Games and ICT Roadmap (Year 1)

Last updated 25. July 2016 by admin

GAMES SECTOR TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH RECOMMENDATIONS:

Research Direction 1: Engaging technologies for immersive games (raising immersiveness)

There is an evident increasing interest in natural interfaces, virtual reality, holographic and augmented reality technologies as the vehicle for enhancing user engagement.
Game developers are starting to focus on immersion issues to augment user engagement. By combining high-resolution imagery with high fidelity sound and haptic feedback, Virtual Reality (VR) has the potential to offer almost total immersion.
Although VR doesn’t currently have the portability and accessibility of classic mobile technologies, the renewed interest and innovation in the field does reflect growing consumer demand for immersion of the game experiences. Advances in graphics, computing power and interface devices such as the Leap, Kinect, Omni,wearable devices have opened the door to a new level of sophistication of virtual reality.

Recommendations:

  • Innovations in virtual reality technology such as new virtual reality glasses (e.g. by Zeiss) and input devices, e.g. Leap, Kinect, Omni, wearable devices. Improvements in the HMD to avoid physical diseases due to long uses;
  • Improve existing technological device so that it can be used to create a virtual reality experience. There are consoles such as Microsoft’s Kinect which have been opened (via SDK) so that it works with other devices or in new and interesting ways. One example is that of combining it with virtual reality glasses to produce a virtual reality game;
  • Mobile phone apps that are based upon augmented reality which are able to connect the real and virtual worlds in order to create pervasive games;
  • Total Immersion relies on rich creative content like engaging stories, great music, impactful 3D sound, and believable physics. Games developers that will incorporate those elements into their games will have already taken the first step towards real immersive games;
  • Natural interfaces: better movement detection (accurate detection of the player's natural movements) for the game control;
  • Mobile Augmented Reality to allow gamers to experience digital game play in a “real” world environment. Sensors in the mobile devices can enhance the players' gaming experience by providing exciting new ways to control their actions, through, for instance, position and 3D movement;
  • Virtual Reality with 3D-Haptic technology to experience the presence feeling and reaction feeling of touching, grasping, pushing and pulling of virtual objects that only exist in the virtual world.

 

Research Direction 2: Technologies for collaborative user-generated games.

There is a need for open solutions supporting the co-creation of games across all the major global platforms using efficient multiplatform publishing. These solutions are required to have powerful engines and tools, intuitive workflows and fast iteration, in order to ensure the complete control during the creation and the smooth deployment of the game on multiple platforms including mobile phones, tablets, netbooks and PCs.

Recommendations:

  • New collaborative game development platform for the web, where games are created/assembled from sharable and reusable objects that anyone can create and contribute using our web client. The platform should provide an easy way to find various skills needed to build games (programmer, artist etc.) and forming a team and manage game content / resources with sufficient online storage, version control and if possible source control. Moreover, the platform should manage asset creation flow (request for specific content like a 3D model, sound etc.);
  • Standardisation of the games objects, game dynamics, effects etc. which allow the circulation, exchange and reuse of parts of the games.

 

Research Direction 3: Personalised games

A personalised game is a game that utilises player models and preferences for the purpose of tailoring the game experience to the individual player. The games industry is starting to embrace data analytics and use player data in more sophisticated ways. However, delivering real player insight is not straightforward. The personalisation process needs to be integrated into game design from the start of development and executed with clear focus and objectives.

Recommendations:

  • New technology infrastructure for the combination of techniques like predictive modelling, machine learning, data mining and game theory that analyse, real-time, the performance of the gamer to predict a specific behaviour in the near future.;
  • Micro-segmentation applications for segmenting a player base to understand distinct segment preferences and behaviours to guide targeted game design, appealing targeted extension packages and additional content design. This approach to players of games is not different from the traditional customer view towards applying advanced analytics for player retention, churn, and marketing response efforts. The main challenge here is represented by the new variety of data and tremendous volume and speed at which it is generated;
  • New Artificial Intelligence (AI) developments for games that go beyond the traditional paradigm of controlling non-player characters (NPC) behaviour. Here there are three other potential application areas:
  1. Player-experience modelling: discerning the ability and emotional state of the player, so as to tailor the game appropriately. This can include dynamic game difficulty balancing, which consists in adjusting the difficulty in a video game in real-time based on the player's ability;
  2. Procedural-content generation: Creating elements of the game environment like environmental conditions, levels, and even music in an automated way. AI methods can generate new content or interactive stories;
  3. Data mining on user behaviour: This allows game designers to explore how people use the game, what parts they play most, and what causes them to stop playing, allowing developers to tune gameplay;

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