All posts by mark

Luminosity – Modular synth album

Not actually an electricity album, but nearly. This album is recorded over a few years, many modular improvisations. I have edited and mixed them altogether to make on long playing track. Not deleted errors or bits where things don’t always work, I like those bits, it shows process and give humanity to otherwise electronic sounds.
Anyway, buy it for whatever at bandcamp!

[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=2717768332 size=small bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5]

Fractal 3

This fractal film took even longer to render due to adding reflections.

Im beginning to get the hang of this now, and the hard-drive is filling up with things that need rendering. I’m even starting to formulate some kind of concept for a full-length fractal film.

working title.
Z = Z² + C

Ultimately, due to the nature of fractals, being in some way related to nature and “How things are”, it’s hard not to use that as a starting place.
The universe is a strange place, and basically anything can exist. The planet on which we live is both unique in the universe, but also common… No one cares if we fuck it up.

So my concept is to produce a kind of “on-board dash cam” video of a spaceship that has just arrived at a new world, and is sending back images to earth of what it has found. It’s a strange landscape, with peculiar properties, physics isn’t quite the same here, plant life morphs and evolves as we watch, mountain ranges fold and move. After a time a long gone alien civilization is discovered, rotting, crumbling and also morphing and evolving.

Fractal Films 2

Having a lot of fun with this now.
The rendering takes forever though. This film, called Islamicfly took 4 days to render.

But now I have my PC set up as well, I can render on both! Its pretty clever, as long as both machines can see the same network folder, they dont over write each others files, so Im rendering a png sequence and depth matte (forgot that on the above film) and each computer tackle alternate frames.

VR Rooms

I had the idea of making lots of small VR experiments, each very small, each investigating a few small things about VR, but all playfull and complete in some way.
heres my log of ideas and experiments.

VRoom 01 The Window

The experiment: working with interaction methods, non touch gui, changing things the user is not looking at, red herrings, can the user perceive a point. External point, environmental, electricity use, continued use of, despite instructions not to, final message of doom delivered by child…

We are in a locked room, we can see out, we pass the time aimlessly. We are given a rule. We break the rule. Due to boredom, we break the rule again. We finally understand why we should NOT break the rule, we break it again anyway.SPOILER

So I finally uploaded this to the app store (only test flight right now)but YAY! 

…within minutes James reported he had walked through the wall and gone to visit the girls on the hill. TYPICAL… rather than fix that bug Ill leave it as a feature, but WOE BETIDE someone finds it again! I am introducing a new element that will do away with any namby pamby moaning about bugs…

VRoom 02 The Hatch

The Experiment: The feeling of falling?

You are in a room, there is a hatch in the floor, the window only shows a few clouds, or fog. There is a button that opens the hatch. If you jump through. you fall… through clouds, past birds, past a plane, past skyscrapers, into a huge hole (maybe volcano?) into caves, through the earth into the magma, fiery centre, up through the same, out onto Chinese scene high into the air and in through a hatch on a small floating “island” repeat.. if you want…

NOTES:
Maybe NOT use genuine gravity, use paths, and fakes speeds…(rollercoaster effects?)

VRoom 03 The Cage

The experiment: claustrophobia, what feeling can only audio give?

You are in a small and constricted room, almost like a wooden crate. at head height there is a small “slit” window that is on all sides. after a while voices are heard… and faces appear (just the eyes) at the slits. They all talk at the same time. Some people are talking about you.

VRoom 04 The Valley

Experiment: To make a really lovely place, where actually lying down is the only thing that has an effect. 

Fully AI wildlife and day night weather cycles

A small enclosed valley… there is no escape. on the one side a small lake with a waterfall, on the other a spooky cave that opens out to an underground cavern with stalactites. The valley has flowers and plants all over and is very lovely… Birds fly over head, small animals can be seen in the distance. IF you sit completely still, and only move your head very slowly, the animals will approach, any movement and they run off…

VRoom 05 The dark room

Experimenting with audio.

VR glasses on, but totally black. A voice is heard in the distance.
“Hello! Over here.. turn this way… come to me…”
When we are facing the voice it changes
” Yes thats right now come over here”
and the voice becomes nearer, as we additionally hear footsteps from below ourselves.

If we veer off, or turn our heads, the footsteps cease and the voice goes
“no, come back, not that way!”
Eventually we get close to the voice and the footsteps stop. The voice says, “Oh.. you know what, there was a light switch back where you came from all the time…”

You turn around, and theres a small light illuminating a switch. A small amount of the room is seen…

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AuthormarkfrancombePosted on5. June 2016CategoriesVRTagsArtExperimentsVR

Google cardboard (tech notes)

Just a post where Im going to leave notes to myself incase I forget stuff!

For a Google Cardboard Unity build

1 export build from Unity (disable symlink libraries)
2 open in Xcode
3 add security framework
4 disable bitcode

Upload to App-store

First Product/ArchiveThen upload from Xcode organizer  fails so export a version for the App Store and then I uploaded it using the Application Loader (It’s available on the Xcode menu, under “Open Developer Tool”).

AltSpace

Max hanging out in his high rise apartment.

Oculus Go envigored my interest in VR and I went looking for the real thing.
The 80s dream of a virtual world where you can have a home, walk about, meet people and do stuff has always fascinated me, indeed my first job in Norway (ok third, first two don’t count)was Astronaut Media who were building a place in the now defunct (or so I thought) Active Worlds for the Scandinavian internet operator SOL. (more on AW in another post soon).
Of course Active Worlds and the later and more porny Second Life are both 2D (er.. yes 3d characters and worlds but not VR… you know what I mean) so they are not really the VR we were dreaming of, but then I stumbled upon AltSpace!
So far Im having alot of fun. and not a price in sight! Is there anything to pay for at all? I think its totally funced my Microsoft, so it’s a good contender for “going somewhere”. I´m in!

For a start, it handles almost all possible devices (except mac and IOS, microsoft remember..) Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, Samsung Gear (still oculus really) Google Daydream (cardboard in a nice box, a very nice box) HTC Vive, Windows mixed reality headsets, and a very usable desktop, non-VR version.
After briefly getting used to controls in my home (Bit unsure as of this time if I can get visitors here, and there seem to be many possible “homes”, I changed mine later to the”Highrise”, I head off to explore, here I am exploring. Again, at this stage Im not sure if Im likely to bump into anyone, maybe I have to invite people to come with me, which means you need “friends”.

Max having completed a pretty tricky maze (didnt cheat)
Max visiting some random place

Anyway, soon you discover that the main place to meet people is  a cosy little place called “The campfire”.

Here I am with my new friend.

Here I mostly listened in to people’s conversations (feeling a bit odd about speaking our load in my house incase my family thought I had gone mad). This one fellow, pictured above, took me for a noob and offered to show me a few tricks. These are, picking up stuff. A stick or a firework, and throwing them. This sounds simplistic and sarcky, ok a bit, but it’s a start. Then he showed me how to light the firework, and hit a xylophone with the stick (which didn’t work so well). But now I have a friend, from Taiwan. Maybe I should invite him to my home… Except, its very generic… I wonder what I can do about that?
OK, back at my home I discover I can play videos on my big screen so I do that, then (after some time googling) I find that there are something called enclosures where you can put stuff, this is code you host yourself (or github if you prefer) I follow some tutorials and now I have a Moon hangin and rotating in my room, which is very cool.
Then I discover you can start your own spaces from scratch, which I do, twice, figured Id make to very different places. This proves to be harder than I thought. But I managed to make 2 teleporters to these worlds in my Home anyhow. Ill do something with them later.
I discover Shanes Editor, which appears to be a more advanced editor, best on the desktop version, but haven’t gone there yet, next post maybe.

T.R.U.T.H (update)

3 years in the making, this game is a big sprawling mess.
It may even be broken.
It may never be finished.

My concept for Truth (aka “The road up to Hell“) was originally to make a multiplayer game, where the 4 individual players played different roles, had very little to do apart from some repetitive and boring quest, and that after a while they would decide to break the rules and go off on their own. Other quests would emerge if they met up, and the final ending would only happen if all four had met.
The game area and graphics are now finished, however, became very slow as I learned how to optimize, multiplayer became a problem, and now I wonder if the whole game can be re-thought out if you play character one at a time, in a single player game, then discovering Adventure Creator as a tool for the game design, which however seems to rule out multiplayer… completely.. or maybe not…
I won’t do “spoilers” here, just in case I get it working again, but, after upgrading to Unity 5 (big no no) it will not open, and I seem to have killed it completely… I know some things to try, but simply don’t hav…
no wait… its working again… hmm…
Story in one sentence (SPOILER)

Some pics…

Outside Auntys Cabin
The thin girl, testing if she gets cold in the rain. She does.
The valley looks nice in the day. (Its never day, never looks nice)
Some disgruntled villagers.. approach carefully…
Auntys Cabin
Church Interior
The Church (based on Nesodden Church)
Research Center. 15th floor (down)
Nurse arrives on this bus. Only 1 bus a day…
The research Center above ground
The Mental Asylum, I mean local medical center… it USED to be a Mental Asylum, thats right…
Working on character movement…
During the shooter period, not sure there are weapons any more…
Thin girl again… good skin…
Thin girl in blender
Hospital Operating room, the local doctor has a harmless hobby…
Aunty has stories to tell, if she doesn’t shoot you first…
Church and Church yard from above (getting crows to fly off when you approach)
Crow programming…
AI chickens!
A Chicken… mostly harmless
Auntys Cabin and Hire car left carelessly with the lights on…
I hate Audis
A light!
The Cabin
Cabin Interior
Plotting bus routes
Snow!
Church interior
Also based on Nesodden Church…

Eden

EDEN_MENU FLY.unity - EDEN (1) - PC, Mac & Linux Standalone (Personal)-1

The experiment
What will happen on a lonely island where 2 players arrive firstly without knowing the other exists? and upon meeting, how do they communicate? We give them the ability to fight, or build a friendship. A few things to do, like explore, some small but ultimately non-lethal dangers to experience, and avoid, will these bring them together?

Solution

To make a small explorable area, add a simple developing story, using simple techniques, to engage the user and encourage the user to re-visit the experience many times, at the same time dissuading them from very extended periods of play.

Story Outline

Very loosely based on the biblical story of Adam and Eve, two players are at a beautiful tropical island. It is late afternoon, when the game starts, that is, when the first person arrives. Fairly shortly it becomes twilight and finally night.

The first player can choose which character (Adam or Eve) they wish to be, the second player to join the game will automatically be assigned the opposite character.

“Eve” arrives walking out of the water on the beach, as night falls, there can be seen a row of fire torches leading away from the beach, into the jungle. After a shot while she comes across a small but cosy hut, decorated with flowers, with chickens running feely about. There is a small vegetable patch and some wheat growing in a clearing.

“Adam” arrives walking out of the water of a small lake, that is surrounded on all sides by steep cliffs, over hanging vines and a picturesque water fall. Under one rocky outcrop is a small ramshackle but charming abode, with straw roof and adobe, mud walls, A pig wanders aimlessly within a small pen to one side, fish are drying on a rack. Inside is dimly lit with candles and is partly dug back into the walls of there rock, or is it formed over the mouth of a small cave?

These are your homes. We do hope you like them.

Elsewhere on the island are roaming animals, rabbits, spiders, some goats, and a pair of wolves. These will attack if you get too close, but are harmless otherwise.