mirrorlake2

Generate tiny ominous landscapes with this procedural generation toy

Mirror Lake is a strange little thing.

Made in a week for Procedural Generation Jam, it creates static black-and-white landscapes, nestled inside a giant patterned bowl and suspended in space. Sometimes the space is dark, dotted with stars and the occasional sun or moon or comet; sometimes it’s a vast white nothing, like a blank page.

The tiny scenes inside the bowl change too, sprouting branchless trees and rolling mountains across wide meadows, shining grey lakes, and bright white salt flats. A few times, I didn’t even get a landscape at all.

I’d click away from a particularly full terrarium full of rolling black hills and clusters of trees and end up with what appeared to be a bowl of milk, floating in the void. I enjoyed these lonely scenes as much as the busy and the cluttered, especially when there was only one thing off about them: an empty vessel beneath a burning solar eye, a cluster of space debris descending down into a still black lake. They’re like little visual poems.

Each scene comes with its own sounds, which vary between the calm of a droning wind and the unease of a shrill, unwavering frequency. The combination of images and audio brings Mirror Lake’s little landscapes to life.

rich in texture and fine in detail 

Creator Katie Rose is also behind picking figs in the ??????? garden while my world eats Itself, a poetry generator that makes use of several different algorithms and bots to craft bizarre and beautiful strings of text. You can download a collection of that project’s creations over on Rose’s itch.io.

Rose’s whole body of work, at least what’s available on itch.io, is as rich in texture and fine in detail as Mirror Lake, from a small, but particle-heavy arcade game called fishbugs to the constantly regenerating multimedia engima that is inflorescence.city.

Find these works and more on Katie Rose’s official website.