DEV DIARY 1: The Journey!

Oyun’s Quest is a unique story, built upon research and fantasy. Based in boreal Pre Siberia on a fantastical land called Attayya in 7000 BCE. The original story started out as a fiction and quickly turned into research driven methodologies while building the fantastical world of the narrative. 

We originally planned to go down the safe route and do what most indie studio would, let’s just make your standard third person RPG game. However, it became evident that the characters of this world were not interested in this model. 

The project became the focus of research and development for the studio as well as a Talent Development Internship / Mentoring platform. 


The research and development for the project has led the studio towards identifying emerging, cutting edge technologies and pipelines for character development, motion capture, real time animation and more.

Once we had the character profile ready, the first intake of interns jumped in, quickly becoming product owners for different aspects of the creative pipeline. The talent development program, run like a production, has had over 22 talented artists, script writers, animators, game developers and programmers partake, designing and solution providing for unique problem scenarios and narrative twists.

Now in it’s fourth year, the program has worked along side prestigious institutes with a selected few who have been mentored and added to the project. The studio has had students and talent from Media Design School, Yoobee Colleges, Southern Institute of Technology, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland University of Technology, The University of Auckland, New York University and other talented freelance artists with mentorship and direction from UNITY 3D R&D labs in Copenhagen.

The project adapted through agile processes and research methodologies to identify and streamline production pipelines. 

We adopted Reallusion solutions for Character Development that enabled us to create lifelike realistic looking Digital Humans with full animation livelink pipelines.

Using Character Creator 3 and iClone 7, we were able to quickly iterate and run sprint tests for the character animation pipelines.

The project was created with a view of sharing the knowledge and expertise brought about by emerging technologies within the industry with the next generation of graduates, in turn adding to talent development while providing a commercial platform to work within to fulfill the social responsibilities of being one of the guardians of the knowledge (manaakitanga.)

This project is greatly dependent upon the inclusion of emerging and disruptive technologies in the workflow pipeline.

These emerging and disruptive methodologies have provided an opportunity to solve the problem of having compelling, convincing digital humans that the observer can perceive to having an emotional and empathetic expression. The project anticipates to solve this by providing a degree of interactivity using gamification to encourage and motivate real-time engagement for the end user while speaking in the context of Game Design, offering Talent Development opportunities via internship programs and training.

Having discovered and worked with the team from Reallusion, Character Creator 3 and IClone 7 have helped to jump the technological gap within a short period of time in collaboration with other stakeholders from Epic Games, Rokoko Motion Capture, internal research and development teams and more.

Using these new workflow pipelines, we are able to create quick iterations of the characters from prototyping to hyper realism


Oyun’s Quest as a larger commercial project is aimed at multi deliverables including a Virtual Production CG Film and Interactive Gameplay. The project is also part of Jeasy Sehgal’s Master of Tech Futures Research that he is undertaking at The Tech Futures Labs to explore the emerging technologies solutions in creating realistic digital humans.

This journey has become a journey of self discovery for every person who has added a mark to the project through learning and contributing to the overall development. We have met and mentored some amazing talent and have had crazy ideation sessions. 

The project has no external funding attached, but instead bootstrapped by the studio – Graphic Monk Productions and Oyun’s quest is a creative endeavor to tell the story of Azmur the protagonist of the narrative and his journey of self discovery as well as the self discovery of every person who has contributed to the project thus far.

The project has constantly looked at ways of working with collaborators and add value to create solution providers by offering talent development frameworks. When a solution can’t be found, we get excited with the possibilities of creating it. This is the mentality behind Pumanawa (talent and ability) and exploring new avenues to accelerate Whanaungatanga (building relationships) within our  communities.

We consider our whakapapa as well as that of all involved to understand the impacts of emerging and disruptive technology on our creativity. As kaihanga (maker, builder, creator, architect, producer, drafter) and kaitiaki (the holder or guardian of knowledge), we enjoy working with the whakapapa and mana rangatahi towards building successful relationships and collaborations (whakawhanaungatanga)

“Nga tangata te putake o taku mahi – People are the basis of my work”


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