September 27, 2006 1:47 PM   Subscribe

That was hilarious in the first video how the cricket-ghost climbed OVER the wall.
posted by zek at 1:56 PM on September 27, 2006

One of the crickets stopped moving at all, and on closer inspection we discovered it was shedding its skin. The cricket’s new skin was very light, and therefore it did not get detected by our colour tracking anymore. We now had a cricket which could freely walk around in our maze, not getting detected by our system, which was still tracking its old skin. After about half an hour the cricket’s skin turned dark enough to also be noticed by the colour tracking, resulting in five ghosts being put in the game. At this moment our game really surprised us, you could say the crickets generated an extra piece of code to the game. This kind of unexpected behaviour was exactly what we were hoping to encounter during this research.
I was right with you up to the last two sentences. New code?! Also, I think the reason for doing this would be better described as "because we could". That can be sufficient. It would have been so here.
posted by imperium at 2:02 PM on September 27, 2006

Pretty sweet. I actually saw this in Edge day before yesterday - the videos are pretty funny.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 2:21 PM on September 27, 2006

I didn't read the paper, just the website, but I wonder if this might be even better if the animal players had an incentive to go after the player... because honestly, the crickets aren't even playing a game.
posted by blackvectrex at 3:20 PM on September 27, 2006

Kinda following on the blackvectrex's point, they should put a chameleon in a cage nearby. Whenever the crickets get listless, toss one into the cage.

I suggest this because whenever I feed my chameleon, I usually throw three to five crickets in. They sit around looking kinda stupid till the Tongue descends on them like a sticky pink Angel of Death. They see one of their buddies get whacked and suddenly they are all about running around.

My solution is simple, elegant, and keeps chameleons fed. Which to my mind, is a win.
posted by quin at 3:55 PM on September 27, 2006

This is the best thing ever.

Notice the cricket who cheats towards the end of the first video. So human...
posted by damn dirty ape at 4:13 PM on September 27, 2006

The crickets do have an incentive to go after the player, from the article:

"We divided the floor of the maze into six parts, each with a motor attached underneath that vibrates when switched on. When the crickets should chase Pac-Man, we switch on the motors furthest away from his location in the maze, so the crickets will flee in his direction. When Pac-Man eats a power-up, the crickets are supposed to run away from him, so we then vibrate the part of the floor that contains Pac-Man’s position."

But yeah... it doesn't seem to work quite as predictably as actual computer code.
posted by Durhey at 4:21 PM on September 27, 2006

Hopefully when the recreate Ms. Pac Man all of the crickets have to wear tiny red bows.
posted by conorlastowka at 5:04 PM on September 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

Very cool. I laughed too when it went over the wall.

Now all I want is to be able to play Counterstrike against my dog.
posted by greycap at 11:01 PM on September 27, 2006

That was the first time I enjoyed watching a cricket game!
posted by Phasuma at 2:13 AM on September 28, 2006 [1 favorite]

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