ANGRY GODS: An Apocalyptic Vision
UPDATE: Angry Gods closed on 30 June 2011. People have been sharing some really great pictures:
- Taralyn Gravois
- Tim Deschanel
- PJ Trenton
- Moeuhane Sandalwood
- Alizarin Goldflake
- Lollito Larkham
- ColeMarie Soleil (machinima)
- Haglet Alter (machinima)
For those few of you who were fortunate enough to witness the demolition of the Caerleon Identity Museum last November, I’m sure you’ll remember what it was like to see disruption on a massive scale. (Read the story and watch the machinima.) The usual procedure for any such demolition is to select the objects in Edit, unlink all the prims, set them to temporary and physical, then just let go. On a large scale this can be pretty dramatic. But in this case I deliberately refrained from setting everything to temp so the experience would last longer. (Setting to temp hugely facilitates the cleanup process, but limits the life to 60 seconds.) My colleagues and I bounced around on the installation as it struggled to free itself and as small projectiles from the hundreds of mannequin body parts flew in all directions. It took several days to clean up the debris that had strewn itself across the neighboring sim, but it was well worth it.
So when JayJay offered me the UWA Virlantis sim for June to do something spectacular, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. The result is ANGRY GODS: An Apocalyptic Vision. I’m not calling it art. It’s primarily an excuse to blow stuff up. As with most of my work, it’s an experiment to learn about what’s possible.
ANGRY GODS: Opening
As of this writing (about 9AM SLT Friday, June 17) there is still some development to be done on the sim, but you are welcome to come visit. I am planning a general open house for Saturday around 10AM SLT and continuing through the afternoon. It’s best when there are just a handful of people here (i.e., more than one, but probably fewer than 8). I’ll be sending group notices tonight.
ANGRY GODS: Ethos
The first thing I want to make abundantly clear is that this installation is not borne of some deep-seeded repressive Catholic upbringing. I have respect for all beliefs and intend no offense towards any religious view in particular or in general. The recent ado about the impending Rapture and the upcoming end of the Mayan calendar all feed into this what-if scenario. I tried to be vaguely ecumenical (including Shiva, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and a minotaur in my pantheon), but it is predominantly Biblical Revelations in tone. But at its base my intent was merely to provide a context for large scale demolition. Don’t look for any deeper meaning.
Secondly, this is not my typical work. Or rather, it is typical in that my work generally lacks stylistic consistency. I hope you enjoy this experience for what it is, but don’t assume that I dwell on such images or take this too seriously. In fact, Angry Gods uses just about every feature that I hate most when I see it elsewhere. Objects falling from the sky, skeletons, angels, devils, an overabundance of particle effects, etc. I’m not sure why I went in this direction except that it seemed familiar somehow. I encourage you to visit my laboratory on Artemisia to get a better idea of what I’m about.
ANGRY GODS: The Title
As I was working on the project, I learned of a current iPhone meme–a game app called Angry Birds. You can look it up or even play the game in a web browser if you’re using Chrome. It’s basically a game where you use a slingshot to shoot birds at structures to make them fall on, and kill, the bad green pigs for whatever reason. When I saw this demonstrated, I got that annoying feeling that my project was going to be seen as having been inspired by the game–once again finding my creative work disturbingly aligned with the mainstream of popular culture. Argh. Anyway, I figured I’d just go with it.
ANGRY GODS: The Story
You enter in Limbo. A vestibule with only one exit. You must take the folder of goodies to fully experience the installation. In particular, I’ve created a custom Windlight sky setting. It’s easy to implement in Phoenix and Imprudence. Less easy to do in Viewer 2, but instructions are provided.
You start at the bottom and work your way up. This is meant to be a difficult journey, but it is not a maze. It’s the end of the world. Your fate is sealed. Choices are irrelevant. There are ample opportunities to experience destruction, but there are variables. Not everything blows up. And the things that do have different triggers. They may not ALWAYS blow. My advice is to be paranoid and assume the gods are out to get you. It’s the end of the world. You will not survive. Might as well enjoy the ride.
ANGRY GODS: The Scripting
I learned some time ago how to script a linked object and make it unlink and turn physical and temp, thus collapsing into its individual prims. I’ve used this effect often because it’s funny to see when it’s unexpected. For this project I refined the script so I could drop it into any object and easily define the parameters under which the demolition would occur. Most of the objects that blow up in Angry Gods are triggered by the impact of a large meteor. I matched the name of the projectile to the target so each target could only be destroyed by a specific projectile. There are different circumstances under which each projectile is fired. It is not random. They will normally only fire in reaction to avatars in some way (which you will have to discover). In most cases you won’t see it coming. You may hear it coming a split second before impact. Do let me know what you think 🙂