Monthly Archives: April 2016

Once Upon a Time Concept

EmitMovingWoodenHourglassDigital(scale)AnalogScaled   The art featured above is my main character (Emit) and the three types of platforms that I am using currently. More to come. The concept behind my videogame Once Upon a Time began when we did our exercise for homework about transferring a fairytale into a five point aristotelian narrative. I did not use the fairytale that I adapted for that exercise, but as I found myself thinking of the fairytales as a hole and the manner in which many of them start, with the introduction “Once upon a time”. Being a lover of puns, I pictured a small spec of dust sitting on top of a clock and the clocks hand moving a beat and the spec falling off of the clock and being sprung forward into/with the seemingly absolute flow of time. My main characters name is Emit. I played with two concepts for Emit. One, although I did not use it, was a raindrop. I based the concept partly on a quote from Blade Runner, “Moments in time are lost like tears in the rain.” This quote encompassed much of what I sought to talk about through my game and I attempted to create my character through this paradigm. While I did, and still do, love the idea of using a rain drop, I found myself feeling like I was forcing the issue and then scrapped the rain drop for the simpler Emit that I had created before the rain drop, who was simply a black spot with a small white eye. The idea of this Emit being that Emit is the center piece of an alarm clock. This introduces the idea that Emit, and therefore the player, is holding together time in a very literal way. In the opening scene/splash art, when the player presses the “Start” button the alarm clock would shake and break, dropping its hand and Emit out from the case that normally holds it together. Once the face is broken, Emit begins to move along the platforms that are all clock themed in some way until either he falls off and dies or ends up destroying the fabric of time itself. It is arguable whether either of these possibilities is failure or success. As I continued to flush out this idea, the theme of time naturally gelled with the flow contained traditionally within an endless runner video game, both of which seem from the human perspective to be nearly endless if you look at them from end to end. That being said, this being a class that in some ways pushes us to subvert the genre of endless runner, I wanted to create a way in which Once Upon a Time would subvert the genre. The manner in which I imagined going about this came about fairly naturally as well. When I thought about introducing the idea of power ups, speeding up and slowing down time came to mind as the power ups. Thinking a step further, and luckily having been inundated for years with science fiction stories, when one plays with time and manipulates it, the fabric of time begins to break down, so in collecting the power ups that make the game more interesting and fun, the player will break down the game and when a certain number of power ups are collected the game space will be destroyed (Game Over). It seems that the only way to win is to not play. Overall, I very much enjoy Once Upon a Time on a conceptual level. The themes of the passage of time, inevitability and even fatalism are ones that I find interesting and ruminate on continually in my own life so it has been quite useful to be able to explore them in a detached medium.  

Project 1 Post Mortem :: Your Choice

We installed the project in various spots across the 2nd floor of Heimbold. Printed the photos and price tags, we stuck them onto the wall with double-sided tape. We installed five different groups of juxtapositions:
Milk OR Organic Milk?

Milk OR Organic Milk?

Eggs OR Organic Eggs?

Eggs OR Organic Eggs?

Coke OR Juice?

Coke OR Juice?

Canned Tomatoes OR Fresh Tomatoes?

Canned Tomatoes OR Fresh Tomatoes?

Frozen Blackberries OR Fresh Blackberries?

Frozen Blackberries OR Fresh Blackberries?

We took photos of different commodities in Stop & Shop near our campus. Afterwards, we put them into Adobe Illustrator to posterize them, in order to make it look less like actual photos. When printing these images out, we faced the problem of finding appropriate printing paper that works with the school’s printer, but that was easily solved, just a matter of time. The photos were then framed with photo mattes to signify the integrity of the projects. Our idea did go through many transitions and changed a lot over time. We are glad our project turned out the way it did.   Kadie Roberts and Yuci Zhou

Radical Games: Fade

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 1.59.50 AM My project plays with the ideas of memory and loss through a simple 2D side scroller. The player progresses through various stages of memories, each which comes equipped with deadly obstacles that must be navigated past representing each memory. For instance in one memory of love the obstacles are hearts, whereas another memory of music has musical notes that must be snuck past. As each level is passed the protagonist is taken to a portal that teleports him into another memory, all together totaling five and telling a complete story. The story is ultimately about a young man, falling in love with a young woman, her death, and his attempt to overcome the grief. The player has the option to attempt to use flowers that grow up over the landscape to eliminate the memories and the obstacles along with them as a way of easing past each level. However, this ultimately triggers the “bad” ending. Only by working past each memory, rather than hiding from them or trying to destroy them can the player find the good ending. The art style is a simple pixel style, meant to be light and simple. The colors start off dreary in the “real” world, then transition to vibrant and happy in the initial happy memories, before getting darker and darker as the memories reach nearer to the tragedy. Ultimately if the happy ending is achieved the colors and tone return to happiness and light, whereas if the bad ending is reached, the darkness overtakes the player. This art style is supposed to tie together the childlike nature of the game and the player with the darker themes and hard challenges present within.  

Project #2 Update :: Raining Wall

The sound level of the surrounding environment controls how heavy the rain is.

The sound level of the surrounding environment controls how heavy the rain is. Note: this is only a GIF demonstration of the interface. 

Currently, I have worked out the interface for this project. I used a dark background color and a light color for the rain. The rain is generated by a particle system in Unity. The physics system allows me to simulate more realistic rain by creating splash effects using the die out animation for each particle, as well as bypassing any object in the interface. The other feature of the interaction is the ability to respond to the sound of the surrounding environment. The microphone could capture the sound level of the environment and pass on the parameter to the particle system. The rain would be heavier when the surrounding environment is noisy, and vise versa. I still need the technical solution to connect Microsoft Kinect to my interaction in order to make it interactive when people standing in front of it.

Project 2 Proposal :: Fear Catcher

IMG_2178 This project was derived from the following series of assumptions:
  1. To capture fear, we must overcome it
  2. Fear is a product of the imagination that possesses power over the individual
  3. An idea is a product of the imagination that can be overpowered by the individual
  4. To overcome fear, we must reduce it to an idea
  5. Life is to death as light is to darkness
  6. An idea is to the imagination as a form is to space
  7. A shadow is a projection of darkness created by light applied to form
  8. Fear is a projection of death created by the concept of life applied to an idea
  9. Therefor, to overcome fear, we must give it form and remove its shadow
Removing shadow from a form is as simple as projecting light upon it from enough different angles. To accomplish this, I intend to build a box or other container similar to the sketch at the top of this post. It would be constructed of wire or wood, and the lights would likely be a mix of string lights and accent lamps such as these: light rope lamp Left in a public space, a sign/note would instruct users to “leave your fears within”. Index cards, markers, and perhaps some plasticine clay would sit beside the catcher as well, available for people to construct their fears out of if they wished. By placing their fears within the catcher they would remove their fear’s shadow, undermining its power, share it with the public, counteracting the isolating nature of fear, and also be able to trust that their fears, or at least parts of them, would remain safely within the catcher and not follow them when they left.

Project #2 :: Emotion Catcher :: Update 1

FullSizeRenderMy original idea was to physically create an emotion catcher. I wanted to have three jars, each one hooked up to a touch sensor that would light up the jar when the metal lid of the jar was touched. Each jar would be filled with different color marbles so that they would light up different colors-each jar according to the emotion it was supposed to catch. Although that original idea was good, the materials and knowledge I would need in order to successfully execute the interactive emotion catcher were hard to gather.IMG_3568 I decided to scratch that idea, and brainstorm another one that was more realistic to my knowledge and abilities. My inspiration came from Hertzian Tales by Anthony Dune. In the book, he explains that in order to catch anything you would first need to picture what that thing physically looks like. Then, you would need to think of things or objects that would literally catch that thing. IMG_3567For the second version of my project I wanted to continue catching emotions. I came up with three things that represent fear, happiness, and anxiety and then three things that caught each one. For me, fear is a big dark cloud with lighting coming out of it, happiness is a beam of light, and anxiety is a tangled piece of string. For each emotion there are things that catch them as well. Metal rods catch fear, a glass prism catches happiness, and sharp objects catch anxiety.IMG_3566 My installation will consist of these three emotions embodied within those objects and its catchers.

Project 2 Proposal :: Sadness Catcher

IMG_0332 My project is based on the idea of the natural creation and dissipation of a cloud. When the user of the project feels sad, they can type what makes them feel that way and with each letter typed, the ocean fills with water. Also, every time they type a letter a chord plays. Slowly, the water evaporates while a cloud forms. When the cloud reaches a critical mass it starts snowing. IMG_0333 This interaction allows the user to purge their sadness by typing out what makes them so sad and see something beautiful come out of it. Writing or typing out what you feel sad about is something that has been done for many years to make someone feel better and is generally a therapeutic experience. Using the natural water cycle most people learn in elementary school makes this process easy to understand for the user. Another thing that people find therapeutic when sad is music which is why as they type out their sadness it will create music. IMG_0334

Post Mortem: Project 1:: SLC in You

This is the final installation of project one.

This is the final installation of project one.

Installation Process Our installation was very simple. We attached each mosaic print to to the wall with tape. For the wall text, we printed out the question “Do you see yourself in SLC? Do you see SLC in yourself?” This was then attached to a long piece of styrofoam and taped to the wall. It was placed in the middle of the two prints. Our installation space was near the elevator and staircase on the middle floor of Heimbold. We chose this space instead of the original space we were assigned to because it allowed the viewer to step back farther. This enhanced the user experience because it allowed the viewer to see the illusion of the mosaic better. It also had a lot of natural lighting in the space, which made the details in the project easier to see.
This is final mosaic of the SLC sign, using various photos of the SLC campus and students.

This is final mosaic of the SLC sign, using various photos of the SLC campus and students.

This is the final mosaic of a student, using various photos of the SLC campus and students.

This is the final mosaic of a student, using various photos of the SLC campus and students.

What went right? For this project, one of the main ambitions was for us to create something visually artistic. Though we juggled with various possibilities of what we could create artistically, it remained a staple in how we wanted to present our juxtaposition. The fact that we were able to maintain an artistically clever presentation was a success for this project. It was a greater success that our photographic mosaic turned out as well as it did. The final posters were detailed enough to be able to distinguish the smaller pictures that formed the greater. A fear we had while creating the posters was that the resolution would not be generous enough for people to identify the smaller photos, rendering our posters giant pixelated images.   What went wrong? The major shortcoming of this project was the amount of pictures we took. We took enough to satisfy a minimal color palette, but our goal was to incorporate many student profiles in order to create a better representation of the student body and produce something more people could identify with visually. It took more effort and time than we had expected to ask the individuals we did represent, proving we had underestimated our ability to create a portfolio with many profiles. In the end it did not matter as much since the posters still came out clearly with all the people we had included somewhere. However, it would have created a better impact if more of the student body, and maybe even the facility, were portrayed among the smaller images. Another issue with the project was that we had problems printing. The first campus mosaic we had printed was on a shiny paper and the color came out very dark. We reprinted the mosaic of the campus to match the paper and texture of the student mosaic.    

Project #2 Proposal: Fill My Heart <3

IMG_1282 For project 2 I have decided to create a Love catcher designed with a mix of analogue and digital experience. The love catcher is in a form of Love meter that physically show the invisible emotion called love. Love is always around us and is a very familiar feeling. May people place love into a physical form through symbolic representation such as love symbol, heart. I wanted to explore how I can “catch” the emotion from people who interact with the display. IMG_1283   I am creating a catcher in a form of love meter that can measure how much love is coming out from individuals and capture the love through the display on the screen. A scale creates the love catcher. When someone fills the box with marble or stone inscribed with words that represent love, such as hug, kiss, flowers, gifts, dates, memories, etc. Depending on the weight of the stone, which account for the value of love to the interactor, will fill up the heart on the screen, capturing the amount of love coming out from the interactor. I was inspired to make this catcher from when I was watching the Simpsons, where they had a love Tester in Moe’s Tavern. It seemed unique how people were trying to catch and see how much love they had within the and wanted to create my love catcher.   ZdDzLDFSimpsons_08_24_P1   Through this project, I want to explore what is love and how people think what love is in everyday life, and explore the value of it.

Project 2 Proposal: Opposite of Ephemeral

IMG_1796 For project 2, I have chosen to create an ethereal space with a dream-catcher-like theme. I’m going to be installing in the media lab in Heimbold. IMG_1789 IMG_1784 I’m creating the feel with lots of yarn all over the room, water-color-type colors and possibly string lights.  I think I am going to look for big pieces of cardboard and paint them, then hang those on the wall instead of painting directly on the wall.  I’m also going to probably add glitter to the paint.  I want it to feel really mixed-media so I will probably add other things as I find them.  That is what the room will look like. Starting next week, I am going to set up small stations around campus for SLC people to interact with.  They will be provided with paper and pens to answer the prompt.  The prompt will be something along the lines of:  ‘What is something that someone has said to you or about you, positive, negative, or neutral, that has really stuck with you?’ Then, the participant will drop the response (anonymous) into a box and I will collect all responses at the end of each day. IMG_1797 Once I collect enough responses, I am going to start setting them up in the room.  At this point, I think that I am going to keep some responses on the original paper, but I am also going to copy over responses onto different materials.  I am also going to utilize the string in some way to attach the responses like they are caught in a dream catcher. I will set an opening day and time, and then have a playlist set up to play while people are observing my work.

Project #2 :: Proposal

IMG_3434For project #2, I will create an interactive analog experience for the user. In class, we discussed the ability to catch, trap, or preserve things that normally could not be contained. My project, Emotion Catcher, will consist of 3 jars, each one filled with a different emotion. When the user approaches the jar and touches the metal lid, that jar will light up. As a result, that person will then be connected to that emotion, making it more prominent within them. My project is meant to create a sort or “refueling” station for those who need a little extra boost of a certain emotion. I think that this project will create a very exciting experience. Being able to create a direct interface between the user and the emotion catcher will allow the interactivity to be meaningful as well as fun.  
IMG_3435

Birds eye view

There will be three closed jars mounted on to a podium. Each jar will be filled with different colored marbles, that way when the lid is touched, they will light up with different colors. The color is meant to represent the different emotions. The emotions will be: Relaxation, Happiness, and Creativity. Relaxation will have blue marbles, happiness will have yellow marbles, and creativity will have green marbles.