About

The "Service-oriented architecture (SOA) development for Serious Games" tutorial will happen on Tuesday, September 29th, 2015, from 9:00 to 13:00, as part of the 14th International Conference on Entertainment Computing (ICEC 2015) in Trondheim, Norway.

This tutorial aims to introduce the benefits of applying a service-oriented architecture (SOA) approach to serious games developers and to help them in transitioning their projects to SOA.

It will be a hands-on session in which we will guide developers in rethinking one of their existing serious games or game ideas using our SOA framework for serious games.

Motivation

Serious games are typically conceived as one-of-a-kind products fully customized to meet specific learning requirements. This leads to high costs, long production processes and low reusability of the final product and its components, which are all factors that hinder large scale deployment of serious games. The SOA approach has been described as a desirable and beneficial solution for the field, enabling serious games developers to reduce costs and time to market, while enabling flexibility in the development and reuse of software parts [1].

In a previous work [2], we proposed the first steps of a SOA framework to support reusability of serious game components. The framework aims to facilitate the serious game development process and to increase the overall quality of the process and of the final product. This is achieved by encouraging the use of interoperability standards and proposing a consistent structure across game components.

However, migrating to a SOA approach for serious games development can have a relatively high learning curve. It involves time and costs to refactor the code, and it can result in increased complexity in testing. For this reason, it is important that developers get acquainted with ways to minimize costs and perform quality assurance. It is also desirable that they are encouraged to identify opportunities to reuse existing components and to share knowledge and best practices. 

Given the benefits, but also the added complexity of applying SOA for serious games, we propose this tutorial as a forum for serious games developers to better understand what such a migration represents and which opportunities for reuse there are, so that they are able to make informed decisions on the suitability of SOA for their practice.

Expected outcomes

At the end of the tutorial, developers will have a clear roadmap of what is needed to convert their serious game or game idea to a SOA architecture. This will include an indication of which components of the game could be reused from readily available services, and which ones would have to be developed from scratch. 

Participants will be able to identify shared needs and possibly establish collaborations to develop these common components, to the benefit of all involved.