What is "City In A Bottle"?

City In A Bottle is an interactive project bordering between art, science and games, funded by the Flemish Audiovisual Fund.

The game environment is based on the principle of emergence (Goldstein, 1999). Organisms (plants and insects) start off with basic behaviouristic rules and goals. If an opponent is edible, attack it. If an opponent is stronger, flee. When cornered, fight back. Hide in a flock of relatives to minimize the chance of being singled out. Follow a food trail marked by a relative. Expand and defend a productive environment. Grow colourful feathers/flowers to incite reproduction.

Complex social behavior then emerges by itself as organisms interact with each other. Species with a good strategy will survive and evolve over time, will adapt, will look different. The gaming enviroment changes procedurally, there is no preprogrammed story or pathway. We don't control the biotope. The creatures will find their own way and either co-exist or fight for limited space and food.


Who is involved?

We have a small interdisciplinary team of artists, computer scientists, a biologist and a psychologist working on City In A Bottle. We intend to open source all of our artwork and code.

Nicolas Marinus | director 
Nicolas has a background in illustration, design and advertising and is working for a commercial R&D media lab in Brussels. As creative director he is responsible for the overall look and feel of the project.

Ludivine Lechat | artwork
Ludivine is an artist and graphic designer specializing in digital illustrations.  Her work is applied in domains such as the graphic design industry, interior design, computer games, music.  She designs the insects and plants in the game-world.

Tim Vets | sound
Tim is a multidisciplinary artist and musician affiliated with Champ d'Action (contemporary music ensemble based in Antwerp, Belgium). He is responsible for the development of the real-time music framework.

Frederik De Bleser | engine
Frederik is a researcher at the Sint Lucas School of Arts in Antwerp, Belgium. His research domains include computer graphics, user interfaces and artificial intelligence. He is the author of NodeBox.

Tom De Smedt | engine
Tom is a PhD student at the Computational Psycholinguistics research group (University of Antwerp, Belgium). He has been developing for NodeBox since 2004. His research concerns language, creativity, AI and art.


Partnering Organisations

Champ d'Action

Champ d'Action is a leading ensemble for contemporary music that develops and uses new technology in a creative environment.


How can I get involved?

We are always looking for partners - people and companies that can add value to the project through cooperation, advice or financial support. Feel free to drop us a note!