Cubicle

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The menu page of the Cubicle shows eight visuospatial game modules

Cubicleis a modular educational gaming platform with eight game modules. Such modular design allows for flexiblegame content and more generalizability. Flexible and expand-able game modules allow the platform to compose the mostsuitable learning materials for game players from differentdisciplines. The eight game modules based on five major aspects of spatial visualization skills: 3D ob-ject visualization and manipulation, perspective taking, mentalrotation, 2D to 3D transformation, and spatial memory.

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Block Builder

The Block Builder is aimed at training the player’s ability tomentally construct a 3D model from orthographic drawings. This module was designed to improve the player’s ability to visualize 3D objects through the process of trans-forming orthographic drawings into 3D models. In this game, the target 3D block model is algorithmicallygenerated for each level. The player is shown orthographicviews of the target block model and asked to build the modelon the33grid empty base by adding or deleting cubes. Theinterface also shows the 3-views of the current model next tothe 3-views of the target model.The game will automaticallyend once all views match. The level of difficulty is controlledby the complexity of the generated 3D block model.The interface strictly follows the rule of orthographic drawingsin engineering graphics, with the front view at the bottom left,the top view at the top left, and the side view at the bottomright.

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Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG)

The Constructive Solid Geometry game is aimed at trainingplayer’s ability to visualize 3D objects and manipulate them. The main goal of the game is to construct a3D object by performing Boolean operations, including Union,Intersection and Subtraction, on existing 3D objects. The player needs to mentally visualize what an operation woulddo to objects to complete this task.In this game, the player is given several primitive objects (e.g.,cube, cuboid, sphere, cylinder) and a complex target objectgenerated by the primitive objects with Boolean operations.The player will perform a series of Boolean operations tocreate the complex target object. To emphasize the importanceof mental visualization, the player is not allowed to undoany operation. As soon as the player makes a mistake, theylose the game and must reset to start over. Once the playerbelieves their object matches the target object, they can checkthe result by submitting the object to the system for evaluation.The difficulty level increases with the increment number ofoperations needed to build the target mode.

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View Point

The View Point game aims to train the ability to imaginedifferent perspectives or orientations in space, an importantcomponent in the spatial visualization skill sets.The player is asked to mentally visualize a three-dimensionallandscape from a two-dimensional map and determine theobservation point that is being displayed. Mental rotation isneeded to correctly visualize the scenes.In the game, a variety of solid shapes are randomly generatedon a circular base, with a camera randomly chosen from eightcandidates, each with a different position and angle. All can-didate cameras face the center of the base. The player needsto determine where the camera is based on the view of thechosen camera and the top view of the scene. The number ofsolids on the circular base increases with the game’s difficulty.

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Transform Limitation

The Transform Limitation game taps into the player’s mentalrotation ability. In this game, the player is asked torotate or mirror a 3D object to match a target object within alimited number of steps. In each step, the player either rotatesthe object 90 degrees about an axis, or mirrors the objectonce. Since the number of steps is limited, the player needsto mentally rotate and visualize the result before taking anaction. The difficulty of the game progresses as the numberof operations required increases and the number of operationsallowed decreases.

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Revolution Solid

The Revolution Solid game emphasizes 2D to 3D trans-formation. The game aims to improve players’understanding of surfaces and solids from revolution. The player needs to envision the relationship between 3D objectsand 2D shapes, mentally revolve a 2D shape about an axis,and visualize the created 3D model.

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Plane Exploration

The Plane Exploration game is designed to train 3D objectvisualization and perspective taking. Similar to"Orthographic Drawings" in Sorby’s book, the player needsto understand standard orthographic drawings and mentallyvisualize the corresponding 3D model in order to win.In this game, the player’s goal is to guide a yellow squareacross a 3D landscape model to an orange square, with onlyorthographic views available. The game allows the player toclimb upward or down via ramps but not stairs, so it is criticalfor the player to mentally visualize the 3D landscape beforedeciding which way to go. If the yellow square falls through astair, the game is over.The difficulty of each level is controlledby the complexity of the 3D landscape model

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Cube Shift

The Cube Shift game is designed to focus on spatial mem-ory, which taps into two strong indicators of spatial abilities:working memory span and short-term memory.Cube Shift requires players to direct their attention to theimage on a series of cubes while avoiding the distraction oftheir shifting movements. At the same time, players must alsoremember previous configurations of the cubes. The gamedesign resembles the n-back tasks by Wayne Kirchner, wherethe subject is presented with a sequence of stimuli, and thetask consists of indicating when the current stimulus matchesthe one from n steps earlier in the sequence. After the dots disappear, the subjectindicates the dot locations in an answer grid.

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Publications

Ziang Xiao, Helen Wauck, Zeya Peng, Hanfei Ren, Lei Zhang, Shiliang Zuo, Yuqi Yao, and Wai-Tat Fu. 2018.Cubicle: An Adaptive Educational Gaming Platform for Training Spatial Visualization Skills. Accepted by the 23rd International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI ’18). [Please check back later for PDF link]