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Happy 20th birthday Escape!! (31 Aug 2016 at 23:39)
Wow, it's really been 20 years since I first uploaded my puzzle game Escape to AOL in August 1996. I was only 16 then! The original was written in QuickBASIC and assembly for DOS.

Being old is not that impressive; it happens by itself. When we celebrated its 10th birthday in post #874, I was actively working on the modern version of the game, which eventually got to a pretty good state. I didn't touch it much over the last ~7 years (full time job, adulting, etc.), but there is still a pretty good community of puzzlers putting together some brilliant stuff. Despite my attempts to make it timeless, the app recently stopped working on new versions of OS X, and the code was getting a bit intractable. But I found some time this month to get it back into shape, and uploaded new versions for 64-bit macOS and Windows to the escape home page. I can now compile it with all free tools, so it's easier for me to develop, and I've been doing some painful but basically relaxing modernization of the source code too. Anyone who has poked at it will be happy to know the famously atrocious move.h is now gone. I've got some more cleanup to do and then some bugs to fix, but after that I can make some more substantive user-facing features. I don't plan to change the core game really at all, but I at least want to make it easier to navigate the thousands of levels for both new players and experts alike. Suggestions are welcome!

As I was thinking of making an image to celebrate, I found myself trying to draw a cake in the Escape level editor, and it coming out so badly, and then vaguely remembering that I tried and failed at the exact same gag 10 years ago! Instead this mechanically reproduced meta-hugbot:

Hugbot just wants to love you into the lasers
Hugbot just wants to love you into the lasers


Since the previous feedback thread is rather bursting at the seams, it's also time to designate this as the new feedback thread.
Categories:  video games  escape (30 comments — almost 2 months ago)   [ comment ]
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Escape Cod - Ludum Dare #21 (26 Aug 2011 at 08:49)
Last weekend I did another installment of the 48-hour solo video game programming competition Ludum Dare. They announce the theme on Friday night and then we draw and sing and program all weekend to try to put together a game. This time the theme was Escape, which was a weird theme for me because I've been working on a game just called Escape for like 13 years. The game I made last weekend is called Escape Cod and it's kinda like recursive fish pinball:

Escape Cod

The game's best understood by playing. The basic idea came from Ryan. Thanks Ryan. Initially there was going to be more pinball stuff to do inside the fish, but I knew that the transitions and animations were going to be tricky, so I did most of that first. By the time it got to mid-sunday, I was burned out on implementing physics and I had come to actually like playing the game in its current form, so I just kept doing polish. As usual, when the weekend ended I felt kind of down on the finished product (because of all the things I knew were wrong or wished I could do), but after seeing a few people play and the feedback on the entry, I'm pretty happy with it now. Escape Cod for yourself.

Do you recognize the Cape Cod scene illustrated? I had this canonical image in my mind that I thought was from a postcard or t-shirt that we had around the house growing up. I wanted to get it right so I searched around for image. Turns out I was imagining the bag of potato chips! The title screen is a tribute.

I recorded screenshots from my computer every 15 seconds as well as webcam shots of me touching my face a lot. It's stalkertastic.

I've now entered this a few times. Only Disco? Very! placed in the top 20 overall, but I have done well in the audio category several times. Priority Cats was #2, for example. Since all I care about is winning (winky-wink) I spent a bunch of time on the music for this game too, which you can get in a separate soundtrack.zip. Or make it like an interactive music video by listening while playing the game.
Categories:  t7es  mp3  drawings  tom 7 music  video games  escape (8 comments — almost 4 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Updated: Escape 200912250 (15 Jan 2010 at 22:00)
Escape is a block-pushing puzzle game I've been working on (in various forms) for over ten years now. Over Christmas break I quietly built a new version, the first in a few years. It wraps together a bunch of minor changes that I had made since the last release and switches some of the development tools, which means it's easier for me to now make new releases. Nobody cares about that kinda stuff, but I did also finally draw and add animations for teleporting (both the player and Dalek):

Escape guy teleport animation


The game upgrades itself, or you can download a fresh install if you don't have it and want to try. I got one report that someone had trouble upgrading, so you might want to save a copy of your game files before doing it (on Windows, just make a copy of the game's installation directory, on Mac, just make a copy of the Escape application icon, which is just the game folder). It works smoothly for me. If anyone has trouble, please post here with as much information as you can, so that we can fix it. Sorry, no linux binary for the new release, for now.

Despite no releases for a while, there's been a steady stream of activity in the Escape community. There are almost 3,000 levels built by dozens of different people, many with clever speedruns or creative subversive solutions. Some are just fantastic. Thanks everyone for their contributions!
Categories:  video games  escape (475 comments — a year ago)   [ comment ]
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New! Escape 200704130 (13 Apr 2007 at 12:01)
I made a new version of my puzzle game Escape today which incorporates a lot of changes I've worked on over the last 5 months or so. The OS X version (coming in a few hours) is now a Universal Binary. There's one new tile: the "remote", which I believe will prove to be very powerful. Since the old feedback thread is monstrously long, this post will serve as the new one.
Categories:  video games  escape (478 comments — almost 4 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Happy birthday Escape! (20 Oct 2006 at 20:53)
Ten years ago in August 1996 I released the (final) "1.0" version of my DOS game Escape. As radar regulars know, I've been working on a modernization of the game for several years now. As a sort of late birthday present I posted the DOS version on the Escape page (I think it wasn't available anywhere since the old AOL page is not working). If you like clunky old QuickBasic programs, PC-speaker sound effects, and low-res graphics, it is now enshrined there forever. Take a look at the screenshots:

The title screen let you choose between 5 different characters to play with, like the "knight", the "office guy", the "redhead lady", "pac man" and "hoodie guy". There were about 100 levels made by me, my family and friends, and a few by students in a class I taught at Eli Whitney Museum about programming. In retrospect most of the levels were pretty crummy; I've learned since then that there are a lot of incredibly smart puzzle makers out there.
Categories:  video games  escape (4 comments — almost 11 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Pictures from Brian and Sarah's Wedding (01 Nov 2005 at 18:33)
Pictures from Brian and Sarah's Wedding
I uploaded the good pictures from Brian and Sarah's wedding (see this post). You can see them here: Wedding '05

The picture above is from my first screen-printing experiment, kept secret because the object of the experiment was to create these matching 'his' and 'hers' shirts for part of my wedding gift for Brian and Sarah. These are characters from my game Escape, which Brian and Sarah have been known to play. I wanted to make them something personal, you know? As you can see, I am not a very good screen printer, but it was my first time... Thanks to Jason for showing me the ropes and loaning me some ink!

Gigantic photo directories in queue: 1
Categories:  video games  escape  drawings (10 comments)   [ comment ]
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UPD: Escape Beta 3 (12 Oct 2005 at 19:33)
By popular request, I have added bombs to Escape. These are pretty cool, but you might as well play the tutorial in order to see how they work. Since I also added a bunch of new features (like bookmarks) and did some graphical cleanup, I'm calling this a "beta 3". There's been a recent slowdown in Escape activity since everyone is going back to school (etc.), so I'm hoping that this will help pick things up.

Also, since the old feedback thread has gotten way too long, I've started this post as the new one.

Enjoy!
Categories:  popular  video games  escape (497 comments — 5 years ago)   [ comment ]
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UPD: Welcome to the Machine (11 Mar 2005 at 18:09)
I released a new version of Escape, which features three kinds of robots. Robots are like other (cybernetic) players that can help or hurt you as you try to solve the levels. Loads of clever possibilities are open to level composers now, so try it out!
Categories:  video games  escape (1 comment)   [ comment ]
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Spring Break! (07 Mar 2005 at 21:23)
Spring Break!
Based on this image, I decided not to go to hockey tonight, even though it not raining right this instant. This storm has been encircling us ominously all day, and the hockey instructors have a bad habit of cancelling only after we've taken the trouble to actually drive out there. Let's hope I'm right!

After a small type-theoretic victory last week, I'm back to proving theorems in Twelf. This should be easier now that my "theorems" are not known to be false. I still want to be writing a proposal by the end of the semester, since everyone around me seems to be doing that, or at least graduating.

I am still addicted to hacking on escape. Rather than fixing certain obvious deficiencies (sound, solution sharing, editor cut-and-paste), I have been making large changes to the gameplay by adding in robots of various sorts. I think robots will compound the fun factor polynomially, he said, which, to his delignt, causes cringes in those who hate idea that mathematics and fun could possibly be associated, deliberate and delightful in the same way as doing type theory in a bar.
Categories:  video games  escape (18 comments)   [ comment ]
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NEW: Escape Beta 2! (21 Feb 2005 at 13:04)
I'm happy to announce Escape Beta 2, which adds animation to the game. This was several months in the making! There has been a lot of great activity and new levels recently, so things are looking good...

Plans for the next release: Sound effects, and a few new simple tiles.
Categories:  video games  escape (292 comments — 8 months ago)   [ comment ]
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