Intercultural Communication Training via Information Gaps in a Cooperative Virtual Reality

Research Project



  • Unreal Engine
  • blender
  • C++
T he research project of the 2014 Computer Graphics Group was initiated as a collaboration with the Department of English and Romance Studies. The objective was to develop a collaborative learning environment to encourage learners to communicate more actively as well as provide vocabulary training method for EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students and teachers.

With a team of 12 students a collaborative virtual reality-enhanced game has been developed using Unreal Engine 4. The process included formation of four task forces:

  • Game Architecture
  • Game Mechanics
  • Landscape & Environment
  • Virtual Reality & Interaction

    The projected yielded a generic 3D cooperative virtual reality game that embed and interactive language learning process. Two players take different player roles ‒ of a boy and a ghost ‒ with mutually exclusive abilities and perception of the game's environment. The game's goal is to chase away NPCs (Non-Player-Characters), which are guarding items inside a haunted house. Communication between the two players thus is key to win the game. A generic concept of individual atmospheres of fear for each of the NPC was developed - each NPC is afraid of different everyday objects. The players need to work together by using their different abilities to chase away the NPCs by finding these objects inside the game environment.

    The possibility of incorporation of a given curriculum into our VR game was analyzed. The game content was based on the curriculum obtained by the Graded Examination in Spoken English (GESE) Trinity Exam, a widely recognized test in international schools and universities. The empirical analysis of the communication among 26 test persons of different mother tongues showed that the game evokes a high amount of speech and a qualitative linguistic outcome that covers the requirements of the curriculum.

    Final presentation
    Haunted ­ Intercultural Communication Training via Information Gaps in a Cooperative Virtual Reality
    Gerrit Lochmann, Liesa Reitz, Jochen Hunz, Aline Sohny, Guido Schmidt
    In: ECGBL2015-9th European Conference on Games Based Learning: ECGBL2015
    url: Proceedings of The 9th Conference on Game Based Learning, page 303