Polycode, New Open Source Framework with C++ and Lua; Awesome Pixel 3D Game Sample

Creative coding is rapidly moving from the domain of a handful of gurus to a broader audience, powered by lightweight, flexible frameworks that quickly translate code to visuals. Now, that said, the thought of another framework to learn could be overwhelming, what with the superb Cinder (C++, Mac, Windows, iOS), OpenFrameworks (C++, Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS), Processing (Java and JavaScript, Mac, Windows, Linux, Web, iOS)… Fortunately, PolyCode, the creation of Ivan Safrin, has plenty to recommend it. It has out-of-the-box support for 2D and 3D physics libraries, and a Lua API for scripting via that elegant, compact language. It’s …

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New Music Games+Tools for iPad, Xbox 360, in Circles and Tenori-On Grids

In the blurring areas between gaming and creation, toys and tools, there’s certainly a lot of action, spurred on by platforms for sharing software. Pulse is a new title for the iPad, an ambient rhythmic gaming experience with a unique interface centering around a series of concentric circles. The graphic design looks gorgeous in its abstraction, as much music visualization and animation as game UI. The developer, Cipher Prime, has done this kind of terrific work before – their work includes the ambient streams of colored particles in Auditorium, the Flash-based browser game, followed by the Mac + PC game …

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Inside Handheld Game Art: The Art Style and Making of Swords & Sworcery, Superbrothers Pixel Cinema

Visualist? VJ? Live cinema? Here’s a new one for you: Input Output Cinema. And while IO Cinema has already found a niche in the indie Toronto scene as “an ambiguously pluralized and irritatingly cryptic audiovisual art and design organization,” it now has its first blockbuster game. Superbrothers: Swords & Sworcery EP on the iPad is big – Angry Birds big, only with, erm, a very different visual sense. That’s before an imminent release for the iPod touch and iPhone has even come to fruition, sure to open it up to even more casual gamers. (I can’t wait to see it …

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Inside Handheld Game Art: The Art Style and Making of Swords & Sworcery, Superbrothers Pixel Cinema

Visualist? VJ? Live cinema? Here’s a new one for you: Input Output Cinema. And while IO Cinema has already found a niche in the indie Toronto scene as “an ambiguously pluralized and irritatingly cryptic audiovisual art and design organization,” it now has its first blockbuster game. Superbrothers: Swords & Sworcery EP on the iPad is big – Angry Birds big, only with, erm, a very different visual sense. That’s before an imminent release for the iPod touch and iPhone has even come to fruition, sure to open it up to even more casual gamers. (I can’t wait to see it …

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Hawken, Upcoming Indie Mech Game, Stuns Eyeballs; Learns Lessons from Model Kit Building and Kitbash

The craft of photorealistic gaming has risen to astounding heights, but look-alike art direction can overshadow its technical achievement. Not so with an extraordinary-looking indie title called Hawken. The mech combat first-person shooter, built in the Unreal Engine, is crafted in a way that speaks to the possibilities of digital technique to spin imaginary worlds, and to build integrated aesthetics. As Technical Lead Jon Kreuzer told PC Gamer, the nine-person LA studio reused components to construct the world of the game: “Many parts of the levels are created by combining re-usable building blocks into unique structures, which can allow new …

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Rock Band 3 Mustang Guitar as Expressive MIDI Controller: Frets, Strings, and Accelerometer

As a guitar, the Rock Band 3 Mustang is a bit unusual – there are strings, but an array of buttons replaces the frets, and it is intended as a game controller. But with all those buttons, strings, and sensors, it makes a remarkably flexible, surprisingly inexpensive controller. Our friend nay-seven puts it to good use with Sensomusic Usine. And talk about a budget-minded setup – one that could put platforms like the iPad to shame. Usine costs just EUR90 for a full license, with discounted educational pricing and a version you can try for free. The Mustang runs just …

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More WebGL Fun: Use Shaders in a Browser, Play a Game with Fireflies

If your WebGL appetite still wants more 3D goodness in your browser, here are two additional examples since last week’s story. Via Tiago, Shadertoy is an in-browser renderer that allows you to edit shader code in GLSL (the basic language of an OpenGL GPU) and render it in-browser. The only bad news is that this project from 2009 may not have kept up with rapidly-changing browser specs; for me, 2D shaders worked perfectly on an NVIDIA 320M, but not anything 3D, in either Chrome or Firefox. But some of you know much more about this than I do, so have …

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Gameduino is a DIY, Open Source Game Platform Built on Arduino That’s Ridiculously Awesome

Gameduino is a DIY game platform built on a shield for the Arduino. It’s open source hardware (BSD and, for the code, GPL). Okay, that’s fairly cool. But what makes this project special is that this inexpensive board (a $50 donation buys you one) has hardware that’s capable enough to be interesting, as seen in the video. We’re talking smooth-scrolling 8-bit graphics and full 12-bit stereo sound synthesis, 512×512-pixel backgrounds, hundreds of sprites… check out the specs:

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Gameduino is a DIY, Open Source Game Platform Built on Arduino That's Ridiculously Awesome

Gameduino is a DIY game platform built on a shield for the Arduino. It’s open source hardware (BSD and, for the code, GPL). Okay, that’s fairly cool. But what makes this project special is that this inexpensive board (a $50 donation buys you one) has hardware that’s capable enough to be interesting, as seen in the video. We’re talking smooth-scrolling 8-bit graphics and full 12-bit stereo sound synthesis, 512×512-pixel backgrounds, hundreds of sprites… check out the specs:

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Kinect in Teaching: Playful Puppets, Terrains, Lighting, and More Breakthroughs

Teaching has its moments of reward and frustration in equal measure, but I’m of the belief that there are no limits to the new ideas that can grow out of groups of engaged students. In fact, it’s often in the first draft, the first experiment, the first time a student has tried something that I feel like I see the greatest spark of new ideas. Freed of concerns about whether something has been done before (looking at you, jaded artists and comment trolls alike), liberated by the bone-crunching stress of deadlines (ahem, yes, they do have a motivating impact), students …

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