If you crossed Sailor Moon with 1995 cult-classic Hackers with video games, you might very well get something like Beglitched. The upcoming puzzle game, in development by Hexecutable (Alec Thomson and Jenny Jiao Hsia), puts a unique magical-girl spin on the visual language of old operating systems and chat applications. Beglitched calls to mind bits and pieces of hacking games like Activision’s Hacker, Quadrilateral Cowboy, and especially—dare I say it?—the Mega Man Battle Network series, as well as pixelly puzzlers like Zoo Keeper.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Jenny about her work on Beglitched and her artistic practice.
When I first got into games, I attended a lot of game jams and worked on small projects in my free time. Honestly, I feel so fortunate to end up where I am today, and I think the thing helped me a lot was having some doors close in my life, so that other opportunities could open up.
You can read the interview in full here.
Additionally, it was announced last week that Beglitched is among the Arcade Spotlight games for this year’s Fantastic Arcade, an annual indie and experimental games festival that I help out with a bit here in my hometown of Austin, Texas. So those of you in the area: be sure to catch Beglitched! And keep up with updates on Beglitched at beglitched.net.
For the past year or so, I’ve been working toward making my NES assembly source code more beautiful and navigable. Here’s a screenshot of code from a current work-in-progress NES homebrew game.
Back in 2012, visual artist and app developer m7kenji (Kenji Kishi) took a moment to speak with FEMICOM Museum about inspiration, process, and playing through The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening as a kid. As it just so happens, the young artist from Tokyo has been busy since then, releasing a flurry of animation work, apps, and even some glitched-out apparel.
For example, in 2013, m7kenji lent his talents to this wonderfully cute short for Japan’s Space Shower TV. The 30-second bumper no doubt served as a major inspiration for Pharrell Williams’s It Girl music video, created by some of the same crew (including m7kenji) and produced by Takashi Murakami.
Recently, m7kenji brought the pixel cuteness to PixelTweet, a free iOS/Android app published by Handsum. In PixelTweet, the user can touch, drag, and drop itty-bitty solid and shaded squares to create simple pixel art. Once a masterpiece is complete, it’s easily shared from within the app via twitter.
m7kenji applies a “simplicity is best” mentality to this app, as demonstrated in its coyly humorous description: “There is no color. There is no palette. There are no layers. There is no selection tool. There is no copy, cut, or paste. There is no rotation tool. There is no eraser. There is no undo or redo. We’ve made the app as streamlined as possible so that you can focus on your artwork rather than on the tool.” (Note: Translated from Japanese.)
If you want to see just how creative folks are getting with PixelTweet, check the #pixelTweet hashtag on twitter to see users’ latest creations. And of course, be sure to follow m7kenji to see what his next creation might be!