My Blog: projects, sketches, works in progress, thoughts, and inspiration.

Category: art



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Website for Games by Anthony Mattox

I put up a little site to host the games I’ve been working on. Check it out at Right now it features Pulsus, Orbit: currently a flash prototype of an eventual iOS game, and Plong: a little two player flash game.

I hope to be adding some more soon.

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Title screen for Orbit, a flash, arcade style, adventure game in space. Click to play!

Orbit is an arcade style adventure game. Explore an abandoned field of space junk and collect enough fuel to find your way home. The game is currently a small segment of the final adventure. In it I focused on developing the basic gameplay and the tone through motion, scale, graphics, and sound. Put on some headphones and give it a try.

Screenshots of the game. Click to enlarge.

In many ways, Orbit is quite similar to my first game, Pulsus. It’s just more circles and particles. But, while I’m certainly still show’s the same style and interests, I’ve added a few things to my game design vocabulary here. The biggest thing I tried to add was narrative and character. Although the story and goals are vague, I wanted to bring people into the game more with a bit of setting. I also tried to develop a sense of scale to the world.

Any feedback on the game is very much appreciated. This prototype is likely going to be expanded into an iOS game, with help from the rest of the Friends of The Web.

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Space Junk


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Space Junk Illustrations for a New GameVarious illustrations of space junk for a new game. Click the image to enlarge.

I’m working on a flash prototype for my next game, which will probably end up on iOS. Moving on from Pulsus, I’m designing something with a little more narrative, scenery, and character, although it’s still pretty much just particles…

Here’s a jumble of various pieces of space junk I’m working on for the game. It’s a fun process of designing little vector rockets and spaceships and then tearing them apart. I’m aiming to release a first prototype this weekend.

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Generative Image created in ProcessingGenerative Images created in Processing. Click to Enlarge.

I was recently asked to create some work for a collaborative project. I decided to create some generative work in Processing and try out some ideas I’ve had in the back of my mind. The script wraps a number of different generative patterns into one system. Each circle has instructions for how it behaves and creates new circles and these instructions change as they grow. The images it creates are more complex and dynamic that a lot of my preview sketches.

A slightly more technical explanation: The script has an array of objects, I’ll call them nodes. Each node has a couple of functions for initializing itself, branching new nodes, updating, and rendering. The container creates a new node which grows, branches, and then becomes inactive. The newly branched nodes grow and branch and the cycle continues, growing the image.

The fun part is that the basic ‘node’ object can be extended to any number of variations all of which can still be handled as the generic type by the container in the same way. The container tells a node to ‘branch’ and it may create new nodes randomly around itself or touching it’s sides or in a set direction to grow tendrils. Each variation of node also sometimes branches to different types so one structure will morph into another. Other functions, like rendering, can also be extended or overwritten to create different behavior.

Generative Image created in Processing

Modular Generative Image created in Processing

Generative Work created in Processing

I think there’s a lot of potential in this kind of polymorphic system. I’ll play around with it some more and maybe post some more technical examples.

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Intro EP album coverIntro EP: a collection of electronic musical experiments by Anthony Mattox.

As part of my thesis at MICA, in addition to Pulsus for the iPad and an installation piece, I created my first album of electronic music. You can listen to two of the tracks right here and download the full EP.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The EP consists of 5 tracks created primarily from recorded samples and some synthesized audio. All the tracks were composed in Ableton Live. Adobe Soundbooth and Pure Data were also used to create and modify samples.

Working on these pieces has been a great break from programming, and, while I still have a long way to go, I’ve made a lot of progress and done a lot of learning. I’ll definitely be creating more, and better music in the future.

The cover was created using processing from some code snippets of other generative work of mine.

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Ceramics - Thrown cups and saucersClick images to enlarge.
Three sets of thrown, stoneware cups and saucers.

In my last semester here at MICA I had one more studio elective and quickly decided to take a class in wheel thrown ceramics. Since I took a ceramics class in high school I’ve been eager to try it again.

Throwing was a wonderful break from all of the programming and soldering that has filled every other minute of my life for the past few months. Hopefully I’ll have more opportunities to work with clay in the future.

Here’s a bit of the work I did.

Ceramics - Sculpture of thrown forms

Ceramics - small wheel thrown cups and saucers

Ceramics - A collection of thrown pieces

Ceramics - Wheel thrown cups and saucers

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Pulsus iPad Game Screenshot

After a few long months of development, Pulsus is finally available for the iPad. From my original flash prototype, Pulsus has grown in every way possible. It’s found a new home on a wonderful device, has fully redrawn graphics, a new soundtrack, improved physics, a much improved interface, and a suite of new objects and levels on the way. The game has been completely rebuilt from the ground up in native Objective C and C++.

Visit the new Pulsus page for more information and pretty screenshots. View Pulsus in the app store. And play the old flash game.

The app is initially only available for the iPad but will be coming to the rest of the iOS family later this summer.

Pulsus iPad Game Screenshot

Pulsus iPad Game Screenshot

Of course, there is always more to improve, but Pulsus for the iPad has come very close to my original expectations for the game, creating a simple, but complex world and an enveloping series of meditative puzzles

Some Technical Notes

Pulsus is built using Objective C, C++, and C, it get’s a little hazy to be honest. All audio was created using Ableton Live and Adobe Soundbooth, graphics in Adobe Illustrator. Photoshop was always there to help out too. Original prototype created in Flash and AS3.

All type set in Apex Sans by Thirstype.

Special thanks for invaluable feedback and beta testing to Jason Corace, Jason Sloan, Andy Mangold, Dai Foldes, Dave Fong, and Josh Hepworth.

Moving Forward

Planned updates to Pulsus include an iPhone/iPod version, new objects and levels, and a good list of little improvements here and there.

If you enjoy Pulsus, any rating, reviewing, blogging, and retweeting is appreciated. The better Pulsus does, the better position I’ll be in to make more, and better games in the future. I may even be able to convince the rest of the Friends of The Web to work together on some awesome games.

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Last summer I had a great opportunity to work at the Baltimore Interaction Design Firm, ID5. During my time there I designed and built a virtual tour for the State University of New York at Potsdam.

The tour needed to be able to capture the experience of the school for prospective students who are not able to visit. The school also wanted to avoid the typical cliches and create an engaging interactive experience.

SUNY Potsdam Virtual Tour, Designed by Anthony MattoxScreenshot of the SUNY Potsdam Virtual Tour. Click to Enlarge.

The application was designed to be fit into the Potsdam website. It showcases the broad range of resources and opportunities and also the cohesiveness between different areas of the school. The basis of the application is a collection of interconnected concepts and components of the school. These elements exist as objects in a simulated physical system. Clicking one element reveals related topics. Each object contains images, video and other detailed information.

As you move through the tour, the system organizes itself based on the connections between elements. Users can also save particular elements by dragging them to the dock in the bottom left. Saved elements can be quickly re-opened or shared as a group to a friend.

SUNY Potsdam Virtual Tour, Designed by Anthony MattoxScreenshot fo the SUNY Potsdam virtual tour showing images and video within a node. Click to enlarge.

Technical Jazz

The tour is built in Flash (using Flash Pro CS3 and CS5 (thanks ADAA!)). A CMS, which I built with PHP and MySQL with the CodeIgniter framework, allows SUNY Potsdam to edit the tour, creating and linking nodes and adding images, video, and maps within them. Adobe Illustrator was used to design the application and create graphic elements.

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Some old friends of mine are in a fantastic band, Reptar. I’m working on a larger scale website for them, but in the meantime I built a quick one pager with basic information and a couple tracks. Check out the site and their music at

Reptar Music Website, Designed by Anthony Mattox

For more information on Reptar, check out their myspace page. They’re currently touring around the southeast, but I hear they’re heading up north soon.

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