thoughts on art, interactivity, technology, design, culture & life

Archive for April 2009


While my days of pulling all-nighters are over, during my college years at RIT I pulled about 1-3 all-nighters per week by the end of each quarter (my record is 4 all-nighters in a row). By senior year I had completely changed my sleeping schedule so that I would wake up at noon and work til 4am-6am...crazy I know. Oddly enough there are times when I really miss it, something about pulling all-nighters brings out the commradery in the people who are doing so. Anyways, I recently came across an article on WikiHow about how to pull an all-nighter. I have to say, the article is really great. Speaking from experience, if you follow even half of the suggestions in the article you will be able to pull a successful all-nighter with little or no problems at all. My secret was to drink lots of water and take a break around 3am-4am and eat something, also it's best not to pull all-nighters alone (in my opinion).

Check out the article here: How to Pull an All Nighter.

I recently came across a new iPhone game called Parra Plays. The design of the application was really intriguing because of its simple design and flat shapes. It seems that most iPhone application designers prefer to add more dimension to their designs. Naturally I had to download this application to see what the rest of it looked like. I was surprised to find that the application was released by Incase, a company that makes cases for Apple products.

What the application does

The application contains three mini games inside:

Poppers It’s like a touch screen version of “Whac-A-Mole.” Touch the clouds before they pop! Sounds easy enough, right? Keep playing…

Parrot Loosely based on “Simon Says,” but with a twist. You think you can break 100? Yeah right!

Pairs Very similar to the classic “Memory” card game. Uncover the matching cards. The faster you do it, the better your score!

What's great about this application

I should preface this by saying I'm not a gamer, but for me these mini-games were casual, engaging and charming. The design was simple and well executed. It's clear some thought went into the sound design (and the sound adds a lot of value to the game). What was most impressive to me was that without any direction or indication of what to do I was able to pick up the game and immediately figure out how to play.1 I love the simplicity of this application.

Great example of a branded application

This application is part of a larger project called Curated by Arkitip that collaborates with artists/designers to create embellished cases for Incase.2  In addition to being able to purchase some awesome cases, the website allows its visitors to download wallpapers, videos, icons and other content. The Parra Plays application is a great example of how downloadable content from a brand can be extended to the iPhone.

By placing Parra's design on the iPhone in game form, Incase breathes life into graphics which are still and inactive. It is also able to extend its reach to users who didn't know Incase's curated by Arkitip project existed (like myself). Unlike a lot of other branded applications, this applications primary objective appears to be fun. It's a refreshing example of how branded iPhone applications can be fun, engaging, and a great ambassator for it's brand.

  1. I think this probably is due to the simplicity of the game. If you only have a bunch of shapes in front of you and some of them are changing colors, there's only so many game play options available
  2. "Curated by Arkitip is a project designed for Incase, aimed at delivering artistically embellished Apple® products to users who have an appreciation for the creative arts and technology. All artists are carefully chosen by Arkitip for dedication to their respective art forms and unique points of view." -via Incase curated by Arkitip

My friend Justin recently asked me if I knew how to invert a mask in AS3. Technically of course this is not possible (at least as far as I know). You can however nest the DisplayObject you wish to mask and a copy of the original mask in a Sprite or MovieClip and use the LAYER and ERASE blend modes to create the desired effect.

You can get the source code for this HERE. I hope this helps.

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