In the following there are some examples of the experimental development work at the Gamification Lab.
Lüneburg is admired by visitors and known for its medieval architecture featuring North German brick Gothic style and artistically adorned gables on historic patrician houses. In the Gamification Lab the developers were working with an accurate replica of the historical city center to develop a virtual city tour with Lüneburg 3D. Thanks to the game, a computer user in Peking, Moscow or Rio de Janeiro can walk through the streets of Lüneburg and learn about the city’s historic buildings and places. The Gamification Lab’s primary concern was the transfer of knowledge. Users can examine the smallest details on buildings steeped in history and listen to information about their historic background.
Painstaking research was the first order of business in the development of this city tour. In close cooperation with Lüneburg Marketing GmbH, the Gamification Lab incorporated historic materials such as old photo- graphs and handed-down stories in the game design to guarantee results suitable to both the city and tourism. Through the integration of mini-games the Lab tested the extent to which game elements could be inserted in touristic city marketing to win over new groups of visitors. The goal was to give young people around the world the chance to acquaint themselves with the North German Hanseatic city on the computer and to let them stroll through the streets as “non-traveling tourists” before deciding to make a real-life trip to Lüneburg. Lüneburg 3D will be available in a Web and tablet version.
Boat for Two
Love is rarely a bed of roses. It oftentimes throws us into stormy weather only to surprise us with the most stunning rainbow afterwards. Fortunately, a successful relationship is not a pure game of chance. In the Boat for Two you will take up the reins, floating through its beauties and hardships with your co-player. Withstand the whirlpools, underwater currents, and icebergs as you push the boat up the river by creating waves. Maneuver it wisely and see how strong your bond is. An alluring line of poetry may bewilder you in the journey.
Boat for Two is designed as a poetic game for touchscreen devices. The mechanics of the game is based on tapping the water and creating waves, which push the leaf boat up the river. The game encourages two players to cooperate and negotiate their own path. There are numerous obstacles on the way, but what is even more important than the technical skills is the experience of a common journey through the unknown lands. The scenery, level of difficulty, and gameplay dynamics, change in accordance with the stage of the metaphorical relationship.
Poetry is a crucial component of the game. It sets the mood and encourages the players to contemplate their common situation. By implementing the poems we want to demonstrate the capacity of digital games to intertwine with different forms of art. Literary games are the way to go for us.
Keep bullying incidents to the lowest levels possible and for the longest time in this game. Find cells that are bullying each other causing the victims to self-exile from their environment and even undergo death in their runaway attempt. This concept revolves around a sensitive topic handled with elements of casual gaming with aim of affording longer play sessions than ordinary serious games.
Civilization VI: Age of Warcraft
Can game design serve as a method to analyze the pressing issues of our time? Can a topic like digital cyber warfare be explored and understood in play? The game “Civilization VI: Age of Warcraft”, developed by the Serbian artist collective Eastwood and commissioned by the Gamification Lab, puts the player in the role of a secret service agency that strives for global dominion. To attain that goal and to beat the adversary agencies, the player needs to build up a worldwide digital spy network and develop more and more surveil- lance technologies.
The game was built on the technical basis of the successful Civilization series by Firaxis, but twists and turns its mechanics to explore its own topic. As researchers the Gamification Lab wanted to look over the artists’ shoulders and investigate how they translated the results of their own studies into playful structures by using game design as an analytical method. “Civilization VI: Age of Warcraft” was presented at transmediale 2015 in Berlin to great critical acclaim.
Games can be more than fun! They allow players not only to passively read about serious subjects but to actively experience them.
Games can entertain, but also have the potential to inspire, persuade, criticize and sensitize us to issues requiring our attention. Meaningful messages and stories can be presented to us through simulations with the aim of increasing our awareness or leading us to a moment of reflection. These games have been coined “serious games” because their goal is not simply amusement. It is not that they do not intend to entertain but they have another main objective.
The Gamification Lab has been developing several serious games as board games and as digital versions in order to explore the potential of this exciting medium. The games’ topics range from sex slavery, bullying and corruption to the complex dynamics of love relationships. They offer players what other games don’t – interesting choices, challenges, competition, strategy and the opportunity to reflect upon important social issues. These projects breach the limits of games and expand the medium’s potential for expression.
Have you ever played Tetris with your eyes closed? Now you can. The Gamification Lab has transferred multiple casual games into the audio sphere. Play with no visuals and let yourself be guided by sound only. Draw your audio bow in Archery, test your memory in Animal Farm, check your reflexes in the multiplayer Samurai or find the way out of the fearsome audio Labyrinth. Discover this audio game collection consisting of several arcades and platforms. Each of the games requires a different type of interaction pattern and audio gameplay mechanics. That’s why they are so much fun.
The application was developed for mobile platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone) and for the desktop (Windows, OSX).