This week, I’ll be looking at two games that focus on multiplayer asymmetric cooperation: We Were Here — released by Total Mayhem Games in 2017–, and Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes — released by Steel Crate Games in 2015. The reason as to why I’m looking at these projects is because I want to make a multiplayer asymmetric cooperation game for my final project. What these games have in common is that there are essentially two roles that different players take on before the game starts, and the role of one player is to help the other player complete tasks by providing them with information.
In We Were Here, each player is a character in different sections of an arctic castle, and one player travels from room to room encountering new puzzles that they need the help of the other player, who travels from room to room looking for clues, to solve.
Example of a clue one player needs to relay to the other
In Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, one player is tasked with disarming a bomb while the other player is given a bomb-defusal manual that has the information needed to disarm it.
Example of a bomb with different modules that must be defused
In both projects, one player is generally in danger while the other gives information to save that player; however, I think there may be a missed opportunity where both players simultaneously fulfill both roles, one where they must solve tasks as well as one where they must provide info to their partner.
The two projects I chose to compare for my final Looking Outwards take two different approaches in delivering messages to audiences — both, however, are rooted in computational media, with varying degrees of computation usage.
Giant Ant’s Spotify Pride Stories is an information visualization-animation discussing the role of same-sex marriage laws in the workplace, and the lifestyles of stakeholders tied to those laws. It uses primarily Adobe Illustrator and Adobe AfterEffects to tell a story with their information, and uses computationally-derived data to form infographics on specific moments within the animation.
As a set, these two projects represent approaches to design that I’m very invested in — animation, world-building, and information delivery.
“Freeform | Interactive Reload Nr.1” by Rosanna Casalnuovo is part of a series of interactive graphics with different geometrical compositions and colors realized with generative code. I admire the use of an array of vibrant colors in this project, something that I would hopefully be able to incorporate into my own project. I also find the balance between randomness yet the presence of an underlying structure in this project compelling, successfully making it an interesting interactive piece of work. An opportunity they might have overlooked is having a clear intent of their project. While the project is overall an interesting one, it just seems to be an interactive piece of work that is abstract and most likely programmed recreationally. By incorporating an intent, the project might become stronger and more meaningful.
[project 2 – Ring by Lucas Cabral]
“Ring” by Lucas Cabral, is another dynamic piece of work, in which the program creates distinct rings according to its accompanying sound. It attempts to emphasize that there is in fact a visual component in music as well, and overall plays around with the concept of sound visualization. The dynamic rings that appear on the screen reminded me of a kaleidoscope as well fireworks, which creates a relevance to my final project. I also enjoyed how the visuals changed depending on which part of the song was playing, along with the color of the rings. It would have been great if the artist took a further step forward and created more of these rings, creating a perception of depth and emphasizing the dynamism of the work.
Link | https://vimeo.com/241539505 [project 1]
Work | Rosanna Casalnuovo. Interactive Reload Nr.1. 11.06.2017