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Nine Trades of Dundee celebrates Abertay innovation internship

10 October 2013

From left: Lynn Parker, Bill Barr, Zoe Sams, Alex Coupar and Carol Ann Smith

The Nine Incorporated Trades of Dundee recently visited Abertay University to celebrate the successful completion of an innovation internship.

This is the third year the organisation has funded a summer research project at Abertay. The Nine Trades recently generously committed to support a further three years of the project, from 2014 to 2017.

Nine Trades Education Convener Bill Barr and Charities Convener Alex Coupar met Computer Games Technology student Zoe Sams, who spent the summer researching real-time user interaction.

Nine Trades Education Convener Bill Barr said: “The Nine Incorporated Trades of Dundee are delighted to continue funding the student research project.

“Throughout history there were many innovative practices developed by the Trades. The student internship programme keeps our members in touch with leading edge technology and we greatly value this continuing collaboration with Abertay University.”

student Zoe Sams said: “The Nine Trades innovation internship was a fantastic experience. It gave me the opportunity to work independently with direction and explore new technology I'd never used before.

“I learned a lot of programming techniques which I feel will benefit my final year, and found much more confidence in my abilities to complete these tasks. I benefitted from collaboration with people from different skill sets which opened opportunities to me such as working on a project with the Kinect for Neon in November.

“A trip to London funded by Nine Trades gave the opportunity to meet with industry professionals from games, animation and visual effects companies including MPC and Splash Damage. The advice they gave, and the prototypes I created over the last 12 weeks will be put towards my portfolio for future work.”

The internship supports ongoing research within the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games.

Zoe worked with Computer Arts Programme Tutor Lynn Parker. The game prototype is based upon research into interpretation of abstracted graphics within experimental games.

The project aimed to explore the ways in which visual and interactive abstraction can alter interpretation.

This prototype is inspired by Waddington’s concept of ‘The Epigenetic Landscape'. Waddington developed a metaphor for cell differentiation as an object rolling down a landscape, and at any point, the landscape can branch and the route which the gene takes will change the course of its development.

The core concept of an environment shaping the development of an object was used to inspire the design of the game.

This prototype was recently completed and it is hoped that testing can take place to analyse the relation between the abstracted visual style and game mechanics and player interpretation.


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