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Posts Tagged ‘flash’


This was a little, one-night experimental project that grew out of poking around with the excellent Flash Devekop IDE. The result was a proto-game where a bunch of little doods wander around the screen. I added a couple of rules that, while not really making it a game, do make for a fun little system to poke at, namely:

  • If a given dood happens to find himself close to the mouse pointer, he will stay near it
  • If the mouse moves too quickly, the doods will lose it and disperse
  • If the user clicks, all of the doods under the mouse will be frozen (stop moving) for a period of time. Frozen doods are blue
  • The more doods that get frozen, the longer the duration of the freeze

All in all, it means that there’s a kind of proto-game to be had in moving the mouse around the screen slowly to gather doods and then clicking to freeze them in place. Definitely not a game, but kinda fun to play with.

To play with it yourself, head here. Also note that the graphic for the dood came from the always-awesome Open Game Art site.

Uncategorized ,

Earthquake data viz demo

I just put together a small demo for the Experimental Interactivity class that I’m teaching this semester at the Academy of Art, and thought I’d post the result. It’s meant to demonstrate:

  • grabbing data from the web (in this case, a CSV file of recent earthquakes
  • altering the data to suit one’s needs (via PHP)
  • writing the data out as XML
  • reading XML into Flash

Pretty simple demo, but not bad for a few hours. All of the earthquakes in the past week are rendered on the map, with a dot that is scaled based on their magnitude. Moving the mouse from left to right across the map causes different quakes to become hidden or visible, depending on magnitude- move left to see small quakes, and right to see larger ones.

To see it in action, and to have a look at the source files (if you want), head here

projects, teaching ,

Enitech Labs: Final Puzzle

During my time at Millions of Us, I was fortunate enough to work on Terminator: Dark Discovery, an ARG to promote Fox’s Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicle, created by Blair Erickson.

My involvement with the project consisted of designing and implementing the final puzzle. The puzzle needed to take six locations (as longitude and latitude values) and, if the values were correct, display a seventh longitude and latitude coordinate.

Since the project was based in the Terminator mythos, I thought that a terminal interface would be appropriate. If a user visits the site, they are presented with a command line prompt, which they can use to enter text. No hints as to what the text should be are given- figuring out that longitude and latitude strings were required was part of the puzzle.

Once the user has input six pieces of text, an image is generated. The image is meant to represent a graph of the neural network that the player is interacting with. The image is created via psuedorandom methods, with the entered text serving as the seed values. This results in the specifics of the image being directly tied to the text that was entered. That characteristic allowed parts of the “correct” image to be distributed as hints.

To solve the puzzle, the user must not only enter the correct six locations, but s/he must do so in the correct order. If that happens, a sequence of images (drawn from the various videos produced during the project) flashes, and eventually stops, displaying the final location.

The puzzle was implemented in Flash, which worked great except for the lack of a psuedorandom number generator. In order to guarantee that the results would be reliable (necessary since the visual output was being used as clues), I wrote my own simple psuedorandom number generator, based on the linear congruental method.

In order to prevent the solution from being extracted via flash decompilers, I had the SWF fire a request to a PHP script that would accept input from the SWF, check it, and (in the case of the proper inputs), serve the answer.

If a user discovered the URL of the PHP script via a SWF decompiler and attempted to hit it directly from a browser, they would be redirected to a page that typed out an ominous message, implying that Skynet had noticed the attempt and was sending terminators their way.

To see it for yourself, head here. That’s a test version that will accept “one”, “two”, “three”, “four”, “five”, and “six” as the correct input. If you’d like to see what happens when someone tries to access the server script directly, go here.


2-bit Graphics

This was a small application I put together in Flash for a class I was teaching in the basics of digital imagery. The app is meant to demonstrate how GIF images work, meant to illustrate that you can have any specific color(s) you want, but only four at a time.

Users can click on a square to cycle through the four colors available, and can select a color to change its RGB components, allowing them to create old-school, lowfi images. To play with it for yourself, either click on the image or go here.

projects, teaching

65B: Digital Multimedia Flash animations online

I asked the students in my digital multimedia class to produce a short Flash animation, and the results are posted here

teaching ,