Castles Made of Castles was commissioned by, and first playable at, the Now Play This festival in London. Game events offering commissions or exhibitor fees are rare, so I’m really grateful for the opportunity. Since the festival it’s been waiting around for me to tie up a few loose ends, and now that Push Me Pull You is finished, I’ve found the focus to give it a proper release.
Castles mixes fractals and voxels. Like most of my work on this site, the idea came from some pencil and paper fractal castles I had drawn. Originally I envisioned something like a 3d version of my fractal machine; a bunch of sliders that controlled tower spacing, height or whatever. Once I started working on the algorithm I realized I just need a quick way to place blocks, and decided a minecraft/infiniminer style interface would be better.
Making another ‘sciencevsmagic.net’ project after so long was lots of fun. The work on this site is quite consistent, with very similar constraints, and I let that guide my design. It felt very natural to fill Castles out with click and drag, infinite zoom, undo/redo, random colors, and storing all the data in the URL.
If you make a nice castle, please post it in the comments.
Hi sciencevsmagic.net, sorry I haven’t updated my website for three years. I was making a videogame.
After you last heard from me, back in 2013, I got together with three friends and we decided to make a small videogame. We didn’t expect much. Mainly it sounded like a good excuse to hang out a bunch.
We had no formal experience in game development, or connections in the industry, but we had all been playing local-multiplayer games together and wanted to try making one for ourselves. After making Let’s Play: Ancient Greek Geometry I figured I probably knew *just* enough about programming that I could get a real time game to run.
Our idea was to make a 2v2 sports game in the vein of Ramiro Corbetta’s Hokra, but to really force the cooperative aspects by joining teammates up with a Noby Noby Boy style body. We called it Push Me Pull You.
Push Me Pull You, about one week in.
On New Years Eve 2013, after working on the game for a month, we showed it to some friends of ours and the reaction was really positive. So we made a website for the game and put some gifs up, hoping that someone would see it. People did, and off the back of those gifs the game was offered a spot at That Wild Rumpus and Venus Patrol Party at GDC 2014. Suddenly, without us quite understanding how, lots of people in the videogame industry knew about our tiny, silly sports game.
Looking back, it’s hard to tell how we went from summer project to playstation game but our biggest milestones were always these types of parties. For the first half of development we weren’t sure what the finished version of Push Me Pull You needed to be, but we always knew what we wanted to have in the game before the next big event.
Doing events told us that, given the right setting, the game could be really fun, but we could see that it was going to take a lot more to make the version of the game that worked in people’s homes. Our early showings relied a lot on having someone standing by making sure things went smoothly.
So when the opportunity arose to release our game on playstation, we decided we would take the plunge, make the version of the game that ran smoothly (almost) every time, and learn whatever we had to to make Push Me Pull You a full commercial release.
This last part took about two years, and relied on the help of lots of generous and talented people (especially the team at LoG and Dan Golding).
A few weeks ago we released the game for computers (our final release) so the project is pretty much finished now. Our company, House House, will be making a new game together soon.In the meantime I’ve got a bit of a backlog of things I want to do with sciencevsmagic.net, and am hoping to get a few of those out to you really soon.