Project 2 Report

Sound pollution is weird in that it isn’t an epidemic like the state of air in cities, which is filled with car exhaust and smoke, or a quality defining the city, like its fast pace or loneliness despite high population. Sound is just there in the background.

We are used to it until it becomes unbearable at some area, at some point in the day. It’s an annoyance. And it’s not like sound pollution in the suburbs, which manifests mostly in rowdy neighbors and their misbehaving dogs. Sound pollution in the city comes almost exclusively from vehicles – cars, buses, trucks, trains – that drown every other conceivable sound out.

Then why are the vehicles there? Because they take us to work. They take some of us to school, to home; all stepping stones to work. Ultimately, everything comes back to work. Trucks ship things to businesses. Cars are driven by people going to work. Buses and subways transport people to work as well. The true enemy here is capitalism (how can people like Paul Romer think like that?? Sweatshops for the sake of economies??? What is the value of human livelihood to those people, wow…).

Sound disproportionately affects classes through architecture, too. Rich people and rich businesses live and work in high towers where silence reigns. Those less well-off live and work on floors close to the ground, close to the street, where we can hear the starting and stopping of engines, the honking and yelling of slow traffic, the artificial wind created by large structures moving at high speeds (compared to humans, at least). That’s unavoidable.

Last week Nick Fortugno gave me a bunch of random advice. One of the things that stuck out was to just make things. If I get really interested in something, don’t think too hard about it and go along with it. Do stuff you like. It’s honestly hard for me to pinpoint what I’m interested in these days; depression sucks every ounce of caring energy out of me, but I do love those intentionally bad instrumental covers of songs, most notably the bad covers of the 21st Century Fox theme song. They cheer me up.

I saw a plastic bag flying very high in the air on my very windy derive. The plastic bag got blown all the way up to the top of some skyscraper. I was so proud. You go plastic bag, you can achieve your dreams!!! I took out my phone to take a photo and in those six seconds the plastic bag got blown down to the ground. Very disappointing. I keep thinking about that plastic bag.

Since this game has to be a 3D first person sandbox, I am making it a plastic bag simulator. There is an abstracted cityscape with buildings and roadways with vehicles that make annoying noises, i.e. bad instrumental covers, when the player floats near them. The “music” plays loudest at the highest points of skyscrapers, as those points are the center of capitalism and where sound pollution stems from; the “music” will become muted when the player is closer to the ground, where those without power are adversely affected by capitalism. I don’t want it to be too serious – sound pollution is mostly irritating, after all, and we don’t need an actual replica of Midtown’s very noisy morning when we can go out there in person.

Along with my usual technical and time management issues, I’m having trouble with the game-oriented stuff, like understanding levels and how to make gameplay?  That might be because I’m not a gamer and I haven’t played much so I haven’t been exposed to a lot. Everything makes sense in the readings but I feel like I don’t truly understand? It’s also a struggle to apply the readings to making ideas.  When I read them I feel like I’ve learned something, and then I forget (?) about them when doing the games.

So far my two digital games have featured the player wandering around with little other action.  How can I connect player action to the game?

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