Australian Museum: Climate Change Interactive

Monkeystack was commissioned to develop a large scale touch screen climate change interactive for the Changing Climate permanent gallery display at the Australian Museum, Sydney.

We ‘twinned’ the development, with two identical screens and servers located in both Adelaide and Sydney meaning the Museum exhibition team could play as we built. The capacitive screen is 98” and can manage 50 simultaneous touches providing an interactive play space for up to 5 visitors at one time –  which is a good thing as the interactive shows 139 animated character scenes, that trigger 135 card decks, containing 312 double-sided digital cards covering 110 climate change impact facts!

The exhibit was launched on the 28th November 2020 as a part of the Museum reopening.

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As part of the Hedonism exhibit at MOD. (Museum of Discovery at the University of South Australia), Monkeystack produced F.A.B.L.E, an AR led experiential game about consent that visitors navigate via a phone app.

Welcome, Operative, to F.A.B.L.E. – aka the Federated Association of Believers, Leaders, and Explorers. Your mission is simple: teleport on board this foreign spaceship and connect with the alien. As you explore this new world, there are protocols to follow. Make sure you check in with the alien as you go, follow the principles of consent, and achieve a two-way flow of information that will benefit both of our races.   

Commissioned by MOD., Monkeystack set about creating an AR triggered app-based experience inspired by early 90s game graphics that is played by moving through the room. The experience can best be described as Barbarella meets the Muppets!

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Double Happy Vs. the Infinite Sadness is an energetic story driven experience interactively covering PC, iOS and Android, as well as animated short films and a web/social media presence.

The property stars a pair of neo pop edgy cute rabbits called Pink and Blue, as they set out on a quest to vanquish an all consuming entropic force called the Infinite Sadness from their homeland.

On the surface, Double Happy is a manic tale of good vs. evil, but the stories are underpinned by philosophical and spiritual themes, also exploring quantum mechanics and super science. The audience really can decide how deep they want the rabbit hole to go!

Double Happy Vs. the Infinite Sadness was a co-sponsor of the Indie Games Room at AVCon 2013 and 2014 alongside Uni SA, where it has become one of the most memorable properties at the annual event.

You can visit the Double Happy world at http://2xhappy.com

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In a project produced and designed by ABC – Behind the News, Torrens Valley University and Novus Res, our animation team contributed to this world-first VR project to bring the Kokoda story to life like never before.

The experience sends students back to 1942 with a first-hand experience of the famous Kokoda Track campaign where they can pick up weapons, run through the battle fields and witness the victories and failures first hand.

Monkeystack was brought onboard to populate highly detailed, photogrammetrically created scenes with believable soldiers with the final product processed to work in a real-time VR environment.

As this project came into the studio with significant time constraints, it was crucial to work efficiently using a range of software programs to deliver quality work within tight timeframes.

First, we tackled character modelling using Zbrush and Substance painter to create a set of believable CG soldiers. Using captures of the original uniforms, hats, backpacks and boots, our experienced team of character animators brought the soldiers to life with realistic, real-time animated actions. By using a mix of motion capture for more generic movements and hand keyed animations for more specific actions, we’re able to streamline the animation process while still delivering a quality outcome suitable for VR.

A game designed around a darkly humorous sci-fi story, The Vault was developed through a partnership with the University of Adelaide’s ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, the Queen Mary University of London and Monkeystack.

The Vault game is a journey into history, an immersion into the experiences and emotions of those whose lives were very different from our own. There, we discover unfamiliar feelings, uncanny characters who are like us and yet unlike. It is also a journey into the human condition, into a metaphoric space in which being truly, richly human is the only way to survive-provoking us to consider not only our past but our future.

The Vault won the Best Console / PC Hardcore Console and Best Indie Game categories for the Game Connection Development Awards at Game Connection Europe 2018.

See more at The Vault website.

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The VR visualisation of the Kawasaki Ninja H2R and the fictional apartment of a young engineer is an internal project that we undertook as a studio to push the graphic rendering and interactive capabilities of VR headsets.

The viewer is placed within a highly detailed apartment complete with cinematic lighting and sound design where they can move within the environment and interact with a series of objects.

This approach to building interactive worlds in XR is one that we are constantly refining and employing with other VR projects. From an industry training and education perspective, we want to enable people to better navigate environments and objects and familiarise themselves with their function or specification while in an immersive, low-risk environment.

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