Oct 262009
 

ian4Huge poisonous spiders lie ready to pounce as you carefully traverse a forest lit only by moonlight. This is one of the initiation rights you will face in One Night, a new game that has been prototyped by AFTRS lecturer Ian Brown using Unity3D software. He recently gave a presentation of the project at Gamejam09, the games pitch and demo event initiated by LAMP in 2008.

It took Ian about a month to create a level of One Night including the design of all the assets from scratch. He did modelling and texturing in Mudbox software, the animation in Maya and it was exported to Unity3D where all the gameplay was scripted in Javascript. Unity 3D is a multi platform tool and its relatively easy to create games for Mac, PC, web or iPhone.  There is a rapidly growing list of great games being created in Unity3D which you can find here.

You can see a gameplay capture of the One Night on our YouTube channel AFTRSgames or you can play through the prototype by downloading a zipped executable for Mac OSX or Windows.

For those interested in creating their own games like One Night,  AFTRS are running a Graduate Certificate in Games and Virtual Worlds in 2010 and we’re looking for visionaries who can create innovative games and rich immersive social virtual worlds.  Applications for the course close on November 1 2009 and more information is available here.

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Jun 042009
 

THE SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN: CONNECTING & CONVERSING WITH YOUR AUDIENCE COMMUNITY

web2_centralSocial media has exploded over the last 3 years,  the scale of this phenomenon means no one can ignore it anymore. For example mid 2008 there were over 113 million blogs, 200 million active Facebook users & over 1.1 billion twitter messages. Today over 346 million read blogs and another 130 million watch YouTube videos, daily. But it is the time spent using social media that tell a more significant story. Facebook users logged 13.9 billion minutes on their site in April 09, MySpace 5 billion minutes and the new kid in town, Twitter logged 300 million minutes. According to a Nielsen study, total minutes spent on social networking sites has increased 83 percent year-over-year. Learn how to connect and be involved in this social revolution.

A two part event:

  1. The three hour seminar will introduce you to the most successful online marketing case studies, promoting content, brands and events online and will demonstrate a range of community building techniques
  2. The one day workshop will be intimate hands-on training in how to use a variety online social tools to connect to and grow audiences around ‘your’ niche areas, whether production, event, brand or service

Both days are suitable for creatives wanting to generate interest in their work, marketing departments needing to understand this new environment and any one wanting to understand, promote themselves and grow online communities

SEMINAR: Thurs 2 July 2 – 5 pm CLICK TO APPLY $60

Aimed at anyone who wants to promote themselves, their product or creation into communities. This seminar led by Laurel Papworth looks at the latest techniques of marketing yourself online through engaging with online events, social networks and DIY social media and the workshop will examine case studies of successful producers and creators doing it for themselves.

Final speakers:

  • Martin Walsh – Head of Digital Marketing Microsoft & Independent Film Actor & Producer “Long Tan” + ARGs (42 entertainment)
  • Danielle Warby – Online Marketing Coordinator the University of Sydney
  • Geoffrey EmersonMD of The Prosperity Principal – Sydney Experiential, Digital, Social Media, Design and Video production
  • Laurel PapworthAustralia’s leading Social Network Strategist and communities manager
  • (intro) Gary Hayes – Director LAMP and CCO MUVEDesign

WORKSHOP: Friday  3  July 10 am – 5 pm CLICK TO APPLY $240

laurel_class

A workshop looking at how to understand the new audiences, build traffic and loyalty that goes way beyond creating a Facebook group or uploading a trailer onto YouTube but looks at a multitude of techniques of engaging through online events, real time conversation, socializing content and personal or corporate brand building. Some of the key aspects of the Social Media Campaign to be explored are described by Laurel below from her blog

Social-Media-Campaign

  1. Get involved, read what’s out there, source top bloggers, forums, bulletin boards, Twitterers, Digg fanatics and Facebook discussion groups – read and understand them.
  2. Create – or better yet, find – social media assets you didn’t know you already had. Powerpoint presentations from the shareholder meeting? Put ‘em up on slideshare. FAQ’s and Customer Service Tip sheets? Put them in a wiki or a blog post. That sort of thing. Don’t waste money on made-for-web ‘viral’ crap. It’s useful, not buzzy stuff that social media wants.
  3. Discuss – any campaign you create that is not discussed in social networks, doesn’t exist.Make sure the tools for discussion exist, don’t lock it down with pre-moderation and pdfs.
  4. Promote – use distribution, not content networks for promotion. That would be Facebook, Digg and the like (you can’t blog on those sites, they are not for Citizen Journalist, but for Citizen Editor). Better still, offer widgets for customer to customer promotion.
  5. Measure, analyse, get your metrics. Which ones are meaningful? A top blogger blogging or a Facebook group discussing? Hits to your web page or increase in Technorati keywords?

By the end of this workshop participants will have had the opportunity to learn about:

  • The online ecology of social networks

  • Techniques to distribute your content as widely as possible to a global audience

  • Planning and staging a campaign which has maximum impact and reach

  • Building loyalty and community with an online audience

About Laurel Papworth

Led by Laurel Papworth who is a Power150 media blogger (global – AdNews) and in the top 3 media bloggers for Australia (B&T). She has been teaching for 20 years, mostly in the area of online communities and virtual communications. Laurel is the senior social media strategist in Australia, consulting to companies, not for profits and government departments in Australia, Asia and Middle East including:

  • Middle East Broadcasting (Dubai/Saudi Arabia) – Channel MBC4
  • Telecom New Zealand
  • Fairfax: RSVP Dating Community
  • Sony Corporation
  • Universal McCann Erickson WorldWide
  • CHANNEL TEN: including Australian Idol community
  • Sulake: Makers of Habbo
  • Macquarie Leisure
  • Macquarie Media
  • New Holland Publishing
  • Australasian, Performing Right Association (APRA)
  • Peoplebrowsr
  • MySongcast.com unsigned bands community
  • Australian Businesswomens’ Network
  • Pink Sofa online community
  • ABC Australia
  • National Archives of Australia (gov)
  • Department of State and Regional Development (gov)
  • Department of Primary Industry (gov)
  • Australian Film Television and Radio School (edu)
  • University of Sydney (edu, public)
  • University of Western Sydney (edu, Masters program).
Apr 022009
 

Ozdox, the The Australian Documentary Forum and The Australian Director’s Guild in association with AFTRS supported by Metroscreen and Sydney Film School presents:

The Documentary Distribution Dilemma

online_kid

What online video can and cannot deliver, and why filmmakers need to understand it NOW!

  • Date: THURS 9 April 2009 – 6.30pm for 7pm
  • Venue: AFTRS Theatre 130 Bent St The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park
  • $5 at the door (no reservations)
  • The Ozdox website is www.ozdox.org – register to be notified of seminars by email.

This special OzDox session, produced by Sensory Image, will explore new technologies and online video festival and multi-channel distribution sites (e.g.  raindance.tv). It will gaze into the crystal ball for documentary filmmakers, in the new climate of ABC and SBS online streaming. It will bring together experts and filmmakers to examine the impact of VOD upon our work, our pocketbooks and our futures.

Video online has been developing for a number of years and has now gained a large following and a big press. From You Tube to the ABC,  increasing numbers of people are uploading and downloading increasing amounts of material, and filmmakers have an imperative need to understand the rapidly evolving online environment.

At this point, Video-on-Demand is relatively underused but Hollywood and TV networks alike are looking toward VOD as a complementary distribution platform, and it is about to take off. As the educational market is also moving towards VOD, documentary DVD sales will also affected — perhaps even replaced. Significantly, VOD revenues are currently around $1.5 billion and are predicted to reach $5 billion in two years — and it’s only the beginning…

Special Guests:

With Overseas Guests (via video):

  • Elliot Grove and Zara Ballantyne Grove – www.raindance.tv
  • Nick Ware – Managing Director – Joining The Docs in UK

Among the issues we will be addressing are…

  • What is the actual state of online development today?
  • What do filmmakers need to know about online – technically, creatively and in terms of marketing and delivery to audiences?
  • What do we need to change in the way we plan and make our films?
  • Is online delivery a viable alternative to DVD distribution?
  • Where can filmmakers go to make a return on investment in the online forum?
  • There will also be time for those attending the seminar to ask questions of the panel.

Guests bios:

Robert Hutchinson – Head of New Media & Digital Services Interface stream, ABC

As Head of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s New Media & Digital Services Interface stream, Robert is responsible for the visual presentation and ease of use of digital content and services on the website, broadband service and other digital platforms. Robert is also Creative Director of ABC2, the ABC’s new digital TV channel. His current role includes developing broadband and digital television strategies and initiatives for the corporation. Robert has been working in the multi-media and Internet industries since 1995 in a variety of roles including new media arts practitioner, web designer and business analyst. He has been responsible for establishing Internet ventures for major advertising and media companies including Saatchi & Saatchi
(Wellington) and The Radio Network (NZ). Robert also works as an independent film producer and director.

Chris Gilbey OAM – www.perceptric.com and www.vquence.com.au

One of the leading visionaries in Australian Media and Technology, Chris consults on business strategy with particular regard to the impact of P2P technologies on media through Perceptric Pty Limited. As CEO of Lake Technology (ASX) he successfully led the company to a sale to Dolby Laboratories (NYSE), and subsequently consulted to Dolby’s Consumer Division on global consumer strategy. With 20 years in the Australian Music Industry, Chris led the development of the first transactional web site for CDs at BMG, as well as the development of the enhanced CD. Founding chairman of the Australian Music Industry‚Äôs charity, the Golden Stave Foundation, and founding chairman of Export Music Australia, Chris received the Order of Australia for his contribution to the music industry and charity.

Elliot Grove – Raindance

Founder of Raindance Film Festival in 1993, the British Independent Film Awards in 1998, and Raindance.TV in 2007, Elliot has produced over 150 short films and 5 feature films.  He teaches writers and producers in the UK, Europe, Japan and America. He has written three books which have become industry standards: BEGINNERS GUIDE TO MAKING IT IN FILM (Barrons 2009), RAINDANCE WRITERS LAB 2nd Edition (Focal Press 2008) and RAINDANCE PRODUCERS LAB (2004).

Zara Ballantyne-Grove – Raindance.tv

Zara managed the 2006 Nokia Shorts competition as well as the creation of mobile assets for the popular CSI franchise. She currently manages the licensing of content for Raindance.tv and supervises the scheduling and delivery of films to over 10 distribution partners. London-based Raindance.tv streams off-beat shorts, features and documentaries worldwide over 10 media platforms. In the last five months, over 300,000 people have already watched raindance.tv.

Nov 092008
 

GameJam 2008 was run at AFTRS in Sydney on 1 November and featured talks to do with developing for or playing with console, pc games or online games. Creating and using virtual worlds, games, film cross-over, machinima, writing, AI and educational, fun or just plain cool stuff.

gamejam04

Below is a selection of those captured on the day including a short item related to three new courses AFTRS are offering in 2008 featuring Previsualisation elements – Animation Directing, Games and Virtual Worlds.

1 Guy Gadney “The Life of an MMORPG Diaspora”

Guy takes us on a personal tour of one of the first ‘grass roots’ online games as he tells the story of Diaspora. MP3 recording 6.9MB Click to listen

2 Dan Graf “Story and Game”

Dan gives a thoughtful talk about the conceptual framework of film or book to game adaptation. He talks about experiential design and audience centric focus when you plan your interactive version. An interesting session at the end when Ian Brown joins the discussion and  the perennial issue of narrative vs play is brought to the fore again. MP3 recording 13.4MB Click to listen

3 Peter Giles “Future of Game Education”

Peter looks at many of the issues that are facing educators and academic institutions as they begin to consider games as a core part of curriculum. MP3 recording 5.6MB Click to listen

4 Physical TV “You Are Going To Die”

Karen Pearlman and Richard James Allen are the creators of a cross-media property called Thursday’s Fiction. They worked with Gary Hayes on the virtual world aspect of the project and talk more about where the proposition is headed as it moves into game space. MP3 recording 6.4MB Click to listen

5 Marigo Raftopoulos “Galapagos: Serious Game”

Marigo introduces us to her serious game concept to help businesses understand the benefits of thinking about the environment. MP3 recording 4.9MB Click to listen

6 Brett Robertson “History of Games”

Brett takes us on a light hearted trip down memory lane and also at the current state of the games industry. MP3 recording 7.9MB Click to listen

7 Ian Brown “Portal, Have Your Cake and Eat It Too”

Ian takes us behind the scenes from a user and passionate fan perspective of one of the most unique games to have become commercial, portal. He also looks at the original game, Narbuncular Drop, designed by students that Valve used to develop Portal. MP3 recording 7.4MB Click to listen

8 Michela Ledwidge “MOD the Movies!”

Michela takes us deep into Sanctuary and the thinking behind allowing the audience to customise, mash-up and generally Mod cinematic content. MP3 recording 7.4MB Click to listen

9 Gary Hayes “Reality & Pleasure – State of Play of Blended Real Life, TV and Game World” Vod/Podcast

This video above available as a download (with better audio & creative commons) 50MB MP4 click here

LAMP PODCASTS

All LAMP podcasts are published through iTunes – click on the icon below if you have iTunes to subscribe now!

ABOUT LAMP PODCASTS

  • This podcast presentation by LAMP @ AFTRS.
  • Audio recorded by Gary Hayes & Brett Robertson
  • Description, editing, podcasting and production by Gary Hayes

Finally a short compilation capture edited by Peter Giles (note video has camera sound, podcasts are higher quality direct lapel mikes).