Kenneth on Games: Formats in “Hearthstone”

Last week, Hearthstone announced that it would be introducing formats into the game. Standard format includes all basic cards and expansions released in the past two years, while Wild is anything goes. These formats might finally shake up the pay-to-win system that Hearthstone has become infamous for, but there are also plenty of implications down the road that we might not be able to see yet.

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Student Spotlight: Persuasive Games and Mental Illness

For Teslim’s thesis, he is reviewing current interactive anti-stigma initiatives for mental health awareness, specifically Schizophrenia, identifying some of their shortcomings and proposing persuasive games as an effective medium to remediate the simulation-type, anti-stigma initiatives that currently exist.

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Kenneth on Games: Consequences in “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”

Stab me with a pitchfork, but I’m not madly in love with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Maybe it’s just not my type of game. Maybe I haven’t read enough of the books. Maybe I’m tired of playing as gruff male protagonists who all sound like Christian Bale’s Batman. But I think that there’s something very, very wrong with how the Witcher sets up the ending of the game. Every modern RPG makes big promises about how important your decisions are and how everything you do has consequences, but Witcher does it in a way that left a bad taste in my mouth (and yes, I am bitter because I got the worst ending).

WARNING: Extraordinarily massive spoilers ahead.

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Kenneth on Games: Immersion in “Life is Strange”

I’ve been playing Life is Strange, and so far I’ve only cleared the first episode. But I’ve already seen quite a few moments where the game does some interesting things with immersion. The main character is so weak, and yet so filled with personality: she can’t be represented as a simple silent protagonist. In a world filled with flamboyant heroes, sometimes the subtle quiet ones are the hardest to do properly. Dontnot certainly tried, but when it comes to immersion, all it takes is one break to ruin the experience.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead, but they are all things that happen very early on in the game.

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Student Spotlight: Improving Gesture Control with Touch

Counted amongst the first cohort in the PhD program in the Digital Media Department, Chelsea is at the forefront of web development. She is researching how to mitigate the drawbacks of gesture control in order to improve its ability to read intent by combining gesture and touch. Further development of gesture control is currently hindered by two major drawbacks: live mic and false-negative errors. These two issues impact a gesture system’s ability to properly read the user’s intent and decrease its accuracy and execution speed.

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Student Spotlight: Immersive Paleoart

Immersive Paleoart is the master’s thesis project of graduate student Valentina Feldman. In conjunction with graduate students working in Paleontology at Drexel’s Science College, and the staff at Drexel’s Academy of Natural Sciences, she has been working on an animated reconstruction of the titanosaur Dreadnoughtus schrani, one of the largest creatures to ever walk the earth.

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War of the Worlds: Philadelphia

Digital Media Professors Frank Lee and Jichen Zhu received a grant from the William Penn Foundation to recreate H.G. Wells classic novel “War of the Worlds” in an interactive experience that will be played in the city of Philadelphia over the course of several months. The project mixes game play with site-specific live performances around a narrative that the city must prepare for an impending alien attack.

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Student Spotlight: Physically Triggered Scene Transitions in VR

There’s no question that the hype and demand for virtual reality is on the rise in 2016. Before the debut of the Oculus Rift in 2012, consumer-oriented virtual reality devices were scarce, often featured in amusement parks or as technical prototypes. Virtual reality gives users the ability to experience amazing and unusual experiences in an immersive environment. While virtual reality has been present since 1965, there are still plenty of design questions left to be defined. Josh Kohn’s thesis project aims to define one those areas.

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First Digital Media PhD Student Cohort

The Department of Digital Media welcomes the first students of our new doctoral program in Digital Media. Chelsea Myers, Kenneth Chen and Robert Gray started their doctoral studies with the start of the 2015/16 Winter term on January 4th, 2016.

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