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Game Design graduates use wisdom to create Folly

4 May 2021

Nine tech-minded USC graduates are taking their Game Design degrees to the next level with research projects that aim to capture the imaginations of interactive theatre audiences.

The new graduates of USC’s Bachelor of Design (Game Design) are now Honours students collaborating with Folly Games, a theatre organisation that presents performances where audiences are given rules and methods of interacting with a narrative.

Their initial work will be showcased at the 2021 Anywhere Festival, to be held in Brisbane from Thursday 6 May to 23 May, making use of virtual reality (VR), alternate reality (AR) and physical reality.

USC Lecturer Justin Carter said it was a great opportunity for students to gain industry experience with an organisation with a great track record at events such as the Woodford Folk Festival.

“These are the startup tech entrepreneurs and game developers of the future,” he said.

Honours student Jack McAllister, of Buddina, said his research focus on programming virtual reality complemented his part-time work at Baird Technology, a company providing innovative technology solutions for clients in security, healthcare and Defence.

“VR is an exciting area with a lot of growth potential,” said the 21-year-old Immanuel Lutheran College graduate.

“At Baird, I’m currently working on fire simulation safety software that we aim to transfer to VR so people can play out real-life emergency situations, like responding to an electrical fire in a warehouse, for example.

“I can’t give too much away about the Folly Games performance, but it will have a fun aspect and a serious aspect, with a premise about the dangers of becoming too connected to social media and technology.”

Screen and Media Honours student Brittney Watson prepared the poster (pictured) for the Alt-AR performance at the Anywhere Festival.

Folly Games Director Tim Monley said the collaboration, part-funded by Arts Queensland through a Digital Adaptation grant, would highlight the potential of technology, storytelling and screen media.

“We hope to pave the way for other independent theatre producers to expand their work into digital mediums in bold and profound ways,” Mr Monley said.

“Working with students and lecturers, this project connects digital producers and technicians with makers of theatre and live art.”

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