Welcome to G-Scale
Welcome to G-Scale
Welcome to G-Scale
Welcome to G-Scale
Welcome to G-ScalE

About G-ScalE

The Gaming Scalability Environment (G-ScalE) is an interdisciplinary research lab located in the McMaster Innovation Park. Funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation, G-ScalE brings together researchers from the Humanities (Dr. Andrew Mactavish), Engineering (Dr. Jacques Carette), and the Library (Jeff Trzeciak) to investigate the effects of visual scale on gaming experience and to apply these findings to the development of games that scale from the very small to the very big. The effect of (screen) scale on various aspects of games is studied, and specifically of games which fundamentally use vast amounts of real world data as parts of its basic design. The 2000 sq. ft. lab houses several digital media and game development workstations and a variety of gameplay spaces. G-ScalE is developing best practices and processes for the visual scaling of data and for the transformation of two-dimensional artifacts into three-dimensional virtual environments.

Facilities

G-ScalE’s large facility allows for work in the office space along with research in the multiple areas.  These areas are meant to imitate different layouts that are traditionally seen in a home environment in order to run studies with a higher degree of external validity.

Team

Jacques Carette

Jacques Carette

Lab Supervisor

Jacques Carette is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computing and Software.  He has dual interests in very formal endeavours (mechanized mathematics, correct–by-construction software and meta programming) as well as more applied work — game design, with some forays in the areas of ‘live coding’ (for music) as well as 3D videos (also for music).

In game design, his main interests are visual scale and user experience.  Visual scale refers to the impact of the size of the display on the whole gaming experience; understanding the design space well enough to understand of the “user experience” can be held constant across scale is one important research thread.  More generally, what are the psychomotor and cognitive components of the “user experience” of video games is very interesting.

Sometimes, these two strands intersect, such as when code generators are written for producing game familes, task analyses are used to generate optimal UIs, or when careful analyses of gaming principles are used as requirements for game design analysis tools.

Andrew Mactavish

Andrew Mactavish

Lab Supervisor

Andrew Mactavish’s primary line of research focuses on digital games and digital gaming culture. In 2009, he was awarded a five-year grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, in collaboration with Jacques Carette (Engineering) and Jeff Trzeciak (Library), to study visual scale in digital games and to apply their findings to the design of “serious” games. His previous research on games has focused on the participatory elements of digital gameplay and gaming communities, and the performative pleasures of interacting with special effects technology. His other research interests include digital photography and digital media design.

Robert Teather

Robert Teather

Post-doc, Sept. 2013 – Present

Robert’s research interests fall in several intersecting areas of human-computer interaction:

  • 3D User Interfaces
    Establishing methods for direct comparison of 2D and 3D interfaces for conceptually equivalent tasks, e.g., selection and manipulation interfaces.
  • Input Devices and Interaction Techniques
    Evaluating novel user interfaces such as tilt control or touchscreens, or distraction in multi-task systems.
  • Game User Interfaces
    Human performance with game input devices (e.g., in complex tasks involving navigation, selectiona and manipulation of objects in a game environment. Scalability of game user interfaces.
  • Virtual Reality
    Factors influencing human performance in VR, e.g., stereo 3D graphics, haptic feedback, head-tracking, etc.
Geneva Smith

Geneva Smith

M.A.Sc. Candidate, Software Engineering
May 2014 – Present

Geneva is a Masters student who completed her undergraduate studies in the Software and Game Design program at McMaster University. Her thesis is exploring the possibility of implementing human emotions into non-player characters to enhance player engagement and entertainment

Jotthi Bansal

Jotthi Bansal

Project Manager
January 2016 – Present

Jotthi obtained her Honours B.Sc. in Psychology Neuroscience & Behaviour (Music Cognition Specialization) from McMaster University. She currently manages projects in G-ScalE which focus on 3D rendering of rock concert videos.

Her external areas of research lie in the study of music and psychology, including the effects of personality on genre preference, and physiological response to live concert experiences.

Sasha Soraine

Sasha Soraine

M.A.Sc Candidate, Software Engineering
January 2016 – Present 

Sasha graduated from McMaster’s Software Engineering and Game Design program. Her research interests center around video game specific HCI problems. Currently, she is working to understand the link between cognitive systems and gameplay challenge types.

Yuriy Toporovskyy

4th Year Undergraduate, Computer Science 
May 2016 – Present 

Yuriy’s research consists of the reconstruction of a three dimensional scene from a series of two dimensional images; a process called photogrammetry. While the field of photogrammetry is fairly mature, his research consists of investigating new techniques and ways of combining known techniques in photogrammetry, in order to extract more 3D information from the images than normally considered possible.

Mustafa Haddara

Mustafa Haddara

4th Year Undergraduate, Software Engineering
May 2016 – Present

Mustafa’s research focuses on maintaining user experience as the user interface changes across displays of different sizes.

Lab Alumni

Sal D’Amore

Sal D’Amore

M.A.Sc. Candidate, Software Engineering
May 2013 – September 2016

Sal’s research is focused on creating game design principles for good level design.

Selena Rikley

Selena Rikley

M.Eng. Candidate, Software Engineering and Virtual System Design
May 2015 – September 2016

Selena developed a menu organization software for games on different sized mobile screens.

Manivanna Thevathasan

M.A.Sc. Software Engineering, Sept. 2012-Aug. 2014

Constraint-based DSL for HUDs

Margaree Peacocke

Margaree Peacocke

M.A.Sc., Software Engineering
Sept. 2013 – 2015

Margaree’s thesis focused on finding the best way to display critical gameplay information in first-person shooter video games.  Through empirical studies she determined which displays gamers perform best with and which they prefer.

Li Ye

Li Ye

M.Eng.
Sept. 2013 – 2015

Li created a family of tower defence games for his project which allowed G-ScalE to create a large number of seemingly different games in order to facilitate many future research studies.

Nathan Collman

Nathan Collman

M.A.Sc. Software Engineering, Sept. 2012-Sept. 2014

DSL for bullet hell games

Graeme Browning

Map