Addictive little game: Lexcavator
This is Boggle crossed with Mr Driller - a word finding platform game made by Adam Parrish. It’s addictive and fun! Available for free on Windows, Mac, Linux and it’s programmed with processing.py, which I’d be keen to get into.
Shadow Game finished!
It’s been a busy week finishing our game for the hand-in yesterday. We were working up until the due date, but it is a functioning product so I’m very proud of what we achieved. We had a lot of fun actually *playing* the games we made, so that counts for a lot. There are still some things left to alter and fix but it will have to wait until the holidays.
The game was designed by Thomas Hall, Matt Martin (Marty) and myself. We got the initial inspiration from our tutor Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath, and I think he’s been very excited to see this game come to life. Teams verse each other to create silhouette shapes, trying to match the displayed picture as closely as possible.
Thomas drew/sourced the silhouette images to play with, and made a button with a 4 metre cable so the team can take pictures while posing. Marty programmed the navigation, setup and highscore screen, as well as finding and adding sounds. I programmed the general functions, including taking the pictures with the webcam and calculating the scores. We used Processing (with libraries Minim and GSVideo), a Logitec webcam and Windows to run the game.
Bugs in the Processing Machine
Something changed on my MacBookPro recently that has messed up the video capture in Processing. It was working fine 2 weeks ago and now when I try to run a piece of code using processing.video / capture.run() it presents an error. Had I updated/changed the java runtime, or quicktime, or something to do with display drivers? Firefox? Maybe? I tried to find something online but haven’t so far. I went to JavaTester.org/version.html to check my java version, and the funny thing is when I go back to Processing, the capture function is working again!
So I have to have this particular page open in Firefox for my video capture to work??! If only I knew what was going on. Might do some re-installs of Processing/Firefox/Quicktime/Java and see what happens.
Contextual Research on Urban Installations and Data Visualisation
Building this urban flaneur data project (hereafter known as “Radio Stranger”), I’ve taken a lot of research on board: installation artists; designers; technologies and interactivity; programming; Arduino projects; and data visualisations. I’d like to highlight a few of the artworks and projects I’ve been impressed with and influenced by.
Artist/Designer: Candy Chang
Candy Chang’s installation community art projects are deeply inspirational and seemingly effective in instigating neighbourhood interaction. I am drawn to her work because of her desire to see positive change in urban communities, and the unique way in which she creates interactions. Exploring her projects was relevant to the way we could play with the city, because social interaction was the starting basis for our flaneur project.
Work: Hello Neighbors
"How can we better design our public spaces so neighbors can share this information, self-organize, and become effective agents in their communities?"
Candy Chang researched neighbourhood communication while studying for her Masters in Urban Planning. Hello Neighbors focuses on the need for interaction and local knowledge within an urban community, and how spaces can be designed more purposely for individuals. She advocates for greater democracy, saying:
"we need to consider whether public space can be better designed so that it is not necessarily allocated to the highest bidder but instead, reflects and facilitates the needs of communities and our fundamental well-being."
Understanding that people have social connections beyond the neighbourhood (such as at work, internet and by traveling), Candy Chang then recognises that there is still a need for informational connections and support. It’s a clever realisation, and today it’s sorely missing from many inner-city and suburban areas. Each citizen has local knowledge that could be shared within their community to create a wealth of knowledge and stronger bonds.
Our Radio Stranger project was an experiment to reach into the city and pull out interactions from the crowd. We wanted to engage the public and encourage them to play with our devices, generating communication and hopefully more sociability within the city. We aimed to use these interactions as our unique view on urban life and systems. With some re-engineering, we could remix our street walkie-talkie concept into something that provides a local information connection - instead of harvesting data from the city we could create it.
Artist/Designer: Candy Chang
Work: Mobile Air Quality
This project (by Candy Chang, Sarah Williams and Sean White) recorded and geo-coded carbon monoxide levels around Manhattanville in New York City, to be used on mobile devices as an informational tool. Users can look at air quality data pertaining to specific GPS coordinates in a street, and gauge the amount of pollution in the suburb as a whole. Candy Chang succeeds in providing a useful aid for individuals to learn more about their surroundings and suburb, in this instance bringing health to the forefront.
Something like the above is the perfect integration of technology + information + human interaction. It is usable, portable and informative. I like this visualisation in particular, for its clarity. The only thing it is lacking is the up-to-date element. It seems the data was only collected one time, and quantities of gases must be forever changing on a daily basis, so I question the accuracy.
We thought about collecting carbon monoxide data around the city, using gas sensors plugged into an Arduino board. It could have been very similar to this project here, but as real time collection, and focussed on a smaller area. Although we never used the gas sensors or GPS in our project, I love the idea of mapping data and interactions (okay I just LOVE MAPS). It would have added another dimension to our urban visualisation to actually place data on a map, and in my opinion made it much more useful. This seemed not to be the point of the project though… as I got the idea from the tutors that my thinking was too practical instead of conceptual. Like - getting the concept clear was more important than getting the technical part of it clear, and having a unique concept was the key.