Space, that immaterial essence that the painter suggests and the sculptor fills, the architect envelops, creating a wholly human and finite environment within the infinite environment of nature. The concept that space can have a quality other than emptiness is difficult to grasp. When a building is entered, floor, supports, walls, and a ceiling are seen, all of which can be studied and perhaps enjoyed, while the space, in the sense that one is accustomed to think of it, is void: the absence of mass, filled by air.
In our Game Space project, we were asked to “find” several spaces within video games and begin to analyze them spatially and visually using diagrams. Our first concept was all about analyzing and understanding space, and being assigned to capture images within the space of five different games, we would have to create both orthographic and paraline/perspective diagrams, 2-D and 3-D.
After grasping the concept, and getting a feel for it, it was my turn to create my own game space. My assignment asked me to take a video game and create a newer version of it. So based off the beloved smartphone app, “Flappy Bird”, as show below,
where a bird maneuvers its way through a series of different sized pipes, I created my own new and improved version called, “Sneaky Bird.”
With the tag line, “Jump Through Life Without Falling,” I added a staircase that wrapped itself around the pipes, allowing the player to travel through the game without any obstacles.
A little boring, yes? I realized it took some of the thrill out of the game, but the sense of security of not falling and dying in the game brought me satisfaction, since at the time, it was something I lacked from my life.
From these idea and space sketches, I built different study models.
Study Model #1
The first study model focused on the actual representation of the game in order to gain a sense of the space in my game.
In my second and third study model, I concentrated on the path of the bird, and its space within the game. It demonstrated the different elevations that the bird underwent, and the negative space in contrast to the actual path. The circle dots represent the pipes.
Study Model #2
Study Model #3
So, what’s this? It’s the representation of the movement of the bird within in its space. In Calculus and Physics, there’s a concept where we find the volume or area of an object using integration and cross sections.
I used this concept to convey this movement. As the bird reaches a higher elevation by flying upwards, its velocity and acceleration reaches zero, thus decreasing as it goes higher, represented in the shrinking in size of the cross sections. As the bird drops lower, its velocity and acceleration will increase, thus increasing the size in cross sections.
And lo, creating the final study model, the movement of the bird in its space.