Dungeon Alive | Zhaorui Zhang & Wenhao Zhu

Dungeon_Alive: A traveler has found a mysterious place with guardians…

WASD to move

LMB to attack

P to restart the game


Artist Statement:

For our project, we were inspired by the Crowd-Sourced Intelligence Agency (CSIA) by Jennifer Gradecki & Derek Curry from 2015 to 2021. We got inspiration from cheating and tricking the players, and we want to make the players feel more by playing through the game but not get to the point very soon. From the first, we were considering making a digital game about learning player’s behaviors. We would like to make a dungeon which could learn the player’s action and then give some different feedback to cheat or annoy the player. However, from that starting point to begin our project it is a little hard to consider what we want to express. Therefore, we stepped back to the concept of the name of our project – Dungeon “Alive.” We would like to make our players have a feeling that the dungeon is alive, so we switch the views from the player to the “enemies.” How would I react to the player’s behaviors in the condition I am one of the people in the dungeon. If that is not a game, I guess most of the people would react the same while a stranger is getting closer and closer to you and trying to attack you. Apparently, you will try to defend yourself and try to get away from that guy, which is the same as the people in the dungeon. The interesting point is while the players are playing through the game, they will find that their actions are unchangeable and which will completely change the game. Therefore, Dungeon Alive is a game where all of your actions, not just attacks, will affect the dungeon. Through our project, we would like to let people be aware that: It is human beings’ nature to long for power, however this power could also bring different feelings to others, and that could even totally change their lives…


What’s Special:

If you trying to get close to the guardians with the weapon, they will attack you due to self-defense.


If you trying to attack the guardians, they will fight you back. However, the guardians have different humanities, so some of them will fight you back by chasing you positively, but some of them will only stay on the spot.


We create a glitch room for the player who has killed lots of enemies. There’s a powerful weapon that the player can choose to use or not. The shape of a gun refers to the ultimate power. The player may abuse the power in the rest of the levels.


The enemies will run away from the player if the player kills an enemy with the gun. All of them can understand the power of the gun. Then, they lost the will to fight.

Drop Your Phone

Art Work:

  • Send pictures of instructions to people around me through AirDrop in order to let them drop their phones.
  • Selected locations
    • International Village Dining Hall
    • Classroom

Artist Statement:

The ideation of this project came from social circumstances around people these years. We might notice that over the years people have become more prone to hunchbacks, and that is mainly because of the existence of smartphones. People are always downing their heads and playing with their phones almost all the time, and that is a really bad circumstance. That is not only bad for people’s health and also would let them miss the environment around them. Therefore, I was considering doing something to let them drop their phones.

I was inspired by Men in Grey (Julian Oliver & Danja Vasiliev, 2009-2014). The feeling of that intervention would give the participants a strong sense of being monitored. The reason is their screens are going to be shown on the case which would let them feel unsafety and drop their phones or close their laptops unconsciously. I want that feeling to appear in my participants, therefore I select AirDrop as my examination tool.

AirDrop is a powerful tool for this project but still has some limitations. I could use AirDrop to send pictures of instructions to strangers without having their contact but the limitation is I could only send pictures to Apple users. Also, I did some variations of my project because I can’t clearly get people’s reactions and feedback if I do not know who I am going to send pictures to. Therefore, I chose to send pictures to my friends without telling them anything about the project and it works perfectly. They were feeling really weird and stunned, one of them even showed the picture to me and ask do I also received that picture, and soon they dropped their phones. The location of the project could also be diverse, I chose IV Dining Hall and one of my classes for this project. I made different pictures of instructions for different locations in order to enhance the feeling of being monitored. Overall, the intervention works perfectly, and the participants’ reactions really achieved my original purpose.



Game Requirements: A device with the ability to reverse audio

Game Rules: There are two characters in the game, one is going to be the Speaker and the other is going to be the Listener.

  1. The Speaker is going to record one clip of their words. In this case, the Listener can’t hear them talking. (put on a headphone)
  2. The Speaker needs to Reverse the clip and show it to the Listener.
  3. The Listener is going to imitate what they heard and record it.
  4. The Listener is going to Reverse their clip again and guess what the Speaker said.

Artist’s Statement:

I was influenced by many later Dada artworks on my Appropriate. As the main point of Dadaism, we need to use existing things as prototypes and make a re-creation on the basis of it. According to some modern works, such as Open Source, by Super Soul, 2012, they chose to use technology as creative conditions to make people get more interesting feedback on this activity. Or Mary Flanagan, Giant Joystick, they have a very shocking understanding of the Appropriate in the Digital Age. I was deeply influenced by the use of technology on existing technologies, and the influence of Open Source on me, so I wanted to create my project focused on sound.

For the recreation of sound, TENET has given me great inspiration. Because when the main character enters the counter-world in TENET, everything around him will operate in the opposite direction, including sound. When the voice is reversed, people cannot understand its meaning. So I want to create games by playing the sound upside down. Like Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, players convey information and give feedback to teammates through language. If we create a “meaning” for the reversed voice, will there be a chance for people to understand the reversed voice? So I was thinking that if people were asked to imitate the reversed voice and then reverse it to guess how the original sound was, it would also add difficulty to the game. Because people need to speak according to the reversed voice, which means they need to talk to people in the counter-world, making the game interesting. Players can also increase the fun of the game by increasing penalties for not correctly guessing the original sound and exchanging characters.



Play with it and pick a side for me

Artist Statement:

The Rubik’s Cube is just a puzzle for most people, and the same is true for those who create it. The significance of its creation is to let people have fun and exercise their brains in the process of solving a disordered Rubik’s cube by some algorithm. But who stipulated that a thing’s existence must only be according to the intention when it was created? Just like John Cage’s 4’33”, who stipulated that the piano must make a sound to be the meaning of its existence? So I got inspiration from it and wanted to look for the possibilities it can bring us by ignoring the original meaning of Rubik’s cube. As we did in outdoor classes,” just play it, and find what can you do with it“

So I found that the reason why the Rubik’s cube can be solved is that each side of it has the same color, a total of six sides, which together is 54 squares. So why don’t we let these 54 squares have different colors? So I used an auto color generator (https://randomcolorgenerator.net)To obtain 54 different and random colors, and they represent each square. In this way, we have a unique Rubik’s cube. It has no algorithm to follow and no rules. All you need to do is twist it.

We can get different color combinations by rotating, and each side is unique. I selected 25 participants to test my work. The only instruction I gave them was “play with it and pick a side for me” In this way, they will not be limited to the original rules of the Rubik’s cube. They can twist it at will, they can twist it in particular ways, or even solve it. In the process, I even found that some people “trampled” the Rubik’s cube with their eyes closed, which was very interesting, because they knew that there were no rules and nothing could restrict their release of ideas. All I need to do is to collect the faces they have chosen and then put them together. At last, there is a picture that seems to have no rules, but it contains 25 people’s thoughts.