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Make your own exhibits using Exhibit kits
We’ve been developing a system which lets anyone create their own simple computer exhibits without any programming or complex commands. They’re called an Exhibit kits. They’re completely “What you see is what you get”, you just type your text into the right box and that’s how it will look. It’s much faster than commissioning custom software and much cheaper too. Which means you can concentrate on getting your content exactly how you want it.
We’ve developed different two exhibit kits, one creates “Find Out More” information exhibits and the other creates quizzes.
You can download both of them for free to try out. You can use them to make proper gallery exhibits, there’s no time limit or watermark. Go on, give it a go. We’d love to see what you can make.
Are you smarter than a plant?
Professor Ottoline Leyser from the University of York wanted more people to understand the strategies that plants use to maximise their chances of survival. So we created a “sim city” type game which lets you take the role of a wild or farmed plant. Can you avoid getting eaten by pests, attract bees to pollinate your flowers and make enough seeds to ensure your chances of survival?
There’s something very seductive about the movement of fluids. Whether it’s water in a stream, or smoke rising from a fire the patterns are similar and beautiful in their complexity. We’ve been doing some experimentation and managed to create a fully functional simulation of a wind tunnel. You can choose different vehicles and see how they perform or use the brush and draw your own streamlined shape. To do this we’ve had to solve the Navier-Stokes equation which until recently was the preserve of dedicated high power computers. These days however, you can try it yourself if you’ve got a recent multi-processor PC. Go on, give it a go.
3D Game brings tax exhibition to life
The Merseyside Maritime Museum recently opened their new gallery Seized: Revenue and Customs uncovered which focuses on the work of HM Revenue and Customs (The UK tax collectors). This could have ended up as much fun as filling in your tax return but we’ve created a fully 3D simulation which lets visitors captain a customs ship on a mission to catch smugglers. The game features a huge screen and a real steering wheel and throttle. Visitors have to dodge sandbanks and other ships and catch the smugglers before they get away. It’s a great hit with visitors and often has queues of people waiting to use it.
Grand Master Flash finalist
We’re really excited today because our Ants game has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Grand Master Flash Golden Joystick award. There are ten finalists and the winner will be announced on 31st October 2008. You can see the other finalists here. The winner will be decided by public vote so please vote for us. The voting page is here. The voting page is a bit confusing so here are some tips:
- You can ignore all the categories except the last one, The E4 Grand Master Flash Award. Click on the white box and then click on Vote for this by the Ants game.
- Don’t forget to clear all the tick boxes at the end to stop them sending you emails.
That’s all there is to it. We’re thrilled to be short listed, and it would be fantastic to win so please, please vote.
Shadowplay – Bubbles
We’ve always loved the immersive shadow installations of artists such as Wolfgang Muench and Kiyoshi Furukawa and we’ve been inspired to create our own version. When you stand in front of the light, your body casts a shadow and the bubbles then bounce off this and sometimes burst. Of course any part of your body can create a shadow so the bubbles can bounce off your head, your arms, your fingertips and the whole thing is quite magical. We see this as very much the first step in developing these ideas further so watch this space…
Keeping it simple
Many successful organisations such as Google and Apple have a strong Keep it simple ethos. I’ve written a document looking at why keeping it simple is important for museum exhibits and how to stop them becoming over complicated.
Read KISS chase – How to keep your exhibit simple.
The Science of Survival
The Science of Survival exhibition has now opened at the Science Museum in London. We provided consultancy to create the “Oyster card” like visitor tracking system. This uses RfID technology to create an individual record of each person’s visit. The system is fast, easy to to use and fits in well with the “futuristic” feel of the exhibition.
Find out more >
Joe’s niece received an interesting toy for Christmas. It was a small plastic car which would follow any line that you drew on a piece of paper. After spending a while playing with this we were inspired to create a game based on the same idea. In Ants you have to guide a small group of er, ants by drawing a trail for them to follow. The little creatures are pretty obedient but as the levels progress it gets much trickier than you’d think.
Play Ants >
Dave joins the company
This week was pretty exciting for me as I gained my first employee in the shape of Dave Wainfor. Dave’s just finished his degree in Cybernetics and Virtual worlds during which he’s spent a lot of time building robots out of lego. Right now he’s getting up to speed with the specifics of computer exhibits but having him helping out means we can take on bigger projects which will be great.