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Particles, the future and Simulacra

Updated: Nov 29, 2020



This blog was started as part of my LSBU university course, but with recent developments and experiments I felt as though it is something I should keep doing as often as I can.

With this post I wanted to discuss my current thoughts and plans for Simulacra, which I intend to carry on with alongside my other commitments.

I started with the intention of keeping the world as private as I could, a performance totally under my control, a digital cuckhold where the audience have no say in its development. My reason for choosing the medium of game for this work was for the micro control I wished to have over its development and operation and I wished this to extend to the performance as well. However, as I, my work on the project and the state of the universe at large have developed I have begun to explore the idea of opening up the world I have created to others. The goal going forward now is to work on creating smaller scenarios to release as interactive EPs, working towards a much larger, open world 'album'. I have also been extensively considering how one or more of the individual cynosures of Simulacra could be adapted to work as a gallery installation (VR or otherwise). Work has already begun on all fronts.


I have turned my attention to some of the newer features of Unity, such as the visual effects and shader graphs, that turn complex visual operations from complex scripting across different languages into a much simpler, albeit still incredibly flexible, visual scripting environment. The VFX graph in particular has been a lot of fun. Running on the GPU instead of the CPU means that now there are millions instead of of thousands of particles to play with. I have attached pictures of two new 'entities' that I have begun developing for Simulacra. Made in Unity 2019.4 using the HDRP, I have been experimenting with animator and script interaction with the VFX graphs. The next step is going to be considering what audio data I can pipe into the effects to create an as immersive experience as possible.


The first two new entities I have begun to create for the updated version of Simulacra.

Update:


Since writing this article I succesfully applied for the Creative Computing MSc at Univerisity of the Arts London. This blog will now be used for documenting the projects I undertake as part of that course.

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