My plans changed a bit from what I listed in my concept post, due to a breakthrough I made during class on Monday. I had mentioned briefly that one idea for a season “selector” circuit was an almanac, a little book that the user could actually flip through to control the Max patch. I figured this would be intuitive, interesting to create, and fitting for the fantastical theme I was aiming for – but I also figured it would be finicky and unreliable.
But I was wrong! With the help of some magnetic tape that (coincidentally) I bought last week, I was able to come up with a booklet prototype that required no direct user contact with conductive leads. Essentially, closing a spread of pages would cause the magnet strips to connect and press together the positive lead (on the left page) and the ground lead (on the right page), thus simulating a key press.
This particular setup created a tricky scenario, however: rather than having Max respond when a key was pressed, I had to make my patch respond when a key was released. Furthermore, having a physical book instead of buttons meant that multiple pages – or all of them – could be left open at the same time. I tried many different wiring configurations within Max to get it right, but ultimately I couldn’t fix it completely.
And as is usually the case, my being caught up in the technical details caused me to push back the visual side of things until the end. It isn’t much, but after making a couple Animate clips (one of leaves falling, and one of some wintery winds), setting up a color changing background in my Max patch, and finally making the popup castle that got me interested in this whole concept, I was able to test everything out: