I’ve continued the work from my last post, and gotten to the point where it’s presentable as a first pass. In addition to creating shapes with cardboard, the user can also apply paint and marker marks on top of the cardboard.
Paint and marker marks only show up on top of cardboard, and can be erased independently of each other.
To try it, click on the image to the left.
This is an experiment in using composite modes with canvas rendering to achieve a 3d effect, allowing users to “paint” shapes in cardboard. At present, it’s possible to draw shapes with the mouse, and to erase them, all the while maintaining the illusion of 3d cardboard, thanks to both an interior and exterior layer.
This is just a start though- I’m hoping to develop this into something much more interesting.
To see what I have so far, head here, or just click on the image.
I’ve been thinking a lot about puzzles recently, thanks to re-discovering the excellent set of puzzles, as well as coming across .
As a result, I thought I’d try my hand at making a puzzle of my own, with the results here. The answer to the puzzle is a single word. Enter your answer into the form field below the image to test it.
A few hints to get you started, should you decide to try solving it:
- Everything you need to solve the puzzle is inside the image
- The colors are important
- The answer is not a simple reordering of the letters
A few months ago, I attended SETIcon, which was all-around wonderful. However, I thought that the panel on science and videogames left quite a bit to be desired. Several SETI-themed games were presented, but I felt that they were more about overlaying a SETI theme on unrelated mechanics.
Which got me thinking… what would a game that lifted its mechanics (as well as its theme) from SETI look like? I had an idea that I thought could work, and it sat around in my notebook until this past Sunday when I found myself at a laundromat with a laptop and some time to kill.
The game takes the form of a puzzle game, where the player has to tweak settings to extract a digital image from a noisy analog signal. The fiction of the game is that aliens are sending a sequence of 1s and 0s that will create an image when properly viewed. However, there are a couple of obstacles in the way:
- traveling through space has rendered the signal noisy
- the player doesn’t know the specifics of the alien transmission standard
So, the player has three things that they can alter:
- the threshold of what amplitude constitutes a 1 This translates the analog signal (the top-left waveform) into a digital one (the bottom-left)
- the width (in time) for each sample This alters the way in which the analog signal is translated into the digital.
- the width of the image This controls how many pixels there are per row of the final image (displayed to the right
The threshold value can be changed by clicking and dragging the gray box, and is represented by the green horizontal line. The other two values have to be entered in the fields at the bottom of the interface (for now- I plan on making them visually draggable as well).
I wrote a small Python script that can be used to translate a given low-resolution image into a sequence of noisy values (like this). The demo only has one image, but it’s one that’s bound to be familiar to SETI enthusiasts and science nerds in general.
To try it for yourself, head here.
As I work my way through Stanford’s excellent online class on the design and analysis of algorithms, I’ve decided to up the ante a bit on the homework assignments- not only will I do the stated assignment, but I will also wrap it up in some manner of game or game-like interactive demo. This is the first such demo.
This week’s assignment was to implement merge sort and then to modify the merge sort implementation to count the number of inversions (or out-of-order numbers) in an array of integers. Inversions are useful, as they allow two lists to be compared, with the number of inversions functioning as a metric of how similar they are.
In this game, the goal is to guess the correct ordering of the eight colors. Each time the page starts, a random order is selected. To play, try to guess what it is by clicking on the color swatches to the left in an order of your choice. Once you’ve ordered the eight colors, you’ll see a small version of the order with a red/green bar at the bottom. The red/green bar corresponds to how far away you are (number of inversions / max possible number) from the correct order. The game (although a very hard, possibly unfun one) is to use the information about past guesses to inform your choices.
I finally got around to playing Bastion this weekend, thanks to the always-amazing Humble Bundle.
Click on the image to see if for yourself. Art for the character and the television came from opengameart.org.
I was at a really great open studios event in Hunter’s Point, and saw some beautiful paintings that included (amongst other things), undulating plant forms.
I thought it would be fun to try to recreate such things but via code, and animated.
To see it in action, click on the image.
I just participated in my first Ludum Dare competition, with the theme ‘Tiny World’. My game is a bit small, even by Ludum Dare standards, as I’m currently on vacation, so only had the plane ride, plus a bit of time here and there to work on it (not that I’m complaining ).
In the game, you take on the role of a planet builder, tasked with creating planets from matter floating through space. The game lies in rotating the planet so that the matter is evenly distributed, and rejecting matter of the wrong type (each level has different requirements for the planet).
To play the game, either click on the image, or go here.
I recently bought a conus textile seashell to give to a young relative of mine that loves science. Conus Textile shells are really cool, because the pattern on their surface is almost identical to that created by a simple 1-dimensional cellular automata with 30 as the ruleset. But instead of just giving her the shell, I wanted to make her earn the gift through a game-like exploration of cellular automata, with the shell being the big reveal after she’s completed it.
This is a first pass at such a game. At the start, a single line with random state is presented to the player, along with a blank line. Mousing over any of the cells will highlight the three previous cells that determine the state of the mouse-over cell, and clicking on the cell will toggle its state. Once all of the cells in the new line are correct, a new line is added to the display. Over time, the distinctive pattern found with rule30, and on conus textile shells, will emerge.
I was playing Magic: The Gathering recently with a friend at a local bar that so happens to have a dedicated darts room.
That got me thinking- why not have a collectible darts game? After some thought, I nailed down a rough draft of a design, with the following elements:
- The collectible/swappable component is the fins of the dart (“flight”) on which is printed stats and abilities
- The setting/theme of the game is future fantasy, with players competing to mine resources from a planet (the dartboard) by sending units down to the surface (throwing darts)
- All units have:
- a mining stat, combined with the value of the section the dart hits to determine amount of resources gathered
- a combat stat, used to resolve combat between units
- [optionally] an activated ability of some kind, for example: [R] + 5 to mining, which would mean that if the dart lands inside a red section of the board, it earns 5 extra units of resources
- Play proceeds with players alternating to throw darts
- Combat is resolved at the end of a round, and the resource totals are added to each player’s running tally
- The first player to gather a set number of resources (100?) wins
I’m still thinking through the combat system, but in the meantime I wanted to be able to generate some prototype pieces to start playtesting. As such, I wrote a small Python program that accepts a text file describing units and generates a printable PDF that can be used to make flights. I’ll likely be changing the design of the flights a bit (altering the shape and making them slightly bigger), but it’s a good start. To see the generated PDF, go here.