Return of Ku:

256A Final Project
Alison Rush
[download code]




Download zipped code package, compile and run the XCode project inside the folder.


Ku will follow wherever you lead with your cursor. You can make Ku bounce by making sounds, and increase Ku's size by  eating (running into) particles. You can also modify Ku's environment with control keys.

Ku's particle environment has 4 behavior modes, triggered by keys 1-4:  repel, attract, attract to magnet points, and rain. Camera view can be toggled on and off within any of these modes by pressing the 'c' key.

Mode 1

Mode 1 (repel)

Mode 1

Mode 1 with camera toggled

Mode 2

Mode 2 (attract) with camera

Mode 3

Mode 3 (magnet point attract)

Mode 4

Mode 4 (rain) with camera

Vision and Design

Ku was inspired in part by the Furby and other horrifying toys, and in part by the life cycle of the cuckoo, a brood parasite who lays her eggs in the nests of other birds: the host mother unwittingly feeds the imposter, who evicts her own chicks by throwing them out of the nest, sometimes still in their eggs.
"Ku is a helpless baby creature from another dimension. Entirely by accident, she was born inside your computer: once you realize that she is stuck there, you decide to raise her yourself, out of the kindness of your heart. From the user’s manual that inexplicably showed up with her, you learn that individuals of Ku’s species sustain themselves on vibrational energy ­ sound, in your terms ­ and in order to keep her healthy and happy, you must feed her: talk to her, play music for her, and show her the sound environment of your world."
By feeding Ku sounds, which she would then begin to granlularize and play back, the user would exert some influence over her development: different kinds of sounds (to be determined via FFT analysis) would result in different colors as Ku grew.


First Ku design


After workshopping and feedback, Ku acquired a face Photoshopped from a human ear, a sonic bunghole, and a storyboard.


It speaketh


Thoroughly implementing Ku's stormy adolescence and climactic choice of allegiance, however, became rather unfeasible within the project's time constraints.

Brought to you by the Center for Dirtcreature Research in Soundfat and Meatnoises


The streamlined Ku demonstrated here is simpler, but much less dangerous: just make noise and watch her dance!