Concept and Research
The generation of this project was a response to the sudden situation in which we have all found ourselves over the last few months, forced to stay indoors, struggling to get inspiration and having limited use of technical resources. Such circumstances have pushed me to think about the materials I had around me and how to take advantage of their presence.
In particularly, I reflected a lot on the artistic movements developed in the 1960s, which promoted the integration of reality - of the detritus of modern life - into art. By engaging with objects of the everyday, artists tried to close the gap between what is considered art and what is considered life. A variety of art movements have developed following this same concepts, and very well known artists have made history, such as Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp, and so on.
The thought that art and life coexist. Plato said:
Art is not apart. It is a continuum within which all participate; we all function in art, use the skills of art, and engage in the action of artists every day. Underneath the surface distinctions that make individual lives seem very different, art is a common ground we share; the work of art is a way we all do things when we are working well.
In the computer graphics community, the Utah Teapot has become a beloved reference since 1974, when computer scientist Martin Newell observed that the curves, handle, lid, and spout of the teapot make it an ideal object for graphical experiment. And this started over tea, when Sandra, Newell’s wife, suggested him to digitise the shapes of the tea service.
I decided to incorporate these ideas into a simple playful game programmed in OpenFrameworks. A 3D teapot moves around the screen dropping tea, and the user, holding a cup with a phone attached to its base, tilts the cup around trying to catch as much as tea as possible.
The game also references to the slang expression "to spill the tea" (or T, standing for truth), which refers to sharing or revealing gossip.
The game makes use of 3D objects and of OSC communication via TouchOSC. The graphics comprise a 3D model of a teapot (mesh of which has been implemented on Blender), and a particle system to create the drops.
The TouchOSC interface only comprehends a button to be pressed when the user is ready to start playing the game. By tilting the cup, the app sends accelerometer values to the OpenFrameworks project, which are then collected as coordinate values and mirrored on the screen. When the x and y of the user correspond to the ones of the particles of tea, the score increases. The creation of the game has been a gradual process, starting from 2 dimensional figures, building up the architecture of the game, the different types of interaction, and slowly implementing its characteristics.
Self-Evaluation and Further Development
Overall, I am satisfied with the outcome of this project. Not having any game design background or experience, it has been extremely challenging to create a simple game made of three states (start interface, play mode, game over), whilst also making use of multiple things that we have seen over the last term.Subsequent steps to improve this project would be to include more complex and engaging features, such as creating a narrative, allowing two people to play against each other, increasing complexity by differentiating the value of points that are collected or adding the third dimension to the movement. Finally, this project was imagined to be projected on a wall, creating a more playful and immersive experience.
Dunietz, J. (2016) The Most Important Object In Computer Graphics History Is This Teapot . http://nautil.us/blog/the-most-important-object-in-computer-graphics-history-is-this-teapot
Life as Art. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Available at: https://www.stedelijk.nl/en
Wallace, I. (2014) The History of the Found Object in Art. Available at: https://www.artspace.com/magazine/art_101/art_market/the-history-of-the-found-object-in-art-52224
3D Teapot model from Andy Lomas, class week 5 of Computational Forms and Process
BouncingBall-OOP-system, Theo Papatheodorou from week 4 of Workshop in Creative Coding
Moving object inside boundaries: https://forum.processing.org/two/discussion/17525/move-an-object-inside-window-boundary
Shiffman, D. (2012) The Nature of Code Chapter 4.