Aniziz (the soil)

The borrowed scenery game has been named ‘Aniziz’ – from the 12th century Lingua Ignota used by Hildegard of Bingen. The term means “the soil” and represents the game’s role in the wider project, for nurturing plants found in the city, as well as the mapping element.

It’s working much more like a proper multiplayer game now as it has player accounts, using four types of avatar from Theun which represent patabotanical tarot versions of the hermit, hierophant, magician and high priestess. Your avatar will be picked when you register, in the form of a ‘reading’ ritual – still to be designed.

The text rendering has been greatly improved – the support provided by HTML5 canvas is quite basic, so you need to do things like word wrapping yourself. Particle systems now provide more interactivity for the fungi and the game includes a chat mode for players using the same font as on the tagged city plants and the the android app. The thinking behind this is to create a situation where interpretation is encouraged over direct text communication, inspired (as in previous multiplayer online games I’ve worked on) by Tale of Tale’s Endless Forest.

The game will be made public closer to the event, but the code and assets for all these projects are now available on FoAM’s git repository.

Borrowed Scenery tendrils reach out

Some serious connecting work going on with borrowed scenery for joining physical and imaginary worlds together. A new Boskoi database is up and running, giving us a place to put all kinds of story elements and plants found in the city. Boskoi uses the Ushahidi platform, which provides an API the game is now using to pull all items tagged in the map (which can come from the Android app or web app) into the game where they can interact with players or other entities.

More of Theun’s artwork has gone in, including a magician tarot avatar on the left while the three plants in the screenshot above represent those tagged on the map below. Getting everything in the right place (map lat/long coordinates vs game location coordinates and then aligning the map) took a lot of time to get right!