It’s done! The demo is out!

After 9 months, I’ve finally completed the first demo of Open Pixel Puzzles! 9 months is a long time, but the result is really nice and polished. It’s lacking in content, but that’s something I plan to fix over time.

You can check out the updated project page for it here, or grab it directly from Itch:

About Licensing…

As with my previous projects, Open Pixel Puzzles is 100% Libre. Everything, even sounds and music, are available under open licenses. One thing I’ll say is–I’m not convinced it was worth the hassle. Open-sourcing the code and assets I made is easy, and really kind of a no-brainer. However, restricting the assets to like this made finding audio an enormous pain. There’s tons of great sounds and music available for free, but the vast majority of them have license restrictions that disqualify them and can’t be used.

Worse, some free asset sites routinely list items under the wrong licenses. After checking against author pages and ID3 tags on music, I often found that supposedly CC-BY music was CC-BY-NC and so on… For my next project, I’ll probably stick to just keeping my code and home-made assets free. This keeps the main upsides of Free Software & Free Culture philosophy without sacrificing a lot of good assets in the process.

What’s New?

Despite claiming that I was just about done back in December (minus a couple audio assets), I found a few more things to add during the downtime.

For starters, I redrew the logo:

The fact that the full title and logo didn’t match was really bothering me, and I took the time to update it accordingly. I don’t think it looks great, but it’s acceptable. I also added a much-needed credits page with sources on all the 3rd-party assets I used. I don’t think it’s technically needed given the LICENSE file that comes with the game, but it felt right.

Lastly, I redid the way view scrolling works. It wasn’t apparent in the I’ve previously posted, but the view can be panned when you’re too zoomed in to see the full playing area. For the longest time it would just pan when your mouse went near the window’s edge, and that made grabbing pieces while zoomed-in a huge pain. Now you just middle-click and drag like you might in an art program. It feels much more natural!

What’s Next?

First of all, let me be clear–I’m not planning to continually push updates to this. The amount of time and effort involved per-puzzle is really high, and “more puzzles” is the #1 thing Open Pixel Puzzles needs today.

My current plan is to make puzzles when the mood strikes me, and try to time their release with some other development on the game. If I can do that, I should be able to push a few updates a year with more features and content. On the Itch page, I put a wishlist of stuff I plan to add someday:

These aren’t ordered in any particular fashion, but you can get the gist of what’s coming from there.

Oh, and one more thing. As a prize for reading to the end, here’s a sneak-peek at the next puzzle that I’ve sketched out:

For the time being, I’m planning to keep making scenes with this kid’s adventures in a wacky fantasy world. I think a lot of that might be fuelled by nostalgia… I remember a lot of stories that I ran into as a child that involved ordinary kids finding their way into magical fantasy worlds. That sort of story gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, and I want to capitalize on that a little. If I can make other people happy with my puzzles, I’m happy.

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