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The Pictionary Machine

We just invented a new way to play pictionary, on a machine 70 miles away.

You might remember our old friend Standing Novation. It's made from a grid of 4x4 Novation Launchpads, which we hacked together at Digital Sizzle last year. It currently lives at our London HQ, which is shared with a couple of friends who work at Facebook including Connor Treacy. Here he is. Hello Connor! Look at his MASSIVE face (we blame full width css)!

Connor Treacy

The problem

Connor had some friends over, and had the great idea to use the Standing Novation as a 32 x 32 Pictionary grid. It worked - but there was a problem.

Standing Novation Pictionary

The Standing Novation was great for drawing fun lo-res pictures, but it wasn't so great at the end of each turn. To reset the grid for someone else's turn, Connor had to push every pixel up to three times to cycle through each colour and start over.

Our man Syd would normally be on hand to hack together an update and make the world right again. If only he wasn't 70 miles away in Winchester at that very moment...

Winchester London really far

The wonder-fix

It's a good thing Syd builds things the WMAS way. You see, he had added the ability to update the hardware remotely via Node.js on the off-chance that it might eventually be useful. You never know, right?

Here's what happened next.

Facebook developer conversation

Syd pushed a fix to Github, and Connor triggered an update by pressing a certain button 10 times. And voila, we have a fully-qualified Pictionary machine. See the Github commit for yourself.

After all that, there really is only one way to say thank you.

Thank you Syd

You can see the Standing Novation for yourself at the Tate Modern on 13-14th June as part of 'The Space' event.

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