Visual Echos : Let your interactions leave a visual footprint. WASD to move.

Notes on bugs: A player isn't removed if they disconnect. If you refresh, you will start with a fresh screen, but on everyone else's screen, you will appear as a new player and your old particle will just be a moveable object. 

Looks cooler with more people, but also potentially gets buggier.


I wanted to explore equal collaboration/competition, creating an environment where either can manifest. In the process of working with a physics engine, I became interested in incorporating the ceding of control to external forces. In this case, you and the other players may be collaborating, but there is still chaos that hinders that, yet creates satisfying after images. The white line between players makes the canvas itself dynamic, as it erases past drawings.

This is getting into "it's a feature not a bug" territory, but I actually like the freedom you have with the thin lines, because now you have to negotiate the speed of your movements as well, in order to create or avoid creating smooth shapes.

I didn't get to try everything I wanted to do, but I think I touch upon some ideas worth exploring further. I think it lacks a lot polish, in terms of the color choice and overall feel, as I definitely could have fiddled around with the design elements more.

My original idea was to create a many headed worm(inspired in part by the cartoon CatDog), but I think I end up exploring the visuals that result from interactions, rather than the gamified mechanics.

These are some progress screen shots of what it might have looked like with a chalkboard kind of aesthetic.

2 player interaction
one player

Some things to explore still:

  • using real colors
  • changing the aspect ratio
  • adding constraints
  • smoothing out
  • incorporating instructions
  • distinguishing features for the players
  • different shapes

Below are some sketches of the original idea. I discovered that you could record the path of the interaction and I thought it might be more interesting to deal with geometric relations instead.

Concept sketches
I successfully modeled a worm-like creature but I was unable to make one player the head and the other player the tail.

Code can be found on Glitch:!/visual-echoes

Future Work:

  • Fix bugs: make sure players disconnect properly
  • Fiddle with colors and transparency more
  • Fork project to explore having the midpoint between the two players be the drawing brush