TrackMania – The 1k Project (2006):
This is a really interesting piece built using the replay editor from the racing game TrackMania: Sunrise back in 2006. The editor allows not only for camera positioning and panning but also for mass editing of multiple replays into one cohesive video. This allows players to aggregate multiple trials of a race or multiple playthroughs of one track into a video that creates emergent flocking patterns based on decisions that the player may make every time they do a lap on the track. These decisions can include hitting a ramp, taking a right instead of a left, or really any simple split-second decision they would make while playing the game normally.
This is a similar piece released in 2016 but the creators have used about 42,000 replays in their aggregation process and a more recent game in the TrackMania series. When the camera is zoomed out you can really see how much more dynamic and almost fluid simulation-like the patterns get, to the point where the individual car is lost to the naked eye and the flow of cars is read as a whole. The simple algorithmic decision-making method of quickly picking a direction and driving in it allows for complex emergent behavior specific to the track layout, and these behaviors change based on the players’ tendencies towards taking certain paths.
Special thanks to this Pixelsumo blog post that alerted me to the TrackMania K-project phenomenon!