Spaceman MK II
A Ghost: Self-Portrait
Tahoe Tessie (work in progress)
Joseph DeLappe’s work often explores the connection between us and technology, involving apects of interface and performance. One of my favorite ideas was the insight of virtual space as public space, and its use as a stage for performance, as I think one of the greatest values of art is as an unexpected stimulus to shake us out of daily complacency and facilitate critical thought.
I liked the idea for the proposal for the solar farm utilizing Nevada’s sunnyness, which would supposedly be able to generate enough power for the whole country. This raised my concerns for America’s dependency on oil, and made me want an electric car with a solar panel on its roof.
An alternate idea I had for the 123D Catch project was to capture my hand as a sort of portrait, or even do something with a collection of body parts like a weird, categorized self-portrait. The result was marvellously beyond my imagination. Who knew Catch could get it this bad, eh?
As I found a way to export the Catch file into something I could open in blender, the result became something else entirely. Though it was already a splendid abstract piece, lacking any logical form, the mesh mixed with my visual settings in blender to become a beautiful hand nebula; an astral landscape, familiar yet alien.
What started out as something that used to be called in antiquity a “phone”, the latest version of the exo-suit has been designed with all possible utilities in mind so you don’t have to bother thinking about anything else. The Spaceman MK II owes its sporty, aerodynamic look to the gargantuan debacle of the first model, which barely sold any units despite its immense utility. With this in mind we have taken every effort to spice up the design with smooth, shiny curves, tons of unnecessary doodads, and a badass darth vader-esque look.
While scientists argued that having sleek, aerodynamic surfaces covered in super teflon is completely unnecessary for space travel, we believe that this is exactly what the future is about, customer satisfaction. The tentacle-like limbs are used for sucking out energy of any kind, making the model self-sufficient, while the Tetrahyperium armor is nearly indestructible so you can rest easy in the comfort of your own exoskeleton. And with a 13309468292843765 Zettabyte disk drive, you can enjoy any entertainment media ever made. This model has everything you need to lead a full, productive life in space until we figure out how to make the Earth habitable again.
My cardboard armor was based on the Knight class from Dark Souls, who is typically depicted as the image of the main character, and thus the most recognizable avatar from the game:
The design itself seemed very successful to me, even though I didn’t get to make as many parts as I had hoped. Otherwise, the helmet was definitely too big and bounced around when I wasn’t holding it in place. I was considering a lot of equipment from the game, but I decided on the greatsword since that’s the style I most identify with. I was also planning to build a greatshield given time, but the sword alone proved more difficult to wield than I had imagined. The biggest problem was definitely the lack of time to put into this project, especially since it was during finals. I could have kept adding on to it indefinitely, as well as fixing the issues of keeping the equipment maneuverable.
The event itself was definitely a liberating experience; letting you play out your favorite characters in real space. It really captured part of the intent and appeal of video games, as well as the concept of ‘play’. One of the most exciting aspects about this project for me was the reminder of what’s possible with such simple, readily accessible materials such as cardboard. Granted, I also utilized Blender and Pepakura to construct my design, but it’s also a wonderful feeling to be able to see your 3D models coming together in real space. It’s an exciting realization that I can build something so large at such a low cost, and I will definitely harness the awesome power of cardboard and pepakura within the future!
A screenshot of the intro Perfecto and I worked on. Also thanks to DJ for the sound effects.
My individual level: VIOLENCE
VIOLENCE revolves around the compulsive urge to use violence to solve problems when nothing else just seems to work. The player is shot at within the first few seconds of gameplay and is tempted to pick up a gun and shoot back. As the player kills more antagonists, even more appear to take revenge, perpetuating the cycle of violence. What it takes to win the level, I hope, is the realization on the part of the player that the peaceful approach is ultimately the best, and it is much easier to finish the level this way.
My proposal for main character in the collaborative game project. It is not too different from the pencil drawings I showed last week – though I would probably polish it a bit more given time – and it seemed the consensus that we wouldn’t mind having a girl being the only playable character.
The sprite is displayed at the same size as it would be seen in Game Maker. As such, I made it fairly non-detailed, minimizing any features in favor of making it easier to animate it further down the road.
A machinima made entirely in Second Life, depicting the final scene of Jaws.
Rather than focusing on the HUD itself, I thought something like this would be more interesting. What I tried to convey is the fracturing of reality that we experience from playing video games and how each game attains a reality of its own that we perceive as a world apart from ours. This also represents mine (as a self-portrait) and others’ collection of faces that we adopt when playing a different game, and by wearing these masks we may even act differently according to which game we’re playing.
Twilight Zone moral: How do you know you’re not playing a hyper-realistic video game right now?