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Identifier 000443518
Title Game development environment for learning with live- programming and time-travel
Alternative Title Περιβάλλον ανάπτυξης παιχνιδιών για μάθηση με μηχανισμούς άμεσου προγραμματισμού και κίνησης στο χρόνο
Author Κατσαράκης, Αλεξάνδρος Ε.
Thesis advisor Σαββίδης, Αντώνιος
Reviewer Παπαγιαννάκης, Γεώργιος
Γραμμένος, Δημήτρης
Abstract Serious games are video games primarily designed for learning purposes, with related applications and positive influence in various fields including primary education, health and engineering. Serious games for programming encourage players to use mainly algorithmic mechanics to carry out game tasks and complete missions. Such mechanics may be formally algorithmic, or not theoretically linked to strict programming principles in some circumstances, but they are nevertheless classified as programming-related games. We present a novel serious game in which the main goal is to develop a typical 2D game. In this context, live programming refers to the capability to alter the program while it is still running by reprogramming on-the-fly itself. Technically, this is not related to self-modifying programs, as the modification logic is externally originated, either by the programmer or even by another third-party system. In terms of development life-cycle, the traditionally separated editing, compilation, linking and execution loops become a single running mode, thus providing an interactive experience with immediate feedback and effect on program changes. The development of games is overall a very demanding process even for simple cases, generally organized as a simulated universe (game terrain) with animated objects (game characters) that interact with each other, while the simulation pace is regulated with successive timed game loops. Both the behavior of game characters and the reaction of the game terrain to various events are programmed, making instant change and testing a powerful tool, especially to newcomers and junior programmers. In this thesis, we present a novel learning-oriented interactive development environment supporting rapid visual programming of typical 2D games. We put particular emphasis in providing an integrated environment where typical game asset editing, such as character animation and game terrain properties, are effectively interleaved with more demanding aspects like game scripting, immediate programming and iterative testing. In particular, we enable instant scripting of any pickable game object with a live visual programming editor, with all actions taking place during gameplay, essentially removing any boundaries between editing, implementation and testing phases. Even while the game is played, new game objects may be created and modified, by attaching new attributes and events, and adding custom event handlers. Object attributes may be updated on-the-fly by the user either interactively, or by adding new visual code causing such modifications. Finally, in our developing environment, time may be freely rewinded and replayed, undoing or redoing any relevant user actions and game state modifications internally, providing a unique live debugging facility. It is possible to drop the entire history onwards, from any point in time, and continue from there throughout such sessions. With a video player inspired user interface, timetravel is more familiar and debugging with it becomes far easier to manage. We have created as a case study a remake of the classic Super Mario video game, to demonstrate the process of developing a game from scratch while utilizing all new features.
Language English
Subject Programming learning
Άμεσος προγραμματισμός
Εκμάθηση προγραμματισμού
Issue date 2021-11-26
Collection   School/Department--School of Sciences and Engineering--Department of Computer Science--Post-graduate theses
  Type of Work--Post-graduate theses
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