Design Project 2

September 10, 2013

Rules & Agents

Calling All Agents

While working late one night, you stumble upon something strange. It looks like it could be one of your models, but is has a different quality about it. An aura perhaps. Something about it that is difficult to really describe with words alone.

You turn it upside down, shake it, run your finger along its edges. Nothing. No discovery.

“What is this thing?”

You hold the form close up to your eye. A sharp sound emerges from somewhere inside — or an incredibly distant place.

It’s late, and you’re beginning to doubt your powers of observation. You’re about to put the thing down, when a sequence of noises erupts.

POP, HISSSST, POP, SQELCH, FIZZLE, BUZZ… It sounds like an AM radio frequency going out of range. You think to yourself:

“I really need to get some rest”

A Voice from Within/Without

Can you hear me now? Good! I’ve been trying to get your attention for weeks. I think we’re finally got your attention, I want to tell you how this is going to go down.

You see, I’ve got this world that needs to be figured out. It’s kind of a big job, and I’m kind of in a hurry. Everyone here tells me that you are the only one who can get this kind of thing done. So, you can imagine how happy I am to finally get a hold of you.

Our last worldmaker up and quit after six months. Just disappeared – poof! We invested so much energy in her. She took all her tools, and just left us with just this empty structure.

I guess the world is pretty much empty, aside from a few rules have already been put in place and, unfortunately, can’t be changed. For example, we do know that the world is finite. But, we don’t yet have any idea of orientation. Which way is up?

But let’s not get into details just yet. You probably have a ton of questions, like who are we anyways?

I can answer that! We are forms. Some of us can be called solids, while others are… well… less substantial, if you know what I mean. To be more politically correct, I should say that we are a society with different geometric characteristics. Our geometric characteristics determine our social relationships and technical limitations. We each have a different set of individual desires. You will have to take into account our social and technical limitations and respond to our desires if you want this world to be successful.

In the past, alliances between some sets of forms developed. While disagreements emerged between others.Historically, alliances enabled symbiotic relationships or dependencies between some forms and resulted in great densities. While disagreements have caused great conflict and have had the power to segregate some forms. In extreme cases of conflict, some families of forms have been expelled from worlds all together. We can’t entirely put this history behind us, but we do share the desire to create a new world together. However, we know that this new world not be stable. We are looking for variations and are open to change.

Collectively we do share some common desires or things that we consider to be necessities.

First of all, we need light. Right now we’re in the dark. Illuminate us. We want you to provide us with a source of light, and figure out how it is related to our world. We’ve done a bit of research and discovered other worlds where light changes. We’re not really into the idea of light changing all the time. We’d much rather have light be constant and fixed in one place.

Second, we require at least one division (the great divide) in our world. We use this to negotiate conflicts or arrange alliances. You could see this division as an obstacle.

Of course, we shouldn’t forget to include ourselves in this world. We are a specific set or sets of forms. We want to be able to explore ways of accommodating a potentially infinite number of forms in the future. So, if you could provide us with a system that would enable reconfiguration, that would be desirable. Different forms have different requirements or desires for light and positions relative to the great divide. You should be able to figure that out. But be careful because depriving some forms from light might provoke conflict.

We will need to know how we can move around in our world. What are the rules that govern our movement? Even the simplest things like, how do we even get into the world? How do we move within the world? Do we ever leave the world? And if so, how or for what reason would we leave the world? We really want to have clear rules for how to move. This should be based on the specifics of our geometries as well as the constraints of the world. For example, do we have pathways? Or can we only move by connecting to other forms?

Last but not least, communication is super important in our world. We need to be able to communicate with each other. It would be great if you could design a system for us to interact. Each set of forms tends to interact with each other differently. This is something for you to keep in mind.

Woah! This is getting kind of complicated for me. I’m no worldmaker, so I’ll just leave the rest for you to sort out.

The voice abruptly disappears…


“What just happened?”


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