One pixel games are a little pet experiment of mine in which I try to find “gameness” or ludicity in minimal systems, namely “pixels” – squares whose only function is to display color. You can check out other instances of these pixels here.

I was in the process of seeing through the release of the first commercial game I’ve worked on, kinda kept me away from the blog.

Anyways, I’ve continued working on one-pixel games in the meantime. I was planning to extend the color-displaying capacities at first, but decided to give my pixel the ability to recognize each keyboard key separately. This was previously not the case, as every key counted as a “press”.

The implications of this change is that the possible states of the input device can’t be naturally mapped to all the states the pixel can display. Prototypes derived from this situation should take advantage of this fact.

Alphabetical proximity

You must find the right letter. By the way, do you know your abc?

Click here to show/hide the prototype

Hinted alphabetical proximity

The same goal as above, I’ve just changed the way proximity is shown.

Click here to show/hide the prototype

Since the number of possible input configurations has exploded compared to the number of states the pixel can display, it becomes difficult to find the proper input if not explicitly prompted. This was leveraged for these two prototypes, where the proper input is randomly chosen between the alphabet letters at every new cycle. Theoretically, you would have 1/26 chances of finding the good input, averaging to 13 tries per cycle  if you are methodical.

That’s not fun. Believe me, I’ve tried.

In order to make the system more fun, I implemented a hint system that warns you when you hit a letter close to the one randomly chosen. I believe that this mechanism reduces the feeling of  being just trying to “brute force” the search and try to be a little more strategic, this being what might elicit the ludicity of the given system.

Do, or do not. There is no try.