BallDroppings is an addicting and noisy play-toy. It can also be seen as an emergence game. Alternatively this software can be taken seriously as an audio-visual performance instrument. Balls fall from the top of the screen and bounce off the lines you are drawing with the mouse. The balls make a percussive and melodic sound, whose pitch depends on how fast the ball is moving when it hits the line. This delightful application allows experimentation with sound and vision which will compound and intrigue you. Whether you are an adult or child, scientific brainbox or avid gamer. It doesn't have a plot, no heroine, no villain. It has no guns or alien beings. It is simply time to get creative, and those who are creative will love this. --Gosfish Games


//Jan 2012
Opened Source Code now maintained on Github.

//Jul 2011
NYC MoMA - Talk to Me - Soundrop (BallDroppings clone by by Max Weisel) curated by Paola Antonelli. Several artists email me, outraged. My response: Let him have it. BallDroppings is a community effort and we should celebrate that. Max adds plenty of new concepts in his version.

//Sep 2008
FILE2008 - Plasma display installed with BallDroppings during show, and piece included in book.

//Feb 2006
BallDroppings and MiniPong in Pong.Mythos curated by Andreas Lange, showing in Stuttgart, Leipzig, Bern, and more locations to be announced.

//July 8, 2005
BallDroppings on G4TV "Attack of the Show"

BallDroppings and Textension in Chaise Magazine Issue 2

//September, 2004
Los Angeles, CA: BallDroppings performed by Marc Nimoy, among other experimental musical instruments at Zen Sushi. More Info

//July, 2004
Los Angeles, CA: BallDroppings performed by Marc Nimoy at Coles live performance.

//January 16, 2004
This is a photo of the "custom Balldroppings "at
Compact-Impact show. Using a camera for input, visitors were able to move real, physical wooden sticks around on a table. The balls were projected down from the ceiling. This BallDroppings-camera edition is not available online.

//Article with video by NYSTREAM

New York, NY

BallDroppings (2003) by artist/designer Josh Nimoy


For Android
For iPhone/iPad
For Mobile Java
For Windows

For Mac

Java Applet
Source on Github

Note: When you run this program, your screen will turn completely black. Start clicking around. Make sure the computer's sound is on. Press Escape to exit.

T Shirts for true addicts.

BallDroppings source code signed limited edition CDs are on sale at a design store in Manhattan East Village. Compact-Impact store.


Christmas is over now. The kids have played with all the toys, they're full of sugar, restive, grumpy. Grandpa is hung-over, grandma has run out of kindliness, Mom has post-traumatic hostess stress. Dad put on seven pounds and he is facing horrific credit-card bills... The family is bored, itchy, feckless, ready to fling themselves at each other's throats...

Harmony is Restored! Excellent and very addictive. I tried to create rhythms and recorded the result with the WireTap application.
         -- Bruce Sterling, Wired magazine

The piece is great. My kids love it. Very intuitive interface, so they could get right into it with no problem.
         -- Mark Napier, Artist

Josh Nimoy's 'BallDroppings' was the only way I got off my crack habit.
         -- James Clar, EyeBeam

© 2003,2004 JOSH NIMOY

Additional Key Controls for the interface.


SPACEBAR clears the lines and balls
SHIFT+SPACE clears only balls
CTRL+SPACE clears only lines
0 (yes zero) resets all adjustables to default
deletes the line currently under the mouse.


F11 toggle fullscreen window
S saves the world into a fixed settings file.
O (not zero) opens the settings file.
CTRL+Z undo key for line editing.
P pause balls (lines remain interactive)

Adjustable Factors

- and + adjust ball release rate
F and f adjust air friction
G and g adjust gravity
R and r adjust sound (pitch) range of balls
press this to place the ball producer where your mouse is.

Technical Info for OnScreen Version.
BallDroppings uses physics simulation of elastic masses to make a controlled metaphysical musical system with simple rules that mimic nature. The software is written in C++ using GNU GCC, GLUT, OpenGL, and fmod on all platforms.

Creative Commons License
BallDroppings by Joshua Nimoy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.