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ONOPO
redesign project · 2012

ONOPO board

ONOPO is a reimagining of an iconic American board game. I attempted to simplify and clarify the game system, removing thematic metaphors (such as place names) and other non-essential elements. Inspired by abstract strategy games, I designed a minimal iconographic system which uses as little language as possible.

I enjoy designing and working with systems, and this project was an exercise in consistency and constraint. The name is partly a reduction of the original and partly an homage to Oulipo, the "workshop for potential literature."

ONOPO has been featured on Co.Design, Inquiringmind Magazine, Design Taxi, and other design websites.

ONOPO board 3D model

The ONOPO board. The visual echo between the three Os in the original game title and the groups of three spaces on the board inspired my design. The original game presented plenty of opportunity for distilling the design down to an iconographic system representing its basic mechanics.

ONOPO cards

Property cards from ONOPO. All text on the original cards has been translated into an iconographic system. The symbols for different types of spaces were designed so that each of these cards would have a bisected circle centered at the top.

ONOPO small cards and money

Instructional cards and bills from ONOPO. The instructional cards were the most challenging part of the game to translate visually. One constraint I gave myself was to using the same size board, cards and bills as the original. I was thinking of the project as a re-skinning of the game rather than a complete redesign. Leaving certain remnants of the original also makes the project easier to understand at a glance. For the same reason, I used mostly similar colours.

Automatic Caution Door
sign generator · 2013

Make No Wonder

A silly random sign generator inspired by the awkward phrasing of “Automatic Caution Door” signs. Try it out!

Make No Wonder

Make No Wonder

Make No Wonder
web game · 2012

Make No Wonder

Make No Wonder is a web game which lets you explore and disrupt a procedurally-generated wilderness landscape. The game makes use of HTML5 Canvas and JavaScript / jQuery, and runs in most modern web browsers. The game launched in March 2012 - you can follow news and development on my blog.

Make No Wonder has been featured on HTML5 Weekly, MetaFilter, Play This Thing!, and other websites.

I received a Professional Project Grant from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council to work on this project. This has made a huge difference to the amount of time I am able to devote to the project, and I'm very grateful for the support.

Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council

Make No Wonder

In Make No Wonder, you collect resources and build tools, shelters, and vehicles while exploring a procedurally-generated landscape. Building ziplines allows you to quickly traverse the terrain, and it is possible to build extensive transportation networks.

Make No Wonder

Collecting rare resources allows you to build more elaborate shelters and other useful things.

Make No Wonder

The procedurally-generated terrain creates a varied and unpredictable landscape, making for a different adventure each time you play.

Make No Wonder

Each player can use different tactics to efficiently gather resources and make his or her way around the landscape.

Newfoundland Hex Map Interaction
interactive sketch · 2011

Newfoundland Hex Map Interaction

Newfoundland Hex Map Interaction is an interactive sketch I've developed as I work on the concepts and code for Make No Wonder. It is written with jQuery and Raphael, and requires a modern web browser (might not work in Internet Explorer).

Favimon
web game · 2010–2011

Favimon

Favimon is a web game which lets you battle your favourite websites, building a collection of icons as you attempt to conquer the web. Favimon is programmed in HTML, JavaScript / jQuery, and PHP. This project is no longer available.

Favicons, or favourites icons, are small icons which are used to identify websites in your web browser. With Favimon, these icons come to life as characters that can be challenged and collected in epic battles.

In February 2011, Favimon won the Most Original award in the Mozilla Labs Game On 2010 open web gaming contest. I wrote an extensive blog post about developing the game. Favimon has also been featured on IndieGames.com, Geek.com, Download Squad, Jay is Games, The Daily What, and other fine websites.

Probable System
web game · 2010

Probable System

Probable System is a web game artwork inspired by Canadian experimental poet bpNichol.

In his series Probable Systems, bpNichol's poems take the form of mathematical proofs, using puns and typographic quirks to playfully shift the meaning of texts. Using similar strategies, I am developing an interactive explorable world, mashing up typographical systems with role-playing video games. The game makes use of puns, puzzles, and meta-humour — for example, the "characters" are literally typographical characters. Using the keyboard, the player explores a detailed world full of curious characters, puzzling obstacles, and secret passages.

Probable System is programmed in HTML, JavaScript / jQuery, and PHP. It is located here. I am still developing parts of the world, but the game is fully playable. Probable System was recently exhibited as part of a group show, MIXER, at Grenfell Art Gallery, Nov. 2010–Jan. 2011.

Probable System

Probable System

Probable System

Probable System

Halifax Walking Notebook
walking, writing · 2007

Halifax Walking Notebook

In November 2007, I undertook a series of walks around Halifax, Nova Scotia, as part of my research for my Interchange installation at NSCAD University. Each day for 33 days, I walked around the city and wrote about walking, art, psychogeography, and the pedestrian experience in Halifax. As I worked, I began to think of the writing and walking as not just an artifact of the project, but a work in itself.

Some of this writing became part of small landmarks. I've posted the notebook in its entirety on my blog.

Halifax Walking Notebook

November 6.

Halifax Walking Notebook

November 20.

oughtful
poems, photos, prose · 2005–2007

oughtful

oughtful was my blog from 2005 to 2007, mostly while living in Montreal, with some time spent in Newfoundland and Halifax. It contains poetry, prose, photographs, and various combinations thereof. This project is no longer online.

Above: eighteen hundred hours · january 16, 2007

oughtful

The Complete Works (after bpNichol) · november 21, 2006

The Complete Works (after bpNichol) was recently featured on Canadian poetry blog Lemon Hound.

oughtful

cold shoulder · august 9, 2006

oughtful

poem for a found paper crane · may 8, 2006

oughtful

writing outdoors · april 17, 2006

non*glossy
photoblog · 2003–2006

non*glossy (installation after 6 and a half months) non*glossy: lost mitten, november 2005 non*glossy: acorn bowl, october 2005 non*glossy: nobody, october 2003 non*glossy: brighton, july 2004 non*glossy: orange peel pirouette, june 2004 non*glossy: helicopter ride, october 2005

non*glossy was my first photoblog, and was maintained for about three years, during which time I moved from Newfoundland to Montreal. I posted photos daily for a year and a half, then slightly less frequently for the remainder. It was featured on CBC Radio 3 as part of Point, Shoot and Post, a story about photoblogs in Canada. This project is no longer online.

Above: An installation of the project after 6½ months, and six photos from non*glossy.

non*glossy

balcony tea (rue simpson, montreal) · may 2005

non*glossy

five couples (parc mont-royal, montreal) · march 2005

non*glossy

old port diptych (vieux-port, montreal) · september 2005

non*glossy

moss rivulet diptych (parc mont-royal, montreal) · october 2005

non*glossy

wanders never cease (vieux-port, montreal) · january 2006

non*glossy

ice study 1 (vieux-port, montreal) · january 2006

Created by Matthew Hollett.