new project 2: 3D and GIS

The following was a successful grant, funded by the Curtin Institute of Computation.

Title: Leveraging Low-Cost and Free Linked Open Data and Hybrid GIS/3D For Cultural Heritage Visualisation (6 months)

The program/research plan:

The two ECRs with the help of the two Curtin Professors will investigate the use of an application, possibly the Pelagios Framework (http://commons.pelagios.org/), an online portal that can combine maps, charts, documents, pictures and dynamic data, to create interactive visualisations and predictive cartographic analysis tools.

pelagios.pngFigure 1: Pelagios

This pilot study will explore whether the application can accept, display and dynamically link to 3D models and their subcomponents, using GIS Data so that maps and 3D models can be displayed and interacted with online. This specific application theoretically accepts simple 3D stl models but three.js and web3D models have not been investigated. Existing related examples: see http://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/arc/mayagis.html

The two ECRS will derive a 3D model with GIS related data and design an online Pelagios Commons framework (or similar) for viewing a 3D model of a heritage site, preferably in Australia, that controls place elements in a side-located text document or an online map or chart and vice versa.

http://pleiades.stoa.org/ shows some of the possibilities of Linked Open Data, but not how 3D can interact with a LOD GIS platform.

Proposed engagement of external and community groups

  1. Firstly, we will collaborate with the following non-CIC staff at Curtin to develop the Curtin University workshop.
  2. Secondly we will invite members to test the prototype and provide feedback and potentially collaboration and grant opportunities.
  3. We will test the prototype with archaeologists, heritage specialists or architects in another Australian city. The longer-term aim is to engage them in applying for a linkage to design a more permanent and larger collection and online portal for a more highly featured, user-friendly and robust design.

For an interesting potentially related interface please see http://www.impa.br/opencms/en/

new project 1: HMD Augmented Reality Heritage Trail study

The following was a successful grant, funded by the Curtin Institute of Computation.

The program/research plan:

In 2016 the Chief Investigator (CI) organized a one day talk and workshop on cultural heritage visualization, (“GLAM-VR”, Curtin HIVE, http://slides.com/erikchampion/glamvr16-26-08-2016 ) and helped facilitate a related makerspace event (“Cultural Makathon at Curtin Library Makerspace”, URL: http://slides.com/erikchampion/deck-4#/fullscreen#/ ). All groups of students finished their projects apart from one single individual group encountering trouble designing inside a 3D game engine. For the Augmented Reality 2016 makerspace tutorials, there was similar difficulty in finding suitable tutorial material. Unfortunately, there are few tutorials and examples for augmented reality and 3D game engines for hackathon or makathon events. There is even less material for cultural heritage augmented reality tours. And there is no academic feature list survey and comparison of recent augmented reality headsets for cultural heritage tours, where one walks along a heritage trail using the augmented reality headset (HMD) for augmented information.

This 2017 pilot study will aim to resolve this issue by providing an exemplar, online resources, a white paper and

  1. The two ECRS will develop a simple digital 3D environment prototype which reveals cultural heritage assets, artefacts and landmarks when viewed inside a portable head-mounted display (HMD) or augmented reality HMD.
  2. We will compare the relative strengths and weaknesses of the above HMDs, run an evaluation on test subjects of preferred display, time required to navigate and to wayfind, and record participants’ task performance and memory recall.
  3. We will create a white paper for this, including suggested workflows and appropriate tools.
  4. From the above findings we will provide an online available training course for developing Augmented Reality cultural heritage tours for head Mounted Displays.
  5. There will be a pilot workshop at CURTIN LIBRARY MAKERSPACE

Augmented Reality software

In short:

And perhaps a few other options (https://artoolkit.org/ and http://www.mixare.org/) I will update this post with later.

The software field changes so quickly even Wikipedia has trouble: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_augmented_reality_software

Alternatives

Other references

The Rickman Effect in VR

I have been in an interesting twitter conversation on the Swayze effect in Virtual Reality (see https://www.oculus.com/story-studio/blog/the-swayze-effect/)

Very thought-provoking article and it is a real problem, engagement in VR, but Swayze as ghost actually cares, the VR audience doesn’t..

So I suggest to redefine the Swayze Effect: where one wants to interact in VR but cannot, and to use the term Rickman Effect where one cannot or can only slightly interact but one has no great desire to. Alan Rickman’s character in the movie Truly Madly Deeply is a ghost who returns for his partner, but permanently feels cold and spends most of his time on the sofa aimlessly watching TV. See this youtube clip of Alan Rickman in the movie for more of a visual explanation.

Digra 2017 Workshop: Playtesting

This workshop proposal has only been provisionally accepted for Digra2017 international games conference in Melbourne Australia, on 3 July 2017, we need to convince the organisers on how it will run.

What do you suggest? It should be more generic, more hands on? More focused or more open and free-ranging? We’d love our CAA2017 participants to attend, but we’d also be more than happy if those who can’t attend Georgia Atlanta in March can attend this start of July, in Melbourne Australia (not Melbourne Florida!)

Playtesting, Prototyping & Pitching History & Heritage Games

This half-day workshop brings together history and heritage experts, interested game designers, and designers of game prototyping tools. The approach is to playtest each idea presented and provide an avenue for feedback by audience, organisers, and other presenters. It will follow on from a game mechanics workshop run at CAA2017 in Atlanta in March but will aim to extend and polish game prototypes.

Keywords

Playtesting, pitching, prototyping, archaeology, heritage, history, archaeogaming, serious games.

INTRODUCTION

In March 2017 in Georgia Atlanta for the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (http://caaconference.org/) conference, the two workshop organizers will run a session (Mechanics, Mods and Mashups: Games of the Past for the Future Designed by Archaeologists) on the initial topic, how to playtest pitch and present archaeology games. At DiGRA, with some of the initial presenters but also with new presenters, we will focus on how to pitch and prototype to and with game developers and potential clients, as well as how to perform game scenarios to reach new potential audiences and markets. The general field of research has become known as archaeogaming (Reinhard 2013), which “can include, but is in no means limited to: the physical excavation of video-game hardware, the use of archaeological methods within game worlds, the creation of video-games for or about archaeological practices and outcomes or the critical study of how archaeology is represented in video-games.(Wikipedia contributors 2016). There may be specific issues that distinguish heritage (Champion 2015) and history (Chapman 2016) games but there are also common themes, authenticity, accuracy, imagination and how interaction helps learning.

As it is for DiGRA, we are also interested in theoretical papers that examine and suggest answers for issues in converting history, heritage and general archaeology projects into potential games.

Relation to DiGRA themes: Game cultures; games and other cultural forms; communication in game worlds; games criticism; gaming in non-leisure settings; game studies in other domains; hybrid and non-digital games; history of games; game design.

The major objectives and expected outcomes of the workshop

Improved prototypes, enhanced critical discussion and feedback of prototypes, and potential open access book.

Justification for the workshop informed by current trends and research

Despite the increasing range of courses (Schreiber 2009), books (Fullerton 2014) and presentations (Lewis-Evans 2012) on game design prototyping, there is still a paucity of available game design prototype tools (Manker 2012) (Neil 2016, 2015) and a lack of venues for archaeogaming developers and related experts to present, pitch, playtest and perform their game prototypes (Ardito, Desolda, and Lanzilotti 2013, Unver and Taylor 2012, Ardito et al. 2009).

The format and activities planned for the workshop

Presentation and playtesting of games, feedback from audience and one of the other presenters.

Potential tools: Gameplay cards, game prototyping tools, scenes or videos from a 3D editor or game editor (Unity, Unreal, Blender), board games as prototypes, playing cards, physical artifacts that are role-played by the presenter, illustrations, slideshows, game editors (like the SIMS: https://www.thesims.com/en_GB) used to make films (Machinima), roleplaying videos, flowcharts, interactive fiction (like https://twinery.org/). We will provide a fuller list of tools and examples to potential attendees before the workshop.

The duration (half- or full-day) of the workshop

Half-day for 6 presenters.

The anticipated number of participants

Participants: 26 maximum (ideally) where 6 present. We require half an hour a presenter so three hours for 6 presenters, 6 hours a whole day if we want to go to 12 presenters. Ideally the non-presenting audience is not too large, preferably up to 20.

How participants will be recruited and selected

Via an online website we will create, and mailing to digital archaeology and heritage and serious games groups.

Publication plans arising from the workshop activities

We will approach a creative publisher (Liquid Books, University of Michigan Press or other) to provide an online or printable output of the demonstrations and the audience feedback.

Citations and References

Ardito, Carmelo, Paolo Buono, Maria Francesca Costabile, Rosa Lanzilotti, and Antonio Piccinno. 2009. “Enabling Interactive Exploration of Cultural Heritage: An Experience of Designing Systems for Mobile Devices.” Knowledge, Technology & Policy 22 (1):79-86. doi: 10.1007/s12130-009-9079-7.

Ardito, Carmelo, Giuseppe Desolda, and Rosa Lanzilotti. 2013. “Playing on large displays to foster children’s interest in archaeology.” DMS.

Champion, E. 2015. Critical Gaming: Interactive History and Virtual Heritage.

Chapman, A. 2016. Digital Games as History: How Videogames Represent the Past and Offer Access to Historical Practice.

Fullerton, Tracy. 2014. Game design workshop: a playcentric approach to creating innovative games: CRC press.

Lewis-Evans, Ben. 2012. “Introduction to Game Prototyping & research.” Slideshare, Last Modified 16 December 2012, accessed 24 January. http://www.slideshare.net/Gortag/game-prototyping-and-research.

Manker, Jon. 2012. “Designscape–A suggested game design prototyping process tool.” Eludamos. Journal for computer game culture 6 (1):85-98.

Neil, Katharine. 2015. “Game Design Tools: Can They Improve Game Design Practice?” PhD PhD, Signal and Image processing. Conservatoire national des arts et metiers, CNAM.

Neil, Katharine. 2016. How we design games now and why. Gamasutra. Accessed 24 January 2017.

Reinhard, A. 2013. “What is Archaeogaming?” archaeogaming, 24 January. https://archaeogaming.com/2013/06/09/what-is-archaeogaming/.

Schreiber, Ian. 2009. ““I just found this blog, what do I do?”.” Game Design Concepts – An experiment in game design and teaching, 9 September 2009. https://gamedesignconcepts.wordpress.com/2009/07/02/level-2-game-design-iteration-and-rapid-prototyping/.

Unver, Ertu, and Andrew Taylor. 2012. “Virtual Stonehenge Reconstruction.” In Progress in Cultural Heritage Preservation: 4th International Conference, EuroMed 2012, Limassol, Cyprus, October 29 – November 3, 2012. Proceedings, edited by Marinos Ioannides, Dieter Fritsch, Johanna Leissner, Rob Davies, Fabio Remondino and Rossella Caffo, 449-460. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Wikipedia contributors. 2016. “Archaeogaming.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 24 January. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Archaeogaming&oldid=729472193.

CFP: PRESENCE Call for Papers – “VR/AR in Culture and Heritage” (deadline March 2017)

A new Call for Papers:

This special issue will be highly interdisciplinary in nature, and submissions which promote collaboration between science and engineering and arts and humanities will be welcomed. The Call is attached in .pdf fom, and is also accessible from the PRESENCE home page:

http://www.mitpressjournals.org/loi/pres

PRESENCE: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments
An MIT Press Science & Technology Journal
Visit us at mitpressjournals.org/loi/pres

==========
Scope and Topics
Virtual heritage is a testament to the impact of digital transformation in the arts and humanities, and a driving force for technological innovation generated through the arts and humanities’ increasing appetite for digital technology. In this special issue, we aim to examine present trends in culture and heritage within the context of virtual reality and augmented reality. The scope of the special issue includes the following topics:

• New approaches in culture and heritage applications and interpretations
• Responsive, adaptive and evolvable behaviors in immersive virtual environments that capture culture and tangible and intangible heritage
• Multiuser virtual environments
• Mixed reality and the experience of real and virtual environments
• Presence and phenomenology in culture and heritage applications
• High definition imaging, stereoscopic displays, interactive cinema
• Intelligent and High Performance Computing for Virtual Cultural Heritage
• Ubiquitous computing and new forms of culture and heritage representations via VR and AR
• VR and AR in Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums
• Interactive Exhibits in Public Spaces
• Digital Transformations of Museums with Immersive & Interactive Time Machines
• VR and AR as a narrative
• Education in culture and heritage via VR and AR
• Tools, techniques, frameworks and methodologies
• Virtual environments case studies

Schedule
• Manuscript submission deadline: March 1, 2017
• Final revisions: September 1, 2017
• Planned publication: PRESENCE 27-1 (Early 2018)

Submissions
Manuscripts should conform to the journal’s submission guidelines:
http://www.mitpressjournals.org/page/sub/pres

Authors, please note that audio and video files can be hosted as supplementary onlinematerial accompanying published articles. For more information about multimedia file formats and submission guidelines, please contact presence@mit.edu.

Contact
Dr. Eugene Ch’ng, Director, NVIDIA Joint-Lab on Mixed Reality, University of Nottingham (China Campus). Email: eugene.chng@nottingham.edu.cn

Further information: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/loi/pres
==========

Curtin Cultural Makathon

Hack/slash/cut/bash/scrape/mod/mash – it’s a culture thing

Join the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts and Curtin Library Makerspace to hack cultural datasets and heritage information.

Use government and institutional research data, gallery, library, archive and museum information as data sources. Experiment with data for a research project or proposal; create something accessible, beautiful and/or useful using craft, games, augmented or virtual reality, apps or something else: it’s up to you.

Date:    Thursday 10 November 2016 (afternoon) & Friday 11 November 2016 (9am – 5pm)

Location: Makerspace, level two, Robertson Library (building 105), Curtin University,  Kent Street, Bentley

Registration: Free via Eventbrite

For more information visit the Curtin Cultural Makathon website.

To volunteer to assist with data or to sponsor a prize please contact Dr Lise Summers or Dr Karen Miller.

Curtin Cultural Makathon is funded by a MCCA strategic grant. For more details on the project contact Professor Erik Champion.