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.

ICEC 2011

Finally the ICEC 2011 proceedings are out. I co-chaired the conference with Sid Fels. This was a great experience. The conference was attended by many colleagues from Europe, US, and Canada. Great intellectually stimulating discussions.

Co-Organized GURCHI Workshop at CHI 2012


I co-organized a workshop on Games User Research with some wonderful co-organizers: Lennart Nacke, Heather Desurvire, Anders Drachen, Katherine Isbister, and Regina Bernhaupt.

Group picture for the GURCHI: 

The workshop was attended by many fantastic and intellectually stimulating researchers. Some from industry: Sony, EA, Google, and Microsoft, and others are from academia. We started off with presentations by everyone. Then we broke up into groups working on hypothesis and explorative design problems discussing methods that are suitable for these problems.


After this we then did a crowd sourcing session gathering problems that the groups feel are important problems for the GUR community to work on methodologically.

We then shared war stories, stories from the trenches, in a circle support group like session.


Everyone left with new friends and great new connections and lessons learned. it was a lot of fun to see everyone. This was a fantastic 2 day experience. Working with Lennart, Heather, Anders, Katherine and Regina was a wonderful experience.