Panoramicle

Panoramicle produced by Fernando Ramallo and David Kanaga is a beautiful interactive AV playable experience. It takes you through 15 varying levels where you are moved through scenes and sounds, each level infinitely going on with no real ending. Each element of the sound and scene can be modulated by an array of nine 2D controls, which can be mapped to a midi/osc interface or played by the keyboard. These controls can really change the entire experience in really fluid and amazing ways, turning planets into valleys, woods into glaciers and much more in between. This diversity is also replicated in the soundscape, with an amazing array of rhythms just from one level. The multiverse of sound and space represented by each level was really impressive and definitely inspired me to think about the broadness of my games experience. Thinking about the possibilities virtual spaces can behold, and fluid ways of representing them.  

Panoramicle  -abstract menu screen

Within these waves of infinity, you find from time to time a place where you can sit, just tweak gently and enjoy. These are the moments the game really makes for me, instead of making you charge forward for a competitive or fictitious reason, this game encourages you to really explore the bubble around you, letting you relax and open up your senses to the intricacies of the moment. This is something I am really interested in and want to encourage in my game, reverting the mechanics of a game from formed narratives and competition to spending time in the moment, sensing and exploring the space and yourself. 

Panoramicle – Screen shot from playing

One element I found awkward about the game was the interface, the nine controls in their standard positions on a pc keyboard are arranged in a quad between Q and C, when pressed and combined with the mouse movement it dictates the value change. If mapped to a midi controller you can have any arrangement really, I used a bank of twist dials which did not seem to translate well. The major problems I had was based around feeling like I had to concentrate on working the controls instead of working the effects. Making the experience slightly more distant but still amazing none the less.  

From this I started to think about how I could bridge the gap from amazing AV multiverse with many dimensions of controls and outputs, to a simple and natural way to interact with this space. Taking away the barriers of complicated interfaces and move smoothly into a fully immersive and natural AV experience. I think that using hand tracking and a simulated world with physical laws and interactions could be one way to improve this element. I think also working with preformed interactions in the game world will be beneficial, making interactive objects look ‘interactive’ and their effects being directly noticeable.   

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