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ChiSheng Liang is an Electrical Engineering major, minoring in Industrial Engineering. He recently participated in the RISE: 2015 Research, Innovation and Scholarship Expo at Northeastern University, where he was the lead presenter for his team project, “VISTALIGHTS: A Game That Helps People Make Better Decisions,” which won the Undergraduate Computer and Information Sciences Award. Below, he describes the project, his participation in Global Game Jam, and what he’s looking forward to in the future.

How would you explain your project to a 5th grader?

This project gives people a chance to learn and improve negotiation skills by representing the Houston Port Authority. Four people play the game on tablets, the four different stakeholders, with the goal of maximizing their benefits. To do this, they need to make compromises when it comes to their ships’ order, and share relevant information with each other during the discussion. The game also involves knowledge of supply chain management, since the players have a limited amount of time to make their decision. Shipping cargo on time to earn money is an important part of the game.

VISTALIGHTS: A Game That Helps People Make Better Decisions poster

Who were your team members and what are their affiliations?

We are a large team, and this project involved both the Game Design and Computer Engineering departments. I mostly worked with YiFan Sun, a Ph.D. student, to complete the programming and game logic design. One graduate student, Nishchitha Yoganand, worked on the art design. Capser Harteveld (Assistant Professor, Game Design), David Kaeli (College of Engineering Distinguished Professor), and Steven Sutherland (Postdoctoral Research Associate), supervised us and helped us tremendously throughout this project.

What are the next steps for your research?

Our next step is to generate our oil spilled scenario, which is the background of our project. We also need to add the safety and environmental factor into the game.

What is your connection to Game Design?

I’ve participated in Global Game Jam, and it’s a really great experience. It gave me the chance to meet people with different specialties. While there, we all collaborated and shared our ideas and skills. It felt great to work as a team and bring our different techniques to the table.

What are you looking forward to most in the coming years?

I am very much looking forward to seeing other people love to play the game and for it to become an educational resource that colleges can use.