Back in May my son and I sat down to put together a lineup of all the fun things we wanted to do during the break, a summer bucket list. We had golf, kayaking, and a vacation out east on there, and thankfully we were able to do them all. Secretly, though, I had another list- a nerdy summer bucket list of side projects: making mini-games in Unity, overhauling the Bennett in-house business management system, and launching the weirdest and most whimsical thing I’ve ever made: Swatchity.com, a social network based entirely on color.
The summer brought some great video projects, too, healthcare b2c pieces as well as dozens of broadcast retail spots for our home services clients.
As for Swatchity, the obvious question is “why?” That’s a fair question, but the answer isn’t so simple. I was curious to see how social platforms worked and wanted to make a mobile/desktop web app with loads of features that was also completely useless. It seemed funny at the time. I’ve also got bits of a narrative tucked into the user experience here and there. So, there’s also the aspect of using software to tell a story that interested me a great deal. It’s incredibly lightweight – all it takes is a pair of PHP scripts and some Jquery to make the thing run.
So, when people ask “why?” I usually respond by reassuring them that the project didn’t take more than a couple of weekends to complete. Somehow this satisfies them as I walk away chuckling to myself.
The work in Unity is really exciting. The development platform has its obvious flaws (Chrome no longer supports its web player by default) but as a means of doing kinda-sorta cross-platform game work, it’s very close to something brilliant. It’s also fun to knock up something quickly as a proof of concept or for those moments when I miss the pre-mobile days of Flash.
With only a few weeks of official summer remaining, I’m hoping I can knock out one final item from the wish list: a road trip to Cupertino to convince Apple to reintroduce OMF export support in their next Final Cut Pro X update.
C’mon, man. Me and you. I’ll grab my keys. We can pick up sodas on the way. Let’s go!