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1  General / Check this out! / Eddo Stern's Darkgame on: April 12, 2011, 11:26:17 AM

2  General / Check this out! / Re: Felix Stephan Huber's Notgames on: October 27, 2010, 05:22:05 AM
Hello Michaël!
Thanks for your reply... I'm new here, but I thought I just post about this right away...

By the way, we've briefly met there at the Fantoche Festival a while ago, you might remember me. Smiley

Quote from: Michaël Samyn
So is all his game-related work presented in installations?
Or is the software distributed as well?

Well, so far he was doing exclusively game-based, interactive installations. Actually, that question was also discussed at this presentation where I was, and he explained, that his intend is first and foremost to address topics/themes which are mainly interesting for “art people”. Secondly, he mentioned the the whole package of data files together with the game engine were too large for digital distribution, a couple of years ago (a question of choosing the right file formats, however...). - At the end, he probably just wants to present his work the same way other artists do video installations, I guess...

There's several artists who use game technology in their installations. But I usually find that work quite "dead". Interacting with a game in an exhibition context is far from ideal.

Yea, it's kind a contradiction... He also had to admit, that common exhibition spaces usually aren't the right place to play his games. For older people, who might not be familiar with the setting of normal games, it is quite difficult to get into his small worlds. They quickly give up, and only try a little around at best, or see it as a experimental film... If I remember right, he usually assumes that the viewer already knows what the work is about  (e.g. in 'ops room', which was kind of documentary, political nature). Playing is very simple and often equal to moving the camera (I only briefly played 'ops room' once). - On the other hand, typical gamers may feel quite annoyed and confused by this simplicity... They usually know what to expect from higher-end 3d scenes, and reject the work as a game, as well as a artwork, because the aesthetics isn't tooo far away from normal games... - (The whole (meaningful) drama that Tale of Tales games often caused on the webs, even in indie game circles, for doing things differently...). - But I think, he just separates entertainment and art quite strictly, and doesn't want to hassle with type of thing too much, I guess. He hasn't anything against games, he also mentioned... It's really treated as a normal installation, like in the art world. One original piece of a limited edition costs ~10k :S (but it doesn't sell well).

But these games are optimized for such experiences. And as such, in my opinion, they tend to be rather shallow. And they're often ugly, too. Sometimes on purpose.

The most recent work – ego alter ego – is quite gray, and cold... on purpose. But I was impressed by the strange atmosphere within these spaces/rooms (ok, it was a recorded video, I sadly didn't play it...). I think it was interesting to see how he changed the expression of the games over the past 10 years. From “imitating reality” at the beginning, working with photographic textures from real places, over to poetic, virtual dreamworlds, to the completely virtual places he finally got to, which are quite surreal and “computery” on purpose. He also said that he didn't know about that type of virtual oddness before, and that he found out about it by digging deeper into the “digital material”, and working directly with the engines...

I found all this quite interesting... And I don't know of any other similar works so far. But I believe that I would think quite differently about all this, if the games would be available as download, or even playable online, I guess.
3  General / Check this out! / Felix Stephan Huber's Notgames on: October 20, 2010, 04:20:25 AM
Felix Stephan Huber's work treats the medium of computer games in a very interesting way, as I had to find out not too long ago... Recently I've attended a presentation by him and was really impressed by the way he uses game tech (particularly the Unreal engine(s)) as a completely valid artistic tool, without posing too many questions about the controversial topics indie game makers usually face in the gray area they are currently in.
How his game related work is accepted by the art world is still not too clear to me, because it's quite a special interactive format he uses, and I don't have too much knowledge about all this anyway... Nonetheless, it was quite interesting to see, how somebody with a deep artistic background genuinely uses this medium in a quite personal, even poetic way, without moving too close to the realm of mere entertainment...

Do you know other similar artists? Any advice would be interesting...

I know about game-based installations in the "new media world", but with that type of thing I often get the impression that mainly the bare metal's speaking, mainly concepts not content, and not a artist, who intends to transport something from one side of the medium to the other, so to say... (through (sub)conscious expressions of all kinds: narrative, visual, audio...).

But the world is huge, and I also believe that games in themselves can be a powerful medium. That's another topic though... At the moment I'm mainly thinking about "notgames", and interactive, game-based software...

Yea, and actually, I just wanted to point out F. S. Huber's interesting work...  Smiley

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