IMGD | M.S. Thesis Presentation | Matthew Micciolo | 'Designing a Visual Programming Language for the Creation of Multiplayer Embodied Games'

Tuesday, December 11, 2018
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Floor/Room #: 

Designing a Visual Programming Language for the Creation of Multiplayer Embodied Games

Games as a means of education have been starting to become more of an everyday reality. Not only are games used in classrooms, but they are used in industry to train soldiers, medical staff, and even surgeons. This thesis focuses on physically active (i.e. embodied) multiplayer games as a means of education; not only by having students play, but also by having students create games. The embodied multiplayer aspect allows for a more interactive experience between players and their environment, making the game immersive and collaborative. In order to create these games, students must exercise their computational thinking abilities. The Wearable Learning Cloud Platform has been developed to enable students to design, create, and play multiplayer games for STEM. This platform allows users to create, edit, and manage the behavior of mobile technologies that act as support to players of these games, specified as finite-state machines. The platform provides a means of testing created games, as well as executing(running) these games wirelessly by serving them to smartphones (or smart watches) so that students can play them with other students, in teams, or as individual players. The platform features a full drag and drop game editor with a sophisticated validation engine that prevents users from making syntax errors. Visually programmed games transpile to JavaScript for execution on the game server and provide two separate levels of programming abstraction. This platform has been successfully tested with 18 participants and they have shown significant improvements in their understanding of Finite State Machines and have shown an increase in their Computational Thinking abilities.

Advisor : Ivon Arroyo

Readers : Brian Moriarty, Erin Ottmar