Dr Kam Star (PlayGen)

Sport Team Manager is a RAGE game developed by PlayGen for the OKKAM use case, where players take on the role of a sailing team manager, deciding on who to hire, who to fire and where to place members of the sailing team to maximise their chances of winning. The game provides feedback to the player on their management style and helps them improve how they handle disagreements and achieve win-win situations.

The game is aimed primarily at teaching communication and conflict resolution to students on sports management courses at Trento university. The player must first review the team positions they need to fill on the boat, taking note of the required skills for each role. Next, they must meet with their NPC team members, and by asking them questions, find out about their skills and inter-team relationships. Using this information the player then may recruit new members into the team and eventually place individuals into specific positions in order to get the best possible team build up.

Through practice runs, the player can improve their team and prepare for racing against other teams. After major races team members may approach the player and to be changed change to let them know about issues with other team members. The game continues with enlarged teams and more positions needing to be filled. At the end of the play session the player fills in questionnaires based on the Thomas-Killman conflict resolution framework and is then given overall feedback on their approach and ways to improve outcomes in the real world.

The game makes extensive use of RAGE assets, incorporating 9 assets in the first trial runs. The Role Playe Virtual Character together with Emotional Appraisal (EA) and Emotion Decision Making (EDM) assets are used to model the emotional state and decision making of NPCs based upon their known knowledge, referred to as ‘beliefs’. The Role-Play Character (RPC) asset is used to facilitate communication between the above assets and can also include the use of the Social Importance (SI) asset.

The Emotional Appraisal asset takes in events, usually based on input from the player, to update the emotional state of NPC team members. This effect on the emotional state is based on the current state of the NPC, the emotional weighting of the event and the valence of emotions this produces. In turn, the product of all the emotional states creates a mood value for the NPC, with this value used to decide which facial expression are displayed in-game. The Emotional Decision Making asset, meanwhile, can be used to calculate the reaction of NPC to events, without any direct impact on their emotional state.

In addition to this, the Emotional Appraisal asset is also used to store the ‘beliefs’ of every NPCs and save these beliefs over multiple play sessions. For NPCs, these beliefs are made up of information such as their last position in the team, skill ratings, opinion ratings and event states. An Emotional Appraisal file is also created for the players’ in-game manager character, which stores information such as current boat type, team colours and team allowance amount. Furthermore, events sent to characters are saved, meaning a history of events can be preserved. This allows a history of every team selection to be stored within the file for the manager. As all of this information is stored regularly, it can be also be reloaded in further play sessions, allowing for the possibility of a persistent game.

Also included is the Integrated Authoring Tool, which is used in order to store the learning pills dialogue options and to dynamically create the dialogue options for the player and NPCs. The interaction Tracking tool together with Store and Analytics tools and SUGAR the social gamificaiton asset are also all integrated to provide additional functionality to the game.

Finally, thanks to efforts from all partners involved the games are able to run on mobile devices which broadens the appeal to a mobile-first audience and provides access to a bigger market of players, this we hope will suppor further exploitation of the application by reskinning the game for a variety of different situations including other sports and team management situations.

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