Author Archives: af

Group Game #1: Sin City Bouncer

Our initial idea was to create a game that will require a player to circle the bouncing ball. The circle was supposed to bounce on the screen, while the speed would be increasing every time it would touch the border of the screen, thus making it very hard to make a circle motion and beat the game. The game was originally supposed to be black and white. pop3-000064 After the first play test we realized that it would be very difficult to program the circling motion, so we decided to change the concept and to a mouse press. In order to stop the circle from bouncing the player is required to mouse click on the ball as soon as possible. The play testing also showed that we needed to add more circles in order to make the game more interesting and difficult. This proved as a right decision because it definitely improved the game and made the players react faster. We decided to move away from traditional black and white colors, and try something different. We changed the circle color from white to red, and instantly got the name for our game : The Sin City Bouncer. The name complimented the game perfectly. We added the timer because the game would be too easy without one.We tested the time and realized that 15 seconds would be the perfect timing. It makes the game more complicating ad addicting. pop-000048   In our final version the game starts with the three circles on the screen quickly approaching borders and creating three more circles, giving the total number of circles to six.   pop2-000247 For the future version of the game we want to limit the amount of clicks (add lifes). We also want to create more levels and make it more obvious for the player to realize when the game is over(both winning and losing).

Conference Project: Cardboard Chair

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 9.09.05 AM   When I was asked what I wished to do differently in Heimbold, my answer was “sit.” This made sense at the time, because Heimbold is special to me, but, as we’ve mentioned in class a million times, Heimbold is not an ideal place to study. It was not made for that. And when I create my own studying atmosphere, my chair is always the star of the show, so I decided to make my own. I had a few objectives. I wanted to create a comfortable chair because I wanted to hone in on the notion of comfort. This is because I am often considering my own level of legitimate comfortability. As new media transform the “home” (or in this case.. our college campus) into both the site of compensated work and the point of purchase for domestic consumables, our dwellings are increasingly converted into battlefields of struggle between leisure and work and of the relationship of comfort to space. Comfort is surely going through a crisis of authenticity based on both commodification and simulation.If the Aeron can be replaced by an electrode in the brain, and if our favorite comfort foods can be replaced by a pill, something is put at radical risk. Undoubtedly, there’s  a politics here and, like any politics, this one boils down to control. Comfort represents  a kind of utopia, an ideal, a reasonable place to be human. And as we increasingly become puppets to the corporate priests of pleasure and relaxation down at “Comfort Central,” we surrender a few more of our rights to be human to the industrial strength of global culture, to the cadre of usurpers who seek to make our choices for us. The risk is that comfort may become an absolute, simplified to a single standard by the power of mass acculturation. How long will we rest having all our comforts dictated, if not by Mao then by Martha Stewart? Throughout time, man has been driven to understand and actively negotiate individual existence in relation to the larger environment. Today, we are faced with a dynamic shift brought on by the onslaught of new information technologies and the virtual revolution. Information is available on an astonishing scale and (virtual) access to people and places from all corners of the globe is at our fingertips. The internet has reduced the physical reality of the world to a confusing conglomeration of digital postcards and fanciful web pages, and the speed afforded by technology in the 21st century propels us increasingly faster through our environments. Advances in computer technology have at once connoted the world as never before and fragmented our physical experience of our environments, complicating fixed notions of reality. These are some ideas that I am considering all the time, so I boiled it down to hone in on particular element of comfort. A physical object that, if done right, yields undeniable human comfort and contentedness. A chair. I wanted to go back to basics with this – considering every idea mentioned above – I wanted to know what it would be like to craft a physical manifestation of what comfort means (to me.) Naturally, I also considered aesthetic. I dislike the way the red and yellow chairs look in Heimbold’s lobby, so I wanted my chair to look more natural as a way of recontextualizing the space. For this reason, I decided to use cardboard — but clearly I had no idea what I was getting myself into. This was my first plan: Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 9.05.47 AM   I collected 75 boxes from Stop and Shop, which Heimbold’s cleaning service promptly discarded. Luckily, I then came into 12 large pieces of reinforced cardboard, so I came up with a new plan. This: Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 9.05.53 AM This plan seemed great, everything was going fine. Cutting the cardboard out with the exacto-knife seemed likethe most time consuming part. I was up all night, but had no anxieties. Then, at 6am the morning it was due, it became clear to me that my cardboard was not strong enough to hold up this design. I tried EVERYTHING to make it work, but it wasn’t going to happen. So suddenly it was 10 am, I had 11 pieces of oddly shaped cardboard, I was working in a room that I was not allowed to be in, I had been working for twenty hours, and I was nowhere. I needed to come up with a new plan but I had no idea how to go about it. So I abandoned all ideas of form and just focused on function, because I needed to have something to show at 3:30pm. I focused on somehow attaching these 11 oddly-shaped pieces of cardboard. So I cut out 10 long pieces from my remaining scraps of cardboard, (I was almost out of materials at that point), and I cut 10 identical slits in each of my 11 original pieces. I focused on the measurements, and spent hours weaving the rectangular pieces through my design. At 3:15 I was yelled at for taking over the drawing studio without permission and accidentally ruining a crucial still-life (my bad). At that point I had been awake for 30 hours and had had no food or coffee. I think I was actually shaking when John O’Connor chastised me, which is strange because I am usually very good at getting scolded. The piece was not presentable until 3:40 pm, and it was finished by 6:30 pm that evening. What I ended up creating was a functional chair (I can sit in it) that took me 40 hours to craft (AND THIS IS WHAT I HAVE TO SHOW FOR IT?!), but it accomplished none of my original objectives. It has the most bizarre aesthetic I have ever seen, and it is anything but comfortable. Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 9.06.05 AM So I did not accomplish what I set out to do, but in a way, I did carry out a derive, and I did reframe the situation. Also, I did recontextualize the space. Now among Heimbold’s odd, bubble-like red and yellow chairs, there is a strangely shaped DIY cardboard thing that people stare at. And I created it using only cardboard, a ruler, and an exacto-knife. People interacted with it all evening. Throughout the night, people stopped to talk to me about it. Those who have worked with cardboard before totally understood the frustration I faced, and those who have never worked with cardboard were confused by my anger. Understandably so. So it’s over. I reframed the space and I crafted athing for the first time in my life. I did not succeed in my own eyes but I feel oddly satisfied so I am going to take this feeling and run. It has been a pleasure working with you, remixers!

Comment: David Finklestein Improv Session

IMG_4150IMG_4182 IMG_4122 IMG_4098IMG_4141 IMG_4165 IMG_4171 IMG_4185   Today the class got a visit from performer/director David Finkelstein of the Lake Ivan Performance Group. We viewed David’s experimental film “Invincible City” — then  learned a bit about the techniques of using space, the picture plane, and an awareness of how these two views might come together in a performer’s mind to create small improvisational exercises about space. And we learned we are all amazing actors! Wow!    

Comment: Formulary for a New Urbanism

My formula for a ‘new urbanism’ involves making the functional playable. To me, one of the greatest tragedies that befalls us as we age and get caught up in the day-to-day of capitalistic survival is the loss of our sense of play. Games are for ‘kids,’ unless they involve drinking or team building; games for adults apparently have to be either purely nonsensical or purely functional. I don’t see why they can’t be both. The ‘Playable City’ concept in Bristol is an example of how people can reclaim space, and make mundane objects like lamp posts and post boxes fun and interactive. I also like Chtcheglov’s idea of the construction of situations. Over the summer I was back in Singapore, where this new form of entertainment called ‘escape rooms’ has taken off. Basically, you go to one of these places (usually a small shophouse) and there are several different themed rooms with storylines. You and your friends are locked in a room (that usually contains other hidden rooms) or an apartment, and have to escape in an hour by solving puzzles and completing tasks related to the story. In one room, I was in a medieval castle, chained by my wrists to the ceiling in total darkness. In another, I was in a haunted apartment, searching for the missing family that lived there. The concept came from Japan, where they took the ‘escape the room’ computer/iphone games and turned them into real life games. It’s gotten really popular in Asia, and has started to spread in the States too. In my new urbanism, I’d like to take these games and make them city-wide. People would be yanked out of their routines and dropped into an entirely new narrative; they’d be forced to cooperate, connive, solve, escape and rescue in these situational hijacks. Cities would be spaces of production and utility, but also of play. — Tiffany Tay