Design and development of a handheld augmented reality serious game for interactive bushfire response simulation

Author: Ngoc Anh Ly

Ly, Ngoc Anh, 2021 Design and development of a handheld augmented reality serious game for interactive bushfire response simulation, Flinders University, College of Science and Engineering

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Bushfire in Australia has been causing devastating damage to people, infrastructure, housing, animals and their habitats. It is crucial to raise awareness of bushfire and the importance of bushfire responses. Many fire-fighting organisations have been tackling this problem with different approaches but only fo-cused on traditional media such as websites, guides, and physical activities. Serious games are games developed not just for entertainment purpose. Handheld augmented reality is growing fast and is attrac-tive to mobile savvy audiences. This thesis presents the design and development of a handheld augment-ed reality, serious game for interactive bushfire response simulation named BushfireAR. The initial re-search question of the thesis is: Can a serious game increase awareness regarding bushfire in Australia? The literature review section of this thesis summarises research on bushfire, serious games, and handheld augmented reality. The design and development sections discuss BusfireAR’s concepts, prototypes, de-sign decisions, and implementations. BushfireAR represents the characteristics of bushfire in a game environment, introduces the players to five different bushfire scenarios demonstrating different bushfire complexity, and gives the players direct control over a fire truck to handle bushfire incidents. The game incorporates visual and audio elements with educational information transfer. The design and develop-ment then followed by a pilot evaluation with 12 participants. The survey combined questions about participants’ demographics, bushfire awareness, and handheld augmented reality usability. The final re-sults implied a high satisfactory in augmented reality usability but neutral on raising bushfire awareness, suggesting the need for future work covering extensive design, development, and evaluation.

Keywords: bushfire, augmented reality, serious game

Subject: Computer Science thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2021
School: College of Science and Engineering
Supervisor: Brett Wilkinson