Spirit of Sculptures @ PLAY SFMOMA Game Jam



PlaySFMOMA is a museum initiative that encourages the development of avant-garde and artist-made games. By providing an arena for artists working in this medium, PlaySFMOMA introduces museum audiences to the expressive potential of games. In November 2016, SFMOMA hosted a two-weekend Augmented Reality (AR) game jam as part of the PlaySFMOMA initiative. Twelve game designers and code artists developed and play-tested prototypes of AR games for and about SFMOMA.

Once I was invited to participate formed a team of designers and creative coders, including 3D artist Claudia Miranda and creative coder JT Nimoy. Unlike many museums who are still wary of the affect of AR on the museum experience since the advent of Pokemon GO, the SF MOMA takes a different view. SF MOMA's Official app is a top notch example of location-based augmented reality and the playSFMOMA residency game jam is further indication of their commitment to going into that sometimes uncomfortable but rewarding place that art can take us.



SFMOMA partnered with Google Tango to provide the technical backbone for the experience. There were folks from Google around to help us out along with unreleased phones loaded up with Tango and with special cameras and embedded Infrared (IR) projector which allowed us to create a room scan and create image/location based trackers for the AR experiences.

Our team used a Unity3D, Maya and the Tango SDK for our project.


The Game

The Spirit of Sculptures prototype was created in the British Sculpture gallery and featured three sculptures. We researched the artists' intentions for each sculpture and studied their forms. We then created 3d responses to these sculptures that allowed visitors to interact with the sculptures in a new way.