6 posts

I have ideas. Oh so many ideas. It’s probably why I have so many ongoing projects. Games, films, music, stories. Some ideas just don’t get any further than just ideas, but it’s still nice to put them somewhere. That place is here.

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…

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…



AuthormarkfrancombePosted on5. June 2016CategoriesVRTagsArtExperimentsVR

Strawberry Wasp (restoration & update)

This completed 20 minute 16mm film needs only to be transferred to digital (the visual portion) the audio needs to be extracted from a UMatic lowband tape (the only known surviving copy, apart from a poor quality VHS) The audio will then need to be re-synched, and the video graded. 

This film was my degree piece at Portsmouth University Fine Art, gaining me a first place in practice. It was shot using a Cinemascope anamorphic lens giving a striking physical proportion of 2.66:1. Its somewhat melodramatic subject is no less than good and evil, and is a sequence of six scenes, one introductory scene, four “character” scenes, comprising one character in each (Thief, Witch, Priest, Princess), and a short  outro sequence. The music is loud, distorted and monotonous, with one musical theme per section.

I showed this film many times during the late 80s and early nineties, but mostly at art events and concerts. I could never submit it for festivals due to its format, both being Cinemascope and it having a “Separate Magnetic” (Sep-Mag) soundtrack. It was, however in great demand at one stage and I was projecting it, at various locations, about once a month for a while.

Working methods and style

Visually, I think my work has an interesting feel to it, in some ways it feels hand-made, naive and charming, at the same time, dark and eerie. I have, often out of necessity, built strange devices and rigs to achieve shots that would normally only be possible using expensive equipment, I have hand-developed 16mm film in an old Russian Army developing tank, build a DIY film printer, punched holes in the film, filmed on Standard 8 film gauge and used it in a 16mm film (without getting cut) I have hung cameras from kites, swung them on rubber inner tubes and shot scenes backwards. Due to the physical handling of these earlier films, I expect them to be scratched, faded and aged, almost coming from some strange and distant past. I am, however, always concerned with good picture quality, strong visual imagery, strong audio, and filmic pace.

There is an element of the “gothic”, as in the films of The Brothers Quay or Derek Jarman, of “pop culture”, as I was and am a professional musician in experimental circles with my band The Cranes, and this forms part of my worldview, as well as a folklore or occult element, particularly as “The Great Work” features an Alchemist, two malevolent Freemasons, and an innocent Princess.

The Untitled Film

Heres the start of a screenplay Im working on:
Let me know what you think?


By Mark Francombe


In a “well to do” drawing room, 15 naked people eat jelly

…and I said to him, what a
twat… and he punched me in the

I hope you killed him!

I didn’t have time, Mary chopped his head off with a spoon


No, stainless steel.

Both men laugh…
track to other end of table where two women are snogging passionately.

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A concept, but what is it?

As I was transferring my old mac book pros hard-drive to my NEW mac book pros hard-drive, I discovered this. I remember writing it, but can’t remember what it was, is this a computer game concept, or a film, or a book? Or something else?

What do YOU think it is…? Maybe I will continue working with it?

In the front garden:
A Normal house, divided into flats, different people live here, very different.

The house:
Room One:
17 yer old Tom the Punk, lives here… spends most of his time listening to music. His girlfriend Trace, stays occasionally.. she doesnt speak (till the end of the story) and Tom likes it that way…
Room Two:
Della Android lives here. Second name is of course an adopted pseudonym. She is a cybernetics major, and all the other occupants worship her in some way. She wears sharp suits and has a Chanel bob haircut. She is incredibly intelligent, and plays in a synthesizer drone band called “Cold”. She has no feelings, and she knows it is her failing so she pretends to cry in her room at night in order to give the impression that she is interesting. She thinks she might love Jeremy Potter, if only she could be sure that it wasnt just a head cold… anyway he is far to shy.

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Am I doing too much?

The “too many projects, get nothing done” syndrome?

I’m getting a bit stressed out, that none of my projects are really going anywhere. I really take on too much and am interested in too many things! Some of my friends in the looping community are doing great things, but they are so dedicated to that one thing.
The cruz of the matter is that I only have about 2 hours each day to do anything (after work, cooking, kids) not enough time for one of them let alone all of them!

I need to list them and see what it looks like on paper (screen), and maybe analyze the problem a bit.
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Space Game Idea

A Multi User space game based loosely on Elite.
Trading items in a relatively safe Solar System, to build, buy, borrow and steal “upgrades” for your spaceship, then to travel beyond, to ever more exiting and dangerous missions. Back story develops about defeating Humans, and once a month there is a multi user battle. (?)

Design style is Clangers meets Heath Robinson meets Steam Punk Lego.
Build a ship.

Ships need A Hull, a Propulsion system, a handle (steering system) and minimum… a chair to sit on. These are called “upgrades”.
There are MANY (as in hundreds) of additional “upgrades” one can fit to your craft.
Each Race has a different model of every upgrade. Its very unlikely that you will manage to purchase the required upgrades for your ship from the same race, the upgrades that do not match (that they connect to) they will work less efficiently.

Nodes: All upgrades have a number of nodes where items can be fitted. Infact one can buy/fit a “Node-Bay” that provides more nodes. Most items have 2 nodes to items CAN be “stacked” but that will result in less efficiency also, as (like USB) they will both share a power inlet. (maybe add something about instability too)

Depending on which Race you wish to be, depends on which Hull you initially get, Hulls are only available at the Host Planet for each race.

What you fit to your craft determines how you make your money.
Options are. Piracy, Bounty Hunting, Trading, Mining, Space Salvage, Guarding, Conquering, Policing. All can do multiple jobs, however Policing requires a clean record, (that can be bought at higher levels.

Visit Planets

In the first Solar System There is one Planet for each of the main Races, plus a few Moons, totalling 10. At the start of the game you are walking about on the surface of your planet. Like the Clangers Planet, its perfectly possible to walk completely around the planet, the planet dos the turning while we are relatively centralized.. ( I think) Most planets simply have a dock for space ships on the surface, We enter the planet via doorways and via a cut scene are then in an environment where we have normal gravity. We can chat to all of our own race, but to talk to other races must purchase a translator.


On the interior of the planet, is where we can do deals and make purchases. This is Person to computer not person to person, although it IS possible to SWAP items with another player when we dock with one another in space.

One of the first thing one will want to buy is a hold, to carry good in… unfortunately you cant afford one, so your first few trips, must be… simply delivering an alien item to to its home planet (where it will get a higher price, cos it will work with the hulls better). Navigation is harder because you don’t have a nav computer, and handling is… well “by hand”… This is because its important to have the user get the feel for “By Hand” flying as you are more maneuverable and its better in a battle, but for long distance navigation, its better to program it.

Upon arrival at the first planet, you will notice that all text is unreadable, hence translation device. You can buy one at the door, this will reduce your profit, but the next time you visit this planet, you will be all set.

First you fit a translation device, then a hold, so you can buy goods as well as upgrades. Goods are a limited group of items (like in Elite)
Food, Clothing, Fuel, Gold, Ore, Passengers, Weapons, Art, Slaves. Only Slaves are actually illegal, but there are restrictions on Weapons too. You can also buy upgrades and NOT fit them, The hold has a capacity, measured in ITEMS. an item refers to ONE THING whether an “upgrade” or a “goods load”. So you can mix n Match in your hold, anyway they are bought and sold at the same place, The legal goods are always available, the illegal and upgrades are dynamic. the good/upgrades are loaded automatically onto your ship into the hold. you must then return to your ship, where you CAN choose to “fit an upgrade” that has been loaded into the hold, this will free up space, so you may return for more, before taking flight.

The Races

There are 6 races: The Greys, The Little Green Men, The Elves, The Swifts, The Daft, and The Majestic and Honourable Gogons of Rahn (Self named). They all hate each other, and out side of this solar system they may even fight one another, although it is strictly forbidden. All Races have one good profession the Police, and They will police ANYONE from any race, even their own. Its is NOT worth breaking the law within the confines of the Solar System.

The Enemy. There is one more race, that users cannot become. they are feared by all and as yet have not ventured withing the confines of this solar system. they are called… The Humans! (But more normally referred to as those smelly blotchy noisy nose-picking fleshy things.

For younger kids. 8 to 18 yr olds.