Exploring Projection Mapped Games Environments

Project partners: Studio Maguire, Back to Ours and the University of Hull 

Studio McGuire’s renowned projection mapped art and installations have been exhibited, sold, published and screened internationally. Founded by Davy and Kristin McGuire, the studio’s award-winning multimedia artists are renowned for their idiosyncratic experiments in digital projection and storytelling. Their critically acclaimed theatrical projects have been invited to tour more than one hundred venues in twenty-three different countries across four continents.

Working in partnership with the University of Hull and Back to Ours, Studio McGuire created a toolkit that enabled games engines to deliver projection mapped environments. Players were able to navigate their way through mixed-reality gaming worlds, with real life objects turned into giant obstacles for miniature characters to contend with.

The project explored the capabilities and implications of giving participants greater control of characters and environments within their stories. Through initial student workshops, a number of different game-based scenarios were developed, providing ideas for future work. Three games were created: ’Lucy’, ‘PinBallWall’ and ‘Shelf-Life’. Video trailers were created for all three games and Back to Ours hub members were invited to participate in an online focus group to provide their feedback on the games.

The project also highlighted two areas that could be explored in future academic research: the extension of projection mapping scenarios to include interactive objects and the translation of these extensions into clear game-based scenarios.

Davy McGuire, director, and industry partner on this project, says:

“XR Stories has enabled us to create three great prototypes that have combined video games with projection mapping techniques. We are currently in promising discussions with several international light and projection festivals, in order to scale up these gaming experiences into monumental Street Arcades’ in which the buildings in major cities are transformed into spectacular interactive, playable gaming experiences.

The XR Stories project has also given us practical knowledge of game engines and thus a way into understanding Augmented Reality. This has led to two further commissions (One for Back to Ours and the other for Queens Hall Arts Centre), in which local musicians perform virtually in people’s homes as Augmented Reality holograms.

Through XR Stories learnings we have also secured second stage funding from Digital Catapult’s Creative XR programme. In the forthcoming year we will be developing ‘The Invited’ a pop-up book version of Dracula that comes to life through Augmented Reality Animations.”

Categories: Arts, Games