JS1k 2017 and Dwitter

I made a demo this year for the 2017 JS1k Competition. It’s a contest where you try to make something cool in JavaScript in 1 kilobyte or less. The theme this year was “Magic”.

I’d been thinking about dithering a lot at the time so I wanted to work with that somehow. But with only 1k to work with, where to fit an image to dither? The answer of course was emoji. It did use up a few of my bytes to draw an emoji to a canvas and grab it as imagedata but it was worth it.

The end result is an effect that displays a dithered emoji, converts the pixels into particles and animates those pixels to form another emoji. You can see it here. It didn’t make the top ten but it got an honorable mention. Not bad!


Trying to fit things into under 1k was a challenge but it was a lot of fun learning all sorts of dumb tricks to make code shorter that should never go anywhere near production code. While I love writing clean readable code, there’s something almost meditative about writing small unreadable code. Once you learn enough tricks, finding that one spot where you can change something to save just two more bytes feels like solving part of a puzzle, like doing a sudoku or a picross.

Anyway, after I made that, I learned about a site called Dwitter. It’s a site for making little 140 character JavaScript 2d canvas demos. There’s some great stuff there.

So of course I played around with that too. There’s a real difference between writing something in 1k and 140 characters, but in the end it just forces you to focus more on a single interesting effect or algorithm. Here’s a few things I made with it.

Dweet Screenshot

A maze using a binary tree maze algorithm.

Dweet Screenshot

A fractal tree.

Dweet Screenshot

Some sort of plasma thing.

If you want to try this sort of thing yourself, here’s a good list of tricks to get started with.

2017 7DRL Challenge Failed

A few weeks ago I attempted the 2017 7DRL Challenge. I worked on a kaiju roguelike called Gigastomp. Inspired by the feel of classic Godzilla films I had some big plans.

To be fair to myself, I did finish off the week with something that can be technically called a game. You can win, you can lose, you can breathe energy beams, etc. But the end product feels unfinished, unbalanced, an unfun. It’s a nice tech demo and if this was my first year doing the challenge I might even count it as a success. But it’s just so far from where I want it to be.

I think what went wrong was I spent too much time debugging the game engine. First, I was experimenting with making multi-tile actors. I want these monsters to be big! But there was more to account for there than I expected. Experiments with animations and events that caused chain reactions of more animations also took a lot of time to debug. I think the takeaway for next year is to spend less time experimenting with technology so I have more time to experiment with gameplay.

Anyway, it’s not so fun yet but I’m going to continue to improve it. You can try it anyway if you want. At least it looks cool.

Gigastomp Screenshot

7DRL Challenge 2017

I’m doing the 7DRL Challenge again this year. The game is going to be kaiju themed. I’ve actually done a lot of planning for this one. Still undecided on a lot of things but I’m sure it will shape up during the week. Starting now, 10:30 PM EST on Sun, March 5th.

ASCIIbotics Labs

I’ve drawn a lot of ASCII art robots over the years. Now you can see them all in one place. I’ve made asciibotics.org into a browsable gallery of all my ASCII art robots and ASCII art robot projects. You can also follow ASCIIbot updates on Twitter @asciibotics. Enjoy!

Cool Stuff I Made in 2016

Collage of cool stuff I made in 2016

2016 wasn’t all bad. I made some cool stuff at least.


So, I fell short of my goal of making five games this year. But I did make three! I think they’re pretty neat.

Bisby’s Escape

I’ve been calling this one a turn-based digdug-like. I made it for this year’s 7-day roguelike challenge. It’s really hard! For me at least. I’m actually not even sure it’s always winnable but I’m not good enough to tell.

Bisby's Escape Screenshot

You can play it here.


This is a simulated virtual pet where you can glitch out the game by feeding the pet weird food. I made it for this year’s js13kGames competition.

yoctoPets Screenshot

You can play it here.


This is an automatic runner where you have two different jump buttons. I really just wanted to make a character creator and then I added the game after, but I think the game part is pretty fun too. I made this one for GBJAM 5.

Runjumpers Screenshot

You can play it here.

Other Stuff

I made some things that aren’t games too.

ASCIIbot Advent Calendar 2016

Another year, another collection of ASCII robots.

Screenshot of 2016 Asciibot Advent Calendar

Check it out in its full 7-bit glory here.

Hey, look at this

I made a poor-man’s-Storify tool called ‘Hey, look at this.’.

Paste a few links like this:

Screenshot of 'Hey, look at this' app

And get a link that shows the embeds like this:


You can try it here.

NanoKONTROL2 fractal tree controls

I put together a thing where you can play with fractal trees with the Korg nanoKONTROL2.

Plans for 2017

You can call them resolutions if you want.

Runjumpers Update with Background Music

I have two tunes done, but I still need to make a song for the actual gameplay part. Here’s the music for character creation:

Unnamed Print Shop Clone

I’m working on a Print Shop-like greeting card creation web app. I still haven’t even named it yet but you edit a card like this:

Making a new years card

And it prints out a quad fold card page like this:

Print Preview of new years card


I have an unfinished game where you control a hyperdimensional mini-golf windmill that I need to polish up and finish.

Screenshot of Hypermolen

More game jams

I plan to do at least the 7-day roguelike challenge again assuming real life doesn’t interfere with that week. Would like do some other game jams too. I’m going to try to keep on top of things this year so I can work them into my schedule instead of being caught by surprise.

Hardware hacking

I’d like to mess around with hardware a bit more this year. Want to do at least one or two of these:

Until next year…