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weQuest: Mobile Alternate Reality Gaming for Health


The goal of this project is develop a platform for mobile games that motivate healthy behavior away from the computer, i.e., walk, run, or bike. Games motivate through story/fantasy, challenge, and opportunities for social interaction. A mobile alternate reality game can only be played by moving through your environment.

The project addresses this goal through a combination of a game engine for iPhone which can play a multitude of end-user authored games. Game types supported are: single-player games, branching games, races, tours, multiplayer cooperative, and multiplayer adversarial games. A server will facilitate multiplayer interaction and download of new games.

An authoring tool provides end-users with the means to easily to create new games. However, games are necessarily bound to specific locations. To address this, we are developing analogical transformation algorithms that can partially automate the process of transforming a game from one location to another. This will allow people from geographically disparate areas to author and share games.

The authoring tool:

The author can create a location-based storyline from scratch, or the author can download an existing storyline and translate it from one specific locale to any other locale. The translation process, built into the authoring tool, attempts to find the best matches between landmarks between the two locales and also attempts to preserve features of the original storyline such as walking distance, shape of the routes, etc.




Mark O. Riedl and Andrew Macvean. Addressing Scalability Limitations of Mobile Alternate Reality Games through End-User Content Authoring. Proceedings of the ACE'11 Workshop on Alternate Reality Games: New Narrative Frontiers, Lisbon, Portugal, 2011.

Sanjeet Hajarnis, Brandon Headrick, Aziel Ferguson, and Mark O. Riedl. Scaling Mobile Alternate Reality Games with Geo-Location Translation. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, Vancouver, Canada, 2011.

Andrew MacVean, Sanjeet Hajarnis, Brandon Headrick, Aziel Ferguson, Chinmay Barve, Devika Karnik, and Mark O. Riedl. WeQuest: Scalable Alternate Reality Games Through End-User Content Authoring. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology, Lisbon, Portugal, 2011.

Andrew MacVean and Mark O. Riedl. An Enjoyment Metric for the Evaluation of Alternate Reality Games. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Foundations of Digital Games, Bordeaux, France, 2011.

Andrew MacVean and Mark O. Riedl. Evaluating enjoyment within alternate reality games. Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, Vancouver, Canada, 2011.

Sanjeet Hajarnis, Chinmay Barve, Devika Karnik, and Mark O. Riedl. Supporting End-User Authoring of Alternate Reality Games with Cross-Location Compatibility. Proceedings of the 24th Conference of the Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society, Palm Beach, Florida, 2011.


Chinmay Barve, Sanjeet Hajarnis, Devika Karnik, and Mark O. Riedl. WeQuest: A Mobile Alternate Reality Gaming Platform and Intelligent End-User Authoring Tool. Proceedings of the 6th Conference on Artificial Intelligence for Interactive Digital Entertainment, Palo Alto, California, 2010.