Freeplay is in 10 days

If you haven’t heard, Freeplay is going to happen in Melbourne in about a week and half. It’s turning into a pretty significant event. Not only because of the stellar lineup of people. Not just because most major game conventions in Australia are slowly dying. But for me it’s the way the talks have been put together. Grab a bunch of people and take them out of their comfort zone. Then put an audience in front of them. What could go wrong.

Why am I mentioning this? Well I’m on a panel called “101 things I learnt in Game Design School”. The idea comes from this book, which is a personal favourite of mine (buy it, it’s really good). The way it’s working is that all the Freeplay speakers (there are about 600,000 of them) offer a thing they learnt. And then we panel about them. The last bit is a little hazy but Helen assures me that it’s under control.

Before my friends get out the pitchforks, it wasn’t my idea. I’m not a game designer. And I never went to a Game Design School. But I do run one (which might be the only reason I’m on the panel) and I hang around a lot of Design people so I’ve leached a lot of ideas though the years.

As prep I sat down to see if I could write out 101 things that I actually do know. I present them below as a way of throwing myself at the mercy of the court. If I’ve learnt anything it’s because people much smarter than I already figured it out and shared it with me. This talk is for them.

Click Details to get the list.

Details »

When in doubt add more polys


Tessellate test on Evolving Geometry from matt ditton on Vimeo.

More tests, this time on the effect of tessellation on the geometry. Thanks for JohnK for the idea. I quite like low-fi polygons. But seeing the higher res version is quite nice. The full description is on the vimeo page.

Evolving Geometry. Or what I did with my Sunday.

Evolving Geometry from matt ditton on Vimeo.

For my first attempt at making a genetic algorithm, is there any better subject than the Mona Lisa and some random dude from google image search?

The premise is simple. By randomly changing the color, position and diagonal edge direction of a grid of polygons can you turn it into the target image.

All written in Processing, the grid draws to a PGraphic on every change and a fitness test is done against the target image. If the fitness is better than or equal the change is kept. If not, it’s reverted. Keeping the equal-to in the test causes that crazy vertex movement in the lower image, so that bugs going.
The left image is the grid with vertex colour, the right is the target and the middle is the wireframe of the polygons. The number is the fitness. The lower the number the closer tobeing an exact match.
This is the slowed down version for making a video. I’ve got it running in a thread and it’s stupid fast. But because I’m drawing in the thread I’m getting colour sync errors in the main draw thread. It works fast but the flashing colours get pretty distracting.
Inspiration for this work has to go to Karl Sims and Roger Alsing. They are the giants, I’m just standing here.

Genius Moments in Game Design

Some damn funny game design over at Mazapan.

You Have To Burn The Rope

rock paper shotgun did a walkthrough

Absolute genius.