This is my entry, My Digital Self Expression
You give My Digital Self Expression a poem, which it interprets by drawing a flower.
The gameplay is simply exploring the space of possible flowers and learning My Digital Self Expression's personality.
And for those who are interested ...
The inspiration for this project came from all the talk I've been hearing recently about people wanting to create the "YouTube of games." Mainly, I think that means wanting to create a website that sells for billions of dollars, but to some degree it also means providing a platform for building and sharing games. Metaplace
and Sims Carnival
are such sites that have already gone alpha or beta, and I bet there are many more that are still unannounced.
In order to be more accessible and increase the amount of content coming in, most of the YouTube of games sites provide some kind of simplified programming environment custom tailored for building games. But where anyone who can plug in a webcam can create a YouTube video, making a game still requires at least some kind of programming, even if it's in a language that looks more like a flow chart than C++.
Just like people say they "can't do calculus," I think some people can't do programming. Not that they're mentally incapable of doing it, it's just the kind of structured sequential anal retentiveness required to program, whether C or Gamemaker, doesn't excite them. It's not the state of mind they want to be in for the length of time it takes to make a game. The problem is, programming aptitude has very little to do with design sense.
When I was doing hobby game development in school, I had a friend named Stuart who I consider to be very smart, but not a very good programmer. He was one of those people who just couldn't do it. Stuart could, however, come up with really inspired game design ideas, so we worked together, me as the programmer and Stuart as the idea man. Instead of just describing his designs in words, though, Stuart would often give me a song or a movie clip which had a similar "feeling" to the game idea he'd just come up with. His examples communicated the intangibles of the ideas much more effectively than words, and I therefore I was better able to translate them into game code.
Not every Stuart has a spare programmer to do his bidding, but if we're ever going to have a real YouTube of games, anybody
, programmer or no, has to be able to contribute. My Digital Self Expression is a prototype of a more accessible interface for content creation. Obviously it would have been much better if it could create games instead of just flowers, but hopefully it does convey the idea of taking a piece of media that a non-programmer might be comfortable with (in this case, a poem) and then automatically translating it into something the computer can understand and build something from.