Critical Hit 2015: Fruit Fever (Week 1)

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.

Chronic the Hedgehog, An Urban Game About Persuading Strangers On Escalators

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

Chimera Maker: What Has Science Done?!

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

Generative Art – Week 4

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

Generative Art – Week 3

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 Metaphor 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

Generative Art – Week 2

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

Generative Art – Week 1

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 company 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 will only help making my games look better. 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

KinectMagic – A Kinect Wizard Duel Game Prototype

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

KinectMagic – A Kinect Wizard Duel Game Prototype

Starship Command Center Pro, The Trial Version of a Global Game Jam 2015 Game

Somewhere in space, a lone starship discovers that the theme for this year’s Global Game Jam was “What do we do now?”. It also discovers that a very cool game was made for three players. And that there something is wrong with its Operating System.

Starship Command Center Pro

Starship Control Center Pro

Deep in space, nobody hears you scream
when the trial version of your OS runs out.

Not that screaming would do much.
Instead, you and your two friends now need to
figure out what the randomized buttons of the
free version of your system do.

Together, operate thrusters, cannons,
shields and a mining magnet, collect
gold and buy a proper license!

A cooperative and confusing space adventure
for three players with gamepads.

Download for Windows
GGJ page

Starship Command Center Pro (Global Game Jam 2015)

 

Credits:

  • Brian Davis: Idea, Game Design, Music and Sound Design
  • Mikko Lepistö: Art
  • Tobias Müller: Programming
  • Tobias Wehrum: Lead Programming

With sounds assets by Ricky SituCST 201 KaWilson and Jim Rogers.

The theme is used twice in our game – once in the game mechanic with players having to talk to each other what do to next because they need to work together, and secondly in the story: The trial version of our control system has ended and the result is a chaotic and unknown button layout, what do we do now?

We even satisfied a diversifier (sort of an achievements for the developers) this time: Noise Generator, “The mechanic of the game is based on players having to stay in constant communication with each other.”

Fun fact: Originally we wanted to do the controls Spaceteam-like with custom controls on multiple smartphones – buttons, sliders, rotatable knobs. It took us over a day to get it to connect and run smoothly between Android and PC, only to find out that using controls on a touch screen while looking at another monitor felt awful and (apart from buttons) was nearly unusable. So after that day of work, around 5 in the morning, I spent 30 minutes to program replacement gamepad controls. It worked perfectly and felt good.

Catcher – Particles & Tutorial!

After a master’s thesis and a few months of freelance work I finally hadtime to work on Catcher again!

The new release features:

The self-made score server was needed after Scoreoid, the service I previously used, decided to silently cease service and take all of my player’s scores with them. At first I thought it was just a short outage, but after a few months of not even being able to access the backend site it seems they just died silently. Time to depend more on the things I make myself, I guess.

Here are a few screenshots from the new build:

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It feels so good to be back. Expect more updates in the coming months!