Author Topic: Sodaplay is an open creative community making marvelous things  (Read 1450 times)

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Software Santa

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Sodaplay is an open creative community making marvelous things

Quote
Sodaplay

Play with thousands of models.
Create your own models with all new applications.
Share your creations with your friends or the whole world.




SodayPlay is an environment for building moving robot-like "creatures" and then watching them move. Even young kids will enjoy watching the pre-made creatures and turning the gravity on and off - or reversing gravity and watching the creature spring to the "ceiling."

Older kids will enjoy making their own creatures. As they become more accomplished they can join a league and race their creatures against others. Apparently the math and physics can become quiet involved - there's a whole section of the site for Artificial Intelligence researchers.

Just make sure you read the introduction and instructions - these pages are clearly written and quite helpful. Without them, it's hard to get started.

What happened to the original Sodaplay?

The original sodaplay has been replaced with this new version. We took great care to move all models and users from the previous version of Sodaplay across and to integrate them with the new sodaplay.

Some previous Sodaplay user and model names were not compatible with the new version

For example Alex and alex were two distinct users in sodaply version 1 but are the same in this new version as all user names are now lower case. We looked at these name clashes and decided each case based on the user's previous activity. We then updated some of the user names slighty. In the example above one alex would now be alex1.

If your login is not working anymore you can use the tool on our site to find out if the name had to be changed.

Sodaplay is a project by Soda Ltd. with support from NESTA. Sodaplay requires Java 1.5 or later, download it for free from Java.com. (Additional icons by Silk Icons.)




From Wikipedia:
Overview

Sodaplay.com  users use constructor to create and share "models". These models are made of "masses" and "springs" and follow strict physical laws. By turning springs into "muscles", models can be animated and made very lifelike.


History

Around 1990, Ed Burton created the precursor to sodaconstructor - a BASIC program entitled "Constructor" which contained some of sodaconstructor's modern functionality, with both springs and masses, but not muscles, available for construction. This program was never released and was never intended for general use.



In May 1998, Ed Burton joined Soda, and it was around this time that he wrote the first Java version of the Constructor, mostly as a fun way to teach himself Java. The Soda team experimented with the program, creating the twelve basic models that are now presented as examples. This version of the program existed quietly on the soda website, still not being advertised or spread as an official Soda product. This small project eventually began to evolve into the "sodaconstructor", spreading only by word of mouth.
By early 2001, as the number of active users began to grow, the team realized a save function was necessary to allow people to store the models they had created. With this feature, the Soda team began to emphasize sodaconstructor on their site and created the Sodazoo, a list of user-created models that had been deemed noteworthy enough to capture and share among the community which was growing around the applet. Soon after this, a forum was created in order to support the fanbase and encourage discussion of models and construction techniques.

Around late August 2007, Ed Burton and the soda team released Sodaconstructor II, an improved version of the classic sodaconstructor. It had a more standard interface, based around built-in features instead of the older sliders and menus built from scratch. It also allowed users to download, modify, and load the XML data used to store models, leading to some scripted tools being used for precise construction and introduced solid springs which masses would bounce off of. However, reaction was generally negative, as most users preferred the older interface due to its simplicity and flexibility. Another issue was the fact that due to small tweaks in the physics engine and XML format, some old models which relied on precise timing no longer functioned properly with the new applet.

The community found the files required to run the old version, and XML converters were written, so both versions are now able to be used.

(Software Santa made the 3 Amoeba shown on this page with the Amoebamatic Generator!)


Features

Recently even more features have been added, expanding the sodaplay universe: sodarace[4] and SC Local.[5] Sodarace is a program where constructors can pit their models against other constructors' models on varying terrains, to see whose is faster. There is a sodarace league forum on the sodarace website , intended for challenging others to a race or showing off your model's prowess in previously created races.

Along with sodarace came Sodaconstructor Local, which is an offline form of sodaconstructor. With it you can import and export models from and to your computer. Models on your computer are stored in an XML format, allowing you to edit your model in a text editor and import it back into sodaconstructor. Obviously not everyone would be interested in doing this, but it certainly gives constructors an edge in racing or the artistic aspects of their models.

As sodaconstructor has developed, constructors have become more and more clever at using the software to create exceedingly complex models, some of which even contain "motors" (self-contained structures that can power an entire model). Sodaconstructor continues to evolve and expand, with no sign of stopping.

http://sodaplay.com