[An addendum to the original ‘three’ part series.]
PART IV: PARALLEL VERSIONS AND INTERACTIONS
Written following the events of IndieCade 2017/10. [full article]
A caveat of developing Marshall’s Theory is that there has always been two visualizations of the project : a standalone-PC executable and the Aerial/HoloPlayer version. By this point, it may not be realized but the game started out in a prototype system in the lab called the 2D Aerial that utilized AIRBAR controls which captured only X and Y values and performed interaction based on mouse touch when the air above the airbar was touched. This was the very initial state of the project. At this point, I began to generate distinct differences between a floating light display and standard screen display for this piece and others which could have followed. Here’s the main comparison which prevails to this date in time-
MARSHALL’S THEORY-FLOATING LIGHT
-Interaction based on touch.*
-Hard to film and visualize through documentation. Intensive visuals left unseen.
-More intriguing and takes the ‘dream’ narrative to a different angle.
-A version that clearly helps the brand.
-SDK camera is immersive. Though, game requires overhauling to fit camera capture.
MARSHALL’S THEORY-PC SCREEN
-Interaction based on keys-controller.
-Easier to capture and document screen. Intensive visuals are seen.
-Not as intriguing as light display. Dream narrative could be just cosmetic.
-A version that alludes to the brand, but indirectly.
-Regular camera is standard, but with post-processing wide lens, and can see further.
*Even for some instances of HoloPlayer life, keystroke-controller persisted.
In the end, both versions needed to exist. The game served as a work that would expose positive qualities of the HoloPlayer and Aerial 2D. However, without the documentation in full effect, the title may not have properly shown the game’s own qualities and what it could offer the HoloPlayer. The dual documentation and versions of the game served to display potential discourse for those in a similar situation. As well, a focal point of the game’s appeal is its minimalistic yet erratic visual style that could be best realized in clear and full view.
The current day version of Marshall’s Theory on the HoloPlayer, latest showing being at IndieCade West in LA as of this last weekend, made strides to optimizing the game directly for the system; RealSense interaction in tow. Another caveat, this being related to the clipping distances of the camera, is that is the far clip is too far into the distance, the 3D ‘effect’ becomes more of a blurry array of blinded views more than depth. This created an issue for standard immersion in the HoloPlayer SDK the way the PC standalone version is capable of. Features needed to be sacrificed.
FEATURES AVAILABLE IN PC STANDALONE THAT CHANGED FOR HOLOPLAYER OR VICE VERSA
-Beginning and ending cutscenes. Instead of a single camera capturing the nightmare Washington D.C. in full view, video files of both cutscenes needed to be captured and then transposed onto a modeled TV set (in the spirit to the 70s/Watergate) that showed it on a 2D plane. The TV set was concealed of an object to be 3D enough without stressing the clipping distances of the SDK camera.
-The instructions page now features a vignette of the nightmare Washington D.C. floating beneath the commands you may have in the game once you enter. This is added for the environment makes less of an appearance in the main game stage as it does in the Standalone PC version. In the standalone, there are three bodies of characters: the president, the protesters, and the world. In the HoloPlayer version, there are two: the president and the protesters with the environment taking a backseat. The information lost in the main scene is hopefully recovered via other placements of the world.
-The main scene’s overworld itself is altered tremendously. The backdrop of flashing buildings, motions, and Uncle Sam playing golf has been dissolved into a skybox that is in best focus in the backdrop. Buildings are more scattered in the main gameplay area while there is only one cone of light that helps makes the clipping plane coming into view more bearable. This is the most significant change. In the end, it is sacrificing the surreal backdrop for immersive, 3D floating graphics. A trade which hopefully benefits the player.
The last addition was RealSense controls. Which work very, very effectively with piece and harkens it back to its initial Aerial 2D version. The programming commands I am giving are something of this sort with the needed math in C#.
-FOLLOW CURSOR POSITION
-ONLY DETECT CURSOR IF IN 90 DEGREE VIEW CONE IN FRONT (ROUGHLY THE SAME AS HOLOPLAYER SPECS).
-DEPENDING ON DISTANCE AWAY FROM PLAYER CENTER, ADD FORCE (CLOSER-WEAKER, FURTHER-STRONGER).
The missing link that will truly make all complete- interactive buttons. Right now they are external keyboard or interface. Having the buttons directly on the machine while touch controls are enabled will make the HoloPlayer a console for internal, political war. As well, taking the most recently updated components and reinstating them into the PC version. Final updates will be reflected in an update to the forum/GitHub release in due time.
[Adapted from the ending of the instances talk has been given at G4C, PixelPop, and IndieCade.]
[gifs should be below, if not, mash keypad furiously]
The game follows an array of previous odd-ball titles adopted for avant-garde holographic technology from Sega: Time Traveller and Holosseum. The bizarre and experimental are synonymous with new technology as a means of discovering the social or the self before reaching a more concrete market.
In a strange occurrence where the the ending of a game stage is the colossus version of Abraham Lincoln impaling himself onto the monument of George Washington after the air has been rid of dream-oxygen, this pales in comparison to the fantasy based warfare that exists in the headlines of reality. Detournement is dead. We allowed ourselves to exist in a dreampolitik where comedy comes to tangibility. Now the joke is all around us. And no one is laughing. Reality subsides fantasy in banality. Fantasy subsides reality in reason.
Why did Trump need to be a hologram? Good question.
- As mentioned before, artists use new technology as a means of social or personal exploration before the technology becomes marketed.
- The aura of a hologram is that of a fluctuating dream.
- A hologram reflects. The fact is nothing if not reflected today.
- Serious often needs what is ‘fun’ to be taken seriously.
- When Michael Jackson died, he was resurrected in a hologram. When Tupac died, he was resurrected in a hologram. Now that democracy has died, it too can be resurrected with a hologram.
- Because the people at Looking Glass let me.
Marshall’s Theory: available for HoloPlayer One/SDK now. HoloPlayer One kits release worldwide very soon.