The USC School of Cinematic Arts Interactive Media Division proudly presents PRESS START, an exhibition of graduate thesis projects from our three-year M.F.A. program. These 11 unique projects are an eclectic mix of new explorations in interactive media featuring a very wide range of play scenarios and themes. These projects promise to move you, entertain you and make you think.
by Paul Bellezza
Mungeon is a game research project that seeks to explore the process of designing games specifically for free to play micro transaction-based business models. The goal of the project was to design and execute a unique asynchronous online multiplayer game from the ground up that emphasizes the ability to diversify and expand upon its game experience through the earning and purchasing of virtual assets. The end result of this research is Mungeon, a game where users build and share playable dungeons in a world underneath a child's bed.
by Mike Brazil
RagnaRøkk is an experiment in trying multiple ways of combining music and traditional gameplay. The player uses a Guitar Hero controller to navigate through the gamespace, fight enemies, cast spells, and solve puzzles. Throughout the game, the actions of the player have musical repercussions, serving to pull the player deeper into the experience.
by Jorge Mora Fernandez
Multicultural Videos (MCV) is an Interactive Online Museum based on a Video Database developed by an International Community of Artists from many creative disciplines. MCV is a networked community space where people share, create, learn and promote culture, arts and artistic self-expression through online videos.
by Scott Gilles
Heist is an interactive physical installation game where you are one of a group of thieves who have been hired to break into a high-security room to steal a high-tech prototype. Plan your attack, avoid the security systems, unlock the safe and escape with the loot.
The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom
by Matt Korba
Enter a macabre and comical silent film world filled with mischief, time travel, and delicious pie. Record yourself and harness your time bending abilities to cooperate, compete against, and disrupt your past, present, and future selves. Winterbottom's debut misadventures present whimsical spin on the notions of time, space and play.
by Anthony Ko
SeeDrive is a traffic awareness system that turns your car into a traffic probe, sending both speed data and live video to the cars around you. By having access to the videos and the corresponding positional data of other cars the SeeDrive client will enable a user stuck in traffic to hop from car to car. Looking through the viewpoint of another vehicle, a visual assessment of the congestion can be made.
by Victoria Moran
As narrative through cinematics becomes more prevalent in today's gaming world, the gamer is quickly becoming little more than a passive viewer. The Unseen is a sound-based experiment in interactive fiction and gaming to physically bring the player into the narrative to interact with a non-player character. The setting is a museum art gallery, transformed by a paradox of time and space, that connects our universe with an unseen world parallel to our own.
by Garrett Rodrigue
Inspired by Eames' Powers of 10, Project Energize explores a 2D game space at various levels of scale, using only the analog sticks of the Xbox 360 controller. Beginning at the atomic level, the player embarks on a journey that spans four increasing scales of life. At each scale the player manipulates elements populating the space and experiences the ways in which elements at larger scales take on different forms based on the player's actions at the smaller scales.
by Mike Stein
Empireville needs your help. A picturesque little town in America, the good people of Empireville are terrified at the prospects of big box retail and cookie cutter tourism moving in and destroying their way of life. To fight back, they've opened up their own stock market, so all of America can become invested in Empireville's way of life. Using your cell phone, call 206-607-8073, and start buying and selling stocks on the Empireville stock market.
by Marc Tuters
S(t)imulation is the practice component of a thesis that explores philosophies of consciousness within the electronic arts. A site-specific installation, the piece centers around a 12-foot mural painted in a surrealist/cubist style. Based on the realtime input of the viewers contemplation, a scale image of the mural is processed and projected back onto the painting's surface, augmenting it with light to reveal its multiple dimensions.
by Jesse Vigil
While on the surface a game about telekinetic fish, Original Fin is the showcase for something Jesse calls Adaptive Story Architecture. Using simple universal programming tricks and a method cribbed from the personality quizzes in women's magazines, the game uses your own personal play style to make determinations about what will happen next in the game's story.