Manyland is a sandbox chat universe where everyone draws & scripts the world! Over 500,000 areas and 4 million different items have been created. Check out the trailer and the overview page. Co-created with Scott Lowe and released in 2013.
In Anyland, we all invent a universe together in Virtual Reality! All creations are made by all of us together by dragging together simple base shapes, then optionally programming them. Here's the video. Co-created with Scott Lowe and released in 2016.
Corona Browser collects over 25,000 photos I made of Corona-related things, like store signs, protests and masks. Started in March 2020, with most photos available for Creative Commons reuse, it also spawned a series of books and videos.
Newlife is an experimental open world concept prototype in which objects are trained using deep reinforcement machine learning to evolve different autonomous behaviors. Created in 2020.
100Circles consists of 100 paintings created together with an AI that autonomously interprets ideas as art. The works are available as NFTs as well as prints. Shoutout to the amazing NightCafe & VQGAN+CLIP AI.
In Chatty, a group of 8 people per area sit together in a circle, voice chat, and play together on their tablets running VirtualOS. The video. Available for iOS (and Android side-loading), with an experimental VR version. Created in Unity C# and released in 2019.
Cover Browser lets you explore and search over 400,000+ covers, from comic books, books, VHS covers to classic magazines and more. I've worked on this site for multiple years, on and off.
Vintage Ad Browser features over 100,000 old print ads to explore. Mining took several months, from CDs, websites, auctions, to sending books to New York to have them be ripped apart and scanned, then algorithmically analyzed to crop images. Advertisements are often a revealing glimpse into the entertainment and culture, but also the indoctrination and inequalities of past decades.
Siege Towers for Two was made when the first iPad came along, and specifically for 2 people sitting around the same tablet. I developed these apps in China and usually play-tested in bars, cafes, and dedicated play cafes. It was part of a bigger series of 2-player games, and downloaded over 500,000 times.
Color Sound Machine for iPad combines falling balls with a large set of tools (like emission octave modulators) to create free patterns of melody, rythm and visuals.
In Picture Chat, on the other hand, two people communicate on the same iPad purely by typing with pictograms.
Sally Sells You Stuff is a series of photo web comics where Sally tries to sell tech gadgets & toys, while being sabotaged by those same (speaking) toys. Starring Sally aka Helen and shot in China.
Sketchcast was a way to easily create a mic recording while sketching to share and embed elsewhere, for explaining things, entertainment & more. Created in 2007 with Patrick Gavin & others.
At SketchSwap, on the other hand, people drew 1 picture to get 1 random picture drawn back to them. With Dominik Schmid.
For Dream Place, an open toy app for tablets to create your dream home, I created hundreds of illustrations over the course of a few months.
In City Bucks, on the other hand, your goal is to attract people into your buildings. Citizens have different wants (like food, shopping, culture) while places satisfy them at different levels, and the rest of the results are automated by the agents. Created with Phonegap & JS.
In Uprise, co-created with Marcos Zevallos, the tower defense principle is reversed: instead of attacking the drones which march through the field, you use a variety of tower mechanisms (like reflections, portals, and magnets) to subvert their bullets.
Games for the Brain is a site full of casual games to make you think & entertain. Some games on the site are created by others, as noted. The site is available in many different languages, like Thai, Chinese, German, Hebrew, Vietnamese, Spanish, Italian and many more.
Clipsay was an easy mobile video messaging app with additional web support, made in 2012. Co-created with Nikolai Kordulla & Andreas Dittes.
At Google Blogoscoped, I blogged about Google, technology & more, often daily, for 7 years.
The blog also launched many experiments and sites, including FutureFeature (a "wish engine", a web tool allowing everyone to wish for future features in this world, from movie sequels to politics, and then discuss them); FindForward (a search engine with a set of tools and additions on top of Google's search API); Watch To Learn Chinese (a website with a variety of video learning resources to speak Chinese, co-created with Yinxue Huang).
The biggest single-day traffic splash (over 700,000 page views) was caused when I was the first news to reveal the Google Chrome project. With blogging I've met many companions over the years.
Grow a Face uses mutation to grow a randomized illustration of a face.
Authorama lets you read & search a large variety of classic public domain books, from Flatland to Charles Dickens or Sherlock Holmes.
What Happened In My Birth Year lets you enter the year you were born... to then tell you a story.
Onpage was a visual, live-preview Content Management System developed in 2001 based on JS, CSS, XML and XHTML. Widgets like forum, table of contents, or live search results across the site were includable via button press.
AScript was a tile/ scrolling-based adventure game creation system in 1997 which came with a painting program for tiles and avatar scriptability.
RootStrike was an overview of easy-to-reference root world problems which, when solved, help us solve other problems. Inspired by the work of Lawrence Lessig and others.
The Quest Markup Language, created in 2000, is a system for creating Choose Your Own Adventure stories. Interpreters were ported to Python and other languages.
My name is Philipp Lenssen, I'm from Germany and lived in Malaysia and China, and like to program, draw, draw some more, conceptualize, 3d model, write, interview, think about and discuss politics and philosophy, compose, photograph, and whatever else is fun. The intersection of art & technology inspires me, and I love to experiment in automation, as well as tools that empower being creative and causing progress. I currently live in Frankfurt.
The tablet above reads "Don't Panic" in large, friendly letters.