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Monday, June 17, 2013 - 16:09

Let me mention the XPM format (

Also, if povray source code qualifies, does source code for programming-language-of-choice qualify as well (if the generated program outputs art)?

Monday, May 6, 2013 - 14:45

Very enjoyable, very addictive.

Minor comment: The way the Mimics respawn feels a bit odd. In particular it allows for an exploit as follows: Go to a Mimic, kill it, step back, step forth, kill it again, and so on until it is time to refill MP. Works well to milk XP^Wgold. Is that intended? Otherwise I suggest to defer the respawn until the map is reentered.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 16:16

Unusual, outdated, ...

The PC on (and for) which I wrote my LPC game does not have 3D acceleration. Anything using OpenGL is prohibitively slow. Which I don't much mind, because I don't like most 3D stuff anyway. (Notable exception: kiki the nano bot. And that game isn't slow.)

I don't like looking at magenta colour keyed art either. But in recent versions of my LPC game I replaced the former alpha blitting by colour-key blitting for speed reasons. (The conversion is done at run-time, because, A I want to be ready to switch colour keys if the current one happens to be used in some art, and B I really don't like looking at magenta colour keyed art.)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 16:02

Layout by neighbourhood bitfield order is certainly neat for having concise engine code. But it has issues:

- One wants to have variations of tiles to break monotonicity. But the number of variations is not spread uniformly over the neighbourhood configurations. For example the pattern recommended for the LPC had two variations of "singular", four variations of "middle" and no further variations.

- In fact, in general the field does not consist of bits, because along "yes" and "no" there is "don't care". That's why the templates linked by cemkalyoncu have 47 tiles, a prime number. (He states 48, because he includes "empty". I would prefer to defer that one to the tilesheet pertaining to the outer terrain type.) In those templates, the typical source of "don't care" is that diagonal neighbourhood, e.g. in direction north-east, is only relevant when neighboorhood holds in directions north and east. Sure, you could eliminate "don't care" by placing copies of tiles. But that is needlessly wasteful, in the example you have a blowup factor of over 5. And it would allow variations for the wrong tiles: each "bend" would get 16 variations while "middle" gets none.

Different projects have different needs of multiplicities of variations; that alone defeats a universal standard.

I will happily admit that optimizing my template for seams, symmetry and memorizability was done purely for the fun of it, with no regards for my fellow programmers. Meanwhile cemkalyoncu pointed out that seamlessness actually helps the artist. And I believe the other optimizations help in coding the bitfield-to-tile mapping (which inevitably is a manual task).

By the way, in the project Cuyo we put some thought into our templates (partly because we hoped to achieve universal templates...). In particular, the 4x4 template which ignores diagonals (by Immanuel Halupczok) is good for both the artist and the coder (it is used for example in If you are still looking into templates, you might want to browse There are even templates for isometric map layout.

Another lesson from that project is subdividing tiles into quarters to achieve a smaller template. For example, the 64 (or 47) actual tiles in my above template use only 5 variations per quarter, so a template with 5 tiles could have sufficed. (For a non-seamless such template see my recent Slime submission.)

Saturday, April 20, 2013 - 02:58

It was around 200 lines of OCaml.

Before adding symmetry constraints, the program ran for some hours, outputting 268372 solutions before I stopped it. And it still had not even changed the first 8 choices it made...

Anyway, in the meantime I noticed a blunder: The submitted pattern is not, as I claimed, optimally symmetric. It was only optimal within a certain set of additional constraints. I will submit an alternative once I know what the real optimum is. Currently, I am at 7 violations of symmetry (in contrast to the (edit:) 12 from what I submitted).

Friday, April 19, 2013 - 17:19

The bug is still present.

Please, don't underestimate the bug's severity: It implies that one cannot expect "or later" information on OGA submissions to be valid.

Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 14:45

searching for "chinese" on gives these true type fonts:
ttf-arphic-bkai00mp (2.10-8)
"AR PL KaitiM Big5" Chinese TrueType font by Arphic Technology
ttf-arphic-bsmi00lp (2.10-8)
"AR PL Mingti2L Big5" Chinese TrueType font by Arphic Technology
ttf-arphic-gbsn00lp (2.11-9)
"AR PL SungtiL GB" Chinese TrueType font by Arphic Technology
ttf-arphic-gkai00mp (2.11-8)
"AR PL KaitiM GB" Chinese TrueType font by Arphic Technology
ttf-arphic-ukai (0.2.20080216.1-1)
"AR PL UKai" Chinese Unicode TrueType font collection Kaiti style
ttf-arphic-uming (0.2.20080216.1-3)
"AR PL UMing" Chinese Unicode TrueType font collection Mingti style

Some time ago, I ran through the long package descriptions of all fonts in Debian. I seem to recall that there were even more mentions of chinese or kanji.

Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 15:25

My idea was prompted by your first post. Of course, i did not know what your interpretation of "something related to the mind" would be, but maybe I should have anticipated that it might be something very similar.

Then, I realized that I had this Go set lying around all the time, that it fits the purpose of OGA perfectly, and that I should have submitted it long ago. So my entry was much quicker that yours could have been, as you created something new. Even if you really don't mind, there are two more reasons that I should not have made this a challenge entry: It was no new work (only a new submission). And it was not made by me.

Because, yeah right, there is no limit to how serious we should be about a challenge like this.

Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 15:43

@Sharm: Sorry, I did not mean to steal your idea.

@everybody: Consider my entry withdrawn. Don't vote for it (as if anyone would have).

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 16:39

Thanks for taking the issue seriously.

To dissolve all doubts, would it be possible for you to license the LPC style guide permissively, say under CC0? That would take care of all concerns (not just about colours) of the kind "I made this art so it matches the LPC style, now is it a derived work?".