Capturing Willandra – Challenges & Experiences Bringing a Hidden Historical Site to Interactive Digital Life

Chris Little & Dale Patterson Part of CW17

The Willandra trackways are one of Australia’s most important historical sites. They include the footprints of our earliest Australians, some 20,000 years old, and all captured in the clay-pans of the Willandra lakes region. Unfortunately these national treasures are hidden, for their own protection, beneath a layer of sand and thus are completely unavailable to the broader public. This paper discusses the challenges in using digital capture techniques to capture and convert this data into interactive experience.

Crafting Environment Narrative: Investigating Environmental Storytelling use in Video Game Narrative

Blair Findlay & Justin Carter Part of CW17

Environmental storytelling has become a useful tool in game design as it can be employed in different ways depending on the designer’s needs. The use of these techniques while documented aren’t described clearly for a designer to easily incorporate into their game designs. This paper explores environmental storytelling and its utilisation in games with the knowledge translated into the design and creation of principles to serve as the means of answering the needs of beginning designers.

Early Development of a Flexible Procedural Approach to Automatic Jazz Improvisation

Daniel Field Part of CW17

This paper describes early work on an approach to automatic improvisation in the jazz idiom, derived from analysis of human practice, with algorithm development in the Jython Environment for Music (JEM). From the outset this project sought to be inspired by the human process of jazz improvisation and to apply as directly as possible the logic and processes of a human engaged in the activity of jazz improvisation – without necessarily using any specific computing technique or algorithm class. This paper describes the thinking and early experimentation leading to the current prototype version which improvises essentially in real-time and demonstrates how the use of variable parameters can greatly increase the flexibility of procedural programming.

Repurposing Augmented Reality Browsers for Acts of Creative Subversion on the Move

David Sargent Part of CW17

Consumer facing Augmented Reality (AR) technology offers innovative new ways for consumers to engage and interact with brands and products via interactive advertising and experiences. Conversely, this technology also creates new channels that can be exploited and subverted by those who wish to generate critical reflection of consumerist culture. This paper aims to highlight that consumer AR technology presents new and unique opportunities for activists interested in subversive communication.

Millennials, Politics & Visual Communication

Rae Cooper Part of CW17

There is a growing decline in political engagement amongst young Australian voters. Simultaneously, we have a growing number of digital platforms designed to assist voters in making choices, understanding their preferences and ultimately – who to vote for. This paper explores a shift in response to the issue of political apathy, through the design of a new online platform. By moving the focus from political science to visual communication design, this new concept aims to engage a contemporary understanding of design activism as a mechanism of political empowerment.

Visual Representation – Examining Level of Abstraction and Game Play Sensation

Stevie Mills & Justin Carter Part of CW17

Visual representation for video games describes the way in which objects are displayed in order to convey meaning and recognition for the player. As a component of the games metaphor, visual representation offers context for interaction and provides players with meaning for their actions. A key component of visual representation is how closely the representation resembles real objects. If the representation establishes full resemblance it is considered realistic. However, if it does not attempt to resemble or provide meaning for the object it is considered abstract. Early generation game systems provided low fidelity graphical capabilities and therefore designers were restricted in the level of realism that could be achieved. With the introduction of each new generation of game systems, capability to achieve more realistic fidelity in representations has increased expanding the spectrum of possibility between real and abstract. This notion of varying levels of abstraction linked to interaction has implications for designers of video games attempting to achieve specific gameplay sensations. Tensions arise for player sensation when the level of abstraction fails to the match the player’s expected preconception of the game’s play mechanics, creating a dissonance between player and the game play experience.

This paper outlines the results of a practice-led study examining visual representation as a component of game design. This is achieved through the development of a prototype that provides opportunity to explore varying levels of abstraction within specific rule based contexts. The study illuminates links between how meaning is conveyed visually to a player and the implications this has for game play sensation.

Design and Production of a Customisable 3D Character Pipeline

Matt McRae & Reza Ryan Part of CW17

One of the major barriers in creating a customisable 3D character is the lack of knowledge into the creative and technical pipeline required. Most games that have these kinds of systems are high budget games, with the artists and programmers having lifetimes worth of experience. These systems are also highly valued, and as such are often proprietary in nature, which means very little information on the actual construction is readily available. This research project aims to design a pipeline for creating a base character mesh tor single mesh to be used in a character creation system.

The Real Thing: An Aesthetic Comparison of Modelled Versus Traditional Guitar Amplification Technology in the Studio

Rob Keko & Ross McLennan Part of CW17

Since the rising popularity and widespread commercial use of the electric guitar in the 1950’s, advances in guitar amplifier design and technology have played a key role in shaping the soundscape, tonal characteristics, recording methods and production styles of contemporary music. In recent years, digital modelling techniques have created new ways of producing sought after guitar amplifier sounds, which have changed the way producers, artists and guitar players use this technology both in the recording studio and in live performance. This in turn has impacted on how listeners, concert attendees and music consumers hear and experience recordings and live music. Extensive comparisons between authentic and modelled amplification have been conducted in industry magazines. However, these tend to be simplistic or overtly commercial in nature with typical yes/no style responses. A more rigorous approach is required which ascertains both gut feeling, as well as a more considered aesthetic response to the two technologies. This paper, therefore, presents a comparative study between traditional and modelled guitar technology that contextualises these amplifier sounds within fully produced music. It presents a non-biased quantitative and qualitative study of audience reaction to music – recorded using Apple’s Logic Pro X software – which includes both amplification styles: authentic and modelled. The paper concludes with the results of the study and reflects upon the future of guitar amplification.

Island Healing: A Global Exploration of Sound Healing Ideas and Practices and the Implementation of These Into Music Intended To Make Peace With Place

Clara Durbridge & Ross McLennan Part of CW17

Sound and music have been linked to healing since early civilisation. Likewise, in modern times studies demonstrate sound and music as effective methods in decreasing anxiety, accelerated heart rates and blood pressure. The aim of this paper is not to prove or disprove the efficacy of sound as a healing agent, but to define and explore sound healing as a relatively new field of study, and then to incorporate its ideas, techniques and instruments into an original music composition intended to heal, through sonic metaphor, the damaged natural world. The paper documents a journey from one side of the Earth to the other – with nothing but an iPhone – to capture and record the concepts and practices of modern and ancient sound healing. The paper culminates in the incorporation of these ideas and practices into original music created within Apple’s flagship music software, Logic Pro X. It is anticipated that this study and its resulting music will inspire other composers and artists who are seeking to experiment with their own creative practice and possibly incorporate aspects of sound healing into their own work.

Approaches to Modular Construction for Real-Time Game Environments

Braiden Fenech & Justin Carter Part of CW17

Video Game design and development has evolved into a profitable and widely accepted creative field that operates within ever-increasing technical capability. This improved capability has facilitated an increase in the visual fidelity achievable within real-time environments. Game artists faced with creating these environments are tasked with maximising both system resource allocation and efficiency in production time. One strategy that has been adopted by artists is to implement a modular design and construction approach when developing environmental elements. Although this approach offers many benefits for artists, the associated skills and techniques are not well defined.

Through an exploration of existing literature and reflection on current practice, this study identifies and evaluates a range of contemporary approaches to modular construction for real-time environments and in the process offers valuable insight for practitioners.