Human Genome Random Walk

Random walk using part of the first chromosome of the human genome (top image is the first 10k data points, bottom is the first 20k).


  • A = up, T = right, C = down, G = left
  • Start in center
  • If position walks offscreen, wrap around the other side
  • Color is mapped from very light gray at the start to black at the end (layering the image to show time – looks surprisingly like marble)

Made as a possible level-generator.


Distilling Oil

Spent the morning and most of the afternoon distilling essential oils with the help of John Gates, a water science researcher in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Using a sample of many plants from my backyard (pine needles, mint, lavender, green onions, grass), the material was boiled in water, condensed into an oil/water mixture, and separated using a centrifuge. From 500ml of material we extracted about 100ul of oil!

Distilling the vaporized water/oil mixture and separating in the centrifuge

The resulting oil/water mixture in a centrifuge tube (left) and the extracted oil (right)

Stereo Vibration: Iteration #2

Experiment in stereo vibration – the motors are mounted to pieces of masonite separated from the main board by foam strips which isolate the vibrations to more easily separate the left/right channels.


Procedural Caves

Following experiments creating other procedural game levels, the development has switched to caves. Some searching found the very interesting Procedural Content Development Wiki and a fantastic post by Noel Berry about creating procedural caves with waterfalls (above).

Above (and the other images below) are from a first set of tests generating caves using Processing. The forms are created using a random walk, which ensures that all parts of the cave are reachable by the player (drawn in orange). Once the main cave features are formed, Perlin noise is used to set various heights within the cave. The levels are wrapped (going over one edge jumps the player to the opposite side) so that the level doesn’t have smooth edges and, in come cases, can be traversed infinitely.

[ the code (in an early stage) can be viewed here ]

Smell Infusion Tests

Testing various papers for holding essential oil scents for a smell-based adventure game; each paper sample received 2 large drops of the oil and were then held in a plastic bag overnight to infuse. Smell was subjectively tested 24 hours and 5 days later.

Smell is rated 0-5, where 0 = virtually no smell and 5 = overwhelming.

Mat board11
Thin chipboard30
Thick bristol board10/1
Thick Stonehenge (?)11
Regular Stonehenge (?)10
German Etch (?)30
Blotter paper21
Canson Mi-Tientes3-41/2

PCBs Ordered

Ordered my first ever set of professionally fabricated circuit boards from OSH Park! These boards (top and bottom above) are for a haptic vibration Arduino shield and a joystick.

Algorithmic Islands – Terrain Growth

More algorithmic islands, created using random walks (similar to how the outer perimeter of the island is created) to create more realistic terrain patterns. Mountains are grown first, then forests and finally grassland, each of which encroaches on the previous terrain for more realistic clumps and chains.