Wednesday, September 29, 2010

GeoGame Green Revolution

To continue from ... the TELR grant allowed us to develop a more sophisticated prototype game primarily for classroom use. After the initial trials we decided to use two open source platforms; Project Darkstar by Sun Microsystems and World Wind by NASA. A computer science graduate student worked on the project part time during winter and spring quarter and full time over summer quarter when most of the work was completed.

Now, this might not look like much but we think it is a significant step towards creating a development platform for massive multi-player online geographic games (oh dear, that will be MMOGG). The thing that we are most proud of here is that we have separated the interface from the assets and rules so that it becomes more modular and easier to change the parameters of the game. So, an external onotlogy file (in OWL) contains all the information about what a game contains, how many players it can take, which geographic data to load, and which rules to use. Essentially that ontology defines what exist in the game. Another separate Jess (that's the Java Expert System Shell) CLP file has all the rules for the game. So we can modify e.g how yield is calculated without having to modify the program code. Finally, the game is situated based on a KML file (that' your typical Google Earth geodata format) that contains the farmland areas where the game is going to be played. This makes it possible to move the game from being played in Punjab, India to Marion, Ohio if you want. Obviously we did not have the time to code a game configuration interface or manual, so these kind of tweaks are a bit undocumented and hidden, but they work!


  1. Hi Prof. Ahlqvist. I am a student in Dept. of CSE. Can I get an account of Geogame to have a try?

  2. Hi,
    Is this product open source? We are working on an open source product that might benefit from merging with, or incorporating this. The tools is the USIP OSP. I can be reached at skip at if you all want to consider this.
    Our code is online at
    And short videos are available at