Thesis Outline

  1. INTRODUCTION
    1. Introduction to Designing Physical to Digital Boardgames using 3D environments and gestural based interfaces.
    2. Problem Statement
    3. Thesis Statement
  2. EARLY DICE AND BOARD GAMES THROUGHOUT HISTORY
    1. Board game design
    2. Card-based game design
    3. Dice based game design
  3. ANALYSIS OF TRADITIONAL TABLE-TOP GAME DESIGN
    1. Simple designed games our, and complex games are in
    2. The European invasion: The Euro Board Game
    3. Comparing Monopoly vs. Settlers of Catan
    4. Player vs Player and Co-operative games
    5. Complex system designs with the intention to provide emerging gameplay
  4. ANALYSIS OF DIGITAL TABLE-TOP GAMES & APPS
    1. Can digital table-top games provide a good experience
    2. Multiplayer vs. single player digital board games
    3. Example Digital Board Games for Tablet Devices
    4. Complimentary apps for physical board game play
  5. PHYSICAL VS DIGITAL TABLE-TOP GAMES
    1. Reasons for playing table-top games on digital devices
    2. Board games vs. Their Digital Counterparts
    3. Pros and Cons of Digital Only Board game style apps
  6. HOW NEW PLAYERS LEARN HOW TO PLAY
    1. Defining complexity in Board Games
    2. Reading manuals, documentation, and walk-throughs
    3. Watching online gameplay videos
    4. Learning from fellow players who are already familiar with the game
    5. Issues with independently understanding and comprehending rules and game mechanics
  7. ANALYSIS OF DIGITAL GAME INTERFACES
    1. History of gestural interfaces for tablets and phones
    2. Usability issues with 2D point and click interfaces
    3. 2D vs 3D environments for the digital card and board game interfaces
  8. PROBLEM
    1. Modern table-top games are difficult to learn because of complex systems and the need for emergent gameplay.
    2. There are usability issues with playing digital board games with a 2D point and click interfaces
    3. The current trends in user interface design do not provide the player with an experience that is similar to playing a physical board game
  9. PROBLEM CONTEXTS
    1. Target Audience Needs
    2. Types of environments that player's typically playing digital board games
    3. The technology needed such as tablet devices
  10. LITERATURE REVIEW
  11. SOLUTION
    1. 3D Environments
      1. Designing a physical board in a 3D environment
      2. Replicating physical game components with 3D models
        1. Dice
        2. Game Characters
        3. Game Cards
        4. Extra environmental components that will be on the game board such as i.e.  buildings, trees, rocks, or bridges
    2. User Interface Gestures for Tablets
      1. Swiping to roll dice.
      2. Touch and drag to move characters on the board
      3. Touch and drag to direct characters to interact with the environment or other characters
      4. Two finger pinch and zoom to change the display level of the board
      5. Touch and Drag to rotate the board in a three-dimensional space
    3. Automated In-Game Tutorials
      1. Gameplay demonstration using NPC characters and AI
      2. Simulated turns that allow for players to have agency within the game.
      3. Allow the player to rewind events and turns in the game
  12. IMPLEMENTATION OF SOLUTION
    1. Method
      1. Unity 3D Game Engine
      2. C# Scripting Language
      3. Maya for creating and editing 3D models
    2. Interface Design
      1. Navigating the game board using gestures
      2. Touch and dragging characters, dice, and chards
      3. 2D interface elements for keeping score, progress indicates, and game messages
    3. Design Process
      1. Three-dimensional sketches
      2. Target audience research
        1. Surveys
        2. Observations
      3. Game Flow Diagram
      4. Game Wireframe
      5. iPad Digital Prototype
        1. User Testing
        2. Gather Results
  13. ANALYSIS OF SOLUTION RESULTS
    1. Benefits of using three-dimensional for digital board games
    2. Benefits of using gesture-based interface mechanics to replicate real-world gameplay mechanics
    3. The player has an easier time learning how to play the game using gesture-based mechanics in a three-dimensional environment compared to two-dimensional board games with point and click mechanics
  14. CONCLUSION

Thesis Work

This section of the website is where I am documenting the work on my thesis paper and visual component.

About Me

My name is Mark Koberlein and I have been a professional web designer, app developer, and instructor for about 13 years. I live in a small town next to Allentown, PA with my wife 2 daughters. My wife and I are avid gamers and movie watchers. I am currently a tenure-track Instructor in the Communication Design department at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem PA, where I teach courses in general computer graphics, web design, mobile applications, interactive design, server-side programming, and animation. I started this journey as an undergrad at Messiah College in Grantham, PA. For the first 2 years, I studied Computer Science and then changed my major to Religious Studies to finish my under-grad studies with a Bachelor of Arts. After college, I decided to not pursue the reli... Read More