About Resus Days Project

 

This project began as my Master’s thesis of the Health Informatics program, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University. The main purpose of the thesis is to develop a serious game (a game that has additional purposes other than entertainment) to help healthcare professionals practice Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS). This project is an experimental project trying to explore gamification of serious medical knowledge and study outcomes. My thesis may finish soon, but my personal experiment continue.

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Design Principles

Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) is an essential intervention to resuscitate the patient back from a life-threatening condition such as a cardiac arrest. All physicians and many healthcare professionals have to train about ACLS. However, the knowledge retention is low due to: 1) the complexity of the treatment algorithms 2) difficulty in accessing to training simulation. Although there’re some ACLS simulations in the market, most of them are a realistic simulation and require some efforts to use them. Thus, this project tried to create a game that is:

1. Accessible

The game has to be accessible from anywhere and any devices. That’s the reason I developed it for mobile devices. And I tried to keep the app size low, keep the performance of the app high by various methods (as much as I can). I hope that it could run on a low-end device.

2. Entertain

I think learning can be fun, even it’s learning a complicated medical topic. I tried to design the game that the players feel that they want to play, and they have fun playing it. So that they want to revise the important concept like ACLS more often.

3. Simple

Learning ACLS takes a lot of effort. My idea is what if we make the learning simpler by including just the main components of it? I think if people can grasp the main concept of the guideline, it may inspire them to study more on the topic on their own. And many participants of my thesis said that they went on reviewing the guideline during and after the game ended.

4. Medically correct

There’re a lot of medical games in the market, but most of them are more like a fantasy game for entertaining a non-medical player. This game must maintain the correctness of medical information and realism in the game as much as it can, while balancing with entertainment.

Noted that this is the only page that I mentioned the word “ACLS” because I’m not sure I can use the word in the game or marketing material due to copyright issue. But I can’t deny that my thesis is based on the ACLS guideline although I didn’t use anything from the official guideline (figures, sentences) except the knowledge in it.

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Development

Resus Days is the first game I developed. The development started in February and ended in April 2018 because I have to finish my thesis within May. I developed this project alone, from game design, programming, and game art. It’s quite a large scope with a tight schedule for the first game. The total work hours are around 600 hours and the overall cost is around $300 (not include the Adobe Creative Suite subscription).

The software stack that I used are:

  • Unity: Game framework. I also used some assets from the Unity asset store.
  • Blender: 3D modeling and animation
  • Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop: All game art and user interface
  • Adobe Premiere & After Effects: Game trailer and video editing
  • WordPress: For this website

Although I developed this project alone, this project wouldn’t be possible without the help of many of my physician friends and playtesters. They helped to shape the gameplay with their real-world clinical point of view.

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Future

After I worked on this project, I found my passion for serious game development. I still want to develop this project further. I want to include a feature like finding causes of arrest or include other algorithms like acute coronary syndrome or stroke. I also have many ideas that could be developed as a serious game, both in a medical and non-medical field. If this project goes well, I’ll continue developing all of these.

If you like my project, or if you share my passion for serious game development and want me to be on your team. Or you want to start a new company with me. Or you want to help funding these projects. Feel free to reach out.

 

About Me

My name is Rath Panyowat. I’m a physician from Thailand. Despite my educational background, I’m interested in IT and digital art for a long time. I’ve co-founded 2 companies when I was in Thailand (one already stop operate, and another one is Health at Home). My role in both companies is mainly art direction and front-end web development, but I also took part in business activities such as strategy planning and marketing.

In 2016, I received the Swedish Institute Study Scholarship (SISS). So, I came to Sweden. One lecture from Prof.Uno Fors inspired me about the world of a serious game. So, I started learning game development in November 2017 and was fascinated by this field. I hope I could stay in a serious game industry after my education.