Cool Stuff I Made in 2017

Whew, got through another year. Time to take a breath and look back. Here’s some cool things I made in 2017.


Well, I tried.

Gigastomp (Unfinished)


This is a game I started making for the 2017 Seven-Day Roguelike Challenge. I didn’t really get it polished to the point where I was happy calling it a success but it’s technically playable. I still need to add more features, fix a lot of bugs, and add a whole lot of polish. But there’s also parts of the underlying code I want to rewrite completely so who knows when I’ll come back to this.

Shepherds of Io (Unfinished)

Shepherds of Io

I started on this for the 2017 js13kgames contest, and this one got nowhere near playable. On the plus side it looks cool and is way under 13kb in its current state.

Dragon Tax Return Simulator 2015 Auditor’s Cut Update

Dragon Tax Return Simulator 2015

I finally added some small things I’d been meaning to add. Specifically a little claw cursor and a better endgame summary. This is the definitive version of Dragon Tax Return Simulator 2015.

Other Stuff

And here’s some non game stuff I made.

Divining Dust

Divining Dust

This little demo was my entry for the 2017 JS1k competition. Theme: Magic. I didn’t make the top ten but I got an honorable mention.

(Some cool source code here)[].

Pure CSS Dungeon Doodler

Dungeon Doodler

One day I messed around and made a little tool/toy for sketching out little RPG dungeon maps that runs entirely off of CSS checkbox hacks. It has some display inconsistencies between different computers/browsers/etc and map symbols are limited to what exists in unicode. Because it was built in such a dumb way it’s impractical to add more features, but still pretty neat I think.

ASCIIBot Advent 2017

ASCIIBot Advent Calendar 2017

Last but not least, I once again made a new ASCIIBot Advent Calendar

Plans for 2018

  • Make new things.
  • Finish old things.
  • Update this blog more?
  • Don’t stress too much about all of the above.

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 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!