This is me testing my new interactive application, Sparky Konga!
After making my own drawing machine interface as a PONG controller for a class, I began to become extremely interested in hacking interfaces and devices to do things they are normally unable to do and/or not designed for. After hacking the Novint Falcon controller in the first semester of my 3rd year of New Media at Ryerson, I noticed my Nintendo DK Bongos, sitting in the corner for years, dusty and untouched. During the winter break in December, I decided to do research into hacking them... With no clue how to do it. First step was to buy a Gamecube to USB Adapter off of Amazon. I then found after a lot of thorough research that not only had the bongos rarely been seen online being used for hacking projects, but there was absolutely NO source code released for using them. Despite my mediocre programming skills, I took up the challenge to fill this void and create open-source code for people to use, should in case they be in my position and want to use the bongos. I also have always been fascinated with musicians, but have never been able to understand music or play an instrument and my childhood experience being forced to play the recorder always left a bad taste in my mouth, so I wanted to use this project to at least try to learn and understand music and musical theory.
My professor recommended using PD, which I had never used before, to hack the bongos and after much research I got my computer to recognize the bongos existed, then with assistance from two of my professors we got it to recognize button presses, and, around the point I was able to turn it into a project for a class, we finally got PD to send Bongo inputs as OSC messages, which I then used to test out the bongos using OSCulator and Processing. I've wanted to use Unity 3D for a real project for a while, especially being part of Ryerson's Game Maker's Union, so I figured that I'd make even more work for myself and try and make the project in Unity to help me learn it better. I was familiar with Unity prior to this, but I wasn't very good with programming it. I got some help from a friends and the Unity Community to help me understand how to program Sparky Konga as well as understand musical theory and get high quality musical sound effects. This is what I have so far. It is currently slated to be showcased at Maximum Exposure 2013 from May 3rd - 5th.
The first build of Sparky Konga and all of its source code will be available soon. I'm estimating that it will be ready to release online around May or June, after I debut it at the gallery. It will be available to download for free and I will link it both here and in a more advanced, higher quality documentation video later when it's done.
Note: Recorded video quality isn't as good as I'd like it to be. Screen and webcam recording was with Quicktime and Photo Booth. Editing in Premiere Pro and After Effects.
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