Bridge Invaders AIR Drawing Application

bi-android-medium

Bridge Invaders AIR Drawing Application

While I was freelancing at Wieden+Kennedy, the PDX Bridgefest crew got in touch, looking for collaborators, and WKE gave me the chance to jump on board! I decided to augment an application I was developing and create a way for festival attendees to tag on the bridge without breaking any laws, and thus the Bridge Invaders installation was born.


The application itself is an AIR app, so it’s all written in Actionscript 3, with the graphics designed in Flash. So there are actually three versions – one for the Installation, which runs as a full-screen AIR app on my netbook, a web version which will be up soon (which drops the saving capabilities), and my favorite – an Android app which runs on my HTC Incredible.

bi-android-medium

If you’re brave, you can download the file to run on your own phone – you’ll need an Android phone running FroYo (Android OS 2.2). You’ll also need to install the pre-release Air for Android runtime. This stuff will all be more accessible once Air for Android goes official later this year. If that’s not enough to scare you off, then Download Bridge Invaders for Android!

The Future

I wanted to get the Android app out there to any early adopters and interested parties, while I get the desktop and web versions ready. There is, technically, a desktop version working – the one I used for the installation – but it requires a touchscreen for use. I developed it on my Lenovo S10-3t, which is a nifty little convertible touchscreen netbook – it’s a great Android dev machine, as it will do two-finger-touch, and run AIR apps in either portrait or landscape mode.

Beyond the installation, the underlying engine (which I call PixelAnimator, original, eh?) is designed for musical performance. The idea is that I can make these minimal animations wherever I am, and then save each one out, and load them into a performance application for playback alongside a musician, projected onto a proper backdrop. Thus PixelAnimator becomes a visual instrument, allowing me to work on my Performance Visuals anywhere I like. Additionally, the HTC Incredible allows me to send composite video out of the USB port, meaning I could perform directly from the phone itself!

Major thanks to Adobe for putting out the prerelease, WKE for sponsoring some of the development, FDT for their awesome dev tools, Robotlegs for keeping the code manageable, the Hype Framework for the shortcuts, and to Jared Tarbell and Invader for the inspiration.

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