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Alain Simons is a lecture in Games Technology more specific creating game assets focusing on textures and animation. Alain has a degree in education and computer animation/Games Technology. Before coming to Bournemouth University he was a Lecturer at AP University College Antwerp teaching 3D animation and Unity3D.
He also has been a Game Designer for two years overviewing the development of indie games.
Alain is finishing his PhD with the subject "VectorPixels" which is an alternative way to display photographic images on computer screens. His interest is not just limited to the classical development of computer games but he is also conducting research in combining old game types, such as board games and scale models, with new available technologies. This led to a research into Scale Model Games for which a new kind of gameplay was developed. His wish is to create a knowledge center of every kind of games at Bournemouth University.
Finally, he is also interested in games for education, how can games contribute to a better student experience.
VectorPixels Photographic images, generally speaking, are represented by a rectangular array of pixels (picture elements). Each pixel is defined by its own color value. Describing the color value for each pixel is easy to compute but may end in large file sizes when using high pixel densities. With the evolution of HD screens an ever increasing amount of pixels needs to be displayed. In a modern world these screens are one way or another connected by the internet. As a result the internet is moving towards a bottleneck in terms of data transfer. Classical image compression techniques have reached their limitations, consumers are getting used to cutting edge images, cloud based patterns and daily use of online services. All of this indicates an urgent need to reduce online traffic where possible. As will be demonstrated the largest consumer of bandwidth is everything that involved images. The main goal of this research is to find other methods to define photographic images than those used today.
Two requirements are set for the proposed method: - To reduce file size.
- To equal or improve image quality.
To achieve these requirements a new technology is proposed to represent photographic images. The new technology, called VP (VectorPixels), is a vector based solution which relies heavily on the programmable OpenGL Graphic Pipeline. In short a photographic image will be converted to a vector based outline to be rendered again in the graphic pipeline.
Scale Model Games (SMG) SMG is a new and innovative game play approach that utilizes collaborative multiplayer video game technology to control and manipulate physical miniature models remotely to offer an immersive gaming experience for playing out battlefield scenarios. Classical gameplay with miniature soldier and cannon models for specific war scenes is still in use today and many miniature toys are available for children and adults from toy manufacturers. During the nineties of the last century computer games became more popular and the development of old school toys such as these miniatures is in decline. Remote Controlled scale models (toys) do not give the same immersion as interactive realistic motion control and image display as found in video games. We propose Scale Model Games (SMG), a new type of game play that will provide a solution to this problem and make the gameplay a lot more immersive by integrating the game play of physical models with online multiplayer.
Avatar lab support Online teaching is still growing. Learning what and whenever you want has always been very attractive. A latest evolution in this area has been the fact the teacher is always visible on the screen when covering a subject. The student gets a more “personalized” feeling when watching these learning movies. There is a kind of connection. The problem with a lot of lecturers is that they don’t want to show themselves constantly on the screen. Some of them perhaps won’t come over quite “sympathetic” and will constitute, although they have a huge load of knowledge and the ability to explain things in a clear way, an obstacle for the student to follow the online course. Our research wants to setup a kind of Avatar, a buddy who supports the students through his study. That avatar can be created by the university itself. Different types of Avatars can be presented to the student, similar like the voice you can choice when using your GPS system in a car. There you also have the choice between different types of voices and your choice to the one which sweet you the most.
eScale Model Racing Goal project - Simulation of race environments using the same parameters as involved in a non- scaled environment.
- Creation of a scale model 1/16 having the same properties and behavior as a non-scaled race car.
- Training race pilots in similar conditions as in a real race.
- To create a more realistic race experience compared with VR games.
Benefits project: - Access to tracks for training 24/24, 7/7.
- More cost effective use of resources.
- Easy adapting of changed race conditions.
- Simons, A., Pedersen, K., Fonseca, J. and Prakoonwit, S., 2017. What’s Wrong with the Feedback? Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 10345 LNCS, 251-261.
- Simons, A., pedersen, K.P., fonseca, J.F. and Prakoonwit, S.P., 2017. What’s Wrong with the Feedback? In: Edutainment 2017 26-28 June 2017 Bournemouth. Elsevier.
- Ratcliffe, J. and Simons, A., 2017. How Can 3D Game Engines Create Photo-Realistic Interactive Architectural Visualizations? 164-172.
- Brett, J. and Simons, A., 2017. Implementation of the Unity Engine for Developing 2D Mobile Games in Consideration of Start-Up/Student Developers. 271-278.
- Simons, A., 2016. Scale Model Games (SMG): An Introduction to a New Type of Game Play. In: 30th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2016) 11-15 July 2016 Bournemouth.
- Simons, A., 2015. Vectorpixels for Visualisation of Photographic Images. In: CGAT 2015 13-14 April 2015 Singapore.
- Simons, A., 2014. A new way of Rich Image Representation (VectorPixels). In: 22nd WSCG International Conference on Computer Graphics, Visualization and Computer Vision 2014 2-5 June 2014 Plzen.
- Simons, A., 2014. Improving Shading Using Vectors. In: CGAT 2014 24-25 March 2014 Singapore.
Profile of Teaching UG
- Texturing and lighting for games
- Animation for Games
- Group projects
- Individual project final year students
- Kiosk Shooting Game (Tank Museum Bovington, 01 Apr 2018). Awarded
- Gamification of the Clifton Bridge Structural Dynamic Behaviour under Different Conditions. (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, Yale University, 01 Dec 2017). In Progress
- Simulation by Gameplay of historic tank battles using immersive technology. (Higher Education Funding Council for England, 23 Jul 2017). In Progress
- Simulation and gamification of the behaviour of the Clifton Bridge deck undergoing different external physical forces (MUPI, 03 May 2017). Awarded
- eSMR (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, 01 Mar 2017). In Progress
- Bring Science Alive: Virtual Reality Technology for Engaging and Promoting STEM in Science Museum (HEIF, 01 Aug 2016). In Progress
- Setup for Broadcasting messages and student work on University screens., Games Technology and Games Programming
- Auther, programmer, Development marking tool practical assignments
- BHCI 2016, SMG A new type of gameplay, 11 Jul 2016, Bournemouth University
- 22th International Conference on Computer Graphics, Visualization and Computer Vision 2015, A new way of Rich Image Representation, 04 Jun 2014, Pilsen Czech Republic
- Edutainment 2017, What is Wrong with the Feedback?, 26 Jun 2017, Bournemouth
- BSc (Hons) in Education (AP University Collegue Antwerp, 1991)
- BSc (Hons) in Graphic and Digital Media (AP University College Antwerp, 1989)
- MSc in Computer Animation and Games Technology (University of Bedfordshire, 2012)
- DPhil in VectorPixels (University of Bedfordshire, 2015)
- Center for Games and Music Technology Research