A game “about exploring space to find art, while at the same time learning how to fly around in a graceful way. There isn’t any scoring system or way to lose, instead it’s all about self improvement and judging your own performance.” It features gorgeous water color art, too. Worth giving a go, I’d say.
A strange set of divination cards, meant to be art, but might be very cool to use as a prop in a game some time…
These designs for carnival outfits and floats from the beginning of the last century look absolutely fabulous, in a weird way. I wish I could see some of these as photos, too.
An interesting set of “predictions” for the future of computing, with the usual pretty pictures to accompany them, from a Frog Design led workshop. What I find a shame is that most if not all of it is about quantification and optimisation of utility. No new experiences.
Month: May 2010
links for 2010-05-30
A short piece on the workshops James Rojas runs to get people’s ideas on urban planning issues. He lets them build cities using various colorful objects, many of them found. The results are often stunning.
Mooi werk van Alper, een bak statistieken van het CBS dat digitaal stof stond te vangen toegankelijk gemaakt voor iedereen. Ziet er ook nog eens lekker clean uit.
This was the last week of my stay in Copenhagen. Coming Sunday it’s back to the Netherlands. As usual leaving feels bittersweet. There certainly things I’ll miss about being here, not in the least our lovely apartment in one of the city’s nicest neighborhoods. And the many great cafés. But there’s a lot to be said for being in Utrecht, too. I have so much stuff going on there, it got a bit tiring towards the end managing it all remotely.
So this week…
- I went over to Malmö to meet with Dan Gärdenfors at TAT and with Jonas Löwgren at MEDEA. In both cases there is reason for follow-up; it looks like there might be a TAT-Hubbub concept video about pervasive play and mobile UIs on the horizon, and I might come back to MEDEA to do some teaching.
- I had a marathon Skype session on wednesday. Talking to all my students who are now nervously prepping for their mid-terms. As well as sessions with Claudia and Karel in preparation of the urban games festival in Leidsche Rijn we’re assisting with.
- I lectured (and ran a little playtest of an audience game I’ve been tinkering with) at CIID. Look for a full report and annotated slides at the Hubbub blog, soon.
And now, it’s time to do a few more touristy things and then pack, and head home. The next weeknote will be Dutch flavored again.
links for 2010-05-26
Some pretty disturbing news from Sweden about youth gangs. (If you like me don’t read Swedish, Google does a pretty good job of translating this.) The article posits that the way kids get caught up in these gangs is through abusive games such as ‘slave deck’ but I think that is taking it too far. If there’s any play at work here, it’s young people mimicking the dog-eat-dog world of business. That might be a cynical reading of this piece, but there you have it. More likely than some evil ruleset subverting kids into becoming mafiosi.
“URBLOVE is a service that in an innovative way combines urban exploring and games, with user-created content. It is both a service for location based mobile games mainly in urban areas, as well as an online community where these games are distributed. On the web community users can create their own games and share their experiences with each other.” I had a chat with one of the girls behind Ozma recently and what I liked the most about the platform they’re building is the decidedly low-tech approach they’re taking. Urblove is text message driven, making it very accessible to young people who tend not to carry around iPhones and the likes.
links for 2010-05-25
“A wearable digital camera that is designed to take photographs passively, without user intervention, while it is being worn.” An idea that has been floating around the labs finally finds it way onto the market. Interesting.
A time tracking tool that is controlled by stacking wooden pieces. I’m working on a game design involving stacking physical stuff so this was intriguing to see. I like the aesthetic of the thing, although I am slightly doubtful of its utility.
“Back in 2006, early on a Saturday morning, artist Julien Berthier installed a new door in the city of Paris—but it was a fake door, leading nowhere, on an otherwise empty wall in the 3rd arrondissement.” Entertaining musings on in-between spaces, fake facades and urban labyrinths. Put me in mind of the Miéville novel I read recently.
links for 2010-05-23
The film of the Playmakers project, which chronicles the creation of a pervasive game by Alex Fleetwood and Holly Gramazio is now available online. It’s really nice to see the design process of a game demystified like this. There are also some nice reflections on pervasive games in general.
Ichi Face is “a new twist on a real classic, and it gets people scrutinising and meeting each other in an exciting and unusual way.” It’s essentially bingo with chopped up photo portraits. I love the look of the contraption where participants get their photo shot and also the quirky look of the print out materials.
“Avatar Machine is a system which replicates the aesthetics and visuals of third person gaming, allowing the user to view themselves as a virtual character in real space via a head mounted interface.” I’d be interested in donning this crazy contraption to experience life from a third person perspective in real time.
A pretty comprehensive (although slightly US-biased) overview of the history of location-based games. The last Area/Code example Kati London briefly discusses is of most interest to me because it deal with situated, applied game design.
links for 2010-05-22
“I don’t play videogames because I want to have competent, professional militaristic encounters with friends. I’d take Dangerous Mistakes In The Company Of Friends over competence any day. Sure, they may be mistakes, but they’re dangerous! They’re exciting! And sometimes, they make the game better than it ever could be when you play it “right”. I wouldn’t want it any other way.” It’s great how Tom manages to describe a hilarious episode in a Left 4 Dead session so well, it had me laughing out loud.
It as a real pleasure to be involved with two recent events that The Mobile City was at, too. This report is a nice reflection on both of them from people who have been thinking abut this urban computing stuff for longer than most.
So, some notes for the past week. They will be very short because there is not much to tell really. It was one of those weeks with a lull in between projects, and also virtually devoid of meetings, today being the exception.
I went over to LikeMind to catch up with my fellow Dutchman Mark, who seems to be doing great, living and working between Copenhagen and London. Not the shabbiest pair of cities.
I also had another chat with the guys running the U‑Turm project who seem to be making nice progress with the image tracking side of things and are now really getting into the game design. Which means, as I told them, they need to start iterating on the rules like crazy, doing paper prototype after paper prototype.
Aside from this I’ve been doing some preparations for PLAY, reaching out to creative teams and individuals who I’d like to see be part of the productions we’re going to be running. Getting lots of positive responses so that is great. I also posted some background on the work we’ve been doing so far for this at the Hubbub blog.
Julius and Karel ran a successful second urban games workshop in Leidsche Rijn for Cultuur19 last saturday. We are now gearing up to assist with NU Grounds, a games festival in the same neighborhood where there will be several urban games on offer. That’s going to take place two weeks form now and should be good fun.
The relative quiet this week has allowed me some time to tinker with Processing, particularly the Box2D library that Mr. Shiffman has put together. I’m just making a little silly software toy with that to kind of flex my flimsy programming skills. Nothing special but I might post some screenshots and maybe a screencast later anyway.
And also, I bit the bullet, installed XCode, and had a go at OpenFrameworks, mostly to have a look at some of the Box2D stuff out there that is controlled with OpenCV (a computer vision library). That seems to be a really nice basis for gaming in public space using urban projections and such. I don’t see myself working in OpenFrameworks though, it really is an increase in complexity as opposed to Processing. Still, by messing with it, I can now appreciate it better.
Next week is going to be my last one here in Copenhagen and looks like it’ll be slightly more busy, with another trip to Malmö and a lecture at CIID. After that it’s back to NL. Time really flies.
links for 2010-05-19
“The EyeWriter project is an ongoing collaborative research effort to empower people who are suffering from ALS with creative technologies. It is a low-cost eye-tracking apparatus & custom software that allows graffiti writers and artists with paralysis resulting from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to draw using only their eyes.” Well-deserved winner of the Prix Ars Electronica.
“By sloshing, squishing, pulling, punching, etc, in a tub of mud (yes, wet dirt), users control games, simulators, and expressive tools; interacting with a computer in a new, completely organic, way.” Mud, I wonder how that idea came into being.
links for 2010-05-18
This looks incredibly useful. Too bad I didn’t have it at my disposal while at Layar.