Dr Robin Sloan

Senior Lecturer

School School of Design and Informatics

Department Division of Games and Arts

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8177

Biography

I am a Senior Lecturer within the Division of Games and Arts, and Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Game Design and Production. I also hold the University-wide research role of Creative Industries Theme Leader.

I studied Computer Arts at undergraduate level, before entering the games industry to take on roles in game art and post-production. I left the industry in 2007 to pursue a PhD in game character animation, and joined Abertay as a Lecturer in 2011.

As a researcher and practitioner, my main areas of interest are gaming nostalgia, critical and experimental game design, applied games, and production studies. As an educator, I specialise in teaching visual design for games, team game development practice, and games research.

I have published my research into game characters, gaming nostalgia and applied games in leading journals and conferences such as Games and Culture, Gaming and Virtual Worlds, and DiGRA. I’m also the author of Virtual Character Design for Games and Interactive Media.

You can find further details about my work on my website and follow me on Twitter

My Undergraduate teaching is focused on 3D production, game art pipelines, and game design and development.

UG Project Supervision

  • BA Computer Arts Honours projects
  • BA Game Design and Production Honours projects

PG Research Supervision (Completed/Awaiting Viva)

  • Martinez, S. (2011-2013) [PhD] 
  • Primrose, K. (2014-2016) [MbR]
  • Mavridou, O. (2014-2019) [PhD]
  • Reed, E. (2015-2019) [PhD]

PG Research Supervision (Current)

  • Fee, K. (2015-) [PhD]
  • McArdle, L. (2017-) [MPhil]
  • Clarke, G. (2017-) [PhD]
  • Tarvet, A. (2017-) [PhD]
  • Sansare, V. (2018-) [MbR]

Other Teaching Experience

  • Guest lecturer, EUCROMA, Copenhagen, Denmark, January-February 2014
  • Guest lecturer, MIT Pune, Pune, Maharashtra, India, February 2012
  • Part-time lecturer in Animation, Dundee College, UK, 2010-2011 
  • Guest lecturer, Buskerud University College, Kongsberg, Norway, February 2009
  • Module tutor, Adam Smith College, Fife, UK, 2007-08

Interests

My research interests encompass gaming nostalgia, visual design for games, character design and development, game design for education and cultural engagement, and game development practices.

My PhD research (2007-2011) centred on facial animation for game characters, with a particular emphasis on how psychological theories and methods can enhance animation practice. I've published a range of papers on animation strategies for perceptually valid facial performance and the presence of the Uncanny Valley in virtual characters.

Since the completion of my PhD, my research has focused more on practice-based game design research, critical analyses of games, and research into gaming culture.

My current PhD students have a diverse range of research topics. This includes: fan culture and the links between play and fandom, approaches to the curation and exhibition of games in museums and galleries, and the creative practices of professional game artists.

You can keep up to date with my current research projects and publications by visiting my website: www.robinjss.co.uk

My research publications can be accessed via the Abertay Research Collections

2019

The enemy within

Saurin, A. & Sloan, R. J. S. (2019) The enemy within. In: Proceedings of CHI Play 2019. . . Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
View in Research Portal

Virtua Walker ’87

Sloan, R. J. S., Robertson, P. & Galloway, D. (2019) Virtua Walker ’87. . . .
View in Research Portal

2018

Dundee and Me - interactive piece

Sloan, R. J. S., Mackie, L., Marshall, T., L'Hortalle, A., Small, E. & Moore, F. R. (2018) Dundee and Me - interactive piece. . . .
View in Research Portal

Who are our students designing for? Ranging perspectives of games related educators

Boudreau, K., Sloan, R. J. S., Elling, K., Sturrock , I. & Wearn , N. (2018) Who are our students designing for? Ranging perspectives of games related educators. . . .
View in Research Portal

Designing Sugaropolis

Sloan, R. J. S., Brown, G., Wilson, M. & Bond, E. (2018) Designing Sugaropolis. . . .
View in Research Portal

Videogame art and object-based storytelling

Sloan, R. J. S. & Locke, R. (2018) Videogame art and object-based storytelling. . . .
View in Research Portal

2017

Recover

Macleod, E. & J. S. Sloan, R. (2017) Recover. . . .
View in Research Portal

Recover

Macleod, E. & Sloan, R. J. S. (2017) Recover. . . .
View in Research Portal

Virtua Walker '87

Sloan, R. J. S. & Robertson, P. (2017) Virtua Walker '87. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Game Jams, Hackathons, and Game Creation Events: ICGJ '17 . . p. 44-45. New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
View in Research Portal

Virtua Walker '87

Sloan, R. J. S., Robertson, P., Galloway, D., Brown, G., Fizek, S. & Clarke, G. (2017) Virtua Walker '87. . . Dundee: Global Game Jam.
View in Research Portal

Game‐based virtual learning environment for human anatomy teaching

Clarke, J., Carr, A., Dolan, J., Pedro, E., Watt, C., Pérez-Pachón, L., Robertson, P., Sloan, R. & Gröning, F. (2017) Game‐based virtual learning environment for human anatomy teaching. . . p. 1052-1053. .
View in Research Portal

2016

Homesick for the unheimlich

Sloan, R. J. S. (2016) Homesick for the unheimlich. . . p. 211-230. .
View in Research Portal

Playing popular science

Sloan, R. J. S., Dooley, H., Gauger, E., Quinn, B., Rutherford, A. & Saurin, A. (2016) Playing popular science. . . . DIGRA.
View in Research Portal

Player

Sloan, R. J. S. & Reed, E. (2016) Player. . . .
View in Research Portal

An impression of home

Sloan, R. J. S. (2016) An impression of home. In: Proceedings of 1st International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG. Björk, S. (ed.), O'Donnell, C. (ed.), Bidarra, R. (ed.). . DIGRA.
View in Research Portal

Nostalgia videogames as playable game criticism

Sloan, R. J. S. (2016) Nostalgia videogames as playable game criticism. . . .
View in Research Portal

2015

Virtual character design for games and interactive media

Sloan, R. J. S. (2015) Virtual character design for games and interactive media. . . London: CRC Press.
View in Research Portal

Finding the future

Primrose, K., Sloan, R. J. S. & Scott-Brown, K. C. (2015) Finding the future. In: Proceedings of the British HCI conference. . p. 291-292. New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
View in Research Portal

The game jam movement

Locke, R., Parker, L., Galloway, D. & Sloan, R. J. S. (2015) The game jam movement. In: Workshop Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games. . .
View in Research Portal

2014

A sweetspot for innovation

Sloan, R. J. S., Galloway, D. & Donald, I. (2014) A sweetspot for innovation. In: VS-Games 2014: 6th International Conference on Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications. Camilleri, V. (ed.), Dingli, A. (ed.), Montebello, M. (ed.). p. 123-130. Piscataway, NJ: IEEE .
View in Research Portal

Children’s perception of uncanny human-like virtual characters

Tinwell, A. & Sloan, R. J. S. (2014) Children’s perception of uncanny human-like virtual characters. . . p. 286-296. .
View in Research Portal

Videogames as remediated memories

Sloan, R. J. S. (2014) Videogames as remediated memories. . . p. 525-550. .
View in Research Portal

2013

Playing outside the box

Mavridou, O. & Sloan, R. J. S. (2013) Playing outside the box. . . p. 246-259. .
View in Research Portal

2012

Why bridge the Uncanny Valley? Photorealism vs suspension of disbelief in animation

Sloan, R. J. S. (2012) Why bridge the Uncanny Valley? Photorealism vs suspension of disbelief in animation. . . p. 19-22. .
View in Research Portal

Thinking outside the (X)box: encouraging innovation in game design education

Parker, L., Sloan, R. J. S. & Martinez, S. (2012) Thinking outside the (X)box: encouraging innovation in game design education. . . p. 41-53. .
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Emotional avatars

Sloan, R. J. S. (2012) Emotional avatars. . . .
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Facilitating interdisciplinary learning and innovation in games art education

Parker, L., Sloan, R. J. S. & Martinez, S. (2012) Facilitating interdisciplinary learning and innovation in games art education. . . . University of Brighton.
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Uncanny worlds

Tinwell, A., Abdel Nabi, D. & Sloan, R. J. S. (2012) Uncanny worlds. . . .
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Using the principles of animation to predict allocation of attention

Sloan, R. J. S., Martinez, S. & Scott-Brown, K. C. (2012) Using the principles of animation to predict allocation of attention. . . .
View in Research Portal

2011

Animated virtual agents to cue user attention

Martinez, S., Sloan, R. J. S., Szymkowiak, A. & Scott-Brown, K. C. (2011) Animated virtual agents to cue user attention. . . p. 299-308. .
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A phenomenological study of facial expression animation

Sloan, R. J. S., Robinson, B., Moore, F. R., Scott-Brown, K. C. & Cook, M. (2011) A phenomenological study of facial expression animation. In: Proceedings of HCI 2011 The 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction. . p. 177-186. . BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
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Agency and animation: the performance of interactive game characters

Sloan, R. J. S. (2011) Agency and animation: the performance of interactive game characters. . . p. 20-49. .
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2010

Contextualising dynamic emotional facial expression animation

Sloan, R. J. S. (2010) Contextualising dynamic emotional facial expression animation. . . .
View in Research Portal

Choreographing emotional facial expressions

Sloan, R. J. S., Robinson, B., Scott-Brown, K. C., Moore, F. R. & Cook, M. (2010) Choreographing emotional facial expressions. . . p. 203-213. .
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Observer perception of artistically manipulated emotional facial expression animations

Sloan, R. J. S., Robinson, B., Scott-Brown, K. C., Moore, F. R. & Cook, M. (2010) Observer perception of artistically manipulated emotional facial expression animations. In: Proceedings of the Eleventh IASTED International Conference on Computer Graphics and Imaging. Sappa, A. (ed.). . IASTED and ACTA Press.
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Using virtual agents to cue observer attention

Martinez, S., Sloan, R. J. S., Szymkowiak, A. & Scott-Brown, K. C. (2010) Using virtual agents to cue observer attention. In: CONTENT 2010: the Second International Conference on Creative Content Technologies November 21-26, 2010 - Lisbon, Portugal. Beklen, A. (ed.), Ejarque, J. (ed.), Gentzsch, W. (ed.), Kanstren, T. (ed.), Koschel, A. (ed.), Lee, Y. (ed.), Li, L. (ed.), Zemlicka, M. (ed.). p. 7-12. . International Academy, Research, and Industry Association (IARIA).
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A practice-led approach to facial animation research

Sloan, R. J. S., Robinson, B., Scott-Brown, K. C., Moore, F. R. & Cook, M. (2010) A practice-led approach to facial animation research. . . .
View in Research Portal

2009

Considerations for believable emotional facial expression animation

Sloan, R. J. S., Cook, M. & Robinson, B. (2009) Considerations for believable emotional facial expression animation. In: Proceedings: International Conference Visualisation: Visualization in Built and Rural Environments – BioMedical Visualization – Geometric Modelling and Imaging. Banissi, E. (ed.), Sarfraz, M. (ed.), Khosrowshahi, F. (ed.), Counsell, J. (ed.), Laing, R. (ed.), Moore, C. (ed.), Cowell, A. (ed.), Hou, M. (ed.), Tian, . (ed.), Dastbaz, M. (ed.), Bannatyne, M. (ed.), Zhang, J. (ed.), Scarano, V. (ed.), De Chiara, R. (ed.), Erra, U. (ed.), Ursyn, A. (ed.), Levkowitz, H. (ed.). p. 61-66. Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society.
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Creative approaches to emotional expression animation

Sloan, R. J. S., Robinson, B. & Cook, M. (2009) Creative approaches to emotional expression animation. In: Short paper and poster proceedings of the 22nd annual conference on Computer Animation and Social Agents. Nijholt, A. (ed.), Egges, A. (ed.), van Welbergen, H. (ed.), Hondorp, H. (ed.). p. 97-98. Enschede: Centre for Telematics and Information Technology University of Twente.
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Animating believable facial expressions

Sloan, R. J. S., Robinson, B. & Cook, M. (2009) Animating believable facial expressions. . . .
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Investigating facial animation production through artistic inquiry

Sloan, R. J. S., Robinson, B. & Cook, M. (2009) Investigating facial animation production through artistic inquiry. In: Proceedings: Computation World: Future Computing, Service Computation, Cognitive, Adaptive, Content, Patterns. Dini, P. (ed.), Gentzsch, W. (ed.), Geraci, P. (ed.), Lorenz, P. (ed.), Singh, K. (ed.). p. 675-681. Piscataway, NJ: IEEE .
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2008

Dynamic emotional expression choreography

Sloan, R. J. S., Robinson, B., Cook, M. & Bown, J. L. (2008) Dynamic emotional expression choreography. In: Inaugural SAND Academic Peer Reviewed Papers. Capey, M. (ed.), Ip, B. (ed.), Blastland, F. (ed.). Swansea: Swansea Metropolitan University.
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2005

Improving the narrative appeal of story-driven videogames

Sloan, R. J. S. (2005) Improving the narrative appeal of story-driven videogames. In: Women in games: conference proceedings 2005. Terkeurst, J. (ed.), Paterson, I. (ed.). Dundee: University of Abertay.
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More Information

Funding

Total funding to date: > £3.6m

  • 'InGame: Innovation for Games and Media Enterprise' (AHRC, 2018-2023)
  • 'Visualizing Sugaropolis: Interdisciplinary Recreations of Greenock’s Transnational Past' (British Academy / Leverhulme, 2017)
  • 'Games and media facilitated e-learning' (Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, 2016-18)
     
  • 'Process, Product and Play: Research in Support of the Exhibition of Videogames' (Association of Art Historians, 2016)
     
  • 'Play to Promote: Developing Innovative Games for the Communication and Promotion of Science' (Scottish Crucible, 2015)
     
  • 'Sugaropolis: Transnational Foodways and Dietary Change in Scotland' (Scottish Crucible, 2015)
  • 'NCR Retail Games Concept Design' (NCR Financial Solutions Ltd., 2012)
  • 'NCR Design Visualisation Project' (NCR Financial Solutions Ltd., 2011)

  • 'Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning and Innovation in Games Art Education' (Higher Education Academy, 2011)

Esteem

Esteem

EXTERNAL EXAMINATION AND VALIDATION

External Examiner - MSc Digital Media Production, Oxford Brookes University (2017-2021)

External Validation - BA (Hons) Game Art, Staffordshire University (2015)

External Validation - FdSc and BSc (Hons) Games Development, SSR Manchester/University of Bolton (2015)

External Examiner - BA (Hons) Games Art, University of Northampton (2013-2017)

External Approval - MDes Digital Culture, Glasgow School of Art (2013)

 

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

Peer Review College Member
Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), 2017-2020

Editorial Board
Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds (Intellect), 2017-
The Computer Games Journal (Springer), 2014-

Committee Member
DiGRA 2017: The 10th Digital Games Research Association Conference
School of Arts, Media and Computer Games Ethics Committee, Abertay University, 2014-
HCI 2013: The 26th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference
HCI 2012: The 25th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference

Judging Panel
Independent Games Festival 2017, 2018
Games 4 Health 2017

Treasurer
Scottish Media and Communication Association (SMCA), 2013-

Outreach

Outreach

  • Public lecture - 'Random Access Memory: Nostalgia and Video Games', Cafe Arts, McManus Galleries, Dundee, February 5th 2019
  • Public lecture and event organiser - 'Game Making in Dundee', Gaming and Digital Weekend, Dundee Science Festival, Dundee Science Centre, November 12th 2016
  • Public event - Perth Tech Day, Perth Museum & Art Gallery, September 10th 2016
  • Researcher and Advisor - 'PLAYER: Videogame interaction from Atari to Toys to Life', Exhibition, Perth Museum & Art Gallery, June-September 2016
  • Event organiser - 'Serious Play workshop', University of Stirling, November 24th 2015
  • Guest speaker - 'Possible Worlds course', Bell Baxter High School, Fife (2013 to date)
  • Guest lecture and tutorials - Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune, India, February 2012
  • Public lecture - 'Emotional Avatars', Cafe Arts, McManus Galleries, Dundee, November 2nd 2010
  • Public lecture - FilmCamp, Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow, September 28th 2010
  • Exhibitor - Science in the City Event, Sensation Science Centre, Dundee, UK, January 31st and February 1st 2010
  • Exhibitor - Dundee Science Festival, DISC, Dundee, UK, October 25th 2009
  • Emotional Avatars Exhibition 2009, University of Abertay Dundee, October-December 2009
  • Exhibitor - Dare Protoplay, EICC, Edinburgh, August 14th-15th 2009
  • Emotional Avatars Exhibition 2008, University of Abertay Dundee, November-December 2008

Meet the rest of the team

Miss Kayleigh MacLeod

Miss Kayleigh MacLeod

Division of Games and Arts | Teaching Fellow

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Dr Christos Michalakos

Dr Christos Michalakos

Division of Games and Arts | Senior Lecturer

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