Whoa, nice sails!

Man, these are some seriously sexy sails. At 15 feet in length, these are the most ambitious sculpture pieces we’ve attempted. Kyle did a great job designing these: they fold, like origami, providing their own rigidity. Awesome!

The four towers that feature these sails surround you as you play, and light up in time with Simon’s console. At the pinnacle of each tower, you’ll find our favorite part: the pilot flame and plumbing that let us to shoot enormous fireballs. Surprise, Player 1!

The sails are such an exciting addition to the towers, but they take time, effort, and money to produce, and we could use some help with the latter. Bottom-line: materials and time on a state-of-the-art laser cutting machine that’s up to this (demanding) task: $2,400. We’ve got 3 days left in our IndieGoGo campaign, and some great perks available. If you’re as excited as we are about this addition to the project, we’d love to see your support.


Simon Fire Edition 2.0 Playa Location!

We know where Simon Fire Edition v2 is placed! 8:30 and 2200 ft from the man. As far as I can tell, that’s just off the Esplanade into the inner playa. Great location!
Simon FE 2 - location


Hey, if you like the cut of our jib, get your name on the project! We added an IndieGoGo perk that’ll have your name/message scrolling across the leaderboard on the project.

Soldering in the desert sucks!

In building a project that goes into extreme conditions there are many challenges. One challenge I wanted to head off was broken wiring. Desert conditions are harsh on electonics, attendees doubly so. Lake Lahontan Point taught me that you trench anything you don’t want to repair daily. The Charcade experience with their Simon project (RIP) taught me that signal lines that you trench won’t work. Specifically, if you bury signal lines next to AC power lines… signals won’t work. So, any signal lines we don’t trench will get broken, and any we trench won’t work correctly.

Yeah, awesome.

So… wireless communications. I’d done some of that with Simon v1, but the XBee solution was short range, expensive, and complex. After research, I went with 915MHz radio boards from HopeRF. $7 parts, and the gang at Low Power Labs make AVR (Arduino) clones with integral radios. Those gave us 100m+ range and enough power to overcome reasonable interference levels. Moreover, it’s an expandable topology… YOUR project can talk to our project.

So, Simon v2 trenches only propane and power, and I hope that means less soldering out in the desert!


Big, badder and with 90% more Fire

It never sounds cool to try and set out to one up yourself. It sounds a little arrogant.

Simon V1 was a project that we built because we knew that we could do it and more importantly that we would likely get passed by the fire marshall at our local art events.

Once we made it, we had the bug and we needed to build something bigger and badder. We honed our skills on V1 so we needed to try some new things. The initial list included:

Acrylic touch buttons

wireless interaction between the console and the towers

more fire balls

4 towers instead of one


Origami metal panels

Better sound

More chip tunes

bigger fire balls

Propane Heater and trough reused from Simon V1


power cables, propane lines

In figuring out what we wanted to do, we also realized that we needed to bring in more help. As part of this build we have brought in several new people: Andrea Pollitt, Shane Iler, Allen Hudson, Chris Galvin and Richie Meyer. Each bring their set of skills to the project. 

Please check back as we will have more updates to come….


Two really great shots from Lauren DeSteno. Camp Moonrock, Burning Man 2013. Thursday night, I think, just ahead of our What When Where Simon-themed cocktail event.





Wow. That’s a big box. We’ve got everything but propane in this thing. Bonus: it transforms into a bar in the desert.

Charcade @ Burning Man23

Hey!  If you like fire-belching games like “Simon: Fire Edition”, then consider what an entire arcade of games would be like.  Enter, “Charcade“, a 2013 Honorarium award winner.  They need some help meeting their funding goal at Kickstarter.  Check it out.