Miguel Murça

miguelmurca+portfolio@gmail.com

TAU-800B Super

A multidisciplinary work involving time-travel, presented for the Processing Community Day Coimbra 2021 edition. Installation presented in the downtown of Coimbra, and corresponding presentation talk alongside other 5 selected artists.

Picture of the TAU-800B Super installation, in Coimbra, Portugal.

TAU-800B Super

A multidisciplinary work involving time-travel, presented for the Processing Community Day Coimbra 2021 edition. Installation presented in the downtown of Coimbra, and corresponding presentation talk alongside other 5 selected artists.

As a follow up to my submission to the Processing Community Day 2020, I decided to collaborate with a friend to create a more ambitious project. Working on the theme of “anachronism”, André Duarte and I built a full emulation of a computer that makes use of time travelling to speed up its computation, and presents a (retro-)futuristic interface, while also obeying computing paradigms of the minicomputers of the 70s. To achieve this, we combined web technologies and low-level programming. To fully complement this alternate reality, we created an accompanying user manual in LaTeX, displayed as part of the installation.

You can find a Twitter thread expanding on the details of the piece at @mikeevmm.

Zen Garden

Zen Garden was my entry for the Processing Community Day (PCD) Coimbra 2020 edition, with the theme “25.” The piece was selected for exhibition (alongside 24 other artists).

Entry for the Processing Community Day 2020, in Coimbra.

Zen Garden

Zen Garden was my entry for the Processing Community Day (PCD) Coimbra 2020 edition, with the theme “25.” The piece was selected for exhibition (alongside 24 other artists).

The Processing Community Day is a decentralized event proposed by the Processing community. Therefore, the event is focused on computational art/creativity. For the Coimbra edition of the PCD 2020, the proposed theme was “25”, both in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Processing, but also exploring the Portuguese connections to the number, as the (second) Portuguese democratic revolution took place on the 25th of April, 1974. The poster I submitted was constructed using Signed Distance Fields, such that each pixel can be calculated individually. By plotting the iso-lines of the function, one gets the emerging effect of interference between the different sources, reminiscent of the sand-lines in a zen garden.

This Website

This!

A screenshot of the current webpage.

This Website

This!

meegleeto.com was fully crafted by hand, with HTML and CSS only. It’s hosted on Github Pages, and so uses Jekyll as a static website engine. I made a point not to use Javascript: I’m not necessarily a luddite, but I like my static pages static, and you can get very far with CSS nowadays. This is the second iteration on the design, as the first version was much more “bootstrap”-y. This time, I went for something a little more brutalist, with an eye towards typography. This is more in line with my recent work and interests. Furthermore, the print version of my portfolio is simply a print of my homepage, adequately formatted with CSS.

Contos do Malibu-Cola

“Ou seja, o Mário Henrique Leira a dar voltas na cova.”

A page of the book.

Contos do Malibu-Cola

“Ou seja, o Mário Henrique Leira a dar voltas na cova.”

“Contos do Malibu Cola” is my personal tribute to “Contos do Gin-Tonic”, by Mário-Henrique Leiria. The latter, being a book published during the Portuguese dictatorship of 1933-74, manages to violently critique fascism under a veil of humor and dadaism. After reading “Contos do Gin-Tonic”, and its sequel, “Novos Contos do Gin (seguidos de algumas Fábulas do Futuro Pŕoximo)”, I felt compelled to write texts in the same vein, dealing with personal and existential anxieties. There’s hardly an audience for this book, admittedly. Or rather: I’m the audience for this book, and I’m fine with that.

You can find a free copy of the book on my Itch.io page.

VCV Rack Workshop

I hosted a workshop on modular synthesis at the Physics Department of the University of Coimbra. It focused on getting started with the VCV Rack simulation software, as well as the theoretical aspects behind synthesis.

Me during the VCV Rack workshop.

VCV Rack Workshop

I hosted a workshop on modular synthesis at the Physics Department of the University of Coimbra. It focused on getting started with the VCV Rack simulation software, as well as the theoretical aspects behind synthesis.

I found out about modular synthesiser music on the 1st of November of 2016, by means of a tweet by Renaud Bérard (a co-author of the video-game FEZ), and immediately expressed my interest in simulators that would allow me to try it for myself. Almost exactly one year later, on the 5th of November of 2017, @TheWzzard introduced me to the wonderful world of VCV Rack, a piece of software to do exactly that: simulate modular synths. On May 18th 2019, I paid it forward by hosting a workshop on learning the ropes of VCV Rack at the Physics Department of the University of Coimbra. For such a niche topic, it nonetheless gathered 8 participants, to very positive feedback. Modular synthesis music ties the worlds of physics, programming and music together, and is one of my favourite hobbies. I hope to have the opportunity to host the workshop again.

Pon

A game where I focused on design, both audio and visual, while exploring the idea of procedurally generated puzzle boards, by working backwards from the solution.

An animated image of a board of Pon being assembled.

Pon

A game where I focused on design, both audio and visual, while exploring the idea of procedurally generated puzzle boards, by working backwards from the solution.

Pon’s birth can be entirely attributed to Kate Compton’s GDC talk on procedural generation. After watching it, I started thinking about a deterministic strategy game that could be generated backwards, and that could branch complexly, even with simple rules. Eventually, the game’s focus shifted to a smooth design, inspired by that of Monument Valley, converging into what it is now. It’s the first full game I published made on Unity and targeting HTML5.

The game is freely available on my Itch.io page.

Overdressed

OverDressed started as a silly idea for a shedding game, but quickly went on to make it to print.

A page of the game's manual.

Overdressed

OverDressed started as a silly idea for a shedding game, but quickly went on to make it to print.

Overdressed was my first attempt at a physical card game. It sports a fun premise and much work behind the scenes to know how each piece of garment (such as a prosthetic leg, or a sexy bra) pits against the others. To note, also, is the manual design, which imitates the characteristic look of IKEA manuals.

However, Overdressed is still not perfect balance-wise. As such, it is officially in hiatus while I rework some aspects of the game into a simpler and more fun experience.

Planet Squares Inc.

A multiplayer game. It garnered some success, winning prizes in the 2016 Lisbon Maker Faire.

A screenshot of a round of Planet Squares Inc.

Planet Squares Inc.

A multiplayer game. It garnered some success, winning prizes in the 2016 Lisbon Maker Faire.

Planet Squares Inc. came from a wish of making a bigger game — both game-play and production wise — and of applying what I’d learned so far as a game developer to a new project. On the other hand, PSI also allowed me to focus on narrative, rather than just on game-play, something I’d wanted to do after learning of titles such as Battleblock Theater. Even though the game’s text is not central to the game-play and intends to be unobtrusive, I was able to develop a character through monologue, and a sort of environmental story-telling. Planet Squares Inc. won several awards at MakerFaire Lisbon 2016.

The game is freely available on my Itch.io page.

Ultra Electronic Ascension

Ultra Electronic Ascension was my first attempt at making a music-driven game.

A screenshot of the game.

Ultra Electronic Ascension

Ultra Electronic Ascension was my first attempt at making a music-driven game.

Heavily inspired by Electronic Super Joy, Ultra Electronic Ascension features fast electronic tracks. As part of the development process, I spoke to every composer, which was very gratifying. If I were to re-make UEA today, I would author the beat maps by hand, rather than using the game’s current strategy of looking at the waveform.

The game was featured in Warp Door.

The game is freely available on my Itch.io page..