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.

Conceptualising Game Design – A Tangible approach to Level Design

Henry Sun & Justin Carter Part of CW17

Conceptualising and communicating game design ideas amongst teams of game developers can be an enigmatic process. Designers of video games often rely on rapid prototyping and iterative approaches to creating game play experiences. Deep and meaningful experiences are not always easily expressed in the form of words and as a result, initial design intentions are often misinterpreted and or poorly communicated. This often leads to designers of games relying on a serendipitous approaches as they intrinsically move toward design intentions. These approaches are largely derived from traditional models of agile software development placing little emphasis on the cognitive process of individuals in the development team. Therefore, approaches based in theories of cognition are rarely considered for designers of games. One such area of this field is tangible design which attempts to investigate links between cognitive science and the physical tactile world. The impact that tangible approaches have on collaborative game design is yet to be thoroughly investigated. 

This paper describes a practice-led study that aims to test the influence of tactile 3D printed video game assets on cognitive processes and design communication for teams when conceptualising game designs. This is achieved through a review of existing literature in the field, followed by an in depth analyses of a tangible approach to game level design. Through this process the study presents a deeper understanding of the implications that tangible design strategies have on conceptualising and communicating game designs.

Performance Capture: Split between the Fictitious and Physical World

Joel Bennett & Chris Carter Part of CW17

Performance Capture (PCap) is the process of capturing a continuous recording of an actor’s movements and emotions using motion capture technology, typically in a 3D virtual world. This presents a somewhat unique situation for the actor in that they are challenged to imagine their virtual counterparts and a completely abstract, computer-generated world whilst delivering their performance. Central to this paper is the identification of the various implications that affect the actor’s abilities during a performance by investigating professionals’ experiences when using performance capture and through the exploration of the implications of performance capture in the creation of a short experimental animation.

An Autonomous Music Composer based on Affective Principles

Jacob Olander Part of CW17

Over the past 60 years, there has been much research into the field of algorithmic composition. Techniques have been refined, and processes developed to suit a variety of needs. Recently however, focus has been turned to algorithmic composition for more emotive purposes. Affective Algorithmic Composition (AAC), the product of this research is a rapidly developing field, with many potential applications. In particular, AAC has the potential to solve one of the most prevalent issues in game audio. This research described in this paper covers the implementation of an Affective Algorithmic Composition system into a computer game. The methodology used is based upon Design Science Principles and is has a pragmatist theoretical perspective. Using Lindenmayer Systems and Markov chain theory, a fully functional system will be developed.