Seize the Day lives on as the Living Worlds app
Back in 2012, I posted about Seize the Day, a planner program for Windows 3.1 and Macintosh. The highlight of Seize the Day is the “Living Worlds” art gallery – a collection of beautiful animated pixel art landscapes that change over the course of the day. They’re stunning and contemplative. You can stare off into the distance and imagine an entire world as the sun rises and sets.
The only way to view Living Worlds has been either to visit an excellent online version by one of the original developers or to run the original planner program in an emulator. But Seize the Day was a program you’d visit every day as part of your personal digital space, and neither of those methods has the same effect. Now Living Worlds has officially returned in an appropriately personal format – a phone app.
With the support of the artist, Mark J. Ferrari, Seize the Day developers Ian Gilman and Joseph Huckaby have adapted Living Worlds for Android and iOS. It’s a faithful reproduction of the original art, complete with a few more nifty features, like swiping to travel through time. I can’t speak to the iOS version, but on Android, you can set Living Worlds as a live wallpaper, so you get a peek into the worlds whenever you open your phone. As a phone background, it’s finally back in the right format to check throughout the day!
You can follow the development of the app on Ian Gilman’s Medium page. He seems to be regularly adding features to it, including a series of fictional journals written by Ferrari about his landscapes. Seize the Day was fairly literary and wordy for planner software, so that’s a fitting direction to take it in.
This is a terrific reimagining of Seize the Day. It’s great to see it living on in a new form where it belongs!
Came across your site while trying to find a way to unpack images from some old Seize the Day installation and artwork floppy disks. I gave the app some serious consideration – the original program was great, and it was a real shame to see it disappear for all those years. $1.99 seems a small price to pay, so I just went ahead and bought it.
If you have any information on how I can unpack the older images for use on my Linux system as wallpaper (I promise I won’t share with others!) please let me know. There’s no way I can get the original app running all these years later, and it seems a shame to have lost the artwork from Van Gogh, Renoir, Temple of Flora, Maxfield Parrish, and other sets that I bought back then. Thank you! And thank you for resurrecting this very original artwork too.
Hi John! I’m not sure about the older non-animated art, but Seize the Day seems to use a proprietary image format that might not easily translate to modern platforms. For technical questions like that, I’d check with Ian Gilman, who created the Living Worlds app and had a hand in developing the original Seize the Day. https://iangilman.com/about/
(If you remember the names of the art, there’s probably much higher quality versions out there now compared to the low-resolution, 256-color versions that came with Seize the Day, and they’d be much easier to get.)