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.
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.