Kōan README / LISEZMOI
HOW WOULD AN ARCHITECT DESIGN A BRICK BUSTER?
Kōan is a drawing, most certainly a plan. And the architect wants you to break it. Softly, methodically, the way you would hit the keys of a piano if you were alone and serene.
But the architect being an architect, he won’t let you just break things without making things. New things, new architecture. Parametric-biomimicking-mathematically-poetics things that architects love so much.
So here you are, slowly crafting architects flowers that get sent to his garden of a server.
And you like it, because even though the process is all but exciting, it leaves you in a better state than the one you came in with.
You’d be very wise to ask yourself such questions as:
IS IT A VIDEO GAME?
HOW DO I PLAY THIS VIDEO GAME?
In the center of the screen is the paddle.
The primary gameplay consist in orienting the paddle, using your finger on the screen, in order to bounce the red ball that comes out shooting out of the canon.
The canon moves along a circular rail around the center of the screen.
By bouncing the ball the player get it to hit tiles that form a sort of maze around the rail. Each time a tile is hit, a point is added to the score that is displayed big and clear in the center of the screen.
Then there is the secondary gameplay, or advanced gameplay.
The radial architecture that forms the maze is made of rings of tiles. There are 8 rings in total, each made of 20 tiles.
Each time a ring is entirely cleared, BINGO!, the whole maze is shifted and a new petal line is added, right to the center of the screen.
By clearing rings of tiles, the user is adding petals to what is becoming the plan of a flower.
It is important to notice that the type of petal added to the flower depend on the ring that is cleared. The further the cleared ring is, the more complex the petal is.
The player is given 3 lives, the number of which being displayed in the center axis of the paddle. A life is lost by letting the red ball entering the center axis of the paddle.
When that number of lives reaches 0, the party will come to an end.
Finally, when the party ends and the “GAME IS OVER” text is displayed, the player is rewarded with his creation. The drawing of his petals is transferred into a seed and, right away, the flower goes into parametric growth and blossom (Isn’t it nice?). The higher the score, the taller the flower.
As a final touch, if the flower is nice enough, the user has to give it
a 5 letters name that will make it yours in the
IS THIS GAME ADDICTIVE?
It is good to know that, even though the creator of Kōan regularly starts his teaching on the topic of video games by showing to picture of Dopamine molecule and explaining that the whole industry of this kind of entertainment thrive on addiction, he decided to spare his users from this unhealthy traits. …Making Kōan “unfit” to the video game market.
The point being that the creator wishes to provide a well being and meditative experience rather than competitive and frustrative one.
WHAT ABOUT THE RANKING?
It would be a mistake to play Kōan trying to reach the top of the ranking. It would even be counter-productive. The ranking in Kōan organizes the flowers by height, not the players by skills or talent.
WHAT WILL THE ARCHITECT DO WITH THE FLOWERS?
Nobody knows yet, but the guy is keeping them safe in a server in Switzerland.
DOES THIS ANDROID APP STEAL MY DATAS?
Making it even less fit to the “market”, Kōan and its creator don’t capitalize on data and privacy breach.
The app will ask for Internet access permission in order to allow the rankings to be downloaded and the user’s flowers to be sent to the garden. If synchronizing, the one information that gets sent to the server with each flower is the Android device ID. It is used in order, for the user, to be able to see “his” tallest flower in the world ranking.
DO I HAVE TO SIGN INTO ANYTHING?
No. (Thus nailing the last nail to the coffin of this thing’s business model)
Just open it, use it and enjoy this tiny place of freedom and simplicity.
IS IT FOR ME?
If you read everything above before reading this line then, may be: YES. Otherwise, most probably: NO. The word is full of enticing video games and you should go toward those.
WHO MADE KŌAN?
Kōan is a one man operation by Rich.GG and has been designed with the first, 70’s, video games creators in mind. It could be interpreted as a tribute to the pioneers who, being engineer or technicians, took the burden as well as the freedom to be inventor, programmer, graphic artist, sound designer, musician, story teller and user experience designers etc… on the same project. Back then the tools were limited which make this software a very humble effort compared to their achievements.
WERE SOME RASTER IMAGES HURT IN THE MAKING OF THE GAME?
Only one png file was used in the making of Kōan; it is the icon of the application and it has been made out of a screenshot.
Does it matters? In the eyes of the author, yes.
Consider that the part of Kōan that you can experience, visuals, sounds and interactions, is only half of the project. The other one being the code.
It matter a great deal to the author that the code, as clumsy as it can be in the eye of a programming expert, is a truthful underlying of the experience is creates.
It might be an Architect thing to doubt a Stone cladding, fake wood flooring or anything that is trying to fool you that way. Even more important is the designers wish to use the actual materials constraints as a source of inspiration. Rich.GG’s quest to apply the work of architecture to the digital world goes that way. Trying to bring in virtual objects the work and values, a craft of interactive software making we could call authenticity.
IS IT MINIMALISME?
Hopefully no. But to keep on the topic of software making, as the adage goes "Keep it simple, stupid". So you could say that Kōan is a “minimal game”.
It is the first 2D application by Rich.GG to date, after many 3D Projects.
Yet, on the topic of simplicity, there is one thing the author has learned:
Once a line is said to be the horizon, the sea or a wall, you get all the attributes of those things attached to your line and it becomes harder to manipulate. If it is the horizon you cannot changes its orientation, if it is the sea you cannot break it and if it is a wall you cannot go through it.
Kōan is an app for Android from KitKat on.
WHERE TO GET IT ?
WHO IS TO THANK FOR THIS THING?
Mélanie without whom none of this would be possible.
Laurent Bissière without whom I would have felt alone.
Christophe Nazaret for the few words that make a big difference when you need them.
The good people of the Processing forum for the help.
Jose Sanchez, Daniel Shiffman, Casey Reas, Lauren McCarthy, and Chandler McWilliams for the magic teaching.
The brilliant people who made Processing, Processing Android and P5.js
The good people at sdklimov.com who gave the Arkhip font.
Lee Byron for the Mesh library.
Dr S. El Tamer, Fabien Compère, focus@will, and the INTERNET PEOPLE FOR SO MANY GREAT TUTORIALS !!...