes an abstract architecture comprising three components or layers. This architecture is materialized in a proof of concept prototype that combines the Minecraft game server, JADE agent platform, and MOISE+ organizational model. Variations and possibilities are discussed and the proposal is compared to related work in the literature. Luciano R. Coutinho, Victor M. Galvão, Antônio de Abreu Batista Jr., Bruno Roberto S. Moraes, and Márcio Regis M. Fraga Copyright © 2015 Luciano R. Coutinho et al. All rights reserved. Quality Measures for Improving Technology Trees Tue, 28 Apr 2015 09:21:00 +0000 The quality of technology trees in digital games can be improved by adjusting their structural and quantitative properties. Therefore, there is a demand for recognizing and measuring such properties. Part of the process can be automated; there are properties measurable by computers, and analyses based on the results (and visualizations of them) may help to produce significantly better technology trees, even practically without extra workload for humans. In this paper, we introduce useful technology tree properties and novel measuring features implemented into our software tool for manipulating technology trees. Teemu J. Heinimäki and Tapio Elomaa Copyright © 2015 Teemu J. Heinimäki and Tapio Elomaa. All rights reserved. A Comprehensive Study on Pathfinding Techniques for Robotics and Video Games Thu, 02 Apr 2015 06:52:26 +0000 This survey provides an overview of popular pathfinding algorithms and techniques based on graph generation problems. We focus on recent developments and improvements in existing techniques and examine their impact on robotics and the video games industry. We have categorized pathfinding algorithms based on a 2D/3D environment search. The aim of this paper is to provide researchers with a thorough background on the progress made in the last 10 years in this field, summarize the principal techniques, and describe their results. We also give our expectations for future trends in this field and discuss the possibility of using pathfinding techniques in more extensive areas. Zeyad Abd Algfoor, Mohd Shahrizal Sunar, and Hoshang Kolivand Copyright © 2015 Zeyad Abd Algfoor et al. All rights reserved. Artificial Intelligence in Video Games: Towards a Unified Framework Thu, 12 Mar 2015 10:00:52 +0000 With modern video games frequently featuring sophisticated and realistic environments, the need for smart and comprehensive agents that understand the various aspects of complex environments is pressing. Since video game AI is often specifically designed for each game, video game AI tools currently focus on allowing video game developers to quickly and efficiently create specific AI. One issue with this approach is that it does not efficiently exploit the numerous similarities that exist between video games not only of the same genre, but of different genres too, resulting in a difficulty to handle the many aspects of a complex environment independently for each video game. Inspired by the human ability to detect analogies between games and apply similar behavior on a conceptual level, this paper suggests an approach based on the use of a unified conceptual framework to enable the development of conceptual AI which relies on conceptual views and actions to define basic yet reasonable and robust behavior. The approach is illustrated using two video games, Raven and StarCraft: Brood War. Firas Safadi, Raphael Fonteneau, and Damien Ernst Copyright © 2015 Firas Safadi et al. All rights reserved. Real-Time Human Motion Capture Driven by a Wireless Sensor Network Wed, 18 Feb 2015 11:38:57 +0000 The motion of a real object model is reconstructed through measurements of the position, direction, and angle of moving objects in 3D space in a process called “motion capture.” With the development of inertial sensing technology, motion capture systems that are based on inertial sensing have become a research hot spot. However, the solution of motion attitude remains a challenge that restricts the rapid development of motion capture systems. In this study, a human motion capture system based on inertial sensors is developed, and the real-time movement of a human model controlled by real people’s movement is achieved. According to the features of the system of human motion capture and reappearance, a hierarchical modeling approach based on a 3D human body model is proposed. The method collects articular movement data on the basis of rigid body dynamics through a miniature sensor network, controls the human skeleton model, and reproduces human posture according to the features of human articular movement. Finally, the feasibility of the system is validated by testing of system properties via capture of continuous dynamic movement. Experiment results show that the scheme utilizes a real-time sensor network-driven human skeleton model to achieve the accurate reproduction of human motion state. The system also has good application value. Peng-zhan Chen, Jie Li, Man Luo, and Nian-hua Zhu Copyright © 2015 Peng-zhan Chen et al. All rights reserved. Mining Experiential Patterns from Game-Logs of Board Game Thu, 22 Jan 2015 10:06:10 +0000 In board games, game-logs record past game processes, which can be regarded as an accumulation of experience. Similar to a real person, a computer player can gradually increase its skill by learning from game-logs. Therefore, the game becomes more interesting. This paper proposes an extensible approach to mine experiential patterns from increasing game-logs. The computer player improves its strategies by utilizing these growing patterns, just as it acquires experience. To evaluate the effect and performance of the approach, we designed a sample board game as a test platform and elaborated an experiment consisting of a series of tests. Experimental results show that our approach is effective and efficient. Liang Wang, Yu Wang, and Yan Li Copyright © 2015 Liang Wang et al. All rights reserved. Real-Time Incompressible Fluid Simulation on the GPU Sun, 18 Jan 2015 14:28:22 +0000 We present a parallel framework for simulating incompressible fluids with predictive-corrective incompressible smoothed particle hydrodynamics (PCISPH) on the GPU in real time. To this end, we propose an efficient GPU streaming pipeline to map the entire computational task onto the GPU, fully exploiting the massive computational power of state-of-the-art GPUs. In PCISPH-based simulations, neighbor search is the major performance obstacle because this process is performed several times at each time step. To eliminate this bottleneck, an efficient parallel sorting method for this time-consuming step is introduced. Moreover, we discuss several optimization techniques including using fast on-chip shared memory to avoid global memory bandwidth limitations and thus further improve performance on modern GPU hardware. With our framework, the realism of real-time fluid simulation is significantly improved since our method enforces incompressibility constraint which is typically ignored due to efficiency reason in previous GPU-based SPH methods. The performance results illustrate that our approach can efficiently simulate realistic incompressible fluid in real time and results in a speed-up factor of up to 23 on a high-end NVIDIA GPU in comparison to single-threaded CPU-based implementation. Xiao Nie, Leiting Chen, and Tao Xiang Copyright © 2015 Xiao Nie et al. All rights reserved. Investigating Variations in Gameplay: Cognitive Implications Thu, 15 Jan 2015 13:51:13 +0000 There is increasing interest in creating computer games for learning, problem solving, and other high-level cognitive activities. When investigating whether gameplay is conducive to such activities, gameplay is often studied as a whole. As a result, cognitive implications can be linked to the game but not to its structural elements. Given that gameplay arises from interaction between the player and the game, it is the structural components of interaction that should be investigated to better understand the design of gameplay. Furthermore, minor variations in the components of interaction can have significant cognitive implications. However, such variation has not been studied yet. Thus, to gain a better understanding of how we can study the effect of interaction on the cognitive aspect of gameplay, we conducted an exploratory investigation of two computer games. These games were isomorphic at a deep level and only had one minor difference in the structure of their interaction. Volunteers played these games and discussed the cognitive processes that emerged. In one game, they primarily engaged in planning, but in the other game they primarily engaged in visualizing. This paper discusses the results of our investigation as well as its implications for the design of computer games. Kamran Sedig, Robert Haworth, and Michael Corridore Copyright © 2015 Kamran Sedig et al. All rights reserved. Rigid Body Interaction for Large-Scale Real-Time Water Simulation Sun, 14 Dec 2014 00:10:14 +0000 Simulating large amounts of water in real time is often achieved using heightfield methods. Allowing the water to interact with rigid bodies is essential for applications such as games, but traditional heightfield interaction methods concentrate on water-to-body effects by letting water flow through the bodies. We instead take an approach where the bodies block water. Our earlier method is improved in several ways, taking steps toward a single method to create both water-to-body and body-to-water effects. The new method is also visually compared to a traditional method by Thürey et al. A drawback of our method is that it has some grid aliasing artifacts that appear especially when the method is used for floating bodies. However, our method is demonstrated to work together with the Thürey method, which allows us to get the best of both worlds to simulate both floating and blocking bodies in a single scene. The method runs in real time for large areas of water even with a very limited GPU budget. Timo Kellomäki Copyright © 2014 Timo Kellomäki. All rights reserved. Evaluating Multiple Aspects of Educational Computer Games: Literature Review and Case Study Sun, 07 Dec 2014 14:13:46 +0000 Evaluation is an important step in the life cycle of software, once through this practice it is possible to find issues that could compromise the user experience. With educational computer games, the same rule is applied. The use of educational games is increasing, and it is important to verify these tools to provide users with the most adequate learning environments. This verification can be made through the evaluation of multiple aspects of these tools. This work presents a literature review about evaluation of multiple aspects of software, followed by a more specific review focused on multiple aspects of educational computer games. Then, a case study is presented, in which an evaluation method is applied with an educational computer game, aiming to verify the positives and the issues to be improved in the game. The reviews and the description of the process to use the method intend to help and guide other researchers to choose evaluation methods that can fit their own context and needs. Juvane Nunes Marciano, Leonardo Cunha de Miranda, and Erica Esteves Cunha de Miranda Copyright © 2014 Juvane Nunes Marciano et al. All rights reserved. Interactive Digital Serious Games for the Assessment, Rehabilitation, and Prediction of Dementia Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:44:01 +0000 Dementia is a serious, progressive, and often debilitating illness with no known cure, having a severe adverse effect on memory, behaviour, reasoning, and communication. A comprehensive review of current refereed research material in the use of games in this area is scarce and suffers from being orientated towards commercially available games or derivatives such as “Dr. Kawashima’s brain training.” There is much lesser concern for bespoke research grade alternatives. This review will attempt to assess the current state of the art in research orientated games for dementia, importantly identifying systems capable of prediction before the onset of the disease. It can be ascertained from the literature reviewed that there are clearly a large number of interactive computer game based mechanisms used for dementia. However, these are each highly intrusive in terms of affecting normal living and the patient is aware of being tested; furthermore their long-term or real benefits are unknown as is their effect over conventional tests. It is important to predict cognitive impairment at a stage early enough to maximise benefit from treatment and therapeutic intervention. Considering the availability, use, and increasing power of modern mobile smartphones, it is logically plausible to explore this platform for dementia healthcare. Sayed Kazmi, Hassan Ugail, Valerie Lesk, and Ian Palmer Copyright © 2014 Sayed Kazmi et al. All rights reserved. An Efficient Sleepy Algorithm for Particle-Based Fluids Wed, 12 Nov 2014 09:46:39 +0000 We present a novel Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) based algorithm for efficiently simulating compressible and weakly compressible particle fluids. Prior particle-based methods simulate all fluid particles; however, in many cases some particles appearing to be at rest can be safely ignored without notably affecting the fluid flow behavior. To identify these particles, a novel sleepy strategy is introduced. By utilizing this strategy, only a portion of the fluid particles requires computational resources; thus an obvious performance gain can be achieved. In addition, in order to resolve unphysical clumping issue due to tensile instability in SPH based methods, a new artificial repulsive force is provided. We demonstrate that our approach can be easily integrated with existing SPH based methods to improve the efficiency without sacrificing visual quality. Xiao Nie, Leiting Chen, and Tao Xiang Copyright © 2014 Xiao Nie et al. All rights reserved. Foggy Scene Rendering Based on Transmission Map Estimation Sun, 19 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Realistic rendering of foggy scene is important in game development and virtual reality. Traditional methods have many parameters to control or require a long time to compute, and they are usually limited to depicting a homogeneous fog without considering the foggy scene with heterogeneous fog. In this paper, a new rendering method based on transmission map estimation is proposed. We first generate perlin noise image as the density distribution texture of heterogeneous fog. Then we estimate the transmission map using the Markov random field (MRF) model and the bilateral filter. Finally, virtual foggy scene is realistically rendered with the generated perlin noise image and the transmission map according to the atmospheric scattering model. Experimental results show that the rendered results of our approach are quite satisfactory. Fan Guo, Jin Tang, and Xiaoming Xiao Copyright © 2014 Fan Guo et al. All rights reserved. An Overview of Serious Games Wed, 15 Oct 2014 07:55:44 +0000 Serious games are growing rapidly as a gaming industry as well as a field of academic research. There are many surveys in the field of digital serious games; however, most surveys are specific to a particular area such as education or health. So far, there has been little work done to survey digital serious games in general, which is the main goal of this paper. Hence, we discuss relevant work on serious games in different application areas including education, well-being, advertisement, cultural heritage, interpersonal communication, and health care. We also propose a taxonomy for digital serious games, and we suggest a classification of reviewed serious games applications from the literature against the defined taxonomy. Finally, the paper provides guidelines, drawn from the literature, for the design and development of successful serious games, as well as discussing research perspectives in this domain. Fedwa Laamarti, Mohamad Eid, and Abdulmotaleb El Saddik Copyright © 2014 Fedwa Laamarti et al. All rights reserved. A Comprehensive Review of Serious Games in Health Professions Mon, 04 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Education of healthcare professionals is of primary importance for patient safety. In some health related professions, education and training have to be practiced during the entire working period and not only limited to school years. The use of new technology such as virtual reality and e-learning brings new possibilities with significant improvement in learning outcomes. Serious gaming describes a technology that can educate and train while entertaining users. This type of training can be very useful for health professions because it improves learning outcomes creating a learner oriented approach and providing a stealth mode of teaching. In some fields it represents an ideal instrument for continuous health professions education also in terms of costs because it is cheaper than traditional training methods that use cadavers or mannequins. In this paper we make a scoping review of serious games developed for health professions and health related fields in order to understand if they are useful tools for health related fields training. Many papers confirmed that serious gaming is a useful technology that improves learning and skills development for health professionals. Francesco Ricciardi and Lucio Tommaso De Paolis Copyright © 2014 Francesco Ricciardi and Lucio Tommaso De Paolis. All rights reserved. A Practical Approach for Identity-Embodied 3D Artistic Face Modeling Tue, 24 Jun 2014 08:09:41 +0000 This paper describes a practical technique for 3D artistic face modeling where a human identity can be inserted into a 3D artistic face. This approach can automatically extract the human identity from a 3D human face model and then transfer it to a 3D artistic face model in a controllable manner. Its core idea is to construct a face geometry space and a face texture space based on a precollected 3D face dataset. Then, these spaces are used to extract and blend the face models together based on their facial identities and styles. This approach can enable a novice user to interactively generate various artistic faces quickly using a slider control. Also, it can run in real-time on an off-the-shelf computer without GPU acceleration. This approach can be broadly used in various 3D artistic face modeling applications such as a rapid creation of a cartoon crowd with different cartoon characters. Tanasai Sucontphunt Copyright © 2014 Tanasai Sucontphunt. All rights reserved.