CS 4784 (Spring 2023): Designing Outdoor Games

This Spring 2023 course offering, titled “Designing Outdoor Games”, is an HCI capstone class that will provide the opportunity for students to analyze, design, implement, and test games that are intended to be used in outdoor settings.  The games can be educational (e.g., learning about trees or birds), social (e.g., meeting, supporting, or beating friends in an outdoor environment/challenge), task-oriented (e.g., finding a geocache), or simply a way to have fun. The key component is that it needs to be focused on the outdoors.

The primary output from the course will be a semester project that leverages and builds on the diverse HCI-related skills that you learned in CS 3724 and other HCI courses.  The project will involve hands-on exploration of technologies that have promise for use in outdoor situations. The course will review and expand on HCI skills from other courses, and you will apply the skills in addressing your project. Sample projects will be posted to Canvas close to the beginning of the semester.

It will be helpful if students have interest and expertise in outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, walking, personal tracking devices, health and wellness (physical and spiritual), human computer interaction, quantified self, mobile computing and technologies, and in-the-wild evaluations. It is required that students will have completed CS 3724 (Intro to HCI) and it is recommended that students will have completed either CS 3714 (Mobile Software Design) and CS 3744 (GUI Programming).  However, it is possible that relevant other courses and experiences can be substituted at the instructor’s discretion.

Interested potential participants with questions should email the course instructor, Dr. Scott McCrickard (mccricks@cs.vt.edu), indicating interest and experience in these topics and courses.  It is recommended that you view other posts and pages on the Tech on the Trail and HCI Outdoors sites to see similar projects and project areas within the domain of the class.