Student Game Design Competition

The Student Game Design Competition provides an opportunity for students and recent graduates to showcase their interactive play systems and designs to conference attendees and receive recognition for their work. The competition has two phases. In the first phase students submit extended abstracts, 3-minute game play videos, and optional playable games for consideration. The conference chairs reviewed these submissions and selected finalists to be showcased and considered for awards. This year, we received 17 submissions and selected 8 finalists to be shown during the event, for an acceptance rate of 47%. During the event, all finalist games will be presented during the evening reception. An expert jury panel, with people from academia and industry, will be convened to consider each of the finalists and select winners. The awards will be announced at the end of the conference. We would like to thank all of the students who submitted their work for consideration and also thank our panel and jury participants for their time and expertise in helping to select finalists and winners.


Audience Choice Award

Experimental Gameplay Award

Technical Excellence Award

Societal Impact Award


Fit to Draw: An Elevation of Location-Based Exergames

Roshni Saxena1, Zachary Gaydos1, Priyanka Nair1, Gary Grutzik1, Derek Haqq1, Morva Saaty1,2, Wei-Lu Wang1, and Jaitun V Patel1
1Computer Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, United States
2University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

Many location-based games have a multiplayer aspect; however, this is typically inconsequential to the actual gameplay, which is usually geared toward a single-player experience. Thus, we present Fit to Draw, a multiplayer location-based exergame that combines simple picture-guessing gameplay with physical movement. While other location-based games have the gameplay elements tangentially related to physical movement, Fit to Draw requires players to walk outdoors to draw a picture based on a given word. Companion players then guess what other players drew to earn points, providing a multiplayer and social experience that many other location-based games do not have. The goals of Fit to Draw are to motivate users to exercise, enjoy the outdoors, socialize, and have an opportunity to be creative.

Climate Connected: An Immersive VR and PC Game for Climate Change Engagement

Daniel Fernández Galeote1, Nikoletta-Zampeta Legaki1, and Juho Hamari1
1Gamification Group, Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland

Climate change poses a serious threat to human well-being and life on Earth. To avoid global warming’s worst consequences every effort is needed, which requires cognitively, affectively and behaviorally engaging of as many of us as possible. However, climate change engagement is far from easy or simple, with manifold personal and contextual variables affecting our connection with the issue. Because of this, games and gamification have been proposed as visual, interactive, and motivating methods to support people in their engagement journey. Despite dozens of climate change-relevant digital games existing, some configurations are under-explored, including messaging frames such as health, engagement dimensions beyond knowledge, technologies such as immersive virtual reality (VR), and controlled experimental research methods. In this article, we present Climate Connected: Outbreak, a story-based single-player game for immersive VR and traditional computer screens that approaches climate change as a planetary health and well-being issue and supports players in their affective and behavioral connection to it. The game takes place in 2050 and connects day-to-day objects with systemic issues. Two versions can be played, one featuring an unnamed distant place and the other located in Tampere, Finland. The game has been used in research and has led to nuanced understandings of the players’ experience, as well as learning, attitude, and self-efficacy gains.

CookT, a fast-paced collaborative cooking game with interactive objects

Nicolas Pirson1, Hendrik Janter1, Liesl Spruyt1, Wouter Coenen1, Jasper De Kepper1, Jeroen Wauters1, Maria Aufheimer2, and Nianmei Zhou1
1KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
2Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe

CookT is a chaotic, tangible interactive multiplayer video game where three players are immersed in the role of chefs. In a race against the clock, the chefs need to finish orders by completing standard tasks. These tasks are completed by using tangible user interfaces, each with their intended purpose as they represent different kitchen utensils, workstations and plates. The chefs need to employ good communication skills and navigate through the chaotic playing area to earn the highest possible profits for their restaurant. This game was designed through the application of guidelines, advice and findings from articles in the field of Human Computer Interaction. By means of play tests the game was evaluated and further improved upon, providing both players and spectators an enjoyable experience.

Exploring the Significance of Iterative Design: A Case Study of L’île Archéo

Arnaud Lescure1, Nathan Hemez1, Nickolas Ménard1, Pierre Tousignant1, Kevin Lavigne-Bourque1, Yannick Francillette2, and François-Xavier Dupas3
1École des Arts numériques, de l’animation et du Design, UQAC, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
2Département d’informatique et de mathématique, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada
3Faculté de musique, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

This article presents a scientific exploration of the importance of level design work in shaping an immersive and captivating player experience. Using the collaborative project ‘L’île Archéo’ (Archeo) as a case study, we examine the iterative nature of the game design. We delve into the challenges encountered during the design process and how level design, specifically the implementation of the dramatic arc storytelling model, played a pivotal role in overcoming production hurdles. The article highlights the interplay between theory and practice in game design and the lessons learned from this reflective approach.

Increasing Player Coupling in an Asymmetric Racing Game

Ensor Hieronymous Moriarty1, Nathan Perriman1, Josh Rutledge1, Jack Taylor1, and T.C. Nicholas Graham1
1School of Computing, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Asymmetric games create unique and engaging player experiences that can draw together players from multiple demographics.But maintaining a strong level of interaction between different player roles poses a challenge, which is exacerbated in competitive games. This paper seeks to find solutions to this problem in the context of RaceTrap, a competitive asymmetric racing game. RaceTrap combines card-playing and racing elements, where one player uses cards to create obstacles and the other tries to avoid these obstacles while driving in Virtual Reality. We address the central challenge of coupling, or maintaining a high level of awareness and interaction between the roles. The paper reviews existing approaches to coupling in asymmetric cooperative games, and highlights the needs for an improved coupling in competitive asymmetric games. We present features implemented in RaceTrap to improve coupling. These solutions highlight the importance of coupling in the emerging field of asymmetric games.

Lux: A Game to Promote Good Lighting Practices among the General Public

Marie-Ève Côté1, Thomas Bergeron2, Virginie Juteau1, Kevin Lavigne-Bourque1, Pierre Tousignant3, Yannick Francillette4, and François-Xavier5
1NAD-UQAC, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
2Computer Science and Mathematics, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada
3École des arts numériques, de l’animation et du design, UQAC, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
4Département d’informatique et de mathématique, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada
5Faculté de musique, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Light pollution is a growing problem. It is characterized by the excessive presence of artificial light, particularly as a result of urbanization and industrialization. This pollution has numerous consequences for the environment and society. In this paper, we present the Lux serious game, which aims to teach players to always question the correct orientation of a light bulb in order to reduce its impact and also to limit the use of blue light. It also aims to show players the impact of light pollution on animals.

The Sea is a Sky: Towards a Poetry of Motion

Juan Francisco Lam1, Spencer Henry1, Kalli Melilli1, Ryan Garrett1, Seung Hyuk Jang1, and Hyo Kang1
1Digital Worlds Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States

This paper presents “The Sea is a Sky,” an immersive virtual reality (VR) poetry experience that takes inspiration from the Cuban poem “Del Otro Lado Del Mar,” which translates to “on the other side of the sea.” In this VR game, players are transported into the journey of a Cuban immigrant as they leave their homeland in search of a better future in America. Through physical actions such as crawling, swimming, and rowing within the VR environment, players embody the struggles and challenges faced by the immigrant protagonist. Throughout the experience, they encounter visionary hallucinations and hear messages of hope for the future as they navigate the vast ocean. However, the game also highlights the tragic reality of many Cuban immigrants who have lost their lives while attempting to cross the treacherous sea. The theme of drowning serves as a poignant symbol of their plight. The development of “The Sea is a Sky” involved collaboration among students from diverse disciplines, including English Literature, Computer Science, and Digital Arts. The project aims to achieve two primary objectives: raising awareness about social issues related to refugees and immigrants, and pushing the boundaries of game design by creating an engaging experience for younger generations to connect with poetry through the medium of virtual reality. While poetry has the inherent power to evoke deep reflection, it often struggles to resonate with younger individuals in its traditional forms. By harnessing the potential of virtual reality, our project seeks to expand the horizons of traditional poetry and explore innovative ways of experiencing it in the digital realm. The design and implementation of our VR experience not only offer a unique and engaging approach to poetry but also have the potential to inform future applications of VR in digital poetry and the cultivation of empathy among audiences.

Memeopoly: an AI-Powered Physical Board Game Interface for Tangible Play and Learning Art and Design

Quincy Kuang1, Feifei Shen1, Cathy Mengying Fang2, and Annie Dong2
1Harvard Graduate School of Design, Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
2MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Playtime holds great significance in the holistic development of children and young teens, both physically and mentally. Engaging with physical toys and participating in outdoor sports fosters essential skills such as spatial interaction, socialization, and communication in the real world. However, contemporary entertainment that targets young people is predominantly screen-based media, offering simulated worlds, captivating narratives, and interactive experiences. Consequently, children and teens spend substantial amounts of time indoors, preoccupied with online activities and digital content consumption. This paradigm shift towards digital entertainment poses developmental challenges due to the absence of tangibility and face-to-face interaction. This paper introduces Memeopoly, a novel AI-powered physical board game that synergies the strengths of tangible playtime with the dynamism and interactivity of the digital realm. Integrating AI technology into the traditional play framework augments the interactive nature of physical toys, enabling a richer and more engaging game-play environment. We designed our AI system in the game to harness and empower human creativity to generate unforeseen story lines personalized to players’ unique preferences, thereby cultivating a thrilling gaming experience that surpasses the static and generic narratives typically found in traditional board games.

Important Dates:

(all times are 23:59 AoE)


September 10th, 2023Early Bird Registration
From September 11th, 2023Regular Registration

Full Papers (Journal Articles)

February 21st, 2023Submission deadline
April 21st, 2023First-round notification
June 2nd, 2023Revisions due
July 7th, 2023Final notifications given
August 10th, 2023Camera-ready deadline
August 10th, 2023Video Presentation deadline

Work in Progress

June 22nd, 2023Submission deadline
August 3rd, 2023Notification
August 24th, 2023Camera-ready deadline

Perspectives on Play

June 22nd, 2023Submission deadline
August 3rd, 2023Notification
August 24th, 2023Camera-ready deadline

Student Game Design Competition

June 22nd, 2023Submission deadline
August 3rd, 2023Notification
August 24th, 2023Camera-ready deadline

Interactivity Track

June 22nd, 2023Submission deadline
August 3rd, 2023Notification
August 24th, 2023Camera-ready deadline

Connections Track

June 22nd, 2023Submission deadline
August 3rd, 2023Notification
August 24th, 2023Camera-ready deadline

Doctoral Consortium

June 22nd, 2023Submission deadline
August 3rd, 2023Notification
August 31st, 2023Revised video deadline

Student Volunteer

August 6th, 2023Application deadline
August 11th, 2023Notification

Scroll to top