First off: language warning for the kiddos. Stop-motion animator Dillon Markey works on projects for animation powerhouses like Robot Chicken and PES. While on set three years ago Markey tired of moving back and forth between the set, camera, and computers for each shot and conceived of a numerical keypad he could use to help control some, if not all, of the devices he uses for animating.
In a stroke of nostalgic brilliance, he realized Nintendo’s failed 1980 Power Glove—a wearable device that was supposed to offer novel ways of controlling video games—possessed the form factor he needed. While the Power Glove itself was a commercial flop because of imprecise and awkward controls (not to mention crummy games), Markey teamed up with an electrical engineer to completely rewire the device so it could interact with his stop-motion software via Bluetooth. In a move that would make Inspector Gadget proud, he further modified the glove to incorporate animation tools like retractable tweezers and special sensors that emit the perfect phrase when you use the glove for a fist-bump.
One would think such modifications would be interesting for the purpose of making a quick concept video like this, but that in practical application it might not really work. Not the case: he’s now used it for over 1.5 years on projects like this. It makes you wonder what other outmoded technology had the right form factor but wrong application? Film by Ava Benjamin.
Back in 2012, a trio of interaction design students from HAWK University unveiled a concept for StreetPong, an interactive game of pong installed at a street crossing that allows you to play opponents waiting on the other side. The concept video (above) was viewed a bajillion times around the web, compelling designers Amelie Künzler, Sandro Angel, and Holger Michel to work with design firms and traffic experts to build a fully-functional device. After two years of waiting, the game units have been designed and approved for use by the city of Hildesheim, Germany where they were installed two weeks ago. Rebranded as the ActiWait, the devices aren’t just a clever way to pass the time while waiting for cars, hopefully they disuade impatient pedestrians from darting through traffic. (via Pop-Up City, @Staublfuse, Stellar)
Update: ActiWait currently has an Indiegogo campaign to help raise funds for further development.
For nearly three years, a six-member team of developers called State of Play has been toiling away in a London studio making a new video game. While there are probably thousands of such teams around the world coding away into the night, the members of this team are a bit different. Among them are an architect, a photographer, and a model maker, all needed to help physically construct the game’s environment. Titled Lumino City, the entire video game was first handmade entirely out of paper, card, miniature lights and motors.
While many games appropriate paper textures or have some kind of paper aesthetic, State of Play took things one step further and built the sets for each puzzle, photographed or filmed them, and then set everything in motion with code. The result is a breathtakingly beautiful puzzle game starring an intrepid girl who tries to solve the mystery of her missing grandfather. After an hour or so of extensive research I can confirm the game is amazing. Lumino City is available for the Mac and PC, and is coming very soon to iOS. You can read a bit more over on The Verge.
It’s rare that we stop to consider apps and video games on Colossal, but when we do, it’s with good reason. Monument Valley (previously), a gorgeously designed Escheresque puzzle game for iOS, just released eight new levels, collectively titled Forgotten Shores. Over the last few months Monument Valley has proven so popular and ground-breaking that it picked up an Apple Design Award, released a soundtrack, and turned 10 of its levels into an open edition of giclée prints. I spent some time with my six-year-old son working through Forgotten Shores last night, and it’s every bit as fun and innovative as the first release. Get it here.
The hype surrounding the new iOS game Monument Valley by ustwo has been almost impossible to ignore the last few days, and after downloading the puzzle game last night I was able to see why after about 30 seconds of playing. This is simply unlike any game that has come before it. Heavily influenced by the drawings of M.C. Escher the game is so aesthetically beautiful the developers include an in-game camera that lets you take pictures you can share as you play. But this game isn’t just about pretty architectural landscapes, the gameplay is as entertaining as it is brilliant—instantaneous changes of perspective and gravity propel the game forward in unexpected ways. You can download it here. If you enjoyed this also check out other minimalist games like Rymdkapsel or LIMBO.
Denver-based artist Chris Carlson who is known for his work with 3D chalk illusions created a great stop motion Tetris game. The shading, perspective and motion is incredibly spot-on. You can see more of his video game and pop-culture influenced chalk drawings over on Tumblr. (via the awesomer)
Stockholm-based photographer Christian Åslund recently payed tribute to retro 2D video games using the streets of Hong Kong as a backdrop. The photos were taken as part of an ad campaign for shoe brand Jim Rickey utilizing models who would lay flat on the streets or sidewalks to create the unique perspective. I’ve seen many photographers toy with this idea, but the wide-angle nature of these shots taken from such height creates a truly fun and expansive environment. See many more shots from the series here. (via design taxi)