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Night Hawks
1942 - 2006

Urban game installation

 

Installation
Night Hawks is a real time 3D installation designed to immerse several players in a virtual world
which recalls the streets of New York City from the forties.
The visuals are inspired by the paintings of Eward Hopper and by movie sets from that time.
Link to demo multiple screens
Link to text "The making of Oiseaux de Nuit"
. Demo low Resolution scene.

The 3D world from Night Hawks is similar to our everyday life, it takes us into a 3D painting,
inside a diner where the last clients share stories with Joe, the bartender; outside on the street
and with New York skyscrappers in the background. Each element of the scene has a life of its
own and from time to time these elements move and interact together.

The installation offers multiple perceptions
of characters walking in the street
and inside the diner
 
The navigation system
is remote controlled by cellular phones
that can influence
characters and cameras with a dynamic
arrow. Please note that the High Resolution scene is available online
The navigation system
is remote controlled by cellular phones
that can influence
characters and cameras with a dynamic
arrow. Please note that the High Resolution scene is available online

Audience
Night Hawks was created for an audience of teenagers and adults interested in interactive story
telling without violence. Each player picks up a character and follows its story. The players' experience
can be radically changed according to the virtual character that he or she chooses to be. The scene
can run by itself without the players input and follows actions which are programmed by the artificial
intelligence of the virtual world.


The world of "Night Hawks" is endless and changes all the time. Virtual actors meet at Joe's diner
to tell stories which take us to other worlds where we meet the same actors with different costumes
and in other settings. The secondary worlds are displayed in black and white to help differenciate them
from the main story. The virtual actors return to the main story after spending a few minutes inside the
secondary world. They place objects in front of them on the counter of the bar which mark their passage
in the secondary world that they just left. The players get addicted to this constant back and forth between
the diner and other universes and they find new changes all the time. "Night Hawks" adds its own myth to
the stories told by the virtual actors.

Each player dials a phone line to connect to the scene via an answering machine. The voicemail greets the player and briefly explains how to use the phone's keypad to play the game, other options are recorded messages used for basic troubleshooting. The duration of the connection to the scene is controlled by the answering machine and its duration can vary according to the number of people willing to play the game. The player's call is digitized and connected to the center of the behavioral engine controlling the virtual actors. This technology is optmized for four simultaneous players.