Tag Archives: Conference Post #3

Conference Project: Net Migration of the World

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 11.24.34 AM   Detailed look: Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 12.47.14 PM Sheet This map I made was basically a idea of showing net total of migrants during the period 1980-2014. The net total of migrants is the total number of immigrants deduct the annual number of emigrants, including citizens and noncitizen. According to data, there are more migrants in U.S and other wealthier such as Germany and the share of middle-income nations such as India and Mexico immigrants has grown these years. The shirts occurred as the total number of international migrants rose from 154 million in 1990 to 232 million in 2014, accounting for almost 3% of the global populations. During the period, the U.S remained the largest destination country and still increased share of the world’s migrants. There are 46 million migrants (one-in-five) now in the United States slight less than one-in-six of 23 million in 1990. All told, 69% of international migrants now live in high-income countries (average per capita income of $ 12,616 or higher), up from 87 million, or 57%, in 1990. The high income countries, many of them in North America and Europe appear increasingly attractive to modern migrants as they pursue job opportunities and higher living standard. So where do today’s migrants come from? The most of them come from the middle-income countries as what World Bank designates. The share of immigrants born in high-as well as low-income nations has declined. Once they move across borders, a lot of migrants send money back to families in their countries of origin. Despite a decreasing during the 2009 global recession, the overall annual flow of money has tripled since 2000 and now tops $500 billion. The economic importance of remittances is larger in poorer countries than in richer ones. The money account for 8% of the gross domestic product in low-income nations, 2% in middle-income nations and less than 1% in high-income nations, according to analysis of World bank data. The U.S has always been the world’s largest number of international migrants over the time. The number of immigrants in the U.S doubled from 23 million people in 1990 to 46 million in 2013. And has also become a major recipient of migrants from countries with large numbers of emigrants. The inspiration of map comes from Denis wood’s Everything Sings. propaganda_press_evthss_003_shop1_162248 propaganda_press_evthss_005_shop1_162249 propaganda_press_evthss_006_shop1_162249 The main concept of doing the mapping is to create a map of the place of experience, which is also considered to be the most important thing by Dennis Wood. The map is unseen and no one would actually pay attention to. Our eyes are seem no important, rather than perceive the world with eyes, we sense and reproduce the world using nose (smell), hands (sensory), body (movement), ears (sound), and language (communication).

Conference Project Final : Mapping my Freelance Network in Media Production

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 11.44.40 AM For my conference, I created a visual representation of my own network in freelance film production. I traced the outlines of Brooklyn and Manhattan to show where these films/commericals were produced, and I aligned them in chronological order (going clockwise), starting with Pillsbury, which I worked on in 2011. All of my personal contacts are on this map, organized by the jobs on which I met them. Every contact has a different color, and there is a line for everytime I worked with them. So, for example, Paula Cohen has seven lines, but Rachel Taylor only has two. Dave Clark has three lines but because I’m not very close with him, I made his line thinner. I only worked with Donna Imbarato twice, but I became very close with her so I made her lines hot pink so as to be noticed. Ultimately, this is a map of the invisible because it’s a map of where I stand in my work environment . I haven’t made much of anything, so my network is everything. I act as a flaneur (or maybe as a stalker) by keeping up with these people on linkedin and facebook. They don’t know the extent to which I watch them. But what often happens is that they change companies, or start new businesses on their own, and that’s when I reach out. I’ll ask if they remember me from ____ ______ and ________, and I’ll ask if they could use someone with my skillset to help them get started on their new endeavor.   Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 11.56.36 AMScreen Shot 2015-05-14 at 11.51.59 AM

Conference Project: Manderley Map

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.26.02 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.27.38 AM My conference project slowly seemed to design itself, as it became layered with meaning and markings over the time. I was always fairly confident that I wanted the project to be framed around the book Rebecca- the book is written in a way that provides keep imagery as to the house of the setting- Manderley. I went through the book, tracing the way in which Manderley is detailed, and created a floor plan based upon this. I wanted to give my floor plan a Victorian feel, and did so by including molding and mirroring the architectural styles of the time. I also wanted to use the furniture described in the book, and so I included the pieces into my surface area (the floor plan). I really wanted to tap into the way in which the novel taps into the concept of “invisible” presences, and so I used color to show the presences of Rebecca and Max in Manderley. The narrator of Rebecca seems to constantly feel their presences as she passes her time in the house, and so I tried to display how she spent her time when alone, dwelling in a house that could never feel like her own. In order to show the difference between “time” and “presence” I used different materials. The narrator’s morning (when she is alone in Manderley) is displayed by thick white thread, to characterize her personality of simplicity. The white thread juxtaposes with the strong Victorian colors used for Max and Rebecca; Max is shown in a green watercolor, whereas Rebecca is a deep pinkish-red. Rebecca’s color, I find, is a rather amusing story, in that I was very particular about finding the exact color, and, unable to create the perfect shade with my watercolor palate, I found that the joys of a “Kool-Aid Drink Mix” of fruit punch perfectly solved my conundrum. The map was inspired by Victorian blue prints, but the particular style was very much developed in awe of the highly detailed illustrations of Korky Paul (a children’s book illustrator). I’ve included a picture of the house that Korky Paul drew in my post (top image).

Conference Project: Graffiti Conversations @ SLC

My conference project took a few turns as I searched for written messages to map throughout the SLC Campus. I took pictures of most of the campus, and found that the places with the most graffiti were either bathroom stalls, or desks at the library. There were many messages of different kinds – band names, existential statements, people being mean, but I realized after a while that the library had something special going on that made it very interesting: people would write things, and other people would reply to those things, and at times I would see 3 or 4 generations of messages on one desk. I realized that I wanted to not only map graffiti to its location on campus, but I also wanted to find a way to map out these conversations as they seemed to have played out. I wanted to document these frozen conversations, because I think they are an interesting slice of human nature. Every message on my map has been transcribed from photographs I took while sweeping the campus. I used purple lines to indicate a message’s location. The purple lines were set by placing a map of SLC that I had previously made underneath, and then mapping ontop of it. I later removed the map because I was hoping to emphasize location less and the text more – still, the fact that many of these messages came from the same relative location was important to include. 20150510_204641graffiti_mapdetailgraffiti_detail1 Documented Photos | Map Overlay | Map Detail 1 | Map Detail 2 I tried to do as much documenting as possible and to let the graffiti speak for itself. The messages in blue are statements and the text in red are replies. There are red lines with arrows indicating the flow of conversation, i.e., the target of the reply. There are 2 messages in red which had no observable target where they were written, and yet, they both seem to be replies to the general conversation and I felt that they needed to be in red because they were definitely addressing somebody (or somebodies). I used my sketchbook to work out my connection system. I was inspired by Dennis Wood’s Graffiti Maps in Everything Sings, and I was also inspired by Pollock, Cameron Booth’s NYC Subway Maps, and Marc Lombardi’s maps. transit-highways wood_es_graffiti_detail04-Mark-Lombardisketch_detail NYC Subway Map | Dennis Wood’s Map | Marc Lombardi | Sketchbook Detail

Post-Mortem: Euclid’s Dream

Euclid Euclid Postmortem. Overall I was very happy with how the game turned out. I was pretty lacking in ideas initially but rethinking the design elements was very helpful in conceptualizing the game. By having a clear idea I was then able to create an interesting visual experience. It turned out that simply changing the alpha value vastly altered the experience as the previous frame is Euclid Euclid visible when the new one is drawn. This means that even in the title screen one can see the remnants of the previous game which helps to create a feeling of permanency. So that it is not as if the players actions are completely erased with every win or loss, they are reminded by the fading trails. Probably the most difficult thing for me was trying to get just one rectangle to appear from the arraylist. I spent an inordinate amount of time on it and it still was not completely resolved. Other than that though, the coding was not too difficult as it was mostly cleaning up the code that was written before. I built upon a solid code base so making alterations and changes was very easy. The real changes I made were to the color palette, shadows, background, and consistency of the ‘star’ in appearing at the correct time. These relatively minor changes had a pretty large effect. However, it felt good to be able to go back and finish up  a game properly. It was probably the most ‘finished’ game I did this semester  as it fully incorporated a gameloop so revamping it was a good option. I was helped greatly by a clear class structure when making additions. But If I had to do this again, I would from the outset design the game with the gameloop. At times the gameloop code could be quite frustrating as I had essentially created the game and then had to port it over which required substantial refactoring to make it all work properly.

Post-Mortem: Come and Play

After working out the various bugs of my previous version of Come and Play, I have the final version of Come and Play. The title screen: Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.50.08 AM The Monster got a bit of a redesign: Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.54.18 AM (the central eye worked better with the grow mechanic) I also added the a shrink function for the Moon, so that it really seems like it’s being “eaten” and disappearing. Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.54.12 AM I finally worked out the bugs with the fireball/village collision and I got back the red “burned” village from the very first iteration of this game: Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.55.09 AM I also programmed levels and made two separate level outcomes based on whether the player chooses to have the monster eat the moon or burn the village: Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.51.22 AM Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.50.49 AM I also programmed in some creepy sounds that will hopefully work when I present my project. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t spent so much time figuring out the collision code for the fireball/village collision. I spent so much time trying to get the collision to work from within the fireball class (and not succeeding), but once I tried coding the collision in the main class of the sketch, it only took me a few minutes. I really enjoyed working with this game, and I had a lot of fun tying together code from my various projects. That being said, this game definitely has lots of room for more player choices. I’ve spent as much time with this game as I can for now, but I think that I’ll come back to it and add more to it in the future.

Post-Mortem: Bug Spotter

Screenshot_2014-12-11-03-48-30

The beginning of the game, as well as a good example of what happens when you let the bee get too close to you.

  The process of coding Bug Spotter was both substantially easier and substantially more difficult than I had originally envisioned. After a laborious design process, I was easily able to code the proper behaviors for the spot-hungry lady bug, the bee that tailed it, and the spots that needed to be collected. I attribute the ease with that phase of the project to the fact that I very consciously designed my game to stay well within the limits of code we had already had substantial amounts of experience with throughout the semester.
Screenshot_2014-12-11-03-45-54

The player guides the ladybug to the various spots as it is pursued by the bee.

I experienced two major crises when coding the game; one I was able to resolve, the other I was not able to overcome. The first problem I ran into came when I attempted to change the speed of the flower’s rotation after a given event. The code I was attempting to use to express that idea ended up corrupting my game file, and I lost about two hours of work. I was able to confirm that it was that particular bit of code by duplicating a game file I knew worked, pasting the sketchy code into one of the files, saving it, deleting the code I had just added, and attempting to run the file again. Even with all traces of new code removed, the duplicate copy was permanently corrupted. After that incident, I became way more paranoid about saving working duplicates of my game, and never ran into an irreversible mistake like that again. The one thing I was not able to get working in this game was the collision with the bee and the ladybug. I wanted to turn the center of the flower brown each time the bee collided with the player. I made the mistake of thinking that, because the collision with the black spots worked flawlessly, I would easily be able to get the collision with the bee working as well. Unfortunately, I ended up spending at least as much time working exclusively on the bee collision as I spent working on all the other elements in the game combined, and it still does not function correctly.  
Screenshot_2014-12-11-03-46-20

The ladybug has found its spots, and returns to the now-golden center of the flower.

Overall, I feel as if this has been my most successful game yet. The concept has been really well-received by everyone I have shown it to, and it felt really great to be able to begin to use designs that were more complex than simple circles, squares, and triangles. I hope to be able to continue developing this game in the future.

Post-Mortem: Neon Rush

Despite the fact this class doesn’t use the traditional conference formula Neon Rush has been closer to the regular conference projects. Going all the way back to the beginning of the semester is when the design process started from chameleon. A game based around color changing and a lot of hectic movement on screen. The game changed a lot when we shifted to back and white and really emphasized the hectic movement and speed of the game. Getting a lot of inspiration from the game Ikaruga which is know for it’s difficulty. Screenshot (5)Ikaruga The game was simple in nature. Collect circles and avoid squares and if you kept failing a power up would drop that you could collect to increase the size of circles and decrease the size of squares. When looking at improving the game for conference I wanted to increase what was already fun about. Namely the hectic nature of it. I also wanted to bring color back to the design. The best way to accomplish this was to me implementing the series of particle systems we learned about. Screenshot (6)geometry wars The colors i went with were entirely basic to keep everything contrasted to avoid mix up between objects as well as livening up the atmosphere. I was going for a Geometry Wars feel of simplicity but bright and engaging. Giving the player standard particle spew the wanted objects a trail of rings so that you could follow where an object is and where it was. The solar system style of particle is the first new addition to the game. Two vortexes at the ends of the screen are different from the rest of the objects in that they are not related to a good or bad scenario. All they do is move the player to a random location in the middle of the screen which can be either a bad thing or a good thing. I liked adding this entirely optional section to game play. It adds a different way of approaching the game. The only other change was something that i ended up reverting. I originally wanted to change the movement of the player to a vector based system but after having done it i found that it made dragging the really only option where as in The only movement format of easing both dragging and tap were both viable ways to play and also played differently. This was a decision i went back and forth on a few times but am happy I decided to revert the change despite  the time I put into the code.      

Post-Mortem: Attendance

Looking back at Attendance I really enjoyed working on it, both for hider seeker and for conference. I started out with a pretty cool mechanic in the vehicles stopping at certain points, but our original idea of a police chase game was pretty tired and had been done before. Coming up with the idea of students racing to their desks was a fun process that led to a pretty nice result. It felt a lot like that talk by the creator of Braid on making prototypes with a decent mechanic and then applying that mechanic to different games later. For the conference project section of the game the biggest change I made was the addition of the hall monitors on the screen Before Attendance start screen After Screenshot_2014-12-11-01-38-38[1] While the change may look really simple, it actually goes a long way towards adding a lot player choice to a pretty simple game. I really enjoyed working with a game for long enough to fully develop ideas, change them completely, add in new things, and just generally really get to know the game making process. My only disappointment with this game is, although it is not nearly as tired as a cop chase game, the game still has a sense that it could be more original. So I think for the future I will put this game kind of on the back-burner for a while until I can come up with a better concept. But all in all I think this turned out to be a really fun game that has the potential to expand and get better the more time goes by. I feel like I learned a lot about the game making process with this game and I’m definitely happy I worked on it, even if this specific prototype of the game doesn’t go much further than this.

Post-Mortem: Standoff

vol3post2pic1 The game is done. This is the newest edition of Standoff. It’s a pretty easy game to play that involves basic mechanics. The player is the cop aka triangle at the bottom of the screen, there is the vigilante aka red square who’s at the top of the screen and there is 2 circle shaped hostages and they are between the cop and the vigilante. All of the shapes are bouncing along the x-axis with different speed. The goal for the player is to catch the vigilante. and in order to do that the player has to tap the screen at the same time the cop and the vigilante are around the same y-axis, of course there is a risk of hitting the hostages since they are in between and the player loses in order to do so.  The player gets 4 attempts in 1 game. vol3post2pic2 If the red square is caught by player it’s showed by a line and also a text appears “YOU WON” and hostages come down towards the cop aka the safe zone. if you hit one of the hostages same thing happens to the hostage while the text says “YOU LOST”. vol3post2pic3 vol3post2pic4   The restart screen pops up after a tap if you have 0 ammo left or if you hit a target. And if you tap it the game starts again. vol3post2pic5 After the second post I’ve accomplished all my goals I was suppose to do. It loops perfectly and it restarts properly as well. I had to make a “void restart();” function and I cut all the code from “void setup();” and pasted it to here. After that I have put “restart();” under RESET case and it worked properly. I changed the font as well using “PFont” and loading Gungshuh font which I think is way better than the former standard form. Overall I am really satisfied with what I have. It was definitely worth all the hours I sat down and read the print out of the code. It took me forever to solve the restart problem but  the way I figured it out by myself made me understand every single piece of coding I’ve written one more time again. I think It ended up being a great game. I am glad I got the learn the processing language and throughout the semester I felt like I got better every day as a coder and definitely want to improve more.

Conference Project: 100% YC Labels

My conference project is a series of sticker labels. My idea came from the clothing label. For my project, I made stickers for chairs, staircase handles, water fountains, plants and glass windows and doors in heimbold. I am also making a bonus sticker for my suitcase. The contents of label include percentages of materials, which the object is made, instructions of cleaning, country of origin, and logo design of my initials. Here are the close up of my suitcase label and glass label Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 12.24.21 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 12.23.21 PM During the process, I had such an exciting time of playing with typography. I spent hours on searching for my ideal type for the labels. I wanted it to be fancy and unique, yet easy for viewers to read the content. The study of typography also ties to my collection assignment earlier this semester. I find the label project is related to Claire Bishop’s article on The Social Turn: Collaboration and its Discontents where the artists are interested in collaboration and engagement with social constituencies, which is a way to make artwork relate to society. I think my labels are also connected to society by adding written contents of the specific objects. The labels are significant of bring the manufactory and business of the objects. I wanted to remind people of the relationship between consumers and products when they see my stickers. After installing my sticker labels in Heimbold, I think the atmosphere of places changed. For example, I feel like shopping for chairs in Heimbold Café, every label is on center of the back of the chair which is similar to clothing labels on center on the people’s back below the necks. I hope you get the sense of being a consumer when you see my labels. 10 17 12 15 I also made a space hijack/intervention of my glass sticker in my apartment building. 08 09 Also, I spread my works on the social network. IMG_8617 Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 12.39.44 AM New look for my suitcase! 01 22 It was such a great experience of becoming a sticker maniac!

Conference Post #3

infographic-01 This is my completed infographic; it’s meant to look like a news site/app within an ipad screen. One of my concerns with this project was that it would end up looking too text-heavy, and I wouldn’t succeed with the data visualization part. Since the subject is news, it’s text-heavy by nature, but I made sure that each section had a visual representation/component. I chose a red, white and black color scheme for the infographic, since breaking news banners (and the BBC and CNN logos) use red and white, and black goes with text and the ipad border. The left side represents ‘old’ media, or newspapers, and I used a Typewriter front and a newsprint-type background to distinguish that segment. I tried to use interesting visual elements to represent kind of boring facts, like the R.I.P. section, which is meant to look like a news story. For the right side, or new media side of the infographic, I used a white background and Trench font. I chose the font because it’s a pretty modern looking sans serif font, and because it’s thin, which allowed me to play around with stroke (boldness) and font size to emphasize certain points. I also drew all the images except for the social media logos and trophies, which was a little challenging, especially with making curves. Working with Illustrator was a series of huge frustrations and small victories. Nothing much changed between my sketch and my final version, though I did get rid of the timeline because there wasn’t enough space. I also tried to avoid making the graphic too complicated and noisy by keeping to two fonts and three colors, though I did use blue for the hyperlink. Overall, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, and I don’t think there’s anything I’d do differently.  

Post-Mortem: Bokeh

Unfortunately, I had no idea how to program the behaviors that were the crux of the games I wanted to create. I started out by looking for different ways to program creating a line. The first way to do it was have it drawn based on mouse position: Screen shot 2014-12-09 at 7.54.16 AM This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. I wanted the line to go straight from where you started touching the screen to where you released it, not for it to trace the curves your swipe might make along the way. Another technique I came across was to make a line across two points with a click, or taps: Screen shot 2014-12-09 at 8.07.30 AM While this setup got me the line I wanted, it wasn’t done with the swiping motion that feels so satisfying and intuitive on a tablet. Eventually, with some help, I found a way to make lines that went directly from where you started you swipe to where you let go without taking in the curves: Screen shot 2014-12-09 at 11.58.26 AM Even after these developments, the main hurdle that remained was programming the bouncing behavior across paddles the player had to draw. This was simply beyond my programming skill, involving higher level math that I was nowhere near ready to tackle… At this point I was forced to admit defeat when it came to the game being based on paddles drawn by the player. Instead, I chose to stick to what I know, what we’ve learned, which is vectors. The player wouldn’t manipulate a puck, but simply control a vehicle. The vehicle would follow the mouse/finger touches of the player on screen. The other properties of my game remained the same: collect gold coins/tokens and avoid mines as they appear with every coin collected. I decided to make the vehicle a very “smart” one, with a somewhat high maxspeed and very high maxforce. Since this made the player much easier to manipulate onscreen, I also decided to up the challenge by have the mines strobe from black to red, making them temporarily disappear against the background (think Boos from Super Mario), and endow them with random movement. (They sometimes could stray offscreen, but since the gamespace became crowded with them after a short time, I decided to let the ones that stray outside go on their merry way.) Screen shot 2014-12-09 at 8.06.35 AM The title I eventually settled on for the game was Bokeh. Even if you don’t know the term, you’ve definitely seen them and already know what they are: Screen shot 2014-12-09 at 12.09.51 PM It’s those lovely translucent circles of light that occur when a light source is way out of focus in a picture or film. The strobing circles that make up the enemies and tokens reminded me of that effect. (It also beats the heck out of other title ideas I’ve had… If you can think of anything better I’m all ears!) I’m definitely satisfied with the final result. Bokeh is a game that I would gladly waste my time with when I have a few minutes to spare, which is exactly what I wanted. I was married to the idea of the swiping/pong mechanic for a long time, and looking back, I should have focused more on the techniques I had already acquired throughout the semester instead of trying to reach for something that was out of my depth. In the end, it was best not to make the perfect the enemy of the good, and Bokeh is a good game.

Post-Mortem: Airship

Coding this game was quite a journey. At points in time, I spent 1 to 2 hours dissecting if() statements to fix bugs or things that I didn’t like about the game. The collision was rudimentary and barely worked at the start, and after I did some thinking and testing, I was able to make it work and be enjoyable for the player. I spent a while making different soundtracks for the game before I was halfway done coding because I wanted to hear what the game would sound like to help me develop it. In total, I only ended up using about 3 sounds, but this game really centers in on minimalism, so I’m satisfied with the sounds, because they do just enough rather than too much. The first picture in this post shows a rough outline of how ridiculous coding this game was/how frustrated I was in trying to overcome some obstacles (that I managed to).

notes to airship

I started with the basic seeker code, and messed with it probably around 40 times until I got to where I am now. It was originally a bunch of vehicles that were attracted to or repulsed by the mouse coordinates, depending on if the mouse was pressed or not. I played with color and the speed and movement of the vehicles, but it didn’t seem to be enough.

air4     air1

I got rid of all of the vehicles, except for one, and I changed the collision from the mouse coordinates to the coordinates of the one vehicle (triangle). Then, I added a floating rectangle, and played with various movement options, and outcomes from collision. My initial idea was to have a few rectangles floating around, and once the vehicle collided with one of them, it would follow behind, and this would apply to each rectangle, one behind the other.

air3     air2

Then, I thought about making the rectangles surround the vehicle on each side, and I had serious trouble doing this. Probably about 2 hours of trouble. It finally clicked in my head, and I assigned a boolean to each rectangle collision check, so the outputs i was making would last past the duration of the collision. I finally did some tweaking and made the rectangles shoot away from the vehicle after all of them are collected and the mouse is released. A short time before this, I implemented some basic wrapping, and then fixed it after I made movement changes in the vehicle and rectangles.

Parts of coding this game really stumped me, but through double-checking, testing, and tweaking, I was able to rid it of bugs, and be proud of the game in its final stage.

air5      air6

Post-Mortem: Space Crisis

crisis1 This was a fun experiment.  Most everything I set out to do is done.  A few things didn’t work out, due to the fact that I dug myself into a design-hole early on and that I barely know how to work Processing at all.  The things that didn’t work were mostly secondary to the core mechanics, except for the one that was to be a core mechanic.  The game-ness of the game was fairly stunted as a result (I’ll get into that shortly).  But the framework is still there, I’m happy with the colors and general design of the thing, and at risk of sounding cliched I’ve brought [most of] my idea to life.  All by my lonely. That’s something to be proud of, I think. crisis5 I’ll start with what worked.  Collision detection was a huge worry early on — “how do you explain to Processing how to recognize when a moving object is touching an object that’s both growing and moving?!”…..It also didn’t help that I’d decided for aesthetic purposes to position the circles halfway off either side of the screen.  As it turned out, the answer was some fairly simple ‘if/then’ algebra, involving x-coordinates and radii and distances traveled, in relation to the width of the screen.  Also, the only movement in the game is horizontal and every object is a circle, so that simplified things.   When you tap the screen, a slightly-random-sized small circle (‘planet’) is generated just off the player’s side of the screen (the right side) at the y-coordinate of the tap.  The planet flies left from behind the player-circle and when it touches the enemy circle, it pushes left by either 0.25 or 0.5, depending on which half of the random-planet-size spectrum it was constructed. crisis2 The player-growth mechanic was next on the itinerary, but that would depend on an array of ghosts, whose initialization would depend on the x-position(s) of the array of planets. I was unable to figure out how one array could birth a second array, so in lieu of a ghost mechanic, I had to figure out another way of making the player-circle grow (and this is where it fell short of being an actual game).  I attempted a couple of solutions.  I tried drawing horizontal lines from (0,planetY) to the player’s side of the screen, and calculating the player’s growth based on the relation between that line’s y-coordinate and the player’s radius.  But as the player’s radius changed, so did its relation to the placement of the lines.  That threw the whole thing off, but it did look kind of neat and I’d like to try and re-implement it in the future. crisis3 My stopgap solution to the player-growth problem was this: If a planet with an even-numbered radius passes through a certain y-column, then the player grows by either ‘a little’ or ‘a little more’, depending on the size of the planet.  This works well enough to skip the ghosts thing entirely and just demonstrate the concept, but the constant threat of ghosts was supposed to be a huge source of tension because your only means of fighting the ghosts is the thing that creates more ghosts. Ideally, the ghosts would fly crookedly or in varying patterns so that the player wouldn’t know where they would emerge from behind the enemy-circle or what kind of path they’d be moving on. If the only thing to throw planets at is as big or bigger than the screen, then the need for y-axis aiming of any kind is eliminated, and there is no real player choice. crisis4 Other problems:
  • I’m still confused about the order in which Processing drew my objects, and why the color and line code from one object’s tab would find its way into the next one.  The planets took on the stroke data from both larger circles (the first planet thrown is always player-blue and the rest are enemy-red), and changing the background color ended up only changing the color of the enemy-circle.  This was frustrating but not huge.
  • The inclusion of sound is as big a mystery to me now as it was when we started.
  • No interface elements (Game Over screen, timer; though I do sort of like the way it just sits still when the game’s over)
  • Planets stick around after they’re supposed to have moved offscreen or stopped being rendered entirely. I’m not sure why (in retrospect I probably shouldn’t 0have committed to such an array-heavy set of mechanics).

Post-Mortem: Eclipse

In the end I kind of ran with my “moar colors, moar circles” idea.

colors

I even added the abilities for the roamer to become bigger based on timing and for the player to become one of the older circles when he/she went through it. movement1 movement2 movement3   movement4 It took a long time to get the transparency of the circles to look ok, and in the end it’s still less than satisfying.  The game still lacks a goal.  In fact, while it sometimes looks kind of cool, it feels both less stylish and less like a game than the prototype. After so many hours and so little (if any) progress, I gave up on expanding Eclipse.  I tacked a title screen onto it and let it sit.  I don’t think I’ll be touching it for a while. titlescreen I think the most important thing that I’ve learned from building Eclipse is that more features != better game.  You can’t take something that isn’t fun, give it some more features, and expect it to be good. That’s not to say that my original idea was bad.  I think that my first draft was a very cool, stylish little prototype.  I just took it in the wrong direction.  At least it was a learning experience.

Post-Mortem: Particle Synth

Unfortunately I have been unable to get my project to work outside of Java; however, I did manage to create a synthesizer that I am actually happy with and think could be used to improvise or compose some electronic music. In addition to tweaking the audio and game feel, one feature I implemented was color-changing particles. The particles change color depending on what note they are playing with the synthesizer. In addition to looking way better, it offers the user some visual feedback to the individual notes present in the sound they are generating. sketch   I would like to implement some sort of fx engine that could take this game to the next level. I would love to be able to trigger delays by shaking the tablet, and watch them be visualized as duplicates of the particles scatter off into the distance. Alternatively, I could see a reverb working well here, with rings that spread out from the particles. sketch   All in all, the project has inspired me to work more with code in my own artmaking. I am really interested in the ramifications of musical tools that double as visualizers. In the modern world, visuals are a big part of musical performance, and I wonder if it would be possible for artists of the future to work with realtime art and music in some sort of hybrid way. The experience would be uniquely different than the status quo. Perhaps we would lose something from pure music and something from pure art, but the hybrid could generate new visual and sonic combinations that are intimately intertwined and interesting to experience. I am bummed out that I can’t get it working on android yet. On the bright side, the project has gotten me interested in learning more powerful languages and developing this concept out further. So that is what I will be looking towards next.  

Post-Mortem: A Cup of Rain

In the making of “A Cup of Rain,”  I have run into several technical challenges. The first was creating the collision effect among raindrops. Since these rain drops are called from an ArrayList, I did not know their specific coordinates to write the function. The most similar code in our class labs is the separation function in one of the Flocking exercises  (NOC_6_07_Separation).  This function, however, is put into the class file because all the objects share the same radius, In my game, it is not the case, so getting the coordinates for each rain drops become a challenge. At the end, I used several return functions in the class file to extract the x, y and radius, and this method is working. After getting the coordinates, the problem became how to compare the distance between object to create the colliding effect. Again, the problem is posed by the ArrayList because originally I thought there can only be one “for” loop and therefore the set of rain drops have nothing to compare with. I eventually found out that I can use a loop within a loop, which looks like this: for (Raindrop r1 : raindrops) { for (Raindrop r2 : raindrops) { This double loop solved my problem perfectly, and when those two problems were solved, others parts of the making process were much easier to deal with. As I mentioned in the previous post,  I imagined the game to have other playing mechanics  such as connecting and matching. For future improvement, I want to add this feature in, and perhaps also increase the diversity of the objects. Screenshot_2014-12-09-00-19-55  

Post-Mortem: Attendance

During our playtest we found that our game was for the most part a success. We had one downfall from the playtest and that was to some the game felt a bit stupid a novelty. Isaac and I got together to try and figure out how we could make the game seem less like a novelty and possibly improve the experience of the game and maybe add one more aspect. While we wanted to stick with Angela being the teacher we decided that the main issue from this game was the background music. We thought that the music would provide a fun environment that the player would enjoy. Sort of making an environment cartoonish. So we decided to scrap the music and add a more serious track that doesn’t make the game look novelty. Finally we wanted to add one more aspect to the game before turn in. We went with hall monitors. We added a few black circles bouncing up and down the screen that if you collided with, the teacher would slowly start to edge out onto the screen. Once we did this we were ready for turn in. This screenshot is the game with a few aesthetic changes (we made a couple things invisible) as well as the hall monitors. Screenshot_2014-12-08-18-10-06

Conference Project: Bubble Tent

tent 2 In looking at the successes and failures of my implementation of my conference project, I wish I had been able to make a model/draft of it before installing it. The biggest problem I ran into was that I had not planned on my tent being so tall and so I ran out of bubble wrap! I returned to the store to purchase a second roll, but it was sold out. In an improvised move I used material to cover the back of the tent (which ultimately I like) but I would have liked to have known that this would happen so I could better prepare. The other problem I encountered was the resistance of the paint to the duct tape I was using to secure the tent. The tape peeled off and required substantial reinforcing which made it look less like it was floating than I had originally planned. tent 3   Where I think the projects succeeds is in my attempt to reclaim space within an impersonal structure and make something cozy and personal, much in the same way our living room did. I also feel that the affective quality of the tent is unlike most spaces on campus, in that it reflects the spirit of those inhabiting Heimbold (or my perception of them). If I could change the project I would attempt to make it more interactive, perhaps by making it bigger or by creating incentives to engage with the space (a la the success of the doughnut box). tent 4 As with several of my projects for this class, the process of creating it was a great opportunity for learning about myself and my goals for creation. Also like those other projects, the opportunity to do a second draft would have helped me in structural and logistical ways.