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ABOUT

The Conference

The International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG) is a major international event in-cooperation with ACM SIGAI, SIGCHI, and SIGGRAPH. It seeks to promote the exchange of information concerning the foundations of digital games, technology used to develop digital games, and the study of digital games and their design, broadly construed. The goal of the conference is the advancement of the study of digital games, including but not limited to new game technologies, critical analysis, innovative designs, theories on play, empirical studies, and data analysis.

This year’s conference theme focuses on Celebrating the Player. The field of digital game research has made significant advances in the past decade, from attempting to define what games are to developing techniques to create content automatically. As such, the academic community has contributed to the increasing growth, understanding, and diversity of digital games. This year we want to challenge and expand research that improves theories and methodologies around: the interaction between players and games, how games are designed with the player in mind, how games are perceived by players, how novel technologies enhance the player experience, and how games affect players on a cognitive, behavioral and affective level. The aim of this year’s conference is to bring together game researchers from a wide variety of backgrounds and research interests to increase our understanding of players. We welcome high quality conceptual, empirical, theoretical, and methodological contributions.

FDG 2017 will include presentations of peer-reviewed papers (with rebuttal process), invited talks by high-profile industry and academic leaders, panels, workshops, and posters. The conference will also host a game competition, tech demo session, and a doctoral consortium. This year’s FDG conference will nominate two papers with honorable mention and one best paper from each track.

FDG 2017 is organized in-cooperation with ACM SIGAI, SIGCHI, and SIGGRAPH. Long papers, short papers, and posters from this year’s conference will appear in ACM's Digital Library.


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SASDG

The goal of the Society for the Advancement of the Science of Digital Games (SASDG) is to promote and advance the science, technology, design, and study of digital games (also known as computer games, or video games). This is accomplished by operating a yearly conference, the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG).


Important Dates

Workshop and Special Events Proposals

  • Submissions:
    February 13, 2017

  • Notifications:
    February 27, 2017


Full and Short Papers

  • Submissions:
    March 13, 2017

  • Rebuttal due:
    April 17, 2017

  • Notifications:
    May 15 April 26, 2017


Doctoral Consortium

  • Submissions:
    March 27 May 8, 2017

  • Notifications:
    May 22, 2017


Posters

  • Submissions:
    April 17 May 8, 2017

  • Notifications:
    June 5, 2017


Games, Demos, and Panels

  • Submissions:
    May 1, 2017

  • Notifications:
    May 22, 2017


Organizers

Alessandro Canossa

Alessandro Canossa

General Chair

Casper Harteveld

Casper Harteveld

Co-Chair

Jichen Zhu

Jichen Zhu

Program Chair

Miguel Sicart

Miguel Sicart

Program Chair

Sebastian Deterding

Sebastian Deterding

Proceedings Chair

Amy K. Hoover

Amy K. Hoover

Workshop & Panels Chair

Jackie Barnes

Jackie Barnes

Workshop & Panels Chair

Mark Nelson

Mark Nelson

Tech Demos Chair

Pippin Barr

Pippin Barr

Game Competition Chair

Paola Rizzo

Paola Rizzo

Doctoral Consortium

Truong-Huy Nguyen

Truong-Huy Nguyen

Doctoral Consortium

Julian Togelius

Julian Togelius

Keynote & Special Sessions Chair

Guenter Wallner

Guenter Wallner

Track Chair for Game Analytics & Visualization

Gillian Smith

Gillian Smith

Track Chair for Game Artificial Intelligence

Hanna Wirman

Hanna Wirman

Track Chair for Game Criticism and Analysis

Clara Fernandez

Clara Fernandez

Track Chair for Game Design and Development

Seth Cooper

Seth Cooper

Track Chair for Games for a Purpose

Yusuf Pisan

Yusuf Pisan

Track Chair for Game Technology

Jo Iacovides

Jo Iacovides

Track Chair for Player Experience

Steven Sutherland

Steven Sutherland

Conference Experience Chair

Christoffer Holmgard

Christoffer Holmgard

Conference Experience Chair

Sponsors

ACM In-Cooperation Logo SIGAI Logo
SIGCHI Logo SIGGRAPH Logo
Microsoft Logo

AUTHORS

Theme

CELEBRATING THE PLAYER

When designing games, the cardinal question is often referred to as “what does the player do”? This question is not restricted to game design but pertains to all game research. For user researchers and data analysts this question is about analyzing, modeling, and predicting player behavior; for AI researchers this is about anticipating player responses to interacting with Non-Player Characters and generated content or modeling human-like responses; for game studies scholars this is about understanding play and its meaning for players, culture and society; for scholars investigating games for a purpose this is about exploring how more impact can be achieved by considering the role of players more fundamentally. In fact, “what does the player do?” is the central question of this year’s conference theme of “Celebrating the Player” with the following modification: “what does the player do, why, and how do we know?” The “why” suggests a theoretical explanation for understanding players. The “how do we know” refers to a methodological underpinning for understanding players. For FDG 2017 we seek efforts within and across domains and disciplines that propose theoretical frameworks and methods to accomplish this, and thereby advance the field of digital games at large. We especially welcome interdisciplinary efforts where scholars collaborate across disciplines to address this year’s theme.

Instructions

We expect high quality submissions. All submissions will be rigorously reviewed for their technical merit, significance, clarity and relevance to the advancement of digital game research.


Submission Types

  • Full Papers, max 10 pages, due March 13 ( ACM DL)

  • Short Papers, max 6 pages, due March 13 ( ACM DL)

  • Workshop proposals, max 4 pages extended abstract, due February 13

  • Special Events proposals, no specific format, due February 13

  • Panel proposals, max 4 pages extended abstract, due May 1

  • Poster, max 4 pages extended abstract, due May 8 (ACM DL)

  • Game, max 4 pages extended abstract and unedited video of a playthrough, due May 1

  • Tech Demo, max 4 pages extended abstract and unedited video illustrating the technology, due May 1

  • Doctoral Consortium, max 4 pages extended abstract, due May 8

All submissions must be in PDF format, and comply with the ACM SIGCONF format. For authors using LaTeX, we created an ACM SIGCONF template that includes all the necessary files.

Paper and poster submissions should be anonymized for double-blind review. Paper submissions will also include a rebuttal process where authors will have the opportunity to address the reviewer comments and explain how they will improve their contribution. All other submissions will involve a juried selection process and should not be anonymized. All submission lengths include references and appendices.

We welcome videos, binary files, or other materials accompanying submissions to demonstrate the contribution when necessary. Links to all materials should be provided in the main submission.

All submissions should be submitted via EasyChair. Workshop submissions should be submitted directly to the workshop, in accordance with each workshop's submission instructions.

At least one presenter of each paper must register for the conference in order for the paper to be included in the proceedings.


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Papers

We invite research contributions in the form of a full paper of up to 10 pages in length or as short paper of up to 6 pages in length. We invite contributions from any discipline, from computer science, communication studies, learning sciences, and psychology to the visual arts, humanities, public policy, and architecture. When submitting authors are requested to select one the following tracks that fits most closely with their submission:

Game Design and Development

The goal of this track is to encourage the generation of frameworks and philosophies that help understand the design of games, both digital and non-digital, as well the process of developing digital games. This can be achieved from a variety of perspectives, such as proposing methods of design and development or classifications of design elements that allow us to understand the design of pre-existing games; software engineering aspect of development; analyses of the game-making process within their socio-cultural context are also welcome. The track is also open both to formal approaches to games as well as explorations of play and the design of playful objects. Structural methods that allow us a better of understanding design and development, such as game design patterns or taxonomies of design elements, are examples of formal approaches; philosophical approaches to playfulness, studies of communities of game makers, are instances of sociocultural research that also belong in this track.

Game Analytics and Visualization

This track is suitable for all papers pertaining to aspects of game analytics and visualization of in-game data. Papers submitted to this track should enhance our understanding of player behavior derived through quantitative analysis of game telemetry data or present novel approaches for visually exploring and/or communicating in-game data, insights, and patterns. Examples of topics include: player profiling; retention analysis; behavioral and churn prediction; spatial analytics; social network analysis in games; visual analytics approaches for gameplay data; (visual) approaches for triangulating mixed data sources; and player-centric visualization.

Game Artificial Intelligence

This track accepts papers relevant to the intersection of artificial intelligence and game design, including novel methods for AI agents in games, applications of artificial intelligence in the service of game design, and innovative games that deeply integrate artificial intelligence. Topics include AI agents, procedural content generation, dialog and authoring tools, general game playing, motion planning, intelligent cinematography, adaptive games, interactive storytelling and navigation planning. Authors are encouraged to focus on how their work contributes to games as a field. Papers that use games as a testbed for AI without a motivation for how the work advances games research are discouraged.

Game Criticism and Analysis

This track focuses on the critical study of games, play and players as well as the related play, development, marketing and business cultures. Following this year's conference theme, we invite contributions that consider not only what players actually do, but also what are they expected to do, how are games shaping their players and what possibilities for identification, action, reflection and social interaction, among others, are available for the players. Particularly, we welcome analyses, ethnographic studies, critiques and theoretical papers that study recent developments in collaboration between players and the industry as well as players' involvement in extending their own experiences through creating transformative works such as let's play videos and gameplay streaming.

Games for a Purpose

This track is suitable for papers relating to the use of games for purposes other than entertainment. Papers submitted to this track should generally advance our knowledge of how to effectively build or evaluate these games, or explore new domains where these games can be applied. Examples of topics include: human computation games; games for citizen science or crowdsourcing; games for training, education, or behavior change; exergames; games for health and games for raising awareness.

Game Technology

This track is suitable for papers on game engines, frameworks, computer graphics techniques, rendering, animation, networking, novel interaction techniques (such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and alternate controller schemes) and other technical areas. Papers submitted to this track should advance our technical knowledge in creating games. Papers on analytics, visualisation and artificial intelligence should be submitted to the more specific track and not this one.

Player Experience

This track focuses on the player experience of games, gamification and playful technologies. Submitted papers should focus on the interaction between player and technology and/or methods for understanding play. The track will consider quantitative, qualitative as well as mixed methods approaches. In addition to experimental studies and the creation of validated surveys, we welcome ethnographic accounts, coding schemes based on interpretative analysis and any other research based on social science methods and methodologies. Examples topics include: studies of play; player experience evaluation; games user research; player psychology (emotion, motivation, cognition); player interactions; the influence of game interfaces and mechanics.

All papers must describe a completed unit of work and show rigorous and compelling evaluation of the ideas they present. FDG 2017 will not accept any paper that, at the time of submission, is under review for or has already been published or accepted for publication in a journal or another conference. Each track will nominate two papers for honorable mention and one best paper. All best paper award winners will present their paper in the “best paper” single track session. Honorable mention papers will receive recognition during their session.

Workshops

The conference workshops are full-day and half-day sessions focused on emerging game-related topics. These workshops provide an informal setting for new developments to be presented, discussed, and demonstrated. Workshops can also be hands-on or studio-based, and we especially encourage the submission of proposals for workshops that involve participants working together to explore and define new areas of game-related scholarship. We are particularly interested in topics that bridge different communities and disciplines. Concise workshop proposals (4 pages) should include: the objectives and expected outcome of the workshop, the rationale for the workshop informed by the literature and current trends, the planned activities, the background of the organizer(s), the anticipated number of participants, and the means for soliciting and selecting participants, and publication strategy.

Panels

Panel submissions should be in the form of a 4-page extended abstract describing the focus of the panel (informed by the literature and current trends), providing a list of confirmed speakers, and indicating their areas of expertise relative to the topic. Panel submissions must choose a track. We encourage both debate-style panels that include representatives advocating several positions on a topic of disagreement, and emerging-area style panels that consolidate and explain recent work on a subject of interest to the FDG community.

Posters

Posters are aimed at capturing work in progress and ongoing promising research. In addition, in light of the latest developments on research in general, we welcome proposals for studies and experiments designs that have not run yet. We encourage the FDG community to look into the work by the Center for Open Science and the suggestion to consider pre-registration, an open research practice where researchers have the option or are required to submit their research rationale, hypotheses, design, and analytic strategy before beginning the study. Submissions should be in the form of a 4-page extended abstract. Extended abstracts will be published in the ACM DL and exposed during a dedicated poster session. In your submission you need to indicate one of the tracks from full/short paper submission.

Tech Demos

The demo exhibition provides a forum for demonstrations of work best suited to interaction rather than a paper or a formal presentation. This track encourages submissions of technical demos showcasing the latest tools, techniques, and systems created for games by academic or industrial research groups, or other early-stage or late-breaking research not yet ready for formal presentation. Submissions should include a 4-page extended abstract, an unedited video illustrating the technology, and (if possible) a link to the demo. Tech demos will be presented at a dedicated tech demo session.

Game Competition

This competition is a showcase of games and playable media. We encourage submissions that are aligned to one or more of these themes:

  • Expressive PCG: Playable experiences that include content generation as the main driver. Encouraged are submissions that think deeply about a meaningful role of Procedural Content Generation (PCG) and not apply it for the sake of increasing replayability.

  • Narrative Experiences: Playable experiences where story and narrative are central elements to the experience. Submissions are encouraged that experiment with innovative ways of how gameplay and narrative are integrated. Also encouraged are submissions that perform environmental storytelling.

  • Games as Research Tools: Playable experiences where the environment is used to study behavior of humans or systems (think of the bullwhip effect in the Beergame), collect data (e.g., gamified surveys), let players contribute to research (e.g., human computation or crowdsourcing games), or train AI agents.

Submissions should include a 4-page extended abstract, an unedited video of a playthrough, and (if possible) a link to the game. Selection is juried.

Doctoral Consortium

We invite PhD students to apply to the Doctoral Consortium, a forum to provide PhD students with early feedback on their research directions, from fellow students, researchers, and experienced faculty in the area. The consortium is primarily for PhD students who intend to pursue a career in academia and who will soon propose, or have recently proposed, their dissertation research. To apply, doctoral students should submit a CV, a 4-page extended abstract describing their proposed research, and a short letter explaining how you would benefit from the consortium and what questions you want to discuss (general and/or specific to your research). The abstract should address the goals of your research, the proposed approach and how it differs from prior work, any results you may have, and your plans for completing the work. Accepted Doctoral Consortium students will give a presentation and are invited to present a poster on their abstracts during the general conference poster session. Approximately 6-8 students will be invited and receive scholarships that cover the conference registration.

ATTENDING

Registration

When registering keep in mind that your e-mail will give you access to the conference schedule and papers. If you register for multiple attendees, make sure you provide a unique e-mail for each attendee. You can update e-mails at a later point.

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Accomodation

Room rates have been negotiated, they went from their normal price in high season of $185 to $129 plus taxes per night for single/double occupancy. Rooms are $149 for triple occupancy and $169 for quad occupancy. WIFI coverage is excellent everywhere. Instructions for booking a room are specified in a reservation form. You can book by faxing/e-mailing the reservation form or reserve online with the discount code.


Travel

$47 for return trip by bus from Logan to Hyannis.


Location

Cape Cod is located on the south shore of Massachusetts, and is made up of 15 towns and two islands that include Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Harwich, Hyannis, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, Wellfleet, Yarmouth, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. There are several villages including Hyannis, Cotuit, and Woods Hole. The Cape has long been noted in song and verse as a truly remarkable summer vacation paradise.


Hotel Info

The Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis
35 Scudder Avenue
Hyannis, MA 02601
866-828-8259
Fax: 508-778-6423
Website


The Place to Meet, Relax and Play!

The Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis is a completely renovated hotel which offers the cosmopolitan flair and conveniences of an urban hotel combined with charm and relaxing pace of a resort destination. We offer year round recreational facilities and service that will exceed your expectations. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure the resort offers something for everyone. Take advantage of our indoor and outdoor pools, state of the art health & fitness club, practice your stroke on our Executive Par 3, 18 hole golf course. Relax and indulge yourself with a massage or facial at the resort’s own Spa at Atlantis. Stay with us once...we know you will want to come back again and again. Voted “Best Resort Hotel” by Cape Cod Life Magazine!


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Student Scholarships

Students can apply for a scholarship to support their travel and accommodation. All awarded students will be waived registrations fees and receive additional financial support depending on their needs. Priority is assigned based on participation (e.g., students with a full paper receive priority over students with a workshop paper). Accepted students to the Doctoral Consortium are eligible to apply for this scholarhip. Details for application will be posted after May 15, when the notifications go out.

Remote Participation

In light of the current Executive Order that in effect is temporarily banning people from entering the U.S. if they hold passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, the organizers of FDG 2017 will do everything to enable remote participation should anyone be blocked from entering the U.S. Similar to other conferences we are exploring options for telepresence and are closely monitoring the immigration issues in the U.S. to decide how we can best serve everyone in our community. We welcome suggestions and questions about this topic. Please e-mail the co-chair Casper Harteveld.

PROGRAM

Keynotes

Coming soon!

Special Sessions

Rational Level Design Tutorial

Alexis Jolis-Desautels

A full day crash course in Rational Level Design (RLD) and the rational conception process to learn the Ubisoft Way from Game Director Alexis Jolis-Desautels. RLD is a way of objectively quantifying elements of user experience in order to create a consistent game play experience. RLD is most commonly used to understand how various game elements impact on difficulty. As difficulty plays such a significant role in determining user experience (a precarious balance between rage and boredom!), we can use the objective, number driven system of RLD to craft user experience. Although RLD is now used to create much more than just game levels, the RLD tag has stuck and is now used to describe design activities using this data driven approach. For more on rational game design, see an introduction Gamasutra article and a Gamasutra article applying it to Rayman.

Part of Ubisoft Montreal since 2004, Alexis is a game director that has worked, amongst others, on Splinter Cell: Double Agent, TMNT, Lost: Via Domus, Shaun White Skateboarding and on the Assassin’s Creed brand. He is mostly interested in new applications of science and psychology in the field of games. With a background as an actor and journalist, he developed skills as a trainer and a communicator, mostly about game design but also about games as a medium and human activity. After teaching game design at the Ubisoft Campus, he specialized as a teacher and internal trainer and assisted the design community within the studio. He is now sweating in VR as part of the Ubisoft FunHouse.

Tuesday Evening LARP

Lizzie Stark
Emily Care Boss

Lizzie Stark and Emily Care Boss will run a short larp from or influenced by the Nordic tradition--few rules, a set structure, and packing a powerful emotional wallop. What we run, and whether we run two games simultaneously, will depend on the number of participants who sign up. Candidates include White Death, a poetic non-verbal larp that emphasizes physical expression; In Residency, about the strange atmosphere of artists' colonies, the relationship between trauma and art, and flirting; Before and After Silence, about the power of silence in a world of sound; Papers, about life in a surreal office governed by consultants; and more.

Lizzie Stark is an author, journalist, and larp designer. Her first book, Leaving Mundania, was a narrative nonfiction account of larp in the US and Nordic countries. Since then, she has edited the collections Larps from the Factory and #Feminism; served as a play consultant to museums and interactive theater troupes; designed larps for festivals, the Kennedy Center's ArtsEdge, and for fun; and traveled the country giving talks and workshops about games. Her larp blog, LeavingMundania.com, is widely cited in the field.

Emily Care Boss of Black & Green Games is an award-winning, independent role-playing game designer living in western Massachusetts, USA. Her designs include Breaking the Ice, Shooting the Moon, and Under my Skin, now collected as the Romance Trilogy. An outspoken and influential advocate of diversity and creator-control in analog games for over a decade, Emily has edited collections of essays on women in gaming; founded a regional convention showcasing small-press and indie tabletop games; and been published internationally in journals and games. Emily is a member of the Indie Game Developer's Network. Find her work at blackgreengames.com.

Workshops

Advancing STEM Education Through Game Creation

This interdisciplinary workshop will focus on the potential of, and opportunities for, game development, game design, and game creation more broadly as a means of engaging young learners in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. This workshop will bring together an interdisciplinary collective of academics and industry representatives to discuss potential avenues for innovation in games and STEM learning. In addition to discussing opportunities and technologies that may help in creating positive perceptions and increase persistence in learning STEM subjects, we aim to discuss how games can provide opportunities for STEM education as both playful environments and as simulation environments. With the goal of building on existing work, a key goal for the workshop is to highlight new directions and chart new courses in STEM learning and games.
Website: https://sites.google.com/view/educationworkshop2017

Non-Player Characters and Social Believability in Games Workshop

The Non-Player Characters and Social Believability in Games Workshop is a point of interaction for researchers and game developers interested in different aspects of modeling, discussing, and developing believable social game agents and Non-Player Characters (NPC). This includes discussions around behavior based on social and behavioral science theories and models, social affordances when interacting with and in game worlds and more. The purpose of this workshop is to facilitate discussion on the theories and models for NPC social behavior and social affordances in industry as well as between different but related academic disciplines. We expect this workshop to result in a clearer vision of what NPC studies is as a field, and how this workshop should develop in the future. Additionally, we hope to foster collaboration between different research groups, in particular of an interdisciplinary nature.
Website: http://www.npc-workshop.org//

Procedural Content Generation (PCG) Workshop

Our workshop aims to advance knowledge in the field of procedural content generation (PCG) by bringing together leading PCG researchers and facilitating discussion on practices, principles and challenges faced in the field. In keeping with the previous years workshops, we provide multiple avenues for the submission of work depending on your interests: including dissemination of completed research, position papers for challenges faced by the community and demonstrations of ongoing projects. This year’s workshop is adopting a theme to our paper proceedings: PCG in context. What do our generators say about the underlying systems we have designed and the designers who create them? Our theme aims to explore the biases inherent in PCG and the potential with which to subvert it.
Website: https://www.pcgworkshop.com/

Tracing the Boundaries of Games as Research Environments

Across disciplines, games are being increasingly used as research environments for experimentation and empirical study. This includes enlisting the use of games to explore human behavior and decision making, validate algorithms, consistently improve AI, collect player data, inform game design and more. However, the cost, complexity and rigor needed to produce these types of games is high and not enough is known about how games could be fully utilized in service as rigorous research environments. This workshop aims to bring together the game design and research community who have used games as research environments or those interested in building or enlisting games for this purpose, for a discussion on this topic and to share lessons learned from their work.
Website: https://gamesasresearchenvironments.wordpress.com/

Virtual Environment Design for VR Workshop

This workshop aims to discuss current VE design practices and advance knowledge of design methodologies for new kinds of play experiences. From this initial workshop, we expect to present a body of knowledge that will guide future VE designers for VR games and experiences.
Website: http://2017.vedvrworkshop.com/

Schedule

Coming soon!