Sonicspree iPad game on Kickstarter, comments welcome

Hi All

I’m a designer called Jonathan who is part of the Sonicspree team. Please come and have a look at our new iPad music game under development at Kickstarter. We appreciate it if you want to sponsor it, but are very interested in your comments and suggestions.

Thanks! Jonathan - Sonicspree team

Background: In 2010 Ergonomidesign had the opportunity to develop a game which would showcase Microsoft’s new Surface. The project was internally funded by ourselves and a software developer called Connecta with the aim to create a compelling interactive experience using multi-touch. Together we created a music game called Sonicspree that launched in 2010. The game was very well received and Fast Company magazine listed it as one of the top “killer applications” for Microsoft Surface. It won the Microsoft .NET awards in 2010.

We believe this game has much more potential! Our goal is to take the game over to the ipad to be released to potentially millions of music lovers and gamers.

Idea: The game will be for 1 to 4 players and will access your iTunes music. The idea of the game is to match the music being played and to the album art cards rotating around the screen. The trick is that the cards have to be flipped over first to see the album art – think “memory” but on steroids! Players move a card into the center to reveal the album art so it can be matched to the music. When the correct album art has been exposed, quickly drag it into your area to receive points. Speed is everything, as other players can take the card from you!

I’m not a moderator, but I’ll just pass along the info. I don’t think I’m alone in getting annoyed seeing more and more Kickstarter promotion threads. Please read the rules for the discussion boards.

How Not to Contribute:
We are very tolerant of differing views and opinions, but there are some things we do not tolerate at all. Offenders may be warned or immediately banned. Ultimately the moderators have final say, but as a guideline, please avoid –

  1. Overt self-promotion and advertising. …

  2. Commercial Activities. No direct selling of goods and services.

Honestly you don’t seem to be asking for feedback, just for support. You’ve already got a final product and look to just be doing a port.

My one piece of feedback would be that I don’t think you can cram 4 people onto an iPad screen to play this game. 2 seems difficult enough (4 seemed crowded on the Surface). The iPad, like a phone or any other tablet, is more of a personal consumption device. It wasn’t really built for multiple people to be playing on it at the same time. The surface is a very different product. I would suggest thinking about building a similar, but tailored experience for the iPad, and not a direct port of the game from one platform to the other. Consider what the iPad is used for, how it used, how that is different than the Surface, and what that means for your game.

Jurrasix, if we had a “like button” I would surely likey your comment above.

The projects section is for members (who contribute in discussions throughout the forums! give as well as receive if you will) to share work, get feedback, or even just brag a bit when something goes to production. NOT to get traffic to kickstarter. A kickstarter campaign can be part of it, but it shouldn’t be the ONLY thing.

Michael, you do have the red “delete” button as moderator. This seems like a deserving thread to put into the trash can icon.

Sometimes it is good to talk it out :wink: , but if you all think it should be axed, it can go. What do you think?

Off with their heads, govn’a!


Thanks for pointing that out, I honestly missed to look at these details, and sure not being a regular user of this forum I can understand why 'too many kickstarters are posting on these sites.

However, I would argue that we are looking for feedback on our iPad game. We’re not a huge company and have limited resources to get feedback on something we have spent allot of time and effort designing the ‘original’ & a windows tablet version of the game. Again I really appreciate your feedback on size & what the iPad is for. We’ve designed a version for a windows based tablet and it worked very well (but never got commercially released). Obviously iOS is much bigger platform so hence why we are seeing what the temperature is for this game on the iPad.

Lastly, I ‘think’ you think the game is a good idea, but needs tweaking. You are very welcome to come and fund us and be part of us building a better game.

Thanks again for your time / Jonathan - Sonicspree Team



As a long running member of the design community (nearly 40 years!) surely we can ask for people feedback on something that is still currently being designed? Sure, kickstarter is a modern way of doing it and the edges of commercial and development are blurred, but like every designer here, we’re using these tools available to get better designs & feedback from the larger community. Please don’t stop your fellow designers from trying these new tools out.

I have learnt my lesson though, as my pitch for the post like you say is not discussion enough and just looks like it’s only trying to generate traffic. My appologies. Would you like me to re-edit it to better reflect more of a ‘looking for comments’ type post?

Thanks / Jonathan - Sonicspree Team

Maybe we can consider adding a kickstarter (and other kickstarter-style sites/services) sub-forum to the projects section?

My thoughts on the Kickstarter promos on the boards have always been this:

Show us your process. How’d you come up with the idea you’re pitching? How many revisions did you make to the design before it was accepted? What was the Kickstarter process like for you? Got some sketches and mockups? Toss them up here! Get a dialog going, maybe there’s something you missed that one of us will notice.

A special Kickstarter promo area has been discussed a few times, and the conclusion has always been that it generally goes against the board policies in place.


Thanks for that. Ok, I’ll see what I can do as the game has a long case history but would be interesting to many I’m sure.

Here’s a start, it’s a link to the original Surface game & design on the original Microsoft Surface.

Interestingly, the new version of the game is being used on the new Samsung Surface as a demo at NRF 2012 , so the game can’t be that bad!

/ Jonathan - Sonicspree

For me there is a difference between looking for feedback and just “testing the waters” to see if people would want this game on the iPad. Like I said, it seems like the product is finished and this is just a “should we port this game?” type of situation. You haven’t laid out any details of how you will be translating a game designed for a 40" touchscreen surface to a game designed for less input users and on a 10" screen. I’d be more interested in that process or how you would adapt the game concept to a new platform in a unique way.

I would like to see more thought behind this and your approach to bringing the idea to the iPad. If this is indeed just a test of the market, then I think the thread doesn’t warrant be apart of the project section and you’ll get your answer based on the funding results.

Jonathan you all have obviously put a lot of effort into this product (since 2009?), but none of this material outlines any portion of your “project”. As industrial designers we can certainly appreciate the trials and tribulations of developing anything, including software … which is what you are offering. Not to belittle vaporware, but around here we tend to be more tangible, nuts & bolts, hardware oriented.

I would also like to see more about how you came to develop sonicspree; storyboards, how you went about establishing a working relationship with Microsoft’s Surface, testing, etc. Linking more video isn’t cutting it (for me anyway).

Designing games is quite a departure from the Design of the Decade Gold Award presented to Ergonomidesign for it’s development of MAQUET’s SERVOi ventilator.

So, I’m curious. Are you collaborating with Ergonomidesign on the development of this, or are they a consultant to you? Do you work for Ergonomidesign? Given the history and depth of the firm and that

Sonicspree was one of a few official apps exclusively selected by Microsoft to demonstrate the new Surface technology at its launch at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, January 2011.

it’s interesting that they need to resort to Kickstarter to raise $10,000.

Hi Lew

Great questions. It will take me more time to put together an outline of the actual project details and development, so I’ll answer more of the last few questions first (more interesting discussion I think at the moment)

So 1st, if you’d clicked a little further, you’d see I’m a Design Strategist working at Ergonomidesign. Sonicspree has an interesting history, as it was originally a type of ‘showcase’ project we internally 100% funded. We felt the surface was an interesting ‘interaction design’ problem to tackle, it was a new piece of tech and could show case us and our abilities as well. We also hoped that our love and dedication would pay off by new surface work come flooding in. Well after spending many hrs creating, designing the game with our programming partner (Connecta) we created a ‘game’ which answered the brief of getting people quickly engaged a fairs & shows to use and try out the then ‘new’ Surface.

The game we found out people really enjoyed as it was easy to pick up very quickly and people you didn’t know you could compete with instantly. Great fun. The game developed and included music streaming from Spotify. We also won a .net award for the game so we were really happy. However, as much as people said they like the game, we’ve never really seen much more come from it. We felt that surely there is more potential in this game, so why not try to release it on a platform with a bigger audience and very important, we could actually get some kind of return on the investment.

Interesting about you saying ‘departure from…’, we as with all designers want to try new things, extend our knowledge & creativity. Gaming is very interesting as it touches on I’m sure a huge future of what we will all be designing. Gaming and play is a great way into more serious design challenges, so a fun topic. Also we want to look at new ways of expanding our business, so developing apps, using Kickstarter etc is really interesting field of discovery and we’re learning!

Finally, even though we’ve been around for a long time Ergonomidesign isn’t that huge and asking for money to help pay for some new development of an iPad version is being open that we like anyone else need some financial support in what we want to keep investing in.

I’ll be back to write more on the development part , but hope that’s answers some of the questions.

/Jonathan - Sonicspree team

Part 2

Ok, here’s a bit more about the games original & new development.

First, though I understand your original objections to ‘this is not a proper project’, it’s a little bit chicken and egg. We have ideas of how to take the came onto a smaller screen size, but won’t start earnestly until we feel enough interest is generated. While I understand the ‘more hardware’ interest, design & designers have to look at the whole picture (i.e. business, marketing etc) much more than they ever used to. So I see this ‘as’ part of the project.

But with that in mind, the original surface game criteria were:

  • Approachable (i.e in a public setting)
  • Truly socially interactive (everybody participate equally)
  • Truly 360 (can be accessed from all sides)
  • Physical objects (the surface can recognize real objects)
  • Super-real (game unfold into something more)
  • Commercially viable (make a case for ourselves)
  • Fun
  • 8 weeks to finish project
  • Music source (originally music on surface, but later contacts allowed for Spotify to be integrated)

Ipad criteria start

  • Target market? (we think kids/family and an ice breaker i.e. party starter etc. for teens / young adults)
  • Music source (initially owners iTunes play lists, but later on could be many other options)
  • Platform
    o iPad, as we have played around with it on tablets & know it works (size wise). Smart phones would be a larger audience, but would require much redesign
    o Ipad allows for up to 5 simultaneous touchpoints, so should work for up to 4 people
  • Timing (well we’ve given ourselves the same amount of time, but extra to deal with app store approval)
  • Game dynamics (similar to the surface, but we might include a few bonus ideas to keep the longevity, as we want the gamer to play longer than the surface version)
  • Interaction (as mention, not fully worked through, but as images on Kickstarter show (if anyone cares to look!), the cards now rotate in the centre rather than around the exterior, to make it easier for people to access them. We’ve also thought about users just being able to touch them and the cards reveal, themselves but will try this out once funded in March)
  • Commercially viable (this one is the hard one to crack. Yup this is a design forum, but as designers the business aspect is part of the design process. I appreciate any help, advice or backing here!)
  • Development process (I envision we’ll start talking to the developers nearing the end of success of the funding. Apart from initial meetings, we’ll be using an agile design process i.e. short 1 week sprints of design & software development. It will be a very tight compact phase where we expect to get the most feedback from backers. We will then release a number beta versions for backers to tryout. Following that we’ll hopefully get a good stable game we can release on iTunes. We pat ourselves on the back and continue developing the game :slight_smile:

Hope that’s a bit more info. Appreciate the comments and any support you can give.

/ Jonathan – Sonicspree Team

Have you thought about how you can do that? Are you allowed to side-load apps to iOS devices or would you have to submit it to the store each time and then go about it that way? I know you would probably be able to side-load apps if you were jailbroken, but it would be hard to ask backers to go through that process.

jailbroken … I had to look it up; English is wordy and hard enough to understand, so we create a synonym.

Thanks for taking the time to run through that Jonathan. After I re-read of my post, it comes off as something from the Spanish Inquisition, which we know, no one expects… :wink:

Gaming and play is a great way into more serious design challenges, so a fun topic. Also we want to look at new ways of expanding our business, so developing apps, using Kickstarter etc is really interesting field of discovery and we’re learning!

While I understand the ‘more hardware’ interest, design & designers have to look at the whole picture (i.e. business, marketing etc) much more than they ever used to. So I see this ‘as’ part of the project.

Excellent points.