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UNIVERSE: UN / VERSE [MEDIUM-RARE]

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UNIVERSE: UN / VERSE [MEDIUM-RARE]

Postby Ian Snyder » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:07 pm

WHAT IS THIS?

This is a loose collection of universes. Living things that make sound. This is a rule book we can read, but cannot create or change.

WHY IS THIS?

Because for a long, long time I have wanted to make a game like Electroplankton.

HOW IS THIS?

It will be played in various ways.

--

DAY 1:

Ok, so the plan is to create a set of universes (sound toys, essentially). Each of them should be self perpetuating systems. The player should be able to observe them, but not alter their underlying rules. Each sound toy should feel vaguely alive somehow, like a game that doesn't need you in order to be complete.

I'll be focusing on the underlying systems before polishing things up in terms of art / sound. Here is my very first universe: http://ian.janasnyder.com/cellTest.swf

You click within the grid to "activate" cells. When activated cells are flipped from black to white, they make a sound, the pitch of which is based on how many of their neighbors are filled in. The movement of the white and black is based on cellular automata with rules that change every time the universe is reloaded. Semi-sentient static. Sometimes the universe will begin to collapse, but don't despair, because collapsing things can be beautiful too (I once had a universe that would repeatedly collapse and then build itself back up like a tide).

To do to complete this universe:
-BETTER SOUNDS
-enable players to choose what notes will occur within their universe (maybe hook the whole thing up to bfxr?)
-enable players to share their universe rulesets
-enable players to change the iteration pace
-let players reload without having to refresh the page
-then move on to the next universe
-oh, also prettify it

The name of the game is UN / VERSE, as in "unverse". The theme got me thinking in part on the similarities between music albums and universes or microcosms. I think maybe this will be a kind of album of generative songs. The generation aspect removes overarching song structure, "unversing" it.
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Ian Snyder
 
Location: Kansas City, MO, US

Re: UNIVERSE: UN / VERSE [barely playable]

Postby Radiatoryang » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:00 pm

This (and other pieces in the genre, I suppose) reminds me a bit of an exhibition at MoMA where visitors would take these cards and mark certain checkboxes that denoted certain operations (e.g. "every 5 seconds, rotate 60 degrees and then move 40 meters") and then fed the cards into a machine running on Processing. It would read their card, then output a visualization projected on the wall, so it was like this form of public programming / exploring a system.

If I can make a suggestion: ADD COLOR in some of the universes!... I think the static aesthetic is nice, but color will be really impressive too.
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Re: UNIVERSE: UN / VERSE [barely playable]

Postby jonbro » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:38 pm

This is a great concept, and a nice way to link together a bunch of different experiments I like the first one you came up with, it feels a touch random. However the music doesn't. It is a really nice blend.
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Re: UNIVERSE: UN / VERSE

Postby Ian Snyder » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:07 pm

@Radiatoryang - For sure, this is really only a test build and I haven't put any work into graphics yet.

@jonbro - Thanks :) That's one of my issues with this one in particular. The randomness in it feels less intentional than I'd like it to.

Updated: http://ian.janasnyder.com/cellTest.swf

Click outside the cell field (both to the right and below it) to regenerate rules. Rules can be copy/pasted in the box with all the commas. Press the black box to load the rules that are currently in it. The number above it changes the iteration rate.

Still to do:
-BETTER SOUNDS
-enable players to choose what notes will occur within their universe (maybe hook the whole thing up to bfxr?)
-gfx
-more universes

I think I want to give a shot at using this with the bfxr API, and then it's on to the next universe. I'll return eventually for gfx changes and to make a less esoteric interface.
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Ian Snyder
 
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Re: UNIVERSE: UN / VERSE [MEDIUM-RARE]

Postby Ian Snyder » Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:22 am

Aaaaaaaugh. I meant to do this thing this time, seriously.

Anyway, I made recently made this, which was not originally a part of this, but I've decided it is now because this thread makes me sad.

This is definitely a project I want to return to though. I'm calling it "medium rare" for now because although it's been cooked a little, it's far from done :)
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Re: UNIVERSE: UN / VERSE [MEDIUM-RARE]

Postby NiallM » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:08 pm

Ian Snyder wrote:Anyway, I made recently made this, which was not originally a part of this, but I've decided it is now because this thread makes me sad.

Oh, this is gorgeous. I'd love to see you do more of these :)
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Re: UNIVERSE: UN / VERSE [MEDIUM-RARE]

Postby mildmojo » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:29 pm

Ian Snyder wrote:Aaaaaaaugh. I meant to do this thing this time, seriously.

Anyway, I made recently made this, which was not originally a part of this, but I've decided it is now because this thread makes me sad.

This is definitely a project I want to return to though. I'm calling it "medium rare" for now because although it's been cooked a little, it's far from done :)


This is beautiful. What determines if two points make a tone?
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Re: UNIVERSE: UN / VERSE [MEDIUM-RARE]

Postby Ian Snyder » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:36 pm

When points get close enough to each other (within a certain radius), they bounce off and draw a line between each other. This generates the tone.

The volume is taken from their velocity, the pitch is determined by their height, and the panning is determined by their x-position.

@NiallM - That's the plan :) ... eventually.
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Ian Snyder
 
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Re: UNIVERSE: UN / VERSE [MEDIUM-RARE]

Postby mildmojo » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:06 pm

Ian Snyder wrote:The volume is taken from their velocity, the pitch is determined by their height, and the panning is determined by their x-position.


Panning? Oh man, I've gotta dig out some headphones...
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Re: UNIVERSE: UN / VERSE [MEDIUM-RARE]

Postby mcc » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:34 am

Ian Snyder wrote:Aaaaaaaugh. I meant to do this thing this time, seriously.

Anyway, I made recently made this, which was not originally a part of this, but I've decided it is now because this thread makes me sad.

This is definitely a project I want to return to though. I'm calling it "medium rare" for now because although it's been cooked a little, it's far from done :)


This is great on so many levels... it seems like sometimes the whole thing undergoes a "key change" (not sure I have the right vocabulary to explain what I mean by that!) and it sounds really pretty, any idea what that might correspond to or what's triggering it? It seems to usually happen if I stop moving the mouse for a few seconds, then start again.
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Re: UNIVERSE: UN / VERSE [MEDIUM-RARE]

Postby Ian Snyder » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:25 pm

That's exactly what triggers it. It moves between F and Am, I believe (one of my favorite chord transitions is infinitely back and forth between I and iii).
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