A few days ago Morgan McGuire added a post on his blog about the absence of a good cross platform tool for depixelizing pixel art for higher resolutions purposes.
I’ve also faced this problem when jamming, but not wanting to invest tons of my own time into developing a native cross platform solution, compiling it on every platform, and then building installers *ick*, I thought – maybe it will work as a webtool?
If you have a chance, check out The Depixelizer!
I should have wrote a post about this months back, but better late than never. At the Global Game Jam this year my buddy Mike and I teamed up, with some assistance of two NC State students to create Undead Man Lover.
The theme this year was the sound of a beating heart. So we created Undead Man Lover. You play a wizard trying to transform zombies back into living humans. But zombies love the sound of a beating heart, so they’ll attack anyone you transform. To combat their attempts to devour your new human friends, you have spells. But unfortunately casting a spell is a stressful affair that raises your own heartbeat, making the zombies think you are quite yummy. You’ll have to balance transforming zombies and not attracting too much attention before the time runs out.
I found it extremely handy to use the mad lib database we created for the last local triangle game jam to come up with a game concept for the jam’s theme. When all you have is the sound of a beating heart, one finds themselves creatively thinking in a very localized minima of themes and game mechanics (heart beat rythm game, suspense game with a heart beat, shooting blood as a heart, blood cell racer…etc). But with the jam theme in mind, the series of “Adjective Noun Verb” phrases that the mad lib generator spits out gives you much more creative applications of the jam’s theme and gets you out of the creative rut.
A couple of weekends ago was the 2012 Triangle Game Jam. Our theme of the jam was to generate game titles by madlibs: everyone contributed a list of 5 adjectives, 5 nouns, and 5 verb stems, and a program generated random game names from them. From there, we pitched ideas based on the titles and formed teams.
With nearly 100 combinations of titles generated I ended up pitching a concept for #14 – Broken Magic Jumper. Although a lot of people initially voted that they would like to see the game made, I was the only one on my team by the time everyone had finished picking teams.
The Original Pitch
The original pitch was that you’re a wizard solving a jumping platformer with spells and there are broken magic areas in the world that change a spells effect, and so you have to solve the puzzle by using the right combination of spells.
What Actually Got Made
The game I ended up making was a bit of a departure from the initial concept, it took until about early Saturday afternoon to nail down the exact mechanics, all the while I was just getting the basics of a jumping platformer working and correctly loading levels from Tiled.
The wizard in charge of protecting the Jump Crystal – the source of all jump powers in the universe, has dropped and shattered the crystal. He must collect and use the jump crystal shards to find and piece the crystal back together.
Each type of jump shard will grant the possessor a special jump power – but you can only have one at a time. Use your jumping and problem solving skills to use the shards in the right order to solve each puzzle. I’ve uploaded final version of the game to play. Both the keyboard and Xbox controller will work. The links are below. Have fun!
Additional content was used under licenses from Oryx, Surt, Qubodup, Kevin MacLeod, and freesound.org.
WARNING – VIDEO CONTAINS SPOILERS
So I’ve posted a new version of Oxel, grab it here. The new version has several improvements in UI, performance, stability, as well as a brand new re-triangulation library. The previous versions all used David Eberly’s implementation in Wild Magic. Oxel 1.1 uses the Poly2Tri library to retriangulate each surface and I’m much happier with the results.
So I have a new page dedicated to the Oxel project located here: http://nickdarnell.com/Oxel. I’ve also started a new project on BitBucket where you’ll be able to find future releases and the source code for Oxel, http://bitbucket.org/NickDarnell/oxel.
There is also a new 1.0.1 version of the tool that has been posted to the BitBucket page, http://bitbucket.org/NickDarnell/oxel/downloads.
Version 1.0.1 is mostly just a maintenance release, there were several usability issues that I needed a few more days to clean up.
- Better menu item names.
- The settings have been clarified and categories and have descriptions.
- A new about dialog.
- Added error messages when opening files fails.
- Other fixes…
Can’t wait to start getting some users and feedback :)