The Generominos cards are a design tool by Kate Compton for thinking about generative interactive art and alternative-cotroller games.
They have been used to design interactive art installations, and teach students how to design for alternative controllers like the Leapmotion or Oculus Touch. They have always been open for anyone to print (or even edit!) their own decks. Generominos and the code used to create them are Apache-licensed opensource and Creative Commons. But professionally manufactured decks feel nicer, and are less time-consuming to manufacture. So this Kickstarter is raising money to fund a medium-sized run (100-1000 decks) so that we can all get a deck at a lower price.
How the Cards Work
Generative methods often involve taking one kind of data and transforming it into another. Interactive artworks often involve using novel interfaces to generate a feed of data, and also use interesting output devices to display some feed of data. Alternative controllers may create streams of data that are different from traditional button-based games.
A challenge in designing these systems is understanding how the data generated by the input turns into the data needed to create the output. A generative interactive system can be modeled as a pipeline of data streams: Data streams are created by inputs The data undergoes a chain of transformations The resulting data streams are output somehow ...But data comes in many forms: numbers, text, vectors, graphs, and more!
Data streams can't magically convert from one type to another. But, many kinds of transformations are available as tools to turn one data-type into another. Sometimes these transformations even generate new interesting kinds of data themselves.
The Generominos cards are a constructive model of how pipelines transform the datastreams generated from inputs into the type of data needed by the outputs, though a series of compatible transformations. Like Dominos, each card has some sockets, only in this case, we can have several sockets for input (on the top), and several for output (on the bottom). Some cards may not have input sockets, others may not have output sockets. Here is an example card:
There are 16 kinds of data, and 3 kinds of sensors. This may seem like a lot, but there are a lot of kinds of data to play with in the real world! They are color-coded by general type to suggest which types can cross-convert easily.
You can build systems by connecting some number of inputs to some number of outputs (and elaborating with input and output modifier). Use transformation cards to turn one data type into another. Data symbols must always match! (Or be in the same family, for advanced users more familiar with technology)
I've considered a number of different options, but I think I may stay with MakePlayingCards, as I've already proofed the deck through them, and their turnaround time was faster than PrintNinja's projected time. If there are 500 or more orders, I'll upgrade to nice custom print boxes, but for less then that, the Generominos will ship in a plain brown box.
Risks and challenges
All the cards are designed and ready to print! A few cards are going to be changed and added, after playtest results, but the deck is at its final form. It's already been uploaded and printed at MakePlayingCards.com, and the results came back great!
The major risks are if I switch to PrintNinja in order to get the nicer boxes. Their listed prices are cheap, but the turnaround time is longer and I haven't proofed there.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)