For my final project I am interested in making a twitter bot that either randomly generates abstract art by having the code run through a series of conditionals to represent different choices an artist would make, or takes tweets or images chosen by the user, and rearranges the pixels/words of the input and rearranges them to form abstract art/poetry. I did a bit of research and once you make an account for your twitter bot you can create an application that links to a url, or in my case, an index.html file. I think that twitter bots are interesting because a lot of times what seems to be randomly generated content turns out to be thoughtfully done to produce a comprehensible (or humorously uncomprehensible) outcome. I think the most difficult aspect of this project would be breaking down art and language down to its most basic parts, so that when reassembled according to how the code dictates, it is not completely nonsensical.
While it’s difficult for me to provide a sketch without actually writing the code, here are some inspirations that I expand upon in my looking outwards post
For this project, I intended to do some experimenting data visualization that focuses on environmental conservation. My goal was to visualize the data from NASA. Some possible data sets are Carbon Dioxide, Global Temperature, Arctic Sea Ice Minimum, Land Ice, and Sea Level. However, what I want to communicate is not as complicated as the “climate time machine” nor the fancy graphs. Instead, I want to take the advantage of p5js and do some animations’/graphics’ movements that represent these statistics in a much simpler way. The project is intended to make not only the scientists aware of global warming (which they have already done enough), but spread the awareness to all ages in all social classes. I intended to try my best ability to convert some of the changes to very appealing and easy-to-connect graphics. Below are two of my starting ideas.
The first one conveys an easier version and a harder version as I haven’t experimented with my ideas and don’t know the achievability.
The second one deals more about the physic module we have learned in class. I will use elements like “gravity”, “damping”, “spring”, and etc.
Both of the pieces are a form of digital paintings or visual generations. What I admire about them is the interactive input in creating a cohesive piece. I am not aware of the algorithms used or the input audience members were allowed to share in forming the interaction, but a subject I think was overlooked was the physicality of these pieces and their linkage to audience members. I think if the interaction was an important part, the documentation of the interaction is also pivotal in display, otherwise it seems like another painting.
For my final project, I would like to create some data visualizations of the running routes I do in Pittsburgh. These visualizations would be algorithmic drawings documented as a running diary of my daily or weekly runs. What I normally do not notice on a run are the larger gestures I make and the shapes, speed rates, and heart rate variations accompanying the larger gesture of a route. Mapping out these routes, and creating algorithmic drawings from the resulting shapes would not only visualize the “gestures” I am constantly making but unaware of, but also document trends on the routes which can affect my running and the way we look at a route retrospectively. I would be using turtle functions to follow the path, and arrays and for loops to create algorithmic patterns/visuals for a more appealing visualization of how I felt that day.
*fyi: there are 3 inspiring projects listed here, and I felt each one of them was important to explaining my inspiration and because of that I couldn’t exclude one of them, so here they are…
Inspiration Project 1 Awkward Dimensions Redux:
Awkward dimensions Redux is a game available on steam as of October 21st,2016, meant for computers. It is a game that explores dreams and their ever-confusing, ever-scattered logic (or lack thereof) but convincing and astoundingly real-feeling qualities. It capitalizes on the unpredictability, perplexing, and looping qualities that all dreams seem to retain. The game itself is made by a Denver based high school student in college, Steven Harmon, who’s studies focus on psychology and theater (both of which shine through in the actual game). The game itself relies heavily on metaphors to make points and many of the functions from dreamscape to dreamscape are representative of this. For example The interactions are limited to walking, jumping, inspecting, picking up stuff, and solving some small puzzles. But, the amount that one can interact or the amount of control they have varies from scene to scene, and on occasion they have no control at all.
Here’s a link to a video for it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gQr39Pmx5E
Inspiration Project 2 That Dragon, Cancer
That Dragon, Cancer is a game dedicated to and based on a true story which revolves around the lives of a couple and their newborn child. Their son was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at only 12 months old leaving him partially blind, and unable to speak. The game documents his struggle and fight with cancer as well as the emotional ups and downs for the parents during they time they had with Joel (the son), before he died. Through a mixture of first and third person perspective you are led through an extremely touching, but heartbreaking narrative and are invited to slow down for a moment to immerse yourself in the intimate narrative of another person’s life. There is an ambiguity maintained throughout the game as to who you are, leaving a hefty amount of room for interpretation and allegory. There is also a distance maintained between you and the characters in the way they are visually represented – blockish, with very few details across faces, however – regardless the story and the game play pull you in – it absorbs you and becomes you in the sense that you start to experience what Joel’s parents went through as though you yourself are going through it. There’s not a lot that can be said about it that matches how it feels to play, so I suggest if you really want to understand the game that you play it and experience it for yourself.
Inspiration Project 3 The Game: The Game
Angela Washko’s installation/game is unusual in both what it represents, and how it plays. It was first exhibited August, 2016 and is a continuation of a series called ‘BANGED’ done by the artist revolving around her interactions with player/pick-up artist/overall misogynist, manosphere figurehead, Roosh V. This game is not about him, but about exposing and discussing the practices used by several prominent pick-up artists (or seduction coaches as they like to be known as). In the game the player is a character to undergoes interactions with each of the coaches (all of whom are trying to bust a move on the player), in a dialogue-based format similar to a lot of dating sims. The coaches are all trying to seduce the player using the techniques and practices mentioned in their respective instructional guides and video materials. This allows for a fascinating conversation to take place on the social construction of dating and the experience of being a woman and exploring this confusing and often uncomfortable terrain.
Link to a video of the artist speaking about her work and the background behind it (videos of the actual piece are in this): https://vimeo.com/225466353
Each of these games have something big in common: they all address pressing issues or big themes with a relative subtlety or creative sensitivity, in very different ways. I think that is what I admire most about them – how they take something touchy, hurtful, or confusing – and then couple our experience with them and comfort/capabilities for idea-intimacy in gaming. The way that each of the games do it is so different as well, which is be-fitting considering they are each discussing very different concepts. Overall I hope to draw a lot from each of the projects that I mentioned and that I am able to communicate that same level of intimacy with my ideas allowing the player to become emotionally invested or even just sympathetic to what occurs in the game or what happens to the character. I hope to also be able to accurately match certain ideas or concepts regarding things just through the gameplay and format/construction of the ways the game can be played. In all honesty, I’m not sure that any of the games missed out on opportunities – they each seemed to hit the nail on the head in how effectively they were able to get players to really let go and become attached to the events transpiring (particularly That Dragon, Cancer).
The first idea is a bit ambitious, but I was thinking that for the final project I would like to create a video game. I’ve been thinking a lot about sexual assault considering all of the events and exposés that have occurred even just within the past two months amongst celebrities and stars – and in thinking about that I also was brought to ponder the way that we teach kids or even explain it to adults. The game I wanted to create would explore how to explain the idea of it and what it is/what it feels like in a subtle and sensitive way while simultaneously not trivializing it – as someone who has experienced it, I know it’s not an easy topic to discuss. I would use P5.js, and a combination of sound and animation to make this an RPG. It’s a very serious and touchy topic, but I also feel that it’s important to think about and playing through the perspective of someone who experiences it, can create a gateway to being able to sympathize if you haven’t experienced it first hand. I think that is the power of games. Obviously this is a tough subject and needs a lot ofthought and consideration, but I am invested in exploring this idea.
The second idea is somewhat more simple, though also a interactive game – and I wanted it to act as a code-based, explorable/episodic moving painting of the nightmares I experienced through my freshman year. To give some background/context – from the months covering end of fall semester in freshman year to the begging of the spring semester – every night I woke up periodically from a series of terrible nightmares, and it got to the point where towards the end, I tried to avoid going to bed at all – so as to avoid having the nightmares – I also wrote extensively about the dreams I would have since they were always so vivid. At the time I was going through some traumatic things at the time and the 3 months of nightmares that ensued were partially a result of that. Now that some time has passed I think I would like to revisit that time from a different perspective, and try to take the opportunity for creating a game out of this experience to try and explore it as well as take some time to understand this situation from my past a little better. It will be made in p5.js with some images/animations pulled from photoshop or illustrator or wherever I decide to make them, and I think that I will include some ambient sound, but beyond that the piece will rely on text (if there is anything said at all in it).
I don’t think I will be collaborating with anyone else for either of these ideas, as these are both such powerful/personal thing – and both of them are of course subject to change. It would be great to get some feedback on each of these ideas and what seems manageable so that I can narrow down the project scope and figure out what to focus on for the final project.
This is a generative book by allison parrish. The book is entirely randomized, although the sentences are put together so that they follow each other in a valid manner. I personally don’t think it makes much sense, but it is still an interestinggt precursor, demonstrating both the potentialities and the drawbacks/difficulties of text mashing.
For my final project I would like to make a simple point and click game, with a friendly animated crow as your guide. There are different levels of the project that I would like to accomplish, the basic level being the bare minimum, and all levels after being extras that I would love to implement if I have the time. At the basic level, I will create a scene in an eerie field with a broken down farmhouse in the background, among other scattered objects. Clicking the crow will initiate the start of the “game”. He will give the beginnings of a story(probably a spooky one), and clicking on different objects on the screen will get him to tell you different things. The crow itself will be a series of images that I draw by hand and set to a simple animation. The second level will have the objects make a sound when clicked, and possibly have clickable items light up. The third level will allow the crow to say different flavor text depending on the circumstances of the player, such as time of day, if they’ve found and clicked on every object, or if they’ve clicked on the crow more times than necessary. The fourth level would be to make the scene a landscape that scrolls with the mouse, which would allow me to add more objects and elements to the story.
Here is a simple sketch of how I would like the initial scene to look.
For this Looking Outwards post I specifically wanted to find projects that integrated writing or storytelling, since I already knew that that was the direction I wanted to take my project. The first work I found is actually a simple point and click style game which you can download for free at the the artist’s web page here .
Since an extremely simple(as in far more simple than Desert Fox’s work) point and click game struck me as something I could conceivably accomplish for my final project, I admired the developer’s simplistic art style and their way of conveying the mood of the scene. In the “Bad Dream” series by Desert Fox, published in its early stages back in December of 2013, the player walks through a morbid dreamscape and attempts to wake up. One of the challenges of a point and click is to make the story interesting even though for the most part images are stagnant and pacing is entirely dependent on the player’s ability to solve a puzzle. For this purpose, intriguing backgrounds, good writing, and interesting puzzles are necessary. Desert Fox accomplishes most of these things, but though I enjoy their simple art style, it can become a little bland to look at after a while, even with gory details. As a result I would like the visuals in my final project to be just a little more dynamic.
The second work I found is “Fabulous/Fabuleux” by Heather Kelley. It debuted in 2008.
This project uses interactive software to tell a story according to the movements of the people who participate. I admire the use of sound, motion, and simple game mechanics to communicate the story, as well as the enchanting visual effect of creating a constellation that forms key objects in that story. However, if I were to change the project, not necessarily for improvement but to be more suited to my tastes, I would make the system of interaction itself relevant to the story, so that if you just replaced the story they used with a different one, it wouldn’t work as well. For this project the story itself doesn’t matter as much as the technology behind it, and I would like the writing in my project to have more of an impact.