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I'm a NY-born Oakland resident who programs for game companies to survive. I teach Scratch to kids at our town's video game museum.

In my free time I used a lot, then , and now a lot of modern . I port things as a way to preserve ideas. I have a loving wife and 2 cats.


, uuuuh,

We saved some space tonight by jettisoning any sort of support for font rendering. There's basically one recognizable word written anywhere in-game, and that's the title, and it's a 4K SVG.

The splash and credits screens are just our logos fading in and out. Anyone we wish to thank gets a mention in the contributors file. This game is officially localized for every culture on the planet. Take that, Noto Sans.

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The audio and visual resources of the game occupy nearly the same amount of space. Those are the images on the right, the ambience on the left, the music in the middle. 36MB, 21MB and 20MB.

What you can barely see in the bottom middle are the sound effects— only 109 KB in total— and on the far right, the data file and executable file, 17 KB and 66 KB respectively. Somewhere in that unseen sliver are also the interface files, SVG formatted and rarely over 1KB each.

But when I dare to imagine a game like this, made for modern platforms and a modern audience, it's made of the bits and pieces of Merveilles's creative output. It is just too close a match, in my opinion, to the things we resonate with for me to imagine anyone else pulling it off.

Anyway, just thought I'd share. 😊

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The thing is, the author has made his concerns about ports clear: he would require close involvement, and can't commit his time to that sort of project.

My gut reaction is, tough, I'll port it anyway. But I hesitate in a way that implies it goes against some unspoken principle.

I could wait till the man's dead. Or I could do what the creators of "System's Synergy" did, and make a sort of followup game in a similar style, which I'm actually not great at.

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System's Twilight is now free, and playable (without its fun sounds) on the Internet Archive.

...which is fortunate, but still a bit of a shame. You know me, I want to bring this back.

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System's Twilight has a moral, like lots of folk tales. I think its message is, the systems we build to bring order to the world are in fact here for us, to empower us and enrich our lives, and when they fall short— or worse, when they become entrenched and we mistake them for axiomatic things we can't question— the job of diagnosing them, shutting them down and fixing them rests on our shoulders, not theirs.

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Like a greenhouse-gas-induced sunset, there is something beautiful about seeing history filtered through the perspective of a culture in decline, looking back at its glory and points of failure.

I think most of Merveilles kinda gets that.

A hundred years from now, people might tell tales of a far off place and time where general purpose computing was common, and the Internet was a bubbling cauldron of cultural catalysis, and soldering irons and phillips head screwdrivers weren't yet banned.

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It's cool that the characters are represented by icons; it's cool that the story is about a bunch of, well, not programs per se, but entities, trying to repair their home, without veering into Tron/Reboot territory. It's cool that the characters have personalities that embody their function in their world and story.

But the coolest part is the framing.

Rather than just romanticizing computers— again, a domain extensively mapped by Tron— System's Twilight romanticizes folklore and decadence.

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System's Twilight is a plot-driven puzzle anthology for the classic Mac (somewhat in the style of Cliff Johnson's Fool's Errand), old enough to have had a black-and-white version and a colorized version.

Its premise is basically Tron folklore.

The setting is literally the inside of a computer system that's seen better days, hence "System's Twilight". The player character and the NPCs are icons that inhabit and maintain its components. Different components present different puzzles.

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So I'm relaxing after a relatively tedious evening of cooking something before its expiration date, and I see @helveticablanc 's latest art piece, and a puzzle piece clicks in my slightly buzzed brain. 🧠

Has anyone here in Merveilles heard of or played System's Twilight by Andrew Plotkin?

Probably a handful, but I'm going to take a deep dive into this game, because I think its core concept intersects a lot of our foci and creative endeavors in this community.

I hope I can do it justice.

I should've mentioned, this was from 1920s Berlin, and was embossed on all their shit. Pocket one of these bad boys and you'll be able to add and subtract your way through any power outage, Luddite meetup or phone cleanse

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Behold the logo of the original Addiators— flat, pocket-sized, mechanical devices made from sheet metal that let you add and subtract numbers, by sliding digits up and down with a stylus.

There, that's what I'm talkin' about.

You better believe I'm keeping the indicator lights on the sides. How else would I play Geo?

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I think I've stumbled on my ideal desktop computer setup.

One of the most labor-intensive parts of the Flash project a decade ago is accomplished in the web stack with a few hours of HTML+CSS, MDN and stack overflow: an accessible, resolution-independent GUI.

But ironically, assigning a solid color to the SVG icons was easier in Flash back then than it is in HTML+CSS now.

rezmason boosted

released a little racing game with team minit today! $3, all proceeds will go to charity, forever. first up is doctors without borders.

made over the course of a month, i did art + animation

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Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.