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A/Prof. William Raffe



Associate Professor Emerging Technologies


Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env


School of Info Technology


Melbourne Burwood Campus

+61 3 925 17025


Associate Professor William Raffe has over a decade of experience in teaching and researching real-time visualisation technologies, games production pipelines, and mixed reality systems and experiences. He combines these areas with his keen interest in both human-computer interaction design and machine learning algorithms to push the state of the art in intelligent user-centric 3D visualisation tools, including collaborative computational creativity, agent decision making in virtual environments, and personalised procedural content generation. He also applies these skillsets to create digital experiences for social good, such as digital twins and serious games for health and education.

William has been a chief investigator on projects in these areas amounting to over $1.2 million dollars, including ARC Linkages, NHMRC grants, and direct funding from multi-national industry partners. He was previously a Director of the UTS Games Studio research lab (2017-2023) and has over 40 publications in international conferences and journals in the fields of games, human-computer interaction design, and machine learning. He has also been the Chair, Co-Chair, and Treasurer of nine domestic and international conferences.

William is highly skilled in designing, implementing, and delivering high quality educational programs. He was previously the Deputy Head of School (Teaching and Learning) (2022-2023) and Associate Responsible Academic Officer (Teaching and Learning) (2021-2022) of the School of Computer Science at the University of Technology Sydney. Prior to this, he was the Course Director of the UTS Bachelor of Games Development (2017-2022). During this time, he undertook numerous internal and industry-based accreditations and has twice acted as an external reviewer for TEQSA accreditations.

Read more on William's profile

Research interests

Game design and development, human-computer interaction design, virtual and augmented reality, reinforcement learning in virtual environments, computational creativity, serious games and gamification

Units taught

Deakin University Units:

- SIT151 - Game Development Fundamentals
- SIT253 / SIT757 - Content Creation for Interactive Experiences
- SIT283 / SIT276 - Development for Virtual and Augmented Reality
- SIT102 - Introduction to Programming (in partnership with Chitkara University)


Units taught at other Australian Universities:

- Introduction to Games Development
- Advanced Games Programming
- Game Design Methodologies
- Games and Graphics Project
- Game Mechanics and Gameplay Programming
- Playmakers Development Studio (co-curricular)
- Games Entrepreneurship (co-curricular)


Organising Committee:

- Chair – Interactive Entertainment (IE): Australian Computer Science Week (ACSW) (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022).
- Treasurer – ACM Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI) (2020)
- Track Chair – Game Interfaces and User Interaction Track. IEEE Conference on Games (CoG) (2020)
- Treasurer – ACM Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY) (2018)
- Workshop Organiser – Agents for Change and Social Good, Intelligent Virtual Agents Conference (IVA) (2018)

Program Committee:

- Artificial Intelligence Review (AIRE)
- IEEE Transactions on Games (ToG)
- Frontiers in Virtual Reality
- User Modelling and User-Adaptive Interactions (UMUAI) (Springer)
- Entertainment Computing (Elsevier)
- ACM Conf. on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI)
- ACM Conf. on Human Factors in Computing Systems and Play (CHI-Play)???
- IEEE Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (IEEEVR)
- IEEE Conference on Games (CoG)
- Foundations of Digital Games (FDG)???
- AAAI Conf. on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE)
- Australasian Interactive Entertainment (IE)
- Australasian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AJCAI)

Media appearances

Radio Interviewee – “The nature of spin-offs” – ABC Radio Newcastle (May 2022)

Radio Interviewee – “Coloured squares, four letter words and a whole heap of hype!” – ABC Radio Newcastle (Jan 2022)

News Interviewee – “Why a simple word puzzle game has taken the world by storm” – (Jan 2022)

News Interviewee – “Why is the world so obsessed with Untitled Goose Game” – Junkee Media (Oct 2019)

Radio Interviewee – “Think: Digital Futures – Game Modding” - 2SER-107.FM (Jul 2019) 

Project Feature - “The last island: simulating global system dynamics through a card game” – UTS News (Sept 2018)

News  Interviewee – “Uber's new plan to spy on your mobile phone” – Channel 7 / Yahoo News (Jun 2018)

Panellist – Games for Recruitment: College of Organisational Psychology (Apr 2018)

Panellist – "The next generation of technologists panel: Inspiration, aspiration, engagement, and STEM" – CeBIT Industry Conference: Strategic Panel Series (May 2017)


Filter by


Gamification Framework for Participatory Modeling: A Proposal

E Bakhanova, J Garcia, W Raffe, A Voinov

(2023), Vol. 32, pp. 1167-1182, Group Decision and Negotiation, Berlin, Germany, C1-1

journal article

Real-time affect detection in virtual reality: a technique based on a three-dimensional model of affect and EEG signals

A Pinilla, J Voigt-Antons, J Garcia, W Raffe, S Moller

(2023), Vol. 3, pp. 1-12, Frontiers in Virtual Reality, Lausanne, Switzerland, C1-1

journal article

Leaving the NavMesh: An Ablative Analysis of Deep Reinforcement Learning for Complex Navigation in 3D Virtual Environments

D Grant, J Garcia, W Raffe

(2023), Vol. 14472, pp. 286-297, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Berlin, Germany, E1


Fitbits for Monitoring Depressive Symptoms in Older Aged Persons: Qualitative Feasibility Study

F Mughal, W Raffe, P Stubbs, I Kneebone, J Garcia

(2022), Vol. 6, pp. 1-12, JMIR Formative Research, Toronto, Ont., C1-1

journal article

Towards depression monitoring and prevention in older populations using smart wearables: Quantitative Findings

F Mughal, W Raffe, P Stubbs, J Garcia

(2022), pp. 1-8, SeGAH 2022 : Proceedings of the IEEE 10th International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health, Sydney, New South Wales, E1-1


Gamification of Discussoo: an online AI-based forum for serious discussions

E Bakhanova, M Anjum, J Garcia, W Raffe, A Voinov

(2022), pp. 157-164, IHCI 2022 : Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction, Lisbon, Portugal, E1-1


Affective Visualization in Virtual Reality: An Integrative Review

A Pinilla, J Garcia, W Raffe, J Voigt-Antons, R Spang, S Möller

(2021), Vol. 2, pp. 1-14, Frontiers in Virtual Reality, Lausanne, Switzerland, C1-1

journal article

Effects of Level of Immersion on Virtual Training Transfer of Bimanual Assembly Tasks

S Shen, H Chen, W Raffe, T Leong

(2021), Vol. 2, pp. 1-14, Frontiers in Virtual Reality, Lausanne, Switzerland, C1-1

journal article

Heuristic Evaluation for Virtual Reality for Paediatric Cancer Patient: Perceptions of Healthcare Professionals

E Abd Majid, J Garcia, H Alias, A Nordin, W Raffe

(2021), pp. 1-6, SeGAH 2021 : Proceedings of the IEEE 9th International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health, Dubai, U.A.E., E1-1


Exploration Of Encoding And Decoding Methods For Spiking Neural Networks On The Cart Pole And Lunar Lander Problems Using Evolutionary Training

A Rafe, J Garcia, W Raffe

(2021), pp. 498-505, IEEE CEC 2021 : Proceedings of the Congress on Evolutionary Computation, Krakow, Poland, E1-1


Staying Motivated during Difficult Times: A Snapshot of Serious Games for Paediatric Cancer Patients

E Majid, J Garcia, A Nordin, W Raffe

(2020), Vol. 12, pp. 367-375, IEEE Transactions on Games, Piscataway, N.J., C1-1

journal article

Reducing perceived waiting time in theme park queues via an augmented reality game

F Zambetta, W Raffe, M Tamassia, F Mueller, X Li, N Quinten, R Patibanda, D Dang, J Satterley

(2020), Vol. 27, pp. 1-30, ACM Transactions on Computer - Human Interaction, New York, N.Y., C1-1

journal article

Targeting social learning and engagement: What serious games and gamification can offer to participatory modeling

E Bakhanova, J Garcia, W Raffe, A Voinov

(2020), Vol. 134, pp. 1-15, Environmental Modelling and Software, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

A Review of Agency Architectures in Interactive Drama Systems

J Moallem, W Raffe

(2020), Vol. 2020-August, CoG 2020 : Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Games, Osaka, Japan, E1-1


Generative Audio and Real-Time Soundtrack Synthesis in Gaming Environments: An exploration of how dynamically rendered soundtracks can introduce new artistic sound design opportunities and enhance the immersion of interactive audio spaces.

C Bossalini, W Raffe, J Garcia

(2020), pp. 281-292, OzCHI '20 : Proceedings of the 32nd Australian Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, Sydney, N.S.W., E1-1


Emotion Recognition Techniques for Geriatric Users: A Snapshot

F Mughal, W Raffe, J Garcia

(2020), SeGAH 2020 : Proceedings of the IEEE 8th International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health, Vancouver, Canada, E1


Learning Options From Demonstrations: A Pac-Man Case Study

Marco Tamassia, Fabio Zambetta, William Raffe, Florian Mueller, Xiaodong Li

(2018), Vol. 10, pp. 91-96, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GAMES, C1-1

journal article

Integrated Approach to Personalized Procedural Map Generation Using Evolutionary Algorithms

W Raffe, F Zambetta, X Li, K Stanley

(2015), Vol. 7, pp. 139-155, IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games, C1-1

journal article

Enhancing theme park experiences through adaptive cyber-physical play

W Raffe, M Tamassia, F Zambetta, X Li, F Mueller

(2015), pp. 503-510, CIG 2015 : Proceedings of the IEEE Computational Intelligence and Games 2015 conference, Tainan, Taiwan, E1-1


Combining Monte Carlo tree search and apprenticeship learning for capture the flag

J Ivanovo, W Raffe, F Zambetta, X Li

(2015), pp. 154-161, CIG 2015 : Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games, Tainan, Taiwan, E1-1


Player-computer interaction features for designing digital play experiences across six degrees of water contact

W Raffe, M Tamassia, F Zambetta, X Li, S Pell, F Mueller

(2015), pp. 295-305, CHI PLAY 2015 : Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, London, Eng., E1-1


Learning options for an MDP from demonstrations

M Tamassia, F Zambetta, W Raffe, X Li

(2015), Vol. 8955, pp. 226-242, ACALCI 2015 : Proceedings of the 1st Australasian Conference on Artificial Life and Computational Intelligence, Newcastle, N.S.W., E1-1


Neuroevolution of content layout in the PCG: Angry bots video game

W Raffe, F Zambetta, X Li

(2013), pp. 673-680, CEC 2013 : Proceedings of the IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation conference 2013, Cancun, Mexico, E1-1


A survey of procedural terrain generation techniques using evolutionary algorithms

W Raffe, F Zambetta, X Li

(2012), CEC 2012 : Proceedings of the IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation conference 2012, Brisbane, Qld., E1-1


Evolving patch-based terrains for use in video games

W Raffe, F Zambetta, X Li

(2011), pp. 363-370, GECCO 2011 : Proceedings of the 13th Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference 2011, Dublin, Ireland, E1-1


A dual-layer clustering scheme for real-time identification of plagiarized massive multiplayer games (MMG) assets

W Raffe, J Hu, F Zambetta, K Xi

(2010), pp. 330-335, ICIEA 2010 : Proceedings of the 5th IEEE Conference on Industrial Electronics and Applications 2010, Taichung, Taiwan, E1-1


Funded Projects at Deakin

No Funded Projects at Deakin found


Associate Supervisor

Peter Haddad

Thesis entitled: The Business Value of IT in Healthcare: An Analysis

Doctor of Philosophy (Health & Social Development), School of Health and Social Development