from random import choice, randrange

from pygame import Surface
from pygame.mixer import Sound

from _send.pgfw.Sprite import Sprite
from _send.Send import SoundEffect

class Cup(Sprite):

    def __init__(self, parent):
        Sprite.__init__(self, parent)
        self.display_surface = self.get_display_surface()
        self.direction = choice((1, -1))
        self.moving = True
        self.wall_audio = SoundEffect(self.get_resource("cup", "wall-audio"),

    def set_frame(self):
        size = self.get_size()
        surface = Surface((size, size))

    def get_size(self):
        return self.parent.cup_scale * self.display_surface.get_height() * \
               (1 - self.get_configuration("sideline", "proportion") * 2)

    def place(self):
        sidelines = self.parent.parent.sidelines = randrange(sidelines[0].bottom,
                                  sidelines[1].top - self.rect.h)

    def align(self):
        self.rect.right = self.display_surface.get_rect().right

    def set_color(self):
        self.color = self.parent.get_foreground_color()

    def paint(self):

    def stop(self):
        self.moving = False

    def update(self):
        if self.moving:
            self.move(dy=self.parent.speed * self.direction)

    def collide(self):
        for sideline in self.parent.parent.sidelines:
            if self.location.colliderect(sideline):
                self.direction *= -1
                self.move(dy=sideline.clip(self.location).h * self.direction)
from pygame import Color, Surface, Rect
from pygame.time import get_ticks
from pygame.draw import circle
from pygame.mixer import Sound

from _send.pgfw.GameChild import GameChild
from _send.Send import SoundEffect

class Charge(GameChild):

    def __init__(self, parent):
        GameChild.__init__(self, parent)
        self.delegate = self.get_game().delegate
        self.display_surface = self.get_display_surface()
        self.charging_audio = SoundEffect(self.get_resource("charge",
        self.send_audio = SoundEffect(self.get_resource("charge",
                                                        "send-audio"), .1)

    def load_configuration(self):
        config = self.get_configuration("charge")
        self.transparent_color = Color(*config["transparent-color"])
        self.colors = tuple(Color(color + "ff") for color in config["colors"])
        self.peak_time = config["peak-time"]
        self.size_limits = config["size-limits"]
        self.margin = config["margin"]

    def respond(self, event):
        fields = self.parent
        if not fields.loading and not fields.suppressing_input and \
            if not self.sent and, "charge"):
                self.charging = True
                self.start = get_ticks()
            elif self.charging and, "charge", True):
                self.sent = True
                self.charging = False

    def reset(self):
        self.charging = False
        self.start = None
        self.sent = False
        self.color_index = 0
        self.last_strength = None

    def get_strength(self):
        return float((get_ticks() - self.start) % self.peak_time) / \

    def update(self):
        if not self.sent and self.charging:
            lower, upper = 4, 150
            if self.last_strength is None or \
                   self.last_strength > self.get_strength():
            strength = self.last_strength = self.get_strength()
            width = strength * (upper - lower) + lower
            lower, upper = 1, 22
            height = strength * (upper - lower) + lower
            rect = Rect(0, 0, width, height)
            rect.midbottom = self.parent.sidelines[1].midtop
            self.display_surface.fill(self.get_color(), rect)

    def increment_color_index(self):
        self.color_index += 1
        if self.color_index == len(self.colors):
            self.color_index = 0

    def get_color(self):
        return self.colors[self.color_index]
from pygame import Surface
from pygame.mixer import Sound

from _send.pgfw.Sprite import Sprite
from _send.Send import SoundEffect

class Ball(Sprite):

    def __init__(self, parent):
        Sprite.__init__(self, parent)
        self.display_surface = self.get_display_surface()
        self.reflect_audio = SoundEffect(self.get_resource("ball",

    def set_frame(self):
        size = self.get_size()
        surface = Surface((size, size))

    def get_size(self):
        return self.parent.ball_scale * self.display_surface.get_height() * \
               (1 - self.get_configuration("sideline", "proportion") * 2)

    def center(self):
        self.rect.centery = self.display_surface.get_rect().centery

    def set_color(self):
        self.color = self.parent.get_foreground_color()

    def paint(self):

    def adjust_for_size(self):
        lower, upper = self.get_configuration("ball", "base-velocity-range")
        ratio = self.rect.w / float(self.get_configuration("ball", "base-size"))
        self.velocity_range = ratio * lower, ratio * upper
        self.deceleration = ratio * self.get_configuration("ball",

    def reset(self):
        self.velocity = 0

    def launch(self, strength):
        lower, upper = self.velocity_range
        self.velocity = strength * (upper - lower) + lower
        self.direction = 1

    def update(self):
        if self.velocity:
            self.move(self.velocity * self.direction)
            if self.rect.right >= self.display_surface.get_rect().right:
                self.direction = -1
                self.move(self.display_surface.get_rect().right - \
            self.velocity -= self.deceleration
            if self.velocity < 1 or self.rect.right < 0:
                self.velocity = 0
        if self.rect.colliderect(self.parent.cup.location):
June 7, 2018

May 17, 2018

Line Wobbler Advance is a demake of Line Wobbler for Game Boy Advance that started as a demo for Synchrony. It contains remakes of the original Line Wobbler levels and adds a challenging advance mode with levels made by various designers.

f1. Wobble at home or on-the-go with Line Wobbler Advance

This project was originally meant to be a port of Line Wobbler and kind of a joke (demaking a game made for even lower level hardware), but once the original levels were complete, a few elements were added, including a timer, different line styles and new core mechanics, such as reactive A.I.

f2. Notes on Line Wobbler

I reverse engineered the game by mapping the LED strip on paper and taking notes on each level. Many elements of the game are perfectly translated, such as enemy and lava positions and speeds and the sizes of the streams. The boss spawns enemies at precisely the same rate in both versions. Thanks in part to this effort, Line Wobbler Advance was awarded first prize in the Wild category at Synchrony.

f3. First prize at Synchrony

Advance mode is a series of levels by different designers implementing their visions of the Line Wobbler universe. This is the part of the game that got the most attention. It turned into a twitchy gauntlet filled with variations on the core mechanics, cinematic interludes and new elements, such as enemies that react to the character's movements. Most of the levels are much harder than the originals and require a lot of retries.

Thanks Robin Baumgarten for giving permission to make custom levels and share this project, and thanks to the advance mode designers Prashast Thapan, Charles Huang, John Rhee, Lillyan Ling, GJ Lee, Emily Koonce, Yuxin Gao, Brian Chung, Paloma Dawkins, Gus Boehling, Dennis Carr, Shuichi Aizawa, Blake Andrews and mushbuh!

You will need an emulator to play. Try Mednafen (Windows/Linux) or Boycott Advance (OS X)

September 26, 2017

I made a video about my game Picture Processing for Out of Index 2017! Here is the video along with a transcript.

To save memory, video games are designed to repeat graphics. In raster-based games, image files like textures, tiles and sprites are loaded once into memory and drawn repeatedly by the program to create environments, characters, animations and text. In my puzzle game, 8 by 8 pixel tiles are used to create scenes the player has to recreate. For level 1, the tiles are a cloud, a tree, a mushroom, a character, sky, ground and rock.

An algorithm scrambles the tiles so that each tile is in the wrong memory address at the beginning of a level and the screen looks like a graphics glitch. When level 1 begins, the clouds may be where the trees should be, the mushrooms may be floating in the sky and the character may be switched with rock or the ground. The player's task is to put the tiles where they belong by swapping each tile with a tile in another memory address.

There are five levels, in order of difficulty, based on classic video games or classic video game genres.

The name of this game is taken from the Picture Processing Unit, a microprocessor designed by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The PPU is the hardware component responsible for translating image data into video signals for televisions and screens. It does this with a memory of 8 by 8 pixel tile data, which, along with palette and sprite attribute memory, generates each frame of a video game.

Companies often create lofty, evocative titles for hardware and products. What does the name Picture Processing Unit mean if we consider pictures something independent of a video screen? The phrase picture processing evokes the phrase image processing, a technique used to create applications such as automatic facial and emotion recognition. We often anthropomorphize electronic devices, infusing them with intelligence and souls, forgetting how much more infinitely complex the human mind is compared to a digital processor.

The game is named as a reference to Nintendo's microprocessor because the graphics are tile based, but it is also a reference to the players who are image processors, interpreting a picture from something deterministic into something non-deterministic.

The prototype of this game was created for a game jam called A Game By Its Cover where designers created video games based on imagined Nintendo game cartridges created by visual artists for an exhibition called My Famicase.

Picture Processing is based on one of the imagined cartridges from that exhibition. The cartridge's cover depicts a grid of unordered tiles and is described as a game where one inserts a game cartridge, sees a glitching screen, and meditates about the concept of beauty in imperfection. I added the idea that the player meditates into a state of transcendence until they are able to fix the game's graphics by accessing the memory telepathically.

July 19, 2017

f1. BOSS

Games are corrupt dissolutions of nature modeled on prison, ordering a census from the shadows of a vile casino, splintered into shattered glass, pushing symbols, rusted, stale, charred, ultraviolet harbingers of consumption and violence, badges without merit that host a disease of destruction and decay.

You are trapped. You are so trapped your only recourse of action is to imagine an escape route and deny your existence so fully that your dream world becomes the only reality you know. You are fleeing deeper and deeper into a chasm of self-delusion.

While you're dragging your listless, distending corpus from one cell to another, amassing rewards, upgrades, bonuses, achievements, prizes, add-ons and status boosts in rapid succession, stop to think about what's inside the boxes because each one contains a vacuous, soul-sucking nightmare.

Playing can be an awful experience that spirals one into a void of harm and chaos, one so bad it creates a cycle between the greater and lesser systems, each breaking the other's rules. One may succeed by acting in a way that ruins the world.

May 19, 2013

Welcome! I will be posting here about open-source games and music I am making for free online distribution. Most recently, I made Ball & Cup for Ludum Dare 26, a game I will work on more in June. After finishing, if it's fun, I will build an arcade cabinet for it! Next week, I am joining the 7-Day Fishing Jam to develop an A-life prototype about searching a cloud of noise for organisms.

Before Ball & Cup, I was adding features like vehicle engines, new graphics and effects and detailed scoring to an updated version of E.S.P. Hadouken, currently a prototype about navigating five psychic hadoukens to save your Game Boy. The new version will be similar with a clearer story and more ways to judge your performance. I plan on finishing it after making a public version of Ball & Cup.

I will also upload some digital albums soon. One, Man's Womb, is a solo collection of chiptunes from Emoticon Vs. Rainbow, an online racing/rhythm game. The other, Tor Ghul/Spin Ghul is a guitar and synth record recorded with my friends last summer. The recording and sequencing are finished for both -- I just have to make their web pages and artwork and package them for downloading.

Later, I hope to write about games in their early stages, an abstract action-RPG called Panopticon: Swarm, a massively multiplayer exploration, voting, post-catastrophic city simulation, Vomit Inspector and a mobile mini-game compilation project that includes an external digital pet raising and social networking mode. I also plan to post analyses of games I'm playing as a design exercise and for fun.

I will write about more game stuff like arcade trips, game jams and electronics! Plus whatever I haven't thought of! If you use RSS, subscribe to my feed!

↠ RSS Feed ↞