I’ve been wanting to design one of these for ages but this adafruit conway kit (thanks Nik!) does it better than I could have managed. You can also plug multiple kits together for bigger worlds.
I’ve just spent the last two days tearing my hair out on time syncing the traffic livecoding prototype. It all comes down to a combination of spline based animation and techno. The problem is that the vehicles can collide with each other at any time and try evasive manoeuvres, but when the way is clear again they need to time their animation so they reach the next section of road exactly on the beat – in order to trigger any potential sounds that are there (I haven’t got as far as adding the triggers yet). This is much more complex than Al Jazari – where the world was simple enough that I could simulate all the interactions between the robots ahead of time, and delay the animation to match the audio. I’ve also added traffic lights which need to be able to change at any time, which didn’t help. Fingers crossed, and despite a few animation glitches left to sort out – I think it’s working now.
In the meantime, I’ve come to enjoy this deeply place-holder aesthetic: