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					     Virtual Annelöv, an
educational MORPG based on
     Planeshift Engine

         Arianna Benigno
Why Virtual Annelöv?
Problems                   Virtual

Motivations and Goals

   New opportunity for people with physical
   Experiment Role Playing Game paradigm for
    creating cooperation among the users
   Learn and enjoy a visit to an archaeological
   Gain of public visibility for the archaeologists
   Convey critical cultural content
   Experiment Open Source software (Crystal
    Space, Planeshift)
Target Group

        People with physical disabilities, but
         enough arm function and no sight
         problems. Individuals that wants to
         have such experience.
         Age: 13 – 40 (english as language,
         high computer skills, critical

        The archaeologists at the Swedish
         National Heritage Board.
Physical Accessibility
Physical accessibility issues have got a lot of
  attention in the latest years (building design,
  town planning, etc.)
 Interest in the process of equalization for people
  with disabilities

 Monuments must be preserved
 Historical places have structural obstacles that
  impede complete accessibility
 The financial aspect is relevant
 Cultural Virtual
 Reality Applications
Some categories:
   Virtual Archaeology: reconstructions, tools for archaeologists
   Educational 3D worlds: learning by doing
Main problems:
   Lack of interest in the users
   Absence of interaction with the environment and cooperation
   between users
Some applications:
   Virtual Leonardo
   Shrine – SEE (Shrine Educational Experience)
   Virtual Annelöv
  RPGs – Role Playing Games
 MUDs and MMORPGs (online RPGs)
have been successful
It consists of the interpretation of a
character in a specific background
It is involving and stimulates the
cooperation among the players
Correct development of the game thanks
to the Game Master
Everybody can play RPGs!
Development of the project
1. Conceptual design and cooperation with the
   archaeologists: background knowledge, GIS data,
   interviews, objects from the excavation
2. Modelling of the VE based on the archaeologists’
3. Exporting of the model to Crystal Space format
4. Implementation phase and 2D Art: use of Planeshift
5. Tests with the target user group
6. Analysis of the obtained results
Conceptual Design (1)
User Scenarios - Storyboards

   User scenarios planned
    with the archaeologists.
   Realization of storyboards.
   Feedback of the
    archaeologists over the
   Suggestions on the
    structure of the application
Conceptual Design (2)
Organization of the Game
   The game is structured in two sessions (60 minutes
   The concept of session avoids idleness and makes
    easier the organization of the game.

   Session 1
    Free exploration with the aim of gathering

   Session 2
    RPG takes place. The scenario is previously
    specified through email.
Conceptual Design (3)
Educational aspects

   The content is spread in the Virtual Environment.

   People should learn some basic concept
    about Bronze Age in southern Sweden and
    about the archaeologist work.
The 3D Archaeological Scenario

The archaeological scenario is based on archaeological
   GIS data (ArchView) of the landscape and of the
   Reference material
   3D laser scanner used for the artifacts
   Archaeologists’ drawings
   Tools: 3D Studio Max 5.1, Blender (avatars), Cal3D
   Landscape imported in VRML format from ArchView (GIS
   Modelling of the objects based on drawings and pictures
   Textures found on free textures archives and real pictures
    for existing objects
   Artifacts scanned with a 3D laser
Exporting to Crystal Space
Walktest application
                      Crystal Space exporter format: the
                       concepts of genmeshes and
                       thingmeshes, factories, LOD, etc.
                      Crystal Space requirements: alpha
                       channels, keycolor, etc.
                      Exporting dynamic lights, particles
                       system, portals and sectors, player
                      Frustvis or Dynavis?
                      E.g. Skydome as genmesh with
                       uniform lighting
                      Bad UV Coordinates 
The 3D World
                                        Single server handles
                                         all game activity.
                          Client        All player clients
                        (psclient)       connect to it the same
     Server               Client        Single DB for all.
   (psserver)                           AI managed in
                                         separate process,
                          Client         connected to server
                                         through network.
           NPC AI
                                        Multiple AI clients
                                         supported, but not
From Planeshift to Virtual Annelöv

   Substitute maps
   Analysis of the player
   Analysis of the GUI
   Planning of new features
   Clean up of the database
   Updates from CS/CEL on a daily base
   Manual merge from PS on a daily base
New features
   Loading of the lightmaps on the client:
    for all maps (CS!)
   Registration of the user within the client
   Cleaning up of the GUI and commands
   Simplification of the combats
   Possibility to view a video file (lost of portability) and
    pictures (improved Action Locations)
   Replacement of objects in predefined location.
   Fire scenario
   Adaptation of digging
   “Pushing” of flagged objects
Based on the REAL (Relevance Effectiveness Attitude
Learnability) approach
   Effectiveness and Learnability     First Test
   Relevance and Attitude       Second Test
 First Test                   Second Test
   Thinking Aloud                 Full experience
   User tasks                     Three people with
   Interview                       motor impairment
   Results:                       Questionnaire

      Minor interface             Results:
        issues                       Second session
      Rather intuitive               more effective
      Some bugs                     Positive
• Problems: visualization of a not existing place,
open source issues, usability issues, ...
• Positive aspects: good cooperation with
archaeologists, open source advantages, good
response from end users, ...
•The present: Swedish National Heritage Board.


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