one of many isles

May 23rd, 2011

islanuevashot middle pic links to “pro” game: other two are originals



    whatever happen’d to me posts?

    May 23rd, 2011

    headlandss People should care about mental health as physical health and American society should be a bit less individual-oriented; that is, it is ridiculous we don’t readily help other adults.

    Brett Martin and Video Games as Art

    May 16th, 2011

    In his article, Martin brings up the issue of video games as art. While the medium is still relatively new, there does not appear to be a heavy controversy around the issue. Equipped with lush landscapes or demonic worlds, video games do a good job of simulating alternate realities. To me the question is not whether video games are art or not, but how to utilize video games in order to achieve art. Considering photography, I can see very much more how this would spur a controversy when it takes someone half a year to finish a landscape painting, and it takes another person just a moment. nevertheless, photography is an art. It requires timing, an acute understanding of light, and soul. While a photographer may never know or never need to know how to use a paint brush, his/her impact with art may be the same. The point to consider with video games, as in photography, or any other art medium, is to consider its full potential. With photography, as opposed to painting or drawing, pictures capture the reality of the moment. With photography, a person holding a cheese grater is just that, a person holding a cheese grater. This in and of itself tells a story of how and why the person is holding the cheese grater. Whereas with painting or drawing, a person holding a cheese grater would be seen as some sort of metaphorical meaning taken into some abstract understanding. This too has its advantages in effect; sometimes you want to suspend a person’s belief from the start and in these cases animation, painting or drawing would work better. When one wants to depict the actual occurence, photography would often work better. That being said, video games can gain the acceptance of the artworld as its own form perhaps in their ability to transport the player into another world. This would provoke an altered consciousness in a way that only video games are able to. How well and how thoroughly a video game is able to do this would reflect its credibility as an artform.

    unity island

    May 12th, 2011

    Picture 15.1


    May 12th, 2011

    Screen shot 2011-05-11 at 1.05.14 PM

    Unity Finished

    May 12th, 2011

    Picture 4Picture 5Picture 6Picture 7 Web player linked to last photo

    Thursday – Andy is running late

    May 12th, 2011

    I’m running late, please finish up and export your packages…… see you soon

    What We Learned This Semester

    May 11th, 2011

    Well, I certainly learned a lot. I hope the rest of the class did. Here’s my list of the main items:

    1. Our lives are embedded in a complex network of technologies (thank you James Burke). Technologies are connect to other technologies and to history, politics, and most of all the to the economy in which we live (capitalism).
    2. Artists should be aware of technologies because a) they are a lens through which we see the world (see John Berger, b) they are an artistic tool, and c) they are important cultural phenomena in which artists (and all of us) should be interested.
    3. We made art using post-its investigating how the technologies we use everyday are part of a rich web of connections.
    4. We looked at how video games can be used to make art and developed a proposal for an art project using the US Army’s video game and propaganda tool America’s Army.
    5. We learned the basics of video game programming in the Unity game development environment and we came full circle by making a connected virtual archipelago of islands, each with a technological theme.

    sketchup monument screenshot

    May 11th, 2011

    blender screenshot

    Island screenshots

    May 11th, 2011

    island screenshot aboveisland screenshot

    Technology Connections- Blender

    May 11th, 2011


    Cork’s Goin Off Breh!

    May 10th, 2011

    click me

    Picture 7

    Code for Text on Level Loading

    May 8th, 2011

    This is the script to show text at the beginning of your level. This needs to be linked to a GUIText object. Adjust the time to suit. The text should be something simple like following with your technology and name inserted:


    Find the technology….
    Press the Esc key for menu

    For line breaks insert \n into your text.

    private var StartTime : float;
    /*OnLevelWasLoaded () runs once*/
    function OnLevelWasLoaded () {
    	/*set the start time to the start of the game*/
    	StartTime = Time.time;
    function Update () {
    	/*if less than 5 seconds since start of game display the text*/
    	if(Time.time - StartTime <= 5){
    		guiText.enabled = true;
    		guiText.text = "ISLAND OF THE COMPUTER by Andy Cox
                   \n Find the technology....
                    \nPress the Esc key for menu ";
    	/*otherwise destroy the game object to which the script is attached*/
    	else {
    		Destroy (gameObject);

    “veezeet mah scalpchuh baddabeach”

    May 5th, 2011


    Unity Web Player

    May 5th, 2011


    island webplayer

    May 5th, 2011

    Picture 2

    Needle Island

    May 5th, 2011

    Needle Island

    Audacity – Mix Down to Mono

    May 5th, 2011

    Final Days

    May 5th, 2011

    Working backwards:

    Thursday 5/12. At the START OF CLASS We will be combining all the islands into one big Archipelago and playing it together. If your island is not ready to be included in the game you will not receive full marks for the island project.

    Tuesday 5/10. You must complete your island on this day! For our class project to work you must be finished. By now you should have finished everything up to the menu. Reserve today for the final starting screen and final tweaks.

    Thursday 5/5. To keep on schedule you must complete everything up to the menu! Stop fiddling and get the menu done now!

    Grade Breakdown – Revised – Please Read

    May 5th, 2011

    This is from the syllabus with some minor clarifications. Please read. Note that I have reduced the America’s Army art % to 5% and increased menus, splash screen and art tweaks to 15%. This is to place more emphasis on the creative artistic elements of your Interactive Island. I also increased the 3d Sculpture % to 15% (and reduced fostering a learning environment to 5%) to account for the increased effort required for this assignment. By doing this, the total grade for the Interactive Island is now 50% of the total grade which I think is more representative of the work required.

    In addition to the percentages below there will be bonus points available at my discretion for exceptional work that goes above and beyond requirements. For example, tweaking the game engine and textures to produce something truly unusual and exceptional. Please contact me for me information on this.

    Grade Breakdown

    Fostering a learning environment 5%

    Digital image of self and Gravatar 5%

    Ways of Seeing – cultural impacts of the computer 10%

    Domestic technology connections 10%

    Computer music composition, video capture, upload 10%

    Proposal for art based on America’s Army 5%

    Read and response to Art and Video Games reading 5%

    Interactive Island – terrain 10%

    Interactive Island – 3d sculpture – SketchUp, import 15%

    Interactive Island – game element: sound and text 10%

    Interactive Island – menu, splash sreen, art tweaks 15%

    TOTAL 100%

    Maker Faire May 21 and 22!

    May 5th, 2011

    If you have any interest in making things yourself, then this is the place to be on May 21 and 22! Fun and informative….

    CIA Show – from Matt Dalton

    May 5th, 2011

    I know your class meets at 2pm tomorrow, but noon is really the deadline for art to be submitted to the gallery show. We’re having our opening reception at 4pm and we want to make sure everything is set up and pretty with plenty of time to spare.  I’m not sure if anyone in your class wanted to be part of it, but I wanted to email you and make sure you knew about it.

    If your class has time tomorrow, it would be really cool for you guys to swing down for the opening real quick, it’s from 4-6pm.

    I hope to see you there, here’s the show fliers in case you wanted to see:

    Matthew A. Dalton


    May 3rd, 2011


    Picture 1

    My Unity Island

    May 3rd, 2011

    My Unity Island

    Class Agenda – Tuesday 05-03-11

    May 3rd, 2011

    Meet in CA 260!

    • Review of assignments
    • Using a menu to move to a random level
    • Work on projects

    Move From One Random Scene to Another Using A Menu

    May 3rd, 2011

    This code uses the ESC key to bring up a menu. The user then has the option to proceed to another island or to stay where they are. Remember that Update() and OnGUI() are evaluated every frame of the game (i.e. about once every 1/30th of a second)

    Notice use of quitMenu = !quitMenu; This means quitMenu becomes equal to the opposite of whatever it is now. So if it is false (menu not showing) it now becomes equal to true and the menu shows. If it is true (menu showing) it now becomes equal to false and the menu is not shown.

    Also notice the code for use of keyboard keys in Unity I if (Input.GetKeyDown(KeyCode.Escape)) means do something if the escape key is pressed down.

    The code needs to be linked to an empty game object in the hiearchy, and in that game object you need to set the height and width of the menu in the Inspector.

    To change the look of the menu you will need to implement GUISkin. See page 227 of Unity Game Development Essentials.

    var quitMenu : boolean = false;
    /*var menuSkin : GUISkin;*/
    var areaWidth : float;
    var areaHeight : float;
       function OnGUI() {
            if (quitMenu == true) {
            	/* = menuSkin;*/
    			var ScreenX = ((Screen.width * 0.5) - (areaWidth * 0.5));
    			var ScreenY = ((Screen.height * 0.5) - (areaHeight * 0.5));
    			GUILayout.BeginArea (Rect (ScreenX,ScreenY, areaWidth, areaHeight));      	
                if (GUILayout.Button ("Another Island")) {
                	Application.LoadLevel(Random.Range(0, Application.levelCount));
                    quitMenu = false;
           		if(GUILayout.Button ("Stay Here")){
    			quitMenu = false;
       function Update () {
            if (Input.GetKeyDown(KeyCode.Escape)) {
                quitMenu = !quitMenu;


    May 2nd, 2011

    Salutations Mr. Cox,

    In an attempt to better my letter grade I’ve taken your considerations regarding my postings and upgraded them.

    Upgraded Post:
    Are Video Games Art?
    Proposal for Art Project Based on America’s Army
    Reading Assignment 1: Ways of Seeing
    Lava Lamp Network

    I’ve no clue how I would upgrade my Mario Composer song for a better grade…?

    Thank you for allowing revisions, Brian Machado

    pen island: web player

    April 28th, 2011

    Screen shot 2011-04-28 at 3.06.19 PM

    Unity Update

    April 26th, 2011

    Picture 3

    Picture 1

    Unity – Miscellaneous Links for next Assignment

    April 24th, 2011

    More details will follow, but the next assignment involves creating a user interface where the player can either select to go to a random island or continue on the current island. The following information will be useful and you can start looking at it if you are ahead of the game (as it were).

    The above should pretty well explain everything we need to get the user interface working.

    More details on the assignment to follow…..

    Publishing Your Unity Web Builds – Important

    April 24th, 2011

    You cannot upload the .html and .unity3d files through Word Press. It does not work – the user is repeatedly requested to download the Unity web play. You MUST upload the files directly to the server via ftp as described in a previous post. Also, please do NOT upload to your own server. Follow the instructions in the post. I may need to edit the .html or make other necessary adjustments….

    Ashlee – Web Player

    April 21st, 2011



    Click Sculpture Image for web player.

    Unity Web Player

    April 21st, 2011

    Taryn’s Unity Island

    [Under Construction]

    Lava Lamp Island

    April 20th, 2011

    Lava Lamp Island





    Making text appear on the screen near an object

    April 19th, 2011

    For more details on these procedures see Unity Game Development Essentials pages 107 – 113; and 144 – 149. I developed the following procedures from these pages so read them first before proceeding. There may be minor details that I have not covered below!


    Basic Procedure – Collision Setup:

    1. Set up a box collider for the object.
    2. Tag the object so the script can access it.
    3. Write a script PlayerCollisons.js that defines what that controls what happens when the player hits an object.
    4. Link the script to the First Person Controller

    Basic Procedure – Text Setup:

    1. Set up a GUIText object to contain the text.
    2. Write a script showText.js that defines how the text is displayed.
    3. Link the scripts GUIText.
    4. Apply fonts (not covered below, see p. 148)


    1. Select your object then go to Component > Physics > Box Collider. Resize the green Box Collider using the X, Y, Z values.

    2. Select your object. Tag the object by clicking on the Tag dropdown menu. Choose Add Tag, and select a suitable name in the Tag Manager that replaces the current Inspector view. Once you’ve created the tag you will need to reselect it in the object and reselect the tag from the dropdown menu.

    3. You can create the PlayerCollision.js script outside of Unity using Unitron, or right click in the project window and Create > Javascript. If you do it this way, rename the script created. Click on the script and select Edit… in the Inspector window. Unitron opens. Enter the following:

    function Update () {
    function OnControllerColliderHit(hit : ControllerColliderHit){
    		if(hit.gameObject.tag == "Wall"){
    			showText.message = "HELLO WORLD";
    			showText.turnTextOn = true;
    			/*MenuGUI.showMenu = true;*/

    OnControllerColliderHit() is a function provided by the Unity game engine. “Wall” is the tag of my object with a box collider. Yours will be different! ShowText is the name of the function that we have not written yet. And of course replace HELLO WORLD with your own text.

    4. Select the First Person Controller and Component > Scripts and select the PlayerCollisions script.


    1. Create a GUIText object (see page 144 of UGDE): GameObject > Create Other > GUI Text. Rename this object to TextHintGUI. (In order to avoid confusion I called mine the same name as in the book TextHintGUI, but you could call it anything as long as you use the same name in the script that addresses it).

    2. Create a new Javascript file (as described above) and IMMEDIATELY rename it to showText.

    static var turnTextOn : boolean = false;
    static var message : String;
    private var timer : float = 0.0;
    function Start(){
    	timer = 0.0;
    	TurnTextOn = false;
    	guiText.text = "";
    function Update () {
    		guiText.enabled = true;
    		guiText.text = message;
    		timer += Time.deltaTime;
    	if(timer >=5){
    		turnTextOn = false;
    		guiText.enabled = false;
    		timer = 0.0;

    Note the use of static var to create global variables which will be accessible to the Player Collisions.js script.

    3. Link the above script to TextHintGUI object by selecting it in the Hierarchy and then Component > Scritps > showText to add the above script that you just created.

    4. Apply fonts to your TextHintGUI. See page 148 of UGDE for how to import fonts of your choice. If you want to use the default font Arial you can go ahead and changes its appearance in the inspector without importing anything.

    Introduction to Scripting for Unity

    April 19th, 2011


    Scripting provide custom behavior for game objects.

    General procedure is to write the script and then link it to the game object by selecting the game object then Component > Scripts and select the script.

    Save scripts to the Assets folder and Unity will detect them and add them to the Project window.

    Scripting languages for Unity include Javascript, C#, and Boo.


    Javascript: also used for web authoring.

    Must declare variables to be used before using them, e.g

    static var X : float 1.0;

    static var Y : float 2.0:

    static var Z : float;

    private var A : boolean = false;

    Other variable types include boolean (true, false) and string (text).

    static means the variable is available to all other functions


    Basic math: Z = X + Y;

    Functions are the build blocks of Javascirpt (and all programming languages), e.g.

    function AddNumbers (X,Y){

    Z = X + Y


    call the function: AddNumbers(a,b)

    All Unity scripts include the function Update (){} which is a call to the engine to update the script at every frame.

    Conditional Statements: if (a == b){ do something}

    Compiling: scripts are compiled for use in the game as soon as you save them. Any errors will appear in the bottom window bar.

    Class Agenda Tuesday 4-19-11

    April 19th, 2011

    Introduction to scripting for Unity.

    Making text appear on the screen near an object.

    Install technological networks and sketches.

    Updated unity island

    April 19th, 2011



    Needle Henge

    April 15th, 2011

    Click on image for island walkabout.


    Hot Bottled Water

    April 14th, 2011

    SculptureLink to my Unity Island

    Island View

    Art as the uncanny and six bloody prayer flags

    April 13th, 2011

    We’ve been talking a lot about “art” in the 412 class. For me it is something that jolts me into looking at the world differently. It strikes me as uncanny or “unheimlich” to use the psychoanalytic term. It takes a receptive mind to see it…. and it does not necessarily take intention to create it.

    Amy hangs 6 red rags on the clothes line with 6 identical clothespins. They flap in wind like bloody prayer flags. Did she mean it as art? (She is an artist after all.) But it doesn’t matter, because it was seen as such.


    Andy Cox, April 2011

    Senior Show – Essential Information

    April 13th, 2011

    Art 412 will be participating in the Senior Show on Saturday April 23. You participation is mandatory. Those who may noteworthy contributions will receive extra credit. We will be showing the post-it technology network and sketches and your islands.

    Post-It Technology Network

    This will be displayed in the alcove near the elevator. A group of students have volunteered to paint the alcove on Thursday 4/14 between Paul’s and my classes, and will bring in the paint and materials. We will install the network and the sketches on Tuesday 4/19.

    You must bring in your original sketch or a good copy on Tuesday 4/19. I will supply foamcore, glue, knives, etc and you will mount your sketches. If you do not bring in your sketch you will not be in the show.


    Your islands will be displayed on a computer in either FA544 or FA538.

    To be in the show your islands must be on the web by Thursday 4/21 and you must post a screen  shot of your sculpture in it’s island setting AND a view of your island from directly above by Tuesday 4/19. Each image should be 400 px by 200 px.

    The web player islands will be accessed from a web page displaying your screen shots in a simple grid. The screen shots will link to the web play. I am planning to make the web page, but if anyone wants to make it for extra credit then please let me know.

    Pen Garden

    April 12th, 2011

    Screen shot 2011-04-12 at 1.07.36 PMScreen shot 2011-04-12 at 1.08.15 PMScreen shot 2011-04-12 at 1.08.58 PMScreen shot 2011-04-12 at 1.09.36 PMScreen shot 2011-04-12 at 1.31.17 PMScreen shot 2011-04-12 at 1.31.40 PM

    Art and Video Games

    April 12th, 2011

    I would say that many people involved with the creation of video games are too big of fans of video games for radical and constant revolutions in the gaming style.  The same exists in art.  Many “artists” are fans and spend the majority of their time locked into a copying or emulating sort of mode without ever doing anything avant guard.  I think that the Xbox Kinect is going to create a new dimension not only in the gaming but in the 3d modeling of characters which could produce less computerized creations.  Humans have a different touch with their hands even if they’re not actually touching anything.  Sculpting with connect would be ultimately more ergonomic than existing methods using a mouse or pen.  Also tendonitis would be a thing of the past for video game designers.  Sculpting a character onto a screen with nothing in front of the artist but the virtual environment on the computer screen makes much more sense

    for physical artist sculptors than using a mouse and keyboard.  The virtual environment would take some getting used to but only at first.  If 3d modelling were more like physical clay modeling, it might be more accessible for physical sculptors, opening up the doors for video games become more artistically expressive.

    I consider the writing, concepts, technologies, characters, drama etc. involved in video game creation is all an art.  The janitor who clean up the cheese doodles of the oversized programming engineers have developed their own distinctive technique in this activity: therefore could be considered art.  Any major
    production of any sort involving the production of a collaborative art piece is considered art, much like Christo and Jean Claude’s who consider their whole production, organization and collaboration as an Artistic Expression

    This is the end of the Late Renaissance era of the video game.  The convention of an enclosed world has been shattered and the joystick is now unimportant.  Soon enough will the player feel pain when we get shot in Call of Duty 10?

    Building for Web Player and Uploading

    April 11th, 2011

    Building for Web Player

    File > Build Settings

    Platform > Web Player

    Scenes to Build > Add Current

    Player Settings opens an Inspector Window

    Default screen width > leave at default of 600

    Default screen height > leave at default of 450

    Web Player Template > your choice

    Make no other changes.

    Hit Build and a folder with two files will be created. One is an html file (let’s call it island.html) and one is a unity3d file, in this case it would be island.unity3d.

    Uploading to the Internet

    I have established a class folder called art 412 on my server to which you need to upload your files.

    FTP to / login: art 412 / password: ask me

    Create a folder with your name within the art412 folder. The process for this depends on which ftp client your are using.

    Upload the two files (not the folder itself) to your folder.

    Your game will now be playable at: (or whatever you named it during the build process).

    Here’s an example link to my test game:

    Class Agenda – Tuesday 4-12-11

    April 10th, 2011

    Overview of final Unity project

    Proximity sound from Mario Composer – need to recapture sound only

    Building for web player and posting to blog

    Open studio

    Final Unity Project

    April 10th, 2011


    Before starting on the above you need to have been completed your technological sculpture, associated proximity sound and web player implementation.

    The schedule for the items shown in the above flow chart is as follows

    1. Title screen and final cleanup due for demonstration in class by May 5th

    2. Proximity trigger and message about technology with timer due by April 21st

    3. User interface element to select whether to stay on island or move to next island by April 28th.

    Note: in order to test your user interface element to move to the next island you will need to set up a an additional simple scene within your project to move to. This can be as simple as a flat surface but it must have a first person controller.

    Art Asset Modeling

    April 8th, 2011

    I think this video will probably give us an insight of how digital assets (artistic data that goes into video games) are seen in video game development, although this video is in an ongoing video blog of the steps it takes to create a video game, which the title of the game is Overgrowth.

    An Overview of Model Rock Sculptures in Video Game Development

    Wolfire Games Youtube Channel

    About Wolfire Games (from their website):

    Wolfire Games develops innovative, independent games for Mac OS, Windows, and Linux. It was started by David Rosen in 2003 to organize his open source video game contest entries. After graduating college in 2008, he was joined by his twin brother and three friends and Wolfire Games officially dove into the independent game industry!

    Video Games as Art.

    April 5th, 2011

    I agree with the reading that video games can potentially be considered art, but it is not a universally accepted form of art.  The definition of art in the article seems to be very specific.  According to the reading, art isn’t considered art if its made for commercial purposes but I don’t think that’s entirely true.  A film made for the purpose of selling can still be considered art, it can be produced for its commercial purpose, but may also convey an important message.  This also applies to video games as well as other forms of art.

    If an image produced on a T.V. screen that an artist had to produce isn’t considered art, then one could argue that an image someone painted on to a canvas isn’t considered art.  Regardless of the intended purpose of the image, (or game, or movie, or commercial), it still has a purpose and leaves an impression on the viewer, although it may not have an agreeable message.

    “Should Videogames be Viewed as Art?”

    April 5th, 2011

    Similar to how photography was viewed when it first emerged, the art of videogames is not respected in the art world. They are not  beautiful or thought-provoking, and are created with computers rather than an artist’s touch. They are just games, and cannot compare to a painting or a sculpture. Or so says the public, which Brett Martin argues against in his article. Videogames incorporate a variety of mediums into one and can absolutely be beautiful and thought-provoking. Much like cinema, videogame creators build characters, landscape, and narrative in order to bring their masterpieces together. Martin talks about the art form in the game Final Fantasy compared to a game like Madden, and states that gamers have more respect for Final Fantasy as a game and as a piece of art. Although, I believe that both games should be viewed as art; the creation of both games takes skill, they just have different intentions and different audiences. This is similar to how many people would not regard the below painting as art in the same way they would regard Picasso or Van Gogh.


    But, it is still “art” to the public.

    I believe that almost anything can be considered art. Humans have the capacity to create anything, and the methods and styles they use should not determine whether the end result is “art.” Martin uses a quote in his article that resonates with me: “The time will come when a work will be judged on its merits, not by the method of production…” (203).

    Simply because videogames, cinema, and photography need the help of computers doesn’t make them any less aesthetically pleasing than a painting or a sculpture. The methods used to create videogames aren’t any better or worse than older art mediums, they just produce different outcomes.