Luo – Looking outwards 2 (Assignment 3)

Game mod

This project was conducted as part of a six hour long workshop that involved modifying the code of the classic Atari game Breakout. The source code provided didn’t allow for game overs, which meant that participants didn’t have to worry about dealing with the game ending unexpectedly. I love videogames, and a huge fan of pixel art, so this is really relavent to my interests. The great part is that the participants have never even heard of processing before this workshop, and yet were able to create these pieces within a span of six hours. The participants came up with a lot of creative pieces with this, like making the path of the ball visible, making multiple balls and redesigning the wall.

This project shows how experimentation and creativity can lead to great results, and that extensive knowledge of a technology is not necessary to be creative with it. I’ve already downloaded the source code myself, and might experiment with it in my free time.

You can read more about it and download the source code here.


Cascade is a project by NY times R&D to visualize and analyze sharing activity on Twitter. I think it’s a really neat way of visualizing how information travels through the intricate web of the net. The design of the cascade itself is really slick, although they could have included a legend that explained what each of the colored boxes mean.

It would be interesting to compare how different types of information travels, like the death of a celebrity, or the announcement of a scientific breakthrough. Integration with other social networking sites would be great, and they are working on that. I would also like it if there were more visualization of the information about the participants of the cascade. Something like highlighting what age group they’re in or where they are from. With the integration of other social websites more information would be available for them to analyze, which would make gathering information about the participants a lot easier, but may also raise some questions about privacy and such.

You can read more about it here.


Oasis is an art installation that involves participants interacting with virtual creatures in a simulated pool. I love the way the creatures move and interact with their environment, and the sketchy texture makes them look really unique. However, I do prefer the color versions in Oasis 1, because the creatures look a lot more vivid and alive this way. The sand also adds another level of texture to the piece, and it looks really fun tracing out different shapes in the sand and seeing how the creatures respond to it.

This installation reminds me a little of the videogame Spore. It would be great if the creatures could interact with each other, or maybe even evolve. Maybe they could allow people to feed the creatures, and if the creatures get hungry enough, the bigger creatures will start trying to consume the smaller ones. Overall, I think it just needs a lot more interactivity instead of just responding to touches. Many aspects of this project could be expanded upon, because of the different kinds of biology involved.

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