Feedback Game Features: Basic
Clinicians can create feedback game profiles for each patient which will store all feedback game options, settings and scores for that patient in a HIPPA-compliant format. This means the clinician does not have to reset the options each time for each patient. The game will remember what was used last time. What’s more, the Patient Profile includes a “Nickname” feature so each patient can select a fun nickname for themselves which is displayed on the Scores screen.
Clinicians can easily setup the number of periods per session, the length of each period and the optional Auto-Restart Next Period at a desired time interval.
The clinician can separately turn on or off the vertical or horizontal meters. Plus, there are five different styles of meters available, from the approach used in most current games to new meter styles which use more intuitive visual concepts and innovative graphical depictions.
Game Display Options
The clinician can separately turn off different types of in-game, on-screen displays, such as speed meter, time, scores, etc.
Game Sound Options
The clinician can separately turn off different types of in-game environmental sounds, such as skateboarding sounds, character sounds, etc. while not effecting the Reward Waves Sound.
Clinicians can adjust the graphics quality lower or higher to meet the capabilities of their specific computer system.
Clinicians can choose from three unique levels with increasing length and complexity. Zukor’s Grind levels are not just different colored tunnels, background photos or clip art, but rather truly unique, fully-developed and highly-imaginative paths populated by an array of diverse, interesting objects.
Game Object Options
The game can be significantly modified by the clinician by turning off individual objects, turning off groups of objects or turning off all objects. This allows the clinician to adjust the visual stimulation of the game to their feedback protocol.
The game objects can be either static (they never change), random (each training period they are different), additive (starts with none and adds more each training period) or subtractive (starts with all on and then removes some each training period).
The objects within the game vary greatly from juvenile to serious. A few objects move, but most are static to reduce distractions. Some emit sound, but most do not.
Time of Day Options
The clinician can have the game environment appear as day or night (with moonlight). Another “Time of Day” alternative is the “Moving Sun” mode where the “sun” moves 360 degrees around the “Concrete Paradise” game environment. The “Time of Day” options in Zukor’s Grind do more than add variety. They offer the clinician a powerful tool to control the “mood” of the game and thus support the desired patient treatment protocol.
Feedback Game Features: Advanced
Zukor’s Grind includes modality presets for the most common modalities which are selected from a simple drop down menu. Zukor’s Grind can be driven by all neurofeedback and biofeedback modalities, including 3 band “SMR” neurofeedback, Z-Score, HRV, BVP, EKG, GSR, Respiration and Temperature. The primary gameplay action of the character’s speed, skateboarding tricks and scores can be driven by one to three events.
The Modality Editor in Zukor’s Grind allows the clinician to create and/or edit additional modalities to be used with Zukor’s Grind, which can be saved and accessed later.
The Modality Editor is not a substitute for the modality settings in the clinician’s feedback system software, but rather a way for the clinician to tell the game how to react to the clinical settings.
Secondary Gameplay Actions
In addition to the three events driving the primary gameplay actions in Zukor’s Grind, the clinician can use up to 12 secondary gameplay actions.
There are 16 visual effects from which to choose for each secondary gameplay action that are applied to the skater, such as bubbles or flames coming out of the skateboard, a colored spotlight on the skater, etc. Each secondary action can be defined as either discrete or proportional.
Auditory Feedback Options
Clinicians can select from a broad array of high-quality sounds from both music instruments and synthetic sources, including MIDI.
The feedback sound’s delay intervals can be set in milliseconds. The auditory feedback sound’s volume can be adjusted separately from the game’s environmental sounds.
There is also an option for “feedback based volume” so the volume of the sound depends on how well criteria is being met.
Speed Change Rate Variable
This advanced setting allows clinicians to adjust how dramatically the character responds to changes in EEG or biometric data which can be very useful for certain treatment protocols. The clinician is able to easily change the variable in the gameplay dynamics algorithm which controls the “rate of speed change” of the character. It does not change how “fast” the character responds, but how “much.” Likewise, it also does not change the delay of the speed change because the character always responds instantly to changes in EEG or biometric data. However, the perception will be that if the Speed Change Rate is “more” that the character is responding quicker.
Patient Retention Features
The clinician can choose from human and non-human characters. There is a teenage boy, named Biff, and a teenage girl, named Buffy. The non-human characters are labeled as Bonus Characters but the clinician can enable them at any time. These characters are a great way to reward a patient for reaching certain treatment goals.
The Bonus Characters can be hidden on the Characters page so they are not visible as an option until the clinician is ready to reveal them to the patient.
Camera Angle Options
Clinicians can change the patient’s viewpoint relative to the game’s character from Normal (3rd person behind the character), Reverse (facing the character in front of them) or Overhead (following the character directly above them) to add variety to the patient feedback experience.
Patients are awarded points for making reward waves, plus bonus points for doing skateboarding tricks. The Scores screen offers the patient and clinician a summary of points and progress from period to period and session to session.
The Scores screen data for the current or past sessions can be saved as a “screen grab” graphic file which can be printed and as a Excel spreadsheet.