Making the Global Game Jam 2014 Keynote Video

General Info, tweeted!

KahoAbe GGJ Video small from Kaho A on Vimeo.

I am honored to have been included as one of the keynote videos shown at this year’s Global Game Jam. I was pretty much blown away to be in the same line up as Richard Lemarchand and Jenova Chen. Humbled indeed! I loved the illustrations by Noji in Richard’s keynote. And what an incredible event to be a part of. I am such a fan of game jams, and the history and reach of the Global Game Jam is huge. It’s like a humongous collective and collaborative ball of game development love. It is no surprise that great games have come out of it!

When I was invited to do the keynote, I was so excited because I knew this was a completely blank slate to say and do whatever I wanted, as long as it was not a talking heads video, I was told. Since I am not very good at video, I thought I would illustrate and animate. I found that out the hard way during the course of making this video that I am by no means an animator! Luckily my friend, former fellow Fellow at Eyebeam and amazing animator, Nick Fox-Gieg, gave me valuable guidance through the process. I used Illustrator to draw the scenes, and used Adobe Flash to animate some things with simple tweening (same skill from 2003, when I last used Flash). Nick had an old version of Kurst SWF renderer which is a tool that breaks down the swf frames into stills, and then with his suggestion, I reassembled it in Adobe After Effects. I added the fade ins and outs as well as my cringe-worthy voiceover, and that was it!

Looking back at the video, there are quite a few things that I would have done differently, but I had a time constraint and I had also gotten sick with a bad cold that came with a very attractive eye infection in both eyes. I wish I could have added sound, and made some of the animation smoother and more complex. There are some parts I actually had to leave out, due to lack of time (and crusty eyes!), but it is probably not worth explaining in detail at this point. However, I did laugh a lot, while drawing the different bunny outfits — my personal favorite is the JCVD one. I hope people recognized that one!

I also hope that the underlying message about pride, diversity and innovation is clear. There are so many things in our lives that can inspire the things we do and make, and it can be a part of our creativity in a very elemental way. And the effects of this kind of creativity can be really wonderful for others as well as the creator.

Ooooor… you could have thought that the keynote was just about bunnies getting dressed up — then I guess, that’s fine too!


Games, the Body and Costume

General Info, Inspiration

After working on Mary Mack 5000 and adding the rocker vests with the sensors, I think I understand more not only how technology can enhance the game experience, but also how costumes can. Sure, I could have kept the sensors on bandana straps, but the vest was more stable — kept the sensors together in a neat pack so it was easier to put on and take off. But more importantly it also added to the immersive game experience. I think there is a lot of room for incorporating various technology beyond the contact sensor system, when it comes to bodies/costumes that I need to explore more, such as IR, 3D projection, computer vision and the hacked Kinect. This idea really excites me and clicks with me, as a large part of my career has been in fashion design (and a little in costumes too).

X-lab @ Eyebeam

Eyebeam, General Info

I have been obviously neglecting my blog for the last few months, but I assure you there is a good reason — X-lab! X-lab was sort of a work-in-progress exhibition in the main space at Eyebeam. So imagine the gallery usually for finished works, filled up instead with artists working on their projects, engaging with the public during gallery hours. I used to space to set up Ninja Shadow Warrior and to build the physical game, as well as used the generous table space to work on improving Mary Mack 5000. It was wonderful meeting people, watching people try out the game, and getting feedback. This is kind of the most ideal situation for designing and making games, I think.

Anyways, there was a tumblr site set up for X-lab where I would post some entries of how my work had been progressing. Hence the neglect of my blog! I will see if I can transfer some of the content to this blog.

Update: I was able to add the posts from X-lab on earlier posts here.