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Chasing space

Chasing space was inspired by 2001: Space Odyssey. We often reflect on :Where are we from? Where are we going?  

produced by: Qike Shi


“Chasing space” is an immersive game, Player can control a spaceship in space like David Bowman. You need to move the spaceship through the Gyroscope and Rotation Rate of GyrOSC. There is a powerful vortex that destroys the route of the spacecraft while it’s flying. A moving spacecraft can hit eight planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Earth Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune). After a successful impact, the corresponding planet will disappear into the vast universe. Even after all the planets have disappeared, the vortex continues.


Concept and background research

2001: A Space Odyssey Quotes:

“Eighteen months ago……”

“…the first evidence of intelligent life off the Earth……”

“…was discovered.”

“it was buried 40 feet below the lunar surface…”

“…near the crater Tycho.”

“Except for a single, very powerful…”

“…radio emission aimed at Jupiter…”

“…the 4-million-year-old monolith has remained completely inert.”

“…its origin and purpose…”

“…still a total mystery.”

Hawking wrote in the preface “A Brief History of Time” -----I don't know what it means to study the universe, but when I look into the dark sky, I feel it's really beautiful.” I remember the first time I saw the computer-generated images of space from "2001: Space Odyssey". I felt an undeniable, almost gravitational pull.

"2001: Space Odyssey" not only praises the precision performance of science and technology but also shows the doubts and reflections brought about by the development of science and technology. There is recognition of the spirit of science and empirical reason (including the spirit of active exploration of the magnificent universe) as well as expression of mysticism and religious concepts. This complex combination forms a powerful counterproductive force, it also makes the film unique. Kubrick stated that: "If you understand space roaming, we fail." Humans hardly have an answer, and everyone has a different idea after they've watched it. "Chasing Space" make players simulate flying a spacecraft in space and even hitting surrounding planets, but we need to think about the relationship between life and the universe.


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The eight planets on display are designed according to official data currently detected by NARS. (Includes Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Earth Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune size and distance). During the run, the planet changes from a circle to a polygon, while a distant vortex has been disrupting the player's position in the spacecraft. When the spacecraft hits the planet, the corresponding planet disappears. Even if all the planets disappear, the vortex will continue, and the spacecraft will be in danger of getting lost or lose its direction.


  • ofAssimpModelLoader

 ofAssimpModelLoader addon permits loading to memory and processing 3D models in a convenient and unified format. The spacecraft model imports openFrameworks to put the light material.

  •  ofxOsc

Communication protocol for sending messages and data from one software process to another. The player moves the spaceship through the Gyroscope and Rotation Rate of GyrOSC.


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Future development

There need to be more improvements in the game mechanism, the current focus is more on an immersive experience, in the later stage should improve more game mechanisms, such as game scoring mechanism.

Self evaluation

I enjoyed the production process more, when the problem was solved, I could gain a sense of achievement. In the beginning, I wanted to try kinectV2 through the human body to control the spacecraft, because of some irresponsible factors to give up. But I've learned lots of technology of kinectV2, it's very rewarding.

In this project, I realized my shortcomings. About code learning, I needed to be more patient in solving all sorts of inexplicable bugs and controlling my emotional stability. Think more and consult online materials.


[1] Workshops In Creative Coding 2_week 18_ "Goodbye Stephen Hawking!";

[2] Workshops In Creative Coding 2_week 15_ "OSC messaging"§ion=16

[3] ofxAssimpModelLoader by Jeremyabe

[4] ofEasyCam by Jeremyabe

[5] ofxShader by Jeremyabe

[6] ofLight by Jeremyabe

[7] Shiffman, Daniel., Shannon. Fry, and Zannah. Marsh. The Nature of Code. 2012. Print

[8] Shiffman, Daniel. Learning Processing a Beginner's Guide to Programming Images, Animation, and Interaction. Second ed. 2015. Print..