Back in 2012, at age 2 my son Felix was beginning to play with some Wooden Letter Cubes, and sometimes he was throwing them around in his playroom. Being the nerd I am, I though; I need to make a digital version of these Cubes, so that he can throw them around on the iPad instead of our home :)
The idea for Spell Cubes was born.
I had previously worked with Nape, so within a couple of days in AIR and some quick design in photoshop I had a Prototype running including spoken letter vocals. As you an probably hear in the video below, I was blown away by how Felix was able to interact and play with there “physical” cubes on my iPad.
I Spend some more time brushing up the app, adding 2 Languages, Danish and English. I also added a custom keyboard in an area where create word to play with in the app.
The custom keyboard was added because I could not rest in my soul if I were to use the default iPad keyboard. It just didn’t go well with the overall app design. So I set out do a custom Keyboard that also enabled me to make it as simple as possible, only with keys that were needed, and a way to show some tutorial fx.
The words that the user can create are controlled in a Feathers List component. I love Feathers, and the List component is by far the most valuable one for me. I can’t image doing such a component from scratch myself.
Words can be, added and deleted in Spell Cubes current version.
When using bitmap fonts, Object pools you can really, and I mean really have an enhanced list that performs crazy fast in AIR. Take a look at this experimental (not published) version of Spell Cubes word list editor.
On last thing I want to talk about regarding Spell Cubes, is the initial launch of the app. Making How to use / App tutorials are the hardest par of crating an app I think, and In Spell Cubes I didn’t want to compromise with the design by adding some This-Is-How-You-Use-The-App overlay texts. I wanted the app to show you it by using beautiful performant particles. Take a look at the video below to see what I mean.
To achieve those fx’s I created a class that could play back(emit) particles along a path that I would mock-up in Flash Professional as a motion guide, and then copy that motion as XML. I will blog that Fx soon, its very straight forward but extremely useful to create som interesting particles.
I could go on forever with this project, Instead i think you should go ahead and download the app in it current version. Its free and without ads or in-apps. ;)
Also, follow the version 2.0 progress of Spell Cubes on its Facebook page and also on my Vimeo page.