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CA3: have fun and play!

6700630 / creative application, semester 2, 6 ects


rule(s) of the game: if you are absent when you must be present or miss the deadline(s) you will be listed in the hall of shame, when you are in time and excellent, you will gain a place in the hall of fame ...

[keep clicking] rule(s): Æ

schedule-ca3.pdf / goal(s) / hint(s) / link(s)

schedule(s) -- common(s) / register! / request for grading

participant(s) / lab(s) / assignment(s) / CA3

  1. introduction -- topic(s) & challenge(s)
  2. exploration(s) -- platform & production requirements
  3. planning -- concept & application development
  4. concept(s) -- mechanics, story, aesthetics, technology
  5. consideration(s) -- infrastructure & realization
  6. background(s) -- basic media and communication theory
  7. context(s) -- creative application(s)
  8. production(s) -- delivery and presentation of final application(s)
(*) no lecture at 1/3 and 28/6 (exam math), otherwise (in principle) every monday

submit your clip(s) / blog(s)




course description -- ca3: have fun and play!

The course description(s) are taken from the accreditation report Creative Technology (version 2.0).


The course is meant as an integrative project, which combines the various elements introduced in the first year of creative technolgy, where students experience the need for planning and project-management.

Topics include:

Although acquisition of the actual theme of the project must be done by senior staff, students will be expected to take an active part in the selection of theme(s) and target(s), and developing the final application(s) or product(s).

The project is meant to function in a local festival, preferably in cooperation with organisations such as:


CA1&2, CS1&2, NM1&2, ST1&2, MA1&2, DE1&2

goal(s) & attainment target(s)

The integrative nature of the CA3 project will contribute to more firmly establishing skills, and deepening students' knowledge of smart systems and interactive media applications.

The course aims at providing

  • awareness of business models and the societal context of projects
  • familiarity with requirements analysis, planning, concept-development and project-management
  • fluency in problem-finding and ways of generating ideas
  • full literacy in applying learned skills to tackle problems in system development
Students are expected to be well-motivated, and will be stimulated in problem-finding and the exploration of creative solutions.

place in curriculum:

Integrative course for end of first year.

spplication area & motivating example(s)

Each year a preparatory investigation must be done, preferably by a group consisting of staff members and students, in close contact with potential industrial or societal partners, to select one or more potential theme(s) and topic(s) that may serve as a challenging target.

teaching method(s)

The structure of CA3 project will be determined by the students themselves. The role of the staff will primarily be to safeguard the project from (beginners) mistakes, and to encourage critical reflections on decisions and potential consequences. To avoid potential misunderstandings, this is not total freedom, but rather a strictly supervised approach, where established standards of project-management will not serve as a prescriptiion, but rather to give feedback and control initiatives originally formulated and proposed by (groups of) students.

Feedback will be given in workshop sessions, and by assessing the products as made available online. Peer reviews will not only be used for feedback, but will also form part of the procedure of assessment and grading. Grading takes place by assessing the work in a presentation session, where students present and discuss their work and contributions to the group project..

special facilities

Contacts with potential industrial or societal partners must be established, which may require additional technical support.

course outline(s) -- ca3: have fun and play!

outline(s) / schedule(s)


In this part a more detailed discussion will be provided of topics, learning goals, materials used, and the actual structure of the course, as well as a sketch of the assignments given. Also references to releveant literature is provided, including online resources. At the end, advice for students following the course will be given, as well as hints for the instructor(s).

course topic(s)

As a creative application, which takes place at the end of the first year, the have fun and play! course has, strictly speaking, no actual course topics, but is rather defined as a collection of high level requirements for the student(s) to achieve:


  • application of creative technology elements
  • explore combination smart technology & new media
  • development interactive game play
  • write business & communication plan
  • reflection on societal context of media & smart system deployment
A major principle here is self-organization and learning by challenge, that is finding suitable challenges for achieving the goals set.

learning target(s)

In terms of skills, competences, etcetera, the learning goals of this course can be indicated as follwos:

CA3 target(s)

  • skill(s) -- multi-platform technical development
  • knowledge -- interaction & game play
  • theory -- smart technology, media & communication
  • experience(s) -- large scale application with (societal) impact
  • attitude -- acquisition, problem-finding, self-organization, creative solutions
Perhaps not present in the list in a sufficiently explicit way is that the application must be resiatant to public exposure, and that the student must develop a sense of aesthetic responsibility as well as a suffient degree of artistic autonomy.

lesson material(s)

The material that will actually be relevant during the course, will to a large extent depend on the actual topics chosen and the context of application, for example a regional festival, or a contribution to interactive theatre production(s).

have fun and play -- installation(s)

Very likely, the notion of urban space(s) will play a role, one way or another, where urban space must be understood as any space outside the private space of the home where interaction between people is one of the denominated functions of that space, be it a meeting room in a health-care institution, a market place for regional goods, or the dance floor in a late night disco. The challenge here, obviously, it to develop applications that conform with the primary function(s) of such spaces, using technology that available, affordable and sufficently robust to be deployed in such a context.

course structure

Despite the self-organizing nature of the course, a sequence of seesions is needed to guarantuee continuity of work, and to avoid the risk that the creative aaplication diverges into one of the many pitfalls that haunt such projects.


  1. introduction topic(s) & challenge(s)
  2. exploration of platform & production requirements
  3. planning -- concept & application development
  4. establishment of business plan
  5. contract negotiation & realization
  6. basic media and communication theory
  7. business and societal context of the creative application(s)
  8. delivery and presentation of final application(s)
Dependent on the size of the group, addtional mechanisms of monitoring progress may be needed, including logs, periodic accounts, and regular feedback or possibly even shout-out sessions.


With the actual format depending on the application context, we can indicate as a minimal set of deliverables and presentations the items collected in the list below:


  • concept pitch presentation(s)
  • planning - approach, realization, deployment
  • report(s) -- application development and installation
  • evaluation(s) -- summary of experience(s) and deployment result(s)
To guarantee that progress can be monitored and that results can be evaluated, the group(s) must maintain a website with all relevant information available in a suffienntly accessible way.


Apart from some general information about for example agile method(s), we have included some references to our own work, not as a reference in the sense of a standard to be adhered, but rather to share experience(s), and indicate a possible format for writing a report or even paper to be published at some suitable venue.


  1. method(s) --
  2. resource(s) -- game design patterns / team work
  3. Eliëns A. and Vyas D., Panorama -- explorations in the aesthetics of social awareness, In Proc. GAME-ON 07, Nov 20-22, University of Bologna, Marco Roccetti (ed.), p. 71-75, EUROSIS-ETI Publication, ISBN 9789077381373
  4. Eliëns A., van de Watering M., Huurdeman H., Bhikharie S.V., Lemmers H., Vellinga P. , Clima Futura @ VU -- communicating (unconvenient) science, In Proc. GAME-ON 07, Nov 20-22, University of Bologna, Marco Roccetti (ed.), pp. 125-129, EUROSIS-ETI Publication, ISBN 9789077381373
  5. A. Eliëns, topical media & game development --
A wealth of material and references can be found at my topical media & game development site, including tutorials and examples.

online resource(s)

As online resources, we suffice with a brief list of links to online manifestations or descriptions of art. The student is encouraged to bypass this list and google his/her way around, searching information and inspiration(s).

resource(s) / CA3

The given resources, and those found with search, should also be looked at from the perspective of design, that is as one of the possible ways to present information on the web. Use your knowledge and experience to decide on a proper format for presentating the information about your own project(s) on the web.

advice for the student(s)

With the course taking place at the end of your first year, in which you no doubt have earnt a lot, this is an excellent opportunity to excercise your skill(s) and gain further experience in collaboration. To be able to work in a group and communicate is, as you should know, one of the essential characteristics of your future professional scenario(s). Make no mistake though, you should also be able to take individual responsibility and even have a degree of artistic independence, which sometimes may even be mistaken as arrogance. Anyway, do not be bothered by that, but set your own learning goals, and one way or another find proper balance with the interests of the group.

hint(s) for the instructor(s)

A course such as have fun and play! requires an attentive, yet flexible attitude of the instructor(s). It also does require the involvement of external partners, that essentially co-determine the targets that should be achieved during the project, and that will utlimately judge to what extent the students' achievenment(s) fit within the application context.

The role of the instructor(s) from Creative Technology, preferably a small team, is to keep an eye on progress and to motivate the students to pursue their goals and keep a high level of aspiration, regardless of whether the external client is easily satisfied or not. Afterall, the students' results determine the face of Creative Technology for the outside world, where acceptance is an undeniable criterium for the success of any attempt at public exposure.


afterthought(s) -- 09 / 10



Almost a year after the actual course, there is little to write, except perhaps the about the satisfacxtion that the installation in gogbot was succesful.

All students that participated actively in the course made it into the second year. However, that does not give the course any predictive value. The guest speakers were overall positively received, although some students complained that it took them a long time before they understood what the course was all about. Even then, I have some doubt though whether they really understood!




In the last period many students appeared a bit overworked, and I learned that there were many deadlines. Courses like CA3, also due to my (apparently) more tolerant style, easily suffer from the pressure of other courses, since the topic(s) may (easily, but not tightfully IMHO) be dismissed as vague, and even irrelevant. Why worry about googlification whenyou can program arduino? Well, to my mind it is not only important to think about societally relevant topics and make the connection with practical work, but, in addition, it is perhaps even more important to think what can be done, both in terms of concepts/ideas and applications/technology to take part in a festival like gogbot, where art, science and technology are presented to a wider audience. Key phrases here are experience (on an individual level) and exposure (for the creative technology curriculum).

In the last period, many students fortunately got a new boost of energy, worked on group projects, and updated their personal portfolios. Also, a number of students submitted their essays way before the deadline, which is a good sign, and can be taken as a desire for feedback on there work, which sometimes was emphasized by the explicit question -- will I pass for the course with this essay.

In this course, I also experimented with asking the student for their aspiration(s), that is the grade they thought they would deserve, or wanted to deserve. In the future, I will make both the requests for grading, as well as an indication of student's aspiration(s) more explicit. I also made clear to the students that I would refuse to de forensic grading, that is collect all the evidence for grading myself, piece by piece. The portfolio should provide all the evidence, and it is the responsibility of the student(s) to present this in a clear manner, preferably with good style!

As a final remark, as some of the students remarked -- still communication is more key than imagination --, the jey to creativity she meant, I must remark that for many, with some obvious exceptions, the image quality is rather low, or perhaps I should say -- the interest in presenting their work with some drama and visual intensity. Another thing is that the responsiveness of students to both simple acts of communication as well as published deadlines is rather low. The need for such responsiveness should be more stringently brought to their attention.

At the end, the meeting with Kees and Viola went well, with enthusiasm from both sides, and a clear willingness of the students to continue their work beyond the boundaries of the have fun and play course.

And for me, after the grading(s), in which I gave the students, where their documentation was lacking, the benefits of my doubts, I am a year off. Pffh!

[] readme new(s) workshop(s) project(s) CA1 CA2 CA3 CA4 CA5 course(s) - creative exploration(s) / serious games / ethic(s) - resource(s) _ / * @ # !

(C) Æliens 2013