Plug-In : An arts coucil technology residency

Introduction | Research | Project Stage 1 | Project Stage 2 | Project Stage 3 | Results & Links

Project Stage 3

Final Zones

For the final program I created 10 different 'play' zones in one single application. Each zone would be accessible via a number key on the phone. Users can switch between zones at any time, allowing a 'bleed' effect where the residue from one zone would fade into another. The zero key triggers a small and cryptic help page, listing the zones by a single keyword that hints at the mode of interaction for that area. The zones are discussed in more detail below. You can also download a zip file containing short movie clips (avi) of each zone.

0 - Help (Menu)

This page offers one word descriptor hints as to what form of interaction is required in the subsequent zones. It also displays a 'demo-scene' style spirograph style dynamic form oscillating in the background.

1 - Divide

In this zone small particles drift an bounce around the screen. If the users cursor touches a particle then it splits into several more. Particles eventually turn red and die. The user has to keep splitting the existing particles to increase the complexity of the scene. The field is processed using a fake 'water' effect allowing particles to generate wave-like trails across the surface. As the scene becomes more complex incidental 'raindrops' are added to the scene, further perturbing the visual surface.

2 - Scatter

This zone represents a classic implementation of Conways Life(cellular automata) algorithm. This CA uses a very simple set of rules (If an occupied cell has two or three neighbors, the cell survives to the next generation. If an unoccupied cell has three occupied neighbors, it becomes occupied. Otherwise the cell is considered overcrowded or isolated and is removed). Even with such simple rules very complex behaviour can emerge from a chaotic system. The users cursor sprays random bacteria data across the surface, scattering potential CA lifeforms.

3 - Burst

In this zone firework-like particles shoot from the base of the screen and arc back to the ground where they bounce back up again. If the users catches a particle in the cursor box then the firework explodes. After a certain number of explosions the number of fireworks is increased making the scene more complex. With more fireworks the zone also increases the incidence of random sparks and fire-like forms at the base of the screen. Eventually the zone become saturate with color and moving particles.

4 - Gather

Trailing lines move around the screen, heading vaguely in the direction of the cursor. The longer they spend inside the cursor box the larger the trails become, also trigggering new trails to appear on the screen. The user can gather these trails from one part of the screen to another, changing their size and effect.

5 - Sketch

This zone acts like a semi-automatic spirograph. A looping geometric figure is sketched on the screen with the cursor position effecting the drawing parameters. This allows for a large range of forms to be generated.

6 - Type

Letters fall at different rates from the top of the screen, leaving trails behind them. If a letter is caught within the cursor box it is added to a word that is displayed in the center of the screen. Special characters such as delete and space allow the word to be edited further. If the word reaches 15 character in length it is wiped and the process starts again.

7 - Avoid

In this zone a particle chases the users cursor. If the users can avoid the particel for long enough it will grow in size and eventually produce another chasing particle. Collision with the cursor reduces the particle size. Long term successful avoiding will increase the number of pursuing objects to a large degree, also increasing the visual compexity of the scene with oversaturating trails.

8 - Grow

Skinny plant-like growths move erratically up the screen. On entering the cursor box they split into two seperate sprouts and continue on different routes. Repeated splitting causes purple buds to appear at these junctions and evetually on the growing stalks themselves.

9 - Link

In this zone the User must link white particles together by collecting them one by one. If the user accidentally collects the red particle then the whole chain breaks and must be rebuilt. Each successful chain built adds another white particle to be connected to the next chain. As more links are needed the red particle speeds up and the scene becomes more complex.

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