Global Game Jam 2016

I was invited to join a dream team of game industry veterans for this year’s Global Game Jam event in Ottawa. The idea is you have 48 hours to create a video game based on a secret theme revealed Friday night. The theme this year was “Ritual”.

Sunday afternoon (after many cups of coffee) my team demoed our final product – “Fire Whisperers”. You play one of (up to) four fire worshippers, co-operatively trying to appease the fire gods by dancing around the fire at night. But shadowy monsters are out to get you, so during the day you rush to harvest rocks and trees to build defensive walls and burning effigies. The end result is pretty fun and manic – there’s a DDR-style button-mashing mini-game to keep the fire burning, and we tuned it so there’s enough monsters to tempt one of the team members to jump into the fire as a sacrifice. 🙂

Not bad for 2 days!

Neural Networks + Recognition

I’m working on a lightweight computer vision algorithm for Robotgrrl’s Robot Missions project, and I’ve been exploring neural networks and learning machines on low-power hardware. This is a simple regression tool that breaks an image down into 64 samples and tries to determine which pixels are Jason (blueish) and non-Jason (reddish). It works surprisingly well in ideal situations!

The end goal is to create a feature identification tool that could help a robot navigate around rocks or branches or penguins.

The status feature also seems to be working correctly. (I may have hardcoded that)


Werewolf Detector

I’m doing some R&D on a project where I’ll be helping some dancers become ‘feral’, letting their animal spirits out using some digital trickery and projection mapping.

This is a fun step in my exploration – I’m using the excellent OpenCV library in Processing to recognise faces in a webcam video (the red box) and replace the faces with a super terrible “wolf mask”. 🙂 The end result is going to look a lot better than this – what’s exciting here is that it works at all. Can you believe real time facial recognition is possible on a tablet PC? We live in the future!