For starters, the server setup was ultimately a success, although I went down a few rabbit holes. Basically Unity has it’s way of doing things and networking, a lot of this has to do with its use as a game engine (so a lot of multiplayer talk). I eventually found a solution for an independent server through Firebase, which has a lot of functionality and supports “noSQL” (they have JSON options).
It’s tough to document the process of setting up a server connection, so I’ll share some error messages, hurdles and milestones along the way. The big moment was having the position values of a Unity object (sphere) update in the server live. So updating values a success – next up is figuring out how to parse incoming data so we can access video information. I’m imagining storing a bunch of videos on a seperate server (maybe squarespace) and send the url information based on the user interaction.
What I enjoyed about this assignment was that I could use the “inspect” tab to manipulate some characteristics of the gifs I imported. Initially when i imported them they were too small, so I changed their width and height.
I attempted to use gifs to tell a story simple story. About a year ago I began reading comics. I never thought I would. I always thought they were just for kids. But one of my favorite comics is Miles Morales. Miles is a young teenage boy living in New York who was by a spider and is has similar powers to Spiderman (Peter Parker).
My Statement of Purposes
So im just going to copy here an excerpt from my 2016 SOP that i used to apply to iTP… and other schools. I never actually intended it for iTP specifically: it was just a statement of my current… purposes!
Anyhow, i thought it’s eerily related to our first day discussions in Open Source Cinema
Interactive media, especially digital, is going through a democratizing phase. High-End game engines are free to use and publish, educational material is either completely free or needs a small fee, and devices are available shortly to the general public after they are announced. This means that our era is experiencing rapid change and trends are quick to adopt and retire. This means an entire avalanche of new experiences and ideas is flowing from all over the world through people who never had the chance to express themselves.
The open source community has thrived even more than before these days and it has shaped the industry to their needs. A whole new 3D Print industry spawned out of online communities. The good old Arduino enabled thousands of artists afraid of electronics to build impressive and sophisticated interactive experiments around the world and create new experiences.
Of course, on the high end of the industry, video games are looking more detailed and gorgeous than ever. Some almost indistinguishable from photograph, plus beautiful motion captured animation and natural physical lighting. However, that is where I believe the industry is going wrong. I am all for higher quality visuals, but it seems like the gameplay and game design, the heart and soul of interactive games, is lost in the way. To me it is a reminder of what Hitchcock observed when sound was added to films and filmmakers tried to remake stage plays and not utilize the cinematic language: “It’s like a lot of films one sees today… to me they are what I call “photographs of people talking”. It bears no relation to the art of the cinema”. This is going against what interactive media has to offer. It is rehashing its predecessor, cinema and television, into easy to play form; sometimes almost like play and pause button.
Although going back to the masses, some amazing experimental “indie” games and interactive arts came out of the democratized section of the industry. People who just had an “itch” in their head, some vision they wanted others to experience, were able to just put it out there with limited but effective resources. Games like “Papers, Please”, “Cart Life” don’t have complicated mechanics or eye catching visuals (they do have unique style), but they act as powerful empathy machines that convey a concept to the players that can only be done with interactive media and nothing else.
New media can rapidly change this closed loop we create around ourselves. For example, the term “empathy machine” is thrown a lot at VR these days as well. Touted as probably the “ultimate empathy machine”, this new media is going through its early days of experimental phase: with static “Cinéma vérite” style documentaries and highly experimental VR environments that is exploring the medium to find its own language. VR might not turn out to be what everyone expects it to be, and it takes a while for a new medium to stop rehashing its predecessors. but spearheading the quest to find a whole new medium’s unique aspects and intricacies is something I am really excited about. Figuring out challenges like how sound should work in VR or how a story should be told in new media is the type of things that keeps excited and motivated about the technology.
I was having conversations with one of my friend the other day about the format of videos that we are seeing and people are exploring nowadays. The media had developed from 2D, 3D and even now 4D, computer graphics, and virtual experiences. So, the format of storytelling has transformed to a non-traditional way.
We found a group of artists called AES+F, they are a group of artists create non-linear story but at the same time is super hyperrealistic and strange. It somehow contains the aesthetic of those ancient paintings. The video like this is another way of storytelling which does not have a clear storyline but somehow contains message behind. On the one hand, this video is somehow challenging people’s aesthetic, and their societal perceptions, as well as their understanding of the purpose behind the videos.
I’m very excited about the possibilities that new storytelling platforms can bring. Specially, when they are based on open-source software, free for people to use and modify, the options of personal expression tools rise enormously.
That’s why I took the time to make a threejs version of the example, where users can drag new images and the content gets saved on an external server.
“The act of musicking establishes in the place where it is happening a set of relationships, and it is in those relationships that the meaning of the act lies. They are to be found not only between those organized sounds which are conventionally thought of as being the stuff of musical meaning but also between the people who are taking part, in whatever capacity, in the performance; and they model, or stand as metaphor for, ideal relationships as the participants in the performance imagine them to be: relationships between person and person, between individual and society, between humanity and the natural world and even perhaps the supernatural world.”