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Trail: RealtimeArtManifesto

RealtimeArtManifesto

ElegantMedia

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Abstract

  1. Realtime 3D is a medium for artistic expression.
    Games are not the only thing you can make with it. And modification of commercial games is not the only option accessible to artists.
    Realtime 3D is the most remarkable new creative technology since oil on canvas. It is much too important to remain in the hands of toy makers and propaganda machines. We need to rip the technology out of their greedy claws and put them to shame by producing the most stunning art to grace this planet so far.
    (And claim the name “game” for what we do even if it is inappropriate.)
  2. Be an author.
    Do not hide behind the freedom of the user to ignore your responsibility as a creator. This only ends in confirming cliches.
    Do not design in board room meetings or give marketeers creative power. Your work needs to come from a singular vision and be driven by a personal passion. Do not delegate direction jobs. Be a dictator.
    Ignore the critics and the fanboys. Make work for your audience instead.
    Embrace the ambiguity that the realtime medium excells in. Leave interpretation open where appropriate but keep the user focused and immersed the worlds that you create.
  3. Create a total experience.
    All elements serve the realisation of the piece as a whole. Models, textures, sound, interaction, environment, atmosphere, drama, story, programming are all equally important.
    Do not rely on static renderings. Everything happens in real time. The visuals as well as the logic.
    Create multi-sensorial experiences. Simulate sensorial sensations for which output hardware does not exist (yet).
    Make the experience feel real (it does not need to look real). Do not imitate other media but develop an aesthetic style that is unique.
    Make the activity that the user spends most time doing the most interesting one in the game.
  4. Embed the user in the environment.
    The user is not disembodied in virtual space. But takes the body into the experience. The avatar is not a neutral vessel but allows the user to navigate not only through the virtual space but also through the narrative content. Interaction is the link between the user and the piece. Provide for references (both conceptual and sensorial) to connect the user to the environment. Reject the body-mind duality. The user is the center of the experience. Think “architecture”, not “film”.
  5. Reject dehumanisation: tell stories.
    Stories ground people in culture, stimulate their imagination, teach them about themselves and connect them with each other. Stories are a vital element of society.
    Embrace non-linearity. Let go of the idea of plot. Realtime is non-linear. Tell the story through interaction. Do not use in-game movies or other non-realtime devices to tell the story. Do not create a “drama manager”: let go of plot! Plot is not compatible with realtime. Think “poetry”, not “prose”.
  6. Interactivity wants to be free.
    Don’t make games. The rule-based structure and competitive elements of traditional game design stand in the way of expressiveness. And often, ironically, rules get in the way of playfulness (required for an artistic experience!).
    Express yourself through interactivity. Interactivity is the one unique element of the realtime medium. The one thing that no other medium can do better. It should be at the center of your creation.
  7. Don’t make modern art.
    Modern art tends to be ironical, cynical, self referential, afraid of beauty, afraid of meaning, afraid of technology, anti-artistry. Furthermore contemporary art is a marginal niche. The audience is elsewhere. Go to them rather then expecting them to come to the museum. Contemporary art is a genre, a format: think for yourself instead!
    (If you have to, make art games and not game art.)
  8. Reject conceptualism.
    Make art for people, not for documentation. Make art to experience and not to read about. Use the language of your medium to communicate all there is to know. The user should never be required to read a description or a manual.
  9. Embrace technology.
    Don’t be afraid of technology, and least of all, don’t make art about this fear. It’s futile. Technology is not nature. Technology is not god. It’s a thing. Grab it. Use it.
    Software is infinitely reproducable and easy to distribute. Reject the notion of scarcity. Embrace the abundance that the digital allows for. The uniqueness of realtime is in the experience. Cut out the middle man: deliver your productions directly to the users. Do not rely on galleries, museums, festivals or publishers.
  10. Develop a punk economy.
    Don’t shy away from competition with commercial developers. Your work offers something that theirs does not: originality of design, depth of content, alternative aesthetics. Don’t worry about the polish too much. Get the big picture right. Embrace punk aesthetics. Make short and intense games. Think “haiku”, not “epic”.
    Do not rely on arts funding exclusively. Sell your work directly to your audience. And use alternative distribution methods that do not require enormous sales figures to break even.

Outline

Premise : That real-time 3d interactives can be an art form unto themselves. What Real-Time Art is and what it could be.
position on storytelling :
relation with other art-game projects and machinima: but its not that
We are advocating making art-games, not game-art.
Game art is just modern art: ironical, cynical, afraid of beauty, afraid of meaning
relation with commercial games: artistry vs. design, artistry + design. designing products vs. designing experiences.
Games are conservative, both in design as in mentality. They eschew authorship, pretending to offer the player a neutral vessel. But the refusal to author results in a mimicing of generally accepted notions, of television and other mass media. Banality.
position within (and without) modern art in general: but its not that.
position on production & distribution:
about our work: 8, The Endless Forest, 144, Drama Princess, Het Appartement

More

Added after writing the 10 points summary of the “Abstract”.