Making connections. On Twitter.

25 May

To people who stumble upon this blog or read it out of curriosity about my projects and thoughts, you might find this post a little odd and full of self grandure. This post is part of my degree requirements that say I need to act in a professional manner and seek out contacts in relevant fields etc.

With that in mind, heres some contacts I’ve started making!

Well, what I’ve actually done is start conversations on twitter and show off my work, hey, they tend to repost the stuff and get it seen by others too so, woo!

First off, I’d like to thank Ian Lobb, a talented flash game designer from the UK. He’s done some cool flash games for big names and currently co hosts the fantastic creative coding pod cast. What will I have to do to get mentioned on such a podcast? Who knows! But the first step is to get myself known to guys like him.

Well, that just prompted me to write a look back over the whole tech stuff behind my project. I think that these thoughts of why I did certain things and chose the tech I chose would be quite interesting to read anyway. So I wrote a rather lengthy post, I tried to keep it informal and a nice read, but it may have been too much for some.

Well look at that, Iain retweed me, great stuff! My blog got stormed that day, I had like 40 readers! Holy crap! Never had so many readers in one day on my blog. Interestingly, people stuck around for a day or two as well since I still had pretty high numbers the day after.

Gary (gsmokeyjoe.wordpress.com) is just showing off with the 300 he got when creative review tweeted about him.

Iain was even very nice and gave me some tips for the future.

I also got some mentions from older friends, the tech editor at activetuts.

I even started talking all tech with another dev who has dabbled in mind controlled flash:

So great! I’ve started to get noticed by some pretty awesome and well known flash devs. So what about work? Did I start contacting people about jobs?

Of course I did. I decided that I’d like to start developing flash games right now and do the more techy stuff as a hobby/side project type thing. So, with that in mind, I applied for jobs at a few places.

One of them being preloaded. They are a pretty awesome company. They dont just do flash games, they make iPhone apps, make installations and all sorts of crazy extra stuff. They are most well known right now for their flash games, they’ve won baftas for them.

I’m expecting to hear back from them soon in regards to an internship.

But thats not all!

I’ve applied to be a flash dev at Nitrome, a pixel art obssessed flash game studio. They are looking for a flash dev and also iphone devs, which is where I think my edge is.

The nice people on twitter told me so! So let’s see how that pans out.

There’s also the job that Lee lined up for me at Carbon Studios. This, however fantastic an opportunity, I don’t think is just right for me yet. They want a flash dev to handle all their work, and since I’m still quite unexperienced in studio flash dev, I would like to work with a team of devs so I can learn new stuff and pick up best practices rather than potentially be making a lot of industry mistakes and fumbling around by myself.

But wait! Theres more!

I’ve also applied to be a speaker at Flash on the Beach for 3 mins during what they call the “elevator pitch session” This is where they get 20 new comers and let them have three mins of stage time to talk about whatever they want. I’ve applied to show off my brainwave reading skills and to show people what can be done with the tech.

Hopefully I’ll get that, it’s sounding promising so far. I got a reply email with a positive response but I’ll have to wait till the end of June to find out about that one.

I’m pretty interested about being perceived as professional and I’d like to be known within the flash dev community for deving this kind of hardware + software crazy combo stuff. So being able to talk about it in a pretty large flash conference where people come from all over the world to hear people speak would be fantastic.

Loads of companies come to this event too, including preloaded!

So yeah, I’ve been trying pretty hard to get this project noticed by those who matter and trying to get myself a cool job. Will have to see what the future holds I guess.

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neurosky’s mindwave – I have one now

24 May

Today I took deliverance of my very own Neurosky branded Mindwave.

An affordable brain wave reading headset.

It was super easy to set up too, I managed to get it up and running with the flash example within minutes. Great stuff. Weirdly, I noticed that acts exactly the same way as an arduino when you plug it in. You get a little message that pops up saying something about a network device when you plug in the dongle just like the ardunio, it accesses it in just the same way, and you even have to use a socket port to get information around your comp. Except this time, it comes nicely wrapped up in neuroskys GUI along with a nice little bit of software that helps auto connecting.

To stop it draining battery life, the headset will only connect when you are running an app thats trying to access it. The supplied software then connects the headset and disconnects it once the app is shut down. NICE! I like that, seems very handy to me.

The head set is lovely and comfortable and works exactly the same way in flash as my previous hack did.

Infact, the example code that came with it looked pretty much identical to my own code, proud moment for me there. I code brainwave flash apps like the pro’s.

I even got it up and running with my own game within minutes, I just had to slightly edit their example file to be accessed by my game in the way that I use it.

But it all works, and pretty damn well too, a lot easier than having that stupid buzzing box and messy port forwarders knocking about.

Interestingly, the online documentation for the mindwave for hooking up an arduino to it involves soldering directly to the usb dongle. Very hackerish! This company is all about the user made hacks, they clearly love the damn stuff, makes their stuff more popular I guess.

Because the headset is so nice and lovely looking, I’m quite skeptical about putting it in an arcade style game where I wont be around all the time.

I think that, for the pro evening, I’ll have the new headset there to use and on other days, I’ll sub it with the old tech. I don’t want to break my lovely new toy.

Thoughts on game design.

24 May

I’ve recently had my first prance through the meadow of serious game design when I made my full flash game Spaced Out. I created the game so that it would have three fully playable levels with boss fights, highscore system and everything. But I must say, getting the basics right were easy. Getting it winnable by everyone, but yet having them all finding the game gently challenging was a different matter entirely.

Game design is a tricky business, you need to have just the right balance of everything to succeed. You have to be quite careful, but yet, as with my case, you have to have everything you would expect from a game, and then a bit more.

In games, you have the basic system of events:

You have a character.

You control it in some aspect, usually motion. (in my case, just firing the lazer eyes).

Enemies appear.

You kill them.

You get points.

It’s a basic series of events that the majority of action type games have. All games work on a reward basis, you do something right, you get rewarded, you get it wrong, you get accosted. Basic stuff man.

So when it comes to my game, I employed these age old techniques for game design. And for the majority of it, it wasn’t something that I had to think about either, having played a number of games before, this was the kind of stuff that came naturally for me. When you think of a game, you think of those basic aspects, however subconciously. But the score became prominent in my mind, perhaps due to the fact that I was thinking about it as an arcade game.

As I pointed out in a previous posts, arcade games ARE their highscore system. That’s what generates a motivation to replay the game, getting that highscore.

So when it came time for me to think more about my game mechanics, I thought more about how I could make the game better to play, more enjoyable for people but importantly accessible for a whole bunch of people to play.

At first, I didn’t really have any difficulty system in place. I never really planned it. I had planned levels and I expected that it would get more difficult when you go up the levels, but apart from that I didn’t plan much.

But that’s usually how games and game developers tackle the issue of difficulty

“I know, I’ll just stick a whole bunch of levels in there and people can play through them all! The levels will get increasingly harder! Brilliant!”

Not for me, I’m not a hardcore gamer, when I play games, I don’t usually play them for very long, I just play for about 10 minutes before going back to doing whatever it is I was doing.

I don’t set out time to play games, I usually play them while waiting for something or if I’m bored. So having games that are really long don’t interest me, since I will never see the end.

So that’s a problem for me right there, why should I create a game that’s really long? This just wont work in an exhibition space, people won’t want to play a game that’s really long, they’ll get bored and wander off. Having a short game was the answer.

I also faced another dilemma, if I had a set difficulty rating, the highscore would only ever be so much, and the scoring would look very blocky and rounded. People would achieve the same score over and over again, wheres the fun in that?

So, while discussing this with gary, he suggested I make a scoring system based on your health at the end of a level, you would get a bonus or a multiplier if you had loads of health left.

Good in theory, didn’t work well in practice. I’m not sure why, but it was never really noticeable when you got the multiplier, and having lots of health left was really difficult for me sometimes.

So, that’s where my new theory and thoughts came in.

My thought was that I could combine the difficulty, letting people complete the game (and so see all my story, my game has a story unlike most short, casual games) and a flexible scoring system and have it all running silently in the background.

A bonus was that I was using brain wave reading. By doing this it lets me access how people are thinking about my game at any given time. Very handy.

So, what my thoughts were, was to take an average reading of your concentration levels during an in game level. By taking an average, you can see if someone spent most of the time concentrating hard, or hardly at all. I then set up a little comparison table which looked something like this:

if attn >90 – level == veryHard

if attn < 20 – level == veryEasy

I also set up levels in between. I had 5 levels in total so that’s all good.

By having the game compare your thought levels against this basic table, I could set the level at which you need to concentrate to kill enemies higher or lower depending on the level. I also then set multipliers on the score depending on this level too, so now I had a nice fluxuation in the scores. You could have up to 40 per kill or 4. Fantastic!

So by having this system in place, you can make a game who’s difficulty is never set in stone, but instead changes depending on how well you are playing the game at that particular time. This is great for casual games or games that are targeting wide audience like games for kids and teenagers.

But these thoughts can be implemented into a wide range of games, you don’t need to have a brainwave reading headset on for this theory to work. You could have it based on health percentage, as long as your game is geared better towards its health system. (mine wasn’t it was just kind of there to enable the game to be failed, otherwise you would only win!)

You could have it based on time, so lap speed, how fast you solve a puzzle. You can really put this in all sorts of games and it would work. You just need to think about how you can implement the averaging.

To paraphrase the comedian Dara o’Brian

Game difficulty denies you content. I’ve never been reading a book which slams shut half way through because I wasn’t able to recall all the prose within the last chapter.

It’s true, games are the only entertainment medium which denies you content because you are crap at using the medium. You don’t get that with film, books, music, anything! So why have we been putting up with it in games? I know I won’t be any more.

A technical perspective of developing Spaced Out

23 May

So, I’ve talked a lot on here about the whole process of Spaced Out, all the technical stuff is covered but it is dotted around in various places.

For those of you who are new to this blog/project and wondering what the hell I’m talking about, Spaced Out is a mind controlled arcade game that I made as part of my final project at university. It’s a game all about a giraffe in space who gains mind powers and has to battle his way home through various enemies including David Bowie.

The game is created using Adobe Flash, and for input I use a brain wave reading headset and a kinect. And this is how I did it.

In reflection, I developed four separate interface systems to control my game. One of course being mind control, that one was set up within the first few weeks, and I had it running, and running reliably which is something that I’m always keen on developing.

But the others? Well I only chose one of those in the end, the Kinect of course. But first of all I had other motion controls, both of them a bit ropey.

Let’s discuss.

Brainwave reading was an obvious first choice for me, it was something that would allow me to control flash games through the power of thought, and that’s just crazy, even now 9 months after I started this project. (9 months, holy crap. It’s just flown by). I can show this project off to people and they look at me like I’m actually using magic.

And that’s why I chose mind control. Who wouldn’t want to make a game where the go “Are you kidding me? What?!” when you tell them that you just have to THINK to control the game.

That was the simplest choice I had to make during the project.

It’s pretty straight forward in terms of its technology and implementation too actually.

I use a star wars force trainer, which I took apart and found some pins inside. I read up online and found out that you could hook a micro controller up to two of those pins and read serial data out from them. A little bit more digging and I found that someone had written up some code for the arduino so that it could read the serial data in through that micro controller. This was perfect for me, I like arduino’s and I know how to implement them with Flash and control things in real time.

To get the data from Aduino into Flash, I use Tinkerproxy, the mac version of serialProxy which is just a bit of java code that takes the data from arduino and sends it out on a local socket which you can then tap into with a bunch of programs, such as Flash.

I then use some pretty standard code for getting the data into flash.

private var arduinoSocket:Socket = new Socket(“localhost”,5331);

That’s how I set up a basic socket in as3, and then I split the incoming string to split up all the data which I store in an array so I can have the Concentration data, the Relaxation data and the Signal data all streaming from the headset.

var arduinoOutput:String = arduinoSocket.readUTFBytes(arduinoSocket.bytesAvailable);

output = arduinoOutput.split(“&”,4);

This code isn’t anything special, it’s just some basic AS3 socket code that can read incoming data from an Arduino. It’s the barebones type stuff that gets things up and running and working quickly.

NOTE: I have three items of incoming data, but I split my string up into 4 chunks. Why? To stop an annoying bug that was rendering my array useless a lot of the time.

When streaming data over sockets from arduino to flash, you tend to get an invisible character turning up every now and again, usually a carriage return or something like that. It’s just something little that can throw my whole game out of balance.

In my arduino code, I just add on an extra character, and then in flash split the string up into 4, this protects my first three data chunks from getting malformed by this bug. Annoying when it happens, but a relatively simple fix.

Now, that’s pretty much it for my brainwave reading dabbling, now I shall move onto an interface method which took up half of my total dev time. Head tracking.

This, on reflection was a silly mistake really, I’m not really sure why I spent so much time trying to get this to work instead of finding other methods.

What I did was mount IR LED’s on top of the brainwave reading headset. Then, by using a wiimote, I could track the players head position. They could then move their head side to side and rotate it to control a cursor on screen. This is old hat for us IMer’s, we’ve done motion controls with wiimotes before. When it came out and it was found to be hackable, of course we used it! Full on cheap motion controls for our installations. Brilliant.

Well, this method kind of worked, if you sat in the exact right place under the mounted wiimote(s). But even then, shift a bit out of place and the whole control mechanism goes out the window. That’s not cool.

But, I did learn how to make a wiimote to flash connection package that worked a hell of a lot better than wiiFlashServer. On mac, wiiFlashServer can spend ages not connecting your wiimotes to your mac, sometimes it just wont work at all. It’s really weird.

I found out about a neat little program called osculator. Now, this is for Mac only, but if you are a flash developer, with a mac, playing around with wiimotes, I’ll let you in on how I made instant connecting, wiimote powered flash games. It’s bloody marvelous.

What I did was create an osculator file that moves all the necessary data to the right place. It moves the data from the localhost port to 9000. This was a little tricky to set up, so if you want to use my files, you can. I’ve added all my files for connecting wiimotes to flash, including my AS3 code to github.

https://github.com/JonathanReid/Osculator-to-Flash—Wiimote

Thats the link right there, feel free to download it and maybe improve it, but it’s a nice little stand alone class that you can plug into your games and access instantly.

Right now, that code just deals with the IR sensor input from the wiimotes, but it can be easily adapted to use button clicks instead if you prefer.

The code uses FLOSC to get the data from OSC into flash and parse it correctly, my code takes the OSC stream and makes it more human friendly.

Anyway, that’s one of my more exciting moments in coding to date, developing that little system.

Back to wiimote head tracking. It became a little problematic as I found that people didn’t sit down the same as others. Also, I would have had to build a huge cabinet to hold everything in. Not fun for me, lots of hard work there.

So, after some time I decided not to bother with head tracking. I thought it was time to move onto something that I personally found quite exciting. Eye tracking.

Now, I had seen these projects where people had created really cheap ways of eye tracking, and I thought that with a little jiggery pokery, I could get that info into flash and control things with my eyes.

Well, I did.

I built myself a little eye tracking system based on the design from the guys over at the graffiti research lab and used their code as a base to start on.

They had built their code to track eyes with in Open Frameworks. And this was my first foray into the OF world. It’s confusing at first since if you don’t link up your files correctly, (theres lots of files, I dont know where any of them are) you can’t compile.

So after a long while trying to figure all that out, I finally got it to work, and then from there it was only a matter of time before I had it sending out the data in a flash compatible way. Didn’t take too long actually, someone had written an OF to Flash plugin for OF, all I had to do was send over the data that I needed, the X and Y co ordinates of your eye.

And I did, and I had a game that you controlled by looking at the screen. Cool ay!

Apparently not to anyone apart from me, others found it cumbersome and not very interesting or exciting. There was no magic, everyone could see exactly how it was done so it didn’t excite anyone.

Now the Kinect, that brought up all kinds of excitement.

I had the eye tracking running for about 2 weeks before I decided to ditch it. That’s just the kind of world I live in. So the kinect it is.

This was to be my final choice for input. This is the one that I would be exhibiting with. Luckily I had it up and running with my game in less than a day.

Now, to do so I used a program called TUIOKinect a little program by the makers of the reactable that detects hand sized blobs with the kinects camera and then broadcasts it over your computer in a TUIO friendly manner.

Luckily for me, there is so native AS3 TUIO code that can harness the power of blobs. After implementing that, I hand control over my game by waving my hands around.

This proved to be a much more intuitive interface than the previous two, which is good because at this point, I had run out of ideas to rely on.

People are also still wowed by the kinect, they can just put out their arm, and there it is, they are controlling stuff on screen. That’s pretty cool right?

I would talk more about the TUIO as3 client but I simply dont know much about it, I got it working by sheer luck really, It slots in my code and stores all instances of blobs on screen as an array which I can access and create cursors for everything in that array, which is what I did. I’m not sure what’s going on past that, I’m not much of a TUIO man, I’ve dabbled in it before, trying to see how it would work and I had never got it up and running before, it’s not exactly the easiest of things to get running to be honest. So, if you want to learn more, have a look at their site tuio.org.

And that’s how I went about creating four different interfaces for my game.

The game itself is quite a simple one, it’s my first steps into the flash gaming world, and now I know that I’ve made plenty of obvious coding mistakes while creating it, but hey, now I know what to do. I can code cleaner now and I’ve learned a lot about keeping your code manageable. All through my own proud mistakes.

The game is essentially a little tower defence type game, you have a bunch of enemies held in an array that get animated towards the left hand side of the screen. The enemies are generated based upon your meditation levels. If you are relaxing over a certain amount, an enemy gets generated. Simple stuff. But, as I found out while testing, this wont work for everyone, some people just dont relax, so as a fail safe, I added in an enemy that gets generated every 5 seconds or so to keep the game going.

Then, I use simple hit test structure with the cursor (generated by the kinect sensed hands) and the enemy. When that hit test is triggered, I also check to see if you are concentrating over a certain level, if you are, then the enemies explode!

so the in game process goes Point > Think > Explode.

Simple stuff in terms of gameplay, but’s it’s one that people enjoy due to the physical and mental aspects of the game rather than the exciting gameplay mechanics.

Hey, I taught myself how to make flash games while making all the rest of that stuff, what do you want from me?

being truly indie, I also drew all my own graphics which is fun. I love drawing so it’s nice when I get down to drawing and art again, I have a very distinct style of photos + vector outlines. It does mean that it takes me some time to do just one character since I draw them by hand first, but hey, to me it’s worth it to get that visual style. It fits in well with the whole surreal aspect of my game to. Handy that.

So yeah, learn to embrace the ports and sockets, because you can make some pretty fun stuff when you start streaming data all over the place. Get a wiimote and try it out yourself.


							

Thinking into the future.

18 May

Where can I take this project in the future?

What could I improve?

These questions and more are what I am about to set out and answer.

This project has a lot of potential for more. In some cases, different aspects of the game have far more potential than the thing as a whole.

At one point during my exhibition, Mark Jackson and another woman who I don’t know were talking about how my project would be great for exhibitions and would be a nice, physical game to show off. Not sure what exhibition they had in mind, but it’s one that will happen in the next year they told me. So, theres that. My game would indeed be great for exhibition’s and bigger spaces, thats what its built and designed for. It would be nice to submit my project to exhibitions and show off my project a bit more.

For me personally, I will definately be taking some of the game logic and understanding I learned about this game with me. Especially the self adjusting game idea so that anyone can win at your game. I think that’s a great idea that you just don’t see in games at all. And, as my game proved, it’s a solid idea that does indeed work in practice. It’s just figuring out how to include it in games that don’t read your mind.

Mind control is something that I will playing with more in the future. I would definitely like to control physical items with thought, even I do so as a hobby, I would still like to do it and see if I can make everything mind controlled. Why not? If I can develop a simple system that’s effectively plug and play with household items, it’d be foolish not to .

I’d like to also do more mind control + kinect games. It’s a nice little interaction system. It’d be nice to develop more with the kinect too as you can create some pretty nice systems with it. I’d like to get the skeleton tracking working and create full body flash games. Something that makes you do silly little poses for everything, that’d be fun I think.

Clearly it’s just left up to my imagination really. I could do so many different things, I just have to think of them first.

IMPROVEMENTS

First and foremost, a better brain wave reading headset. Considering I can get one for a decent price (£100 including postage) and it reads far more information AND I dont have to hack into it (giving me an arduino spare for doing cool shit) it’s a no brainer really. I bought one today from Neurosky, and I’ll be awaiting it’s arrival.

Next improvement would be to rewrite the game. I’ve learned a lot about game programming and I realise now that I’ve done a lot of it wrong or and a cack handed way. I could rewrite the game so it would be a lot smoother, less confusing to read and would be more efficient. It would take a good long week to sort that out though, for me it’s not really worth doing it just yet for the upcoming grad show. The game works, but I have a feeling I have a memory leak somewhere which means I need to restart the game every 4 hours or so. I may look into that if I have time, but rewriting it is the option i’ll take if I suddenly have a lot of free time on my hands. (Right now I’d prefer to learn new things, like making cool games).

If I was to do it all again though, I don’t think I’d change much if anything. I would most likely do more research into how the user initially uses the game and try and make it more open and self initiating so that I didn’t need to constantly be around making sure people put the hat on correctly.

Other than that, I can’t think of any other improvements. The headset one is annoying since the new headset came out about a month or so before the grad show happened. I didn’t have time then (or money) to really think about that as a viable choice. I had my old version working for about 9 months, it’d do for a little while longer.

It’s been a good experience.

Some analytical thoughts after the exhibition.

18 May

The exhibition went really well I thought.

Everything worked nearly as expected with a few problems that you could only find after playing the game on and off for 5 hours or so.

But, the execution and interaction with my project went exactly as i’d hoped for.

There were a few incidents with the headset and people trying to use it by themselves which caused an issue. I more or less had to always be around just to guide people through the first hurdle of my game, making sure that the headset was on correctly.

This is something that, even if you were playing the toy that I hacked apart would give people trouble. The headset has to be in contact with skin at all times, hair cannot get in the way and it takes up to half a minute sometimes for the hardware to detect that it’s on correctly.

For some people, this was all just too much.

For one person, when I told them they just had to wait a bit to see if the headset was on correctly just took the headset off straight away and said “it’s not working for me, oh well”. I was very disappointed with this outburst.

With stuff like this, I would have thought people would be prepared to wait as it is relatively new tech and most people did wait, but there will always be a few people that expect everything to be instant. This was more so among the younger audience. The over 20’s seemed to get that you had to wait and understood that, whether this being an inherent thing due to us growing up with tech rather than having it always around is something to be discussed. I think cartridge loading games and dial up internet are my friend when it comes to things like this though.

An interesting point that came up several times, people didn’t believe me when I said its mind controlled.

They would look at me funny and go “you’re not serious are you? How can it do that? What?” And then they would ask to have a go and they would get it, it actually reads your thoughts.

That’s another point right there, asking to have a go. Interesting. It’s an arcade style game, yet people seemed slightly afraid that they would break it if they picked anything up.

In the future, I’d have to address these problems. The hat connection problem can most likely be solved by getting a proper brain wave reading headset, which I plan to do. Neurosky, the company who made the chips that go in the toy headsets, now make an “education” version of their full on headset which allows for quick brainwave reading and cheaply too. €89 is the price tag, which is pretty handsome.

Making a furry hat seem more robust? I’m not sure I could do that with this tech. If it was just kinect controlled then go for it! But having wearable tech is something that will always be hard to make robust and self explanatory.

Overall, the game had the desired effect, people who played it were wowed by the fact that they could just blow things up with their mind. It was nice feeling to see people act like that.

And after the initial tutorial lead by myself, “put your arm out and concentrate on blowing things up” everyone was up and running. Everyone. That’s a fantastic success rate. The game failed no one. No one was unable to think enough, unable to get a grip on how to control the cursor, it was fantastic. The game just worked.

The fact that I had a self correcting difficulty level setting on my game just made it better, most people got to the end of the game. Only a few died before that but a huge majority got to the end and saw the whole game. That’s brilliant! My game overcomes what other games fail to do, let the player see the story. They get to see what happens throughout the game, the bosses weren’t stopping people from completing the game. Unlike most console games, you have to beat very hard bosses to see what happens, since my game auto corrects itself and figures out what is hard for you, everyone could see the story I worked hard on creating.

That is the biggest success for me, and it’s something that nobody notices.

And because the game figured out what was hard for you, you could see that reflected in the scores so if your thoughts were on parrallel for what the game was programmed to be hard, you would get a better score. This just lead to a competitive nature between others. They liked seeing that highscore, they liked seeing who was at the top, especially if it was them.

But yet, every single highscore, which ranged from near 2000 to just over 500, that player got to the end of the game. Now I think thats some clever programming right there.

Not just basic mechanics, but something that makes the game enjoyable to play. It’s a nice little touch.

On another note, no one really paid attention to my mind controlled lights, they were right there in front of them, being very bright, yet no one commented on them changing colour or anything. Interesting. Makes me think that it wasnt obvious that they were mind controlled and that they were more of just a nice little lighting show for the game. Oh well, if they didn’t question it’s existence, then it was obviously a good sign. They felt that it fit in then.

But overall, I had nothing but good, supportive comments on my game. So, I think I’ve succeeded in creating a game that appeals to people and is easy to play. It’s good stuff.

I think I have achieved quite a lot. I have made this quite visually impressive game that works through mind control, thats pretty good right? I’ve had a lot of positive press about this project which just reinforces this belief, and I’ve learned quite a lot about game mechanics and game interaction through this process. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on this project and enjoyed experiencing everything and learning about the way humans interact and think about games as they play them.

Overall, it’s been a fantastically positive experience that I learned a lot from.

If anything, it made me realise that I want to make games full time. Maybe not these huge brainwave reading games, but the theory behind game interaction is truly fascinating to me. Especially when it comes to applying real world theory to games and how that works. It doesn’t, game worlds have their own physics and behaviours. I like it.

Video’s and getting talked about.

18 May

We got some video of our projects that adam and others had taken from the exhibition. I took the videos of my project and edited them together to form a nice little video showing off how my project looked when it was on display in the riverfront.

And here it is:

[vimeo 23820412]

and within hours of me posting up this video to vimeo, I get blogged about from the guys at kinect.dashhacks.com

They keep posting nice things about my project and they continue to flatter me with some more fantastic words:

One of the most creative and imaginative independently designed Kinect games out there has got to go to Jon Reid’s Spaced Out.

How nice is that?

Full link: http://kinect.dashhacks.com/kinect-hacks/2011/05/16/spaced-out-exhibition-footage

Another kinect site picked up my game and wrote things about it too. It seems that people are noticing the game for being kinect controlled rather than the fact that its mind controlled. Interesting that they are noticing one thing over the other.

Full link: http://www.kinecthacks.com/kinect-game-spaced-out-exhibit/

It’s always nice to get seen and noticed for doing work like this, especially when they find you by chance, that’s even better. It all just happens.

I’ve been around my project so long that I forget how impressive it is to others. To me, I see all the flaws, all the bits that could have been but to others they see this insane game that has stepped into the future and brought back magic.

Fun stuff.