July 2021

Here I wanted to test fluid simulation on a moving body. I used an animated 3D scan of myself which I have featured previously. I added a fluid inflow onto it which enabled it to mimic the dynamics of fluids. I enjoy the visuals of this and think it could be used to overlay onto game footage to enchance the visuals of it or to create mockups of how fluid dynamics might be important in future games.

This is an example of a game where the focus is all around useage of fluid to traverse and manipulate the environment. I think fluids in games were a barrier for a long time due to the computing power required to simulate them, but now, as we have more power, the likelyhood of them being more prominant features within engines increases.

Above is a test in creating pixel art animation through the use of blender. By simplifiying out the mesh to only the lines I needed, I then applied a wireframe effect and then rendered out the animation in incredibly low detail. I then increased the contrast on this, following up by manually adding colour. I experimented alot with how I could futher automate this process, with the aim to fully be able to create pixel art based visuals without any manual editing. This would enable a game in 3D to appear like pixel art which may be very visually intriguing.

Clash of Realities is a conference about games, art and technologies clashing and how we design these spaces to provide intrigue and make people want to keep coming back to them. Watching the talks within this conference I found that many developers find that story is essential to the success of a game. Yet other developers find that making a game fun without story is more important as the replayability of a game rides on this. As both comprise entirely diffrent games and diffrent kinds of audience are attracted by each, I think that the validity of either is put into question.

It makes me want to create 2 types of extremist game so to speak, a game without story or theme, and a game without mechanics or difficulty. What would these look like, and how would they play out? These seem to fit alongside a previous notion I had about a game without visuals so starting with this concept could get the ball rolling in creating this space, esspecially in regard to the usage of spacial audio which I have been testing with an iphone and airpods pro and want to move into a game engine space to create a game without visuals.

Here I have made several angles of render for a visual for a game which could work with only sound and no visual element. I wanted to do this, even though it might seem contradictory in order to explore the angles from which this spatial sound can be represented. I want to create static tests for several of these angles to see which feels more spatially understandable to a user. Once I decide the best angle to run the game from, I will explore sound design to best represent edges, enemies and endpoints within each levels before I make the final game.

Here is the first angle testing videos for the spatial audio. The camera is in a fixed position behind the object. Therefore the sound is relative to the camera position, and because of this, the sound queues within the space are offset from the physical objects by the same amount as the offset between the camera and the player’s character. This fixed camera may be the easiest to navigate without being able to see the space if the game is in a non VR setup. However I want to test several other camera states to emulate different movement systems. Some of the more complex visual examples will be immediately discarded because they would be too complex to navigate in audio only environments.

Here I have changed the audio to something which is slightly more pleasant. I also wanted the user to constantly be able to tell where objects are within the space so each track is differently pitched and provides different elements of a song which can be distinguished from one another. The camera was also shifted to top down in order to make the movement and sounds correspond more without visuals. I am finding it very hard to focus on spatial awareness purely with the audio, but need to test this further with an interactive demo of this. I think this explains the difficulty and inaccessibility of a huge facet of digital space and culture to those unable to see by putting others in the same situation, even though in this experience the sound is being specifically tailored to allow for some spatial awareness.

Here are several iterations of the testing for the spatial audio game. It has been implemented into unreal engine 4 which allows interaction to occur, and for the program to be exported to mobile devices and other devices. This is because as a game of extreme accessibility, I want it to be available in the most accessible ways. I tried different variations on the visual with auras to indicate the sounds fields. However as the visual experience is something which the user may not see at all during their interaction, I realised not worrying about it, and keeping it as simple as possible was the best way to proceed.