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September 21, 2004

Play the text

R: We are exploring the potential of the Generic Game Engine (GGE) to read any text and to use that text to generate playable maps. This will allow us to do the comically vanguardist turn: to feed Baudrillard's text on simulation and simulacra into a game universe to be traversed by an intrepid player.

The Generic Game Engine (GGE) uses simple ascii files for its game data. Alphabetic characters are loaded into an array, and are referants to image files. The image files are the tiles of a map. Theoretically, any text could be parsed, so long as it is in ascii format, and a map generated. This lead us to wonder what different texts would "play" like. "How would Baudrillard or Foucault or Delueze and Guattari play?" And so we decided to give it a shot.

This post is advanced notice of an exploration. The bulk of this work is being done by Chad Schmidt. The timetable for development is uncertain, but it will be completed. Then we will be able to insert the text of Plato's cave into the engine and see how the shadows of the text play against the surface of the monitor.

Stay tuned...

Posted by SWEAT at 02:55 PM

September 20, 2004

SWEAT and Museum collaborate on proposal

R: SWEAT and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Denver are collaborating on a proposal to create a game by February of 2005. It is still too premature to share any further details, but the invitation to collaborate with the museum is itself very exciting.

Writing the proposal has forced me to discipline my thinking about our collaborative, and the resulting text will replace the current "about" text on this website.

The museum was approached by a large corporation wishing to cross-promote. The corporation has a history of partnering with innovative creative institutions. The museum was asked to develop a proposal. The director of programming at the museum thought enough of our work to want to include us in the proposal.

This development is exciting and unsettling. We plan to remain critical in our stance, even as we are asked to celebrate consumer culture. This two-edged critique is exciting stuff, but not alway easy to achieve.

Posted by SWEAT at 11:59 PM

September 09, 2004

Pixels Politics and Play v4.0 at DU

R: I spoke to a large portion of the incoming freshman class at the University of Denver (DU) yesterday morning. The talk was a survey of socially conscious (or outrightly political) video games. It was strange and nerve wracking to speak to this audience, and their parents.

The talk was part of the freshman orientation week held every fall. The university attempts to start the freshman off with strong models and to impress the parents of the students -- who are invited to tag along.

The survey is an expansion of one of the appendices of the essay "Pixels Politics and Play" originally published by Intelligent Agent, an online journal of new media art, and is an attempt to reason the context and peer community of which SWEAT is a part. The games mentioned were: Hidden Agenda, Maria Sisters, Escape From Woomera, 9-11 Survivor, Waco Ressurection, Second Life, Activate 3 (from Rethinking Wargames), Under Ash, Slow Death", September 12th & Madrid from Newsgaming, and of course Crosser™ & La Migra™, and the fragments of Juan and the Beanstalk available elsewhere on this site. By expanding this section of the paper I hope to create some kind of critical assesment of these games, and create a critical context for ours.

The scary part of speaking to this audience was that my critique through the games we create is inherently political, and it doesn't seem to be a time in which reasonable people can differ civilly on questions of politics in this country. The audience reacted civilly, though -- with the house lights up -- I could tell there were individuals who where uncomfortable with certain opinions that were expressed. They laughed at the funny bits and clapped at the end.

I will continue re-working this portion, out loud and in public, until I'm ready to commit it to print. Watch for it.

Posted by SWEAT at 10:35 PM

September 07, 2004

Generic Game Engine updated to v1.1

R: The Generic Game Engine(TM) created by Chad Schmidt has been updated to version number 1.1 on the Konfabulator gallery site. This updated version now stores scene states when a player navigates from one scene to another and back again. This allows games developers to create non-linear navigation from scene to scene. Also improved is the handling of game events, such as plants (a game event in our generic demonstration) will now only appear in the scene in which they were planted. Lastly, a bug that would cause the game engine to crash if if a user tried to use the navigation and action buttons before a game scene had begun has been fixed.

Check it out! Tell your friends! Make a game!

Posted by SWEAT at 01:08 PM

September 03, 2004


C: Chad fixed bugs in GGE v1.1 that were revealed by alpha-testing. Submitted GGE v1.1 to Konfabulator. As of today GGE v1.0 had 160+ downloads.

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September 02, 2004


G: Glen gets Movable Type to succumb to his wiles. We have the beginnings of a functional blog, which we can back-date.

C: Chad gives us GGE v1.1 with save states enabled for in house alpha-testing.

R: The back-date feature will give us the chance to also document and publish aspects of the development of Crosser™ & La Migra™, created by SWEAT in 2000.

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Welcome to the SWEATblog! This space will chronicle game development and other SWEAT goodness.

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September 01, 2004


G: Glen works with Rafael to flesh out sudor.net. Additions are made to the reviews page. The GGE is linked from the home page. Two versions of the fragmet "the seeds of solitude" are published. Other small refinements.

C: Chad manages to save scene states within a game, an works to create a structure to auto-save games in the preferences buffer. The thought is to create an array that is big enough to save all of the states in a given game. That array will be able to save three (e.g.) games and give the player the option of playing one of the saved games, or of flushing a slot and playing a fresh game.

R: UPDATE Glen's abstract for his project on Emergent Aesthetics is accepted by the jurors of EAD06:Design:System:Evolution!

R: The "seeds of solitude" fragments were created in 2002.

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