Creative Discovery That Creates Fun

Research in Interactive Media and Game Development (IMGD) at WPI is all about collaboration, innovation, exploring, and trailblazing in one of the world’s most exciting, rapidly changing industries. How many researchers can say that the end result of their research is the creation of fun and addictive games and new forms of media?

Learn more about the many areas in which WPI’s IMGD faculty and students are pushing the boundaries of interactive media and game development in the pursuit of creative ways to improve and expand upon existing technologies—creating truly groundbreaking forms of new media.

ARIN

Virtual reality games are quickly taking the world by storm. WPI students are also at the forefront of this technology, and created ARIN, a sci-fi horror game for the HTC Vive that offers players an even more immersive gaming experience. ARIN was also one of the student-created games featured at IMGD’s booth during PAX East 2017.

ARIN - Teaser 1

Bounce.wav

This addicting, fast-paced arcade game for PC and mobile devices was created by four students. Bounce.wav requires players to avoid enemies and hazards in difficult timing challenges; it was also one of four student-created games featured at IMGD’s booth during PAX East 2017.

Bounce.wav Pre-Beta Trailer

EcoKids and the Paper Pests

Games aren’t just fun—they can also teach players about the world around them. EcoKids and the Paper Pests, an MQP by five IMGD students, is an educational game about invasive species based on an actual event in New Zealand; players perform the same techniques ecologists used to solve the problem in real life. EcoKids and the Paper Pests was the winner of the Serious Alpha Category at the 2015 MassDiGI Game Challenge.

The EcoKids and the Paper Pests - WPI MQP Trailer

Jazzy Mind

Four students are the brains behind Jazzy Mind, a crime-solving investigation computer game set in New Orleans in the early 60s. As Jazzy Mind, an inspector who’s investigating a murder case, players listen to characters’ inner thoughts and emotions through jazz music, and analyze the kinds of tracks played in order to solve the mystery.

Jazzy Mind [ Investigation Game ]

Faculty Research Interests

The research interests of IMGD faculty members are just as diverse as the games and apps they create. Whether they're working on the newest virtual reality game, testing an app to prevent drunk driving, designing and animating new characters, or creating a cutting-edge learning technology, they're always testing the limits of what's possible in games. Below are the specific research interests of each faculty member; visit their individual profiles for more information.  

Research Focus Area Associated IMGD Faculty
3D Modeling & Technical Art Ralph Sutter
Animation Ralph Sutter
Artificial Intelligence Charles Rich
Authoring Systems Brian Moriarty
Authoring Tools Charles Rich
Computer Graphics Emmanuel Agu
Diversity as a Game Mechanic Farley Chery
Educational Games Ivon Arroyo
Erin Ottmar
Game Design

Alexandrina Agloro
Jennifer deWinter
Brian Moriarty
Dean O'Donnell
Lee Sheldon

Game Industry & Policy Jennifer deWinter
Game-Based Learning Lee Sheldon
Gameplay as a Mechanism to Reinforce Narrative Farley Chery
History of Video Games Dean O'Donnell
Information Visualization Lane Harrison
Interactive Media

Alexandrina Agloro
Joshua Rosenstock
Ralph Sutter

Research Focus Area Associated IMGD Faculty
Interactive Narrative Brian Moriarty
Dean O'Donnell
Lee Sheldon
Japanese Game Culture Jennifer deWinter
Learning Technologies Ivon Arroyo
Erin Ottmar
Location-Aware Media Emmanuel Agu
Mobile Capture Farley Chery
Mobile Graphics Emmanuel Agu
Network Games Mark Claypool
Charles Rich
Participatory Design Alexandrina Agloro
Pipeline Optimization Farley Chery
Play & User Testing Jennifer deWinter
Post-modern Game Design Jeffrey Kesselman
Procedural Rhetoric & Games as Influencers on Society Jeffrey Kesselman
Serious Games/Social Issues Lee Sheldon
Transludic Media Brian Moriarty
User-Generated Content Jeffrey Kesselman
Virtual Reality Jeffrey Kesselman
Charles Rich
Visual Analytics Lane Harrison

Facilities
IMGD faculty members and students enjoy access to state-of- the-art facilities that support research in all aspects of building games and creating art for them, from delving into artificial intelligence to studying sound from the user’s experience.

Our flagship IMGD Lab is a 27-seat teaching/research facility that features Mac and PC workstations equipped with the latest software for building games and creating art. This space is designed so that students can work in a collaborative environment and benefit from synergistic interactive media and game development.

Other IMDG facilities include the following:

  • Digital Art Studio suitable for creating and editing digital art and offering ample space and lighting for the traditional arts.
  • Interaction lab equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation for human-computer interaction research, including novel input devices, novel display devices, and motion-capture systems.
  • User Experience and Decision Making lab where interdisciplinary research teams investigate the user experience using eye-tracking technology as well as traditional methods such as observation.
  • Human Subjects Research Lab designed to facilitate research involving human subjects, such as gameplay and focus group evaluation, in a controlled user-study test environment.
  • Sound Studio providing a sound-proof space with appropriate digital microphone and noise cancellation technology for recording dialog and sound effects.