Jeff Anderson, developer of Groboto, has kindly sent me the link above. It points to his new blog, where he´s posting images made with the beta for the new version of the program. This is very good news for two reasons: it means that the work is advancing at a good pace, and it shows that it is advancing in the right direction. Several of the pictures he has posted are screen captures that show the program´s interface (after you click on a picture for the first time, notice that there´s an icon over its upper-left corner that allows you to see the full size version). The controls shown look reasonably intuitive and the images, impressive. If the rendering speed is as fast as he claims (this picture was rendered in just three seconds) and the interface is as easy as to not interfere with creativity, Groboto may be truly one of the most interesting programs since William Latham released Organic Art (V2 will be the first version for both windows and macOS; V1.6 already stands as one of the most unique and interesting programs of its kind for the mac).
The next evolution will be leaner and meaner, with some cool features you might not expect.
Dave Kerr has released an update of aiplanet, the open source dynamic ecosystem simulation. Furthermore, he has also announced that a new version is in the works, one that, in his own words, will be “a radical improvement on the first version”. He is working on a new engine, called AIR, which will add new features and make development much easier. Aiplanet V2 will probably take many months to be released, but it is already very good news to know that new work is being done.
Besides this announcement, it also worths to read the interview that Tom Barbalet, from Biota, made to Dave just a few days ago. The interview gives an excellent overview not only on the underlining principles behind aiplanet, but also on the development process of an amateur project. Continue reading Aiplanet: back on air
To allow browsing of information in a passive and relaxed way, we have developed a prototype personal digital assistant (PDA) terminal with no buttons at all. By operating the terminal with simple tilting and shaking gestures, contents such as movies and music can be enjoyed.
In a former article (see below), I wrote about the increasing importance of what I called “gestural control”, which I had already been following in relation to musical intruments and seems to be slowly finding its way into everyday life (it even went mainstream when it was used in the videogame “Black&White”, for instance). In this case, Hitachi shows us a little neat device, merely a screen, where several icons (bubbles) literally “float” around. Tilting the device will displace those bubbles in such a way that when one of them gets to a “hotspot”, located in the center of the screen, it will reveal its contents, which the user can select in the same way. A second different gesture, that of shaking the device, provides a means to “go back” or deselect the current feature.
We’re not quite ready to announce release dates for the beta or final versions, but we though we’d update you on our progress.
* Mac OS X & Windows Versions
* True 3D
* Real Time Editing with Full Rendering
* Real Time Bot Editing
* New Interactive Animation Tools
* Shadow Casting & Local Lights
* Fully Editable Primitives.
* Fantastic Proprietary Texture Mapping
* And much more…
Groboto has been defined by its authors either as “an intuitive 3D art tool”, or, more modestly, as “an amazing 3D program where kids can create cool images through the exploration of math, science, and art”. However, this is a piece of sotware which defies categorizing since it touches many different fields. Its key point is that of growing both organic and inorganic- like shapes, (hence the Gro-), that emerge from the trail left by a Bot (hence the -boto). In this sense, Groboto reveals an inheritance from the Logo language as much as from the principles of Evolutionary Art. In version 1.6 (the one I bought), it was possible to tweak the organic shapes, crossbreed them, evaluate the offspring from several points of view and use the selected individuals as parents for the next generation, among many other things. Actually, it was even possible to create games based on the bots´ behaviours (I didn´t go that far, though). Although the main view Continue reading Groboto 2.0 in the works
Our philosophy that complexity is not necessary for fun, and that it is possible to have fun even with basic primitives given a compelling interaction and goal.
Born by the initiative of four students at the Carnegie Melon University, Experimental Gameplay is as much a project as a manifesto by which the participants commit themselves to make games under three constraints: one person, one week, one topic, an attitude which parallels that of the Dogma 95 filmmaker movement.
In a situation where mainstream videogame developing is quickly moving towards the same practices of film industry, with evergrowing companies and games which aspire to comprise as many different experiences as possible, it seems a paradox that some young creators want to refine their skills by putting boundaries to their work. However, there are in fact many benefits in doing so: a seven day deadline underlines the need for accuracy and self criticism, both in analyzing the problem and giving solutions to it; that the work must be all done by oneself forces to face all the elements of game creation, which will result in a better understanding of the teammates in bigger productions; and limiting the subject focuses the problem, thus stimulating creativity and putting the technical and craftmanship skills to a test. Moreover, an emphasys is made in that the main goal is not to show off those skills, to output “tech toys”, but to make playable games: wise words! Continue reading Dogma05: Experimental Gameplay
For most people, the thought of going into space and exploring such sights is an impossible dream. But no longer; Noctis allows you to do just that.
Warning(1): if you only like games with luscious graphics, surround sound and the like, this game is not for you.
Noctis is a space exploration game which relies much more on your imagination than on your computer’s graphics card. This fact, and also that the controls are difficult to understand in the beginning, will discourage many from trying it. However, those adventurous people who aren’t afraid to put something of their own in the game will embark on an amazing journey into the realms of the unknown. There’s a peculiar sensation which accompanies the traveller when finding a planet to which no one has ever been before, releasing the pod and landing, to be finally confronted with a surreal landscape of vivid, silent colors, spattered with odd trees and animals; when walking along the shores of vast seas, along the walls of vast ruins; when drifting among endless words of endless stars…
I personally don’t mind that this game looks as though it is from another era. It is, literally, another universe. And even though I wish there was some investor out there that could help it develop to its full potential, and I dream on how a crossbreed between Noctis and Mojoworld or Bryce would look like, I just love it the way it is.
Warning(2): if you plan on trying the game, be sure to update your imagination’s drivers 😉
Since the sound that we hear is created right in the column of ultrasonic energy, it does not spread in all directions like the sound from a conventional loudspeaker, instead it stays locked tightly inside the column of ultrasonic energy. In order to hear the sound, your ears must be in line with the column of ultrasound.
Hypersonic Sound. Kinda redundant (“hypermusical music?”), but the concept is actually cool. Besides the examples given in the site I was thinking on an installation where people would wander around an empty space with hidden speakers placed in the ceiling, pointing to spots in the floor and changing positions slowly over time. It would be interesting to see how people react for the first time to these unexpected sounds, and how they do interact with them (for instance, if they try to catch up with them as they move, or try to find new ones). I wonder if we would get accustomed to the effect (I mean, when not warned of the sweet spot) if this technology ever got into everyday life: walking down the mall could be like crossing a “sound mined” field. And I wonder what would happen if two sound beams crossed in space…
Even though its development seems to have been stagnated for quite a long time, aiplanet is still a delicious piece of software which will always be worth downloading. The initial screen shows an empty blue sphere (actually covered by some water and an atmosphere too), which can be transformed into a living ecosystem by raising land, planting trees and placing animals on it. Are your oceans empty? just add some fish. Too much fish already? let the shark do its work. You can make all sorts of experiments in and with your small planet, from draining the ocean to flooding the lands, from modifying the climate to smashing asteroids (unless you place a missile defense, that is). All of this results in an experience which is half documentary, half game, and all fun. Thanks Dave, and good luck with your music!.