An interdisciplinary practise-based PhD project, investigating the nature of computational character.
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notes and addenda

Project knole

Autocosmic Approaches To Authoring A Resonant Computational Character

The repository for my practice-based PhD project with Bath University and Bath Spa University, investigating methodologies for creating 'resonant', or high-quality, computational characters in computational art; characters which both influence, excite and spark the imagination, or 'autocosmics', of their audience, and are computationally-rich artefacts in their own right.

As well as a short thesis, the project consists of two complementary artworks, or more specifically material representations of character; on one hand, a textual artefact, and on the other, a real-time computer simulation. Both rely on their distinct material forms and methods of autocosmic manipulation to represent character; however, in being brought together as an installation piece and used interpolatedly, they become a rich site of dynamic characterisation.

The narrative of these artworks centres around a year in the life of a Yorkshire cunning-woman in the 18th century, and her discovery of a supernatural creature living in the wall of her kitchen.

This is just a repository for the files relating to the project; for more information, please visit the website.

This Repo

  • The working project for the simulation, found in /masterbeast;
  • Working drafts of the text artefact, found in /housekeeping;
  • Working drafts of my accompanying thesis, found in /thesis;
  • The markup and assets for the project's website, found in /site;
  • Prototypes of the simulation, code artefacts, screenshots, .gifs and test projects, found in /masterbeast/prototypes;
  • C# .dll extensions and the background applications required for masterbeast to run, named Eavesdrop and Pareidolia.

Most files can be opened with an ordinary text editor or file explorer, or can be run as an executable. The prototypes and masterbeast projects, however, will require copies of Construct 2 and Gamemaker: Studio. The .dlls, Eavesdrop and Pareidolia will need a copy of Visual Studio to open their .sln files.

Usage of this repo is subject to the License.MD agreement attached to it.

Operating masterbeast

(masterbeast is designed to be used on a single target machine in an installation environment, and may require hardware and software not mentioned here. This includes webcams and several more specialist sensor peripherals. If you have any questions, please email me).

  • Create the folder C:\Users\Rob\appdata\Roaming\masterbeast on your target machine.
  • Copy the contents of \masterbeast\masterbeast appdata into this new folder.
  • Opening masterbeast.exe in the /masterbeast appdata/exe folder will start the simulation and open the Eavesdrop and Pareidolia background applications required to run the simulation. You may need to tab into masterbeast to get it displaying across the whole screen.
  • masterbeast is designed to be displayed on a 1920 x 1200 touchscreen monitor in Portrait Mode.
  • Pressing ⇧+D+L while running the simulation will bring up the Debug menu.

Tools Used


Gamemaker Extensions

APIs & Libraries