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I’ve never did an update for Wormhol, and were asked to open-source it.

So there it is, along with other stuff:

The license is very liberal.


Here come more snakes

Yesterday we released Crajsh, a new time-waster from Mars. It was entered to the Mozilla® Game On competition.

It looks like that

A 3 player game.

The music was done by kaneel. I can’t thank him enough because he is easy-going and pleasant to work with. I heard he would be interested in more indie game collaboration.

The logo was done by Graindolium. It’s not his best work pixel-wise but he his on his own projects and I think this will turn out interesting.

This blog post is intended to focus about the game and not the technicalities. That will come later. I know it feels like we released a smaller, easier game that Wormhol was, but in reality it was quite a lot of work to optimize so that it runs smoothly in browsers. The game works in current browsers: Firefox 3.6+, Chrome 8+, Opera 10+, Safari, IE 9 beta.

Note that the development isn’t finished and feedback will be listened.


CRASH from Digital Nightmare Games is the original inspiration. It’s an old DOS shareware I used to play with my sisters years ago. I don’t know what the original author is doing nowadays. I wanted to play it again in mid-2010 but it now requires emulation to work. Most of the good ideas come from this game and this is a way to pay respects to the authors.

I think what this game really got right was how limited the available information was to the player. You would pretty much don’t know where you are, where to go, how to reach ennemies… so you would try to make it through from restricted “tunnels” to small areas. This was pretty addictive. Fighting with AI players and trapping them was a lot of fun too, but on their own they would not survive long enough to make courageous strategies valuable. The AI wasn’t really mean enough.

So I tried to improve the AI and so far I’d say it feels like the computer is trying hard to kill you. This is fortunate because I’ve never programmed it this way. Seems like simple rules can do wonders when there is enough of them. At this moment the AI players do not survive as long as they might. Especially they don’t see the urge to shoot in a corridor setting.

A closed world

Like Vibrant and CRASH, you are enclosed in the game world with little time to breath. The map is wrapping: if you make it through a wall you will end up at the opposite point of the map.

There was a bug in the original CRASH about world boundaries. The map would wrap vertically. But if you did make it through the heavy East or West walls you would end up in the dangerous world of computer memory. The game would stop a bit after due to memory corruption. It was like discovering a forbidden area within the game.


Like Wormhol you can play Crajsh with 1 to 3 other players on the same computer. When the game end you get a world view of what happened.


world view

You lose. Here is why.

To make the game a bit more varied I included random patterns on the map and powerups. More content to come. As always your feedbacks are very valuable to me.

This blog is silent since a while

This is what happened :

  • I’m in stealth mode. A new game will be released January 11, 2011.
  • I interrupted the stealth mode to enter the JS1K x-mas edition with this demo. It’s pretty uninteresting because I used the exact same trick as Marijn Haverbeke, the first JS1K winner. Also it doesn’t look the same in all browsers.
  • You can now follow Games From Mars on Facebook. Unlike my twitter, I will only talk about my games there. My #1 rule is to shut up when I’ve nothing to say.
  • I think I’ve completely recovered from this year burn-out. I can now work at full speed again.
  • Vibrant has been in the “indie games” pages of Joystick, a well-known french magazine. It feels great to read something on paper about my work, even if it brought little traffic as compared to a blog post.
  • I still like lists.

Stay tuned.

Now it feels like something finished

I’ve made a rather big update to Vibrant. I hope it will be decisive enough to be the last one.


This version fixes lots of annoying things and bring long-wanted features. All this is now listed on the Vibrant site itself (scroll down for the complete changelog).

I’ve also created the Arguably Useful Vibrant Help Page. It’s arguably useful.

I hope you will enjoy this release.

Yet another bugfix  release

Wormhol 1.4 changes:

  • Some people asked for more FPS-like controls. So be it. You can use WASD and your mouse to play the game. Yay! It’s not perfect, maybe A and D should make the ship strafe instead of turn (and one would turn with the mouse). If it doesn’t feel right to you, please tell.
  • Fixed icons in Windows 7. New icon (still ugly though).
  • Fixed ATI HD compatibility.

I’ve discovered a rare “everything gets black” bug yesterday, in a ship-collision. The problem is: I’m pretty confident it’s not introduced by this release. Not sure how I could eliminate a bug which happen once in a year.

EDIT: This release had an annoying bug so I removed the download link. Use 1.5 now.

What’s new

I’ve been lately busy with the Games From Mars website, learning server administrating, javascript and such.

I know, I should have work on Wormhol. But there was a couple of annoying things left in Vibrant that I think deserved a bugfix update. There it is.

>>> DOWNLOAD <<<

Vibrant 1.3 changes:

  • installer: there is a problem when launching the game from the download directory. Nothing happens. The installer now avoids that. If you dislike the idea of an installer let me know.
  • AMD/ATI compatibility: Vibrant should now support all NVIDIA cards, all AMD HD cards and some earlier AMD. The latter are very different from a bug point of view, so it may or may not work.
  • the game fallback in a degraded mode when OpenGL 2.0 is not detected. The game now has been reported to work on an Intel card, which was yet to see, but had problems with some old ATIs. (NOTE: the degraded mode was broken on release but has been fixed)
  • minor gameplay changes: less powerups in high levels, the turbo mode is a bit more powerful and costly, the auto-aiming is now weaker. So it’s harder to aim for newbies, while more rewarding for advanced players. I wan’t Vibrant’s gameplay to be hard and unfriendly, be prepared :).
  • ACHTUNG! The 1.3 version works improperly on ATI HD cards, use the 1.2 version instead.

As always, I would be midly happy to get your bug reports (the auto-generated log.htm file in the game directory) and rants.

What is Wormhol

It’s basically a classic snake game, revamped to fit an omni-directional 3D world made of abstract surfaces. It means that your snake is not on a boring plane and sticks to the surface underneath. It also mean that the curvature of the surfaces changes the gameplay quite a bit.



We released it at the last ever Breakpoint demoparty where people showed some interest.

However, this first release was totally a bit rushed and a number of features did not get into the 1.0 release.

  • ATI compatibility
  • Torii
  • Arbitrary mesh
  • Editable levels
  • IA players
  • Rebindable keys
  • Joystick support
  • More speed
  • One-click installer
  • A replacement for this Black Ugly Background©
  • etc…

The game is playable as is, but you need 1, 2 or better 3 buddies to play with you.

Seems tough?

Consider it as a social game: a game where you actually socialize, with face-to-face real-time interaction.

What Optimus said about Wormhol

So what ?

Do you see ? That’s 15 fucking “o” ! Can you do better?

The story behind Wormhol

Three years ago, I was hired by a mathematics researcher to create an educational CD-rom. I created a very similar snake mini-game on a misunderstanding with my boss. Unfortunately the CD was not published and I finally came to the conclusion it would never be. My little sister, who was still playing the snake mini-game with friends, demanded an upgrade as her birthday present.

The fact was, I didn’t hold the IP, nor the development tools. I had to rewrite it.

I wanted to try something new, so firstly I started with XNA. I stopped when I realized the 2D vector class had virtual methods. Then I tried C++/DirectX, and realized it would take too much effort to rewrite all my engine. Finally I came back to the one and only D programming language. Thanks to that, the birthday dead-line was blown up by just a month.

This is my last production labelled under the Adinpsz name.