Musical Manipulation 1 – Qualitative Correlations Between Harmonic Dissonance and the Emotions

Ross Mclennan and Ross McLennan Part of CW18

Music’s emotional impact is ubiquitous. It is used to scare us on our screens, to soothe us into a state of consumer comfort in shopping centres and excite us into a frenzy of excitement at sports events. Yet this mainstream emotional manipulation, which seems so obvious, is in many ways still shrouded in mystery. This qualitative study analyses the manipulative power of one musical dimension – harmony – by comparing emotional reactions to a number of common and less well-known chords of varying levels of dissonance on music and non-music student participants. The results will be used to create a rudimentary harmonic/emotional framework to aid media composition students to manipulate their intended audiences. It is envisaged this framework will also act as a foundation for future research into musical/emotional manipulation.


Painting’s Facture and its Digital Translation

Chris Worfold Part of CW18

Analogue painting is a form of chirographic picture making which is indexical to the artist’s gesture. Photo imaging technologies are commonly used to reproduce paintings, representing them as digital images. However, this reproduction process results in the loss of painting’s material facture. In this sense digital images are not reproductions of analogue paintings rather they are tokens for them. Increasingly audiences are experiencing paintings indirectly via token digital images, where the uniqueness of the sensory encounter with a painting’s facture; its mark making, materials and scale, is removed. This paper investigates the discourse surrounding the digitisation of analogue painting and identifies attempts to digitally translate painting’s material facture.


Responsive Animation – An Examination of Character Animation for Responsive Game Feel

Justin T Carter Part of CW18

The animation of player controlled characters in real-time video games plays a key role in shaping player perception. The game system’s ability to offer an instantaneous response by reacting quickly and positively to input from the player can influence how a game feels to play. Animation techniques adopted in traditional high fidelity forms such as film possess the potential to introduce effects such as system latency or lag which can create a form of dissonance between the player input and the sensation of control in the game. The challenge for animators is that they must use animation techniques specific to real-time control in order to create realistic high fidelity illusions of motion and physical actions while maintaining system responsiveness. This paper investigates the contemporary animation techniques applied in order to maintain and enhance sensations of control in real-time games.


New World Immersion: A Creative Inquiry into Enhanced Dynamic Music in the Open Worlds of Medieval-based Roleplaying Games

Melissa Nichols Part of CW18

A study by Gasselseder (Gasselseder, 2014) explored the immersive presence, emotional behaviour and arousal in players through the use of dynamic and non-dynamic music in an action-adventure video game. The study concluded that subjects experienced “enhanced [immersion] when being presented with dynamic music” (Gasselseder, 2014).

Open-world games, particularly medieval-based role playing games (RPG), have been criticised for their overly-cluttered content and information resulting in reduced immersion. Their “design has reduced what should be immersive worlds into expensive yet meaningless filler between objective icons.” (Parish 2015). Consequently, this study will explore how dynamic music can be used to enhance immersion in such open-world games. Based on a pragmatic action research methodology the study will focus on the development and refinement of a musical prototype. Brainwave measurements, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews will be used to inform the refinement phases.

It is envisaged that results from this study will be valuable to game developers who plan to create huge open-worlds with improved immersion levels.


Visually Exploring the Acoustic World

Leah Gustafson, Chris Carter, Susan Fuller, Leah Barclay and Charles Dacosta Part of CW18

The complexity of soundscapes is difficult to express to general audiences, and the most common ways of visualising the audio generated from the acoustic data of a soundscape recording are difficult for the lay audience to interpret. The creative work “Wild Soundscapes” experiments with the use of 360° video in a mixed reality (MR) environment as a backdrop for visualising soundscapes.


Re-directing the Lens

Sonia York-Pryce Part of CW18

This paper seeks to examine the role of the older, experienced dancer through digital documentation. This is followed by a discussion regarding the project and its aims to make visible the older dancing body on screen, a rare occurrence within Western society. It questions why in the Western dance world, the sentiment is no different, ageing remains a taboo issue, holding prejudice towards the corporeal difference of the older, experienced dancer.


Stochastic Weather Modelling to Generate Rain, Snowfall and Wind

Ceegan Kohere and Reza Ryan Part of CW18

Within the past decade development and quality of weather phenomena in virtual environments has rapidly increased. However, there is a lack of documented framework to create a dynamic and optimized weather system suitable for real-time environment.

This research is a critical inquiry of current research and the implementation required to create such a weather system in real-time. In this research a dynamic weather model was created using different weather component generation techniques such as Particle emission, Markov chains, Cellular Automata, Tri-Planar projection and Depth mapping. The weather model was designed and tested through the design science research methodology to ensure functionality. This framework can be easily integrated into existing real-time engines.


A Framework for Player Traits and Behaviours

Jackson Fuller Part of CW18

Since Bartle’s taxonomy of player types, various researchers have attempted to identify and categorise player behaviours. However, player types have proven to be inefficient which has paved the way for trait models instead. Research into player traits is fairly recent and so far, has only been used in subjective questionnaires. This can lead to a lack of understanding of how players make certain decisions in game scenarios.

This project attempts to address this problem by creating a framework that defines various behaviours that players exhibit in relation to their player traits. An artificial agent will be created to display these behaviours in a video game setting to provide an understanding of how a player’s trait orientation can inform their actions in each scenario. The scenarios created for the agent to interact in will be informed by the subjective survey questions designed to identify player traits.

It is expected that the knowledge from this project can be used to predict player behaviours based on the scenarios that developers have created. This leaves the potential to personalise a game for multiple player traits or cater towards a specific one.


Creating a Virtual Reality Horror Experience

Travis Jeffery and Reza Ryan Part of CW18

This research considers the numerous studies into the genre of horror in the entertainment industry with the growing commercial success of virtual reality (VR). While there is an increasing number of studies conducted into these VR systems, there is limited research on developing a framework to create horror games using VR. This practice-led study aims to design a framework which utilizes the VR systems with the techniques of horror design: visual components of light and color; audio localization and hallucinations; obscurity. A prototype game is developed alongside the framework and then tested to see the effectiveness of the design on the experience of fear. The findings of this research aim to establish a framework suitable for horror game development.


“You’ve Got A Friend in Me!”: The Fellowship of the ‘Others’

Charulatha Mani and Taana Rose Part of CW18

This paper describes a creative work in progress. Two women vocal performers from diverse traditions come together with technology to create a textured soundscape. Using artistic practice as process, the methodological framework adopts artistic experimentation as the key method. Adopting the overarching philosophy that Otherness comprises of the marginalised, the vulnerable and the machine, we draw on Donna Haraway’s notion of ‘becoming-with’ technology. We draw on lullaby from the South Indian tradition of music as the primary content. Drawing on key syllabic elements from the lullaby tradition, we compose and improvise using technology as the facilitator and partner, on a technologically created textured substrate. The outcomes showcased here include sound files of failed and successful attempts, as well as spectrograms depicting the key moments in the composed-improvisations.