Brad Power
BA Science (Comp Sci)

Lecturer

About me

I’m a lecturer in Games Art and Design at Murdoch University, specialising in game design techniques and theory, as well as 2D and 3D games art.

I hold a Bachelor of Science (Comp Sci) from Curtin University, and my previous industry experience was as the Lead Designer at the Perth studio of AAA developer Interzone Games. I am also a member of a local independent games development company: RocketHands.

My research interests include artificial intelligence and emergent game systems, and the psychology of game design and user interface design, with respect to gameplay ramifications.

Events and speaking engagements

Wed 1st June 2016

Radio Interview with Brian Fairbanks, Radio Murdoch

On the audience and community reaction to the news of delays in anticipated game releases. Specifically death threats and threats of physical harm to developers such as Sean Murray (No Man’s Sky) and Phil Fish (Fez).

Tues 24 May 2016

Guest Lecture for BAR150 Ideas and Identity: Violence in Video Games

Discussing representations of violence in video games as a reconfigurable and participatory medium, industry and public reactions, and the ways in which depictions of violence and violent interactive content are changing within the industry and its outputs.

Thurs 19 May 2016

Guest on Podcast/Radio Show Pixel Sift, Episode 33

Discussing both cuts to Arts Funding and the effect it has on arts communities, and the phenomenon of Beta Burnout, where games exhaust their fun potential during the beta period and tend to be underwhelming at release.

Wed 18 May 2016

Guest Lecture for BRD205 Crime Through The Ages: Naughty, Naughty Computer

A journey through the creative application of technology for misuse and mischief, including the phone phreakers of the 80′s, dial-up hacking of NASA and University mainframes, viruses for industrial espionage, identity theft and cryptographic malware.

Tues 3 May 2016

Guest Lecture for PHL315 Aesthetics: Aesthetics and Video Games

A discussion of video games as an experiential aesthetic, similar to that of architecture or dance (from the dancer’s perspective – a performance). Representations of space, object, relationships, and interactions are portayed on various scales, from the mimetic to the abstract, and not only in individual freeze-frame screenshots do we find aesthetic structure in composition, palette, and form, but in the game in motion, in the play of a game, nestles an experiential design centred on feeling, emotion, and expression which form a core part of game aesthetic.

Wed Aug 12th 2015

Public Lecture: Creating Engaging Learning and Teaching in the Digital Age

Murdoch University: Postgraduate Suite ECL 2.031

The use of LMS type systems as ways of enhancing face to face time, increasing student engagement through convenience, and tracking student interactions so as to identify problem areas of course material, or at-risk students.

Thur June 18th 2015

Perth Learning Professionals – Guest Speaker and Panel Member: Gamification and the 21st Century Learner

Postgraduate Suite ECL2.031, Murdoch University

Discussing the use and misuse of gamification techniques and the use of technology (web, mobile platforms) as an enabler of gamification for learning.

Thur Nov 26th 2013

Philosophy Colloquium 2013

Moral Agency in DayZ: Counter-objective Emergent Gameplay

Location: Brian Hill Lecture Theatre, Murdoch University

Abstract: DayZ is an online First Person Shooter horror-survival computer game, where players navigate a zombie filled slice of fictional Russian countryside whilst dealing with harsh weather, hunger, thirst, and medical needs, as well as negotiating contact with other players and the dangerous interactions that emerge in a resource-scarce environment in order to survive for the longest time possible.

This paper interrogates the game design via component analysis and phenomenology, and finds that DayZ supports a very limited range of moral attitudes – as a designed object, there is little inherent in that design to encourage or even facilitate ‘free choice’ or non-aggressive play, let alone acts of altruism. The mechanics of the game world favour a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ style of play, even though not all players would reasonably be considered threatening. Despite this architecture, ethical systems are nonetheless formed throughout the player base, and surprising alternative game goals emerge as a result. Whilst the hyper-aggressive strategy ultimately dampens and stymies these substitute goals, the DayZ “meta game” has been through several ethical “eras”, and continues to evolve. 

Wed 22nd May 2013

Let’s Make Games: Games In Progress Forum

A presentation on the making of ‘Glyf’, a word game.

Location: QANTM, SAE College, 3-5 Bennet St, East Perth

Professional and community service

I run an informal Games Club within Murdoch University, open to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year students, as well as alumni. We meet on a weekly basis to form impromptu teams and put games together in short periods of time.

Sept/Oct 2013: Our first Game Jam lasted 5 weeks, and teams could incorporate any of the following keywords: Assemble, Ripple, and Float. Out of four teams, two completed playable prototypes:

  1. Bullet Bounce
  2. RCU

Publications