MFA Dissertation (A+)

I would like to start this article with a tribute to Raph Koster the genius, who managed to bridge the gap between happiness and successful game design based on empirical research. My MFA thesis awarded with A+ accompanies “Shakespeare’s Hunt” the iPad game for The Globe Theatre and its focus was mainly research on games and game design. I have to admit I found the subject fascinating.

Below is the chapter that refers to game design cover the following subjects:

  1. Defining games
  2. Endorphins, pattern recognition and learning
  3. Game mechanics (motivators and demotivators).

The taste left in my mouth from all that experience of learning about games and how deep they go into how we, humans, function is summarised in the epilogue of my thesis below:

Game design studies refer to research on positive psychology and in practical terms on ways to trigger human happiness. As a subject of research, it may not be included in my future work (i.e. augmented reality for cultural heritage), however the knowledge I gained from working on this theme is invaluable. Firstly, I personally found stunning the fact that it is simple, at the level that it can be documented, to make one, anyone, feel happy. It was also of my surprise to realise that regardless of personal taste and things people like or dislike, up to a point we are all the same; we think, act and react in the same way much more often than one would reckon. Researching game design was of great benefit for myself, as I came to understand better the behaviour of people around me and more importantly my own behaviour as well. The knowledge gained from this year’s research, will follow me for all my life and it already does, as now every time I reactively smile I immediately try to see the pattern that made me do that; like I am playing a game of my own.

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Augmented Reality Workshop

Last week I hosted a workshop on Augmented Reality for the post-graduate students of Ravensbourne College. It was divided in three major parts; the definition of what is Augmented Reality and what is not, then the development of a couple of Augmented Reality applications based on the FLARManager software library and the last part was a brief examination of platform-specific Augmented Reality tools.

The workshop demos required only the Adobe Flash Builder, as the attendees had to bring their own laptops (Mac and PCs) and Adobe Flash is the only cross-platform Augmented Reality solution development-wise.

Please find below the presentation and also the document that was handed out:

Click to enlarge

ar-workshop-doc

Rave in my head (Video)

In the first term of my post-graduate studies at Ravensbourne I did an installation to experiment with a wide variety of technologies from MAX Jitter to non-electronic stuff like wooden structures! It was an attempt to create a multi-touch surface of water and it partially worked to my surprise. During this project I had the chance to experiment with video montage and video effects and as a result I made the following video available in Vimeo.

I used Adobe Premiere Pro as well as Adobe After Effects and I captured the video with my Canon IXUS photo-camera while cycling! That’s the main reason I chose this video to be an abstract psychedelic one – no proper footage! As a result of my first video production experimentation though, I must admit I’m OK with it!