This page holds examples of a series of toy-like games: games as open spaces for play and performance.
They have been made specifically as part of my art practice in , but not necessarily for exhibition in a gallery. These are particularly experimental, and should mostly be considered uncompleted, if that matters.
You may also be interested in the following links:
Playing with Sketchup as a drawing tool, and Unity as a way of experiencing drawing.
I would like to expand on this, even turn it into an exploration-centred game.
As best I can recall, this was the first performance space I built myself that was not just a sketch or test. I had given some performances using other people's games, both in person and pre-recorded.
I've never felt comfortable with the titles I've chosen for it.
I wanted to make a place where playing through the level would construct another performance space at the endpoint. I also wanted to try something that was somewhat challenging, in that there is jumping from suspended platforms.
Pyramid is an attempt to make a space where each action has a marked and legible effect on the world, and which effects the rules of that world.
I need to develop this more.
This one came from a mistake: I forgot to make the stage be unaffected by gravity, so as it all endlessly falls some of the objects float away.
The second version removes the stage and pyramid, leaving only the floating blocks and an endless fall.
The third version adds a pair of shapes.
These continue the idea behind Pyramid; a space where every action leaves a mark.
Experimenting with being a bit obvious and silly about the performance aspect. Also trying to figure out texturing.
Very simple, a platform with some basic shapes made in Sketchup. From memory I think some septagons, a wedge, and maybe some cubes. I've made several versions with different shape combinations, having a lot of fun just experimenting and making with this one. Actually, the whole time I was making these play spaces I kept returning to experimenting with this.
A version of the space above, but made of impossible shapes; they're messes of single-sided polygons.
Experimenting with physics materials, ie giving spheres rubber-like behaviour. Became less and less interesting as I worked on it.
Strange architecture space. A torch. Brutalistish.
I think I also had in mind the Unitised Building System that was going to be used by Melbourne 108.
The main result of me playing round with Unity's terrain maker. It's a nice tool: you're given a grid and some typical drawing tools (different brushes) on which to create variance in heigh by drawing. This terrain can also be generated from imported height maps (a greyscale drawing), and exported as images. Some interesting potential applications there relating to drawing and using sources and ways to explore drawings. When first playing, once the shiny material was applied, I noticed how fleshy and bodily it all looked; erotic, in a way, I thought.
The second version adds the ability to create blocks, which retain their positions on reset.
A space which uses the same terrain as the game above, but with differences stemming from it being set in darkness.
I think the idea was for it to be in total—, or near—, darkness, and have lights attached to each cube to aid navigation. It never got too far; there's the level, there's darkness, and there's a cube with a light attached.
Experimenting with gravity, and restricting objects' movements by particular directions. Certainly more to be explored with that kind of contraint.
Thinking back to what was probably the inspiration for these experiments, Destroy Your Home, I wanted to make precarious structures (while avoiding the use of real-world representation / metaphor I'm not ready to incorporate yet).
Takes the pieces from the wobbly tower in Stacks to construct a fragile scaffolding.
I like the height of this, the wobbly state the scaffolding exists in, the sense of impending destruction (if you're looking hard enough).
From a dream with shiny pink rats and water. The dream was not much like this, though; it was a starting point.
Another game taking a dream for its inspiration, and made from Internet-sourced assets. I wanted to keep making this bigger and bigger and bigger, with whole extra large areas to be found with enough patience and curiosity. But I felt like I had to stop working on it before the freshness wore off.
It's made me rethink what I want to do something much larger now that school's done with.
100 Free Assets was made for the 77th Klik of the Month Klub, as a response to this list of 100 Free Assets for Unity 3D. I downloaded as many as I could, and used them to construct somewhere interesting to explore. Some of them have built-in behaviours: for example that monster thing moves with the player.
This may well be the start of another stream/body of work based around this set of stuff, and I've had some good feedback through GT.
A last-minute attempt at something Christmasy, for the last-minute event: LAST MINUTE KLIKMAS PANIC: Klik of the Month Klub #78.
I thought a game about eating babies would be seasonal, so made a treasure hunt in a reconstructed forum romanum, staring the paintings of Saturn by Goya and Rubens. The model I found would either take forever to load, or not load at all, due to it's size, so it was all a bit of a nightmare. My first proper trainwreck in a while.
I have to make a first-person game the looks like that screenshot .
Made for the Glorious Trainwrecks event Klik & Klaus: Sekret Santa Klub 2013: a Kris Kringle type thing, where each person was assigned a person to make a game for, with that person (the game receiver) providing a list of elements they would like included as a guide.
I wish I had done a better job incorporating his suggestions, but the frog world turned out well, I think. It must be the longest I've ever spent on something completed, and I had to learn a lot of new things to do what I wanted. Couldn't get footsteps to work consistently, though.
Merry Catamitesmas seems like a reasonable endpoint to this body of work. I guess I could also draw the line before the dream games, or perhaps even exclude an endpoint, as I'm sure I'm still making things that fit—it's just how I make games. I guess that's the separation point: now I feel like I am making games, and wanting them to be seen within a videogame context, and am not interested in trying to fit them and myself within the art industry. I think the games Water and Rat Dream through Merry Catamitesmas represent the transition between those outlooks.
Reading back through the notes made here (and I've been adding to them) I notice some things I still have to keep working on. Mentioned more than once is the want to make something more expansive, which I still haven't explored thoroughly. In the IO SATVRNALIA! comments I mentioned wanting to make a first-person perspective game with the camera situated inside a head, looking out through single-sided polygons, which I've put a bit more time into.
I should mention that these are not all the things I made, just the most remarkable ones.