The First Annual NZGDC AR Game Dev Rant

Date: Saturday 2nd September

Time: 11:55am

This session is a collection of rants.  Four developers that represent different aspects of AR development speak passionately about some aspect of game development in AR for about 10 minutes.  Then we wrap up with some civilised conversation and Q&A.

About the speakers

Devi Alagappan is currently leading JIX’s business and operations, Devi exemplifies the blend of strategic acumen and hands-on implementation that drives success.  With a background in computer science and a proven track record of catalysing tech startups, she is passionate about commercialising innovation.  Her niche lies in orchestrating seamless collaboration, utilising strong communication skills and a knack for effective project leadership.

Dr. Evie Powell is a games researcher and developer that specializes in immersive experiences and natural user interfaces. Her background includes working on natural user interfaces and the Kinect technology at Xbox (Microsoft); working on technology solutions to help with spinal fusion surgery at Proprio; as well as making AR experiences at Proprio. With a unique career bridging gaming and healthcare, Dr. Powell integrates game design and UX design to create meaningful experiences that help people learn, play, and work differently. Dr. Powell graduated from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte with her Ph.D in Computer Science where her research centered on socially pervasive game experiences and context aware gaming using mobile technologies.

Melanie Langlotz trained originally as a digital visual effects artist and worked on many TV and film productions over the course of 20 years. Her passion for media and entertainment led to developing the world’s 1st digital playground experience “Magical Park” in 2015, after
her stepdaughter, back then 7 years old, lost interest in parks and playgrounds. Her company Geo AR Games was founded with the initial purpose to get kids off the couch and physically active outside through educational mobile games. The ever-growing climate change issues drove the international development of new digital education experiences and innovative projects that won Ms Langlotz and her company Geo AR Games several awards and nominations. A steady interest in global collaboration and problem solving stimulated a new “pay-it-forward” business model which assists cities in getting their environmental messages out into their community.

Yasas Sri Wickramasinghe is a Doctoral Student (Ph. D.) in Augmented Reality Game Design at the HIT Lab NZ, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.  With a passion for cutting-edge technology and immersive experiences, Yasas is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of augmented reality (AR) in Location-Based Games.

Alongside his academic pursuits, Yasas is a recognized tech speaker, sharing his expertise and insights on AR game design at various conferences and industry events.

Yasas’ research focuses on the design and development of multiplayer location-based AR games that seamlessly integrate with the real world.  His work explores the fusion of virtual and physical spaces to create captivating and immersive gaming experiences.  Through meticulous user studies and iterative design methodologies, Yasas aims to enhance spatial presence, foster social interaction, and provide players with unforgettable adventures in augmented reality.

Yasas’ multifaceted background as a doctoral student, tech speaker, and lead software engineer reflects his deep commitment to advancing the field of AR game design.  With his expertise, creativity, and dedication, he is poised to shape the future of augmented reality gaming and inspire the next generation of immersive experiences.