Through a 'live brief' commissioned by Penguin Books - Digital Publishing Dept, the last two months have given the Digital Media students the opportunity to experience the vocational side of Second Life. As tutor, I took on the role of a Production Manager / Technical Supervisor, with a small team of students brainstorming how the Penguin Brand could be realised as a Metaverse Experience. Using a medium like Second Life, the students are understanding how their skills in 3D CGI, Interactive Presentation and Graphic Design Communication can be brought together in a virtual space, as well an opportunity to consider how an 'audience' would experience and 'read' the content for this form of presentation.
I'm particularly excited, as this is getting student's to engage with possibilities of careers as content creators / designers for MUVE's (Multi-User Virtual Environments), not just for Second Life, but possibly for HOME on the PS3 and other MUVE's like Kaneva and There. Hopefully an industry that will become more the 'norm' when they graduate.
The project also gave us an opportunity to try to develop an idea of a Virtual Sketchbook. A small sandbox was created specifically for the project, divided into four sections: The Brief/client info, Research, Idea Development and Building area. This created a mix of images on Prims and 3D objects. Along with Virtual Portfolios, the idea of using a sandbox to explore the Design Process, is particularly of interest to myself, and something I want to further in the next academic year.
Text based Staircase (Idea in Progress). One of Penguin's requests was to approach the Second Life build more abstractly - rather than recreating something obvious like a 'bookshop' to represent the Brand. The Text staircase was produced by Chris Meredith, giving him an opportunity to explore 3D typography.
Recreation of Roald Dahl's Writing Shed.
The project is ongoing for a few more weeks, during which time representives from Penguin will give us feedback to the overall design approach, and allow for students to reflect on Industry reality. So far this has been a good project for students to practically engage with the issues and possibilites of using this emerging technologiy.