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Codename: REMOTE

Imagine you’re in a theatre of the future, powered by an algorithm. “We’re here to help you be more like people like you. And we know that people like you like choice.”

Coney’s “Codename: REMOTE” was an interactive theatre performance transporting its audience to a world where the character Dennis is pitching his vision, a theatre of the future. Audience members are brought together united under a simple voting system to help Dennis with the final stages of development of his system that will enable theatres to learn to respond to our desires.

My role as an intern games designer with Coney in November 2014 was to assist with the project as it entered a second phase of research and development. Throughout I used my experience of games design, games testing and the Unity3D games engine to advise on ways to direct the audience’s interactions with the piece. I created bespoke responsive Unity scenes during development that would be projected onto the stage during audience voting. I also acted as a chronicler of development.

Coney is an interactive theatre and game play company: ‘Our work is guided by principles of loveliness, curiosity and adventure and inspired by the belief that the world can be magical place where ordinary people can do extraordinary things.’

Five public sharings (known as ‘scratches’) were staged during the November period, giving director Tassos Stevens the opportunity to invite audiences to test the theatre of the future and to gather feedback to develop the performance further. I assisted Tassos and his team with the scratches, applying myself to both the public shows and the production preceding them.

"Kai came as a student placement into an R&D phase of Codename: REMOTE, exploring a new model of interactive theatre with a sit-down audience. He contributed enormously to conversations about the interaction design, in helping brainstorm ideas for the development, and in writing and supporting the making of material for scratch performances. He is an extremely smart thinker, assiduous in his work, and a careful and considerate collaborator with the rest of the team. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with him again on the right project, and would certainly recommend him to anyone else."