Academic Positions

  • Present 2015

    Associate Professor

    Yeditepe University, Faculty of Commerce

  • 2010 2015

    Assistant Professor

    Yeditepe University, Faculty of Commerce

  • 2008 2010

    Post-doc Researcher

    National University of Singapore, Games Lab

  • 2005 2008

    Lecturer

    Yeditepe University, Faculty of Commerce

  • 2005 2001

    Teaching Assistant

    Yeditepe University, Faculty of Commerce

Education & Training

  • Ph.D. 2007

    Ph.D. in Information Systems

    Marmara University

  • M.B.A.2003

    Master of Business Administration

    Yeditepe University

  • B.S.2001

    Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering

    Istanbul Technical University

Research Projects

  • image

    Automated Storyplanning for Games

    Today’s computer and video games usually feature one main storyline, and in some cases, some limited branching—for example, the player can choose a good or evil path. The player can hardly influence the happenings thereby, which leads to a passive experience similar to non-interactive media, like film, television and books. Interactivity, however, is a key concept of the computer gaming experience and arguably the foundation that draws people to this entertainment format. In addition, computer gaming is a personal experience and storytelling can be adapted to the player’s preferences instead of catering for a larger target audience.

    Real-time storytelling in a dynamic, user-specific way that adapts to the player’s actions would be a major advancement, leading to a whole new category of user experiences and a new generation of games. Players would finally be able to influence the happenings in a story according to their liking and experience entertainment content that is tailored to their taste. Our goal is to develop a set of fundamental technologies and principles for such kind of automated storytelling. The project’s focus is on story planning, while also incorporating basics of player assessment and scene management.

    This project was started in 2008 at the Games Lab of Interactive & Digital Media Institute of NUS

    Principal Investigator of this project was Dr. Alexander Nareyek

    Bostan worked as a post-doc researcher in this project for two years.

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Interactivity in Computer Games

Barbaros Bostan, Gokhan Sahin, Mehmet Can Uney
Conference Papers GAMEON 2015 Conference, Amsterdam, Holland, December 2-4, © Eurosis 2015

Abstract

In this paper we attempt to clarify the popular term ‘interactivity’ within the context of computer games by classifying it into three categories: personal interactivity, social interactivity and environmental interactivity. Each category of interactivity contains five subcategories and success stories from popular computer games are given for each section to highlight the depth and quality of interaction the selected games provide.

Dijital Oyunlar: Tasarım Gereksinimleri ve Oyuncu Psikolojisi

Barbaros Bostan, Özhan Tıngöy
Journal Paper Academic Journal of Information Technology, 6 (19), 2015

Abstract

Bilgisayar oyunu tasarımı sadece algoritmalardan, betik dillerinden ve mantık yapılarından ibaret değildir. Bilgisayar oyunları etkileşimli ortamlardır ve oyuncular birer insandır, bu yüzden oyuncu etkileşiminin sosyal bir olgu olduğu hiçbir zaman unutulmamalı ve alternatif bir gerçekliğe adım atmanın altında yatan psikolojik bileşenler göz ardı edilmemelidir. Sanal dünyanın gerçekçiliği, oynanabilirliği, inandırıcılığı, oyuncuya verdiği memnuniyet ve haz önemli tasarım kriterleridir. Oyuncunun kendisini iletişim kanalından iletilen dünyada hissetmesi ve iletilen dünyada bulunduğuna inanması, sanal dünyadaki olaylar örgüsü üzerinde kontrol sahibi olduğunu ve özgür seçimleriyle sanal dünyayı etkileyebildiğini düşünmesi çok önemlidir. Tasarım sürecinde bilgisayar oyunlarına oyuncunun gözünden bakmak, tasarımcının istediği oyunu değil de oyuncuların oynamak isteyeceği oyunları geliştirmek için başarının temel anahtarıdır.

Etkilesimli Hikaye Anlatma Sistemlerinde Oyuncu Profilleri: Örnek C++ Örüntü Tanıma Profil Çıkartıcı

Barbaros Bostan, Gökhan Şahin
Journal Paper Academic Journal of Information Technology, 6 (19), 2015

Abstract

Oyuncu profili çıkartma bilgisayar oyunları ile ilgili popüler bir araştırma sahasıdır ama Etkileşimli Hikaye Anlatma Sistemleri için çok önemlidir. Bu çalışmada amacımız: (1) oyuncu eylemlerini sürekli gözlemleyerek gerçek zamanlı profiller çıkartmak, (2) profil çıkartabilmek için örüntü (oyuncu eylemleri dizisi) tiplerini tanımlamak, (3) örüntüleri hızlı bir biçimde eşleştirmek, ve (4) eşleşen örüntüler ile oyuncu profilleri arasındaki ilişkiyi örüntü-motivasyon eşleştirmeleri ile ortaya koymaktır. Bu bağlamda, bir Etkileşimli Hikaye Anlatma projesinde kullanılmak üzere karmaşık örüntü örnekleri tanımladık ve C++ dilinde bir profil çıkartıcı geliştirdik.

Fundamentals of Interactive Storytelling

Barbaros Bostan, Timothy Marsh
Journal Paper Academic Journal of Information Technology, 3 (8), 2012

Abstract

The focus of interactive storytelling should not only be on the attributes of the technology or characteristics of the medium, such as the AI techniques, planning formalisms, story representations, etc. but also on the computer-mediated communication processes, such as the relatedness of transmitted messages with previous exchanges of information, the number of attributes to be manipulated by the player, or the level of player control on the messages. We argue that an approach to maximize player enjoyment in a computer game is to customize/personalize the gaming experience and the associated computer-mediated communication processes. To this aim and to provide answers to “how” and “what” should be customized, we first explore the problematic notions of interactivity and then frame the discussion in the context of interactive storytelling systems. Secondly, we analyse table-top role-playing games (RPGs) - the live counterpart of computerized interactive storytelling systems – in an attempt to find “what” to customize.

Presence in Computer Games: Design Requirements

Barbaros Bostan, Sertac Ogut
Conference Papers GAMEON 2011 Conference, Galway, Ireland, August 22-24, © Eurosis 2011

Abstract

Presence or the sense of 'being there' is an important and critical concept of computer gaming which relies on several factors. When we look at presence from a bottom-up approach to define its components, it is important to identify the design requirements for virtual environments and their effects on presence (Bostan, 2009). It is also imperative to define how much each requirement correlates with presence and how designers should address these. This study aims to solve these issues by using a presence questionnaire based on virtual environment design requirements defined by Stuart (2001).

Data collected from a survey study on a computer role playing game (RPG), which is available for 3663 participants, is used to identify the relationship between these design requirements and presence. Among the selected requirements; sociability, veridicality, autonomy and physics of the virtual world have the highest correlations with presence respectively; and interactivity is a separately analyzed requirement that has special focus on it. Results of the study indicated that, storyline, NPC (non-player character) characteristics and communication with these virtual characters are the most important factors that influence interactivity.

A Motivational Framework For Analyzing Player And Virtual Agent Behaviour

Barbaros Bostan
Journal PaperEntertainment Computing, 1 (3-4), 2010

Abstract

Today’s digital entertainment industry uses different approaches to establish believable agents with personality and to analyze the goal-directed behaviour of game players. Academic research in this area usually focuses on one facet of personality - for example, only on emotions or character traits. The techniques applied to create non-player characters can hardly be used to analyze player interactions or choices in a computer game. The present study proposes a motivational framework to predict goal-directed behaviour of both player and non-player characters in a computer game and explores the opportunities of using a Player and Agent Personality Database (PAPD) based on the same motivational framework to design virtual agents with personality. This article claims that motivation to reach a goal is influenced by both situational and personal factors that are represented with an equation that determines the likelihood of the occurrence of a behavior. The framework represented by this study takes into account psychological needs, interactions between these needs, general behavioral patterns, lower-order and higher-order personality traits for analyzing gaming experiences and player/non-player choices in a computer game.

Explorations in Player Motivations: Virtual Agents

Barbaros Bostan
Conference Papers ICEC 2010, Sep 8-11, 2010 Seoul, Korea © SpringerLink 2010

Abstract

Creating believable agents with personality is a popular research area in game studies but academic research in this area usually focuses on one facet of personality - for example, only on moods or character traits. The present study proposes a motivational framework to predict goal-directed behaviour of virtual agents in a computer game and explores the opportunities of using personality inventories based on the same motivational framework to design virtual agents with personality. This article claims that motivation to reach a goal is influenced by psychological needs which are represented with an equation that determines the strength of a character’s motivational force. The framework represented by this study takes into account psychological needs and their interrelations for analyzing choices of virtual agents in a computer game.

The 'Interactive' Of Interactive Storytelling: Customizing The Gaming Experience

Barbaros Bostan, Timothy Marsh
Conference Papers ICEC 2010, Sep 8-11, 2010 Seoul, Korea © SpringerLink 2010

Abstract

In this article, we define interactive storytelling as a gaming experience where the form and content of the game is customized in real time and tailored to the preferences and needs of the player to maximixe enjoyment. The primary focus of interactive storytelling should not be on the attributes of the technology or characteristics of the medium, such as the AI techniques, planning formalisms, story representations, etc. but on different interaction levels provided by computer games and basic components of player enjoyment such as difficulty levels and gaming rewards. In conducting an analysis of interactive storytelling systems, we propose a user-centered approach to interactive storytelling by defining different customization levels for an optimum gaming experience.

Gaming Technologies for Learning; Virtual Teams and Leadership Research in Online Environments

Barbaros Bostan, Ugur Kaplancali
Conference Papers Future-Learning 2010, May 10-14, 2010 Istanbul, Turkey

Abstract

Computer-based and Web-based learning have been dramatically decreasing the costs of personnel training. With their increased popularity, virtual worlds and games open up possibilities for simultaneous learning on multiple levels; players may learn from contextual information embedded in the narrative of the game and through the risks, benefits, costs, outcomes, and rewards of alternative strategies that result from fast‐paced decision making. Such dynamics also contribute to building relationships and sharing/delegating authority with others, in other words acquiring leadership skills. With its emphasis on leadership skills in virtual teams, this paper introduces main findings of several studies on leadership in multiplayer online environments including commercial online games. These studies main focus was on leadership styles in online environments.

Explorations In Player Motivations : Game Mods

Barbaros Bostan, Ugur Kaplancali
Conference Papers GAMEON ASIA, March 1-3, 2010, Shanghai, China

Abstract

This article aims to analyze player motivations derived from the needs framework of Murray (1938) in relation to user modifications (mods) to an existing commercial computer game. Although the restrictions imposed by the game mechanics significantly reduce the number of player needs satisfied by a game and trap the player within the common motivational cycle of Achievement, Aggression, Harmavoidance and Acquisition (Bostan and Kaplancali, 2009), this study shows that the game mods created by users attempt to compensate for this by satisfying the needs of Sentience, Exhibition, Recognition, Sex, Play and Affiliation. While attempting to find the current trends in user created content for role-playing games (RPGs), this article also discusses the implications of game modding in identifying the missing features of an entertainment experience and of investigating the player motivations. This discussion is framed in terms of the user-environment relations of a recently released popular computer roleplaying game (RPG).

Dijital Oyunlar ve Sanal Gerçeklik

Barbaros Bostan
Book Chapter Batı, U. & Unal, G. T. (Eds.) Dijital Oyunlar, Derin Yayınevi, İstanbul, Turkey, 2010. | ISBN: 978-605-5500-16-0
image

Sanal Gerçeklik Sistemleri

  • Sanal Gerçekliğin Tarihi Gelişim Süreci
  • Kuşatılma Yaklaşımıyla Sanal Gerçeklik Sistemleri
  • Sanal Gerçeklik Sistemi Olarak Dijital Oyunlar
  • Sanal Dünyada Yaşam
  • Psikolojik Bileşenler
  • Kullanım Bileşenleri

Player Motivations: A Psychological Perspective

Barbaros Bostan
Journal PaperACM Computers in Entertainment, 7 (2), 2009

Abstract

Although player motivation is one of the main concerns of computer gaming, research so far has been able to identify only a limited set of motives, which are not founded on formal theories of human motivation. Assuming that goal-directed behavior is triggered by the interaction between personal and environmental factors, this article aims to analyze a broader range of gaming motivations derived from basic human needs. The psychological needs investigated in this study are based on the psychogenic needs divided into six categories: materialism, power, affiliation, achievement, information, and sensual needs, defined by Murray [1938] in his extensive research. Since the present work defines motivation as a product of continuous interactions between players and the virtual world, each individual psychological need is briefly described in terms of the actions it provokes. In this context, this article is not concerned with why people play computer games but how they are motivated in the game.

Detailed analysis of the conceptual components of player motivation focuses on matching each psychological need to common gaming situations in computer role-playing games (RPGs). Since this game genre provides interactive virtual environments capable of offering experiences analogous to real life, it is highly relevant to motivational studies. The relationship between motivational factors and gaming situations is discussed with examples from a recently released RPG, which takes place in a fantasy world full of social issues and conflicts, where players usually find themselves in situations that require a choice between the lesser of two evils. It is expected that the variables defined in this study should facilitate the design of computer games that satisfy a broader range of player motivations by providing ways to investigate the relationship between psychological needs and the gaming environment, while bearing in mind the basic components of goal-directed behavior.

Requirements Analysis of Presence: Insights from a RPG Game

Barbaros Bostan
Journal PaperACM Computers in Entertainment, 7 (1), 2009

Abstract

Virtual worlds are computer-based simulations intended to give its users the impression of being in another place. Presence, or the sense of “being there,” is a major design requirement for virtual environments where users inhabit an artificial reality in the form of two or three-dimensional graphical representations. Promoting this subjective experience has always been one of the major concerns of designers, but this complex and difficult task requires the awareness of other design requirements and their effects on presence. This article aims to define various psychological and technological aspects of presence based on virtual environment design requirements defined by Stuart [2001].

Previous research tried to define hypothesized factors of presence by using subjective user responses obtained from questionnaires. This study incorporates a different approach to define potential components of presence, specifying the individual design requirements for virtual worlds based on the conceptual framework designed by Stuart. This framework has not been applied to the analysis of the concept of presence before, and it defines possible factors that contribute to a sense of presence, some of which have not been included in previous work. In order to decompose presence into its components, researchers should also be aware of the design requirements delineated in this framework.

Detailed analysis of design requirements will focus on a computer role-playing game (RPG), giving examples from one of the best titles in the genre. Since role-playing games are social and interactive worlds where players assume the role of a virtual character that can be subjectively defined as a second-self, they are highly relevant to presence research. Thus, selected design requirements will be discussed from a computer-gaming perspective by defining how each relevant requirement is addressed on the selected RPG, and how they should be addressed by game designers.

In Pursuit of Optimal Gaming Experience: Challenges and Difficulty Levels

Barbaros Bostan, Sertac Ogut
Conference Papers Entertainment=Emotion Conference, Spain, November 15-21, 2009 © CCBPP

Abstract

Researchers have identified different components of game fun in the past, but the objective of this contribution is to analyze game challenges and difficulty levels, and their effects on player enjoyment and emotions. This paper presents basic principles for designing game challenges as well as the requirements and qualities required to achieve maximum enjoyment. Special emphasis is given to the accumulated knowledge of Wizards of the Coast (and formerly TSR) in designing role-playing games. Different player types are discussed, the nature of the difficulty curve is examined, and the relationship between player satisfaction and different levels of difficulty is analyzed with a case study.

Explorations In Player Motivations : Game Mechanics

Barbaros Bostan, Ugur Kaplancali
Conference Papers GAMEON 2009 Conference, Germany, November 26-28 © Eurosis 2009

Abstract

This article, assuming that player motivations are the outcome of continuous player-environment interactions, applies the needs framework of Murray (1938) to a computer game and investigates the relations between each individual need and the driving game mechanics behind them. It is shown that the restrictions imposed by the game mechanics significantly reduce the number of player needs satisfied by a game, thereby trapping the player within the common motivational cycle of Achievement, Aggression, Harmavoidance and Acquisition.

Game Challenges and Difficulty Levels: Lessons Learned From RPGs

Barbaros Bostan, Sertac Ogut
Conference Papers ISAGA2009 Conference, Singapore, June 29 © ISAGA2009

Abstract

Maximizing player enjoyment in computer games is one of the most popular issues in game design. Different components of game fun have been determined by researchers in the past, but this article will focus on game challenges, difficulty levels, and their effects on player enjoyment. Various different genres exist in the computer gaming world, but it is important to note that roleplaying games provide diverse gaming challenges uniformly in their structure and require special attention in terms of player enjoyment. This study will focus on lessons learned from computer roleplaying games (CRPGs), giving examples from the best practices of the industry.

Web Design

HTML/CSS
Undergraduate Course Information Systems and Technologies Department, Yeditepe University

Course Description

This course covers following topics: Basics of internet; introduction to worldwide web, web sites and home pages, publishing on the web, hardware and software selection for WWW, development tools, communication protocols, HTML and CSS.

Syllabus
Week 0 : Course Notes
Week 1 : Course Notes
Week 2 : Course Notes
Week 3 : Course Notes
HTML Quiz 1
HTML Quiz 2
HTML Quiz 3
HTML Quiz 4
HTML Quiz 5
HTML Quiz 6
Week 4 : Course Notes
Week 5 : Course Notes
Week 6 : Course Notes
Week 7 : Course Notes
CSS Layout Example

Web Design

Javascript/JQuery
Undergraduate Course Information Systems and Technologies Department, Yeditepe University

Course Description

This course covers following topics: Javascript, JQuery and electronic mailing; planning, installation and maintenance of interactive web sites; web site management, implementation, and applications. Latest developments in the field will also be discussed.


Week 1 : Course Notes
Week 2 : Course Notes
Javascript Examples
Week 3 : Course Notes
Week 4 : Course Notes
Week 5 : Course Notes
Week 6 : Course Notes
jQuery Examples

Cisco

Networking I
Undergraduate Course Information Systems and Technologies Department, Yeditepe University

Course Description

This course covers the following topics: Computing basics; the OSI model; LANs; basics of electricity and signals; networking media and connections; numbering schemes and MAC addressing; token ring, FDDI and ethernet; network design and documentation; network installation; routing and IP adressing; routing protocols; transport, session, presentation and application layers of OSI model.

Week 1: Course Notes
Week 1: Homework
Week 2: Course Notes
Week 2: Homework
Week 3: Course Notes
Week 4: Course Notes
Week 5: Course Notes
Packet Tracer Examples
Week 6: Course Notes
Week 7: IP Addressing Quiz
Week 7: Course Notes
Chapter 4-5-6-7 Review Questions
Week 7: Homework(Subnetting with VLSM)
Week 8: Course Notes
Week 9: Course Notes
Week 10: Course Notes
Chapter 8-9-10-11 Review Questions

Cisco

Networking II
Undergraduate Course Information Systems and Technologies Department, Yeditepe University

Course Description

This course covers the following topics: WANs; router CLI; router components; router boot sequence and setup mode; router configuration modes; IOS images; router configuration; TCP/IP; IP adressing and subnetting; distance-vector routing ; link-state routing; routing protocols, RIP and IGRP; network troubleshooting.

Week 1: Course Notes
Week 2: Course Notes
Week 3: Course Notes
Week 4: Course Notes
Week 5: Course Notes
Week 6: Course Notes
Week 7: Course Notes
Week 8: Course Notes
Week 9: Course Notes
Week 10: Course Notes
Week 11: Course Notes

ACM 511

Network and Web Applications in Information Systems
Graduate Course Information Systems and Technologies Department, Yeditepe University

Course Description

Introduce the fundamentals of computer networks in terms of the layered network architecture; and introduce students to means of creating interactive web pages with online database support.

HTML
Network I
Network II
Network III
Network IV
Network V
Network VI
Programming I
Programming II
Programming III (NEW)
Programming IV (NEW)

Web Programming

PHP
Undergraduate Course Information Systems and Technologies Department, Yeditepe University

Course Description

This course primarily focuses on dynamic web page design and dynamic web applications. Form controls, output controls, buttons, link controls, input and selection controls, list controls, information display controls are introduced. Database connections, database access, binding data to form controls, binding data to information display controls, file and directory access from web pages are given. Students prepare a term project for this course using a dynamic language such as PHP or ASP.NET, and a database such as MySQL or SQL Server.

Week 1: Course Notes
Week 2: Course Notes
Week 3: Course Notes
Week 4: Course Notes
Week 5: Course Notes
Week 6: Course Notes
igalleries

Game Design

Introduction to Game Design
Undergraduate Course IST/MIS/VCD Department, Yeditepe University

Course Description

This course is a survey on the origins and progression of the video game field, from its humble beginnings to its current status as multi-billion dollar industry. In addition to learning about the origins of the electronic games, students will analyze games and game-play elements, examine genres and trends in games, and formulate their own proposal for an original game. The course will also give students hands-on experience with many games from earlier eras, and will encourage students to discuss the current state of the video game industry, as well as possible future developments.

Week 1: Course Notes
Week 2: Course Notes
Week 3: Course Notes
Week 4: Course Notes
Week 5: Course Notes
Week 6: Course Notes
Week 7: Course Notes
Week 8: Course Notes
Gaming Assignment
GameOn 2015 Presentation
STENCYL
Stencyl: Week 1

Game Programming

Introduction to Game Programming
Undergraduate Course IST/MIS/VCD Department, Yeditepe University

Course Description

This course is a survey on the origins and progression of the video game field, from its humble beginnings to its current status as multi-billion dollar industry. In addition to learning about the origins of the electronic games, students will analyze games and game-play elements, examine genres and trends in games, and formulate their own proposal for an original game. The course will also give students hands-on experience with many games from earlier eras, and will encourage students to discuss the current state of the video game industry, as well as possible future developments.

VRML
VRML: Week 1
VRML: Week 2
VRML Examples
Game Programming: Week 1
Game Programming: Week 2
Game Programming: Week 3
Game Programming: Week 4
Game Programming: Week 5

You can find me at my office located at Yeditepe University, Faculty of Commerce, Room 102.