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Fabulous snapshots

Geoffrey, Paf, and Alain in the test lab for Fabulous

Geoffrey, Paf, and Alain on the last day in the Fabulous test lab.

Lynn and Sparky choosing fonts for Fabulous

Lynn and Sparky choose fonts for the screen text. Mango gives running commentary.

Fabulous, my gallery-game project at Hexagram, is now in the art-world version of crunch mode.  Tons of work going on simultaneously as we hurtle toward the Interstices group show opening at Galerie Oboro on September 13th.  This past Thursday, we spent the last day in our test lab at Concordia.  It’s the last time we’ll have the whole system set up until we pre-install at the gallery in a few weeks.  In the snapshot, Paf is swinging the squisher around the room, and the trail on-screen is following his path in 3D space.  Geoffrey is explaining something.

One of our biggest technical concerns at the moment is that the positioning system introduces a lot of noise, making the virtual location of the squisher (which we are calling the “Orb” for this piece) jump around, even when it’s held still.  Since the whole idea is that you are using the orb to locate an exact (if forgivingly large) point in 3D space, this could be a problem.  Geoffrey and Paf also discovered that the tracking system adds some delay, but we’ve decided that people can adjust pretty easily to that, and it will give the motion a sort of languid feeling, which we’re probably OK with.  The jitter is a much bigger deal.

With Alain, our sound artist, we’ve been reviewing sets of sounds for interface behaviors as well as thematic content, to get the right balance of useful and interesting auditory effects without becoming too cacaphonous.   We also recently recorded the last bits of the French dialog.  The text in Fabulous was written by Lynn and me, in interwoven English and French.  I did the English voiceover work and the French was read beautifully by a voice performer, Myriam Bleau.  The good thing about a gallery project like this is that if we end up disliking anything after we’ve seen the piece running for a month (for instance, if I get too horrified by the sound of my own voice), then we can change it before the next presentation.

Anyhow I’m writing this post as a way to further procrastinate from the looming but horrifying prospect of loading up a few more things in the U-Haul and departing immediately for Burlington.  I’m going to be living in two countries at once.   Am I crazy?

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