Joy of Games: Final Project

Image of box and its contents on my bed

Summary of the game/experience you are making For my final I would like to continue tuning my hw#7 sketch creating an explorative experience of storytelling through objects. I recently used an artec spider through NYU Tandon and think it could be fun to scan objects in / clean them up for a more realistic feel?



An explanation of how this links up to the concept of games (or playful experiences) and your intended flavor of joy: 

How does this connect to my intended flavor of joy? As first explored in the start of the semester through our manifesto activity. Creating something slow and meditative is at the core of what I was thinking in Skipping the Speedrun to watch the Clouds. Something that simulates the enjoyable experience of a closer look. How can environmental storytelling create a stronger narrative? Thinking of film production what does mise-en-scene or the art direction of set and props help lay the foundation for

Thinking about what are the things we collect? and what are the stories they tell. What are the objects we leave behind and the stories they tell? This box is a personal one but how interesting is it for the viewed to navigate through it? Often we talk about how history is not linear but constellation of impactful moments all informing one another. Exploring a personal history as a nonlinear playful experience makes sense to me.

  • Some Questions: 
    • What would make it more engaging for the viewer? How could it be juicy-er?
    • could work on interacting with the objects / do they trigger another sensory experience when clicked? like audio samples connected to the objects?
    • Work on the physical control of mouse drag & WASD keys for rotation.
    • Reminded of the book Worn Stories by Emily Spivack. Could be fun to have a game where we have an “itp closet” where you can pull out scanned objects of clothing that people have recorded a narrative story attached to it?
    • The question that was raised in our collective narrative class when we visited the City Reliquary. Can it be a museum if an object has no markers? How much context does the viewer need?
    • What does it mean to for it to be personal archive? Would feel less intrusive if it was a box of personal objects that belonged to a celebrity? What about a stranger or someone of a generation past? Does it feel too voyeuristic or intrusive?


A general breakdown of the big milestones you plan to accomplish each week.

Class 12: Initial Final Presentations / Final Week1

  • Storytelling through objects, nonlinear exploration a closer look
  • Sketch out interactions I’d like to achieve
    • would clicking on certain objects create atmospheric switches?
  • book time with the 3d ARCtec
  • Decide which objects
  • Figure out desired object orientation / needed code support
  • get permission from friends or family to include their objects
  • Look into how to make a more stable box top


Class 13: Testable Prototype 

  • fold in user testing feed back
  • create another mini zine with object drawings / narrative snippets?


Class 14: Final Presentations 


An initial prototype of your core mechanic (this week, your prototype can be digital or paper) 

Will focus in on Boolean logic of mouse clicked or mouse drag ❤

In class some great thinking point were mentioned:

  • How to signal that they aren’t random objects but rather belong to a specific person (me in this moment).
  • is there audio to go with the items? / what flavor of nostalgia?
  • how would it be displayed?
    • creating an invitation into the magic circle by creating an environment around the display
    • Maybe a blanket fort? Will need to brainstorm how that could work structurally in the space 440px-Blankt_fort.jpg

Joy of Games: Hw#8 – Adding Juice


Adding Juice For this week we were to add a level of polish / juice to a previous assignment. I thought this week it could be fun to give the Mr Trash Wheel simulation assignment another design pass. In office hours Jane mentioned a couple things to look into in addition to prefabs of the different objects. One was how to make a mechanic that actually communicate that its water with objects in it as well as how to convey the “current” controller. Instead of getting deep into fluid dynamic papers Jane mentioned looking into Perlin noise and add force functions to help transfer motion when objects are hit. A lot of water physics and object buoyancy videos tutorial were centered around the law of the Archimedes Principle           



Perlin Nosie & Buoyancy  When searching around for tutorials I eventually landed tutorial playlist to help with floating objects in water using Perlin noise (Ken Perlin was  a guest speaker in Applications class and also teaches at NYU / Future Reality Lab).  There was a small road bump in the actual tutorial code. They used ‘Dimension’ singular as a declared global variable but then referenced it as ‘Dimensions’ plural throughout the rest of the code. (easy to do!) After combing through a couple times I caught the discrepancy and decided to set both to ‘Dimensions’ and to get the first steps working.



Creating the mesh triangulation layer in a script (timecode: 5:16)

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My mesh triangulation executed in Unity

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However the tutorial code kept breaking after this point, maybe due to a Unity update? Or to an accidental grammar error on my part (will sift back through again later) So went on to try this tutorial out instead

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Tutorial: Make a realistic boat in Unity with C#

in this tutorial Erik focuses on the idea of buoyancy. He referenced an article as an inspiration and that “The basic summary of the Gamasutra article is that you have to find out which parts of the boat is below the water. Then you should add a buoyancy force to those parts” . He mentions the fact that everything is built with triangles, and that even our cube gameObject is built out of triangles, 2 on each face. He also then broke down further how each triangle had 3 vertices:

“In Unity you have to deal with at least 2 arrays to control the triangles. One triangle consists of 3 so-called vertices that each has a coordinate in 3d-space like x,y,z. A vertice is a corner in the triangle. One array will store these. The other array will store in which order the vertices form a triangle. When you build a triangle in Unity you have to store the position of the vertices in the array so they form a clockwise loop through all the corners. If you happen to store them counter-clockwise the triangle will be inside out and you will not see it (you will see it if you move to the other side of the triangle).”


Important take aways:

2 arrays:

  1. one to store the x,y,z coordinates
  2. the other stores the order (must be in a clockwise loop or will be insideout)


  • The (cube) consists of triangles. But which are submerged?
    • “We need to find out if one of the triangles is submerged. If the entire triangle is below the water then we can just store it and add buoyancy to the entire triangle. But if only a part of the triangle is below the water, then we have to cut it in pieces and store the pieces that are below the water and add buoyancy to those pieces. It will look like this”





With just the BoatPhysics script on cube



Joy of Games: Assignment #7


This week for assignment #7 we were to create an interactive game or experience with the with context of an element from our Flavor of Joy Manifesto. Being newer to different game making platforms I decided to stick with the Unity engine we’ve been working on in class and start to think about mouse input, specifically how to get the cursor to interact with objects via Drag Mouse or Raycasts.

My Manifesto was partially inspired by exploratory games like Gone Home, What Remains of Edith Finch, Firewatch ( as well as thinking about objects like in Assemble With Care) where you can explore objects with a simple click and at your own pace. I was also inspired by the game we played in class during last week’s lecture, Packing Up the Rest of Your Stuff on the Last Day at Your Old Apartment.

I tried for a similar feel with a box of objects I keep at home.  I didn’t recreate all of contents but tried to include some variety of materials and objects like postcards, photos, pins, map and my childhood walkman. I think this sketch connects with the manifesto by underscoring the idea of everyday objects as possible portals for storytelling, as well as the possible slowness and range of speed of “chose your own pace”of exploration.

Image of box and its contents on my bed


It makes sense that the camera angle and the rate at which an object is examined (and dropped) could affect the tone of the exploration. I tried experimenting with a more zoomed in and zoomed out framing. With my current Unity knowledge I think I like the Medium shot more in that it’s easier to place the objects back into the box. However, the more zoomed in intimacy it is nice in the closeup version, and makes it easier for exploring objects.





Exploring objects in the original games

Gone Home (Fulbright) 

Screen Shot 2019-11-10 at 8.18.20 PM.pnggonehome1-1024x640.jpg



What Remains of Edit Finch (Giant Sparrow) 

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Fire Watch  (Campo Santo)



PUTROYSOTLDAYOA [Packing Up the Rest of Your Stuff on the Last Day at Your Old Apartment] 




Click Objects Tutorials 

Code used 
I ended up going with the Unity 3d How to: Drag object with mouse tutorial. With the script looking like this:
using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using UnityEngine;
public class MouseDrag : MonoBehaviour
Future Steps
  • control the object orientation once clicked
    • to always read upright / or have an option for rotation
  • could trigger audio when clicked or other interactions
  • how to have a front and back of a postcard on the same GameObject?
    • can you have multiple materials for a GameObject in Unity? or does it have to be done in a 3d rendering software like Blender?
  • Have a written story component like Packing Up the Rest of Your Stuff on the Last Day at Your Old Apartment in addition to any audio to make more accessible.
  • Physics of objects & Creating your own Prefabs

Joy of Games HW #6: Simulation – Mr Trash Wheel <3


This weekend my partner I  traveled down to Baltimore, MD for his best friend’s wedding. On our way down there we were talking about the various harbor restoration programs, including our favorite googly eyed friend, the inner harbor water wheel –  @Mr Trash Wheel! (See site here)

For homework this week we were to create a simulation, playing with the ideas addressed in class. Iterating off of previous homework of WASD controls and instantiation, I thought it could be fun to create a simple simulation of the beloved Mr Trash Wheel , protecting the Baltimore inner harbor and the ocean from rainstorm trash streams via the Jones Falls river. It’s been such a successful project that others have been installed in other locations too. A fourth wheel being added at the mouth of Gwynns Falls. 


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Building out Baltimore’s Mr Trash Wheel in Unity
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Image from the Mr Trash Wheel site


Joy of Games: Assignment #4 Marble Madness


Inspired by Anni Alber’s weavings and patterns for level design. How to have the restricted color palette objects cast into a theme for the level. Ex: Sandy tone = a sand physics material or to have the yellow be construction barriers that when collided bring you back to the start. Would like to comb back through and add some collisions & triggers, as well as more complex gameObjects like hinge movements.



Anni Albers
Wallhanging, 1984


Screen Shot 2019-10-15 at 7.36.01 AM.png
Image of Anni Alber’s weavings
matching level to an albers wall hanging
matching level to an Albers wall hanging









Design Choices: 

  • Yellow blocks as kill / restart zones 
    • for a signifier added stripes to look more like construction barriers
  • Dark purple blocks
    • added physics material of bouncy to some
    • would like to make some hinges
  • Light purple blocks 
    • visual misdirection (could use as a powerup strip and add sound fx) /
  • White planes 
    • start & end
      • would like to add an onCollision or trigger
  • Tan platform
    • physics material of sandy
      • slower zone
  • White platform
    • physics material of icy
      • faster zone










References / Tutorials:  



  • note that collision is a bump, trigger is an overlap

Joy of Games Assignment #2: Write a Manifesto

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Skipping the speedrun to watch the clouds

I remember a few moments of everyday magic clearly. One in the morning, a small rainbow portal cast onto the wall in our childhood house. The morning sun shone through the prism of the front door eyehole marking the parallel wall. When aligned with your eye it looked like a rainbow tinted eyepatch. Facing forward and looking outward, your field of vision became flooded with a wash of color. Shifting left to right: indigo, cerulean, lime, marigold, an outline of tangerine crimson.

Another when learning to bike taking a secret sidewalk. A pathway connecting two blocks, two worlds – hidden between backyards. The summer sounds crescendo as the leafy green hedges leaned in to cloak the pathways existence.

I remember another moment much later. Navigating bike paths of Forest Park in Saint Louis with friends. The winding arteries led us all to a firefly breeding ground. With the flashing synapses of firefly networks lighting up families of trees, cascading and echoing throughout the heart of the park. 

A question for makers of any age – What does it mean to root something in the slightly familiar, our own everyday slightly suspended? A heightened sensitivity to ambient elements reminding us how all things are delicately interconnected. What happens if I tap the particles of dust sprinkled through a window’s sunbeam? Combing through it like a hand out a car window, triggering notes of a chromatic scale. What does it mean to construct, make, illustrate moments of almost not quite magic realism?

In a post about slow games TB writes “Gamers, slow down. Resist rushing to the finish line. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the art and gaming experience.”* Although the blog post was implying the rapid turnover of games in the industry as well as the constant backlog of games people would like to play – Inspired by this I say also to myself and all makers slow down. Slow food, slow net, slow tech, all the slows but slow down how? I’d like to skip the speedruns and instead engage in watching clouds to get lost in their shapes, what they tell us about weather and culture past, present and future and what images and stories emerge. Maybe it leads to introspection maybe it calls for collaboration or both, But slowness how?

Maybe it’s a slowness through non-linear narratives, unfolding through an open world exploration. In digital worlds but also the physical. One of my first memories of living in New York City was tracking down the peephole cinema, and searching for where it lived along the Union Docs wall. Maybe rather it’s the slowness of a prolonged consideration when a game controller is not just a mouse or standard game console controller but instead my body in space catching words as they complete sentences along my arm outstretched. Or the slowness of realizing and practice of moving my mouth sidewise will in fact rotate my tetris piece clockwise. The slowness of trying to align the speed of my swing at the right rate with my neighbors’ swings to arpeggiate a chord.

It could be the physical slowness of crawling into an ephemeral physical space that houses the game itself. Please, crawl into this silver space blanket cave to play Pac Man in 360. Bridging between physical & digital worlds – a transition into the magic circle.

Maybe rather it’s the slowness that happens after. A slow revelation – When a player realizes that they can explore the real subway of Shibuya in Tokyo for the first time and have it feel like a home, due to their memories of Persona 5 gameplay with its map rooted in reality. What unexpected joy is yielded for cavers passing through the Mammoth Cave networks to realize they were navigating similar channels as their text commands in the Colossal Cave Adventure. Is there a subtle beauty to ground fiction in reality?

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References / Inspirations