BlinkenSisters - Hunt for the Lost Pixels
Blinken Sisters is an open source game in 80s retro style, free to download, fully playable and easy to handle. Enjoy jumping and running with Agent Kate through various levels of danger, collecting all the pixels that were lost in another dimension!
Blinken Sisters is still under development. One of the main goals of this project is to end up with two things: A great Jump'n'Run game and a very flexible 2D game engine that could also be used for non-gaming purposes.
Most of the information about BlinkenSisters is available on our Main Website.
We are always looking for creative people who would like to contribute.
At the moment it's a good idea to install the latest code from the svn-repository. On Windows u can use the nightly build or see Howto_Windows_SVN. For Linux see Howto_Linux_SVN. Mac-Users pls contact team<at>blinkensisters,org.
What is BS-on-XO
BS-on-XO is a BlinkenSisters version specially adapted to the constraints of the XO Laptop and - in a later stage of development - also enabled to use XO's enhanced features like pairing/meshing, the special gaming keys available and such.
The next stage will be the integration of level- and game-development with existing tools on the XO. For this, we will need good cooperation with the developers of that software. This will enable re-use of existing programs, therefore minimizing duplicate efforts as well as making the learning of that tools for the children much, much easier.
As the game engine is not using pyGame but is a completly different engine (BS was started 2005 on a Mac in C/C++), there are obviously difference. We don't see it as concurency, we're pretty sure the two systems will enhance each other (and therefore the value of the XO) greatly!
More project ideas
It would be *very* usefull if we somehow manage to play TamTam's music files, images, and everything else used useable in BS-based games made on the XO in the engine. Even more usefull, if we can do it on ANY computer and operating system, not just the Linux/XO combination. This will help sharing of games and levels made on the XO with people having other computers. Why not send your european pen-pals your latest "this-is-my-village" adventure game you made as a school project?
And while the engine is written in C/C++, most of the level-development takes place in ASCII-Art Files and in the LUA scripting language... this should all be do-able at the moment with existing tools. The interface where LUA and C++ meet is also quite simple, so it should be workable to also include python into the engine...or include the engine as a python module, for that matter.
Even more project ideas
As the BS engine is a (nearly complete, though it still needs quite some work) 2D engine with network and scripting support, it could be used for non-game projects as well. For example, the engine could be used as front-end for scientific projects. It could be used as a front-end to visualize measurements taken by USB kits - even control them.
With LUA scripting and timed callbacks it wouldn't be hard to write a simulated PLC (Programmable Logic Circuit; "SPS" for german speakers) - complete with graphical front-end - to simulate various machines. Or, if that machine/robot/whatever exists in hardware and can be hooked up to the XO, the BS engine might be used to control it. This can act as a very powerfull learning tool, teaching the use of simple logic blocks to build and control complex mechanisms.
With the help of other project teams, we might be able to even use features like this over the mesh network.
BS-on-XO Project Status
We have a working build, altough currently the integration into sugar isn't working (starting through command line only). Also, the lack of hardware scaling (BS runs at 640x480) requires us to do extensive optimizations and rewrites of our code base.
We're trying to make a first version for you to test within a couple of months, but... We KNOW we set us very ambitious project goals that will take hundreds if not thousands of man-hours to finish. It might take years to get the last line of code in place until we can lean back and can't think of anything else to improve ("no more mountains to climb, no more valleys to cross", so to speak). We KNOW that. We ALSO know, that, in order to learn how to use computers and get the maximum of creative performance out of it, you need simple but powerfull tools you can adapt to your needs.
Even if only a single childs learns only a single important thing from using our software, we think the effort we put in will be well spent, because that single child may be the one to improve the lives of many others around it. And that is what the OLPC-projects is all about, isn't it? Helping people to help themself, find their own ways, living lives that don't depend on the mercy of regular contribution of some "well-meaning donor".