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Dimensions, iOS App Powered by Pd and Hans Zimmer, is Sound-Augmented Reality Game: Behind the Scenes

Graphics are good. Graphics are shiny. But when it comes to reality-bending, emotionally-immersive, perception-shifting power, look to sound and music. At least that’s the feeling you could get after playing Dimensions. Following their reactive music tools and Inception dream states for iOS, RjDj have turned their mind-altering sonics to gameplay. As with previous releases, these tools are powered by the open source visual development environment Pure Data. Pd engineering wizardry here meetings the compositional and sound design prowess of Hans Zimmer. You can see a bit of how the musical world works in the teaser video above, and the music …

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Doom 3, Game Engine and Rendering, Now Under GPL Open Source License

3D developers had real reason to be thankful last week, on the occasion of American Thanksgiving. Doom 3, after some wrangling, was set free with a GNU GPL open source license. The game data itself isn’t free, covered by the existing proprietary EULA, but you get all the logic and rendering of the game on Mac, Windows, and Linux. While the game dates to 2004, the visual engine remains nothing to sneeze at, capable of some impressive capabilities. And the way the engine and game themselves behave are compelling studies, too. In a world in which software is disposable, abandoned, …

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Music as Gameplay: Johann Sebastian Joust, Played With Only Sound and Gesture

Think back to playing a simply childhood game like Musical Chairs. The actual gameplay depends only on auditory clues – something you take for granted as a kid, but something apparently lost on game engineers who insist exclusively on advanced 3D rendering engines for visuals. And because you get your body involved, the game becomes dynamic. That musical cue isn’t just off in the background: in the dizzying run around the chairs, the soundtrack can become the singular focus of your brain, an urgent score to the — DIVE, got the chair! As the scene around game experimentation grows richer, …

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iPad Meets Kinect, Twister Meets Tenori-On: Behind the Scenes of Pxl Pusher Music Game

What happens when you meld the most futuristic Microsoft technology with the most futuristic Apple technology with the most ColecoVision-esque graphics as built in Jitter? Or you create gameplay that couples physical human contortion with the step sequencing rhythms of music? A different take on music games, that’s what. Developers Matt (“M@tt”) Boch and Ryan Challinor work, in their day jobs, on the music game as most people know it, at Harmonix. Harmonix’s roots remain in the rhythm game, so that music play, even at its most serious, is still about musical timing accuracy. Pxl Pusher is a very different …

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Parallax, Upcoming Game, Warps Space with Style

In case you haven’t yet seen it make the rounds, the upcoming indie game Parallax deserves special aesthetic mention. A kind of monochromatic take on Portal, its slick, cool, understated world opens windows through space, producing inverse chromatic values that give cues to the overlaid spatial dimensions. It’s a glimpse of the kinds of visual worlds possible with digital rendering, and in a teaser trailer, at least, appears to be a minimal aesthetic triumph. These spatial visual languages have suggestions for the world of live visuals, too — all the more so as projection mapping produces spatial illusions and 3D …

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Codify: Elegant, Creative Coding Directly on the iPad – No (Other) Computer Needed

Targeting game designers, educators, and students – but also clearly of interest to anyone who loves creative coding – Codify is a lightweight coding environment that allows you to work directly on the iPad. That is, you don’t have to use the full-blown iOS API, and you don’t have to connect a computer or fire up Xcode. You just start the app and begin coding, in a way that ought to be very friendly to users of Processing. We’ve seen Processing.js running in a browser on a tablet, but this goes further. The environment is visual and interactive – there …

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Epic Space Invader Audiovisual Installation, a Profile in MadMapping

The MadMapper blog this week looks at a brilliant Space Invader-themed project from this Bogota, Colombia-based artist: One of my favorite and iconic projects done with MadMapper to date is the Space Invader project directed by the Bogota based A/V Director and VJ, Laura Ramirez Leal l (aka Optika VJ). The simple concept of the classic icon of a Space Invader reproduced on a grand scale screams fun for the eyes. The technical specifications of the Invader: – 2 x 20K Christie projectors stacked – Modul8 and Madmapper – 20 mts wide – 14 mts high and 6 mts deep …

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Faraway, a New Procedural Audiovisualtastic Game from Eliss Creator, in Teaser

Steph Thirion is back. The talented maker of Eliss, an iOS game that devilishly challenged players and stunned ears and eyes with goodness, Steph now has something new to tease. Faraway is, like Eliss before it, a one-man opus. Gameplay, visuals, and sound are all designed by the artist, making for a uniquely singular aesthetic vision. With procedural content and a narrative involving a comet in a starscape, it looks like yet another in a small but growing vanguard of games that take on the role of part game, part A/V album – slash – experience. From developer Steph: I …

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In Sand and Pixels, Playing with Worlds Virtual and Tangible; Built with Kinect

We’ve seen fairly impressive work involving people waving their arms around at cameras, but at the end of the day, you still have people … waving their arms around at cameras. In a refreshingly different take, the world of the game Mimicry is the “ultimate sandbox game” – set in a literal sandbox. Participants manipulate piles of real sand, as Kinect-powered cameras track their work and project imagery onto the sand from a rendered analog version of the same world. The player mimics the virtual, the virtual mimics the player, and the stuff of each fuse in a real/virtual hybrid …

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GlitchHiker: A Game That Dies, Slowly, if You Play Badly

Games have modeled various mechanisms for conveying win and failure, and in particular some abstract simulation of your life force being sucked gradually as you make mistakes. But GlitchHiker is different: play poorly, and it’s not your virtual avatar that dies. The game dies. And following gameplay at the Dutch Game Jam that created it, GlitchHiker has become extinct. (Happily, yes, there is a Windows download.) With gorgeous, elemental visuals and a lovely adaptive music soundtrack, it’s a game you might well feel motivated to try to save. I’ll let the creators explain:

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