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Utilizing XNA and Xbox 360 game console as a sustainable streetscape spatial review tool in a virtual environment

O'Keeffe, S. and Shiratuddin, M.F. (2008) Utilizing XNA and Xbox 360 game console as a sustainable streetscape spatial review tool in a virtual environment. In: 8th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality, 3 - 6 June, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



In planning and designing of the built environment, current techniques of communicating design leave out important information that is crucial to the understanding of the intended audience. Previous works on Virtual Environment shows that visualization capability can provide a common language for understanding design. City/town planners in particular and the built environment in general, have the opportunity to benefit from the visual design techniques offered by the computer and video games industry. Such techniques include enhanced texture mapping, lighting, interaction, the use of gamepad, audio, and real-time 3D interactive visualization.

A prototype Virtual Environment spatial review tool is developed to help communicate and clarify design and its information by using Virtual Environment rendered by a 3D game engine, running on a video game console. The motivation for this development is to propose this tool to be used by the planning division of the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) at Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA. The current problem facing the USM planning division is on the functionality of the campus streetscape, particularly West 4th Street, at the north side of the campus. The existing pedestrianization design of the USM is suffering from the lack of built environment standards, and at the moment there are no set standards for the university master plan. The prototype could be used to show design concepts and design principles that affect the building, design materials and building structural components to be implemented in the new design and construction of future USM campus.

This paper briefly describes the development of the prototype using the XNA framework and the Xbox 360 game console as a 3D design visualization and communication tool to assess the accessibility of a self-sustainable streetscape design. The XNA framework is used as the primary development tool for the proposed virtual streetscape. The authors envisage and believe the prototype can become a valuable tool in assisting the development and review of the built environment through 3D visualization applications.

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