Virtual Environment Research Projects

Since the setup of Virtual Environment Lab (V-Lab) in 2009, we have been looking to performance assessment using this medium. From 2004 to 2014, the most widely used virtual environments of the time was digital game-based learning. In 2015, the trend has begin to shift towards Virtual (and Augmented) Reality, and we are currently looking to extend our research into that area, as well.

International Collaborations (2016)

Lost My Way (Austria)

DOGeometry (link) is STEM learning game to teach Geometry through play (link). The game was created by Guenter Wallner and Simone Kriglstein of Vienna, Austria. In 2015, we began discussions to incorporate Information Trails into the game for learners’ decision-making analysis. Guenter and Simone decided to create a new game called Lost My Way. The game is in beta testing right now and should be ready for play in the near future.

Lost My way: STEM game

Screenshot from the game: Lost My Way (STEM learning game)

医道 The Way of the Doctor (Singapore)

I have been working with Min-Yee Lee and Chye-Tee Goh (Director of Biomedical Sciences and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) to design a STEM learning game for TCM medical diagnosis. The story line is about an apprentice (Player Character) who trains to become an outstanding physician and then goes on to treat the ailing Emperor Tai.

character design

Characters designed by YuCen Liu (ShiFu, left) and Christian S. Loh (male/female Player Characters, donkey)

Storyboard (up to Level 2) for the serious game – by Christian S. Loh, Yucen Liu, & Ariel Y. Loh.


V-Lab (In-House) Research Projects

Unity3D Maze (2016)

Aim: A brand new Maze Exploration game in First Person Perspective (1PP) created using Unity3D. The game require play-learners to use decision-making and strategic planing skills to successfully navigate the Maze to meet in-game objectives. (cognitive, procedural and motor skills).

Synopsis: The high score board shows the fastest person to escape the maze took just 32 second, how is this even possible?

Unity3d Maze

Screenshot from the game: Unity3d Maze – by I-Hung Li

The Lost World (2015)

Aim: In this serious game, we extended our game development into Unity3D. Participants will use advanced planning and real-world tools to try and meet in-game learning objectives (cognitive, procedural and motor skills).

Synopsis: You are preparing for the upcoming World Orienteering Championship. Do you have the map-reading skills and route planning ability to emerge as this years’ winner?

Screenshot from the game: The Lost World – by I-Hung Li.

Screenshot from the game: The Lost World – by I-Hung Li.

Guardian 2.0 (2013)

Aim: In this serious game, we are trying to establish if advanced planning changes how a person make decision, also known as a “Plan & Execute” (military) exercise. In this study, participants are expected to make advance planning (cognitively) in order to meet a goal in the virtual gaming/training environment using procedural and motor skills (manipulating the mouse and keyboard).

We later modified Guardian 2 (ver 2.2) to serve in place of a psychological measurement instrument (Decision Making Inventory, DMI). This could be a first in the history of serious games to measure the decision making style of play-learners (as a psychological instrument). We used an eye-tracker to measure user behaviors as they interact with Guardian/DMI game.

Synopsis: It’s time for you to join the rank of the village’s Guardians. All you need to do is to pass the qualifying test. But wait, since your old man held the record to the Guardian challenge, you are also given the chance of your life to break his record. It sure is tough to be the Champion’s kid… Do you have what it takes to be the new Champion?

Screenshot from the game: Guardian 2 (2013), by Dr. C. Sebastian Loh

Screenshot from the game: Guardian 2 (2013), by Dr. C. Sebastian Loh

Escape From The Maze (2012)

Aim: Individuals must learn to navigate a maze and find the best escape route under time pressure. This game contains a procedural learning task where we measure participants’ performance to see if there is a change in competency level and behaviors when they must perform a series of tasks repeatedly to reach a goal.

Synopsis: You have watch the Great Escape reality TV on TNT, haven’t you? A local rich man is holding an Escape from the Maze competition in his castle. Do you have the wits and the speed to emerge as the winner? Unlike the reality show, you will be by yourself and there will be no one to help you. The criteria for winning is stringent and there are even rumors of deadly traps. Will you survive the ordeal?

Screenshot from “Escape from the Maze”: by Dr C. Sebastian Loh

Screenshot from “Escape from the Maze”: by Dr C. Sebastian Loh

Guardian (2010)

Aim: Individuals must learn to navigate several checkpoints and problem solve to reach the final goal. We used the data in this game to differentiate novice players from expert players.

Synopsis: You have just turn 18! That means the time has come for you to join the rank of the village Guards. There is just one problem, you must pass a test to qualify. No, it is not a pen-and-paper test (how boring is that), but an outdoor challenge. Will your training put you at the top to make you one of the village elite guards? There are many tasks to be completed. Can you obey an order, show initiatives and keep your wits with you? There will be a birthday party for you tonight, will you disappoint your friends and family, or will there be a grand celebration?

Screenshot from the game: Guardian (2010) by Dr. C. Sebastian Loh

Screenshot from the game: Guardian (2010) by Dr. C. Sebastian Loh