X World 2019 Call for Presenters

X World is our annual training event for OS X and iOS system administrators and support staff, and will be held at UTS, Sydney. This year the event will run June 26-28.

We are now calling for presenters who wish to offer sessions and workshops at this year’s event. If you have a background in the installation, configuration, deployment, or on-going administration of OS X based systems, or experience in iOS deployment, management and app development, or if you work in related areas, we’d really like to hear from you. Presenters receive free registration to X World, and qualify for subsidised flights and/or accommodation.

The call for presentations is now open, and closes Friday March 29, 2019, at 9pm Sydney time. Offers can be made by completing the submission form.

Want to request a session at X World? Submit an idea on our requests board. We can’t guarantee anyone will pick it up and run with it, but you might just inspire someone else to share their experience!

Design is Like… Making Sense of Things Through the Creative use of Analogy

Mike McAuley Part of CW18

This study discusses analogical reasoning and its role in creative problem solving. Specifically it looks at how novice first year university design students responded to the task of communicating a complex topic through the generation of a visual analogy; in this instance the task of explaining some aspect of what design is. Students were introduced to various theories about design and design process. They were also introduced to theories around analogical reasoning, particularly those around mapping. The students were then asked to demonstrate their understanding, not through critical discourse, but through applied creative practice. To provide a context, students had to create an illustration with the title ‘Design is Like…’. The findings suggest that the praxis based approach acted as an empirical bridge between theory and practice, providing students with an identifiable creative strategy and meta-cognitive awareness of their own design process

Adobe Tools

Adobe staff Part of CW18

Adobe will offer a video focused workshop that will firstly introduce you to Premiere Rush, a brand-new app that makes shooting, editing and sharing online videos fast and easy and across all your devices from mobile to desktop.

Following that, we will give you an introduction to Motion Graphics in After Effects. Simply drag and drop spreadsheets into new data-driven Motion Graphics templates to quickly generate data visualisations.

Lastly explore Adobe’s VR tools with 180 and 360 VR effects and transitions – see how to easily create amazing content fast with tools for 180 and 360/VR effects and transitions in After Effects CC and auto-aware VR detection in Premiere Pro CC.

Integrating Consumer Friendly Microtransactions Encouraged Through Gameplay that Promotes Product Advocacy

Travis New, Justin Carter and Ross McLennan Part of CW18

The Implementation of microtransactions within console game products has become increasingly more prevalent. The development of new strategies for increasing game revenue whilst maintaining positive gaming experiences has become increasingly important to developers and publishers of games.

To date, the implementation of microtransactions in game development has predominately been applied within the mobile gaming market. In recent years an increasing number of console game developers with significantly higher development budgets have attempted to implement these existing strategies with varying levels of success.

An important consideration in the application of microtransaction strategies is consumer advocacy. Through reviews, forums and online gaming communities, there is a rise in levels of consumer advocacy in the games industry. This notion of advocacy can have a significant effect on the acceptance of microtransaction strategies within game development and therefore becomes a key consideration for developers and publishers.

This paper presents the findings of an investigation into contemporary micro transaction strategies within the console game industry. Beginning with an exploration of existing micro transaction strategies the study illuminates the transaction experience through the lens of the consumer specifically focusing on the effects these strategies have on advocacy. Finally, the study provides key insights into the implementation of microtransactions for developers and publishers of video games.

Mapping Input: Balancing Virtual Simulation and Responsiveness

Arden Sedmak and Justin Carter Part of CW18

Fundamental to the creation of real-time games is establishing how parameters within the game will behave in response to player input. The challenge for designers is that they must bridge the gap between the physical nature of the input device and the procedurally generated virtual simulation. Complexities arise in the modulation of position and rotation parameters when attempting to provide appealing physical simulations while maintaining instantaneous response. The challenge for the designer is to match the player’s preconception of how an object should behave within the physical simulation while maintaining the systems ability to respond in a timely manner.

This paper provides the results of a practice-led study that investigates how parameters of movement can be measured and modulated over time while maintaining system responsiveness. This is achieved by examining how signals from the input device can be mapped to changes in position and rotation within a selection of case studies. Findings from these case studies are then applied in the development of third person character action game.

The paper concludes by presenting an approach for measuring and analysing position and rotation parameters in relation to responsiveness during production phases of development.

Photogrammetry: Techniques for Independent Game Developers

Sean Backhouse, Justin Carter and Ross Mclennan Part of CW18

Photogrammetry involves the process of accurately measuring photographic image properties in order to acquire information relating to surface detail. Information collected during this photogrammetric analysis is then applied to computational models that attempt to accurately recreate three dimensional representations from the image data.

The use of photogrammetry by the video game industry is on the rise as developers attempt to use these techniques to create more realistic three dimensional assets in shorter time frames. This shift in production methodology has implications for independent developers of games that typically work in smaller teams with less funding.

This paper provides an overview of an investigation into what implications exist for independent developers by first investigating current applications of photogrammetry adopted by the games industry. These techniques are then explored through a practice-led research approach that aims to investigate solutions for independent developers. Finally the paper presents a cost effective strategy for independent developers to effectively create real-time game assets.

Zero and I: The Void in Augmented Reality

Grace Herrmann and Ross McLennan Part of CW18

The void is a multifarious subject with roots in ancient philosophy, spirituality, science and art. It is both multifarious and profound, suggesting a space of nothingness, silence and darkness, yet also the infinite and the sublime. In the visual arts, it has inspired prolific exploration from the works of Yves Klein to well-known, contemporary exponents like Anish Kapoor.

This project explored the void by integrating augmented reality (AR) into creative practice and employed the three defining characteristics of AR: that it combines the real and the virtual; is interactive in real time; and is registered in 3D. The resulting artwork utilised virtual imagery projected onto sculptures, and motion sensors to allow audience interactivity in a physical space.

The project approached AR as a concept rather than a technology, to focus on the creation of a meaningful experience of the void, without the barriers to immersion inherent using screen-based devices such as tablets and smartphones. The resulting artwork aimed to create a new way of depicting and exploring the void by using contemporary methods that build on the history of art.

Refining the Zone: Enriched Video Game Immersion in Hub Zones through Phases of Musical Re-Composition

Benjamin Lang and Ross McLennan Part of CW18

Immersion is a vital aspect of the video game experience (Brown, E. Cairns, P. 2004), and game audio plays a significant role in its design and consumption. Favourable audio has been shown to have a marked effect on the experience of immersion in video games (Gasselseder, H. 2014), while undesirable audio can negatively affect sensory and imaginative immersion (Brown, E. Cairns, P. 2004). As video game hubs in hub-based game designs are such an integral part of the overall experience, audio elements within hub zones must be as immersive as possible.

This study will attempt to improve levels of game immersion in hub zones by improving one aspect of audio design – the music. The research will require ten participants to interact with a re-composed hub environment for a duration of ten minutes. During this interaction, visual observations of the participants will measure any visual indicators of enjoyment and immersion. After the interaction period is complete, participants will be interviewed: how did they feel; how much time had they felt had passed and how much of an influence did the music have on their levels of enjoyment and immersion.

The research will be conducted using the methodological framework of action research, a cycling system of research where a product is created, tested, results reflected upon, then refined and created again using the information gathered. In order to gather enough data to create an effective immersive hub composition, three cycles of action research will be conducted. If successful, this iterative re-composition process could help improve immersion in hub environments – and video games in general.

Inside the Spark: Pondering the Creative Process of Fast Songwriting

Ross Mclennan and Ross McLennan Part of CW18

Songwriting is typically an art form which results in three or four minutes of sonic, structured, poetic time. However, songs typically take hours, days or even years to compose. But some of the greatest songs have been written fast. They seem to have spontaneously appeared from the ether in a state of relative completeness. This self-study explores the creation of such a song – composed in just five minutes – evaluating fast, compared to slow-form creations: the nature of the modern muse; the use of everyday technology to capture the spark of creativity; and the perceived benefit of a long-form honing process thereafter.