Working collaboratively to bring together the combined skills of interpretive outreach, 3D modelling, serious gaming and web-based content I have used interactive platforms to offer innovative solutions to the presentation of complex heritage sites.

The following example comes from a project at Broadlands Farm in Maryland I directed for the USA-based archaeological firm RGA. They were keen to produce some engaging output for an interactive display which was planned for the atrium of the new Cecil County School of Technology nearby. The project had a number of stakeholders including the Maryland Historic Trust, Cecil County Public Schools and the Public School Construction Program. In order to execute the project I brought together a skilled team with a range of expertise spanning from archaeology and heritage to digital survey, 3D modelling, concept and texture artistry, animation, gaming, web-design and interactive programming. Alongside RGA the core project team included myself, Kieran Baxter and Tone Julskjaer, with input from the Open Virtual Worlds lab in St Andrews. The project used a gaming engine to host a 3D model of the farm which could be explored (just like a first-person game) and which linked to a parallel archive which could bring up historical information about the site.

More information on the project can be found on my research blog.

 

The splash screen for the application which blends the model with an old black and white aerial of the farm.

 

Exploring the interface.

 

A screen grab showing the split interface between the archive and the environment.

 

Another view of the interface in action – during ‘game-play’ the chair on the porch glows and the user nears it, once they click on it it links to a page about Hoagland Gates.

 

A view of our Unreal Engine 4 environment of Broadlands Farm (looking over to the tenant houses), complete with a period-authentic Farmall tractor.

 

Another view of the farm in Unreal.

 

Each interactive project had such scope and potential (and is always a lot of fun!) so do contact me if you have an idea you’d like to discuss.