The Moving Maze – System and the Units (Art Project Presentation)

Yiou Wang & Yujie Wang (2021). Art Machines 2: International Symposium on Machine Learning and Art 2021 ,10th-13th June 2021.


In a system, complexities arise from the simplest and most elementary things. A brainchild of our gamer philosophy, the Moving Maze is a maze that could move its parts methodically in response to the player’s movement, as if a chess player were vying with the chessboard. We design a method that generates an unpredictable and self-renewable system with fragmental movement according to simple gamer-interactive rules, in which the gamer achieves the joy of navigating through discovering these moving rules and smartly rerouting with human-specific flexibility of mind.

Art Project Abstract: View PDF

Pre-recorded Presentation video:

Moving Architecture, Animated Maze

Yiou Wang and Yujie Wang. 2021. Moving Architecture, Animated Maze: The Intertextuality Between Player and Environment Agents. In Proceedings of Venice ‘21: ACM Conference on Creativity and Cognition.


The maze, a classic architectural type of post-functional nature, is reinvented through the contemporary lens of video game. With novel analytical insights and computing methodologies on the system-unit relationship of a maze, we design and develop a Moving Maze that moves its parts methodically in response to the player’s movement. A disorienting and adaptive system composed of identical parts, the Moving Maze is deconstructed into the non-subdivisible unit, which can propagate into a field through replication and orthogonal rotation. The game generates unit-to-system interactive outcomes with fragmental movements using gamer-relational rules. In achieving difficulty progression and game balance through Reinforcement Learning, the maze arouses problem-solving curiosity and immerses the player in a risk-reward structure. Centering the game mechanics on interactivity and adaptability, we enhance player engagement in this cognitive puzzle game through balanced player and environment agency. An artwork synthesizing procedural computation with gaming architecture, the Moving Maze rethinks the meaning of game, game balancing, and embodies the philosophy that systemic complexities arise from the simplest elements.

CCS Concepts:

• Games/Play; • Design Method; • Storytelling; • Architectural History

Key Words and Phrases:

Games/Play, Maze and Labyrinth, Design Methods, Architecture, Storytelling