PlayPR: Play and Performance Interfaces for Culture and Games - Projects

Projects

Augmenting Motion Graph with Video Data
The current project we are working on is focused on enhancing the standard motion graph algorithms. We are interested in utilizing transition frames presented in video data to inform the transition generation process in order to achieve more realistic transitions between actions. Video data is readily available, less intrusive and easy to produce compared to motion capture. Our algorithm is to reduce human interference during motion creation and improve the realism of the animation.
Concordia University
Hacking Structured Light
The release of the Microsoft Kinect in Fall 2010 has prompted renewed interest in the use of structured light for gestural sensing and motion control in games (as well as other applications). Given the relative accessibility of the PrimeSense structured light technology in the Kinect and a burgeoning hacking community supported by Microsoft, PlayPR members have begun a project to explore existing hacks, innovate new ones, and find ways to implement structured light technology in our gestural and motion control based game projects.
Concordia University
Learning Human Action Sequence Style
The current project we are working on is focused on enhancing the standard motion graph algorithms. We are interested in utilizing transition frames presented in video data to inform the transition generation process in order to achieve more realistic transitions between actions. Video data is readily available, less intrusive and easy to produce compared to motion capture. Our algorithm is to reduce human interference during motion creation and improve the realism of the animation.
Concordia University
Ethereal
Ethereal is an iPad game in development that is meant to explore the actions and meaning behind ones voice and the ability to navigate an abstract space. Inspired by circuit bending, the team is working at creating a prototype that takes vocal input to generate unique sound bubbles that the player can then manipulate through touch and interaction with the environment. Ethereal takes place in the mind of a person as they drown to death. The setting allows the team to explore themes of memory and loss, as well as instability and fantasy along with unique soundscapes inspired by the setting.
Concordia University
Ludic Voice: Victorianator
This iPhone game explores the use of gesture to trigger synthetic effects upon speech. Gesture was a significant part of recitation (reading poetry out loud) during the Victorian period (that’s the Nineteenth-Century). We have taken specific gestures as prescribed in Victorian elocution manuals and have put them at the core of our gameplay. The player records one of three Victorian poems in monotone, and then, using these Victorian elocutionary gestures, triggers Victorian style elocutionary effects upon the recording.
Concordia University
P.o.E.M.M.
P.o.E.M.M. = Poetry for Excitable [Mobile] Media. The P.o.E.M.M. Cycle is a ten-part new media series exploring themes of language, authenticity and contingency. The works explore different strategies for both writing and reading using multi-touch and mobile devices, and how those strategies substantially expand the range of expression available to me as an artist. Each piece in the series includes a large-scale interactive touchwork for exhibition, a mobile interactive touchwork for tablets and for smartphones, and one or more large-scale prints made with software created by the artist.
Concordia University
Propinquity
Propinquity, is a ludic experience, explicitly focused on the body rather than the screen, that is designed to evoke both dancing and fighting games. It focuses on full body interaction and the use of sound and game play mechanics to produce an intensely social and physical experience.
Concordia University
SKINS
Skins is a video game workshop for Aboriginal youth offered by an Aboriginally determined team of game designers, artists and educators known as AbTeC. The unique curriculum begins with traditional storytelling and proceeds to teach participants how to tell a story in a very new way--as a video game. With that foundation in place, the students then learn important skills for the production of video games and virtual environments, such as game design, art direction, 3D modeling and animation, sound, and computer programming.
Concordia University
Street Level
Street Level is a research-creation project for sidewalk accessible arcade-format videogames. Games will use Microsoft’s Kinect motion tracking peripheral through vacant storefront windows, with games playing on projectors or large-scale monitors inside.
Concordia University
SUPER HYPERCUBE
superHYPERCUBE, from Kokoromi, is a game about holes, and cubes that love them. It explores the vast, mostly unexplored TRON-like tundra of stereoscopy and head tracking in games. Originally produced for GAMMA 3D in Montreal, superHYPERCUBE is a public installation that literally takes the classic game Tetris into the third dimension as you try to rotate increasingly complex cube constellations to fit into a series of rectilinear holes. Presented as an art game, SuperHYPERCUBE’s well-designed 3D mechanics are leveraged to create unique and inventive puzzles on par with mainstream games in the genre. This Kinect Hack version was prepared as a TAG / PLAYPR / Kokoromi / Polytron collaboration for Indiecade 2011. The game was an indiecade finalist.
Concordia University
Tangible User Interfaces
Beginning of the project was marked by the creation of the 3D interaction metaphor of navigational puppetry, and implementation into a tangible user interface prototype, The Navi-Teer, which afforded basic navigation within a virtual world. The preliminary goal was to attempt to blur the lines between the 'action' and 'perception' of the navigation activity and to blend egocentric and exocentric control. The prototype was further augmented to behave as a 3D soundscape modelling and experience tool allowing the user to yield unique 'spatial' 3D audio mixes through the act of navigation. Building on this research, the current aim is to explore the tangible and gestural elements of new areas of creatively biased 3D interactions. The focus is on the theoretical end of interaction metaphor design interface prototyping 'gesturally' flesh out his puppeteering metaphor into a complete 3D interaction solution and implement it through a simple prototype to look at 3D interaction in support of creative output like sound editing or visual art or animation.
Concordia University
Body Editing / Ozone Media
The Body Editing project is an interactive environment using the Nintendo Kinect and data projectors in an installation space, allowing users’ gestures and movements to “edit” raw film footage. The film footage used comes from a film in process, “8 Count,” directed by Lynn Kamm and funded by Bravo!FACT; it explores the layered percussive sounds of the boxing arena. 8 Count’s boxing scenario creates rhythmic movement both from boxing movements (or “dancing” feet) and gloved hands punching. The film layers these audio sounds with interesting percussive and musical elements, while the narrative plays off and highlights the boxers movements as dance.
OCAD University
Limber
The main goals of the Limber project are to produce wearable, sensor-enabled enclosures that monitor body parts susceptible to Repetitive stress injury (RSI) in knowledge workers, and feed this data into a game-like experience residing on work computers, to incentivize regular bodily activity and proper posture.
OCAD University
Babylonia
Babylonia is a mixed-reality show created by Radix Theatre in collaboration with the School of Interactive Arts + Technology (SIAT), SFU. The performance explores the impact the Internet is having on our lives and how it might shape our future. In March 2012, the workshop presentation of Babylonia took place in Toronto as part of the Theatre Centre’s Free Fall Festival. This gave researchers Dr. Carman Neustaedter and Vicki Moulder from SIAT the opportunity to test system models for future iterations of the production. Neustaedter and Moulder are studying the orchestration of the narrative structure through virtual and in real-time and the ways in which people engage with the performance to upload content.
Simon Fraser University
Playful Museum Guides
The Playful Museum Guide project embeds play and technology appropriation in a particular sort of cultural space. The design goals of the prototype systems will be to support "playful" appropriation and re-use of museum guide components. Based on constructivist theories and everyday design, the prototypes will study how museum guides can be considered less as a complete system, and more as a set of digital resources that can be playfully recombined appropriated by museum visitors to construct individual and shared museum experiences.
Simon Fraser University
RepairED
RepairED is a research study that tries to understand how everyday people creatively repair their broken objects in order to inform interaction design. We see repair as a creative phenomenon that encompasses acts of resourcefulness and the adaptation of objects. Our study comprised of a 3-question survey disseminated via email, asking participants how they repair broken objects in their homes. Based on the submission of over 120+ objects, we have found that repairs not only lead to restoration, but also to the creative repurposing of objects. Moreover, it's been found that the majority objects repaired are those non-digital in nature.
Simon Fraser University
TangiPlay
Tangible electronic games are in their infancy of development and there is no prototyping tool appropriate for this field. However, we have developed a proof-of-concept project intended to explore this niche. TangiPlay is a prototyping environment designed for game designers to create tangible electronic games. It consists of tangible tokens, an interactive surface and a user interface tying the whole project together. A user interacts on top of the interactive surface with the physical tokens and receives immediate feedback through the graphical display on the interactive surface.
Simon Fraser University
TUNE
TUNE stands for Tangible Ubiquitous Narrative Environment: an embodied space for play and engagment with narrative objects that supports multisensory modalities of interaction and exploration. The PLAYPR project is supporting the development of prototype technologies and experiences as stepping stones to a larger TUNE experience. The current TUNE prototype in development is the Reading Glove System.
Simon Fraser University
Designers’ Personal Life Experiences
User-Centered Design (UCD) has established itself as the de facto standard for the design and development of quality products, systems and services. Related to UCD, the concept of “user experience” is the central concern of researchers and practitioners in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and interaction design. Designers are trained that understanding physical, cognitive, emotional and aesthetic needs of users leads to better interactive systems and products. As a result, formalized methods for HCI and interaction design practitioners are mainly orientated around users, and user research forms the heart of HCI research.
However, some studies have proposed the need to study designers in order to better support interaction design practice through research. This research project takes up the challenge proposed by the authors to investigate first-person experiences of designers.
Other related research on designers includes the study of design methods and design thinking. In previous years, considerable research was undertaken that focused on designers’ cognitive activities in the process of design problem solving.
This study, which is different from the existing research on designers, focuses on designers’ day-to-day, lived experiences of their daily lives and the application of these experiences in interaction design practice. We claim designers’ personal life experiences inevitably play a role in their design practices – and our aim in this study is to describe how this occurs.
In this research, interaction design practice refers to professional design activities intended to create commercial products. We refer to a designer’s personal life experiences as the accumulation of his or her experiences that emerge from daily routines and interactions with design artifacts and systems whether digital or not in non-professional and personal contexts. For example, designers relayed their personal experiences of using an iPhone or Facebook, or the experience of being in an audience at a musical festival, or travelling in a foreign country.
In this research, a designer’s personal life experiences are separated from his professional design experiences. Professional design experiences refer to the accumulated experiences of a designer mastering competence in developing products and systems over a period of time from training to professional practice.
The aim of this research project is twofold: (1) to explore the role of designers’ personal life experiences in interaction design practice as a way to advocate for designer-oriented research; (2) to present the contributions of designers’ personal life experiences to interaction design practice as a way to encourage the need for research of first-person (designers) life experiences and first-person design methods.
In this research, we set out to answer the following questions through employing a descriptive multiple-case study as our research method and selecting professional designers as cases, who have been working professionally as an interaction designer for a minimum of 4 years and who are from recognized and international professional contexts:
• In professional interaction design practice, what role does a designer’s personal life experiences have on his or her professional practice?
• What kind of influence does a professional interaction designer’s personal life experiences have on their practice and resulting interaction design products?
Simon Fraser University
AXCase
The AXCase project seeks to explore interactivity through a general purpose controller, the Monome. Monomes themselves are produced in limited runs and are difficult to acquire, so Arduino based, open source Monomes called “Arduinomes” are being used. The Monome and Arduinome functionality is not new. It is a grid of LED buttons that can be programmed to send and receive from a computer.

This project is developing a case for the Arduinome that is as open source and extensible as the internal components, allowing us to experiment and prototype both with hardware and software.
University of Alberta
Campus Mysteries
Campus Mysteries is one of the first games built using the fAR-Play augmented reality game authoring platform developed at the University of Alberta. It is a game designed to teach players about the history of the U of A campus by having them explore various buildings and answer questions at each spot to make progress in the game.
University of Alberta
fAR-Play
fAR-Play (for Augmented Reality Play) is a framework for development of augmented reality games (ARGs). Using the fAR-Play platform, in conjunction with Hoppala! virtual points of interest (animals, statues, sign posts, etc.) are placed in real world locations. Next a Layar is created to allow players to locate points of interest outside, using a smart phone (indoor points of interest are scanned using QR tags with BeeTag). two types of game can be made with fAR-Play, virtual scavenger hunt and virtual treasure hunt.
University of Alberta
Game of Writing
The Writing Game is a project supported by GRAND that is developing an online writing environment with gamification features. Users can start projects, challenge themselves to meet deadlines, challenge others to finish writing projects, or use writing tactics to complete projects. The Writing Game is being developed by Matt Bouchard. Geoffrey Rockwell is the project director. University of Alberta GRAND researchers who have contributed include: Michael Burden, Joyce Yu, Sean Gouglas, Betsy Sargent and Shannon Lucky. Special thanks to the University of Alberta GRAND team for their ideas and support. B) People affiliated with project (both active and inactive – place a * next to the name * of the person who is inactive)
University of Alberta
Game with Telus World of Science
The objective of our collaboration with the Telus World of Science is to develop a smart phone game in conjunction with their permanent interactive health exhibit. Inspired by the popular Discovery Channel science show, the game will challenge players to debunk health myths in the framework of a detective story narrative.
University of Alberta
Interactives Group
This is an interdisciplinary research group at the University of Alberta that focuses on projects involving interactivity, gaming, and controllers. This group meets weekly on the U Alberta campus and hosts Dorkbot presentation in Edmonton.
University of Alberta
Write on Whyte & Return of the Magic
The PlayPR research group at the University of Alberta has partnered with the Old Strathcona Business Association (OSBA)to build a geo-locative scavenger hunt game to be played in the Whyte Ave area in conjunction with the Return of the Magic Christmas windows displays running November 26, 2011 - January 7, 2012.
University of Alberta
Rikyū
Explore the sites around Sen no Rikyū's suicide. Why did Hideyoshi order Rikyū to commit suicide? What are the sites in Kyoto related to the relationship of Hideyoshi and Rikyū? Learn about the history of Rikyū and Daitokuji with this tour.
Rikyū is an experimental locative tour game developed by Mindy Warner and Geoffrey Rockwell using Locacious. The tour has five stops starting at the front entrance to the Daitokuji temple complex in Kyoto.
University of Alberta
Sync or Swim
Sync or Swim is an interactive sound installation that is also a simple audio game. The object of the game is to find the “sync point” of several melodic/rhythmic layers that are operating at slightly different tempi.
University of Alberta
The Intelliphone Challenge
The Intelliphone Challenge is a narrative-based locative game created for Fort Edmonton Park, a historical heritage site in Edmonton. The game was created through collaboration between students in the Computer Science and Humanities Computing programs at the University of Alberta and staff from Fort Edmonton Park.
University of Alberta
An Archival Atlas of Utopia
Using our StoryTrek authorware, I am creating an “archival atlas” of New World utopias and dystopias. By mapping archival city narratives, photos, plans, blueprints and visionary descriptions onto actual geospatial sites, I use the city streets themselves as an open, interactive and dialectical interface to historical narratives of urban upheaval and renewal.
Carleton University
"Move"
The concept for the project “Move” came from an initial desire to produce a locative media artifact based on the life and work of Duncan Campbell Scott, Canadian Confederate Poet and Superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs from 1913-1932. Much of Scott’s life and work has moulded the Canadian character through the exclusion and expulsion of Canada’s First Peoples. While numerous locative media projects have attempted to bring forth forgotten histories, voices and sites, there has been little exploration into creating an embodied understanding of exclusion through locative media. This experiment in "Diminished Reality" draws on disability studies and new media theory to explore the possibility of creating an embodied or phenomenological experience of immobility through locative media. The project is conceived as five separate segments that a user will be able to access through a mobile device. The segments are not mapped onto particular spatial coordinates; rather, spatial parameters are established once a user turns on her device. This allows a user to have an experience of immobility wherever she finds herself, and speaks to the reality of various individuals' experiences of immobility. The segments do, however, have an order that orchestrates a process of transformation for the user through which they are rendered immobile.
Carleton University
Heritage Passages
We are developing a unique mobile interface for exploring the history, construction and continuing cultural impact of Ottawa's Rideau Canal, a World Heritage Site, for the Virtual Museum of Canada. Heritage Passages will draw on materials from the Heritage Conservation Research Collection of the Archives and Research Collections (ARC) at Carleton University and Ottawa's Bytown Museum to reveal a series of intertwined narratives. Digitized artefacts, texts, photos, video interviews, and architectural/engineering drawings will be interpreted through a series of interpretive paths, or "passages," linked to a detailed, navigable timeline that tells the story of the canal's conception and construction. These materials will also be linked to detailed architectural models of the locks and associated buildings, to be developed by the Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS) with the aid of laser scanning technology. The exhibition will be available remotely via a standard web browser or, while on site, through a smartphone application developed using our proprietary StoryTrek authorware. Visitors will be able to download a GPS-enabled, augmented reality smartphone application providing on-site access to archival materials directly from significant locations along the canal.
Carleton University
Infrabuild Carleton
If deductive reasoning builds valid conclusions from known premises, and inductive reasoning derives laws from sensory data, then abductive reasoning builds models and hypotheses (which may or may not be either valid or actual) to explain the known facts. We are designing an "abducted reality" system to help provide possible explanations for the design of our physical environment. By combining our StoryTrek locative hypernarrative system with a head-mounted camera, 3D visor and IR motion tracker, we will abduct known reality, and replace the familiar spaces in which we live and work with hypothetical, experiential and contextualized alternatives.
Carleton University
Mapping the Masks of Duncan Campbell Scott
Using the Hyperlab’s proprietary StoryTrek software, this project remediates the life and legacy of the contentious historical figure, Duncan Campbell Scott. Scott, renowned for both his extensive efforts as a cultural advocate due to his efforts in establishing and perpetuating cultural institutions in the nation’s new capital city from the early to mid-twentieth century, and for his role as Deputy Superintendent General of the Department of Indian Affairs, in which capacity he perpetuated destructive assimilation policies of First Nations peoples. Scott’s varying personas of Canadian poet, public servant and Canadian cultural advocate are mapped onto three distinct spaces in downtown Ottawa, in order to show the many historical faces of Duncan Campbell Scott in a dynamic fashion that attempts to avoid privileging one of his “masks” over another. This project seeks to understand how new locative media can be used to represent, digitize and reinvigorate historical narratives, including those embodied experiences of the past that were implicated in the construction of the places we inhabit today, in order to generate an increased consciousness of the historical processes that continue to inform public spaces.
Carleton University
New Media / Future Ethics
This research spins off a larger, SSHRC-funded project to explore the use of new techniques for organizing, visualizing, annotating and studying textual corpora. We aim to develop a performative spatial rhetoric of mobile, multitouch and gestural input devices applicable to a wide variety of cultural texts, including digital narrative and games.
Carleton University
© 2012 PlayPR