: TRUST Collaborative Project

The objective of the TRUST project, an extended R&D project and prototype game plan developed by a team of artists and technologists, is to develop a motion & touch-triggered immersive haptic-empowered virtual reality game to assist children and young people in hospitals and rehabilitation. The close coupling of the collaborative virtual space and hapic feedback augments the user's immersive experience and helps develop the field of virtual collaborative gaming in medical situations.

The Trust Team:

The TRUST Game aims to put the child in rehabilitation or person with disabilities at the centre of an empowering game world with a sense of movement achieved through the progression of an avatar of his or her own making through the virtual world. This is undertaken in tandem with other avatars cooperating in a humorous competition-based gaming environment. The project aims to aid in community building and cooperation between children (rather than fostering competition) as young people play the game from hospital and rehabilitation settings. This integrated immersive experience is currently undergoing testing and evaluation in the KK Hospital in Singapore (in collaboration with the gameLab at Nanyang Technical University) and also at the Department of Computer Science, University College Dublin, Ireland.

(graphics: Scott Eaton)

The project involves the development of bespoke content tailored to the objectives of the game and the target audience. The game responds to a child's creative exploration in physical space, and to their empathetic responses to the characters within the world. As new vistas open up, the interactive game take on new depth, colour and rewards with new characters with each level of the game.

The prototype game engine employed and subsequently developed in this work is the "3D Interactive Media Lounge" (3DIML), an open source 3D game software project developed by BBC R&D. It is built upon the reputable "Crystal Space 3D" game SDK (http://www.crystalspace3d.org), which provides all the facilities that one would normally expect from a state-of-the-art computer game. The aim of the 3DIML is to extend these features to provide access for all, to both interactive and linear content. The game engine provides the core software framework for the system and integrates the various interfaces and provides the game functionality, such as 3D visual and sound rendering, physics, and network interface.

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