Headshot Brian Schrank, PhD
Associate Professor, Chair of Game Design, DePaul University
bschrank@gmail.com / 404-281-4282

CV & Bio

Games & Book AR & VR Games Animation & Acting Comics & Design

Teaching

A Moment Free from Darkness - an empathy game about a girl sold into sex slavery by her parents. Played on Android, Desktop, Oculus Rift 2, and Apple Watch. A Moment Free from Darkness - Mobile, Desktop, VR, Apple Watch

I was director and lead designer on this game created in collaboration with eleven DePaul students and alumni. It's about feeling empathy for a girl sold into sex slavery by her parents. Situations are presented through her subjective experience ranging from the hopeful to the horrific. The game has four acts that represent a cycle that repeats many times everyday of her life. The experience does not flow like a normal game. Each act feels distinct and demands cognitive work from players to thread one moment with the next and understand the game as a narrative whole. The game is played on four platforms sequentially to evoke an increasing sense of immersion through the first three acts (played on mobile, desktop, and Oculus Rift 2, respectively) and a drop off of immersion in a final act of healing and recovery (played on the Apple Watch).

Shown in Indie Prize USA, acceptance rate 34%. To be installed at CICA Museum in Korea.

Free complete game download, video, gallery, and more at www.AMomentFree.com

Dumpy Going Elephants - a VR game on the oculus rift made for IndieCade Dumpy: Going Elephants! - VR Art Game

I was project lead, art lead, and designer on this virtual reality art game created in collaboration with seven DePaul students and alumni. Put on an Oculus Rift headset to become Dumpy, an escaped carnival elephant in a cartoon world. Rotate your head to fling cartoon cop cars over mountains and smash delicious ice cream trucks with your mighty trunk. The goal of the project is to effectively use the affordances of VR and make games that are intuitive and toylike for people inexperienced with VR or games to play

We won 2nd Place in the IndieCade Oculus Rift game jam. Here's a video with a million views and here's a video of some children playing Dumpy.

Free complete game download, video, gallery, and more at www.DumpyGame.com.

After the Gods: Augmented Reality Game

After the Gods - AR God Game

I was project lead (working with ten DePaul students and alumni) on this augmented reality god game set in a surreal sky world. Players grow and garden the elements of light, wind, and clouds by finding ancient statues and moving their Android device above an image marker. The game is built upon the work that David Laskey and I did using our 2013 UG Research Assistantship. The goal of the project is to effectively use the affordances of AR and make games that are intuitive and toylike for people inexperienced with AR or games to play.

We showed the game at Techweek 2013 in Chicago. Here is some press
Free game download, video, gallery, and more at www.AfterTheGods.com

Kaiju Kazoo Screenshot - Augmented Reality Game
Kaiju Kazoo Logo - Augmented Reality Game

Kaiju Kazoo - AR Action Game

I was project lead (working with six DePaul students and alumni) on this augmented reality action game. You control a Kaiju (a Godzilla-like monster) running around a kazoo world smashing buildings and roboceratops in its path. The image marker is a magnetic spinner shaped like a kazoo. The player indirectly controls the Kaiju by tilting the kazoo downward in the direction she wishes him to run, either clockwise or counter-clockwise. The Kaiju builds momentum as it runs, making it easier to control (preventing over-corrections and avoiding fast, twitch-like gameplay). Player can tap anywhere on screen to send the Kaiju into a short spin attack to kill a roboceratops.

Kaiju Kazoo emerged from a simple toy DePaul students and I developed in which a virtual "magnetic ball" would roll around the circumference of an image marker ellipse that the player tilted back and forth on a table. The high fidelity of rotation (the camera can detect the slightest nudge) and haptic feel of the spinner leverages a unique affordance of AR. That simple indirect control and intuitive movement provided the core mechanic and hook we developed into Kaiju Kazoo.

We presented Kaiju Kazoo the International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality in 2012: http://ismar.vgtc.org/ismar/2012/info/overview/demos

For video and credits: www.KaijuKazoo.com

We featured the project in DePaul's ad in Game Developer Magazine

Happy Thanksgiving!

AR 3D Painter and Modeler

Stupid Fun - exploring some low-hanging AR fruit

Trying to build an AR toy that's intuitive & juicy. Twist, squash & dance a little house via a smart phone! Inspired by old-time anthropomorphic animation. Here's my Stupid Fun Presentation stuff and here's a statement about the project.

 
AR 3D Painter and Modeler

AR 3D Modeler & Painter - Crude Prototype

Fusion Fall poster iphone shooter augmented reality

Mobile AR Games - R&D for Entertainment and Tech Industries

AR mobile games and toys funded by Cartoon Network and Motorola extending the Fusion Fall universe, a MMOG for 8-14 year olds. In the Augmented Environments Lab at Georgia Tech we researched and developed a variety of AR iPhone games: puzzles, platformers, shooters, and outdoor games. Developed in collaboration with Blair McIntyre, Maribeth Gandy, Jay Bolter, and Pradeep Jayaraman.

chARm iphone app icon

chARm - AR Puppy Vampire Toy

chARm for iPhone: Want to feel needed... really needed? But also want to turn that feeling off at the touch of a button? Try chARm, a free iPhone app for kids about a wearable VR puppy. Pet puppy to wake him up and love you! Pet him again to make him sleep and stop eating your arm!

Bragfish: A Party Cellphone Game

BragFish - AR Party Game

A multiplayer augmented reality action game. Players use mobile devices to cruise virtual boats around a (physical tabletop) game board and catch virtual fish. The game explores new concepts in physical and social interaction and co-location. Here's my early game design document outlining gameplay. I developed this project at the Augmented Environments Lab at Georgia Tech with Blair MacIntyre, Jay Bolter, Yan Xu, Maribeth Gandy, and Sami Deen.

Published in ACM Computers in Entertainment magazine (was ACE 2008 paper): "BragFish: Exploring Physical and Social Interaction in Co-located Handheld Augmented Reality Games"

Fusion Fall poster iphone shooter augmented realityFusion Fall poster iphone shooter augmented reality

DART 2.0 - AR Puppy Simulation

Original project is described below. Now DART appears on, and reacts to, playing cards! Lay down cards that summon a bouncing ball, fire hydrant, and food. Tap on the phone screen for him to walk to that position.

DART: The Augmented REality Puppy

click any image for full gallery

DART tiny fire hydrantDART tiny food bowlDART tiny 1DART tiny 2DART tiny 4DART tiny 5Dart Fiducials ZombidartDart Fiducial Holodart

DART 1.0 - AR Puppy Simulation

An interactive virtual puppy rendered on top of a live video stream. Fiducial markers (an image printed on a piece of paper) control Dart's movements and actions. For example, an image of his food (or fire hydrant if he has to pee) can be moved anywhere in the camera's view and Dart will trot over to it and chow down his virtual food. I developed this project at the Augmented Environments Lab at Georgia Tech with Blair MacIntyre, Maribeth Gandy, and Jay Bolter.

Here's my original game design document: "Dart and the Charms of Destiny."

Vengeance

A short and campy
VR game in a futuristic dystopia where the player slays robotic samurai to avenge his murdered mother. The interface is a head mounted display and a motion-tracked sword. It was built in two weeks in a collaborative project with a few other students from Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center. Introduced in the BVW show by Randy Pausch:

 

Bu Rai An

A
VR game set in hell! Players regain their soul by slaying undead samurai attacking from all directions (360 degrees). The interface is a head mounted display and a motion-tracked sword. It was a collaborative project with three other students from Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center. Introduced at the BVW show by Randy Pausch:


 
Saturday Night
Saturday Night Shenanigans

Saturday Night Shenanigans

A videogame comedy in 1918 America in which the player is wrongly accused of ogling a brutish man's wife. Box him to retain your honor, "lest you be pummeled and defamed as a boondoggled scoundrel!" The interface is a desktop display and keyboard. It was a collaborative project with three other students from Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center.

 

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