Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB

Digital Game Based Learning Framework

Digital Game Based Learning Framework

Developing Serious Games is complex, especially when following the ideas of Digital Game Based Learning. It is time-consuming, a lot of work and expensive. Communicating with professional game developers can be difficult not only because of frequent staff turnovers.

Our Digital Game Based Learning Framework helps you facing these challenges. Your advantages at a glance:

  • Cost reduction
    • The modular structure of our framework allows an individual adaption to your budget.
    • The first and most affordable variant is simply to replace the tasks in the mission module with tasks from your knowledge domain leaving you with a full-featured game including an immersive story campaign, cool characters, nifty graphics, great sound effects and awesome music.
    • Furthermore, our framework enables coupling of external third party software. This means you have the option to add your tasks using your existing (training) software.
  • Expertise
    • Benefit from our expertise and research in the field of technology-based learning.
    • We support you in developing didactic game design, game mechanics, concept, etc. and managing the whole project development. Aside from support, we can even take on whole parts or the whole production for you.
  • Task reduction
    • IOSB may serve as a vital link, meaning you will not have to worry about communication and management of the several game development departments such as graphics, sound, coding, etc.


Our framework in detail:

The base of our framework is the Serious Game Lost Earth 2307 regarding content and technology. The modular structure allows an individual adaption of the existing game to your learning objectives and budget. The framework contains the modules missions, story, setting, assets and gameplay.


 Module 01: Missions

This module encapsulates the missions. Missions present the player tasks according to the learning objectives. Lost Earth 2307 presents image analysis tasks, which will be replaced by tasks from your knowledge domain.

When this module is adapted to your needs, all other modules remain according to their initial implementation in Lost Earth 2307. This means, that everything about story, setting, assets and gameplay remain, hence a successful learning objective task will lead to the liberation of a colony from an evil technology adverse cult. The first and most affordable adaption variant.


example 1: Instead of image analysis missions the game presents missions with translation tasks


Another advantage of this module is relatively simple option to couple external third party software for presenting the learning objective tasks.

The handling of the image analysis in Lost Earth is implemented via a proprietary training software, which is not part of the original code of the game. The game and the image analysis tool are coupled and exchange relevant data.

So if you want to provide the learning objective tasks with your own training software like a simulation or a web-based assessment (e.g. Moodle or anything similar), you are able to integrate your software using this interface. This interface provides many options to couple external software and thus enables integrating various types of tasks.



 Module 02: Story

This module encapsulates the whole story of the game. This includes among others the names of the protagonists as well as all texts and videos related to advance and illuminate the main story arcs.

When this module is adapted, the missions are part of a different narrative. A successful learning objective task does no longer lead to the liberation of a colony from the evil technology adverse cult. However, setting assets and gameplay from Lost Earth remain. In the following example, a successful medical image analysis task (new missions) leads to curing a colony of a malignant virus (new story).


example 2: Player cures colonies of a malignant virus by analyzing medical images



 Module 03: Setting

This module encapsulates the background story and the base motivation of the game, so the setting in which the game takes place will change.

Adapting this module alters the Science Fiction setting with flying around a galaxy of colonies to another different “world”. For a more realistic scenario, the action now may take place on earth as seen in the following example.

The essential assets, like the Ark and the main protagonists stay in effect.


example 3: Players handle IT security tasks and protect vital infrastructure on earth from hackers



 Module 04: Assets

This module covers all costly and essential assets of the game. This especially includes the 3D scenes and characters of the game world (The Ark, including the rooms and props), as well as other graphic elements (user interface, background graphics) and music/sound design.

If this module is adapted, the core game mechanic is still valid; hence, it is still a 4X genre game.


example 4: Players translate documents, etc. in order to lift a curse from people in a fantasy world



 Module 05: Gameplay

This module covers the game mechanics, so it is the heart of the framework. You will have to adapt this module if you want to change the game mechanics to a new genre, like an adventure or a RPG. However, replacing the game mechanics is similar to a redevelopment of the game. Consequently, this is the most cost-intense adaption.


example 5: equal to example 4, but additionally the gameplay changed from 4X strategy to a RPG



 Mix & Match

It is of course also possible to mix and match the different modules.


example 6: Story and gameplay of Lost Earth are retained, but now players have to
liberate Earth from the evil cult by translating documents in a secret bunker