Flickr Water Painting Demo

Flickr Water Painting I had an idea for a game where you had to restore colour to the world, by speeding around in a boat and dropping colour bombs onto the greyscale picture below. I thought it’d be fun if the images were pulled in from Flickr dynamically, creating a constant ever-changing sea of levels.

A few hours and a prototype later, and I realise it’s not actually going to work after all. There’s just no easy way to control what comes back from Flickr – you can’t search for images which just have “Big” sizes available, and you can’t easily exclude black and white images, which totally ruin the painting part of the game! There are also commercial issues with the Flickr API Keys needed to search and request images. So in the end what was a nice idea in theory, turned out to be a bit crappy in reality.

However I was left a random but pretty prototype. I’ve removed the boat/gameplay element, so it’s just the water painting demo hooked into Flickr.

Lots of pictures come back with “Image not available“, so just search again. If it seems to hang for a while after clicking Search, then just search again! Paint with the left mouse button. Sometimes it works right away, and sometimes only on the third or so attempt.

One of my artist friends commented that this made him look at the use of colour in a whole different light. He said that as you start filling the image in, the colours that come through are often totally different to what you’d expect – and when the colour is presented in low volumes it can often look very wrong. As if your brain has substituted the colours for you, and when they don’t match it gets confused.

I think there’s something quite calming / feng shui about it all personally.

Posted on September 17th 2009 at 11:30 am by .
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