Spider Frenzy

This was a class project during my graduate semester. The assignment was to create a drawing tool in Processing, emphasizing algorithmic generation/modification/manipulation, and exploring the balance of control between the tool and the person using the tool.

The element about this assignment that I found to be most interesting to develop was the balance of control between the tool and the user. I turned to the concept of biomimicry, as there is an infinite amount of inspiration to be found in nature. While it was possible to take a motion (such as a tadpole swimming around in a pond) and attach a path to it, I decided to go with a natural drawing tool– the spider and its web. As it was a two week project, I decided against trying to mimic the complexity of a real web, and instead went with something equally mesmerizing: spirals. To give the user power, I decided to motivate the spiders with food, which would naturally get tangled up in the spider’s web.

The result is Spider Frenzy, a tool that is self-directing until the user decides to place a fly on the screen, and propagates when the spider gets to a certain size after eating a few flies. For best visual results, allow the spiders to spin webs for a little bit. Click here to play!