BSc Computer Games Design and Engineering

Game Engine Plug-in: Team-based NPC Behaviour Simulation

This project is specifically for students who have already developed a Game Engine through their work on the 2nd year Games module and are continuing that work on the 3rd year Games module.  Your Game Engine Architecture will need to be developed to the extent that a Behaviour Manager element already exists.

In this project, you will design, build, and test an extension to the Behaviour Manager of your Entity-based Game Engine Architecture, to allow NPCs to be implemented with team behaviours (eg shoaling or 'squadding').  This will require a hierarchical approach to the AI Components of your Engine.  Testing will require verification of your Engine + demo software against a model of a chosen team-based behaviour.


How we move = how we feel

How we move = how we feel. Therefore, if we change the way we move, then we can change how we feel.

This is the core idea that Dance Movement Psychotherapy is built upon.

If we now look at the workforce in the UK, we find that 12.5 million working days were lost in the UK due to stress (Health and Safety Executive, 2017). Many people work sedentary, where very little movement takes place. So with the above core idea, if we get the workforce moving we should be able to change the way they feel, which has been found to work – problem is – any engagement with movement practices (yoga, walking etc) takes time away from the desk and actually doing work.

This project involves developing a programme that is integrated into the working day for those who spend most of their day at a computer. The programme will be built with movement theories, developed by Rudolf Laban, in mind and will measure the impact the programme has on well-being.

This project will be undertaken in collaboration with Gillian Hipp who is undertaking a PhD in this area.



'Ghost' Detector: Anomalous Event Trigger for MS Kinect Point-cloud Recorder

An interesting feature of the Microsoft Kinect depth sensor is the occasional/spurious appearance of 'orbs' in the infra-red camera output.  A number of reports have been made about this, and we have seen them a few times ourselves when working with the device.  Setting aside the heated discussion as to what these 'orbs' are (as they cannot be normally seen by the naked eye), it would be interesting to see how the depth sensor component of the Kinect interprets these anomalies (ie in terms of the resulting point-cloud data).

To this end, we would like you to Design-Build-Test an application that detects orbs in the infra-red camera image, and upon detection, it triggers a recorder, so that the Kinect's point-cloud data output and infra-red video output is captured to disk.

Although the artefact (ie your software) will be a key deliverable, we will also need to see:

  • a requirements specification and plan, developed through background research/study and discussions with your supervisor
  • a detailed and reasoned software design
  • a development plan/log based on the above design
  • a test strategy and log, showing the planned approach to verification and the results of your tests.  As a part of this, you will need to include a method for 'cheating' the Kinect sensor using an infra-red element of a scene that is not in the visible spectrum.

Please make contact with Marc Price if you are interested in this project.


Unity3D-based Interactive Viewer for the VR Glaciers & Glaciated Landscapes Project

This project is in collaboration with Dr Des McDougall of the Institute of Science and the Environment, in relation to his ongoing 'VR Glaciers & Glaciated Landscapes' project, which allows students of Geography and allied disciplines to do virtual fieldwork.

As it stands, VR Glaciers & Glaciated Landscapes provides a web-portal to virtual fieldtrips, consisting of sets of GIS-linked 'panospheres' (ie panoramic 360 degree, annotated photographs), which are easily viewed and navigated as html5 webpages.  It looks nice and works well, but there is always room for improvement - can you prototype an application that offers more?  For example, can you make it work with 360 degree videos?  Can you make it possible for the viewer to annotate the key features of the images/videos as a part of their coursework?  Is there anything else you can offer that might be useful?

Remember that with a DBT project, in addition to delivering a working prototype, you must also provide:

  • a requirements specification and plan, developed through background research/study and discussions with your supervisor
  • a detailed and reasoned software design, highlighting how it achieves strong cohesion and loose coupling
  • a development plan/log based on the above design
  • a test strategy and log, showing the planned approach to verification and the results of your tests.

Staff Annual Leave Recording Software / System

There are a large number of staff employed at a local employer, each of who have their own individual allocation of annual leave to take during the working year; which runs from 1st sept to 31st Aug annually.

Depending on the level at which a member of staff is employed they have between 28 and 36 days leave per year.

Currently the employer uses a paperbased system to record staff annual leave, where a member of staff is given an annual leave card in which they record which days they intend on taking off as annual leave, which is signed off by their line manager. Once this is done they hand their card to an administrator who enters the details onto a speadsheet and shared outlook calendar.

The company would like a technical solution to this where each member of staff can log into an electronic system to book their days off, which is then signed off electronically by their line manager, co-signed by the administrator and automatically recorded onto a system.

Your task it to research into the wide range of options for development of such a system, then DESIGN - BUILD - TEST your solution.


Student Attendance Project

Universities are increasingly under pressure to monitor and track student attendance. This project has two potential outcomes for students, namely a research project into options available for this, or an interventional project where an end product is produced to meet a brief produced based on research undertaken.

Project Option 1 - Research

Research into the importance of student attendance monitoring and its implications, including primary research on both students and staff. Explore and critically evaluate the options currently available for technology solutions for monitoring and recording student attendance.

Project Option 2 - Design-Build-Test

Research into the importance of student attendance monitoring and its implications, including primary research on both students and staff. Develop an application, either mobile or web based which will enable efficient and effective monitoring and recording of student attendance. Examples of this could be a mobile phone application that teaching staff could use to scan bar codes on student ID cards or individual QR codes for each student, then record attendance for each session in a secure database.

Existing Examples

Recording and Monitoring Attendance

A Students Attendance System Using QR Code

Student attendance using QR code card


Using Technology to Improve Student Success

Getting students motivated within STEM subjects and beyond is essential to ensure that they perform well in their studies and become employable. Inside the changing world of higher education, university tutors and lecturers can struggle to motivate their students. Petty (1998) states that, “motivation is regarded by experienced and inexperienced teachers alike as a prerequisite for effective learning”. This certainly appears to be the case in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Students working within these disciplines are ingrained in technology within their everyday lives. Hence, these students could be expected to wish to see technology widely used within the classroom.

This project will explore what technologies would best support teaching staff to have the greatest impact to improve students experience and results. This project could be a research only project or could include the creation of a tool to meet the intended outcomes.


App to Help Improve Posture

Body language is closely related to posture - The way we move our bodies affects how others see us as well as our own moods and habits. In terms of scientific research, the two overlap quite a bit. This isn't too surprising, but how our posture and body language affect our thoughts is.

For instance, a study at Ohio State University in 2003 found that our opinions can be subconsciously influenced by our physical behaviour. Here are two fascinating examples:

  1. When participants in the study nodded in agreements or shook their heads to signal disagreement, these actions affected their opinions without them realizing.
  2. The same study also showed that when participants hugged themselves, they were sometimes able to reduce their physical pain.

This project will research into how technology can be used to improve a person's posture, this can be a straight research project, or also a project where an artefact is produced.


Memory Training Application or Website

There has been a lot of research completed around memory loss, especially when associated with old age and certain diseases such as Alzheimers disease. Studies show that regularly using Applications which gamify the process of remembering can help to improve or slow down the ravages of such diseases.

This project involves the research into and creation of a cross platform game or memory training tool to support the user's ability to remember things.


Serious Games: Scenario Planning Climate Disaster

Theoretical / Design-Build-Test. This outline is for a number of possible projects that could be pursued around the use of Serious Games to model and plan for climate disaster.

An interesting resource is the climate countdown graphic provided by MCC Berlin at - scroll down about halfway.  The graphic provides an estimate of the duration until 1.5C and 2.0C warming is reached.  The estimate is based on real-time data, and this could provide a context to build your project around.  There is potential, for example, to attempt to build-in a climate tipping-point that translates as a 'climate disaster'

This description is a work-in-progress, please contact Marc Price for further details if you are interested.