SOA Applied: Engineering Software as Processing Unit of a Serious Game

  • Daniel SchwarzEmail author
  • Heinrich SöbkeEmail author
  • Andreas F. HofmannEmail author
  • Gerald Angermair
  • Lars Schnatmann
  • Jörg Londong
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10056)


A mechanistic model is an essential component of any simulation game. The development of such a model, including its elementary components, their relations and calculation rules, is a demanding, costly and fault-prone task. This task becomes even more complex if very realistic models are required, as it is mostly the case for serious games. Alternatively, proven simulation software can be integrated into the serious game, turning the game into an easy to use and motivating user interface, and the simulation program into a verified processing unit. In this article, we present a serious game dealing with water infrastructure planning, which interfaces to an engineering simulation software for necessary calculations. After motivating the combination of game and simulation software in this special case of water infrastructure planning, we focus on the characteristics of the software architecture and the development process. Data availability and data aggregation are identified as issues central to a successful implementation of the presented architecture. This case study thus reveals advantages and challenges of serious games employing service-oriented architectures (SOA).


Service oriented architecture Transition path Water infrastructure Rating system Serious game Engineering software 



The activities described in this article have been supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the grant agreement FKZ 033W011E. The authors gratefully acknowledge this support. Furthermore, the authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.


  1. 1.
    Poplin, A.: Playful public participation in urban planning: a case study for online serious games. Comput. Environ. Urban Syst. 36, 195–206 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rogers, E.M.: Diffusion of Innovations. Free Press, New York (2003)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Söbke, H., Londong, J.: Promoting innovative water infrastructure systems: simulation games as virtual prototypes. In: Lohaus, J. (ed.) Proceedings of 17th International EWA Symposium “WatEnergyResources – Water, Energy and Resources” European Water Association, Hennef (2014)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wright, W.: SimCity.
  5. 5.
    Meier, S.: Railroad Tycoon.
  6. 6.
    Devisch, O.: Should planners start playing computer games? Arguments from SimCity and second life. Plan. Theory Pract. 9, 209–226 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Minnery, J., Searle, G.: Toying with the city? Using the computer game SimCityTM4 in planning education. Plan. Pract. Res. 29, 41–55 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rehm, M.: Do gamers change attitudes towards economics through playing manager games? Zeitschrift für Ökonomische Bild. 1, 162–176 (2013)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Foster, A.N.: The process of learning in a simulation strategy game: disciplinary knowledge construction. J. Educ. Comput. Res. 45, 1–27 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    D’Artista, B.R., Hellweger, F.L.: Urban hydrology in a computer game? Environ. Model. Softw. 22, 1679–1684 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Brannolte, U., Harder, R.J., Kraus, T.J.: Virtual city and traffic simulation game based on scientific models. In: Zupančič, B., Karba, R., Blažič, S. (eds.) EUROSIM 2007: Proceedings of the 6th EUROSIM Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Ljubljana, Slovenia, vol. 1 (2007)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    van den Hoogen, J., Meijer, S.: Gaming and simulation for railway innovation: a case study of the Dutch railway system. Simul. Gaming. 46, 489–511 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
    Unity Technologies: Unity - Game Engine (2015).
  15. 15.
    Crytek GmbH: CryEngine (2015).
  16. 16.
    Noseworthy, J.R.: The test and training enabling architecture (TENA) supporting the decentralized development of distributed applications and LVC simulations. In: 12th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Distributed Simulation and Real-Time Applications, DS-RT 2008, pp. 259–268 (2008)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    van Oijen, J., Vanhée, L., Dignum, F.: CIGA: a middleware for intelligent agents in virtual environments. In: Beer, M., Brom, C., Dignum, F., Soo, V.-W. (eds.) Agents for Educational Games and Simulations. LNCS, vol. 7471, pp. 22–37. Springer, Heidelberg (2012). doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-32326-3_2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Stãnescu, I.A., Stefan, A., Kravcik, M., Lim, T., Bidarra, R.: Interoperability strategies for serious games development. In: Internet Learning, pp. 33–40. DigitalCommons@APUS (2013)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Maier, K., Söbke, H., Londong, J.: Principles of transition paths: purposeful conversion of water infrastructure systems to multi stream variants. In: Memon, F.A. (ed.) Proceedings of the Water Efficiency Conference 2015, pp. 359–368. WATEF Network/University of Brighton, Exeter (2015)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Nyga, I., Alfen, H.W.: Ganzheitliche Bewertung von Wasserinfrastrukturen im Zuge von Transformationsprozessen. In: Steinmetz, H., Dittmer, U. (eds.) 5. Aqua Urbanica und 90. Siedlungswasserwirtschaftliches Kolloquium, Stuttgarter Berichte zur Siedlungswasserwirtschaft, Band 225, pp. 289–294. DIV Deutscher Industrieverlag, Stuttgart (2015)Google Scholar
  21. 21. ++SYSTEMS - IT im Dienste der Umwelt.
  22. 22.
    Havok: Vision Engine 8.2 Brings 3D Technologies Cross-Platform.
  23. 23.
    Adobe Systems Incorporated: Flash Developer Center.
  24. 24.
    Carvalho, M.B., Bellotti, F., Hu, J., Hauge, J.B., Berta, R., De Gloria, A., Rauterberg, M.: Towards a service-oriented architecture framework for educational serious games. In: IEEE International Conference Advanced Learning Technologies, vol. 4 (2015)Google Scholar
  25. 25. Introducing JSON.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. Ges. für Umweltinformatik mbHBuch am ErlbachGermany
  2. 2.takomat GmbHCologneGermany
  3. 3.Bauhaus-Institute for Infrastructure Solutions (ät WeimarWeimarGermany

Personalised recommendations