Rough Draft
Please note that this thesis paper is just a rough draft and is currently a work in progress. The content on this page will probably be modified and may not be representative of the final version. Sources notes and references may not be final and placeholder text may be used and will later be replaced.
  1. Introduction to Designing Physical to Digital Boardgames using 3D environments and gestural based interfaces.
  2. Problem Statement
  3. Thesis Statement


Modern table-top games can be challenging for new players to learn because of complexity. This complexity derives from the rules game designers put in place to provide an emergent gameplay experience for the player. Digital board games on touch devices offer a solution to this problem. Digital board games using three-dimensional models, touch gestures, and interactive gameplay tutorials can teach a new player the complex systems within the game so that the player will be able to experience the emergent gameplay.

This challenge for new players is because of the complexity of the rules, physical components, and implied player interactions. All of these components play a role in the complex systems that the player has to understand to learn how to play a game and experience the emergent gameplay. By using three-dimensional interfaces and gesture-based interactions, board games can be easier to learn in a digital form.

Steven Johnson states that "emergence arises out of complexity." This complexity can lead to accessibility issues for a new player and can discourage the player from breaking through this wall of systems to play the game. By using a digital environment, these complex game systems found in board games can be illustrated in a meaningful way and enable the gameplay to be more accessible for the new player learning how to play the game.

To understand how digital board games can help the player learn a complex modern game, an understanding of how board games have developed over time from, from the early dice games to the American and Euro-style, to the digital versions we have today. By taking a brief look at the history of table-top gaming, one can have an understanding of how games evolved from a pure fun diversion with relatively simple components to more of a complex activity involving players playing against and with each other to achieve a competitive or story based goal.

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