Design in Randomized Content: PCG for Emergent Gameplay

The research project aims to analyze different PCG (Procedural Content Generation) methods to find suitable algorithms that will increase the occurrences of emergent gameplay scenarios.

Emergence as a general term refers to the occurrence of unpredictable behaviours resulting from dynamic systems, and in the context of games it’s the interactions between game systems that result in player driven scenarios. These scenarios allow players to explore the more creative avenues of a game and result in more unique, personalized playthroughs.

Project NATAL - An innovative co-designed exergame for pregnant women

Sedentary lifestyles result in a high risk of development of preventable chronic disease ie Metabolic syndrome, Diabetes, CVD. Particularly for pregnant women, sedentary lifestyles and obesity can lead to severe consequences for both the mother and the baby. For example, serious health conditions such as stillbirth, congenital anomalies, preterm birth, low birth weight, gestational hypertension and  gestational diabetes and increased rate of caesarean section have all been reported. 

Creation, elicitation, and measurement of emotional states in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality systems

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) offer new possibilities in the development of novel tools for mental healthcare. Given that emotions play a central role in many mental disorders, it is necessary to build VR/AR systems that can understand emotional behaviours. Therefore, the main objective of this research project is to understand how to build VR/AR systems capable of adapting automatically to the emotional states of users. For example, to build games that regulate emotional states of people.

CogWorldTravel - Early Diagnosis of Dementia in the Elderly

Dementia causes a decline in cognitive abilities. There is a call from the World Health Organization to develop technologies to facilitate and support the daily lives of people with dementia and their carers.

Cognitive Screening Instruments (CSIs) are used to assist in the detection of dementia. These instruments test the different domains of cognition and usually are administered by health professionals in clinical settings. Prior studies have demonstrated that games have potential to be used to test cognition.

Using a combination of reinforcement learning techniques to create an autonomous general video game playing artificial intelligence.

The goal of this research task is to create an autonomous agent that can learn and play a variety of unseen video games. It is well established that common test beds for new machine learning algorithms are video game environments. Simple algorithms targeted to specific games can already produce masterful computer players. However, it is only now that we are beginning to see general algorithms being able to solve a variety of different genres and complexities

Project ELAINE - Promoting Active Ageing through Games

This project is an initial step towards building the next generation of exergames for the elderly. Traditionally, players have to perform some form of physical exercise in order to play and win the game, which has surprisingly been reported as unattractive. We would like to explore the concept of asynchronous exergaming. With this approach, physical exercise and gameplay don’t have to happen at the same time. Instead, seniors can workout at their own pace in their own time, and we asynchronously link this activity to the game. This can make a significant difference in increasing the motivation towards physical exercise and active aging.