I am an Experience and Game Design Professor at the Stuttgart Media University and a Conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle in Australia with a Ph.D. in Experience Design and Game Studies from Aalborg University. In my research, I explore the creation of new interactive designs to support future cultural and creative experiences, with particular emphasis on games and transmedia storytelling. As a former manager for Research and Innovation at Sony Europe, I have worked on several large productions in the area of mobile entertainment, game design and interactive television.
Since 2014 I am also the curator of the Game Zone at the International Animation Festival (ITFS) in Stuttgart. Here some Game Zone impressions.
Selected Research Projects:
Digitale Wege Ins Museum II – Together with the Natural History Museum in Schloss Rosenstein and Staatsgalerie Stuttgart we designed, evaluated and tested over 15 different digital museum experiences here are two examples.
NatureWorld – Naturkundemuseum Schloss Rosenstein
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart Raum 14
Why so Serious? Serious Games and Museums
In cooperation with the Stuttgart Media University and the FZI Research Center for Information Technology, it developed ideas for playful digital projects on art and research, which are now integrated into the collection presentation under the title “Room 14” and can also be played online at home. ARTIFICATION is funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of the State of Baden-Württemberg as part of “Digitale Wege ins Museum II”.
Schlemmer x Beats is an interactive techno art-club at the Stuttgarter Staatsgalerie. In 1922 the premiere of Oskar Schlemmer’s “Triadic Ballet” took place in Stuttgart. After almost 100 years the Triadic Ballet is turned into a new installation as part of the research projekt Digitale Wege ins Musuem II. Concept: Maximilian Tränkner und Benjamin Schmiedel (Studiengang Computer Science and Media Master) Realitsation: Event Media Produktion des Studiengangs Audiovisule Medien
Playing with Virtual Realities
Playing with Virtual Realitiesis an interdisciplinary research project, which brings together dancers and scholars in computer science, linguistic, VR experience design, performance philosophy, and choreography, into staging together dancing in VR technology.
A Midsummer night’s Dream in Cyber Valley – Kammertheater Stuttgart
A Midsummer night’s Dream in Cyber Valley describes a fragmented theater production that was developed as part of a series of workshops at Kammertheater Stuttgart from and with Schorsch Kamerun a German musician, singer, author, theatre director, and club proprietor.
Selected Student Projects:
Saltar VR – This Virtual Reality platform-game is part of a VR game design patterns, incl passive haptic, player centered design research project.
Twatter – Democracy 2.0 – A Satirical Political Game
Professor Haptic – A Tangible VR Experience Theory, Development, and Evaluation of a VR haptic Experience.
Digital Forest – A Interdisciplinary collaboration with Film Akademie Ludwigsburg
Elena, Deispaced Reality – Elena is VR first person exploration game in which the player discovers the story of a young couple. The player takes the role of Anna and has to find out what happened to her husband Lennard. Steam
Older Research Projects:
Get Milk is a learning game that has been designed to explore how multimodal learning can improve understanding of game design theory for undergraduate students. We found that the integrated game-based approach we offer with Get Milk activates the knowledge encapsulated in theory more effectively and helps students apply the theories to their own design thinking and opens up opportunities for synthesis and critical thinking and teaches game design theory through context awareness. In collaboration with Tobias Schneider.
The Remediation of Nosferatu
The Remediation of Nosferatu is a location based augmented reality horror adventure. This high fidelity prototype was designed and developed to research open and closed experiences in a transmedia fictional universe. The Game was designed and developed in collaboration with an HDM Masters Student. It features a location based semi-transparent augmented reality system that has been carefully staged on an abandoned graveyard in an urban environment (the HoppenlauFriedhof in Stuttgart, Germany). The Game was fragmented into sub-experiences and each sub experience was carefully placed into a specific environment to ensure rich immersion, flow and gameplay.
The Interactive Hammock
The Interactive Hammock is an experimental installation featuring a full-body interaction. For input in the hammock I integrated motion sensors, and for output, a set of embroidered speakers. Additionally, a cotton canvas was installed above the hammock for visual projection of content. External loudspeakers were positioned nearby for supplementary sounds. For the purpose of experimenting with the interpretative role of an experiencer, we compared two versions using the same installation set up. The Forces of Nature used ambiguous content, and The Roaring Hammock used a prescribed style of content. While the main set-up, i.e., the input and output modalities, remained the same, the content and consequently how the experiencer would interact with the system differed.
This responsive transmedia learning prototype uses scientific texts, videos, sounds and click adventures to create unique learning experience. Intended as an interactive learning book it uses transmedia elements to create a new more immersive learning experience for the purpose of fostering deep transfer knowledge for undergraduate students.The topic of this interactive ebook is the world of HCI (Human Computer Interaction) and covers Usability, Interface, Interaction and experience design. In future, it is planned to add animation and game design theories before a publication is planned.
Pervasive Gaming – IPERG
IPerG (Integrated Project on Pervasive Gaming) was a EU funded Sixth Framework program to invest pervasive gaming. Pervasive games are a radically new entertainment form that extends experiences out into the physical world.My Role within this research consortia was to create game design concepts under consideration of the research interests of al relevant Sony family members such as PlayStation, BRAVIA, VAIO, Sony Ericsson, Columbia-Tristar and Sony Electronics and provide prototypes, see the following pages. Several business and scientific publications are available on the IPerG Web Page: http://www.pervasive-gaming.org.
IPERG- The Epidemic Menace – Transmedia Game (Prototype 2005 & 2006)
Rider Spoke, developed by Blast Theory* in the UK, invites the audience to cycle through the streets of the city, equipped with a handheld computer.Combining theatre with game play and state of the art technology, Rider Spoke continues Blast Theory’s enquiry into performance in the age of personal communication. Rider Spoke has been developed in collaboration with the Mixed Reality Lab at University of Nottingham, Sony Europe and the Fraunhofer Institute as part of the European research project IPerG (Integrated Project on Pervasive Gaming). As the representative of the Sony Group my responsibility was the integration of Sony related research and collaboration with Sony PlayStation as well as scientific documentation and publications.
Cross-Media Game Design
The Game Epidemic Menace was lead by the Fraunhofer Institute FIT and was a crossmedia multiplayer social adventure game with elements of strategy and action. Players participate both in the physical world and in a virtual world. The story of the game was about a humankind-threatening virus epidemic which was introduced and updated my movie elements, see previous page. Epidemic Menace was played in teams of four players over three hours. Each team played as a “medical expert team”. The players were equipped with several different gaming interfaces and were tasked to destroy the virus before it managed to escape the campus. My responsibility included idea, concept, experience, interface and game design as well as the interface to the movie elements and scientific publications and documentation.
IPCity was a EU funded Sixth Framework program.
The research aim of IPCity was to investigate analytical and technological approaches to presence in real life settings. Our part of the consortium concentrates on HCI (Human-computer interaction) aspects of augmented reality. We design user interfaces that where easy to use and easy to understand. As part of my role at Sony I was involved in two IPCity projects, City Tales I & TimeWarp. My responsibility included help writing the research proposals, research aims and anticipated outcomes. Game- , user interface/experience design, graphics, AR suitable low polygon 3D production and animation as well as user tests, peer reviews, scientific reporting and producing publications.
SteetBeat was a location aware mobile, music based city tour. While exploring Berlin the visitor listens to urban music (in this scenario Electro-Punk) and stories about sub-culture of the Streets of Berlin. The intention was to immerse the “story-browsers” into a sub-cultural story told by a professional music editor about selected areas in Berlin. The user was lead through the city based on musical relevance with the music and cultural narrative being altered depending on the location. Our main aim was to explore how immersed users feel in location based stories and how suitable music based guides could be in a metropolitan areas. My responsibilities included scientific and project lead, idea development, concept, user interface and experience design, evaluation including several user tests as well as scientific reporting and publications of the main findings.