The pictures are better on radio, they say, and the same is also true in interactive experiences: games, for example, are possible using sound that are more realistic and immersive than the most complex 3D polygon-fests. But we're not talking soundtrack: we're talking fundamental questions of user interface, augmented reality and game design in audio. We're focusing on the development of Papa Sangre, a game in sound without graphics, and the world's first real-time generative audio-only virtual world. On an iPhone. Papa Sangre was commissioned by 4IP as a game in which blind people might be able to kick the ass of sighted people. Its development has been an adventure, pushing the capacity of the iPhone to the limit. It’s been an extraordinary challenge to imagine the design of a game and world where your existence is entirely through sound and where technological constraints become a mother of invention. You walk with your thumbs through a binaural sound environment, where you hear both the monster snoring to your left and the crunch of chicken bones and squeaky toys underfoot that may wake it up and bring death upon you. It’s a fundamentally different experience of gameplay, continually present-tense, totally immersive and therefore visceral – it feels like it’s you out there. The panel will discuss the process, the constraints, the vision and the philosophy behind a radical new genre of game and what this generally reveals for good game and experience design.
Adam is the Director and Co-Founder of London based Do Tank Studios and has a long history of developing fun and engaging interactive music projects. He first cut his teeth as a key member of seminal 90s interactive art collective AudioRom, where he began creating interactive music systems, both online and within gallery and club spaces including "ShiftControl" (a BAFTA Award winning enhanced CD featuring 16 interfaces to play with music tracks from the CD).
Adam began collaborating with BraunArts around 2000 which resulted in several projects including "Antarctic Waves" (a series of BAFTA Award winning tools and games which applied dynamic algorythms to scientific data to create musical compositions) and "The Dark" (a 3D sound environment exploring the 18th Century Slave trade).
Adam's frustration with VJing around 2005 led to him joining The Sancho Plan, a musical collective who fuse animation, music, gaming, technology and performance into a series of critically aclaimed live performances and interactive installations. A number of The Sancho Plan's installations have been exhibited at the Ars Electronica Centre in Linz, Austria including "Jungle Imperator" (a 6 player steroscopic 3D rhythm game played using wireless drum pads on a 6x9 foot screen).
Adam was the lead technical architect on Papa Sangre, responsible for dragging the technology to the water and making it drink. He also co-runs the Berryfield Records net-label and is a member of Burn Brothers, a live electronic reggae band featuring 72 year old dub poet Marc Matthews on lead vocals.
Margaret Robertson is development director for Hide&Seek, a game design studio which uses public spaces and digital platforms to make interesting games for interesting people. Her previous role as an independent consultant enabled her to work on a huge range of projects, from AAA console titles, through download and mobile/ handheld games, to indie and art-house projects. She's worked with brands, broadcasters, and film studios to develop their game strategies, and was part of the team that built the BAFTA-award winning game slate which recently earned Channel 4 the Develop Publishing Hero award. Previously editor of Edge magazine, and part of the team behind the GameCity festival, she is currently a contributing editor for Wired in the UK, a columnist for Gamasutra and speaks worldwide on game design theory.
Paul is active in interactive entertainment, broadcast and art, here because he was executive producer / director of Papa Sangre. Paul's an Executive Director of Somethin' Else, one of the largest multiplatform content design agencies and production companies in the UK -- making things for people to play with, watch and listen to. He leads that company's digital output and future product / business strategy. He holds internationally recognised awards in games, radio, mobile technology and interactive broadcasting such as Bafta Awards, Sony Radio Academy Awards and the GSM Association Awards. A board member of the leading arts commissioner Artangel and the Longplayer Trust, he co-authored the British Government's recent report on the future of digital music, and is an artistic collaborator with several Artangel artists, writer John Berger, Theatre de Complicite and Rotozaza. Paul also presents science, technology and usability programmes for the BBC.
Tassos Stevens is a co-director and runner of Coney, and alleged to have been involved in most of their work. Coney is an agency making live interactive play, according to principles including adventure, loveliness and curiosity, and a community of artists and makers through play. Recent work includes A Small Town Anywhere, theatre with no performers bar the playing audience that was Time Out #1 Critics Choice Theatre at BAC, and A Cat Escapes, an adventure in learning for a primary school classroom also co-produced with BAC. Coney has made play for the National Theatre, LIFT, the Science Museum, Dublin Fringe Festival, NESTA, Metal, and an award-winning adventure for publishers Hodder & Stoughton. Current projects include Art Heist, where players rob an art gallery, ongoing adventures in learning, and Early Days Of A Better Nation. Coney regularly collaborates with digital indie Somethin Else on broadcast projects including leading theoretical and audience research informing game-design for SuperMe for Channel 4 Education.
Tassos himself dreamt up the world of Papa Sangre and led the game design in a team assembled by Somethin Else. He also conceived and directed the infamous Soho Project for the London Games Festival. He's an award-winning theatre director and maker, writer, teacher and game-designer with a doctorate in Psychology. He blogs irregularly at allplayall.blogspot.com, and recently spoke at Playful, The Story, Arts Council Decibel, Connected in Tokyo, and RSA State of the Arts.
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