Games

Electric Zine Maker fuzzy update with ASCII, Power Goo-like tools, Displacement, Color Management, and more…

I did it! The update is out! This feels like a big deal because it’s a fairly substantial one. I’ve been meaning to make a more concise design writeup about it, and talk about influences and things that went into it, because I think that the design process that would be interesting…but I’m very exhausted so I’ll have to save that for another time. Download link: YOU CAN DOWNLOAD IT HERE So ok… this new update to the Electric Zine Maker brings a bunch of new tools. These are interesting because they’ll add dimension to your art, or give you...

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recent thoughts about mentioning influences in the discussion, and why recognizing inspiration matters (ending the “lone genius” ideal)

The other day I posted this thread about inspiration and the importance of crediting the sources of your inspiration… so that your success doesn’t lead to the erasure of the less advantaged artists that inspired you… I’m now making this a post because I feel like the issue is complicated, and deserves discussion. It’s a topic that ends up being on my mind a lot since people will tell me how much my work influenced them, inspired them, or led to them making their game, and when it becomes popular that’s not mentioned anywhere. The “what inspired them” reason behind...

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Playdate & the LA Zine Fest, weird games, and what it means for “Playdate” to lose its name…

Playdate, now Playdate Pop Up, is a game showcase meets miniature event that runs as part of the LA zine fest. It’s been around for a few years now. It’s one of my favorite because of how low-key it is, and how it consistently showcases personal, niche, strange, weird, and wonderful games from a wide spectrum of devs. The games featured are feminist, queer, weird, and wonderfully experimental. It’s a beautiful fit for the zine crowd who are equally as feminist, queer, and weird. It’s also an event run very resourcefully, and personally, since the organizers don’t make money from...

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Electric Zine Maker Beta is out (here are some development and design notes about it)

I finally posted the Electric Zine Maker public beta. It’s two days old! They grow up so fast!!!! You can download the beta here: https://alienmelon.itch.io/electric-zine-maker The Electric Zine Maker is a printshop and art tool for making zines. It includes a drawing interface. You can import images, size and place them, write text with any font that you have installed, smudge, paint, and a number of other options. It's out!The Electric Zine Maker (public beta)https://t.co/yOVfooYtCv?? Easily create, draw, write, and print zines!? Folding instructions included!!?? You can save them, and re-import them.?? Made with collaboration in mind.? Try it! It's...

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Announcing the Electric Zine Maker! (about my new art-tool-toy-game-thing being developed & the direction it’s taking)

So here it is. I’m finally announcing it in a blog post, proper! If you have been following me on Twitter, then you’ve probably seen me talk about it. I’m making a zine tool! This is called Electric Zine Maker. It’s an art tool for creating zines. It will allow you to paint, write, and edit zines. It’s specifically targeted at the 8-page fold ones, but I’m open to adding more templates as soon as I have the hard parts of this finished. This grew out of a spur of the moment thing. I was fairly burned out (jaded?) after...

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My GDC Talk transcript (Personal Experiences as Games) and a small update about what I’m making next

This GDC I co-organized a session called “Personal Experiences as Games” with Jingyu Sui. UPDATE: You can now watch the talk for free on the Vault here. I am posting my talk transcript and one slide here (my talk is bellow the following summary). The session was a set of microtalks about making games based on personal experiences… Along the lines of how artists have turned to games as a way of telling personal experiences, conveying deeper sensitive topics, personal messages, and using the medium as a tool to build empathy (I know the “empathy” discussion is a bit overused...

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Documenting the Internet & Webring of Tetrageddon (the desktop version)

Since it feels really important to me to make an effort to explain the internet portion that surrounds the desktop version of Tetrageddon Games, I’m doing that here. I never talked about that properly. You can download the game here: https://alienmelon.itch.io/tetrageddon This came about because of this. Since I know how these things play out, if I were ever to build on this, or make something surrounding the subject that I have been working with for 10+ years… I’ll likely be compared to, or told that I’m copying the ideas from the new hit game made by men (I apologize...

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RUNONCE (remember_me): A new existential project about loss and friendship… and some artist commentary about it.

RUNONCE (remember_me) is an existential desktop pet that you can only run once, and then never again. You can download it here: https://alienmelon.itch.io/runonce What I think is interesting about this is that it presents you with a warning at the beginning explaining that running it will “break them” and if you do then the damage is permanent. I think this is an interesting commentary on death, and how we view death. Aside from the impending permanence of something we will all be, you’re very likely to say “OK! RUN IT!” and as you interact with it the friendship grows, and...

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Building Weird Games With Alternative Technologies Workshop

So… short summary of what this is… I was invited to give a lecture at UCLA, and then also invited to give a workshop at the UCLA Game Lab. The lecture can be found here. This is the transcript of my workshop. The description in the above image says it best… This workshop covers alternative technologies for making experimental games, as well as encouraging some mentalities when entering this area. It also includes some history about the web, browser and web politics… and the impact that this has had on the web. I make a strong point to encourage the...

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Heartfelt Messages: making personal games, design notes, and awareness of the cultural repercussions that this work is in…

I am publishing the written transcript of the lecture I gave at the UCLA Game Lab. The Game Lab is a wonderful place full of very talented people. It was lovely to visit it and share what I knew about things. Here is the video of my talk, in case you don’t want to read… Here is the transcript. The meat of the talk (the good part imo) is after I play the game, so you can skip those design notes for showing it. ~~~~~~~~~~ …Skipping the introduction about me, and jumping right in. – picture via the event’s facebook...

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my #deletegdc entry, its progress, and saving a memory of it here…

Final Update: The project is playable here: https://alienmelon.itch.io/runonce For reasons mentioned on the project’s page, and at the bottom of this dev post, I pulled out of DeleteGDC. For the sake of awareness, I encourage you to read it. —- I’m participating in Delete GDC! Yay? What I make will be shown there for one night, and then destroyed. ?DELETE GDC? A NIGHT MADE FOR GAMES/GAMES MADE FOR A NIGHTMAR 20 2019 @ Venue 550, SFhttps://t.co/KNXVv3jhpq New works by @radiatoryang @alienmelon @ra @kahodesu @smitleu @dogs_R_cool DJs TBA poster by https://t.co/jjgAgIxL51#deletegdc#GDC19 pic.twitter.com/CMvoasjXBn — BAR SK (@SK_BARSK) January 14, 2019 The idea...

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GDC Talk Transcript: Alternative Paths in Indie Dev

Lats year at GDC I participated in a micro-talk set about alternative paths to indie development and success. A friend of mine has a hard time watching videos because English wasn’t her first language, and has been bugging me to publish the transcript since I gave it. So I’m publishing it here in case others are interested in reading it instead of watching. My talk was basically about how money isn’t everything, and that the people you influence with your work are also a valuable way of measuring success. For example, how many lives it has changed, what type of...

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Comedy in Games (about designing them, some philosophy, and examples)

It’s been on my mind a lot lately to finally write about designing comedy games, or just humorous interactions for an interactive format. Comedy, and satire, was my first love when building things like this. There have always been a few things about it that fascinated me. Primarily for how easy it is to turn it into “bizarre” rather than a “comedy game”. It’s interesting how translating basic skits can easily become surreal instead of funny. I think the fact that something is made interactive makes whatever people experience much stronger than in passive mediums, so some work needs to...

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new release: A_DESKTOP_LOVE_STORY (design & technical notes)

I just published something new! It’s called A_DESKTOP_LOVE_STORY. You can download get it on itch.io: https://alienmelon.itch.io/lovestory A_DESKTOP_LOVE_STORY is a short love story told between two files. Due to system restrictions this is a forbidden love. As a system administrator, you are the only one that can help them. A_DESKTOP_LOVE_STORY is a very short cute little piece. You talk to the files, they give you things to pass to eachother, after a while they realize they like eachother, and you help them meet. This is also one of the most weirdly designed, and technically difficult things I built so far. I...

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Altgames Workshop: a discussion of surrealism and personal stories in games

I was invited to speak, and participate in a panel, at Image+Nation. It’s a LGBTQ film festival that takes place in Montreal. The event was organized by Tech Witches and held at Never Apart. I shared some pictures on my instagram if you want to get a sense of that space. It was wonderful to participate in something like this, with a total focus on queer culture. Queer culture makes me feel alive. I adore the art happening there. (tiny coming out psa: i’m Bi & my pronouns are they/them or she/her. tho i love they/them the most. thank u!)...

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ELECTRIC FILE MONITOR (out now! and some commentary about it)

ELECTRIC FILE MONITOR, my virus scanner, was just posted to itch and gamejolt. Here are the links: itch: https://alienmelon.itch.io/electric-file-monitor GJ: https://gamejolt.com/games/efm/371598 ELECTRIC FILE MONITOR is pitched to you as a state of the art virus scanner, and free preventative tool against all types of malware… but there’s a lot more to it. This is software as political commentary. I mean, they said to keep politics out of games. Nobody ever said anything about software. So this is OK. The program is a joke. It’s comedic, and the premise is antivirus software. I suggest maybe trying it before reading about it...

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My Full Indie Summit 2018 slides & talk transcript (Art Games & Speaking Your Truth)

I was invited to speak at the Full Indie Summit in Vancouver. It’s a truly wonderful event organized by wonderful people. My talk was titled “Art Games & Speaking Your Truth”, and I think it went well. People applauded afterward, some stood and applauded. Yay! After attending I left with the impression that the Vancouver indie scene is a special one. There’s so much beautiful work happening there. I was especially happy to hear Heart Projector mentioned to me so much. Overall this is a wonderful event, and if you ever can attend it’s totally worth it. So… It was...

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A “10 years of experimental work” retrospective: does being a gamer automatically mean toxic fandom, and can anything be done to break away from that?

I was asked recently if I wanted to give a talk. That prompted me to map out reactions to “Everything is going to be OK“, as compared to an older project of mine. I was curious about how much exactly changed in regards to both negative and positive reactions work like this receives. Does the negative outweigh the positive? My question was whether this can even improve, or is harassment just a fact of life? So… I tweet about this a lot, but thought it would be a good idea to assemble all that in one concise post, instead of...

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Cyberpet Graveyard (out now!)

My little treat-myself-project is done! I’m excited to share this with the world. You can download it from… GameJolt: https://gamejolt.com/games/graveyard/351892 Itch: https://alienmelon.itch.io/graveyard Cyberpet Graveyard features a little over 41 programs. That does not include html pages, or all the other things to find and look at and be amused by… Basically it’s a collection of strange, goofy, software that you discover by rummaging around in folders. The premise is a set of abandoned cyberpets. There aren’t THAT many of those, but what is charming about this is all the junk surrounding them. There are a lot of .html pages that...

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Virtual pets and digital toys…

I’ve been talking about this a bit on Twitter. I’m making a collection of virtual pets. The project is called “Cyberpet Graveyard”. This is under development and will be released eventually. The premise is that sometime during the early 00’s there was a critical malfunction at the cyberpet factory. The meltdown led to the miss-creation of several unlikeable and unwanted cyberpets. Nobody knew what to do with them, and they never made it past quality assurance. Therefore the CD project was canceled. They were eventually banned, and buried, never to be seen or heard from again. Thanks to the efforts...

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