We’re huge fans of the Sifteo Cube platform, having contributed a launch application for which Stimulant and Sifteo shared two 2012 Interaction Design Awards. When our friends at Sifteo asked if we’d like to play with some next-generation hardware…well, how could we resist?
The latest Sifteo Cubes, just announced today, now have replaceable batteries, touch-sensitive screens, and a Sifteo Base cube that allows them to be used without a host PC. They’re more reactive, responsive, and even less expensive!
Which makes us even more excited to announce our application for the next version of the Sifteo Cube hardware: BlissBomb!
BlissBomb is an exploratory, meditative application that mixes procedurally-drawn graphics with calming sound. It was an outgrowth of our need to better understand the platform, and to design and build an application that would not just be unique, but be “massively multi-cube,” supporting up to 12 cubes. What’s more, the Cubes needed to behave individually, as “islands” of multiple cubes, or as one gigantic, inter-connected mass.
Our first Sifteo Cube application, LoopLoop, pushed the platform’s audio capabilities to the limit; this time, we wanted to do the same with visuals. All visuals in Bliss Bomb are drawn procedurally, directly into the Cubes’ frame buffer. It wasn’t the easiest route, but it gave us the ability to have the visuals be easily expanded, edited, and animated by simply animating or cycling color palettes. Just as many Sifteo Cube games have a retro, hand-painted-pixel look, we wanted to explore an animation paradigm that was equally retro, but something that was unique to this decidedly modern platform.
The sound of BlissBomb was driven by our love of drone music, backed up by some research into meditative music and alpha-state-inducing frequencies. Given the presence of a speaker-equipped Sifteo Base, we could sculpt the sounds specifically for that output device.
This new version of Sifteo Cubes will be demoed publicly tomorrow, Friday August 31, at Penny Arcade’s PAX Prime 2012 event. They will ship in November 2012, retailing at US$129, but you can pre-order starting immediately. Learn more at Sifteo’s website!