A VR experience where you can explore this house–listen to music, watch TV…
Name: Yiqi Chang
Tech: Unreal Engine 4, Oculus, MagicaVoxel and Photoshop
Concept: I simply want to make a simple VR experience where you can really walk around in this house, drink something, watch something, listen to something and relax–like you really would do in your home. Continue reading →
I played ZZT, which is basically about you control a character by keyboard or mouse to collect keys and win scores while keeping alive. It offers several worlds for you to choose from but most of them are about you finding the keys to escape the squared world while avoiding being killed by creatures. However, these worlds are not linear or unidirectional. Each of them often includes dozens of room or scenes where you can choose to enter and often need to move back and forth among them. The gems or ammo you collect in one room may be used in another, so the order also matters. In addition, I feel like some rooms are designed to be trap which you would never have the chance to survive once you get in. I found the most interesting, or immersive, part is when you enter a “dark room”, you cannot see anything without a torch. As it shown in the picture below, the sight you have here is consistent with the character’s–you do not simply control it but become it.
The design is very old-style, with blue and black background and pixelated items, and somehow reminds me of Star Trek. However, although it is an abstract 2D game, many scenes and places are realistic. Like the City Hall, Bank and even the Tourist Info Center are all places exist in real world. Moreover, there are two color modes–monochrome and color. I tried monochrome once but felt less immersive since the circumstance becomes more like computerized and stresses its nature as a computer-based game. As the picture show, the interface makes those places flat–they are simply combinations of text and graphics instead of icons that can evoke users’ imagination.Its background music, however, is simply formed by sounds effect and looping most of the time. Hence, it does not contribute to strengthening the sense of “being there”, but it still is reasonable given the fact that it is a 2D graphic and even single-player game.
I have to admit that this game is way much harder than I imagined, and I am also never a good game player. It took me a lot of time to figure out what I need to do to run this game but even way more time to not die in 1 minute. I was so nervous as I gradually made progress and entering another room but found out I have no ammo anymore while there are hundreds of creatures lining up and trying to kill me. Nonetheless, ZZT is very additive even though you can die very often.
Description: Our project, as the title entails, is highly user-oriented. By letting the tree grows, the user can enters into different pages where he/she can make choice, including favorite color, shape, flavor and so on. The process of making choice is helping the user find his/her parts of identity. And at the end, a special animation will be generated by the user’s choice.
How the project works: By pressing Right Arrow on keyboard, users can make the tree growing gradually. At each branches, users can click on leaves which will lead the user to different pages. The first page will let the user pick his/her favorite time in one day–by dragging the pointer to the desire time. The next choice would be user clicking on his/her favorite shape. Similarly, the user can choose his/her own favorite flavor color and flavor. The last choice would be the user types in certain sentences to respond the prompt. After all this, the user can click on the last branch which will generate an animation page specially based on all the choices the user made. Continue reading →
In this article, Greene introduces the history of net art in detail, including the origin of this name and how people develop it collaboratively by creating a series of projects. Diverse as they may be, I think the key property of net art is the strong interaction between art pieces and audience. Especially those two projects “Kings Cross Phone-In” and “404.jodi.org” require audience to become one of the components of the project itself and thus the experience and outcome are highly personalized. Also, net art can be viewed by anyone at anytime as long as there is Internet, which distinguishes it from traditional form of art and makes it much more wide spread. However, as Greene also mentions, the openness of net art causes problem for net artists. On the one hand, it is even harder for them to make money than traditional artists since most of them are spread online for free; on the other hand, monopoly also happens. As Greene mentions, web addresses, as a component of net art, are controlled by “mainstream media and corporate juggernaut”, which to some extent may restrict the ability and creativity to build net art work.
But still, I believe that as internet becoming more and more diffusive and people’s need of art growing, although it still needs to find a way to balance between commercialization and artistry, net art would develop prosperously.
To some extent, these two readings explain why IMA major exists. Instead of treating “hacking” as a pure technical and science-oriented subject, the author suggests that it should be connected to art more. To me, the beauty of programming is never how to design a website or software but what I can design. That’s why I agree with him saying that “debugging is good, rather than just write on a paper ”. Personally, I find that debugging can help me understand the logic behind much better. By figuring out why the code I thought would work but doesn’t, I can remember more clearly and make improvement next time.
The other interesting point is the author’s proposal that hackers should separate job and interest to solve the problem that hacking and painting are hard to combine in big companies. It’s a really attractive idea to let you make a living and design following your heart simultaneously, which can not only make money but also improve yourself.
However, I don’t agree much on his comparison between hacking and science where he says that “hackers start original, and get good”. I think hackers’ design also build upon others’ work. For me, it’s hard to come up with a good idea by just sitting there and thinking. I’d like to browser other’s work and look for inspiration, which can be seen as a form of remix as well—reproducing by merging my own thoughts and developing it.
This article emphasizes the importance of drawing skills and “step-by-step” design process even under the machinery era. It argues that computer serves no more than a tool that enables people to substantialize their idea. I do find out that my lack of drawing skill hinders me to make better visual design. Different from debugging mentioned above, I think maybe visual design should be planned on paper beforehand and gradually find out how to achieve it by computer.
(Notes: because of the secure settings of browsers, please open this link in Firefox to experience the whole story. )
You wake up, finding yourself in an unfamiliar room and cannot remember anything, so you get up and see the bottles on the floor; after you clicking on them, you will see the related flashback: a man entered this apartment with these drinks. Then you move on and see a phone on the table. There is a message and if you click on it, you will hear a voicemail one man leaves. Then you move forward and open the purse on the floor and find a picture of the same guy. By clicking on it you see the process of you taking that picture. Then you look up and see the dead body lying on the floor. You click on him and see the scene which he tries to have sex with you but you really do not want to; you are fighting with each other and finally he is dead. Then the webcam would be accessed and your face would show up on the screen with the words “Hi killer”.
Benjamin, in his article “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical and Reproduction”, discussed about how mechanical reproduction influence the value of art. He mentions that mechanical reproduction has strengthened the exhibition value while the cult value is undermined or even eliminated in photography and movies. I found the idea that he describes photography and movie as forms of reproduction really interesting, as it jumps out of the traditional definition of “reproduction” as a identical copy but introduces the concept of “process reproduction”. What role do photography and movie play here is re-present pieces of art in a way different from the origins but serving a particular need. For me, I think the most revolutionary value of photography and movie is, they reproduce every visual piece and leads the audience to perceive the world we see everyday in a way they want us to see. As Benjamin also mentions, “the progressive reaction is characterized by the direct, intimate fusion of visual and emotional enjoyment with the orientation of the expert”. We are forced to pay attention to those part that the reproducer wants us to see, which I think is the most important and inspiring value of reproduction.
Description: Our project presents the sound in metro. On loading, the general background sound will play; by clicking on different characters, the sound that particular people generates will add to the track. At the end, if all sounds are loaded, they will follow a given beat and thus form a song.
Process: Our project can be divided into three parts: collecting sounds, creating an interactive website and combining sounds with beat. Continue reading →