Freelance job working with Marshmallow Laser Feast to create a visualisation of the Ethereum network. The piece was displayed at the annual Blockchains developer conference, being displayed on two screens, an LED wall displayed behind a holographic scrim layer. The visualisation was developed as a representation of the network’s history, evolving and being manipulated by historic data across the various forks.
This piece was developed for a PhD student at Goldsmith’s, University of London. The student’s work revolves around looking at theory surrounding non-interactive procedural cinema. In the piece, she wanted to have a tiger (based on eighteenth-century automaton, Tipu’s Tiger) roaming through a forest scene. The tiger moves of its own free will, as does the camera following it.
So, not actually a game.. more like an interactive music video toy sorta thing.. This was my entry for the 2018 Global Game Jam. I worked by myself and created a sort of plaything that you can fiddle with while listening to this rad retro wave song I found online (Midnight Rider by Fazzio – https://fazzioretro.bandcamp.com/track/midnight-rider).
Wavelength is a casual ‘dot-to-dot zen’ game where players try to link as many coloured dots as possible before the timer runs out. The game has won a few small awards and received a bit of press coverage.
Another small project where I made a blend of the classic games Asteroids and Pong. I made it in openframeworks as an early attempt to learn the framework. Its just a silly little thing but it ended up being quite fun ?
A monitor or projected screen display the feed from a camera hidden belowit and directed towards the viewer. The feed cycles through several forms of distortion intended to convey a digitization of the viewer by the machine. Arobotic voice drones out the inner monologue of a computer consciousness asit tries to figure out the world around it. The monologue contains a narrativealluding to the machine’s arrogance and subtle disdain for the human race. Themachine however, is also lonely and seems to crave interaction with the audience.The piece is intended to highlight our projected anthropomorphisation ofmachines throughout modern era, but especially in the face of growing interestin artificial intelligence and virtual assistants.
A woman walks through the ruins of Angkor Wat, moving through several emotional conditions as she explores and accompanied by droning tones, drums and vocalisations. The footage is counter balanced with the image of a solitary flame and a line of ants busily migrating from one area to another.
The piece is expresses a fascination with ancient cultures and the artefacts left behind in their wake, but also speaks to the violence and turmoil associated with the eventual fall of human civilisations. As the woman explores the ruins, she seems out of place; however, really she is not, it is the place which is out of time.
Bonsai is the ancient Japanese practice of cultivating miniature trees and requires great patience and discipline. In this game, players are tasked with keeping a small tree alive, caring for it over a period of months or years and ultimately developing an intimate bond with the non-existent.
The genesis of the project is an observation on the “bigger, faster, better” mentality associated with procedural content generation. PCG systems rely on algorithmic methods to create vast amounts of content very quickly and are used in many computer games. The project seeks to take a counter perspective, asking whether there is value in a smaller and slower generative process. The ability to generate huge quantities of content also results in the content being quite disposable, a feature that the project also undermines. By slowing the generation of the tree down to take months or years, rather than minutes or seconds, results in a higher value ascribed to the artefact created. This is particularly true if the viewer has taken an active role in the process.
The contrast is highlighted in the game’s gifting feature where the cultivator of the tree can give it away to a friend. When the tree is gifted, the player no longer has access to the tree and must trust that the recipient will care for it and not let it die. This requires a degree of trust in the recipient on the part of the gifter, giving the object, otherwise meaningless, have an increased sentimental value. The issue is highlighted further by the dissonance in attachment to the tree between the gifter and recipient and whether the recipient is aware of how much effort and care has been put into cultivating the tree.
A monitor or projected screen display a swirling tunnel moving through a star field. Points of light float towards the player in a patterned movement. The player stands in front of the piece holding a PS Move controller (a small baton illuminated at one end to act as a computer vision tracking beacon) which controls the movement of an eye-like glowing avatar on screen. The player’s goal is to move the avatar in line with the on coming points of light and collect as many of them as possible. As the player collects them, a narrative starts to unfold verbally.
The theme of the piece relates to the concept of reincarnation and thus the narrative follows the story of a character’s life, highlighting a key moment from their experience as a human. At several gameplay thresholds (or levels), the player is confronted by a large rotating geometric shape which they must pass through. If the player has successfully collected enough light, they will pass through the shape into the next level where the process continues. The light is symbolic of forgiveness, harbouring the idea that souls will repeat their journey’s through the earth plane learning lessons and letting go of their pent up karma. Each level is symbolic of a different chakra being represented by the colours, sonic palette, and narrative theme.
If the player fails to collect enough light to pass through any of the seven levels, they are returned to the beginning of the experience but with a different narrative signifying that the soul has gone back to the earth plane, lived another life and is now attempting ascendance again.
We’ve been porting Between over to the Oculus Rift recently (WIP):
Interactive videogame with sound
Don’t Let Them Die is a digital artwork created using game technology and exhibiting an element of emergent gameplay / narrative. A large screen or projection shows a mountainscape viewed from the sky filled with flocking birds swirling around the viewpoint in a seemingly random pattern. The track ‘Ghosts 1’ by Nine Inch Nails plays in the background giving a creating an ambience of melancholy and commiseration.
The behaviour of the birds is dictated by Craig Reynold’s ‘Boid’ algorithm, a common method for simulating the effect of flocking in birds and fish. Treating it as a heuristic model, the piece encourages viewers to also interpret the algorithm as a metaphor for how people relate to one another as agents within society.
The piece is not directly interactable however is designed as a game in that it has an explicit goal which is to keep the birds alive. The piece is internet enabled and pulls in live stock data from some of the top performing stocks in the world; if the prices of the stocks suddenly crash, then all the birds slowly curl up and fall from the sky in slowed motion. The message being portrayed by the piece is that the viewers of the piece are tasked to continue contributing to capitalist society, driving the economy forward and keeping the status quo.
Although the message is on the surface pro-capitalist, there are subtle undertones of a human urge to break free from societal and systemic constraints. The birds seem free, flying in which ever direction they choose across a seemingly endless landscape; however, they are almost entirely constrained. The birds exist within a computer simulation, the sky is merely a static backdrop, and their behaviour is completely dictated by an algorithm that they are unaware of.