|Supervisor:||Prof. Gudrun Klinker|
Oppidum is a Serious Game for two players with the purpose of conveying basic knowledge about the life and history of the early Celts. By using Augmented Reality to fuse concepts of digital and board games, the game aims for providing a playful and visually appealing way of learning that contributes to the players' learning motivation through its competitive nature. In the game players build up a small Celtic village, research technologies and accomplish different tasks given by Quest Cards. By exploring their villages, gathering rune stones, and reading informative texts, players gain knowledge about the Celts, which comes into play when challenging their opponent to a Quiz War. To win the game players compete for Victory Points that are obtained through accomplishing different task and winning Quiz Wars.
In an effort to increase historical accuracy, immersion, availability, and educational factor this practical courses introduced features that are introduced in the following parts.
The concept for this game was created in the practical lab course Serious Games, in which a game was developed that combines a learning outcome about Celtic Cultural Heritage with the engagement and entertainment of playing a game supported and enhanced by Augmented Reality. The objective of this project was to refine and extend the already existing game Oppidum, in which one player fights against the computer or two players compete against each other in building their own village, harvest resources, and fight against each other while learning about Celtic life and culture.
Following the definitions of Serious Educational Games and Cultural Computing, the game Oppidum aims to combine these elements in an immers ing and entertaining way to support the learning outcome of the players. On one side, the games main goal is to be a Serious Game. As such, it needs to transmit Celtic Cultural Heritage and Awareness in a historically accurate way.
The existing game uses digital replicas of Celtic buildings forming a historical reconstruction of an exemplary settlement that could have been build in the Latène period. It also raises Cultural awareness by including historically accurate information into the game elements like quest cards, technologies, and more as well as their visuals without trying to be intrusive. This combination also raises heritage awareness as their buildings were modelled afterarchaeological finds. As a Serious Educational Game, it uses educational strategies like quizzes and exploration as elements to motivate players to learnand also memorize the content. On the other side, the learning material is transmitted in an immersive way, using the entertainment of the game as basis and including Augmented Reality as a visually pleasing factor to support the motivation of users to play the game. Furthermore, it aims to use the competition of player and opponent to encourage the users to learn by their own will and thereby increase the learning outcome. The constant need to draw new quest cards brings additional variety into the game in order to keep the player interested. In the end, the game tries to give players general knowledge and also spark further interest in an entertaining and supportive way. This project therefore aims to endorse these main goals by augmenting the learning outcome with a newlearning method and keep the game content itself historically accurate. It also improves the accessibility of the game to a broader target group, that fits the current home office times without trying to take away from the board game and digital hybrid. Eventually, to support all this, the project also intends to create an even more entertaining space where players can better enjoy their learning time and immerse in Celtic times.
In this course we introduced the follwing function:
In times of home office working, we decided to make the game available to be played online as a Multiplayer. Here, users simply need the game board and his set of markers. In a starting screen, they can connect to a fixed ip and play a synchronized game without the need to be present.
We chose to replace the rune system as it was rather used by germanic peoples, such as the Anglo, Saxon, Viking, etc., which were neither linguistically nor culturally Celtic. Instead we introduced the Ogham system which is a combination of lines and how they are situated to each other in height. We also replaced the rune stones that could be found with word stones, which means that now a player finds a whole word that consists of 4 letters and are stored in a Dictionary as soon as they are found. If he visits the druid now, he sees 4 slots that he click on gets a drawing field. There he can write single letters.
The game now starts with an Introduction via Tutorial to tell players and future students on how the game is played without the explanation from an expert. The Tutorial starts the game and gives hints on what to do first. Whenever something new is discovered by the players, an indroduction to the new technique is displayed.
As immersive and visually Serious Gamese are known to lead to a better lerarning outcome, we introduced two mini games that are using distinct Android functions. The first appears whenever a User finishes construction a building. When he scans its marker, he first has to use the accelerometer by to shaking the phone to unlock the building
Also, when the user wants to skip a turn, he can motivate his workers leading to a push in process in the next turn. If he does, he now gets a flute window where he can press a button and blow into the phone to play songs.
The changes can be seen in the following video: