Serious games have great potential as they allow people to acquire knowledge and skills as they play. Serious games include board and card games, as well as digital games. In particular, digital games provides opportunities that traditional methods cannot offer, e.g., simulations that immerse the player into different situations, or incorporating social aspects such as interpersonal skills.
Although, dedicated tools, methods, guidelines and knowledge are essential to realise effective serious games, they still are not a guarantee for success. An important reason is that all people are different: they have different preferences, different abilities, different performance motivations, different personality treats, and so on. What works for one person, may not work for another person. A (serious) game that is engaging and effective for one person may not be engaging and effective for another person.
The purpose of this research topic is to perform research on development methods for serious games, which are games used for training, advertising, simulation, education, ....
The goal is to develop multidisciplinary tools to assist the development of serious games, as well as dedicated development methods, guidelines and knowledge about serious games. Essential is that these tools, methods and guidelines explicitly support the integration of knowledge from different domains, i.e. they deal with the interdisciplinary character of serious games and allow for a greater involvement of the different stakeholders during the development process.
ATTAC-L is a visual domain-specific modeling language for specifying the educational scenarios of serious games. Its syntax is based on a Controlled Natural Language (CNL), which is a strict and controlled subset of natural language. The models are specified in a graphical way. Using a CNL-based syntax for our DMSL provides an easy and human-readable, yet flexible and expressive way to specify (i.e., model) the story of a game. This makes it significantly easier for people without programming knowledge (such as most subject-matter experts) to understand, and even create models, and in this way a better communication and collaboration within multidisciplinary teams can be achieved. ATTAC-L also allows to specify the pedagogical design used fro the game and the pedagogical interventions needed during the story. This is done by an annotations system.
ATTAC-L is supported by a web-based tool and a simulator is available to try out the modeled stories in a 3D environment.
One of the core research topics of WISE is conceptual modeling. During conceptual modeling, we create models for the system to be developed or for the domain under considerration without consideration implementation aspects. While in the past, the conceptual modeling techniques, such as ORM, UML or ER where very general and could be used for different domains, nowadays domain-specific modeling languages are preferred. These domain-specific modeling languages are tailored to their domain and provide first-class modeling concepts for concepts that are specific for the domain under consideration.
This research concentrates on making Web-based systems adaptive, i.e. how can the content and services provided in a Web system adapt automatically and dynamically to the characteristics, needs and context of the user. The research includes techniques to provide adaptivity but also authoring support for specifying the required adaptivity. Adaptivity is investigated for web-based systems in general and more in particular for web-based e-learning systems, Virtual Reality based web sytems and games.
We are researching visualization techniques to support transparency of and interaction with a wide variety of applications.
The focus of this research track is on the development of conceptual modeling, design and development methods and tools for Virtual Reality applications.
In Domain-Specific Requirement Engineering, the requirement engineering is tailored to the domain for which a software system needs to be developed. This means that a vocabulary based on domain abstractions is used and that knowledge about requirements engineering in the domain is reused. Carrying out the requirement engineering in a domain-specific manner has the advantages that it allows to involve domain experts and end-users, and that existing knowledge on requirement engineering can be reused.
Semantic Web technology and languages (like RDF(S) and OWL) is an important area in Web Engineering and for semantic interoperability. WISE is mainly using the results of research done in this domain, but we also contribute to it in the context of different research project.