Part cosmic drone machine! Part divination ritual! Part flea circus!
Zewp! was an iPhone exercise. A swarm-based music program inspired by (and in opposition to) Gbloink!
Whereas Gbloink! is about bouncing, Zewp! is about swerving. Gbloink! favours percussive, staccato sounds. Zewp! has continuous drones. Gbloink!’s play area is innocent, a field of colourful and abstract blocks; Zewp!’s stark black and white, and meaning-laden with esoteric symbols.
Nevertheless, the two share the basic premise : a swarm creates music in a space which is continuously adjusted and reconfigured by the user. It is the interaction of the swarm and the space which gives rise to the specifics of the music.
A group project with students from Paris 8 and Hull, to do a live-action, retro-styled video game using motion capture and projection mapping.
In the game, a real player has to run backwards and forwards across a “bridge” (or mezzanine balcony) which is being attacked by projected “bad-guys” that are climbing the side. When the player jumps and lands this sets off a shockwave that dislodges the bad-guys making them fall and earning points for the player. If the bad-guys reach the top of the bridge, the player loses a life.
Because the player can’t see the creatures climbing the bridge, this is more of an audience participation game. Onlookers have to guide the player by shouting instructions. (Compare Punch and Judy shows with cries of “behind you!”)
This was a group project and I was involved at the start, co-inventing the game mechanics and writing the first draft of the code. But I wasn’t able to attend for the whole period, so this video is shot after I left, and after my colleages had done a lot more of the work writing the motion tracking, creating the graphics and tightening the whole thing into a workable game.