Pocketball is a themed UI physics puzzle game by Big Bucket Software just released in the AppStore. Your goal is to guide the colored balls into their corresponding pockets. By drawing ropes between pegs, you navigate the balls around boosters, gravity wells, pesky nukes and more. The game includes 30 stages, all wrapped in a wood themed interface with wonderful subtle animations. I have played a few levels and can see myself spending hours. For now, only full version is available but I have no doubt a demo (lite) will follow pretty soon.
• Auto-saves so that returning to a game feels like you never left.
• Want to start over? Simply shake to remove all ropes and try again.
• Full stereo sound.
For more info + screens, see bigbucketsoftware.com/pocketball/
- MinMe [iPhone, Games] Created as part of last month's Experimental Gameplay Project, Chaim Gingold's MinMe is a response to the theme "bare minimum". Made in 1.5 days,Â MinMe is a clean, minimal puzzler with 10 levels. The former Spore developer notes that if enough people like and download this game, heâ€™ll happily expand it. Clean, fun, free, engaging with some pretty awesome screen transitions and sounds, I am left wanting more! Platform: iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: Free Developer: Chaim Gingold (via […]
- We Sliders [iPhone] Created by We Choose Fun, We Sliders is a simple puzzle game where the task is to arrange sliders into a vertical line. The game starts with only few rows and as you progress the number of rows increases. Each row is connected to a different row, ie dragging one to the left with make other move right. This does not work vice versa, meaning that sliders are not inter-connected. Your task is to find the perfect combination resulting in a continuos vertical alignment. This is all made extra wonderful by the colour of the sliders and the background which changes as you move the sliders. Absolutely lovely. This is an unconventional game with an unconventional interface. Learning how to use it is part of the game, that's what you need to know. See also Prelock for iPhone (itunes link) Platform: iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: $0.99 Developer: We Choose […]
- Colorbind [iPhone, Games] From the creator of Monospace (itunes link) - Daniel Lutz, comes a new iPhone/iPod Touch game called Colorbind. The app was submitted to Apple yesterday and by recent estimations it should be Now available in the AppStore! within a day or two. Whilst I have been slightly sceptical of Monospace, adopting somewhat flat but then soft shaded graphics, interesting nevertheless, Colorbind shows polish hard to find in the AppStore lately. A refreshingly looking puzzle game taking on ribbon concept with a simple task to weave it accross the points of the same colour. This of course becomes more challenging as you progress through the levels where you need to guide multiple ribbons over one another. See video for gameplay. Features: – 84 Levels: Easy, medium, hard. And a tutorial. – Achievements: 10 additional challenges. – Statistics: Keep track of your game. – Listen to your own music while playing. Colorbind - game page (Thanks Daniel!) Platform: iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: $0.99 Developer: Daniel […]
- An Interview with Bowyer – UIDesign + Funware + Luxury [Theory, iPad, Interview] Bowyer is a new company by Vadik Marmeladov, Sergey Filippov, a man known as "The Client", and Ilya Kolganov. In this interview we talk through their first collaborations, philosophy, process, commercial projects, and future plans. "Craftmanship is attention to details. Luxury is attention to unnecessary details." Typical phone games and apps retain a certain average appearance with a target on mass-market appeal. Design is usually not a priority, and as a result, often mediocre. Unlike the fashion industry, for instance, app development is young enough that nichés have not yet developed fully. Seeing this gap in the industry, Bowyer wished to target luxury markets. "About 2 years ago while working on a commercial website we came up with a simple app for a luxury brand," Vadik explained. The screen would be completely black, and through in-app purchases, individual diamonds could be bought and populated on the screen. The concept would be a reflection of physical diamonds: holding no real value other than the inherent scarcity and cost of ownership. sergeyfilippov.com/extra/2009/jewellery/ "Later we got a job to create an app for a fashion exhibition in Moscow. We decided to go much further then just an 'exhibition app'. We came up with an idea of creating a periodic magazine. Each issue would be a new level or a new stage in a game." Funware — is the use of game mechanics in non-game contexts to encourage desired user actions and generate customer loyalty. Funware typically employs game mechanics such as points, leaderboards, badges, challenges and levels. "This was our first step in research of this phenomenon," Vadik explained. "As of now, the project is still on hold, but we still looking forward to returning to the project, but before doing so we have to find an editor-in-chief. We need someone who will think not in spreads and articles, but by levels, scores achievements and other mechanics." "How do we attract, let's say, 'fancy' people? How do we make them want to play?" "So we came up with this symbolical story called Samara. Samara is the woman behind the app, the voice, the soul. She has random emotions and we even put her quotes there. The first 'issue' is Dreams of Samara, and OBVIOUSLY, [laughing] you solving her dreams. They are weird, but inspired by real emotions that she experienced during the exhibition. Every level is based on an actual piece, but a bit mutated," Vadik explained. The app begins almost entirely locked away. Only through succeeding in each of the games is the corresponding artwork finally revealed. Inspiration came from games such as the one below. In this case, porn photos would slowly reveal itself as the player progressed through the game. "Creating these games around art provoked subliminal meanings. For example, the pictures from the designers are not THAT great, but we made people kind of fight for them. In a way it was reflective of the fashion marketing industry." If it is the first-ever fashion game then it should look like a first-ever game: • Ritual, meditation • Accessory • Such a beautiful device and such an ugly content. • Device as a Friend • Competition "Imagine reading a magazine that connected to Apple's GameCenter. Imagine your 'experience' or 'skills' affect the magazine itself. It becomes personal and even more fancy! The fashion world already overuses Facebook and iPhone (their primary gaming device) but still ignore games themselves because most of them are uglyyyy." "Visionaire was one of our top inspirations. Imagine game levels designed by top designers.. or not even a game — like Hedi Slimane designs a 'Find My Friends' app." Working with the client, Bowyer approached the app using techniques common in agile development. Each stage would be designed, presented to the client, then after several development iterations, the level would be signed off. Vadik explained, "We would be sitting together at one desk, thinking together, experimenting together. Sometimes a scene was determined before design even began, [laughs]." This was repeated for each level. With this method the client always knew how the app was progressing, and exactly what the product was looking like. He continued: "It was 2 weeks of preparation and client talks, then 2 weeks of actual building. I guess only under these conditions can you can implement soul and magic into the project." Sergey, the primary developer for the project explained his tools: "We used Box2D Engine for physic simulation, Cocos2D framework to deal with OpenGL and of course Cocoa frameworks for the rest. Timing was not the biggest challenge. For example, we did the Wood level for Chalayan in 2 hours. However, one challenge was to achieve symbiosis between Cocoa and OpenGL ES worlds-- to make the border between them invisible." "Even Apple attempts to simulate 'craftsmanship' in their interfaces, but what we want is real craft." Lately Apple has caught a lot of flak over the emulation of texture in their apps. From the torn pages in Calendar, the artificial book thickness in iBooks, and now to the faux leather in Find My Friends "the result is a fake, chinese knockoff rather than a beautiful piece. Apple wants to create luxury in their apps, but without certain knowledge and traditions-- it has failed." "We think we have the right combination of fashion, art, and cultural connection that would help us create a sense of luxury in the interaction. This could be achieved by adding attention to detail: 3d, physics, etc." A close parallel would be the elastic effect when scrolling to the top of a page on an iPhone. It's not a necessary action, but provides an extra level of interaction that makes the experience richer and more responsive. Originally these ideas began as part of the Road Inc. project, but were ultimately cut due to time constraints. However, after the project's completion, Sergey and Vadik continued development. Layouts could be designed to have physical relationships between elements. Scrolling, pulling, sliding over the surface would have ripple-like effects over the design. Or, in the case below, each element could be linked to a diagonal grid with the physical properties of a fish net. See the interface in motion: "It has become a general trend in our industry that mainstream digital design can’t express emotion or craftsmanship. We believe this thinking to be false. The device is also a tool, and has a direct relationship to craftsmanship, materials, skills, sources, perfect taste and even traditions in some way. Instead of hand made paper and ink, let's create a new way of storytelling using interactive illustrations and text which interacts with your voice and device position. Instead of a high-end tourbillon lets use geo-location and augmented reality etc... It’s definitely not a replacement, but it’s a tool that brings craftsmanship to the next level. This is nothing new, just evolution, and at some point they have to start to use and understand it. I bet they want this goal, but have no idea how to execute it. Even Apple attempts to simulate 'craftsmanship,' but what we really want is craft." "The task was clear — make all of this info accessible and playful." For a year Vadik and Sergey worked together on the now critically acclaimed Road Inc. The app features fifty 3D "reconsitutions" of classic cars, soundtracks, fact sheets, photographs, press cuttings, sketches, etc. Pyrolia, the publisher, proclaims it as the "first digital object dedicated to the automobile." "First of all we have to say that client was very brave and passionate, because this is indeed enormous amount of content, all of which was held by the client and their in-house team. They personally scanned all the books, collected all the videos from the right companies, and even contacted rare car owners. On the team we had three editors as well as a car expert preparing content." "How do we target these guys? What are their preferences in terms of digital environment?" Vadik explains that the current trend in digital publishing is simply the regeneration of existing web content-- basically PDFs with videos thrown in. "The new direction will be the reinvention of storytelling and information curation. It is a bit tricky, content should be adapted for the 'touch' and 'swipe' rather than 'click'-- which is a big difference." Some beliefs behind the interface: • No buttons — super intuitive and easy to use. There should be no tutorial or "help" • Do not compete with cars design • Play with user’s familiar experiences • Easy to update • Play with Apple UI guidelines, so you can create a totally crazy interface, but it will be familiar to people because it repeats default behaviours. Rather than solve this problem with each client, Vadik explains Bowyer's approach for future projects: "We want to try to implement a university approach. We research and develop a tool that clients can buy and apply to their needs (among other clients) or just license the whole thing the become an exclusive owner. This sounds easy in the electronics industry, but how can you apply it to design or art? this we going to challenge." What is Bowyer? More information about Bowyer can be found at http://bowyerworldwide.com Apps available on the AppStore: Samara Op de Beeck Road Inc. […]
- Bitmask [iPhone] Is Sudoku too much work for you and a bit of a bore? Say hello toÂ Bitmask, a Soduku inspired puzzle where numbers are replaced with the task of fixing theÂ computer by unmasking the bits. Almost a pattern makingÂ exercise, the catch is that you may not repeat any three-bit pattern within a row or column. You switch bits by adjusting the switches. Some bits are fixed, others allow changes, as the numbers do in Sudoku. Bitmask captures the appeal and depth of Sudoku while eliminating its more tedious elements (i.e. the need to write possible answers in the margins). Three difficulty settings make the game challenging for players of various skill levels. A fun little game for any retro-geek. Watch the flashing leds as you try to discover better tactics to beat your best time. At times you may get lucky but sometimes you may need to work back to ensure that the combinations of bits work in both rows and columns. I have completed the game on easy but can see hard levels being a lot more challenging as you have more empty bits to fill. Interestingly, the game has been designed by Giuoco Piano, a name which also refers toÂ the oldest recorded opening in chess (wikipedia) but I don't think there is any relation, is there? Platform: iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: $2.99 Developer:Â Giuoco […]
- The Font Game [iPhone, Games] From I Love Typography comes the new Font Game for iPhone & iPod Touch. Think you know your Arial from your Helvetica, your sans from your sans serifs? With three levels of game play from the ease-yourself-in, ‘Somewhat Difficult’ through to the incredibly challenging ‘Exceedingly Difficult’, there should be lots of fun for novices and typographic experts alike. Each game challenges you to identify 30 fonts, with your final score calculated taking into account your overall time. Although there’s no time limit, the quicker you answer, the more points you’ll score. I scored terribly the first time I played. With only 10 correct answers it shows I need some fonteducation. Interface is slick and seductive with nice menu transitions and considering the learning aspect and mere $0.99, this app is a steal. Features: 600 font samples Rotate to view full screen 3 levels of game play Post scores to Twitter and The Hall of Fame View your answers after each game Battle against the clock Cancel the game at any time by clicking the header Game tips Platform: iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: $0.99 Developer: Justin […]
- Blackbar – A sci-fi story of a dystopian future told as a word puzzle Created and written by Neven Mrgan & James Moore, Blackbar is a text game and a sci-fi story of a dystopian future told through the medium of word […]
- 15 Great Apps for Your New iPad [iPad] As most of us already know and those who don’t are not from this planet, the iPad is launching in the US tomorrow. With all the excitement and hype we thought we'd collect the most exciting, well designed and impactful apps we came across for your new object of affection. Many of the reviews and hit lists we have seen are the usual suspects and although they fill the roles of getting things done, we at app.itize.us and CreativeApplications.Net like to look at things slightly different. This post is a showcase of some of the most inspiring, beautiful, challenging and most exciting apps out there at the time of the iPad release. Of course, we look forward to what is yet to come, as we are as excited about iPad as everyone else. Enjoy. Granimator™ A free-form, immersive touch and sound experience that allows you to become the artist using noted designers and artists special ‘design’ packs including signature elements, shapes and backgrounds to play with. Platform: iPad only Version: 1.0 Cost: Free Developer: ustwo™ Chirp Frame Turn your iPad into a simple and elegant twitter picture frame. there are 3 different stylized graphic themes to fit you and your own personal taste (black&white, western and nature). you can also respond to tweets in the app. Platform: iPad only Version: 1.0 Cost: $0.99 Developer: work in progress Touch OSC TouchOSC is an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad application that lets you send and receive Open Sound Control messages over a Wi-Fi network using the UDP protocol. Whilst this does not mean much for many, the usage of this app has no limits. Say you are a musician and want to control your Pro-Tools from your iPad or what if you have built an arduino robot you want to control from your iPad, well this is the way to do it. This is a must in the area of custom hardware software using OSC networks. Check it out even if you have no use for it today you may tomorrow.. Platform: iPad/iPhone Version: 1.5 Cost: $4.99 Developer: Hexler Raindrops for iPad Touch the screen and trigger pleasant musical sounds to your own beat. record your compositions and share with others online. you don't need any previous musical knowledge to enjoy this. Platform: iPad only Version: 1.0 Cost: $1.99 Developer: Masayuki Akamatsu , Yusuke Kawabata , Junpei Wada C64 Paint XL This is THE paint program from 1984. a retro pixel art inspired app that lets you paint on a canvas up to 160 by 200 pixels with all the 16 colors of the classic 8-bit computer of the 1980s, the Commodore 64. It has both square pixels and non-square pixels to replicate the way the C64 and other 8-bit computers really looked on a TV screen. Platform: iPhone/iPad Version: 1.0 Cost: $2.99 Developer: Felt Tip Inc Thicket An audio-visual mix and manipulation of texture, movement, line and tone. by drawing on the screen with your fingers, you create dense, mesmerizing sonic and visual patterns within a space of warm, bright, rhythmic sound design and constantly evolving, bending, elegant scrawls. Platform: iPhone/iPad Version: 1.0 Cost: $2.99 Developer: Interval Studios Inc Kaleidescope X Pad Much more than just a traditional kaleidoscope, this app is a creative tool for producing beautiful moving mirrored images... its literally an interactive work of art. comes standard with all the features you would expect in a digital kaleidoscope, but adds an impressive collection of features incl. a STEREOSCOPIC 3-D mirror and the amazing IMAGE SYNTHESIZER which creates image variations on the fly. Platform: iPad only Version: 1.0 Cost: $0.99 Developer: Gritless Digital Zen Bound 2 Amazing graphics and sound set the atmosphere for this zen inspiring puzzle app. you need to wrap a length of rope around various sized and stylized wooden sculptures. takes full advantage of tilt and multi-touch so you will not only need to use your fingers to wrap and twist the shapes, but also tilt your iPad to solve the puzzles. Platform: iPad only Version: 1.0 Cost: $7.99 Developer: Secret Exit Ltd The Elements: A Visual Exploration This is one of the most amazing digital experiences i have seen. not only an amazing resource to provide context to the periodic table, but, also takes full advantage of the tablet based interface of the iPad. over 500 examples of the chemical elements in virtual form and every one can be spun around a complete circle with the touch of your finger. you can even view them in stereo 3D using glasses available from the publisher. Platform: iPad only Version: 1.0 Cost: $13.99 Developer: Element Collection Depict HD This app was recommended to me by my good friend lopetz at büro destruct. an amazing pixel art game which you draw a picture and others across the internet (via openfeint) try to guess the image or take part and guess yourself. a unique take on pictionary, but with pixels. fantasitic idea and addicting to play. this version for iPad takes it to a whole new level. Platform: iPad/iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: $1.99 Developer: Makeshift Games Intellivision This one brings back memories of me playing intellivision at my friends house after school on his families walnut cabinet tv set. the app has a selection of vintage titles for you to take you back in time. the visual design of the app and its various menus is spot on, down to the paddle controller and the pixelated graphics of the games. def one to get for the nostalgic values alone. Platform: iPad only Version: 1.0 Cost: $2.99 Developer: VH1 and MTV Networks TiltShift Generator my favourite photo manipulation app on the face of the earth has now come to the iPad. they have totally reformatted the controls specially for the tablet. amazing photo manipulations to make your photos look like they are shots with miniatures, toy camera images and fake DSLR. just stunning results from this app. Platform: iPad/iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: $2.99 Developer: Takayuki Fukatsu & Takuma Mori Noby Noby Boy a fantastic port of the recent iPhone release from Keita Takahashi to the iPad. takes full advantage of the new screen size and has some enhancements as well. you can now paint on the background and save them as well. also, the controls are made much larger and easy for smaller fingers (and kids). just too insane to explain, so go get it! Platform: iPad/iPhone Version: 1.1.0 Cost: $1.99 Developer: NAMCO BANDAI Games IQ mirror X This app is deceptively hard, you need to replicate the randomly created dot pattern displayed in the mirrored pattern below it. use your fingers to change the sizes of the spheres to match the ones above, but, its not that easy, you have a time limit as well. Platform: iPad/iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: $2.99 Developer: Studio Loupe Ludo Board Game This board game app is a result of the evolution of the well known ancient game Ludo (Latin: I Play) that we all played as kids. the board game itself has a very simple concept so it is suitable for anyone from 4 to 99 years. you can play solo against the computer intelligence or mix computer vs human to add an extra dimension of challenge. the graphics are elegant and colorful and represent the original with a twist. Platform: iPad Only Version: 1.0 Cost: $3.99 Developer: SIS […]
Posted on: 17/11/2009
- Junior Production Assistant at Resonate
- WebGL/3D Creative Prototyping Devs at TheSupply
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- Senior Digital Designer at CLEVER°FRANKE
- Interaction Designer at Carlo Ratti Associati
- Art Director/Senior Designer at Stinkdigital
- Creative Technologist, The ZOO at Google
- Jr. / Sr. Software Developer at Minivegas
- Web Developer at Minivegas
- Digital Producer at Minivegas
- 3D Technologist at INDG
- Creative Director at INDG