FDG 2012: Chaired and worked with Alessandro on the workshop

FDG : Foundations of Digital Games 2012 was held in Raleigh North Carolina. I chaired the conference which was a great success.

The conference started with a workshop day. I participated with Alessandro Canossa, Heather and Lennart on another very successful workshop at FDG specifically looking at methodology and discussion of player experience research methods and epistemologies. It was a short yet effective workshop bringing together academics from different disciplines and some industry participants from Valve.


We then proceeded with keynotes, panels, and sessions with great talks from across multiple disciplines.



One highlight of the conference was the game room which was great at bringing people together to network and discuss games.


We also had a social game called Snag’em played at the conference, which was a great ice breaker.

Talk at Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Title: Towards Adaptive Visual Aesthetics of 3D Game Environments

During the past few years, interactive 3D environments that facilitate engagement and involvement, such as 3D video games, have become an important area of research and development. The technical contributions and design innovations made to advance such environments have a direct impact on education, training, and entertainment applications. Designing visually rich 3D environments is a very time consuming complex process requiring artists and designers hours of diligent work, and the use of their artistic tacit knowledge to build levels that satisfy both aesthetic and perceptual requirements. In the past few years, we have been collaborating with industry partners, including Electronic Arts, to conduct experimental studies focused on gauging and understanding users’ abilities with respect to the visual level design, including navigational and visual attention abilities, and identify breakdown issues caused by visual design problems. Based on these studies, we are currently developing adaptive systems, specifically in terms of visual composition (color, contrast, lighting, and rhythmic properties of motion), to enhance the 3D level designs, and consequently, the play experience. In this talk, I will focus some of the lessons learned through this research journey focusing on specific systems and results uncovered from having designers or users interact with them.