Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DSDN 142: Some Damn Cool Precedents

So, one of the questions that our tutor raised in the first lesson back was the idea of control versus interaction. What our program needs to be is something interactive, but to have interaction you need to have a degree of control. If the user has no sense of control, the interaction cannot be pinned down and could just be a random sequence of events that could occur on their own.

Control, on the other hand isn't really interactive either. You know what's going to happen, and you have control over the input and the outcome. That's what we don't want. There need to be elements of uncertainty, elements that are outside of view and control that subtly influence the outcome so that ultimately the user gets something unexpected.

All of these examples have elements of control, but they aren't controlled. There are definite elements that are beyond the users control.

Sketch by Aris Bezas

This sketching application is fantastic. It's a simple drawing thing, but the element of multiple lines chasing the mouse when clicked rather than actually moving them adds an element of uncertainty. The colours are pretty, and the lines that connect parts of the same line are very subtle but make the sketch that much cooler.
You can find it here.

Fractal Tree
Advanced Tree Generator by James Noeckel

This fractal tree is lots of fun. While you have direct control over a number of elements through the mouse location as well as the mouse wheel, there is a certain element of fun as you spin the branches of this tree around at high speed. Being able to influence what the tree looks like is just really fun. 
You can find it here.

Fluid Form
Fluid Simulation by Felix Woitzel

This one is so damn cool. It's a fluid simulation, and each of the particles represents the water. The little faded arrows in the background show you how you're impacting the simulation with your mouse. It's kind of like dragging your finger through a cup of water, but you can actually see how the individual particles interact with your touch. It's actually really fascinating!
You can find it here.

So yeah, interaction. A mixture of control and a lack of expected outcomes. Something fun.

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