the invisible city logo
'The Invisible City' is a collaborative team-based project created by 1st semester Graduate Diploma students studying within the Centre for Animation & Interactive Media, School of Creative Media, using a multiplayer real-time computer game editor.
"The project's environment of the "Unreal Tournament 2004" game engine will allow the final 'Invisible City' to be played, viewed or inhabited across an electronic network. There is an enormous online community present both as a willing audience to emerging experimental approaches in this field, and a wide range of communally motivated technical support. While this growing field of screen art is driven by a technically sophisticated underbelly, you will see when reading the project brief document that there will be no need for specialised knowledge or expertise with so-called "game engines" for you to participate in this group project".
"The project title refers to Italo Calvino's short novel, "Invisible Cities", which provokes a number of propositions and questions within areas that are still current today: hypertext, trade, memory, mutable architecture, identity, empires, war, cybernetics and representation by media."
John Power - concept instigator for the project
Students were expected to draw upon this novel as an essential guiding reference.
"...and Polo said: 'Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice.' 'When I ask you about other cities, I want to hear about them. And about Venice, when I ask you about Venice.' 'To distinguish the other cities' qualities, I must speak of a first city that remains implicit. For me it is Venice."
"Memory's images, once they are fixed in words, are erased; Polo said. Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it. Or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little"
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
Students were given a 32 page brief which described a structured production framework for the project. This document defined the roles and responsibilities of producer, director, and of the 4 teams. It also described the required deliverables of each team. Each student had responsibilities to their team colleagues, and each team had responsibilities to every other team in order to ensure a smooth work flow.
The Invisible City 'budget' was one of time commitment rather than money and was calculated on the basis that each person in the production crew would commit 90 hours to the project. Although the project ran over a 5 week production period, the contribution of the teams were staggered commencing with the Story Team's contribution and ending with that of the Engine Team. Assets for the project were produced within each team's three week window.
Heng Shen Yeap
Narrative Concept and Sound Team (week 1 -2)
Responsible for: Narrative Script, Flow Chart, Dialogue, Sound Design, Sound FX, Music
Nicola Wong (Team Leader)
Supervised by Kate Cawley
Design Team (week 2 -3)
Responsible for: Infrastructure and Level Design, Interactivity design, Overlays, Typography, Interface Design
Angela Barnett (Team Leader)
Patsarun (Air) Chuthapisit
Supervised by Matt Riley
Art Team (week 2 -3)
Responsible for: Props Modelling, Topography (aka Terrain), Art, Lighting (Virtual Cinematography), Visual FX
Adrian Rose (Team Leader)
Supervised by John Power
Engine Team (week 4 -5)
Responsible for: Interactive scripting, Level implementation, Usability testing, Debugging
Sajjad Amjad (Team Leader)
Supervised by Jeremy Parker
It was also proposed that the final delivery of Invisible City may form collaboration with Architecture students from the Spatialised Information Architecture Laboratory.
"The Invisible City" Project Launch
4pm Friday 13th May 2005
AIM studio, Building 9, Level 3 Room 22
RMIT City Campus