Index

Metactics

Challenge: Over the past decade, we’ve seen an increasing use of gamification in mobile applications to increase the engagement and fun of athletes in individual training and sports. Gamified applications such as Fitbit, adidas Running, Nike+, Fitocracy, Strava, to name a few, inspire crowds of athletes to exercise regularly. However, there is a lack of knowledge and concepts on how to gamify traditional team sports such as football, basketball, baseball, or floorball and their training. Thus, in cooperation with adidas AG we gave students participating in the lecture Designing Gamified Systems the following challenge:

Design and investigate a novel digital gamification solution for your favorite team sports in order to increase the athlete’s individual or social training experience, their training performance, and the social dynamics (e.g., cohesion and team identity) within a sports team.

Five project teams worked on this challenge and developed impressive concepts and prototypes within two months, which were then presented to adidas AG executives.

Date: Summer semester 2022

Results: 

Metactics

Team: Sylvia Reiß, Anna Hirschbeck, Simon Merk, Nico Hambauer

Abstract:

Metactics is a Virtual Reality (VR) approach enabling teams to train their tactical basketball skills anytime from anywhere. Gamers can complete challenges with increasing strategic demands together and learn how to play smart. Thereby, they will be assisted by a virtual team mascot, named Foxy, who will guide them through the game and introduce them to various strategies. In essence, we employ gamification theory to make tactic training in basketball intrinsically more fun and effective. Teams can practice together in the Metaverse, learn new strategic moves and improve their cognitive skills and capability to “think ahead”. Besides the virtual training we provide a social environment in form of a virtual club house. Here teams can hang out enjoy time together and thereby strengthen team cohesion and identity. During the game, players can gain virtual coins, which can be used to acquire virtual goods for their personal avatar or the collective club house.

CUBEness

Challenge: In recent years, exploring space has become a trending topic again. Various private organizations such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, or Virgin Galactic and government organizations from the USA, China, India, Europe, or Russia compete for supremacy in space. Besides the exploration of new dimensions, this trend paths the way for innovations that will also change our life on earth. For example, an increasing number of satellites orbiting our earth, offer new possibilities for earth observation and high-speed internet anywhere on earth. This offers new challenges and opportunities, which can be tackled with approaches from game design and gamification. Thus, the task of this semester’s course on Designing Gamified Systems was to:

Design an innovative game or gamification approach in which gaming, space technology and mobility meets in order to either A) improving life on earth or B) improving life in space.

Date: Winter semester 2021

Lecture: Designing Gamified Systems

Result: 

CUBEness

Team: Heschu Qarani, Jonathan Stief, Sherwet GalalCem KaratasanGerrit Sußner

Abstract:

The interest in space is constantly increasing: From space agencies planning longer projects, such as NASAs’ Artemis mission, to private companies such as SpaceX planning to put humans on Mars. Overall, the private sector of space tourism is projected to reach a total of US$1.7 Billion by 2027. The market will expand much further in the future, with long-term missions becoming increasingly frequent.
Yet these long-term missions pose significant strains on both the human body and the mind. First among them is the deterioration of muscles, muscle atrophy, and the cardiovascular system through microgravity. These effects are so severe that even short missions (< 30 days) can cause a muscle volume loss of 5.5 to 15.9 percent. In order to combat these effects, most space agencies employ in-flight exercises of about 2.5 hours six days a week. Secondly, space missions represent the “perfect boring situation” and can invoke mental health issues.
Our VR solution addresses both aspects equally, as it gamifies the required exercise to avoid physical consequences, as well as challenge the players mentally and provides opportunities for experiencing social relatedness. For this, it uses both state-of-the-art VR equipment, as well as a Teslasuit, to not only make the experience feel even more immersive through haptic feedback, as well as the possibility to enhance training effects. The main game consists of resource collection during the exercise and a base-building type game in the phases between workouts. Both take place in VR.
In order to overcome the dullness of the monotonous environment, the game features a story putting the players in a scenario in 2075, where Mars has been colonized, and it is now their shared mission to defend and extend the colony. However, players need to collect resources through exercise to repair and build further modules, which is conducted within the VR game.
In the story mode, they are guided through their exercise by story-related messages, collecting resources while traversing the base and the landscapes of Mars. As voluntariness represents an important point in the acceptance of gamified approaches, however, players also have the option to avoid the story. While exercising, they collect resources by swiping them to the side with their controller. From the collected resources they then have the possibility to build three different types of buildings: (1) shelter domes, which set the defense for the whole colony, (2) windmills, which produce electricity for the colony, (3) greenhouses, which produce oxygen. To increase complexity, create fun, and challenge players mentally, the electricity and oxygen stats must match the shelter, or the colony will be dysfunctional, and the defense will receive a debuff. Players will have to ready their bases for increasingly difficult challenges, such as further alien attacks, sand storms, and similar difficulties that life on Mars would bring. This aims to create a long-time engagement in the player, relying on the immersion and social interaction between the crewmates of the space mission to defend their shared colony.

We use a Teslasuit, a smart textile two-piece full bodysuit, to make the experience immersive and interactive. The suit provides haptic feedback, captures motion and biometric functions. Further, a full-body haptic feedback system is built into the suit with 80 electrostimulation channels, which could be used to provide instant feedback on the players’ performance within the game. It can be functionalized in response to motion capture comparison at any time. No additional equipment will be need. The approach may be used with existing training equipment in space stations such as the ISS.

Astronaut Mark Vande Hei Expedition 53 Flight Engineer exercises on the COLBERT (Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill) in the Tranquility module – Photo by NASA

 

reHAND

Challenge: The use of digital technologies in rehabilitation processes is constantly increasing. In particular, studies show the advantages of telemedical assistance systems in rehabilitation and aftercare. Such cyber rehabilitation can support patients individually and at home. The aim of the project is to develop an gamified solution for assisting and motivating patients in hand rehabilitation.

Automate rehabilitation procedures with gameful simulations and make it accessible (at home)

 

Date: Winter semester 2021/2022

Lecture: Exergames

Result: 

reHAND − Cyber Rehabilitation for hand injuries

Team: D. Braun, E. Alekseenko, V. Rincon, A. Patoary

Abstract: The human hands have a complex structure. Hand injuries, therefore, have a significant negative impact on multiple life aspects. This project presents a Virtual Reality (VR) Exergame to help medical practitioners receive information on improvement rates and make exercising more attractive to patients. The game has been developed in Unity 3D game engine for the HTC VIVE Focus 3. The reHAND system performs an error calculation of the user’s hand movements and then provides feedback on the accuracy with which a user can perform an exercise. While playing, a user should protect their garden from the angry jealous neighbor, who throws trash in it. Accordingly, the patient performs certain hand movements to break thrown objects. Further, reHAND covers such motivational affordances as points (intrinsic game score), levels, and storytelling.

GitLab Repository: https://gitos.rrze.fau.de/hex-teaching-2021/exergames/exergames-group-3

TogethAR

Challenge: Video gaming is on a fast-track to becoming olympic! In 2021 the IOC surprisingly hosted an eSports event as a pre-event of the Olympic Games in Japan and the 19th Asian Games 2022 in Hangzhou will be the first olympic event in which both eSports and sports athletes can receive gold medals in their disciplines. This inspired us. In cooperation with Mercedes-Benz we gave students participating in the lecture Designing Gamified Systems the challenge to:

Design an innovative game or gamification approach in which sports, gaming, and mobility meet as part of an unforgettable mixed-reality experience for potential visitors of the 2022 Olympic Asian Games in China, Hangzhou.

Three project teams worked on this challenge and developed impressive concepts and prototypes within 2 months which were then presented to executives of Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler AG and MBition GmbH.

Date: Summer semester 2021

Result: 

TogethAR − A Gamified App for the Asian Games 2022

Team: K. Horsting, Z. Wen, M. Weber, S. Chen

Abstract: While both the UEFA Euro 2020 and the Olympic Games 2021 in Tokyo occurred under peculiar and extraordinary circumstances due to the current state of the world, the Asian Games 2022 in Hangzhou will hopefully be one of the first big post-pandemic sporting event that allows visitors from all over the world to come together again. To highlight and celebrate the reunion, this gamified approach to a visitor’s guide to the Asian Games engages visitors to contribute to the Olympic spirit by collaborating on a joint artistic symbol of respect, peace, and pluralism in an Augmented Reality (AR) approach while traveling through Hangzhou. The project vision included turning the spectators into active contributors by enabling them to digitally draw on the event venues, which act as canvases for virtual graffiti, sketches, and drawings. Over the course of the Asian Games, the city of Hangzhou would become increasingly colorful, visualizing the collaboration, cooperation, and competition of a diverse userbase that is united in a common goal. The app TogethARrealized this vision by implementing a detailed and comprehensive concept that is based on self-determination theory and the satisfaction of the three basic needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. After extensive research on the target audience, representative personas were created whose motivators form the basis for the app’s design. To cater to their wants and needs, the app incorporates a wide variety of game dynamics, mechanics, and components, ranging from social interaction over challenges and competition up to achievements and resources. Up until now, the project stages of preparation, analysis, ideation, and design have been successfully completed. Additionally, a first Minimum Viable Product (MVP) has been implemented and a comprehensive clickable high-fidelity prototype has been created and utilized for early user testing. The next steps of the project therefore consist of further developing, testing, and evaluating the running MVP.

GitLab Repository

 

 

CANYoU

Challenge: Video gaming is on a fast-track to becoming olympic! In 2021 the IOC surprisingly hosted an eSports event as a pre-event of the Olympic Games in Japan and the 19th Asian Games 2022 in Hangzhou will be the first olympic event in which both eSports and sports athletes can receive gold medals in their disciplines. This inspired us. In cooperation with Mercedes-Benz we gave students participating in the lecture Designing Gamified Systems the challenge to:

Design an innovative game or gamification approach in which sports, gaming, and mobility meet as part of an unforgettable mixed-reality experience for potential visitors of the 2022 Olympic Asian Games in China, Hangzhou.

Three project teams worked on this challenge and developed impressive concepts and prototypes within 2 months which were then presented to executives of Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler AG and MBition GmbH.

Date: Summer semester 2021

Result: 

CANYoU − Spreading the Spirit of the Asian Games 2022 Through AR-Based Minigames Together With Mercedes-Benz

Team: Team UNICORNS: J. van de Logt, Y. Zuber, S. Berzins, J. Rosenberger

Abstract: Designing a gamified experience for the Asian Games 2022 – what could be more innovative to spark interaction and connect people from different backgrounds? Challenged by the project client Mercedes-Benz, a concept for the gamified system CANYoU was designed and brought to life by applying prototyping techniques. Key milestones represented the conceptual game design, the technical development of a mini game and the creation of wireframes for mobile and in-car application. Testing activities conducted at the last stage showed that the group of testers wished for the extension of games beyond the screen of mobile devices. Correspondingly, CANYoU was experienced as a fun game to involve people in sports and connect with each other in real life. Nevertheless, there is still room for improvement regarding the AR approach of the game. The UI/UX design of the game is overall perceived as intuitive, however, additional design iterations are required to optimize users’ clicking behavior. In addition, further testing is inevitable as the testing set-up was not always self-explanatory for the users and a stronger emphasis must be put on Asian users to ensure a tailoring to culture-specific needs. Regarding the future of the project, the prototyping may be taken one step further in the form of a downloadable, working application. This would again involve extensive user testing prior to a launch of the app onto the Asian market. To increase the operational efficiency in implementing these steps, the focus should lie on the enhancement of the technical infrastructure for the app development. In the end, a closer collaboration with Mercedes-Benz would as well be favorable to enable a close alignment of the design, scope, and functionality of CANYoU with the expectations of the stakeholder.

CANYoU – Teaser Video

Github Repository