An(other) overview of Procedural Content Generation Techniques applied to Game Design and Development


In the context of video games, Procedural Content Generation (PCG) refers to the automatic creation of contents, performed using algorithms and/or heuristics that are generally designed specifically for the game under development. PCG can be exploited to produce different contents, depending on the video game genre and on the peculiarities of the specific game, with the positive effects of reducing development time and increasing randomness of content and/or gameplay. In this invited speech, we present the researches on PCG conducted in the PONG (Playlab fOr inNovation in Games) laboratory of the Department of Computer Science at University of Milan in the last years. In particular, we have focused our attention on the proposal of procedural-based tools aimed at an optimization of the design process of levels and/or large virtual worlds. Moreover, we have also exploited the characteristics of Evolutionary algorithms to propose novel methods to generate game contents

Curriculum Vitae

Davide Gadia has received his M.Sc. (2003) and Ph.D. (2007) in Computer Science from the University of Milan. Currently he is Assistant Professor at Department of Computer Science at University of Milan. His research interests concern mainly Computer Graphics, Video Game programming, Virtual Reality, and Digital Imaging. He is also interested in the processing of stereoscopic images and videos, and in the analysis of perceptual issues in the interaction with Virtual Environments. He is involved in the research activities of the Pong (Playlab fOr inNovation in Games) Laboratory.

Davide Gadia
Università degli Studi di Milano
Milan, Italy

The Highs and Lows of Natural Language Learning Gamification


Gamification of language learning is a clear trend of recent years. Widespread use of smartphones and the rise of mobile gaming as a popular leisure activity contribute to the popularity of gamification, as application developers can rely on an unprecedented reach of their products and expect acceptance of game-like elements by the users. In terms of content, however, most apps implement traditional language learning activities, such as reading, listening, translating, and solving quizzes. In the present talk, I will discuss what makes gamification of language learning a very challenging task, and outline some success stories as well as failed attempts. We will also consider technologies and approaches that have potential in this area as well as issues that make their practical use difficult at the present moment.

Curriculum Vitae

Maxim Mozgovoy is an associate professor at the University of Aizu, Japan. He received his PhD degree in Applied Mathematics from St. Petersburg State University, and his PhD in Computer Science from University of Joensuu. His main research interests are focused on natural language processing and artificial intelligence for computer games. His current primary goal is to apply machine learning technologies to the task of practical game AI creation. Maxim has a solid academic record of over 70 published articles and industrial-level software development experience. In particular, he is the primary developer of a machine learning-based AI of the mobile tennis game World of Tennis: Roaring '20s.

Maxim Mozgovoy
The University of Aizu
Fukushima, Japan

Evaluation of a VR system for Pain Management using Binaural Acoustic Stimulation


The system proposed is oriented to evaluate the pain perceived by the user under a high controlled virtual reality environment (VR). A VR system is an implementation of a virtual world that the user perceives as being there alone. The sensation of immersion affects the stimulus (visual, acoustic and haptic) perceived by the user and it is able to promote change in the brainwaves power and produce an activation of Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The Electro-Dermal Activity (EDA) allows for measuring the electrical properties of the skin by the sweat activity. This work proposes a VR environment combined with binaural beats (binaural sounds) and visual stimulus to evaluate the perception that the user has and comparing their sensation with real physiological data. It is believed that the use of different binaural beats over a long period of time can help patients to induce a relaxation state (mood) and consequently modulate the perception to pain. In this study we show two experiments. The first one applies 8 types of acoustic stimulus (4 binaural and 4 monaural) in a standard simple VR scenario and we propose the end-users to select the experimented feeling they felt in any case, in parallel using the Empatica wristband we contrast the subjective users' answers with physiological values given by the device. In the second experiment, an immersive environment based on the whole VR application is proposed for control and real users to evaluate chronic pain.The users are immersed in three VR equal scenarios but with random sound stimulation. With the results obtained, we can conclude that binaural beats work better than non-binaural beats if we talk about relaxation and meditation.

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Francisco J. Perales is a senior researcher in the area of computer graphics and vision, human computer interaction and neurorehabilitation. He obtained his BS and MS in computer science at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) in 1986. In 1993 he obtained a Master of Digital Image Processing at the UAB. He received a in Computer Science at the Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB) in 1993. In 2013 he obtained a Master of Medicine at the UIB. He is currently pursuing a second Ph.D. in neurorehabilitation using serious games and biofeedback. He is a full professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at UIB (2017) and head of the Computer Graphics and Vision Group and Artificial Intelligence of UIB. He is an IEEE senior member (1995-2018). He was a visitant professor at University of Tübingen at the Institute for Medical Psychology and Behavioural Neurobiology.

Dr. Francisco José Perales López
Catedrático de Universidad CCeIA
Dep. Matemáticas e Informatica, UIB
Palma de Mallorca, Illes Balears

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