No posts / jelly no puzzle

March 06, 2013

I've had blogger's block — only five posts in 2012, none this year! I'm still making things, thinking about things, even sometimes talking about things, but none of them have been thought through enough to seem worth posting about. Then my friend Jeff started a blog and his very first post (it was an inspiring story, worth reading, go read it) was more widely distributed than anything I'd written and it made me remember why I do this.

So here's a minor restatement of purposes: (1) I write here so that someone like me might find what I wrote useful. (2) I write here to have a place to distribute information about things I've made. And most importantly, (3) I write here to make tenuous claims, to have someone argue with or refute me, and learn something by the process. If I'm not occasionally saying things that are wrong I'm not learning anything. There's nothing like trying to make a point concrete that helps you discover the full space of what you were trying to argue.

As an attempt to get the creative blood flowing again (in category (2) of the above), here's something small I made recently for you to look at. Jelly no puzzle in HTML5. It's a web-based clone of a small puzzle game, which I discovered via Jonathan Blow (creator of Braid, total brain crush on my part). The game itself is delightful; there's a point in it where there's a note from the creator about how they were trying to make as simple as possible a game that maximizes the "aha!" feeling, which I think it achieves well. There are many more levels in the real game but I didn't want to rip off all the original author's hard work; it turns out the Windows-only game runs perfectly under Wine if you're so inclined.

As far as technology goes, there's nothing too special in this implementation (static web pages, CoffeeScript), though the algorithms for block joining and group sliding ended up being kinda fun. I will note that one of the developers of the new Chromebook Pixel sent me a patch to make it so you can drag the jellies with your finger if you have such a machine. But mostly, this is just a thing that I made, and making things is fun.