One year I volunteered at SIGGRAPH in the SIGKIDS area, where the children of conference participants get to spend the week playing with equipment donated by vendors.
I wrote a particle system simulator called Cascade. The user arranges rectangular blocks on the screen and water bounces off of them.
This idea was originally suggested to me by Thad Beier.
I came up with a natural way of moving the blocks that's just like pushing real blocks around with one finger. Rotation and translation are combined into one action.
Cascade ran across the Internet, so children in different cities could share the same set of blocks and type messages to each other. Only the block positions were relayed across the network. This reduced the bandwidth needs significantly.
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