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hello: Packet Garden: seeking Beta testers
Posted on Sunday, December 10 @ 20:04:42 CET by julian

Art Games
(Disclaimer: this is a bit of a selfish post, but it just so happens this is a good place to ask for a hand.)

Packet Garden is a project I've been working on the last few months. It's a commission by the Arnolfini in Bristol and goes live in February next year. I'm currently looking for beta testers. Yes, this is more info aesthetics / visualisation than art game but anyway..

Here's a bit about it.

A small program runs on your computer capturing information about all the servers you visit and how much data moves between each server and your computer. None of this information is made public or shared in any way, instead it's used to grow a little unique world - a kind of 'walk-in graph' of your network use. Uploads make hills and downloads valleys, their location determined by a coordinate system generated from numbers in the IP itself. Plants are also grown for each protocol type detected by the software; if you visit a website, an 'HTTP plant' is grown. If you share some files via eMule, an 'eMule plant' is grown etc.

With each day of network activity a new world is generated, each of which are stored as tiny files for you to browse, compare and visit as time goes by. Think of them as pages from a network diary.

Read on if you're interested in Beta testing..

In order to Beta test packet garden you'll need a machine with more than a modem connection and a decent graphics card. Here's what I place as the minimum specification:

Linux Computer:

OS: Linux, Kernel 2.6.*.
CPU: Pentium 4 1.7 GHz [or] AMD Athlon XP 1.6 (32Bit only) [or] Pentium M [or] PPC 1.2 GHz
System Memory: 256MB RAM
Graphics Adapter: NVIDIA GeForce 4 64MB [or] ATI 9600 Mobility
64MB [or] Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 64MB
Hard Disk Space: 20MB

Windows Computer:

OS: Windows 2000 or XP (latest service packs)
CPU: Pentium 4 1.7 GHz [or] AMD Athlon XP 1.6 (32Bit only) [or] Pentium M
System Memory: 512MB RAM
Graphics Adapter: NVIDIA GeForce 4 64MB [or] ATI 9600 Mobility
64MB [or] Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 64MB
Hard Disk Space: 20MB

Apple Computer:

OS: 10.4.* ('Tiger')
CPU: 1.8GHz G5 (PPC)
System Memory: 512MB RAM
Graphics Adapater: NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 64MB [or] ATI 9600
Mobility 64MB
Hard Disk Space: 20MB

So far I have x86 builds for Ubuntu, Debian and WindowsXP. If you're interested in helping out with some Beta testing for any of these platforms please get in touch by mailing me:

julian AT can-you-guess-the-site DOT net

In the email, state your OS, graphics card and CPU speed. You'll need to be ok with working from the command-line in the likely event we hit a bug (instructions provided).

A PKG for OS X 'Tiger' is coming within a few days. If you have a PPC Mac running that version of OS X and want to help test it, I'd be happy to hear from you.

Packet Garden has been developed on a Debian Linux system and is written entirely in Python using the Python based 3D engine Soya3D. A few simple shapes (lleaves and petals) were made in Blender. Aside from this, the world and its geometry are generated. Packet Garden is free software, released under a GNU GPL License.

Related Links
· More about Art Games
· News by julian

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