Sparks & Szilagyi
xBlocks  Concept  Gallery  Press  About  Contact
xBlocks xBlocks is an exploration into what can happen when imaginative play is paired with a system that allows video games to cross over into real space.

The resulting concepts turn the passive relationship between player and screen on its head. Rather than sitting in front of a two-dimensional screen, players must move with their characters as play shifts between the system’s multiple surfaces. Keep up or you will get lost.

xBlocks has evolved into two proof-of-concept prototypes.
Prototype One:
Building Blocks with a Living Surface
Prototype Two:
Arcade Gaming
xBlocks Constructor xBlocks Arcade
xBlocks Living Surface combines the best elements of free-form imaginative play and videogames.

The original concept (patent pending), developed thanks to sponsorship from Mattel and the Interaction Ivrea, is a system of real building blocks that include embedded LCD screens on each face. These blocks are “inhabited” by virtual creatures that react to each other and your actions as you snap the blocks together into increasingly complex structures.

We aim to capture the imagination of the world-builders, players who want new ways to shape the environments they play in. Players who used to play with blocks but found them lacking in feedback, who want to reach out and grab objects rather than just manipulate pixels on the screen.

As a platform for play, xBlocks Living Surface can branch out to engage multiple audiences. Because the blocks are simply containers, they can be used in a myriad of genres. From “God games,” to strategy challenges and puzzles.

Dragon Run, is just one example within a range of open-ended play experiences and gaming concepts for single player and multi-player scenarios.

xBlocks Red vs. Blue is a 2 player platform game with a twist: the game space is a mixed-reality, three-dimensional environment: a convergence between video game action & the tradition of sculptural art.

Red vs. Blue is an original take on the on the side-scrolling video games of the 1980's. However, character and action play is liberated, lifting it off a flat screen and onto a multi-dimensional object.

The aim of this 2 player game is quite simple: capture your opponent's start position (or just shoot them) whilst avoiding or eliminating monsters. However, during the game, not only do you have to direct your character around the 3D maze, you to negotiate the physical presence of your opponent, who is also frantically moving about, trying to win before you do.

xblocks waiting for inputxblocks one wayxblocks climbxblocks weapon change

A social & alluring experience, xBlocks Red vs. Blue has so far been successfully exhibited at Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy & Arborescence in Marseilles, France.

Check out the video from that event and please contact us if you think the xBlocks Red vs. Blue installation would suit your conference or new media art festival.

© 2006 Tristam Sparks & Victor Szilagyi