We gave a public performance for a live audience (in the style of augmented radio play) at the Rathskeller Club in San Francisco, an underground salon that is home to the Bay Area's growing community of artists, designers, and engineers who are pioneering the field of experience design. The performance was followed by a lively Q&A session.
Our second installation in Montreal was hosted by the LUDOV lab at Université de Montréal, where we also delivered our fourth public performance. Because it is a francophone university, Jonathan Lessard helped to translate the behind-the-scenes action in real-time, while our host Bernard Perron live-mixed audio.
Our first installation outside the United States was hosted by the Technoculture, Art, and Games (TAG) interdisciplinary center at Concordia University in Montreal. A day of private performances concluded with our third public performance, held for TAG members and visitors to the center. After UPS failed to deliver our model theatre on time, Chris Venner-Tan and Roxanne Baril-Bédard built an ad-hoc one (whose curtain hung on a pipe suspended from the ceiling) in the hour before our first scheduled performance. Additionally, one of our players was Squinky, whose Coffee: A Misunderstanding was an early influence on the project.
In conjunction with the annual Game Developers’ Conference at the nearby Moscone Center, Bad News was installed at the world-renowned San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as part of a PlaySFMOMA mixed-reality pop-up arcade. We were included along with a stellar selection of avant-garde, experimental, and artist-made games dealing with augmented, virtual, mixed, shared and fractured realities. Among our twenty total players was Tarn Adams, whose acclaimed project Dwarf Fortress is a major influence on Bad News; here, he is pictured with team member James Ryan.
As part of the second leg of the Slamdance Digital, Interactive, and Gaming (DIG) showcase, Bad News was featured at the larger Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. In addition to performing over thirty times over the course of a week, a public performance of Bad News (followed by a Q&A session) was featured in the Slamdance Polytechnic track.
As one of eight works to be featured in the second Slamdance Digital, Interactive, and Gaming (DIG) showcase, Bad News was performed at the Big Pictures Los Angeles gallery several times over the course of two consecutive weekends. Slamdance is a world-renowned film festival held each year in Park City, Utah, in conjunction with the Sundance Film Festival. The DIG showcase was held in Los Angeles at the Big Pictures LA gallery, and a selection of works also being featured at the film festival in Utah. DIG is dedicated to new independent artists working in hybrid, immersive, and emerging forms of digital media art. We're very excited to have been included among an array of impressive, boundary-pushing works.
As an IndieCade 2016 finalist, Bad News was performed at the festival several times over the course of three days. Our play area was stationed behind a temporary wall with a window that festival goers could look through to view live gameplay. Meanwhile, the wizard and his interfaces were also visible to passersby, and the guide served as a public-facing team member, providing an overview of the project and answering questions.
Bad News won the IndieCade 2016 Audience Choice Award.
Bad News was installed as part of the Playable Experiences track at the the Twelfth Annual AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE), held in Burlingame, California. Our appearance there was also accompanied by a brief academic talk on the project.
The third installation of Bad News was at the Roguelike Celebration in San Francisco. For the first time, we conducted a live playthrough in front of an audience. This was done in in the style of a radio play: gameplay still took place in an isolated room, but the audio was piped into an auditorium where the wizard also performed live, with his interface projected onto a large screen; additionally, the guide provided narration about behind-the-scenes activities. Trivia: Both Rogue and Bad News originated at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Our first full-fledged installation was at the Student Game Competition of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) in San Jose, where we won the Innovative Game Design track. CHI is the premier venue for academic work on human-computer interaction.