Virtual World Design: Creating Immersive Virtual Spaces
In bookstores and online Early 2014
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Taylor & Francis Catalogue # K16854
Virtual World Design lays out a significant amount of bedrock knowledge for the virtual environment designer. Novice designers will find a comprehensive guide to the fundamental concepts of 2D graphic, 3D model, lighting and sound design, and how this is used in the creation of an immersive virtual environment. More advanced designers can utilize this book as a syllabus for teaching classes about virtual environments, learning technologies and online education. With 200 illustrations and 12 step by step projects involving virtual classroom construction, terrain design, and prototype design, this book delivers hours of creative challenges for the virtual environment designer in public virtual worlds, or on their own private institutional or educational grids.
Since 2008, the members of Alchemy Sims have built such notable projects as:
"In Land - Search for the Sy", a game/sim involving a hunt and build challenge for the participants, designed for rapid game development and deployment in a virtual world like Second Life.(closed 2011)
"Beach Ride" a whole sim devoted to 3d visualization and 3d data display through the use of large scale kinetic sculpture. (closed Dec 2010)
Alchemy Sims the largest tree in Second Life and their headquarters/ show place.
"Particles/Alchemy" the interactive Sim that tells the story of the Alchemists and sets up a treasure hunt (closed Dec 2009)
Trees/Sundial Region in Second Life
Second Life's only season changing Sim (closed March 2008)
NYU's Plywood Theatre
A scale model of a real theater space for training Theater Design students
Second Life 6th,7th, and 8th Birthday celebration events We were guest designers invited to participate in the birthday celebrations of Linden Labs Second Life. Our exhibits have included 3 giant "POP-up" books (2009), that told the visitors three original stories in text and 3d visual presentation animations as well as "Poetry Slam" games (2010) for making many styles of poetry on the "refrigerator magnets" we provide.
Alchemy Sims is dedicated to virtual space building and creating sim designs that support your concepts and marketing goals.
From Game Environments to Data/Art Environments, Ann Cudworth has found interesting projects.
Here are some comments about her work:
"The mission of the IBM Exhibition Space is to support the creation of full-scale interactive installations that make use of the special properties of virtual worlds.
I was initially intrigued by the Alchemy proposal because of the high quality of the submission, which even included proposal drawings. Alchemy group met the large scale requirement without issue and their professionalism impressed me, but what made the proposal truly interesting was the inclusion of gaming and interactive elements.
I look forward to joining the Search for the Sy!" - Andrew Sempere - IBM
Honor Mc Millian
Our Outlook on Data Visualization
This is where Alchemy Sims lives- hovering between Art and Science- we live to work on the creation of new things, new bridges between these 2 realms with new ideas in data visualization and 3d data display.
Data- what's that? the documentation of change- could it also be an engine? What if it could animate something, the same way a motion capture file animates our avatars? Kinetic sculpture- data driven and living in a virtual world- that is part of what we build. We find new ways to create 3d data display every week, finding structures that embellish the information, and augment the viewers perception.
Here are some of our guiding theories and formulas.
S.O.T.D- "Spirit of the Data"- in spite of the noise, in spite of the gaps, what is the data trying to show us? We humans, are very good at piecing together a whole picture from bit parts, some of us actually enjoy a good jigsaw puzzle. When you dump those numbers out on the table- what shape does it take in your mind? It's not just 3d data display- it's a captured experience- like the rings in a tree capture the climatologically information and create a natural form of data visualization in their rings.
No-U.B.S. "No "Universal Belief System". Just because you expect something to happen, do not try to see it in your data visualization planning. Let go of the expectations, look at it from the corner of your eye, stay fresh and new to the experience.
I=D.S. "Interactivity = Data Selection" - If you can interact with a device that sends out data, you will be automatically making data selection. When you collect data, what filters you chose, even just where you observe it from, all influence what meaning it will have to you.
Artistic Delivery of Data + Threshold of Interaction= >>> (greater) Engagement. An "artistic" approach makes you engage with data. Is the data cyclical, linear, phased? What are its internal rhythms, its music, and how can that be displayed? Will it be Bell Curves? Will the data create a sculptural display of information- that allows us to understand the influence of several factors simultaneously as we walk around it observing it's form?
Immersion in a Virtual World is compelling, immersion in a virtual world that is under the influence of data coming in from the real world is mind blowing. Think of it- how it works like a 2 way mirror, allowing us to see in and out at the same time.
The magic that is possible, the scale that is possible, the reach that is possible in a Virtual World allows us to share more, envision more, and understand more. If Tim Berners Lee gets his wish- and I think he will- all the worlds data bases will soon be able to intersect with one another. A cross reference power equal to the search engines of the web today.
How will we deal with that avalanche of new connections? How will we make music from the cacophony?
What will it lead us to?
This is a portion of the presentation given by us at the Federal Consortium of Virtual Worlds. More information can be found at their website,Federal Consortium of Virtual Worlds
Wanted to just say that the folks that make up Alchemy are some of the most creative and smartest people that I've had the pleasure of knowing and working with in virtual worlds. They are in that rare category of professionals that not only help you create your vision for virtual worlds, but are genuinely engaged and excited by the possibilities of virtual worlds. The core team of Alchemy are extremely talented and really great to work with. - Hope Kandel- Learning Times
Ann Cudworth, Alchemy Sims, Silly Monkey Games have teamed up to develop and prototype serious games in virtual worlds.