Update #9: Download on the App Store!
Bounce 2: Notes was approved! Download it on the App Store!
Update #8: Instruction Manual
I put together an instruction manual that will be linked to from the Help tab within the app. It explains everything you can do in Bounce 2: Notes! Next I'll be adding many how-to videos, so stay tuned.
Update #7: We're in the home stretch!
Alright, everyone. Today, we're entering the home stretch! It also happens to be my birthday! We've already reached our funding goal, but we have 7 more days to get to some of our stretch goals. Keep spreading the word!!
Update #6: Submitted to the App Store for approval!
I submitted Bounce 2: Notes to the App Store for approval. The approval process can take anywhere from a week to over a month, so I wanted to get the ball rolling! If all goes well, it'll go live very soon :)
Update #5: Check out the very, very first version of Bounce!
In high school, I created the first version of Bounce (before iPhones existed). If you'd like to play around with it in your browser go here:
If you have a Mac, you can also download the 3D version I wrote in college:
Update #4: We've reached our funding goal!
Thanks to all of you, we've reached our funding goal! I just finished implementing the Contributors tab which will contain all the names of those who backed at the $50 level or higher. Check it out:
The next target is at $2000, at which point I'll implement self playing lullabies!
Update #3: Newest feature - Bounce Lock
After watching many kids play with Bounce, I discovered it was a little too easy to accidentally change settings so I added a child lock feature. Check it out:
Update #2: Bounce Save/Load feature
I've been working hard on Bounce 2: Notes and would like to share the lastest feature I've implemented: Save/Load!
Take a look:
More updates to come, stay tuned!
Update #1: 63% funded!
We're already 63% funded with 28 more days to go! Thanks for the support! Here's a fun video to brighten your day:
She didn't quite make it to the iPad on her own, but she did get to enjoy it later!
What is Bounce 2: Notes?
Bounce 2: Notes is an app for iPhone® and iPad® that provides a way to playfully create music with colorful bouncing shapes. It's a great app for kids! As its name suggests, it's a sequel to the app, Bounce. Download it on the App Store!
The original allows users to create glowy bouncing balls and to interact with them by tilting the device, tapping, flicking and dragging. Bounce 2 goes above and beyond what the original could do. There are many more shapes, patterns and colors, along with many new settings which affect how the shapes interact. Most importantly, Bounce 2 offers a much richer set of controls to create music. Each time a shape collides with another, it plays a note in harmony with what the user is playing. The result is a pleasant melody created in a very unique way!
Apple, the Apple logo, and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.
Who am I?
My name is John Allwine. I've been programming for most my life. When I was 12, I created my own version of pong. It was the first time I made a ball bounce around the screen that I could play with! In high school, after learning some physics, I was able to get a little more complicated and created the very first version of Bounce. In college I took Bounce even further, after learning how to render in 3D. After graduating with a degree in computer science, I added a few bells and whistles to Bounce, included it in a demo reel of other college projects, and applied to Dreamworks Animation as an FX artist. I worked at Dreamworks Animation for 3 years on films such as How to Train Your Dragon, Megamind and Madagascar 3. I left Dreamworks to pursue my own smaller scale projects: apps! So of course, Bounce was reborn.
Why do I keep making versions of Bounce?
There's something intrinsically interesting to me about watching things collide. It's also a complicated enough programming problem, that a lot can be learned just by going through the process of implementing it. I'd never written an app before, so I went about learning how to do so the same I way I'd gone about learning Java in high school and graphics in college: I made Bounce. I've also always gotten a lot of positive feedback about Bounce. It's just fun to play with!
Why should you contribute to Bounce 2: Notes?
Bounce is a lot of fun, but it could be even better. The musical aspect of Bounce is completely new and opens the door to a much wider audience. From children who can learn about music while bouncing colorful balls, to adults who can create more sophisticated harmonies, Bounce has the potential to reach people of all ages. My goal is relatively small, but the more that is contributed, the more time I can devote to making it better. I feel that I've just started to scratch the surface of possibilities with Bounce and with your help I can make it the best it can be!
What is your money going towards?
The funds will go towards web hosting fees, Apple developer fees, and most importantly living expenses. I quit my job to pursue projects that I really want to be working on, but I still need to pay the bills. I've been working on Bounce for months now, with no income. I started this kickstarter project to see if others are as interested in Bounce as I am. If there's enough backing, I can afford to continue making it better.
$1000 - I'll wrap up the few final details, add in the contributors' content and release the app.
$2000 - I'll add several self playing nursery rhymes. The melody will play, and any shapes that are bouncing will play the harmony.
$5000 - I'll add in a full Bounce themed keyboard. Contributor ideas are welcome, but I envision the keyboard being tied to a certain key signature to keep it simpler (so you'll only see 7 notes per octave rather than 12, but you'll be able to move up and down the keyboard easily). The keyboard will control the melody, while there will be separate controls to change the harmony (currently, both the melody and harmony are tied together, and it's relatively difficult to change octaves).
$10,000 - I'll add recording/playback functionality. This isn't as simple as recording the sound that is played. The melody and harmony will be recorded and can be played back at various tempos. Also, the harmony will be played back by the shapes that are bouncing, so it can be different each time it is played back.
Other ideas that could possibly make it in:
* Automatic chord progressions. When on, the app will automatically change chords over time using some randomness and several music theory guidelines for progressing chords.
* Special objects that can create/destroy shapes in the simulation.
* Custom patterns chosen from your photo library.
* I'm open to suggestions. If you have ideas, send them my way!
Risks and challenges
The most challenging part about developing Bounce was keeping it simplistic enough for a young child to play with, but interesting enough for adults to enjoy as well. I tackled this challenge in a number of ways. First, I focused on the visuals. My background in visual effects has helped me to create a simple, appealing interface with fun, bouncy shapes. The way the shapes glow and deform is mesmerizing for people of all ages.
Next, I focused on how users would want to interact with Bounce. My earlier versions of Bounce taught me that interacting with a simulation can be a lot of fun for everyone. But whereas the earlier versions of Bounce used a mouse and keyboard to interact with them, I now had the much more intuitive multitouch and accelerometer features of the iPhone and iPad. Directly touching the shapes, and physically tilting the device to make the shapes move is very satisfying! The challenge, though, was to turn simple gestures into a more powerful set of controls for interacting with the simulation. The solution I came up with, was to create a Bounce Pane at the bottom of the screen, with features (like shape, pattern and size) that could be dragged out into the simulation. The features are "painted" onto existing objects in the simulation or objects are created with those features when they are dropped on to empty space. The result is a simple, visually appealing, yet powerful interface.
The final challenge was (and continues to be) to make Bounce produce appealing sound. I wanted the objects to play a sound whenever they collided. The chaotic nature of objects bouncing off each other in a simulation, though, would yield a cacophony of sounds if they weren't in harmony. Anyone with a child knows just how annoying the sounds toys make can be. I wanted to avoid that, so I chose to make the the collisions produce musical notes. My piano lessons, high school jazz band, and college music theory classes came in handy! Even as musical notes, it's easy to make discordant sounds. My solution was to have a single musical scale displayed in the Bounce Pane. When any given note in the scale is played, the note that any subsequent collisions generate is changed to a random note of the corresponding chord (I, ii, III, IV, V, vi, or vii dim, depending on which note was played). This made Bounce produce very rich sound, even when just playing random notes.
The current challenge is to develop the musical aspects even further. Right now they are a bit oversimplified to play anything more complicated than a basic nursery rhyme. The goal is to make it so, in the right hands, Bounce can create very complex melodies and harmonies, while preserving its simplistic interface. Once that goal is achieved, Bounce could be used as a fun way to both teach and play music!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)