Projects

Mementorium

Virtual Reality (2021)

Rosie Award Winner 2021 for Best Narrative Game or Interactive Project

Contributions: Lead Developer (UE4, Blueprints, C++), and interaction design.

Mementorium is a heartfelt story about identity and belonging told through a branching narrative in virtual reality. Uncover memories of gender and sexuality bias inside “mementos” that transport you to a dreamlike environment. Choose your story through playful interactions to transform your “mementorium” into a place of strength and belonging. Shape your story and discover, “who can we become when we belong?”

Find out more at queercode.org/projects/mementorium/

Exhibited at:

Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories – FIVARS, Los Angeles, CA (October 15 – November 2, 2021). 

Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (ACM SIGGRAPH) Immersive Pavilion, Virtual Conference (August 9 – 13, 2021). 

Oculus Launchpad Demo Day, Facebook HQ, Menlo Park (March 2020), Vertical Slice/ Demo Project.Q

Better Together VR

YouTube & Twitch channel (2020)

Contributions: Host, streaming coordinator (OBS, Restream)

Better Together VR (BTVR) is a group of digital artists, indie game devs, and researchers interested in virtual spaces. But most importantly, we’re friends. Watch our live-streamed adventures in virtual reality each week as we scream our way through horror, awe at fantasy, laugh at puns, get stuck in escape rooms, and share commentary from our various perspectives about multiplayer, immersive virtual reality experiences.

https://www.youtube.com/bettertogethervr

Sound Agents

Web-based simulation (2021)

Contributions: Solo project (P5, JavaScript, jQuery, jQuery.UI, HTML, CSS)

Sound Agents is a recreation of the Music Boids simulation that I created in conjuction with the M3Lab at the University of Calgary Werklund School of Education during a residency at the Banff Center for the Arts. Using the flocking algorithm created by Craig Reynolds’ each boid (agent) determines if it should move away, move towards, or align itself with each neighbouring boid. These forces are then modified by the frequencies of the playing sound resulting in the boids moving with the music. How this program differentiates from Music Boids is that this version uses a quad-tree to sort the boids such that a single boid does not have to analyze forces for every other boid, just the ones near it.

Experience the simulation here – https://jcraig358.github.io/SoundAgents/

Flocking Stories

Exhibit & Web-base simulation (2019)

Contributions: Research associate, programmer, co-designer (Processing, Java, P5, JavaScript, HTML, CSS)

The Flocking Queer & Trans Stories simulations are interactive digital art installations that explore how computational simulations of emergent complex behaviours, combined with individual storytelling, might provide us with new ways to deepen our understanding of gender and sexuality-based marginalization and resilience through computer modelling, public coding and art. Using Craig Reynolds’ flocking algorithm with sound analysis modification and a harm/support system, this simulation shows the effects that society has on those that are considered “non-normative”.

Initially built using Processing during a Banff Center for Art and Creativity residency, this project has been exhibited at numerous events and has been used for several published studies. It has since been converted into a web-based version which now exists at queercode.org. From its success, the Canmore Arts Center requested a special version to celebrate Bow Valley Pride 2021 which was called Flocking Bow Valley. The app was re-designed and stories were collected from participants in the Bow Valley area. For the day of the exhibition, there was a special version of the app that was displayed on a large outdoor LCD panel (as seen above) and the web version that users could access via a QR code.

Exhibited at:
Canmore Pride and Canmore Festival of Art & Creativity, Canmore, Alberta (September 19, 2021).
Online at https://flocking.queercode.org (May 2020 – present).
Werklund School of Education, DigiPlay (December 2019 – present).
ArtsPlace Canmore (September – October 2019).
TELUS Spark Science Centre, Adults Only Night: Beyond the Binary (May 2019).
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Open Studio (April 2019).

NASA Perseverance Rover on Mars

VRChat (2020)

Contributions: Lead Programmer (C#, Udon)

A world by the Better Together VR team that was built to celebrate the landing of the Perseverance Rover on Mars. This VRChat world allows users to experience the Mars environment and to learn about the rover. There is an info area, video playback of the landing, and a set of rovers for users to ride around on and explore Mars. During the VRChat event JobCon 2021 we even had a NASA engineer use the world as a learning tool to teach about the rover and their contributions.

https://vrchat.com/home/world/wrld_9be42be4-117c-4c44-b94c-bd8230d03ad1

Music Boids

Exhibit (2018)

Contributions: Designer, Lead Programmer (Processing, Java)

Initially created during a residency at the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity. This simulation utilizes Craig Reynolds’ flocking algorithm which dictates that each boid (triangle) determines its motion by calculation the forces of moving toward, away, and aligning with its neighbours. In this simulation, the selected music or sound input from the instruments affect the flocking forces by analyzing the frequencies such that low frequencies promote separate, mid-range promotes alignment, and high frequencies promote cohesion. Using the panel on the right, users can change the frequency boundaries and the amount that the sound affects the boids.

Exhibited at:
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Open Studio (April 2019).
A permanent exhibit at the National Music Centre of Canada, Calgary, AB (Nov 2019).

Queer & Trans Narratives in Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (2017) & VRChat (2022)

Contributions: Lead Programmer (Unity, C#, Oculus, voip & networking functionality), VRChat migration

Queer and Trans Narratives in Virtual Reality is a prototype application that was designed for Dylan Paré’s Ph.D. research. It is a narrative project which uses multiplayer, virtual reality to explore relationships between gender, sexuality, and technology. It has been exhibited at Calgary’s Beakerhead science and technology festival in September 2018, at TEDx Calgary’s interactive engagement zone in October 2018, at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in March 2019, and Telus Spark Science Centre’s Adults Only Night in May 2019. It has since been adapted into a VRChat world which is expected to release in early 2022.

Exhibited at:
TELUS Spark Science Centre, Adults Only Night: Beyond the Binary (May 2019).
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Story Studio (March 2019).
TEDxCalgary, Navigators (October 2018).
Beakerhead Art, Science and Technology Festival (September 2018).

Orbital Ordinance

Google Daydream (mobile VR) (2017)

Contributions: Solo project (Unity, C#, Android, Daydream)

Orbital Ordinance was a mobile VR game developed for Google Daydream and published on the Google Play Store. Unfortunately, the game was removed when Daydream was discontinued. A version was developed for Oculus Go, which was also discontinued while the app was pending review. Below is the description of the game.

Impact is imminent. Using orbital artillery, defend Earth from incoming asteroids.
Resources are limited so use them wisely and accurately.

Game Play
As increasing waves of asteroids spawn, use your disrupter and bombs to destroy them before they hit. What level can you make it to?
Using your disrupter depletes your battery. If you run out of energy, you will need to wait for the battery to recharge before you can fire again.
Bombs are a powerful weapon that explode and any asteroids caught in the area are destroyed.
If an asteroid hits the Earth, it will weaken the planets integrity. One too many hits and the Earth will be destroyed.