Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Some tutorials are available online

Hi everyone,

If you are like me thus need to see something done to get it I can suggest some websites. 24 hours playing with sketchup and I still couldnt get it LOL. Youtube saved my life...why did I didn't think of that at first. I have come across some tutorials.
google sketchup tutorials.

On this site some videos are free (most are not) but they are good if you are interested in 3ds Max or Maya.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Green Gardens In Space

Oh I forgot the film is Translucent to provide for stellar scenery and provide for Photo-synthesis.

Green Gardens in Space: Future Cities

Hey Guys,

Speaking about the Cities of the future here is an idea I came across and developed. As you know I have my own project, but a true artist has such a pound in their heart they must let it flow out:)

These are just crude thumbnails of a story board, but I felt inspired to share it with you. Quite literally a sky rise:)

Check out the history of inflatable space stations:


In this version, which I developed, there is a 3-d garden that grows in zero G. Quite possible; see the studies done with the vomit comet.


For long term space voyages and sustainability this is a really good logical approach. Please excuse the thumbnails since I haven’t drawn in a long time.

The modules on the shaft of the vessel are a combination of atmospheric inflation ballasts, Bio-enrichment growth, recycled sustainment, and hardened quarters for the crew to survive radiation impact from the sun. The outer lightly outlined shell is a film similar to Mylar; easily deployable and provides great volume to the ship, or city :)

Enjoy :)

Processing Pong by Arturo and Anton

Highest score so far 59! Not so easy at it seems:-)

OK, I had to remove the applet and instead link to it, because different browsers acted completely stupidly! and we have no idea why. So, just click on the link and play it on the server.
Next up is to add sound, save the highest score and maybe be able to enter your name.
Tip: the cursor MUST be inside the window, otherwise you cannot move the paddle.

Keep your eye on the ball!!! it accelerates as you get better, ha!

The world of Escher representation

This is a representation of what I intent to do with the video game. I want to create an atmosphere of lost and disorientation, where the player have to find his way out (like a puzzle).
I made this 3D model with Rhino, so I created a grid of curves that were extruded to make them interlock. Then I added stairs in different orientations to create the feeling of being lost. The spheres are there to provide the player with a landmark to inform him his location. After that, I rendered it with simple plastic material, and in photoshop, I added people and made it into a sepia color.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Beginning

This is the start of the game engine that I am developing in Adobe Flash with ActionScript3.
It allows the character to move left(press left or A), right(press right or D), and jump(press up or W). Note: it is usually necessary to first click on the movie rectangle for the game to work.

Zelda is a trademark of Nintendo.
Original sprite artwork by SemiJuggalo.

A brief rundown of programming with ActionScript3:

Variables - hold information relevant to the game and the status of the objects in the game
The AS3variable declaration format:

var variableName:VariableType = defaultValue;


zeldaJumping:Boolean = false;
leftKeyIsDown:Boolean = false;
moveSpeed:Number = 10;
zelda:MovieClip = new MovieClip();

Functions - manipulate the variables of the game and updates status information throughout gameplay
The AS3variable declaration format:

function functionName(inputName:InputType):outputType{...}


In this Flash movie, the character cannot jump when she is already jumping, because then she could jump the Moon and beyond! To prevent such inconsistencies, the status variables must be meticulously maintained so that at any given moment, everything you need to know about the character is available and valid.



I want to create a simple game. It can be extended to be something difficult, yet I want my project be simple :-) Here is description of my game. The code name is "FAB".

The structure is simple. You, as a player of a game, are able to control a character on the screen in a 3D space by moving your hands. I'm gonna use a motion capture stage and/or Wii remote control. I want to create something that can be considered as a "fly-as-a-bird simulator".
The 3D environment can be anything from Grand Canyon to Moscow city.

The rules will be simple. You have to fly from one place to another. Depending on the difficulty of the level, there will be obstacle like trees, buildings, and may be planes.

"What can you or cannot do"... That will be great if you can fly and do whatever you want. There will be no weapons, so you cannot kill anybody, but you should be able to land and fly again.

I hope that nobody has created something like this. So it's a kind of unique game. But, it is a simulator...

A character on the screen may be anything. It can be visually a bird, or a human, or a superman.

After the first version, new elements can be added to the game, so it might become an action or strategy.. But for the first version, I want to have a simple simulator of flying.

That's it for now.


Hope this works and I'm not bloging up the blog, but here it goes:

Here are the links for "Powers of Ten":

To see the film with out registration see:


Labyrinth in mind

I made a collage for this class as well to get inspire. And as I mention before, I want to create a futuristic city, but I didn't know how to Incorporate it in a video game. And yes I can create the atmosphere and all of those amazing things, but how do I make it interactive? How do I make it into a game? no idea, I don't know much about video games so I don't know what make a good game good. However, as I was making these collage with an image of one of Zaha Hadid's proposal for Dubai, I realize that was creating an "escherisc" atmosphere. So for my game I was thinking an making a futuristic building into a labyrinth (the building itself being the labyrinth), were the player have to find its way out in order to move to a different level.
The levels will be based on the complexity of the building.

By the way for those of you who don't know who Zaha Hadid is, she is an amazing urban architect with a very distict style. Rosenthal Center, Vitra Fire Station, and Land Formation-one are some of her work.

Game Elements

As you prepare your game presentation make sure you are able to answer some basic questions, such as,

What is the structure of your game? The rules? The challenge? What can you or cannot do?
Does it fit within an established genre or is it a unique form of gaming?

If you have characters write down a basic definition, the same if your game has a "backstory"

It is time where you should have some sort of flowchart that shows these elements in context, for example the structure, the modes of play (strategy, action etc.)

In any case use your textbook as a guide, which I assume, I hope correctly, that everyone has been reading on their own to guide them through the process depending on the idea that you have. Look for chapters that address your particular case.

At this point I would strongly recommend taking a look at Chapter 7 which deals with Gameplay. At the end of that chapter there is a very useful set of questions that you can ask yourselves in relation to your game.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What Will You Design?

This video brings out many issues that we can discuss. We are indeed at a place in the evolution of games and technology in general, where it is difficult to see ahead because of the steepness of the climb. We think we can foresee what is coming, but to do that we have to actually go back a bit. The timeline he presents is interesting but when it comes to our own ever-changing time, our future-present, we see an explosion of technologies and paradigm changes occurring almost simultaneously, because as Ray Kurzweil says, the Singularity is indeed approaching and we all know that as we approach a black hole (if we could) there is nothing to see, until we come out the other side, if there is such a thing!
Let's play!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Still wondering

My dream game is simply out of my league! Just for information I'm sharing that idea. I would have like to create villages and apply a virtual impact of the intensity of different earthquake strength and see how resilient the constructions would be.

I was also thinking about a drag and drop game about the proper sequencing of an action. But not sure...I'll think more about it!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Autodesk- Free Student Softwares

Hi guys I found this website, Autodesk, where you can download 3d softwares such as 3ds Max and more for free. Of course it is only for student. I think it gives you like a 6 month license.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Freezing Time

Looking for something that would give me an image of speed and destruction, I found a website that shows high speed photography and I found it fascinating. Here is the website:

Brenda Laurel on games for girls | Video on

Brenda Laurel on games for girls | Video on

Something I have been thinking about a lot. Does this still hold up?

MAME means no more coins

MAME stands for Multi Arcade Emulator Machine. It is fairly lightweight and ROMS of most leading arcade games are available online. The emulator can be found at

A good site for finding your favorite games is

Couldnt resist putting up the MK3 logo there

Exploring Alice

Ideas Ideas

To tell you honestly, when Dr Sinclair announced that we had to make a game for the class, I checked the calendar to see if the deadline for de-registering was already past. It was. So here I am thinking about all the awesome games i have played over the years and wondering how the hell do i match that.

In terms of actions, i have been going over the free tutorials at Saw a nifty video about dragging and dropping a ballerina on ice, and voila, the 3d animation was ready. That gave me some hope. Also checked which is a free game development tool to make side scrollers. Tried one of their demo games and it seemed alright. Am going to think more of themes and see if i can come up with something. One things changed for good over the last week - at least i think i can do this :)

As a sidenote, i have been playing the free version of Sony's MMORPG Free Realms, and it is a blast.

Happy button mashing -
Aramar Mistdweller.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Process towards a world of entropy

Having the idea of a futuristic city/environment, the word entropy came to mind. So I went online to find more information about it, and I found one of the definitions very interesting to conceptualize. According to Wikipedia, entropy is the “measure of a system's tendency towards spontaneous change”. Out of that I kept speculating on “spontaneous change”, and the word liquid popped out. I became very interested in making the game’s environment in a constant physical and speed change, according to the player’s interaction with objects. In my mind it works perfectly fine, but I don’t how can I graphically do it or what technology to use. Any suggestions/commends/ideas/ will be gladly appreciated.

Here is some of Salvador Dali's painting that inspired me:

Project idea

First off, I think blogger ate my last post that I saved. I came back and it was gone, so I am writing my idea again to see what you think.

Anyways, after much thought and multiple ideas, I came down with two good ideas for games for the final project. After a long and hard deliberation, I have decided to choose the newest game idea since it seems a lot more interactive than my other one.

My idea consists of a world alike "Fallout 3", a vast barren wasteland with multiple geological places. However my idea contrasts from that land of the other game due to other geographical locations, such as swamps and mountains.

You will also have stats in the game such as shooting, repairing, healing, etc. with chances to improve these skills through experience. The game will also force the player to eat/sleep otherwise the player will not work to his maximum potential.

The other main idea of the game is the option to start your own town (with a predetermined location for the villages to be located in the beta). There are advantages and disadvantages for having a village/town. If you create a town and allow people to live in there, you can choose to have them choose an occupation (farmers grow food, doctors heal the sick, scavengers.... scavenge to find anything that they can bring back and use). However, the bigger the town the more mouths you will have to feed and more micromanaging you will have to do. It will also draw attention of the nearby "gangs" that will try to ransack your village (and kill/injure anyone in the process).

You can also choose between good and evil. Become a pariah of the world, or an evil overlord. A wise leader, or a savage serial killer. You can also become a mercenary and do whatever, to even a watcher, who just watches the world fall apart around them.

Finally, the towns have advantages and disadvantages based upon where you build yours. For example, building a town in a prairie gives you a good view of the surrounding areas and a moderate haul back/travel for scavengers, but it has no real defensive bonuses to attacks. Meanwhile, a mountain has a high defense and offense position, but has a slow scavenge/travel time to the town due to the scavengers climbing uphill.

There are other ideas that I can not sadly think of right now, but I will try posting at another time. The only thing that I am having problems thinking of is the story-line, and where the ending should be ( I have the opening idea already thought up, but can't seem to think of anything to lead the story along thus making the experience too open-ended).

So what do you guys think?

Next step Holodeck

Here are three videos of holographic technology in action.

SO now we know the technology is there, how do we as designers/artists/hackers use it to our advantage? This is clearly going to have a huge impact on the game industry as well as almost all fields of media. I checked out the company that supplied the Japanese team with their holographic display and they are already rolling out kiosks that are going to project holographic advertising and dispense coupons. Minority Report here we come. This also raises a question of ethics since eye scanning technology is available and now holograms, should advertisers be allowed to scan our biometrics (or make use of available biometrics) to create ads that specifically target an individual?


Generation M2

In a large scale, nationally representative survey, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, with 24/7 media access via phones, game devices and other entertainment media, kids, ages 8 to 18 devote (like in religious devotion!) an average of 7 hours 38 minutes per day engaged with this media. If you consider the fact that most kids multitask, the actually manage to pack 10 hours and 45 minutes, according to the study.

This is a very comprehensive study involving thousands of kids,. You can see the full text and charts HERE.

I investigated this after reading a front page article in today's New York Times called Children Awake? Then They're Probably Online.

Just as a side note, another study on the same subject, this time by an article in PC Dome Magazine, Hungary and the Budapest University of Technology of Economics, lists the following:

‘I like replaying
computer games because …’. Nine groups of possible reasons were given:
● It is interesting, thrilling, entertaining and relaxing (223).
● It offers new things to explore; one can find new details (117).
● There are more ways to complete the game; it varies in each replay (104).
● One can reach a higher score, get a better routine and achieve better performance (66).
Professional games and players’ motivations 123
● Does not like replaying games (53).
● One can try new strategies—active experimentation (38).
● It strongly depends on the game; only the very best games can be played over and over again (30).

This short paper about Perceptions of Player in Game Design, from the University of Tampere in Finland offers some insights in the relationship between designer and player. It could be useful to read it as you begin designing your game:-)

Should a game have a goal?

Usually games have some kind of a goal: collect something, kill/protect someone, e.t.c. Even musical games like Guitar Hero have a goal. In my case, I want to use a motion capture system to create/change music in real time, but unlike Guitar Hero, I don't want to restrict a player to play certain notes. So the question is: can we have a game without a goal?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Unique Blend of Music and Gameplay

One of my all time favorite video games is called Rez, released on the Playstation 2 in 2001. It interweaves the progress of the game with the unfolding of the soundtrack: as you fly through cyberspace blasting away at the enemies you face, the beat will evolve and the gameplay becomes progressively more stimulating. The entire soundtrack is electronic music(breakbeat/house), so if you like this kind of music, I think you would love this game! The name Rez even comes from a house track of the same name by the UK group Underworld.

This game is an amazing fusion of sounds and visuals - a fantastic display of synaesthesia.

As the character evolves through the aquisition of powerups, their appearance changes:
pulsating squares (initial state of being)
wire-frame model
solid body
Buddha ball
energy ball
and finally...
the all powerful space baby!!! (2001: A Space Odyssey reference)

The game was received very well, getting an A+ on and a 10/10 from Eurogamer, and numerous other high praises. In 2008, the game was relased in HD on the Xbox360. Hopefully a Rez 2 is on the horizons!

The space baby in action:

The video below is part of the final level, featuring Adam Freeland's track Fear. It gives a better view of the style of gameplay outside of the boss fights.

References: (Level 5 Movie, better view of actual gameplay)

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I don't really play video games. I had a regular Nintendo as a kid and liked playing Duckhunt. Later on I had a brief period where I enjoyed Dr.Mario. The closest I get is playing Bejeweled occasionally.

But even I couldn't ignore it when status updates started popping up on my facebook newsfeed. I would assume that the person next to me was studying on their laptop and then be proven very wrong. It seemed like everyone I knew was playing it. People are compulsively checking their facebook accounts. I'm talking about Farmville, a virtual farm game that is played as an application on facebook.

In Farmville the objective is to raise crops and livestock. Zynga, the company that made Farmville is also responsible for Mafia Wars, Cafe World, and Fishville. These games are also played as applications on facebook. The company makes money through ad sales as well as direct payments from players -- you can use real money to purchase in-game credits.

What is interesting to me is how many people I know play it as well as the social aspect of it. Being more popular in Farmville helps your gameplay. Your facebook friends have the option of becoming your neighbor and helping you out. This element of the social web is what I suspect is the key to its popularity.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help is in our hands

From the book: Solidarity Will Transform the World by Jeffrey Korgen

There are some points in life when every other thing is secondary. This is one of those moments, when millions of people are terrified and with a very grim future ahead.

We are all connected. Our group is like a family, we will work together for months, in some cases we will make friends forever. Our fellow student Christine Irvika, is from Haiti, let's hope that her family is well and let's keep her in our thoughts. She is part of this family.

In two days more than 4.5 million dollars have been texted to aid in this disaster. We can help right from where we are.

Call 90999 on your cell phone and text "HAITI." You will be charged $10.00 on your phone bill, the money of which will go to the Red Cross.

If you want to send goods instead, this is one suggestion, since it goes directly to the closest point of contact (their neighbors in Santo Domingo), "official aid" always takes too much time at a time when hours make a difference:

The Centers of the Company of Jesus in Dominican Rep. (Santo Domingo: Bono and Alberto Hurtado Center; Santiago: Center Bellarmino and CEFASA; Dajabón: Border solidarity) has established an aid network to help the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. They are accepting the following :

- Can Kidney beans
- Can sausages - Can Sardines - Can Tuna - Saltine crackers
- non-perishable Milk - Fruit juices in non-perishable containers - Nonperishable Foods.

- Oral rehydration serum - Gauzes - Cotton - Analgesic (acetaminophen, ibuprophen) - - Elastic Bandages - Antitetanic Toxoide - Human antitetanic Ganmaglobulina - Antibiotic (amoxicifilina, in suspension and/or tablets) - Antiseptic (type yodopovidona, or type soap of clorhexidina) - sanitary Towels

Please send no clothing
You can send your contributions to the following addresses:

- Bonó, c. Josefa Brea N. 65, Mejoramiento Social, Santo Domingo.
Tel.: 809-682-4448.
(You need to activate Javascript to see this web.)


- Centro Alberto Hurtado, Av. Jiménez Moya N. 37, (al lado de
Inazúcar), Santo Domingo

Johnny Chung Lee Projects

I saw this a long while ago. Johnny Lee was a student at Carnegie Melon University who saw the wii remote as a highly accessible interface technology within the consumer market. He even did three projects that showed off the capability of the remotes.

Here is a small report that the show "Attack of the Show" did on him a long while back:

You can also find his youtube account here, as well as his wii project website here.

A quick note on interactivity and design

First Arturo, Nice video on circuit bending. I have seen circuit bending before but the cool part of the video was seeing kids do it, not a digital artist or someone with money. You could also tell the kids were really getting a kick out of it while simultaneously discovering something.

I would like to quickly say something on interactivity and art and its relation to game design. One might say a key feature of digital art is "interactivity"(not always true). The critique of this "interactivity" is that spectators will often figure out the trigger and than attempt to "game" the work, therefore undermining the value of the work (unless of course this is the intended outcome of the artist ;).
This also holds true of games and game design. If players discover an exploit within the game system, and i'm not just talking computer games, they will abuse this loophole (it's human nature) unfortunately this poor design that has lead to the discovery of the exploit undermines the experience of the game, creating a boring and broken environment.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Music by Resistance

This is a video response to Francesca's post on the Computational Sketchbook and the Lilypad Arduino. Although it is a really old idea (I built something like this more than 20 years ago) it is only now that technology is no longer a threat to the common folk to embrace its multiple uses and faces.

I like the idea of "circuit bending", of breaking guarantees, of DIY as an empowering learning tool. This relates as well to Glitch art , something which we are very familiar here at DW (just ask Pat, our resident glitch artist!). Please research this subject as it is related to modern art and to artists and concepts that you will see or hear often mentioned in some of these classes.

The concept is very simple and anyone can (and should) do it. I won't go into details here because there are so many examples out there, but this one is a nice tutorial. It costs next to nothing to get the parts at Radio Shack or from arturo:-) Basically you have a power supply (a battery) that feeds a very basic circuit, and this circuit drives a little speaker. The idea is that instead of connecting wires you use the resistance of things such as skin, water, and practically anything that conducts even a minimal amount of electricity, and this resistance is what changes the pitch of the sound.

This is the principle of the biofeedback circuits that are used for medical purposes, for games, simply to relax or in my case to drive a cursor on the screen, which could be used for a game as well or to help people with paralysis use their galvanic skin response to control something.

This next video show an early prototype from which this particular circuit evolved. You can see the kids are having a whale of a time while learning by playing.

These are children from the Drishya community, that come from India's urban slums. It is a very empowering environment that gives destitute children a real chance to succeed in life and to help others as well.

Opening the door to least I'll try

I am excited to be in this class. However it is a bit scary. No talent -don't know how to draw- but I love arts. I am not a gamer - last time I try was like 18 years ago...couldn't pass the first level of Mario. So what am I doing in such a class. The answer might be in Marc Prensky book: "Don't bother me Mom I am learning". Kids (and of course adults) are fascinated by games. Let me illustrate with an experience that happened 1 year ago while I was vacationing in Guadeloupe. I don't know how to use a PS (the sony console) thus when a friend came over with one for a pajama party I was just fascinated. My godson usually break everything he touches and need countless of information to play a simple puzzle (he was 6). When he woke up and saw my friend with the PS he ask to borrow it and for 6 hours non-stop he played; without asking any explanation. Since then I decided I should know more about games. Of course time forbidden, I had never had the time but as I am enrolled in a class I will dedicate plenty of time to the field.
Hi there.

I think that my projects will be something with the Organic Motion stage. Mainly because it is easy yet interesting for me now. I'm thinking about controlling the sound/music from the Organic Motion stage.
During the last class, we were told that Games and everything in the game should have a story.. While that might be try, I personally like games that do not have a long story. For example, I really like (has anybody seen or played it?). I think that games without long stories behind everything are also playable and enjoyable.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

outside of the screen...

I am really interested in sensors and microcontrollers that can create works of art with a craft aesthetic. The Lilypad Ardiuno is a wearable and washable microcontroller that I am looking forward to working with. Working with humble materials such as paper or fabric has always appealed to me. I would like to attempt to make a game that you could take with you or maybe even wear. I found this example while searching for examples of projects with conductive paint:

Friday, January 8, 2010

Project Natal and jumping the Fourth Wall

Video Games loom over other forms of entertainment in a significant way, they are much less bound by the fourth wall – the distance between the actors and the audience. Though most video games have grandiose themes - where players typically command gargantuan armies and civilizations, create cities, wield cutting edge weaponry, perform cool stunts beyond the Matrix, or rock the bejesus out of thousands of screaming fans – their success largely depends on how much can they engage and immerse the player. Video game designers employ many techniques to this end – from improving the realism of animation effects, to using atmospheric sounds, to incorporating engaging, emotional storylines with top notch voice acting (like David Hayter’s gravelly Solid Snake in the Metal Gear series).

The Wii commercialized a revolutionary idea of engaging the audience, letting them control the

character on screen through physical gestures instead of mashing buttons on a controller. However, players still depended on a “Wii-mote” to communicate with the console, and hence the range of motions was limited to simplistic arm gestures. Microsoft’s Project Natal is a bold new step forward in immersing the player physically into the game world.

The technology behind the Natal relies on a simple monochrome camera to capture a player’s motions. Though not as advanced as the motion-capture cameras used by films, it claims to reflect most player actions within 10 milliseconds and to recognize any object introduced before the camera within 160 ms. A 3d projector captures the player’s body motion, without any needs for sensors or physical attachments, The motion is compared to a database of human physiology to determine the movement and translate that onto the screen action. IGN has posted an interesting video presentation from the Consumer Electronics Show which can be seen here.

The implications of the technology are immense. It could be an engaging, fun solution to couch potatos’ weight woes and bring fitness into the living room. It could be employed to operate computers and other devices via gestures. It is a step forward in technology’s transition towards gesture and voice driven operations, reminiscent of Pranav Mistry’s exciting TED talk. Gaming is in for exciting times ahead.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Playing Games

What exactly is a game?

St. George and the Dragon
Paolo Uccelllo
1470 National Gallery, London

Eric Zimmerman says in Narrative, Interactivity, Play and Games that

"A game is a voluntary interactive activity,
in which one or more players follow rules
that constrain their behavior, enacting an
artificial conflict that ends in a
quantifiable outcome."

Can you deconstruct this definition and see if everything holds up to scrutiny? Can you volunteer another definition, an even shorter one around which we can see the difference between games and other kinds of play?

We can also ask questions like, do games need to involve humans? can two computers, or robots play a game? or is awareness of self necessary? Let's find out!