The Explorables Jam... is done! + 19 new explorables!
After three weeks of jamming, peeps made 19 new small, playful explorable explanations! Here they are:

🎉The Entries for the Explorable Explanations Jam! 🎉

There's a few I'd especially like to highlight, for doing something inventive with interactivity... (maybe I'll borrow their ideas for future projects!)

From Cells To Systems by SpacieCat

All about 1D cellular automata! Definitely more fun to read than Wolfram's 1000+ page tome. The unique thing this explorable does: you can change the simulation's rules by directly manipulating the simulation itself! (In contrast, almost all my sims have you change rules with sliders & buttons) I wanna see more sims designed this way!

Understanding The Mandelbrot Fractal by Paul Butler

Not only is this a good example of how to go up the ladder of abstraction step-by-step, but there's this interaction at the end: you explore the fractal by painting it. It's an effective way to build up the idea of a heatmap! (In hindsight, I'd wish I'd done that for Better Ballot.)

How To Make a Good Puzzle by Tom Hermans

There's comics about crafting comics (Scott McCloud), there's short films about crafting films (Every Frame A Painting), there's writing about crafting writing (Strunk & White)... why are there no games about crafting games? Well, there is now! I like the way this one embeds games inside itself, and contrasts good design & bad design. Also some of the puzzles are genuinely tasty-hard challenges.

Recáman Sequence by Xenia Fedorova

This one's short and sweet, and has a really creative use of sound! In the simulation at the end, not only do you see a visualization of a chaotic number sequence, you hear it as well. You listen to math!

These are just a small sample of all the great stuff peeps have made for this jam. Again, you can play with and learn from all of them, here: https://explorabl.es/jam/ Enjoy!

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Epilogue:

This jam was fun to create, co-organize, and watch as peeps made amazing things! Buuuuut it did take away a lot of time from me to make Patreon-funded explorables. I'm sorry, and I hope the 19 new explorables above make up for it!

Overall, I think it went pretty well for a first-time jam. We even had an in-person kickoff event, due to lots of luck & generous contributions from the explorables community! Though, maybe 3 weeks was too long? Maybe a weekend-long thing would be more accessible. (Also: I tried participating in the jam myself with a team of others I met at the kickoff event. We totally overscoped. That said, I made new friends, so that's always a plus!)

What's Next?

  • “An Overly-Philosophical Behind-The-Scenes Update”, in which I'll explain my thoughts the last few months on: 1) balancing how many people my things reach "vs" how helpful they are to those they reach, 2) what do I want to help others with, anyway? and 3) how can I involve y'all – fans, supporters, friends! – in my learning & teaching process? That's what this next mega-post will be about. (also, a sneak peek of my next explorable!)
  • Going to XOXO! If any of you are going to XOXO this year – which may be their last – I'll be around as an attendee! (I gave a talk at XOXO a few years ago) Let's meet up and say hi!

And <3 as always,
~ Nicky