MSc by Research Proposals

The following research projects have been proposed by staff from the games research network:

Title: Interactive Crowd Simulation in Virtual Reality
Proposer: Patrick Dickinson / Kathrin Gerling
Description: This project follows on from a previous MSc by Research project which looked at user response and behaviour to simulated crowds in VR. We will extend this work to compare more sophisticated crowd agent behaviour models and/or specific use scenarios (such as building evacuation). This will involve working with HTC Vive and Unity or UE4, and we will be able to use existing assets, results and code. Evaluation will primarily consider users’ sense of presence/immersion, and qualitative methods.

Title: Exploring the Relationship Between Avatars, Player Experience and Self-Esteem in VR
Proposer: Kathrin Gerling / Patrick Dickinson / Chris Headleand
Description: Virtual Reality offers the opportunity of creating new ways of representing players, including changes to their appearance that include characteristics such as height and weight. This project will explore how differences in simulated player weight (communicated through the appearance of the player’s avatar in the VR world) influences player experience and self-esteem in exergaming settings. This project will involve working with HTC Vive and Unity or UE4, and will be able to use previous results on player representation in standard exergames.

Title: Making Sense of the Gameplay Design Pattern Collection
Proposer: Jussi Holopainen
Description:  The current gameplay design patterns collection contains almost 600 patterns, covering many different aspects of game design. The patterns are also related to and reference each other in complex ways. One of the problems with using the pattern collection is that the patterns are categorised in a haphazard way and it is difficult to get a meaningful overview of the patterns and their relationships. The project aims to 1) provide different automated methods of clustering the patterns and 2) develop a visualisation and browsing tool for the pattern collection.

Title: Using games as a research methodology in HCI
Proposer: Khaled Bachour

Description: Using games as a research methodology has seen a growing interest, notably in the field of Human-Computer Interaction. Researchers are developing games that explore non-game-related social, technical, or ethical aspects of human behaviour. They have also been used to create sandboxes for data generation, whereby a “fun” task is given to users that leads to the generation of valuable research data. In this dissertation you would design, develop and evaluate a game aimed at either generating a certain form of data or shedding light on some research question in a specific area of your interest. The actual research question would be discussed with the supervisor and can deal with any area from health and sustainability to fake news and social media.