Artwork #4: It’s A Feature & Class Summation

Artist’s Statement

When coming up with an idea for a final project, I knew I wanted to do something digital, but I couldn’t think of a unique enough concept that would be feasible in the time I had with the skills I possessed. I eventually narrowed it down to either a game that utilizes cheat codes, or a game that used music input for controls. I decided on using the cheat code idea as that was the most developed of the two. As I started work on the project, I wonder what narrative possibilities there could be for this type of game and how I could spin the gameplay around such a narrative. QA testing was a quick idea stemming from my experiences on co-op and in other projects, so I tweaked the idea to make it a story about a newly hired QA tester dealing with a poorly made, unfinished product. Thus, the concept of It’s A Feature was born.

Inspiration for this project came from a combination of personal experience, previous works and material from this class. The material that I believe is related to this project is the Dada movement, which had a series of works that turned their respective media on their heads, while also focusing on the audience experience. My game is made to serve as a statement on the frustrations of QA and Bug Fixing, so I intentionally made it as tedious and inefficient as possible. However, I still wanted the game to feel like a game, with a goal and unique gameplay  that maintained the line of challenging and entertaining, similar to how Dadaists maintained some tropes of their media while keeping up their avant-garde style, so I made sure not to go to overboard and provide sufficient tutorial in the console UI for players on any end of the learning curve. The reason I chose a developer’s console format for this game stemmed from my frequent playing and streaming of Garry’s Mod on PC. In GMod, players use a developer’s console to enter cheats such as flight, no collisions, killing all other players, launching nukes, among many other surreal features. I figured the console would be a simple enough format for gamers and designers like me and my classmates to pick up on, and sure enough, they managed to pick up on the system with very little assistance. Non-gaming inclined players might take a bit longer to grasp the system, but that’s why the tutorial is so descriptive.

Playtesting for this game occurred over several instances in two different classes. Overall, the game was very successful in bringing about intense frustration in the player, as the first couple of playtesters swore and screamed many times over the course of the game. Despite the frustration, they still said the game was fun and I had a clear and well-executed message.  One complaint some playtesters had was that some of the UI needed to be tweaked in early iterations, specifically in the mock developer console, in order ton make the experience a little more realistic (i. e. Getting rid of inefficient buttons that could be replaced with a key press, and switching around some key commands to pertain to certain), but that was easily fixed in the more recent iteration.


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Click below for .exe file:


This Class’s Effect On Me


The materials offered in this course on Dadaism, Kaprow Happenings, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, The Institute etc. focused a great deal on Human Experience, and they seem to have had a great effect on me during the course. All of my major projects had something to do with re-experiencing events with a modified perspective, and managed to cover various mediums of artwork instead of just the digital games I had become accustomed to working with.

My First Project took a simple, everyday action, eating a meal, and turned it into a music theory experience. It brought to light how little we think about mundane actions, and the psychological presence of music all around us. I found it to be a fascinating score, despite it’s non-game feel, and it opened up my prior inhibitions about any other experimental works in the class.

My Second Project, a more game-like one, doubled as an analysis of vernacular and tradition in gaming communities as well as a creative mod of a popular title. It helped me realize the hidden depths possible in a game that appropriated so many assets and mechanics, so long as they are executed properly and well-explained in any write-ups.

My Third Project, while a failure, was still ambitious in its concept and did manage to teach me something about development and human behavior. It was an ambitious guidance system that tried to drag people out of their comfort zone in public, as this class had done to me a couple of times. However, I didn’t manage my scope hard enough, and I didn’t take into account people’s willingness for public performance, and I couldn’t garner support for a playtest. Now, I have learned from that mistake and used the lesson learned in other projects this semester.

My Fourth Project is gone into detail above, and it was subjectively one of my better works this semester. I think I have greatly grown as a designer thanks to this course, with the materials, assignments, and other activities providing many new ideas to expand my scope for brainstorming and developing concepts. I am grateful for all the offerings this course had to help me grow and prepare for the field of game design, and hopefully I can continue to apply this acquired skills in future courses/assignments/projects/positions.

Thank you and good night.

Artwork #3: Intervention on the Orange Line

Intervention on the Orange Line

This intervention-based artwork, as the title indicates, takes place entirely on the orange line. An even number of players, preferably 2-4, will split into even teams and travel 4 stops in opposite directions on the orange line, then back to Ruggles. At each individual stop, I will contact them through Facebook messenger and tell them to perform a specific action (e.g. Running up and down stairs, doing a cartwheel, dancing to music on your headphones) and send a video of the action to progress to the next stop. The team that returns to Ruggles first is the winner.

The inspiration behind this work came from AR based games such as The Jejune institute and Humans VS Zombies. What fascinated me about these works was the idea of a space being created where players could perform these unorthodox actions, and leading to players embracing the absurdity of the situation and becoming immersed. I grew to wonder just how far these games could go in getting people to leave their comfort zone and embrace the AR experience. Jejune managed to get complete strangers to run all around the San Francisco area, and while I knew I wouldn’t be able to pull off something of that scale, my curiosity was piqued. I decided to set my space in the realm of the Orange Line, as I had experimented with games involving the MBTA in the past, and it was a close enough space to campus where a large population of people congregated.

I knew a lot of people involved with theater here at Northeastern, so I thought I would be able to round up some participants relatively quickly. Alas, I had asked almost 100 people to help playtest my game, and all of them said no. Some of them even backed out after accepting to playtest when they heard what the rules were. I had already adjusted the scope multiple times to decrease the time commitment, as that was why some people refused in the first iteration, but there was not enough interest to collect documentation for this project. In hindsight, there were many aspects of testing I could have worked on to get better results. I could have realized that it was a tall order to get people to perform odd tasks in a public place for a long period of time, especially during a time of the year where everyone is swamped with work leading up to finals.  I also could have worked harder and started earlier on finding people willing to participate, I just didn’t think that so many people would turn down the game.

This attempt at an intervention was a failure. My problem was my scope was far too large for this project at this time in the year, even after the changes I made to make it more accessible to the student body. I was too staunch in my ways to change my idea to one that could be more feasible, and as a result, my time ran out and I had no willing participants. If there is a takeaway from this experience, it’s that I should be more flexible with my time and creative vision. If I take on a future project and some unforeseeable circumstances arise that affect its progress, I need to be adaptable regardless of how much it strays from my original vision. The priority is that the project’s message is clear and properly executed.

Indie Art Game Show & Tell: Disco Discomfort

Indie Show & Tell

Disco Discomfort

Gameplay Video:


Gameplay Description:

Have you ever gone out to do something and feared that everyone in the world would judge you for it? Well if you want a game that’s literally the digital manifestation of your anxious nightmares, this is the game for you! There is little in-world interaction in this game, as its more about the atmosphere than the actions you can perform, but it still is a unique player experience you can’t find anywhere else. Now available on GameJolt!

Artwork #2: Spam Fighter

Fighting games are some of the most competitive games out there, as such, there are a bunch of implicit rules in place in order to keep the competition fair and exclusive to “pros”. What I mean by that is that these rules require an intense understanding of the game’s mechanics, and any player that is trying to learn the ropes is ostracized. One of these rules involves the action of “Spamming”, or repeatedly using a strong move to gain an advantage instead of utilizing combos or other tools. Spamming is looked down upon in numerous fighting game communities, but nowhere is it more widely used than in the Street Fighter series. That’s where the idea for this project stemmed. I looked at the game “Street Fighter II”, arguably the most well-known of the series, and thought: “What would happen if all you could fight with was projectiles?” So, I recreated the code as best as I could and left only projectile attacks for the players. I made only one hit be the win condition for the project because the projectiles consistently collide and destroy each other as they do in the real game, and having to repeatedly hit the opponent without colliding with another projectile could get a bit tedious.

From the start, I wanted to do a digital project for this assignment, so my first theorized approach to appropriation was taking assets from a previously made game and reusing them in a different context, similar to Cory Arcangel’s “Super Mario Clouds”. I remembered seeing a play-through of the indie game “DiveKick”, a fighting game where all you could do was jump and kick and one hit was all it took to win, and I wondered how I could do something similar in a way that fit the theme of the assignment. I knew that limiting to a physical attack would be too obvious for this project, I needed to limit gameplay to a move that isn’t supposed to be used every 5 seconds. Projectiles came to me pretty quickly, and I knew Street Fighter would be relatively easy to recreate in a Unity Engine, and I completed the first prototype in about 2 days.

Play-testing for this project occurred over two sessions. For the first session in a class, I had the two players sit down and read the instructions before playing. They appeared to have fun during the session, though they were a bit confused by the controls the first couple of rounds they played. They got the hang of it, and reception was overall positive saying how they enjoyed the fact that the only move you could do was projectiles. Of course, the two were not avid fighting game players, so how effective it would be on more experienced players was still up in the air. The second session was with two more “hardcore” fighting game players, I explained the rules and they began play. They too caught on to the controls quickly, and got very competitive over it, yelling expletives at each other and hastily trying to be the fastest button pushers. It reminded me of a real competition for Super Smash Brothers I’d participate in during my Freshman year. Overall, I think it captured the idea behind my project quite well, as the players were able to have fun despite the constant spamming. There was no elitism over “the right way to play”, there was just two players trying to win, and that’s all competition’s supposed to be about.



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Breakfast Orchestra Piece

Breakfast Orchestra

  1. Get a breakfast meal in front of you.
  2. Preferably at least 1 solid food and 1 drink
  3. Each item is a musical instrument
  4. Each bite, each drink and each sound is a note in a grand symphony
  5. Imagine that you are playing said symphony as you eat
  6. If you wish, try to make actual music with the food
  7. Share the results with the world.

Artist’s Statement

“If music be the food of love, play on.” -William Shakespeare

Music truly is everywhere, though we may not always notice it during the hustle of the day. This score gives the user the ability to notice music in the most unlikely of places, and forces them to think outside the mainstream idea of what defines an instrument, or even a symphony. Something I like to do whenever I’m standing around doing nothing by myself is play some songs I’ve listened to in my head. Sometimes when I do this I start to mimic the rhythm of certain instrumental parts on stuff I find around me: pencils, the walls, the floor, the zipper on my bag, a desk, etc. I find it to be pretty therapeutic, and it also allows me to branch off into my own original rhythms when I find good enough inspiration. Music allows you to escape into an ideal world of their favorite genre, so why shouldn’t you be able to experience that in the day to day grind? All it requires is the proper mindset and concentration, and if you are more of a physical actor than a visualizer, then you can tap or whistle or perform whatever other actions necessary to fully immerse yourself.

The inspiration behind this score came from some of the works from Yoko Ono and John Cage. Specifically in Ono’s Grapefruit, I noticed a lot of “musical” score that were organized like an orchestral piece as well as a lot of scores that required the user to visualize something. I was particularly fascinated by these types of scores, and being a fan of various music genres, I wondered if there was a way I could combine these scores with a twist. Then I thought of Cage’s more avant garde musical pieces that used atypical instruments while I was eating breakfast, and I realized the potential of food as music. I wanted to make sure that this score was more about the experience than the final result, because not all people have Julliard levels of musical talent, so I emphasized visualizing the piece without mentioning how good it should sound or what constraints there would be. That would only cause stress for the user, and this score is meant primarily to relax the mind.

As its current iteration stands, this is a solo effort, as each person will statistically imagine a different musical piece from the rest. This can come as an advantage, as it means the user is free to express how they interpret the imagined music without the stress of dealing with conflicting interpretations. There is no conductor commanding your moves, there are no arguing band mates at every measure, there is just your music and you. This lack of right and wrong should be the greatest appeal of this score, and as it gathers participants, it can strengthen their creative abilities and have them continue thinking of the music in day-to-day life. Perhaps then, will they will discover a newfound love for music that I and so many others before me have longed to share with the world.



3rd Party: