I've been chatting with Dr. B. through email about activities and the XO. He recommended I post something about our conversations here. So here it goes.
I'm beginning work on an activity I call Funny Talk (FT). This activity is a voice processor/sampler based on toys and a keyboard I played with while growing up. The concept is easy. A user records a short sample with a mic, and can play it back with an ascii keyboard.
The fun part is the effects chain. FT comes with numerous effects that a user can turn on or off. The effects chain is hardwired in serial. Some examples of potential effects are: amplitude modulation, reverse, echo, ring modulation, warble, distortion etc...
The activity designed to be super intuitive and fun. This means reducing the options to a very minimum to avoid frustrating players. With the exception of the amplitude envelope, an effect is either on or off, simplifying the experience. In other words, the effects parameters are fixed.
On a personal note. When I was a kid, I had a small keyboard that did pretty much everything I'm describing here. My friends and I spent hours recording our voices, playing it back at different pitches, reversing it, etc. And it was loads of fun. That's why I'm choosing this as my first activity.