An analytical framework for better access within Virtual Reality

As Virtual Reality is becoming more mainstream access for disabled people becomes more important, especially those with movement-related disabilities. People with movement-related disabilities are often combined with other forms of physical disabilities and thus are often under-reported here in Australia, This proves to be a problem as movement-related disabilities require specific care. This project will provide a framework to be used to design software and tools that may be used to provide better access to mobility-related disabled people in Virtual Reality.

It’s More Than Emulation - Towards a Proactive Approach to Games Preservation

The games industry has been notoriously neglectful towards the act of preservation since the establishment of the medium, often leaving acts of archival to the eleventh hour. Whilst some of the larger studios, such Electronic Arts have adopted a more inclusive archival process, the damage has already been done, and the consequences are beginning starting to loom over the industry. Around 87% of all games released prior to the advent of digital storefronts are commercially unavailable - a worse survival rate than the legendarily ephemeral American Silent Film era of motion pictures.

Investigating new immersive sound design methods for game engines

Dolby Australia and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) have joined forces to examine the use of immersive audio in games.  

The project will develop new approaches to sound and game design to create next-level player experiences.  Using practice-based research methods we will create and test a series of game prototypes that feature immersive audio.

With a focus on game/sound design for ‘headphone-first’ immersive audio content creation, a series of prototypes will be developed based on opportunities identified through the literature review and background research.  

Playstyle Driven Procedural Digital Game Personalisation

What: This project is an exploration into the ability of a game to change and adapt in response to the player as they are playing the game. This study looks into the use of preference classification and prediction algorithms (which are traditionally used by YouTube or Netflix) within the context of a digital game. We are exploring the possibility of a system like this allowing a game to procedurally generate content that is specifically and empirically tailored towards the player.

Predicting Acoustics: The auralization of dynamic, real-time virtual environments using supervised learning.

The computational complexity of simulating acoustics makes auralization difficult to achieve in highly dynamic, real-time video game virtual environments. Current methods are either too computationally intensive to run in real-time or require offline baking of acoustic characteristics making it difficult to be used in dynamic environments. Current advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence may make acoustic prediction a viable path to auralizing virtual environments.

Deep Reinforcement Learning for Navigation in Dynamic Digital Environments

Non-player characters (NPCs) are a crucial component of modern video game development as they directly influence player immersion. A core action of most NPCs is movement, the ability of an agent to take actions in order to navigate from one location in the world to another. The most common approach to navigation is through a Navigation Mesh (NavMesh), a graph representation of the traversable environment. As video game budgets have expanded, so too has the demand for both increased NPC capabilities and world complexity.

How video games give players the opportunity to explore gender

This project aims to explore the research done on how video games give players the opportunity to explore gender, focusing on transgender and non-binary people’s experiences while giving baseline information on cisgender people. This prokect will explore the literature created within four categories: mental health, social, the avatar and the game world, and teaching and therapy tools. Mental health benefits help give the player critical thinking, as well as creating an escape to relieve stress and help with depression and anxiety.

A Framework for Reducing Racism, Sexism and Sexual Discrimination in Online Gaming

Currently, there is very little diverse representation in video games which can lead to harmful abuse of minority groups within the online gaming sphere. Recently, there have been attempts to address the prejudice but there is no consensus on the best way forward, or any concrete solutions proposed.

This work will provide a framework to assist and support the games development industry in reducing prejudice towards minority groups

Innovative antenatal exergame program to improve maternal and perinatal outcomes in women with obesity in pregnancy

Exergame or active video game is an emerging technology that incorporates entertainment and lower and/or upper body movement (e.g. walking, jogging and other low impact aerobic exercises) and differs from traditional videogames, which are typically played from a seated position. It is believed that exergame intervention may be an approach to promote regular physical activity.