Projects

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.

Better Understanding of Humans for Cooperative AI through Clustering

The aim of this research project is to explore new ways in which artificial intelligence can work with humans to accomplish tasks using games as a testbed.

Though there has been substantial progress for the optimising of performance for pure common-interest problems, there has been little for the advancement of cooperative AI. With AI systems becoming more complex and larger in scope, problems relating to their ability to collaborate with other models, systems and humans become more distinct as well as necessary to address.

Design in Randomized Content: PCG for Emergent Gameplay

The research project aims to analyze different PCG (Procedural Content Generation) methods to find suitable algorithms that will increase the occurrences of emergent gameplay scenarios.

Emergence as a general term refers to the occurrence of unpredictable behaviours resulting from dynamic systems, and in the context of games it’s the interactions between game systems that result in player driven scenarios. These scenarios allow players to explore the more creative avenues of a game and result in more unique, personalized playthroughs.

Project NATAL - An innovative co-designed exergame for pregnant women

Sedentary lifestyles result in a high risk of development of preventable chronic disease ie Metabolic syndrome, Diabetes, CVD. Particularly for pregnant women, sedentary lifestyles and obesity can lead to severe consequences for both the mother and the baby. For example, serious health conditions such as stillbirth, congenital anomalies, preterm birth, low birth weight, gestational hypertension and  gestational diabetes and increased rate of caesarean section have all been reported. 

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