Pandemic_timeline

Improving Awareness of Automated Actions within Digital Tabletop Interfaces


Working around a table with others provides people cues that can be used to maintain awareness of collaborators and the progress of joint work. This collaboration can be enhanced via a digital tabletop display system—a large, horizontal display that enables input directly on its surface. These devices combine the respective advantages of traditional tables and of digital media, and provide the opportunity to automate some of the complex tasks during face-to-face collaborative activities, such as automatic update of dynamic content in a map-based simulation. In my research, I will investigate the use of automation on digital tables in complex collocated collaboration by examining a specific application scenario: collaborative board games.

To support collaboration in digital tabletop games, features such as keeping track of scores or adding, moving, and removing game pieces can be automated. This functionality allows players to focus more on collaborative tactics during game play rather than the game mechanics. Preliminary work has revealed that automation reduces workload; however, it also increases the potential for confusion, restricts flexibility, and may negatively impact the gaming experience. In collaboration with Queen’s University, this project investigates ways to improve awareness of automated actions through information visualization techniques in the context of collaborative digital tabletop board games.

Video

People

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Y.-L. Betty Chang

University of Waterloo
James R. Wallace

James R. Wallace

University of Waterloo
Joseph Pape

Joseph Pape

Queens University
Phillip J. McClelland

Phillip J. McClelland

University of Waterloo
T.C. Nicholas Graham

T.C. Nicholas Graham

Queens University
Stacey D. Scott

Stacey D. Scott

University of Waterloo
mark_portrait

Mark Hancock

University of Waterloo

Publications

  • B. Y. -L. Chang, S. D. Scott, and M. Hancock, Usage of Interactive Event Timelines in Collaborative Digital Tabletops Involving Automation, in Collaboration Meets Interactive Spaces (CMIS), C. Anslow, P. Campos, and J. Jorge, Eds., Springer International Publishing, 2016, pp. 203-232.
    @inbook{Chang:2017:CMIS2017_timeline,
    chapter = {10},
    author = {Y.-L. Betty Chang and Stacey D. Scott and Mark Hancock},title = {Usage of Interactive Event Timelines in Collaborative Digital Tabletops Involving Automation},
    editor = {Anslow, Craig and Campos, Pedro and Jorge, Joaquim},
    booktitle = {Collaboration Meets Interactive Spaces (CMIS)},
    year = {2016},
    isbn = {978-3-319-45853-3},
    pages = {203-232},
    numpages = {20},
    url = {http://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319458526},
    doi = {10.1007/978-3-319-45853-3},
    publisher = {Springer International Publishing},pdf = {2017-CMIS-Interactive-Event-Timeline-Author-Draft.pdf},
    subtype = {inbook}
    }

  • B. Y. -L. Chang, S. D. Scott, and M. Hancock, Supporting Situation Awareness in Collaborative Tabletop Systems with Automation, in Proc. ITS, New York, NY, USA, 2014, pp. 185-194.
    @inproceedings{Chang:2014:SSA:2669485.2669496,
    author = {Y.-L. Betty Chang and Stacey D. Scott and Mark Hancock},
    title = {Supporting Situation Awareness in Collaborative Tabletop Systems with Automation},
    booktitle = {Proc. ITS},
    series = {ITS '14},
    year = {2014},
    isbn = {978-1-4503-2587-5},
    location = {Dresden, Germany},
    pages = {185--194},
    numpages = {10},
    url = {http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2669485.2669496},
    doi = {10.1145/2669485.2669496},
    acmid = {2669496},
    publisher = {ACM},
    address = {New York, NY, USA},
    keywords = {automation, collaboration, digital tabletop, gaming, interaction design, situation awareness},
    }

  • B. Y. -L. Chang, S. D. Scott, and M. Hancock, Improving Awareness of Automated Actions using an Interactive Event Timeline, in Proc. ITS, 2013, pp. 353-356.

    Digital tabletops provide an opportunity for automating complex tasks in collaborative domains involving planning and decision-making, such as strategic simulation in command and control. However, when automation leads to modification of the system’s state, users may fail to understand how or why the state has changed, resulting in lower situation awareness and incorrect or suboptimal decisions. We present the design of an interactive event timeline that aims to improve situation awareness in tabletop systems that use automation. Our timeline enables exploration and analysis of automated system actions in a collaborative environment. We discuss two factors in the design of the timeline: the ownership of the timeline in multi-user situations and the location of the detailed visual feedback resulting from interaction with the timeline. We use a collaborative digital tabletop board game to illustrate this design concept.

    @InProceedings{chang:2013:timelineITS,
    author = {Y.-L. Betty Chang and Stacey D. Scott and Mark Hancock},
    title = {Improving Awareness of Automated Actions using an Interactive Event Timeline},
    booktitle = {Proc. ITS},
    year = {2013},
    abstract = {Digital tabletops provide an opportunity for automating complex tasks in collaborative domains involving planning and decision-making, such as strategic simulation in command and control. However, when automation leads to modification of the system's state, users may fail to understand how or why the state has changed, resulting in lower situation awareness and incorrect or suboptimal decisions. We present the design of an interactive event timeline that aims to improve situation awareness in tabletop systems that use automation. Our timeline enables exploration and analysis of automated system actions in a collaborative environment. We discuss two factors in the design of the timeline: the ownership of the timeline in multi-user situations and the location of the detailed visual feedback resulting from interaction with the timeline. We use a collaborative digital tabletop board game to illustrate this design concept.},
    pages = {353-356},
    subtype = {conference}
    }

  • B. Y. -L. Chang, M. Hancock, S. D. Scott, J. Pape, and N. T. C. Graham, Improving the social gaming experience by comparing physical and digital tabletop board games, in Extended Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Fun and Games, Toulouse, France, 2012, pp. 108-111.
    @inproceedings{Chang:2012:boardgames,
    author = {Y.-L. Betty Chang and Mark Hancock and Stacey D. Scott and Joseph Pape and T.C. Nicholas Graham},
    title = {Improving the social gaming experience by comparing physical and digital tabletop board games},
    booktitle = {Extended Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Fun and Games},
    series = {FnG 2012},
    year = {2012},
    isbn = {978-2-917490-21-1},
    location = {Toulouse, France},
    pages = {108-111},
    numpages = {4},
    publisher = {IRIT Press},
    address = {Toulouse, France},
    keywords = {social gaming experience; digital tabletops; collaborative board games; automation; mixed-methods approach},
    subtype = {conference}
    }

  • J. R. Wallace, J. Pape, B. Y. -L. Chang, P. J. McClelland, N. T. C. Graham, S. D. Scott, and M. Hancock, Exploring automation in digital tabletop board game, in Proc. CSCW Companion (Poster), New York, NY, USA, 2012, pp. 231-234.

    Digital tabletops present the opportunity to combine the social advantages of traditional tabletop games with the automation and streamlined gameplay of video games. However, it is unclear whether the addition of automation enhances or detracts from the game experience. A study was performed where groups played three versions of the cooperative board game Pandemic, with varying degrees of automation. The study revealed that while game automation can provide advantages to players, it can also negatively impact enjoyment, game state awareness, and flexibility in game play.

    @inproceedings{Wallace:2012:EAD:2141512.2141585,
    author = {James R. Wallace and Joseph Pape and Y.-L. Betty Chang and Phillip J. McClelland and T.C. Nicholas Graham and Stacey D. Scott and Mark Hancock},
    title = {Exploring automation in digital tabletop board game},
    booktitle = {Proc. CSCW Companion (Poster)},
    series = {CSCW 2012},
    year = {2012},
    isbn = {978-1-4503-1051-2},
    location = {Seattle, Washington, USA},
    pages = {231-234},
    numpages = {4},
    doi = {http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2141512.2141585},
    acmid = {2141585},
    publisher = {ACM},
    address = {New York, NY, USA},
    keywords = {automation, gaming, interaction design, tabletop display},
    abstract = {Digital tabletops present the opportunity to combine the social advantages of traditional tabletop games with the automation and streamlined gameplay of video games. However, it is unclear whether the addition of automation enhances or detracts from the game experience. A study was performed where groups played three versions of the cooperative board game Pandemic, with varying degrees of automation. The study revealed that while game automation can provide advantages to players, it can also negatively impact enjoyment, game state awareness, and flexibility in game play.},
    pdf = {p231-wallace.pdf},
    subtype = {other}
    }

Improving Awareness of Automated Actions within Digital Tabletop Interfaces
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