One of our creative exercises, lead by Jorge Lopes Ramos, was to make 3 games in 10 minutes each with a set of utensils. As if making a game in such a short time was not hard enough, he added another restriction: We could not give direct instructions to the group who would play our game afterwards. Instead, we should come up with a more creative way to instruct them.

With 16 participants making 3 games in groups of 4, we had a lot of different approaches.

I remember:

  • Communicating intent via naming the game.
  • Instructing the players to move via rhythm.
  • Demonstrating the game via theatrical improvisation with team members as game props.
  • Singing a short song before the game begins which contains hints to how the game should be played.
  • Trying to get across how the game is played by setting it up properly or having pieces whose usage should be clear.
  • Leading the game by having team members interact with it, resetting the game if played improperly.
  • Preparing an informative display out of props.

Some approaches were more successful, others… less. But all of them were pretty fun for both players and creators!

And now, here are the games I participated in:

Animal Jacks

Throw a stuffed hamster into the air, try to grab as many other animals as you can before it touches down. Then it’s the other player’s turn. We tried to communicate the instructions by alluding to the game Jacks.

Team: Owen Bell, Nicole Pacampara, Hope Erin Phillips and Tobias Wehrum

IMG_8428

Yay, plush animals! (Photo by Jorge Lopes Ramos)

Blowing Spinners

Twirl your spinners, blow them into the goal area and try to knock other spinners out! We demonstrated the game via a theatrical improvisation using team members as game props.

Team: Grayson Earle, Dawn Hang Yue Wong and Amanda Tom and Tobias Wehrum

Human, Farm Animal, Dinosaur

Rock, Paper, Scissors in its most exciting variant! We tried to get that across by making a little display with props and arrows.

(Interestingly, players thought that the display was part of the game and manipulated the props. Thinking about it, that might make a fun game mechanic if used properly.)

Team: Jessica Blanchet, Peter van Haaften, Titouan Millet and Tobias Wehrum

IMG_8484

Getting ready… (Photo by Jorge Lopes Ramos)

IMG_8485

Getting ready… (Photo by Jorge Lopes Ramos)

IMG_8486

Attack, my dinosaur! (Photo by Jorge Lopes Ramos)

IMG_8491

No idea what’s happening, but yaaaay? (Photo by Jorge Lopes Ramos)

Last week we finished the third week of Critical Hit 2015 in Montreal, an incubator for experimental wearable games! We continued our game from the week before about eating foodstuff to balance your health values. The core concept didn’t change much – this week was mostly about finishing the hardware (last week we only had a digital prototype to test with) and figuring out how to teach the game to new players.

We came up with two ways:

  1. Starting simple, upping the difficulty: First there is only “temperature slider and 2 foodstuffs”, then there is “temperature + heart and 3 foodstuffs” and finally we get to “temperature + heart + stomach and all 4 foodstuffs”.
  2. Using a screen which displays hints for the effect of all 4 foodstuffs in the beginning (“Kiwi: -1 temperature”, etc.) and then reducing the amount of hints by one every round.

In the end, we couldn’t decide which one we prefer and implemented both: One version self-sufficent with just the apron/fork/Arduino, and one version with an additional screen.

And now, without further ado…

FF

Malnutrition is making you sick.
Luckily, you have found some healthy-looking food!
Pick up your fork and watch as what
you eat changes your body.

Munch your way to health in FruitFever!

Source code available at GitHub.

Made possible by Critical Hit 2015.

Credits:

More “Working on the Game” Photos

(You can find the images from last week here.)

Jelly with different resistances. More conductive than tasty.

Jelly with different resistances. Conductive? Yes! Tasty? Eh…

Back to fruits and cheese it is

Back to fruits and cheese it is then!

IMG_3819

Owen here is showing off the latest in the “fashion meets games” category.

2015-06-30 17.11.41

Controlling an LED apron with Unity was definitly a first for me!

The final digital prototype. When the apron/fork is attached, the upper middle display vanishes. Currently 3 hints what the fruits do are shown - in a harder mode, there would be less or even no hints.

The final digital prototype. When the apron/fork is attached to the computer, the upper center display vanishes. Currently 3 hints to what the fruits do are shown – in a harder mode, there would be less or even no hints.

I’m currently taking part in Critical Hit 2015 in Montreal, an incubator for experimental wearable games. This week, we started our first prototype! The God of Randomness teamed me up with Owen Bell, Milin Li and Mónica Rikic – so 3 of our 4 members are programmers, but luckily my team members are also great at wiring, sewing and making. The theme for the first game was “mini & forbidden”.

The Concept

Our first thematic impulses were to make something with either witchcraft/voodoo or bacteria. This quickly lead to the idea that somebody is ill and must be cured by one or multiple people, possibly using magic. From there we got to our current idea: Two people are ill – their heart rate, body temperature and digestion are either two high or too low – and both try to get healthy before the other one does. To do that, they eat fruits. Each fruit raises or lowers one or two of the aforementioned properties. (To keep it replayable, those effects are randomly decided at the start of each round.) It’s a logic puzzle: The players have to find out what each fruit does by eating them, then look at their current status and figure out which fruits to eat to get healthy. In the end version of the game, there should be neither screen nor keyboard: The players actually eat real fruit with specially made forks that can sense fruit types and wear aprons with LEDs showing their status.

After we got that game idea, we found Pixelate, a “Guitar-Hero-style eating game which detects food you are eating”. We did our own Arduino sketches and fruit resistance experiments, but were heavily inspired by the fork they used.

But enough text – have a few pictures of us working on it over the week!

Working on the Game

Owen testing fruit resistence (photo by Mónica)

Owen testing fruit resistance (photo by Mónica)

 

An early fork prototype...

An early fork prototype… (photo by Mónica)

 

...and an early digital prototype to test the game mechanics  (photo by Mónica)

…and an early digital prototype to test the game mechanics (photo by Mónica)

 

Science! (photo by Mónica)

Owen used Science! It’s very effective. (photo by Mónica)

 

Working on the real fork (photo by Milin)

Working on the real fork (photo by Milin)

 

I have NO idea how they broke, I swear! (photo by Milin)

I have NO idea how they broke, I swear! (photo by Milin)

 

The MakerBot Replicator 2X printing our fork case (photo by Milin)

The MakerBot Replicator 2X printing our fork case (photo by Milin)

 

The finished fork prototype! (photo by Milin)

The finished fork prototype! (photo by Milin)

 

More Science! (photo by Mónica)

More Science! (photo by Mónica)

 

Fruits and vegetables after a day of electrical resistence testing (photo by Mónica)

I wish I could say that no fruits/vegetables were hurt during the electrical resistence testing, but, well… (photo by Mónica)

 

The glowiest of all aprons ♡ (photo by Milin)

The glowiest of all aprons ♡ (photo by Milin)

 

The latest digital prototype for playtesting

The latest digital prototype for playtesting

The Playtesting Session

On Friday, all the games made this week were put through their paces to find out what works and what should be improved next week. We didn’t have our physical parts ready yet, so the digital prototype I made had to substitute for the full experience. I occasionally tested with people over the week, but never with two people who hadn’t played before – and (in retrospect unsurprisingly) it didn’t go very well: Most people didn’t figure out how the fruits worked. Other complaints were that the feedback is too subtle and/or lacking, that the two players barely interact and that the competition doesn’t put enough pressure on the player. Another thing that didn’t work out well was using fruits: Some people thought those fruits have effects like their real counterparts, while the effects are actually randomized each round.

I talked a lot at the end with Tom Fennewald, who participated in the playtesting sessions. Among other things, he suggested that the basic mechanic of the game is fine and what is really missing is adjustable transparency as difficulty: Show what the fruits actually do to start it out like a tutorial, then slowly make it harder by hiding effects.

We will try this and other ideas that we had next week. I’m looking forward to see where this is going!

Oh, and I definitely learned one thing: I should test things more and earlier.

I’m currently taking part in a Concordia summer program called “Critical Hit” in Montreal, Canada. It’s about making games – and, more specifically, about making experimental games using wearables. The first week was more about getting to know each other, getting several workshops (among others for using Pebble and Muse) and playing urban games with each other before the actual jamming is going to start.

I did make one game this week though: Chronic the Hedgehog, an Urban Game on escalators about persuading strangers, made in about 1 hour together with Jessica Blanchet, Grayson Earle and Titouan Millet.

(Video taken by Jessica Rose Marcotte)

The game is played with two teams, two escalators, two cups, a dice per team member and a lot of unsuspecting strangers.

One team starts at the upper position, the other one at the lower position. I will explain the game from the lower team perspective – the other team just does the same mirrored.

To prepare the game, the lower team places a cup in front of the downstream escalator. Then each team member takes a dice and they queue in front of the upstream escalator.

Once the game starts, the first team member steps on the upstream escalator. They cannot move their feet – they have to stand on it until they reach the top. In the meantime, they try to get a stranger on the parallel downstream escalator to take their dice and put it in the cup on the botton of the downstream escalator. If they succeed, this team member is done. If they don’t, they have to take the downstream escalator to go down again and queue for another try.

Once your team member reaches the top, the next queued team member can start.

The goal is to be the first team which has all their dice in their cup.

And yeah, that’s the game. It was a bit chaotic, but pretty fun.

If you want to read more about the first week, take a look at the recap post on the Critical Hit website!

PS: Here’s a picture to appease the preview thumbnail generation gods of Social Media.

Chronic-the-Hedgehog

After doing dailies a few weeks back, I’ve started working on my first bigger generative art project: A chimera generator which fits slices and parts of animals together collage-style. And now I’m finally done! I proudly present:

#031: Chimera Maker

Chimera Maker

Remember all those times when you
really needed a weird animal generated?

Now there’s an app for that!

Get it in the Android Play store for free!

Download it for Windows/Mac/Linux!

 Open the Unity WebGL build right in your browser.
(That’s takes a really long time to load though.)

All generated pictures are licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Original picture credits:

031_chimera_maker_01     031_chimera_maker_02     031_chimera_maker_03

031_chimera_maker_04     031_chimera_maker_05     031_chimera_maker_06

031_chimera_maker_07     031_chimera_maker_08     031_chimera_maker_09

031_chimera_maker_10     031_chimera_maker_11     031_chimera_maker_12

031_chimera_maker_13     031_chimera_maker_14     031_chimera_maker_15

031_chimera_maker_16     031_chimera_maker_17     031_chimera_maker_18

031_chimera_maker_19     031_chimera_maker_20     031_chimera_maker_21

031_chimera_maker_22     031_chimera_maker_23     031_chimera_maker_24

Four weeks ago, I started doing daily generative art Processing sketches – and now I am at the end of this fourth week. I’m glad I held on to the “do one sketch every day” mantra, even when I wasn’t feeling inspired – I made some pretty fun stuff this week. Alright, let’s dive right in!

#022: Tentapus Generator

That’s right – it has 10 legs, not 8! I really like how the legs always look so different. While generating, sometimes it almost looked like it was dancing. I might actually use this in a game one day – it certainly looks like it would be fun to play with.

s15_03_22_tentapus_generator_01     s15_03_22_tentapus_generator_02     s15_03_22_tentapus_generator_03

s15_03_22_tentapus_generator_04     s15_03_22_tentapus_generator_05     s15_03_22_tentapus_generator_06

#023: Thorny Path

A rehash of #022. Looks kind of plant/thorn-like.

s15_03_23_tentacle_frame_01     s15_03_23_tentacle_frame_02     s15_03_23_tentacle_frame_03

#024: Fruity Planets

One of the absurdest things I ever made and definitely the star of this week! It was so much fun generating images and thinking up stories for the different planets. The basic concept of “planet with a radial collage” is taken from the amazing book Generative Design which I cannot recommend highly enough. The original images were dedicated to the Public Domain and are taken from http://creativecommons.photos.

s15_03_24_fruity_planets_01     s15_03_24_fruity_planets_02     s15_03_24_fruity_planets_03

s15_03_24_fruity_planets_04     s15_03_24_fruity_planets_05     s15_03_24_fruity_planets_06

s15_03_24_fruity_planets_07     s15_03_24_fruity_planets_08     s15_03_24_fruity_planets_09

The first of these pictures even recieved a small poem by my friend Marina Bahlke:

With silent steps the tigers try to walk
their applejuicy-drippy paws make stalk-
-ing antelopes way too hard

they sizzle, crackle, slosh and crunch
and before having air as lunch…

…they enjoyed a fine meal in one of the palaces and lived happily ever after.

Thanks a lot! That’s already the second piece of fanfiction I get for making, uh, “art”.

#025: New Emoticons For A New Century

Because the old emoticons were boring, our robot overlords have generated new ones. Rejoice! (What do you mean, you can’t type a reverse F on your keyboard? Get a better one!)

This might not look like it, but of all my generative art dailies, this has taken the most work. I actually revisited it multiple times on following days to add things, like a hat or side decorations. It was fiddly to get right, but I am very pleased with the results!

The font used is FreeSans by GNU FreeFont.

s15_03_25_new_emoticons_for_a_new_century_01     s15_03_25_new_emoticons_for_a_new_century_02     s15_03_25_new_emoticons_for_a_new_century_03

s15_03_25_new_emoticons_for_a_new_century_04     s15_03_25_new_emoticons_for_a_new_century_05     s15_03_25_new_emoticons_for_a_new_century_06

#026: A Handful Of Characters

The title already alludes to it: What you are seeing there isn’t totally drawn with simple lines and curves, but composed out of font symbols that aren’t necessilary looking like the normal letters of the alphabet. The resulting images are interesting – and what’s more, it offered me an excuseto use my beloved fonts Mara’s Eye, Mage Script and Were Wolf, haha.

The fonts in the pictures are: Iokharic, Mage Script, Mara’s Eye and Visitor Script by Neale Davidson, Magzetician Regular by GrandChaos9000 and WereWolf by GemFonts.

s15_03_26_a_handful_of_characters_01     s15_03_26_a_handful_of_characters_02    s15_03_26_a_handful_of_characters_03

s15_03_26_a_handful_of_characters_04    s15_03_26_a_handful_of_characters_05    s15_03_26_a_handful_of_characters_06

s15_03_26_a_handful_of_characters_07    s15_03_26_a_handful_of_characters_08    s15_03_26_a_handful_of_characters_09

s15_03_26_a_handful_of_characters_10    s15_03_26_a_handful_of_characters_11    s15_03_26_a_handful_of_characters_12

#027: FormWeaver

Another part of the Weaver series (see #09 and #09b), experimenting with drawing faint lines between points. This time, the results look a bit like linen spanned between points and illuminated from behind.

s15_03_27_formweaver_01    s15_03_27_formweaver_02    s15_03_27_formweaver_03

s15_03_27_formweaver_04    s15_03_27_formweaver_05    s15_03_27_formweaver_06

#028: Isles

A shiny sea-with-isles generator. I think it’s a worthy end to my 4-week-daily series!

s15_03_28_isles_01     s15_03_28_isles_02     s15_03_28_isles_03

s15_03_28_isles_04     s15_03_28_isles_05     s15_03_28_isles_06

Download

Windows (32 bit)

Windows (64 bit)

Source Code (GitHub, MIT license)

Instructions:

  • Tentapus Generator:
    • Left-click to refresh.
    • Right-click to refresh, but keep colors.
  • Thorny Path: Left-click to refresh.
  • Fruity Planets: Left-click to refresh.
  • New Emoticons For A New Century:
    • Left-click to refresh.
    • Right-click to lock/unlock a tile.
    • Mouse wheel to change font.
  • A Handful Of Characters:
    • Left-click to refresh.
    • Right-click to switch between modes (mirror, circular).
    • Mouse wheel or +/- to change font.
  • FormWeaver: Left-click to refresh.
  • Isles:
    • Left-click or X to refresh.
    • Right-click or C to refresh, but keep color palette.
    • Middle-click or V to refresh, but switch colors.

If you’re not on Windows, fret not; for some reason I can’t compile for Mac and Linux, but you can just download Processing and open the sketch files in the archive. It’s really straightforward. If you need any help doing that, just send me a mail or comment here.

And what does the future hold?

I already mentioned that this marks the end of my series of dailies. It’s not because I’m out of ideas and even less because I’m getting bored of it: Quite the contrary on both accounts! The reason is simply that the dailies eat a lot of time that I would sometimes rather spend researching generative art techniques – and that I have several ideas that don’t fit into the daily format. So from now on, you can expect bigger results. Thanks for reading, and please join me next time too!

And thus, the third week ended. It had its hits and misses, but I learnt new stuff and I’m especially content with the three dailies at the end! And now, without any further ado:

#015: Probably a Metapher for Something

On the other hand, maybe it isn’t. Let’s… let’s just skip this one, okay? I guess it’s safe to say that it didn’t go where I wanted it to go.

s15_03_15_probably_a_metapher_for_something_01

#016: Hypnotic Eye

This one didn’t really go where I wanted it to go either, but luckily, sometimes cool things happen while you’re experimenting. The video recording didn’t have a high enough frame rate to show how it smooth it really looks, but I recommend downloading the processing sketch or an executable – it feels pretty hypnotic full screen and with a high frame rate.

s15_03_16_hypnotic_eye_01      s15_03_16_hypnotic_eye_02

s15_03_16_hypnotic_eye_03      s15_03_16_hypnotic_eye_04

#017: Circuits

This one is inspired by a chapter of Generative Design about stitching together simple SVG shapes in a grid to form more complex patterns. I wanted to try making circuit-like images, so I designed my own shapes in Inkscape. Fun, but man, this took some time doing for the first time – the sketch uses 36 shapes, and everything had to correctly align. I like the results though, some parts look really interesting!

s15_03_17_circuits_01     s15_03_17_circuits_02     s15_03_17_circuits_03

s15_03_17_circuits_04     s15_03_17_circuits_05     s15_03_17_circuits_06

#018: Cloudy Tunnel

Another one in the category “I thought this would look better”. It’s kind of like a more boring version of #013 (Fissures). Oh, and it serves as a reminder for me – I wanted to go somewhere entirely else with that, but I forgot my goal along the way because I didn’t keep switching back to my reference.

s15_03_18_cloudy_tunnel_01     s15_03_18_cloudy_tunnel_02

#019: Insect Generator

Ha, this one is fun! Originally I just experimented with using perlin noise on circle drawing, but then I realized that the results look kind of like insects with the right parameters. While I experimented further, I discovered that a certain parameter makes them look very alien and glitchy. That parameter is part of the sketch now, slowly escalating on each result, leading to a tour from normal earth insects to otherworldly abominations.

s15_03_19_insect_generator_01     s15_03_19_insect_generator_02     s15_03_19_insect_generator_03

s15_03_19_insect_generator_04     s15_03_19_insect_generator_05     s15_03_19_insect_generator_06

s15_03_19_insect_generator_07     s15_03_19_insect_generator_08     s15_03_19_insect_generator_09

#020: Forest of Lights

One of the few sketches where I have a concrete inspiration – this time from the manga Soul Eater. The trees with the light balls on top of it fascinated me, so I tried my hand on generating something similar. It was a bit hard to get something decent looking despite using 2D graphics without cool premade lighting effects and shaders, but in the end a bit of cheating (the tree shading is totally randomized and even though they are reminiscent of low-poly models, they are fully 2D, haha) got me close enough to where I wanted to go!

s15_03_20_forest_of_lights_01     s15_03_20_forest_of_lights_02     s15_03_20_forest_of_lights_03

s15_03_20_forest_of_lights_04     s15_03_20_forest_of_lights_05     s15_03_20_forest_of_lights_06

#021: Gradient Skyline

And the last of the pack! This one uses palettes again to create interesting color combinations, but this time I’ve learnt my lesson and picked them by hand. Also, for the first time: Gradients. And pixel line shifting.

The following palettes are used (and highly recommended): Thought Provoking by Miss_Anthropy, cheer up emo kid by electrikmonk, Ocean Five by DESIGNJUNKEE, fresh cut day by electrikmonk, (◕〝◕) by sugar, Dance To Forget by joy_of_summer, Storming Psychedelia by Bionic Blender, Gamebookers by plamenj, A Dream in Color by madmod001, Hymn For My Soul by faded jeans, Koi Carp and 400 Lovers by Tzadkiel, it’s raining love by tvr, vivacious by plch, antidesign by death—of—design, mai by lovelyrita and Pop Is Everything by jen_savage.

s15_03_21_gradient_skyline_01     s15_03_21_gradient_skyline_02     s15_03_21_gradient_skyline_03

s15_03_21_gradient_skyline_04     s15_03_21_gradient_skyline_05     s15_03_21_gradient_skyline_06

s15_03_21_gradient_skyline_07     s15_03_21_gradient_skyline_08     s15_03_21_gradient_skyline_09

Download

Windows (32 bit)

Windows (64 bit)

Source Code (GitHub, MIT license)

Instructions:

  • Probably a Metapher for Something: Watch. Contemplate. Close. Move on and try something else.
  • Hypnotic Eye: Left-click to restart.
  • Circuits: Left-click to refresh.
  • Cloudy Tunnel: Left-click to refresh.
  • Insect Generator:
    • Left-click to refresh (and increase alien glitch)
    • Right-click to refresh (and reset alien glitch)
    • Mouse-wheel or +/-: Cycle through coloring options
  • Forest of Lights: Left-click to refresh.
  • Gradient Skyline:
    • Left-click to refresh.
    • Right-click to refresh, but keep palette.

If you’re not on Windows, fret not; for some reason I can’t compile for Mac and Linux, but you can just download Processing and open the sketch files in the archive. It’s really straightforward. If you need any help doing that, just send me a mail or comment here.

And now, once more into the fray! I’ll do a fourth week of dailies, and then I’ll change the format a bit. I’ve got some experience with smaller sketches now, but I wonder what I could do with more time – so instead of daily sketches, it’ll be one or two bigger sketches a week. But for now, you can look forward to the next and last round-up of dailies next Sunday. See you then!

And the second week is over! I had some interesting and diverse results this week. I’m especially fond of the Silk/LightWeaver and some of the results of Stormy Weather look very dynamic.

#008 – Silky Smoke

A variant of #006 (CircleTrails), inspired by this video where Casey Reas talks about the circle collision thing that #006 also uses, but with drawing lines between them. Silky Smoke works in a similar way, but isn’t about drawing a persistent picture and more about the movement created. It looks okay, but I have to admit that I was hoping for more.

s15_03_08_silky_smoke_1     s15_03_08_silky_smoke_2

s15_03_08_silky_smoke_3     s15_03_08_silky_smoke_4

 

#009 – SilkWeaver

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce the star of this week: SilkWeaver! It’s not self-praise if I’m praising the results of a program I coincidentally, right? Either way: Aesthetically, I these are the best pictures I’ve created so far. And the complex patterns are created quite simply actually: It’s another variant of #006, but this time, there are lots of little circles wandering and some bigger circles called “weavers”. When a weaver intersects with a circle, it draws a line from the center between the two to the center of the little circle. That’s all the magic!

s15_03_09_silkweaver_01     s15_03_09_silkweaver_02     s15_03_09_silkweaver_03

s15_03_09_silkweaver_04     s15_03_09_silkweaver_05     s15_03_09_silkweaver_06

s15_03_09_silkweaver_07     s15_03_09_silkweaver_08     s15_03_09_silkweaver_09

s15_03_09_silkweaver_10     s15_03_09_silkweaver_11     s15_03_09_silkweaver_12

 

#009b – LightWeaver

My friend increpare noted that the images made by SilkWeaver are too dark, and yeah – he’s right. So I looked up how to use the additive mode in Processing. Turns out, that’s just a single line – and now my SilkWeaver is a LightWeaver. When you start the sketch, that’s the standard mode – with “m” you can switch to the SilkWeaver mode. You know, if you like Silk more than Light.

s15_03_09b_lightweaver_01     s15_03_09b_lightweaver_02     s15_03_09b_lightweaver_03

s15_03_09b_lightweaver_04     s15_03_09b_lightweaver_05     s15_03_09b_lightweaver_06

s15_03_09b_lightweaver_07     s15_03_09b_lightweaver_08     s15_03_09b_lightweaver_09

s15_03_09b_lightweaver_10     s15_03_09b_lightweaver_11     s15_03_09b_lightweaver_12

 

#010 – Homage to Mondrian

I guess the inspiration here is quite clear. The variation with the zig-zag lines also looks fine and more interesting than I thought it would.

Before #010 I’ve just randomly generated colors, but I thought that this calls for a few handselected palettes. Luckily, the ever-wonderful ColourLovers has API access! I tried to make it call the API on runtime, but sometimes the call timed out because the site was taking so long to load – so now I’m just using a downloaded version of the result XML.

While I’m content with the result in general, when it came to taking screenshots I wished that I had handpicked the palettes instead of choosing randomly from the ColourLovers top list. Some are really interesting, but others simply don’t have enough contrast. Well, lesson learnt I guess.

(I’m sorry that I don’t have any idea whose palettes I’m using here – they are randomly selected from the top 100. If I’m using your palette, please tell me and I’ll credit your here!)

s15_03_10_homage_to_mondrian_01     s15_03_10_homage_to_mondrian_02     s15_03_10_homage_to_mondrian_03

s15_03_10_homage_to_mondrian_04     s15_03_10_homage_to_mondrian_05     s15_03_10_homage_to_mondrian_06

s15_03_10_homage_to_mondrian_zig-zag_01     s15_03_10_homage_to_mondrian_zig-zag_02     s15_03_10_homage_to_mondrian_zig-zag_03

s15_03_10_homage_to_mondrian_zig-zag_04     s15_03_10_homage_to_mondrian_zig-zag_05     s15_03_10_homage_to_mondrian_zig-zag_06

 

#011 – Stormy Weather

This one had a long way behind it. Lots of circles attached to other circles, in turn attached to other circles, every rotating. At first it was constantly drawing and resulting in a thing that kind of looked like an ugly ball of wool. Changing it to motion blur led to the results below – much more dynamic-looking!

s15_03_11_stormy_weather_01     s15_03_11_stormy_weather_02     s15_03_11_stormy_weather_03

s15_03_11_stormy_weather_04     s15_03_11_stormy_weather_05     s15_03_11_stormy_weather_06

 

#012 – Calibrating, Please Wait

“Calibrating, Please Wait” got its name because it reminded me of how zooming/targeting display are sometimes displayed on TV – as if it was trying to get the right settings, but they are never quite right.

s15_03_12_calibrating_please_wait_01     s15_03_12_calibrating_please_wait_02     s15_03_12_calibrating_please_wait_03

s15_03_12_calibrating_please_wait_04     s15_03_12_calibrating_please_wait_05     s15_03_12_calibrating_please_wait_06

 

#013 – Fissures

Again, lots of little lines, rotating and moving, with additive blending. I guess I’ll have to experiment further with that technique as it always seems to have interesting results. In this case, it kind of looks like a very old scratched glass panel (or shard of ice) with fissures and light shining from the other side.

s15_03_13_fissures_01     s15_03_13_fissures_02

s15_03_13_fissures_03     s15_03_13_fissures_04

#014 – Noisy Forms

Last one! Polygons with 3 to 8 points and a random rotation determined with perlin noise according to the polygon radius. Not the most glorious way to finish the week, but I guess there are good and bad days, eh?

s15_03_14_noisy_forms_01     s15_03_14_noisy_forms_02

s15_03_14_noisy_forms_03     s15_03_14_noisy_forms_04

Download

Windows (32 bit)

Windows (64 bit)

Source Code (GitHub, MIT license)

Instructions:

  • Silky Smoke: Left-click to refresh. Right-click to switch between white/color modes. +/- keys or mouse wheel to change hue.
  • SilkWeaver: Left-click to refresh. Right-click to pause/resume. “m” to change blending mode (Lightweaver [default] or SilkWeaver)
  • Homage to Mondrian: Left-click to refresh. +/- to change speed. 1 to 9: Set scale. i: Switch between drawing or instant. s: Switch between straight or zig-zag.
  • Stormy Weather: Left-click to refresh. Right-click to pause/resume.
  • Calibrating, please wait: Left-click to refresh. +/- to change speed.
  • Fissures: Left-click to refresh. Right-click to refresh and draw instantly.
  • Noisy Forms: Left-click to refresh.

If you’re not on Windows, fret not; for some reason I can’t compile for Mac and Linux, but you can just download Processing and open the sketch files in the archive. It’s really straightforward. If you need any help doing that, just send me a mail or comment here.

And that’s it for the second week. Considering how small the results look, it’s surprising how taxing it can be to actually do a sketch a day (and to make videos, pick screenshots and do all the other things needed to publish the results). But I’ll keep at it at least for four weeks in total – some days where I felt particularely uninspired, like on the days I made Stormy Weather or Fissures, still had great results. The “I have to sit down and make something” now is a great if somewhat uncomfortable cure to “I feel uninspired”, apparently. Either way: See you next week!

Hey! If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, by now you’ve probably noticed that (true to my tagline) I mostly post games that I make – but sometimes, it’s also other stuff. The “other stuff” might get a bit more from now on! I’ve been getting into generative art, and I’ve decided to make one generative art sketch per day until I get bored with it. Every Sunday I’ll post the results of the week with screenshots, videos, executables for Windows and the processing source files. And if you’d rather see me making games, don’t worry – making interesting and potentially beautiful things with code can only help making my games look better, can’t it? And now without further ado, I present to you week 1!

#001 – ShardSphere

First one in my daily series! Mostly inspired by Generative Art Chapter 5. I really like the beginning when it comes to life out of nowhere.

s15_03_01_shardsphere_1     s15_03_01_shardsphere_2

s15_03_01_shardsphere_3     s15_03_01_shardsphere_4

 

#002 – ShardCircle

A rehash of #001. I was wondering how it would look in 2D. Turns out: Pretty good. Even more as in #001 I like the how it appears with a swoosh like a swarm of little shards.

s15_03_02_shardcircle_1    

s15_03_02_shardcircle_3     s15_03_02_shardcircle_4

 

#003 – TriangleChain

Things don’t always look like I envisioned them, and #003 is a very good example of this. So along the way I thought if it doesn’t want to look like I want it to, I’ll just add silly perlin noise motion to it and call it a day. (Perlin noise is SOOOO good.) You might notice that it has much clearer colors than #001 and #002 – here I discovered the joys of the HSB color mode.

s15_03_03_trianglechain_1     s15_03_03_trianglechain_2

 

#004 – CubeSphere

Originally inspired by this crazy thing. To keep the color scheme interesting but also fluent and consistent, I have 4 different functions: “noise(sin(angle t))”, “noise(cos(angle t))”, “noise(cos(angle t) + sin(angle t))” and “noise(sin(angle s)) * noise(cos(angle t). I generate 4 random weights at the beginning to set how each of those functions contributes to the color at the angle t and s. Voila: Different patterns and colors, but consistent and flowing into each other.

s15_03_04_cubesphere_1     s15_03_04_cubesphere_2

 

#005 – Fireflies

This is the one that strayed furthest from its inspiration, and all the better for it. Because gosh, does it look good, and it looks even better in motion. And it’s fun to play with too!

Originally, I was inspired by a scene in the Rule-of-Cool-anime Campione: Lots of flying swords acquiring a target at the same time and then flying towards it. Turns out that looks really boring in 2D without great graphics and sound effects, but the trails looked nice. And it looked even more interesting with colors and just as little glowing dots.

And so, one by one, I arrived at some sort of space fireflies harvesting white orbs for light, always flying, piercing, glowing and looking out for the next one.

s15_03_05_fireflies_1     s15_03_05_fireflies_2     s15_03_05_fireflies_3

s15_03_05_fireflies_4     s15_03_05_fireflies_5     s15_03_05_fireflies_6

s15_03_05_fireflies_7     s15_03_05_fireflies_8     s15_03_05_fireflies_9

 

#006 – CircleTrails

This one started out as me rewriting an example from Generative Art Chapter 6 without reading the code and only reading the description. It looked delightfully different, and with the addition of different modes (black, greyscale and color) even more so.

The chapter’s title is “Emergence” – having complex forms and behaviour emerge from much simpler behavior. And so, in CircleTrails, there are lots of invisible circles just flying around and bouncing off the borders. Those aren’t the circles that you can see in the images – those are drawn whenever two invisible circles intersect with the center point as the circle center and the distance as the circle radius.

s15_03_06_circletrails_m1_black     s15_03_06_circletrails_m2_greyscale

s15_03_06_circletrails_m3_color_1     s15_03_06_circletrails_m3_color_2

 

#007 – Blobs

Last one of the first pack: A collection of blobs, fighting for dominance. It’s not working out very well for them, but more so for us as we get to enjoy the results. Over time, the images feel a lot deeper and richer textured and get an oily look.

s15_03_07_blobs_1     s15_03_07_blobs_2

s15_03_07_blobs_3     s15_03_07_blobs_4

 

Download

Windows (32 bit)

Windows (64 bit)

Source Code (GitHub, MIT license)

Instructions:

  • ShardSphere: Left-click to refresh.
  • ShardCircle: Left-click to refresh.
  • TriangleChain: Left-click to refresh. Space to show UI.
  • CubeSphere: Left-click to refresh.
  • Fireflies: Left-click to spawn a sphere and to deactivate auto-spawn-mode. Right-click to refresh.
  • CircleTrails: Left-click to refresh. Right-click to change mode. +/- keys to speed up/slow down.
  • Blobs: Left-click to refresh.

If you’re not on Windows, fret not; for some reason I can’t compile for Mac and Linux, but you can just download Processing and open the sketch files in the archive. It’s really straightforward. If you need any help doing that, just send me a mail or comment here.

And that’s been it for the first week. See you next Sunday for the second one!

In my studies at the HTW Berlin, I had a course called “Independent Coursework” where I could choose to work on any project relevant to my studies. I chose to work on a Kinect multiplayer game which should also be interesting to watch. Most important to me was that the game uses what the Kinect does best in my opinion: Spacial movement. I didn’t want any repetitive gestures, just a direct relationship between the players and their avatars. So, together with my fellow student Jana Leinweber I set out and developed, and a few months and a dozen iterations later we had this:

KinectMagic

Create spells! Attack! Defend! Dodge!

Tactical spellcasting meets fast reflexes in this
duel game for two wizards and a Kinect v1.

Download for Windows

Credits:

  • Tobias Wehrum: Programming, Game Design
  • Jana Leinweber: Game Design

With assets by:

Thanks to Tobias Müller for recording the video with me!

Here is a quick summary of the spells:

Throwable projectile.

Throwable projectile.

Multiple poison clouds pop up at random positions around the enemy. Poison damages enemy for a while.

Multiple poison clouds pop up at random positions around the enemy. Poison damages enemy for a while.

A lightning cloud appears over the head of the enemy. Shortly after, a lightning bolt strikes.

A lightning cloud appears over the head of the enemy. Shortly after, a lightning bolt strikes.

Multiple small throwable projectiles.

Multiple small throwable projectiles.

Creates a shield around a hand of the player, blocking one projectile or lightning.

Creates a shield around a hand of the player, blocking one projectile or lightning.

Creates a temporary air field around the player's hand which can reflect projectiles.

Creates a temporary air field around the player’s hand which can reflect projectiles.

Heals the player. Cures poison.

Heals the player. Cures poison.

A throwable projectile that heals the throwing player afterwards if it hits.

A throwable projectile that heals the throwing player afterwards if it hits.

Destroys all of the other player's gathered spells if he doesn't use them quickly enough. Does damage for every destroyed spell.

Destroys all of the other player’s gathered spells if he doesn’t use them quickly enough. Does damage for every destroyed spell.

Slows time inside a bubble, making every projectile slower and more easily dodgeable.

Slows time inside a bubble, making every projectile slower and more easily dodgeable.

Apart from striving to make the game fitting for the unique capabilities of the Kinect, we also tried to adhere closely to the principle of counter-play: Every action should be interesting for the attacker and for the victim.

A few examples of counter-play in our spells:

  • Projectiles are interesting to target/throw and it is also fun to evade them.
  • If the enemy hoards spell containers, you can use an Energy Storm. This sucks for the enemy, but he can still quickly react and choose which spells to use.
  • Air Blast can be used against a projectile-heavy enemy, reflecting those projectiles – but they still have to be targeted well.
  • Heal helps the player, but while he heals he is busy and defenseless.
  • If the enemy has an Air Blast or a Slowing Bubble, that might be the perfect time to hoard new spells – or to use a Poison Bubble.
  • The enemy has a Shield? Use a Stone Strike – if the enemy blocks it, the Shield breaks on which was only 1/3 of the damage.