Virtual World Design Process

Virtual World Developer

A professional who:

  • Designs and builds interacting worlds from an understanding of
    • Awareness
      • Spatial
      • Lighting
      • Audio
      • Texture
      • Colour
    • Character/Avatar
      • Presence
      • Identity
      • Movement and gestures
      • Communication
    • Experience
      • Contextual
      • Social
      • Individual
    • Emotion
    • Interactivity
    • Assessment
    • Synchronous Communication

Virtual Worlds

  • What are they?
    • Digitally enabled places where people engage in life.
  • Who uses them?
    • Anyone who has a desire or need to connect, learn, explore.
  • Why do people use them?
    • To simulate
    • To experience
    • To collaborate and connect (remote and local)
    • To visualize
  • Where are they used?
    • They are used by the
      • Military
      • Healthcare industry
      • Education
      • Commerce
      • Designers
      • Manufacturing
      • First responders
      • Entertainment
      • …………..???? How would you use them?
  • How are they used?
    • To learn in context
    • To train
    • To share
    • To play
    • To collaborate
    • To understand

C. Brian Cleveley
Virtual World Builder

Professional Experience

  • University of Idaho, College of Art and Architecture, 1991 - Present
    • Positions:   Senior Instructor (Virtual Technology & Design), 2010-Current
      Chair (Virtual Technology & Design), 2010-2012
      Computer Studio Director\Instructor (Virtual Technology & Design), 2003-2010
      Computer Studio Director\Adjunct Faculty (Architecture), 1991-2003


Courses Developed and Taught
Advanced Lighting and Materials (300 Level)
Interactive Technologies (200 Level)
Advanced Interactive Technologies (300 Level)
Design Studio (100, 200 and 300 Level)
Capstone Design (400 Level) Graduate Student Mentor

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In 1991 I joined the University of Idaho as the College of Art and Architecture’s Computer Studio Director. In this position I engaged the College’s academic programs in visioning and setting directions for the integration of computer based technologies into their curriculums. To inform this process I brought forward my design/technology experiences from my previous position. Through this process I established and implemented the support provided by the Computer Studio for the programs and their students.  Additionally, at the University level, I worked with peers across campus to discern and identify goals enabling a robust technological environment for our students, staff and faculty. 

Concurrent with my role as Computer Studio Director, I contributed to the Department of Architecture as an adjunct faculty member where I engaged and inspired students in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Interior Design to embed computer based technologies into their design process. The technologies we employed included Geographical Information Systems, 3D modeling, advanced rendering techniques and walk-through animations. As my exploration of incorporating the use of virtual environments into my design process matured I introduced these concepts to the students enabling them to explore and share their work as real-time interactive worlds.

In 2002 two colleagues and I developed a vision and business plan for a new academic program – Virtual Technology and Design (VTD). The idea for the program stemmed from our vision setting and ideation discussions that were responding to significant changes in the entertainment, design and visualization communities. A core principle of VTD is to explore and discover how the virtual realm, emerging technologies and a sound design process can be blended to solve “wicked” and everyday problems. We evolved and enhanced our existing curricula to prepare the VTD graduates to move seamlessly amongst disciplines including computer gaming, simulations, entertainment, non-entertainment and visualization, as well as, emerging fields as they develop. The program received university and state approval and began engaging students in the fall of 2003.

As VTD matures I am actively involved in setting program directions and outcomes, engaging students in technology classes and design studios and participating with colleagues from across the campus in research. My research agenda includes the design and use of multi-user inhabitable virtual environments for users to engage, share and collaborate with others. Working in interdisciplinary teams my colleagues and I have received over a million dollars in funding over 5 key grants:

  • A Time Machine for Exploring Architectural History, NWACC, 2000-2001
  • 3-D Avatar-Based, Virtual World Learning in a Second Life Educational Metaverse, NWACC and SBOE Technology Grant, 2007-2008
  • Connecting Educators Across Idaho Through Virtual Worlds, 2009 - 2010, CO-PI, SBOE Idaho Technology Incentive Grant
  • Effectiveness of Second Life® in Promoting Diabetes Management, 2010 – 2011, Virtual World Development Director, National Institute of Health
  • Making The Impossible Possible: Changing The Educational Landscape With 4D Virtual Learning, 2010-2011, CO-PI, SBOE Idaho Technology Incentive Grant
  • Edutainment, 2012-2013, CO-PI, Sponsored Research Agreement with Inland Games LLC
  • Creating a Virtual Learning Environment for Historical Archaeology: 2015, Senior Personnel, College of Letters Arts and Social Sciences: Summer Research Grant
  • Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies: 2015. UI Extension Critical Issues funding (Internal grant) CO-PI Peutz., J., Richel, K., Wahl, L., Hatheway-Dial, K., and Cleveley, B.
  • Lighting the Education Fire with Virtual Environments and Oculus Rift Technology: 2015, CO-PI, eXtension Foundation Innovation Grant
  • Schitsu’umsh Relationships with Their Dynamic Landscapes: Identifying, Managing and Applying Indigenous Knowledge and Praxis: 2015 Consultant: Virtual World Developer, Funded by DOI Northwest Climate Science Center and USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, in Cooperative Agreement #G11AC20490

Additionally my Senior Design Capstone studios are exploring concepts including:

  • implementing training simulators for physical therapists, industrial education, first responders and risk management personnel
  • Role playing edutainment games informing both place based and on-line education
  • Youth sports education
  • Games for early childhood development
  • Theatre performances

As Chair of the VTD program I worked with the VTD faculty to mentor and support their teaching and research agendas as well as supporting the program through administrative activities including budgeting, vision setting and marketing.

As a faculty member I interact, assist and encourage our students at all levels in the program and I represent the program across the university and with non-academic constituents.

  • AfterImage Visual Services, 1993 - 1996
    Position: Consultant
    • My role with AfterImage Visual Services included the development of graphic computer systems to support emerging graphic software being adopted by professional in creative disciplines.
  • City of Moscow Police Department, 1992 - 2004
    Position: Technical Reserve
    • As a Technical Reserve (volunteer) I assisted the City of Moscow Police Department in researching envisioning and deploying emerging technologies in support of their administrative and investigative services. Additionally I provided support and backup on investigative and crime scene activities.
  • The Cavendish Partnership, Inc., 1987 - November 1991
    Position: Associate/Director of Computer Resources

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During my tenure at The Cavendish Partnership (TCP) I took on two prime roles. The first role was as an associate in the Architecture group were I was engaged across all aspects of the architectural design and build process. This included conceptual design, design development, budgeting, construction document preparation, specification development, and site observation. TCP was a highly collaborative environment where we frequently worked with internal teams including architecture, landscape architecture/planning and marketing.

My second role at TCP was as the Director of Computer Resources. Working with the firms principles we discerned and establish goals to integrate emerging CADD technologies into the firm’s two main disciplines: Landscape Architecture/Planning and Architecture. As the 3-dimensional technologies emerged we assessed its value and moved to incorporate it into our design and project pipelines. Our visioning proved to be successful especially within the area of large scale project permitting.

Technical Experience

Through the process of professional virtual world development and architectural visualization in Unity 3D and Second Live I have employed various tools to successfully create still and motion graphics, virtual environments, characters, graphical user interfaces (GUI), database connections and web environments.

These tools include but are not limited to: Unity3D (world development and scripting), Autodesk 3D Studio Max, Autodesk Motionbuilder, Autodesk Revit/AutoCadd, Adobe CC Suite (including Mixamo tools), MakeHuman, HTML, Photon (multi-user plugin for Unity 3D), ReactionGrid (MMO), Second Life (world development and scripting), SQL, VRay, VRML 97

Educational Experience

  • Master of Architecture (M. Arch) - 1987
    University of Idaho - Moscow, Idaho
    • Thesis: My thesis is an exploration into the symbiotic relationship between design professionals and emerging computer technologies. I studied how designers can employ technology to evaluate their designs against the needs of user prior to construction. The outcome is to better understand the blending of designer and design technologies to strengthen the process of user centric design.
  • Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch) - 1986
    University of Idaho - Moscow, Idaho
  • Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES) - 1983
    University of Manitoba - Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
  • Diploma of Architectural Technology (Honors) - 1979
    Northern Alberta Institute of Technology - Edmonton, Alberta Canada

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