CityVR - Gameful Software Visualization

Through the gamification of software engineering tasks researchers propose to improve developer engagement. However, gamification has been limited to mechanisms such as points and badges. We propose to extend gamification mechanisms to architectural design decisions by drawing an analogy between applications and computer games. We believe that software visualization tools can represent the ultimate gamification of software engineering tasks. We introduce CityVR —an interactive software visualization tool that implements the city metaphor technique using virtual reality in an immersive 3D environment medium to boost developer engagement in software comprehension tasks. We evaluated our tool with a case study based on ArgoUML. We measured engagement in terms of feelings, interaction, and time perception. We report on how our design choices relate to developer engagement. We found that developers i) felt curious, challenged, playful, attracted, and interested, ii) spent considerable interaction time navigating and selecting elements, and iii) perceived that time passed faster than in reality, and therefore were willing to spend more time using the tool to solve software engineering tasks.

CityVR: Gameful Software Visualization