The Core Crew

Creator, Principal Designer and Project Manager: Debra Polson

SCOOT Core Crew and Extended Family Members for the 2006, 2009, 2008 and 2007 Events

Funded by the projects support organisations. For every SCOOT iteration that resulted in a major SCOOT Event, there was a team of four to six collaborators that filled lead roles in the areas of programming, animation, illustration, web development, event coordination. I first encountered the core crew members during the first SCOOT event experiment hosted at the Queensland University of Technology. They were all students competing as the first SCOOT players. Some of them approached me in person or by email asking to be involved in the making of any future SCOOT events.  I subsequently recruited them as student collaborators on the following SCOOT Events. I arranged with the university administrators to offer students academic credit in return for the work they did on the SCOOT project. Once these students had graduated, they were funded as core contributors on all of the following SCOOT events and a few of them continue to work together on various independent projects and research projects at the University. Another three of the core crew formed there own independent game company and now produce award winning iphone games similar to the games they produced for SCOOT: http://www.thevoxelagents.com/2009/04/the-voxel-agents-establish-in-southbank-melbourne/

Email message from key collaborators of the 2004 Event

“Hello All.  Just wanted to say thanks for the experience that the Scoot project has given me personally.  It was
great to work with talented and dedicated people from a  variety of fields, and see the fruits of the labor bringing  a successful result.  Good luck in all future creative endeavours!! All the best, Craig Gibbons.
(personal email communication 14 May 2004 08:42:53) Craig worked on the Unscrambler Installation and produced a geat deal of the SCOOT sound and music libraries.

“Another personal thank you to all for having the opportunity to work with a great variety of skilled and passionate  people. Scoot became a real talking point amongst students  and staff and its success just goes to show that there is a lot of interest in these kinds of interactive works and  events (games are here to stay). So many people have expressed their interest in Scoot, but  they have also expressed interest in possible future Scoot- like incarnations. Going by public demand and interest, such  an event just has to happen again in the near future…  doesn’t it?
Best of luck and huge well done to all involved.”
Yang Wong (personal email communiaiton Fri, 14 May 2004 18:54:29) Yang was a mini game designer for the 2004 event who later became the Lead Programmer responsible for the SCOOT Engine, MultiPlayer Virtual World and Milk and Cipher Cities Systems from 2005 – 2008.

“So much has happened these last few years, and I consider the many years we’ve spent working together… as some of the most treasured and fulfilling”. Yang Wong (personal email communiaiton Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 1:48 PM)

Key Roles in the SCOOT Collaboration

  • Creator, Director and Interaction Designer: Deb Polson is the original creator of SCOOT (her PhD creative work) and author of this website (submitted as the exegesis component of her PhD).  As Director, Deb would provide the overall vision and objectives. As Interaction Designer, Deb would specify the kinds of interactive experiences that SCOOT desired for it’s end users (players). To do so Deb designed a series of templates to assist in the formulation of individual works (installations, networked systems, audio/visual components),  and custom scripts for integrating all of the works into a series of events.
  • Producer: Each Event started with a Project Proposals including a budget prepared by the creator (Deb Polson) and was submitted to an individual in an organisation that has shown interest in hosting a SCOOT event. Normally, a staff member (curator and/or administrator) would be assigned to be a ‘Producer’ for the event. This Producer would then negotiate funding from multiple sources. In the case of SCOOT CBN (2006) ACMI was the Lead Organisation who assigned Helen Stuckey and Jacinta Pulinski as the producers. Together they negotiated cash and in-kind contributions from seven other organisations; namely the Victoria Council, Nationa Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Museum,  State Library of Victoria, Art Play, The Art Centre and Federatin Square Management. Helen and Jacinta continued to work closely with Deb to coordinate the event.
  • Interface Design: Deb Polson would list and sketch the required components for any interface required (web, mobile, public etc) and storyboard the relationships between the interfaces. Most of the elements of the interfaces were then produced by the graphic designer.
  • Systems Programmer: Yang Wong was responsible for integrating a number of systems that contributed to the SCOOT experience. Firstly the SMS engine (database and custom script) that received, interpreted and brodcasted game text to players mobile phones. This system was integrated with multiplayer virtual world that players log onto to view leaderboards, play mini-games, interact with SCOOT characters and chat with other players.
  • Network Communications Programmer: David Wallace was responsible for producing the communications system for the virtual world chat features and worked with the Systems Programmer to integrate it with the virtual worlds. The Network Communications Programmer also produced and coordinated any networking between installations and other SCOOT systems.
  • Graphic Production: A number of graphic artist have contributed to the SCOOT aesthetic and component works. In particular Corin Edwards and Shu-Min Heng. They produced illustrations and designs for various games, websites and promotional materials.
  • 3D Modeler: During the second and third major SCOOT episode SCOOT had the opportunity to produce a number of its’ creatures in 3D to be animated and displayed on a number of large public displays. Alex Seel recreated a number of SCOOT creatures in 3D and animated them according to storyboards and scripts provided by the Director. These animations have been used in all subsequent episodes.
  • Animator: Tim Tran, Joseph Gatling and Shu-Min Heng produced a number of animations for display both on the web sites and public displays on-site.
  • Component Works Production: Depending on the component (animation, mini-game, intallation work etc), individuals would be assigned to work together in various roles. Many of the works required multiple collaborators. Some of the collaborators would have conceived of the work themselves and designed the interfaces and systems within specified guidelines and templates provided by the Director.
  • Sound Production: For the first two major iterations of SCOOT  sound designers, Craig Gibbons and Luke Lickfold, produced music and sound efefcts for various SCOOT components. These became vital library resources used by all other collaborators when producing mini-games, virtual worlds, installations, animations etc.
  • Web Programming: SCOOT has had a number of websites produced for various episodes depending of the needs of the support organisations and/or the players. ShuMin Heng (sometimes with Sherwin Huang) was normally responsible for these sites and also for the visual components of the site according to specifications provided by the Director.
  • Event Coordination (Community Manager): This role was at first combined with the Directors role, but as the episodes grew in scale, further assistance was required. Both Sheridah Puttick (2005, 2006 and 2009) and Colleen Morgan (2007 and 2008) have shared this role. They are required to manage and communicate scope and progress of all production, installation and hosting activities.

The Extended Family

Under Graduate and Post Graduate Students: In the past, SCOOT has also invited undergraduate and postgraduate students (from QUT) to participate by creating media in response to a brief or they propose an experimental work to be included in the event. We provide them with media libraries (SCOOT graphics, sounds, applications), training support, some funding, and a real audience to appreciate their work.

Support Organisations: The lead organisations from each event were critcal collaborators in helping to refine the delivery of SCOOT in ways to make it relevant to the local community of students, visitors, workers etc. SCOOT always invited individuals from these communities to participate in more detailed ways in the development processes by either collaborating with the core crew and/or the development team or volunteering on the days of the event as SCOOT Agents assisting the players to progress throuhg the game.