Herausforderung: In den letzten Jahren ist die Erkundung des Weltraums wieder zu einem Trendthema geworden. Verschiedene private Organisationen wie SpaceX, Blue Origin oder Virgin Galactic und Regierungsorganisationen aus den USA, China, Indien, Europa oder Russland konkurrieren um die Vorherrschaft im Weltraum. Neben der Erforschung neuer Welten ebnet dieser Trend den Weg für Innovationen, die auch unser Leben auf der Erde verändern werden. Zum Beispiel werden immer mehr Satelliten in den Orbit geschickt, die unsere Erde umkreisen und  neue Möglichkeiten für die Erdbeobachtung oder flächendeckendes Highspeed-Internet ermöglichen. Dies bietet neue Herausforderungen und Möglichkeiten, welche mit Ansätzen aus dem Gaming und Gamification angegangen werden können. Daher lautete die Aufgabe des Kurses Designing Gamified Systems in diesem Semester:

Design an innovative game or gamification approach in which gaming, space technology and mobility meets in order to either A) improving life on earth or B) improving life in space.


Datum: Wintersemester 2021/2022

Vorlesung: Designing Gamified Systems



Team: Heschu Qarani, Jonathan Stief, Sherwet GalalCem KaratasanGerrit Sußner


The interest in space is constantly increasing: From space agencies planning longer projects, such as NASAs’ Artemis mission, to private companies such as SpaceX planning to put humans on Mars. Overall, the private sector of space tourism is projected to reach a total of US$1.7 Billion by 2027. The market will expand much further in the future, with long-term missions becoming increasingly frequent.
Yet these long-term missions pose significant strains on both the human body and the mind. First among them is the deterioration of muscles, muscle atrophy, and the cardiovascular system through microgravity. These effects are so severe that even short missions (< 30 days) can cause a muscle volume loss of 5.5 to 15.9 percent. In order to combat these effects, most space agencies employ in-flight exercises of about 2.5 hours six days a week. Secondly, space missions represent the “perfect boring situation” and can invoke mental health issues.
Our VR solution addresses both aspects equally, as it gamifies the required exercise to avoid physical consequences, as well as challenge the players mentally and provides opportunities for experiencing social relatedness. For this, it uses both state-of-the-art VR equipment, as well as a Teslasuit, to not only make the experience feel even more immersive through haptic feedback, as well as the possibility to enhance training effects. The main game consists of resource collection during the exercise and a base-building type game in the phases between workouts. Both take place in VR.
In order to overcome the dullness of the monotonous environment, the game features a story putting the players in a scenario in 2075, where Mars has been colonized, and it is now their shared mission to defend and extend the colony. However, players need to collect resources through exercise to repair and build further modules, which is conducted within the VR game.
In the story mode, they are guided through their exercise by story-related messages, collecting resources while traversing the base and the landscapes of Mars. As voluntariness represents an important point in the acceptance of gamified approaches, however, players also have the option to avoid the story. While exercising, they collect resources by swiping them to the side with their controller. From the collected resources they then have the possibility to build three different types of buildings: (1) shelter domes, which set the defense for the whole colony, (2) windmills, which produce electricity for the colony, (3) greenhouses, which produce oxygen. To increase complexity, create fun, and challenge players mentally, the electricity and oxygen stats must match the shelter, or the colony will be dysfunctional, and the defense will receive a debuff. Players will have to ready their bases for increasingly difficult challenges, such as further alien attacks, sand storms, and similar difficulties that life on Mars would bring. This aims to create a long-time engagement in the player, relying on the immersion and social interaction between the crewmates of the space mission to defend their shared colony.

We use a Teslasuit, a smart textile two-piece full bodysuit, to make the experience immersive and interactive. The suit provides haptic feedback, captures motion and biometric functions. Further, a full-body haptic feedback system is built into the suit with 80 electrostimulation channels, which could be used to provide instant feedback on the players‘ performance within the game. It can be functionalized in response to motion capture comparison at any time. No additional equipment will be need. The approach may be used with existing training equipment in space stations such as the ISS.

Astronaut Mark Vande Hei Expedition 53 Flight Engineer exercises on the COLBERT (Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill) in the Tranquility module – Photo by NASA




Gestaltung und Erforschung der Potenziale von Gamification zur Optimierung von Mensch-Roboter-Teams im Rahmen von VR-Schulungen

In Kooperation mit dem Automobil- und Industriezulieferer Schaeffler untersuchen wir, wie spielerisches Design in Virtual-Reality-Trainings zur Verbesserung der Mensch-Roboter-Interaktion eingesetzt werden kann. Das Projekt hat zum Ziel verschiedene Designinterventionen zu entwickeln und zu evaluieren, um die Zusammenarbeit in Mensch-Roboter-Teams zu unterstützen und zu optimieren.


  • Strukturierung des Wissens über die Forschung zur Mensch-Roboter-Interaktion, insb. Gamification der Mensch-Roboter-Interaktion
  • Entwicklung von Designinterventionen zur Unterstützung der Zusammenarbeit von Menschen und Robotern in einem Virtual-Reality-Training
  • Untersuchung der Auswirkungen von spielerischem Design auf die Wahrnehmung und das Verhalten der Nutzer


Mareike Weber

Gestaltung eines text-basierten Adventure-Games für digitales Schreibtraining

Zusammen mit der STABILO International GmbH entwickeln wir ein text-basiertes Abenteuer für den STABILO DigiPen. Angelehnt an die Gestaltungsprinzipien von Multi-User-Dungeons (MUDs) werden wir im Rahmen dieses Projekts einen text-basierten Spielansatz entwickeln, welcher die Nutzung des DigiPen zum Optimieren der eigenen Handschrift in ein spielerisches und motivierendes Erlebnis verwandelt.

Ziele des Projekts:

  • Entwicklung und empirische Untersuchung eines text-basierten Abenteuerspiels für den STABILO DigiPen
  • Untersuchung der Wirksamkeit von Game-Design Elementen auf Nutzerverhalten und KI-basierter Gestenerkennung
  • Auswertung der Ergebnisse und Ableitung von theoretischen und praktischen Handlungsempfehlungen für die Gestaltung von Gamification- und Serious-Game-Ansätzen zur Optimierung der Handschrift


Mareike Weber

Gamifizierung der Mensch-KI-Interaktion

Können digitale Spiele und ihre Designprinzipien die Zusammenarbeit zwischen Mensch und Künstlicher Intelligenz (KI) verbessern? Im Rahmen des durch die Emerging Talents Initiative (ETI) geförderten Projekts untersuchen wir, wie Game-Designprinzipien dazu beitragen können, die Zusammenarbeit zwischen Mensch und KI zu optimieren.

Ziele des Projekts:

  • Untersuchung von Zusammenarbeit allgemein in Spielen und Ableitung von Gestaltungsprinzipien, welche die Kooperation zwischen Menschen fördern
  • Untersuchung der Zusammenarbeit zwischen Menschen und Nicht-Spieler-Charakteren (NPCs) in Spielen und Ableitung von Erkenntnissen für die Mensch-KI-Zusammenarbeit
  • Durchführung von Studien zur Gamifizierung der Mensch-KI-Interaktion


Maximilian Wittmann, Sujit Thapa

Game-basierte Lösungen für die Logistik

In Kooperation mit der Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG untersuchen wir die Potenziale von Gamification in der Inbound Logistik. Ziel des Projekts ist die Entwicklung, Pilotierung und Evaluation eines Gamification-Konzepts für den Einsatz in modernen digitalen Logistikzentren.

Ziele des Projekts:

  • Strukturierung des Stands der Forschung zu Gamification in der Logistik
  • Entwicklung eines Gamification-Konzepts unter aktiver Einbeziehung relevanter Stakeholder nach der Methode von Morschheuser et al. (2018)
  • Implementierung und Evaluation der Wirksamkeit von Gamification-Ansätzen in der Inbound Logistik

Abgeschlossene Forschungsprojekte

Abgeschlossene Projekte außerhalb der FAU:

Weitere Informationen zu fertiggestellten Forschungsprojekten folgen in Kürze.



Designing Gamified Systems (MA)

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CC photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Driven by the rising popularity of digital games, technology, business and society are increasingly influenced and penetrated by games and trends of the gaming industry. One of the probably most important phenomena of this multi-faceted development is “gamification”, which refers to the use of design principles and features from games in the design of information systems, processes, and services.

Gamification’s popularity stems from the notion that games are a pinnacle form of hedonic information systems and thus are particularly effective in invoking intrinsic motivation and experiences such as autonomy, mastery, flow, immersion, relatedness and overall enjoyment. Across industries, marketers, designers and developers are thus using gamification as a design approach when engineering digital products and services with the purpose of inducing gameful experiences, influencing human motivation and even change behavior in various contexts.

This course

  • teaches the key concepts, design patterns, and approaches of motivational, hedonic (i.e. games and video games), social and gamified information systems.
  • offers deep insights into advanced concepts and theoretical foundations of game design, motivational psychology, and information system design.
  • introduces methods and frameworks for designing gamified systems and managing gamification projects.
  • discusses latest research findings and the potential impact of gamification on society, economy and everyday life.

Course Overview

Capstone Project

The course is complemented with a practical design project, where students in a team select and apply design methods & techniques in order to create a prototype of a gamified / hedonic information system. Within this project, the students can apply knowledge and skills acquired in this lecture and their studies in a challenging context.


This course is offered as part of the European Engineering Learning Innovation and Science Alliance (EELISA – The EELISA cooperation will give the lecture an even more international setting and allow FAU students to collaborate in their projects with interdisciplinary students from all over Europe.

Learning Objectives and Skills

The students gain knowledge in understanding the underlying design principles of gamified and hedonic information systems and can analyze and discuss such systems. The students learn state-of-the-art methods, techniques, and tools for successfully conducting gamification projects and can select and apply them. The students can train their creativity, their prototyping skills as well as improve their collaboration and presentation skills.


The sessions are accompanied by tutorials, where students can learn the basics of developing games in Unity3D, as well as discuss current challenges in the implementation of their projects.


Profound English skills are required. Further, creativity, experience in software design, user experience, prototyping, and software engineering are helpful. All participating students should be motivated to work in an international and interdisciplinary group on a challenging topic.


Prof. Dr. Benedikt Morschheuser


Mareike Weber

Course details

Lecture + Capstone Project, 4 SWS, ECTS-Credits: 5


Wednesday, 09:45-13:00, LG 5.155

Module compatibility

WF IIS-MA 1 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF IIS-MA 2 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF IIS-MA 3 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF IIS-MA 4 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF WING-MA ab 1 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF ICT-MA ab 1 (ECTS-Credits: 5)
WF EEI-MA ab 1 (ECTS-Credits: 5)


Credits: 5


Starts on 25. Februar 2022, 14:00 via StudOn.

Additional information

More details on course updates, materials, technical requirements, and other information will be announced in StudOn.

Keywords: Gamification, Interactive Information Systems, HCI, Customer Engagement, Social Computing, Hedonic Systems, Games


Inspiration from previous semesters


Capstone project topic:
Design of an innovative game or gamification approach at the intersection of gaming, mobility and space technology, which improve life on earth or travel in space. 

Gamification, crowdsourcing, satellite techonology, mobility, augmented reality

Billionaires start space tourism

Guest lecturers:
Alexander Satanowsky – Head of in-Car Gaming – Mercedes-Benz AG
Georgina Guillén-Hanson – Researcher on Gamifying Sustainable Consumption – Gamification Group Finland
Daniel Fernández Galeote  – Game Designer and Researcher on Gamifying Sustainable Consumption – Gamification Group Finland
Dr. Michael Reinhardt – Head of OpenIT Studio – Siemens Healthineers
Nicolas Butterwegge – IT Strategy Manager – Siemens Healthineers

Capstone project challenge:
Design of an innovative game or gamification approach in which sports, gaming, and mobility meet as part of an unforgettable mixed-reality experience for potential visitors of the 2022 Olympic Asian Games in China, Hangzhou.

eSports, sports, augmented reality, mobility, gamification

Asian games announced to have eSports as official discipline

Guest lecturers:
Alexander Satanowsky – Head of in-Car Gaming – Mercedes-Benz AG
Georgina Guillén-Hanson – Researcher on Gamifying Sustainable Consumption – Gamification Group Finland
Daniel Fernández Galeote  – Game Designer and Researcher on Gamifying Sustainable Consumption – Gamification Group Finland