I met with Jon Rafman (who does the 9eyes project) on Friday before colloquium. He seemed pretty into the experiments I was working on, though more interested in the idea of app of some kind that would scale and that everyone would have access too instead of the specialized boxes that only a few people could experience. I told him I was interested in the scaleability of an online application too, and that sort of runs parallell to the tangible interface.
A really interesting reference he gave me was this Escape the Map campaign for Mercedes. The “interactive” version is better than this little preview of it, although it’s more of a film with some barely interactive elements. But I do love the idea that all these blurred people sort of just wander the streets like zombies. And the idea of wearing a blur to fit in…
I sort of wish it was actually just a longer movie instead of trying to be this not-quite interactive thing. Though I do appreciate the part where it asks for your phone number. I’m assuming if I lived in the UK it would actually call me which is pretty awesome. I like the idea of getting a call from The Map. Sort of relates to an earlier thought I had about getting mail from The Map.
Streetview Freeze Tag
So..in the middle of writing this post just now I got inspired to make up an Alternate Reality Game based on this idea of getting blurred and frozen in time. Like modern medusas, the street(view) team runs around to tag people. Touching a person activates the camera, thus capturing them. The person then freezes in place and puts on a mask that blurs their face. I’m not sure if they should be able to get un-frozen like in regular freeze tag… Maybe it’s just a timed thing so you try to tag as many people as possible in 10 minutes and then the teams switch.
Hmm.. I really like the idea of running a game like this that can happen in a really public place, allowing by standers to take part by default. And I feel like I’ve been working in the screen world too much still and need to get projects out that happen in the real world.
I also like the fact that Google sells these shirts so the “drivers” could look all official like.
Thinking about some alternate interfaces for editing the views for the roundabout. I had an initial sketch that looked like a diorama but I’m thinking a better one would be one where the screen is in front of your hand, so you can’t actually see the objects you’re holding. maybe being abstracted makes the objects your holding more open to imagination. Super quick test of what it might look like:
I’m also thinking about how the collaborative aspect of it might be even more interesting by having to stick your hand into this thing you can’t see. Perhaps when other people are in the same view you can feel their hand in there moving around too. I’m thinking the glove thing would be important as a way to make it more anonymous but also simplify the representation of the hand so it wouldn’t have to be actual video but perhaps images, stop motion like. Here’s the rough sketch of what I think I’ll start trying to make this afternoon.
Also, some existing similar interfaces.. theres the glove boxes people use for super clean work and then there’s the fact that many surgeons look at screens and not the actual body when doing their work these days…
Another version of the tangible tile interface, the main difference here is just that it’s round, which allows for looping. Also allows for the idea of making it something clock based, where you could potentially see the images change based on the time of day it’s set to (or the time of day it actually is).
Also, there’s options for changing the “playhead” to car, bike, or pedestrian which would account for the speed. There is also a separate ”viewer” object which you can place on a tile to peek a preview of the what the street view looks like. I’m looking into maybe using something like this full screen jquery slider instead of the google interface if I can’t figure out how to work with the api to get the tiles working. There would also still be supplementary props which you can add to the physical board that will change the street view as well. The added element is that the view can be edited by people online as well. It’s sort of similar to the idea of a massively single player online game like Spore where even if you don’t directly interact with other people what they do affects the whole world. I’m also still thinking about the potential in thinking about the pieces not as flat things but dimensional things, like the sausages.
Also, some related references from my mental archive. There was another project where someone had pieces of vinyl record cut into tracks with a little car driving over them but I can’t seem to find it anywhere…
A Tangible Interface for simultaneously editing a world through a birds eye view & a first person view. Aarti and I have been playing a lot of Carcassonne lately. There’s something quite relaxing about forming towns and roads with those interchangeable tiles. I imagine a similar system that uses map tiles that also gives you a street level view. Also you could add elements and see them automatically appear in the space.
A screen based interface for customizing individual tiles and updating the collective panorama. This one seems like it would be kind of easy to quickly prototype using the google shared doc + embedded image tiles technique I used to make the bingo boards. The only downside is the animation part… I REALLY want it to have the ability to add animated elements and not just stills…
I got this idea in my head going to bed last night. It involves “3D printing” large objects using a large spool of plush “sausages”, with various textures printed on the fabric, as the printer material. The image above is just a rough collage sketch. But I’m thinking this might be awesome. I bought some off white fleece tonight and plan make a lot of sausages tomorrow. I’m thinking this might be a way to prototype being able to 3d print my First Person Creator objects. But also just a fun alternative way to think about making 3D things.
The trick is figuring out how to join things together. I was initially thinking magnets but maybe that would make it a little to complicated for now. So I just got some velcro. Also trying to figure out how to make things that can stand up in a solid way and not just collapse… Something to ponder as I sleep tonight.
A quick first stab at it what it could possibly be. I imagine that in the top down map mode you would be able to see where other people were in streetview land (not their actual, physical location). That way you wouldn’t have the problem of trying to show up in a place that was empty if you wanted to see other people too.
I also imagine the would be some vast inventory of objects you can add to the world. (not necessarily just couches)
And also by adding these things other people can build upon them. There would be some form of communication too, but I’m not sure if chat is the right one. I sort of don’t want it to look like Second Life or degrade to Chatroulette-like chat. Maybe it’s audio only but maybe it synthesizes your voice. Or maybe the webcam can read your expressions and translate it into a different pose or something.
Why are certain “jobs” more marketable as fun things to simulate?
For instance, why are there so many Military style games? I personally have no interest whatsoever in being a soldier, and those games have very little appeal to me. But apparently training young (mostly boys) to want to be part of the military is important for recruitment, and thus a valuable idea to instill into them as patriotic Americans.
But what other skills do we value?
If I could choose a fantasy job it would probably be a serial entrepreneur. Wouldn’t that also be a valuable skill for people to at least think about as an option? I don’t think I even knew what an entrepreneur was until after college. What if it became part of the world of fun? But without it being too much of an “educational game” of course. And how could this game actually bridge the gap between fantasy and reality?
Serial Entrepreneur: The Game
I’ve been talking with Matt about this idea for a game (initially just called Serial Entrepreneur: The Game) since it is sort of overlapping a bit with his business interests. The basic constraints of the game are fairly simple:
Jump up and up
Collect a certain number of connections/business cards
Collect 2 ideas
When enough cards & ideas are collected the ideas merge to form a new Startup
Create as many start ups as possible before your time runs out
If you fall, you end up back in a cubicle.
In the end you can use the generative logos to create actual business cards that can be printed.
This was an idea the came about after meeting with Tim and the rest of our thesis group. I talked to Bora about it yesterday too cause it seems to overlap some with her interests so maybe we can do something with it together.
Basically it imagines an interface like Garry’s Mod applied to Google street view. There’s also an additional interface element to let you Do The Timewarp and see what the place looked like at a different time. You can open up an (Amazon-like) inventory of props that you can drop into the street view and interact with and rotate. You can also attach other items together to create new things. When you’re done you check out to pay for your creation. Later that evening Goog-mazon Fresh delivery/printing truck and an operator appear at the site In Real Life to spawn your purchase. The next morning you go check out the spot and it’s there! Of course it’s subject to all sorts of errors and things, but there’s no returns anyways. And since you’ve paid for it no one can take it down!
It’s inspired by some of the Garry’s Mod stuff I was playing with this weekend but I think it’s also interesting how it relates to some of the Google Street view compositing things I did for Anne’s project this summer,as well as the 3D spam printer in the spring:
A couple more sketches today for some various work/play project ideas. I realize these are all pretty silly, but that’s why I like them…
Desk Jockey Hero (spelled wrong I now realize) is like Guitar Hero. (And a little like Typing of the Dead) To play you have a replica of a desk top complete with a wireless keyboard and mouse and chair back. Push buttons to perform desk jockey actions like “click, search, and scroll” And since it’s portable you can play the game anywhere. I don’t know what the game interface would actually look like yet. Maybe it’s just a open window thing so you can augment reality with your gameplay.
Flowchart Blocks recognizes that in today’s information economy it’s less important to be able to know how to fit blocks into appropriately shaped holes, and more important to be able to create arbitrary relationships between the blocks… I sort of drew this cause I thought it would be silly to have kids making flowcharts, but I sort of also think it would be a nice tool to have personally… The tops would be an erasable marker surface. I googled around to see if these existed already but I couldn’t find anything..
Elanor the Orator draws from Parappa The Rapper, Rockband, and Powerpoint Karaoke. And all the Skype video calls I’ve had this summer. Basically instead of pretending to be a rapper you pretend to be a public speaker on tour. Each level is a different conference. And as you level up you get nicer designed slideshow graphic elements to work with when constructing your slides in addition to a larger audience. I imagine that one of the upper levels is being at a TED talk or something. Scoring is based on words, gestures, and audience reaction. And the audience is actually other live people.
KeyPoint 1.0 is basically Keynote/Powerpoint + Tetris. Drop & Drop instead of the typical Drag & Drop. You’re not really trying to clear any rows though. Mostly just make a Dadaist presentation. When you fill the screen it goes to the next slide. Or maybe you have a time limit for each slide, Pecha Kucha style.
I really like the last two.. Though I think they’d all be pretty fun to build out prototypes of. I am liking this whole drawing comics as legitimate grad student work. I’ve also been doing some pdf reading today: Game Design & Architecture, Contesting the Public Realm: Struggles over Public Space in Los Angles, Play in the City: Parkour and Architecture.