Global Game Jam 2016

29-31 January 2016, SAE Institute, London.

Mitchell Johnson - Programmer
Naz Ekin Yilmaz - Programmer
Greta Healy - Artist
Thomas Lindsay - Artist
Felipe Hickmann - Audio/Composer
Krishan Coupland - Level Designer

A New Fire is a game prototype developed at London's Global Game Jam 2016. It was created over a weekend, based on the jam's secret theme - "ritual".

The game is inspired by Aztec themes, concept and setting. The player must light several braziers spread across a 2D map before the end of the night. If sunlight reaches any unlit braziers, Tzitzimitl - a goddess of the stars in Aztec mythology - flies in to capture and punish the player.

Music and sound are loosely based on materials associated with the music of pre-Hispanic America. Samples to be published soon.

O Balé da Chuva [The Rain Ballet]

Fiction (11'), Brazil, 2014
Director: Henrique Faria
Music: Felipe Hickmann 

Lala (Ariane Gomes) has trouble sleeping during a stormy night. In a playful and loving way, her mother Eugenia (Leticia Sabatella) teaches her how not to fear nature, while talking about Lala’s deceased father 
(Andrew Knoll) for the first time. 

Building on a previous collaboration with diretor Henrique Faria (I Still Love You), O Balé da Chuva features a meditative, bitter-sweet piano track that is closely knitted with on-screen action. Music for the ballet scene was inspired by the ambience of late romantic waltzes.

The Trouble with Harry

22, 23 November 2013, The MAC, Belfast.
26 November 2013, Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, Newry.

Director: Alyson Campbell
Production: Niall Rea

Script: Lachlan Philpott
Music: Felipe Hickmann
Sound Design: Eduardo Patrício

A secret. A murder. And a mangy old hen that cock-a-doodles in the morning and sets tongues wagging.
The Trouble with Harry rips back the curtains on the case of Eugenia Falleni, the notorious ‘Man-Woman’ murderer of 1920s Sydney.

Sound Design 
Music and sound were designed in close collaboration with partner Eduardo Patrício. Piano tracks feature simple melodic lines that develop against increasingly odd timbral and harmonic backdrops, underscoring the internal turmoil experienced by protagonist Harry/Eugenia.

They Are

Photo by Fernando Colode Rivera
A party audio game developed by the Yoctobit Collective and selected for the finals of the Bosch Art Game competition, promoted by the Jheronimus Bosch 500 Foundation, Netherlands. Presented to the jury on 31/07 - 03/08/2013.

Concept and Game Design: Lara Sánchez Coterón
 and Nacho Pintos
Programming: Rubén García Moreno
Music and Sound Effects: Felipe Hickmann

In a world of shades, do you dare to open your eyes? Tiny creatures are trying to exhort you with right and wrong advices. Will you follow their hints, or listen to your inner voice? THEY ARE is a party audio-game of intuition and reflexes about yielding or not to temptations, for 5 to 12 players.

Through audio landscapes and spoken-voice characters the game provides enough sources to the player to create some enigmatically beautiful imagery and enjoy an arcane experience. The action is driven by audio cues that come up from the mobile to each player’s headphones, but the game actually happens in the physical space out of the devices, and mainly in the players’ minds.

Although each player plays against everyone else, every decision the player takes could affect himself positively or negatively in the long term, because in THEY ARE fate is reversible.

Music and Sound Design
Sound in They Are is inspired by the rich imagery of Jheronimus Bosch's famous triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. The busy setting of Bosch's work combines a multitude of spiritual and secular motives, which set the atmosphere for a collection of immersive soundscapes. Tracks bring together percussive patterns, recorded ambient sounds and processed choral music.

Territories of Secrecy: Presence and Play in Networked Music Performance

Hickmann, F. 2013. Territories of Secrecy: Presence and play in networked music performance. PhD Thesis. Belfast: Queen's University Belfast.


This thesis presents practical work and theoretical research spanning topics in music composition, performance and new media. It proposes a particular creative approach to performance practices mediated by computer networks, which addresses issues of presence and liveness through the application of game-derived systems to performance settings. The thesis includes a portfolio of eight compositions; these pieces were designed and performed with the goal of implementing strategies proposed during theoretical reflection, while also suggesting new ideas for further study. 

The theoretical component of this work investigates the notion that performance is affected in its attributes of presence and liveness whenever reproduction and mediation technologies come into play. Building on the views of media theorists and research in psychology, it identifies the roles played by agency and social cues in the perception of presence. After reviewing contemporary artistic practices in which participation is enabled by open and playful performance situations, the thesis proposes the use of game systems as a strategy for negotiating musical play in networked settings.

The notion of secrecy provides a key conceptual reference that guides both theoretical enquiry and creative exploration. This investigation argues that every act of mediation entails an opportunity for selective concealment of ideas and actions, and therefore comprehends a wide creative potential. While music performance over computer networks may entail the loss of cues that are often taken as granted in ensemble play – such as shared pulse, breath and bodily communication – it may also suggest innovative modes of engagement, based on the regulation of information rather than its unimpeded disclosure. This premise is explored throughout the portfolio, which borrows ideas from contemporary social practices of secrecy and performativity.


Father-Son is a networked musical drama. It was staged for the first time on 3 March 2013 in an event linking the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) and the School of Music of Queen's University Belfast.
The piece features two parallel storylines, staged simultaneously in separate locations.

One stage, representing the fictional present, introduces a gay man trying to come to terms with the views of his old conservative father. The other venue stages the son's memory; the same characters inhabit an open universe where personal stories of trauma, hope and friendship could provide the answers that the son so urgently needs.

Intermittent audio and video links between the two spaces allow for glances into the past, drawing interfaces between reality and memory.

Music scores are triggered live on tablet computers, aiding coordination between pianists and dramaturgy.

Father-Son comprises two alternative endings - one where the son discloses his sexual orientation to the father, and one where he keeps it a secret. The duty to decide lies with the public, as action halts onstage and audience members are invited to participate in a location-based game scenario. This collaborative stage entails active exploration of both fictional spaces by the public, who search for facts that might inform their decision.

Objects often appear fragmented or incomplete; dislocated participants must cooperate in joining together pieces scattered along reality and memory. Decision is manifested by standing on either side of a line, which splits the play area into two halves.

Benjamin Grant Father
Daniel Cunningham Son
Jordan Hanna Boyfriend / Waiter
Robert Casey Pianist

Andrew Gray Father
Daniel Smith Son
Brian Diamond Father's Friend
Miguel Negrão Waiter
Pedro Rebelo Pianist
Isobel Anderson Narrator

Concept and music by Felipe Hickmann
Text by Juca Lima
Translation by Fernanda Verçosa
Game Design by Nacho Pintos and Felipe Hickmann

Robin Renwick Audio Networking
Eduardo Patrício Video Networking
Rui Chaves Video Networking
Diogo Alvim Video Recording
Dionysis Athinaios Video Recording
Felipe Hickmann Video Editing

Produced by Emily Robertson
Directed by Felipe Hickmann

Territórios de Segredo – Jogo e Narrativa na Performance de Música em Rede

Hickmann, F. 2012. Territórios de Segredo – Jogo e Narrativa na Performance de Música em Rede. In: IV Seminário Música Ciência Tecnologia: Fronteiras e Rupturas. São Paulo : Universidade de São Paulo. Disponível em:

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As práticas de segredo, inerentes à comunicação online, sugerem formas de dramaturgia capazes de configurar espaços específicos para a performance via rede. Mecânicas de jogo podem instrumentalizar estas dramaturgias, articulando a participação de músicos remotos e estabelecendo paradigmas únicos de performance. O artigo ilustra algumas dessas ideias por meio da análise de duas peças de network music.

Practices of secrecy, inherent to online communication, suggest forms of dramaturgy that are capable of setting up specific spaces for networked performance. Game systems may be employed to enable these dramaturgies, articulating the participation of remote musicians and establishing unique performance paradigms. The article illustrates a few of these ideas through the analysis of two pieces of network music.