I woke from a dream of a 3-D printer that had gained sentience, hooking itself to a digester unit to feed its ravenous hunger for the raw materials of creativity. Its mind was stuck in a loop, printing boxes that gained in size then shrunk, ebbing and flowing like a sine wave was at its center, guiding the flailings of its insane electric mind. Buildings were struck down like a hand moving through water, then fed into its maw and spun out into these new, terribly precise shapes that soon filled the land from horizon to horizon.
I’ve been playing around in the software genre of Things That Make Shapes, with little straightforward success but a pleasant amount of brain fermentation. There’s the old stand-by Processing, of course, with its familiar code structure and broad scope to mess with 2-D, 3-D and audio. And Terragen is a fun way to blow time on Amtrak and feel real Old Testament, making the mountains and plains then flying by them, frame by frame. I also admit to ogling City Engine. (Anyone got a few grand lying around?)
But the one that seems to have some potential as the homicidally rational core of some sort of grey goo scenario-style compulsively transforming AI fabricator gone awry is Structure Synth. I don’t have much new to say about it, as that I am presently at the “poke and see if it breaks” stage of exploring its potential. Still, it gives me visions of a force that is compelled to build and build, tearing at the land like a wild beast to assemble nonsensical arrangements of concrete, rebar and glass, continents full of empty halls built for little reason beyond the process of building them.
Or is that just the human race? Build, fray, bulldoze, repeat. When’s that next real estate bubble getting here?