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Crayon Physics Combines Science and Puzzles 78

IamAHack writes "NPR covered a new game that seems like it would have great appeal to Slashdot readers: Crayon Physics. Quoting: 'A new computer game went on sale this week. It's not a blockbuster like Halo or World of Warcraft. There's no first-person shooting, no sports, no guitar, no microphone. Instead, there's a crayon. The game is Crayon Physics Deluxe. It's a simple, mesmerizing game created by a 25-year-old independent games designer from Finland named Petri Purho. "It's a game where your crayon drawings come to life,' Purho tells NPR's Melissa Block. 'You draw stuff and your drawings behave physically correctly. As soon as you release the last button, the laws of physics are applied to your drawing."' A demo is available, and Opposable Thumbs has a review of the game."
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Crayon Physics Combines Science and Puzzles

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  • magic pen (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Threni ( 635302 )

    sounds like the author is
    fan of the flash game Magic Pen.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Seeing as "behaves pysically correct" only really means that objects don't "merge" and gravity affects them as expected (although there doesn't seem to be any friction built in - it looks like slow rolling objects on a flat surface roll for a very long time!) - the game still seems good for kids who are learning about gravity and helps to illict their creativity/drawing skills as well. Looks good. Kudos to the developer.

  • by Corpuscavernosa ( 996139 ) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @03:31AM (#26462667)
    Perhaps it's a maturity level far below my age, but I really want to get this game to see how many puzzles I can solve drawing penises.
  • by MrvFD ( 711808 ) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @03:33AM (#26462679)
    As the game is based on open source box2d physics engine [box2d.org], there are also other games with partially similar feel and game play. Crayon Physics was the one with the original idea, though.

    Nokia Internet Tablet and Openmoko Neo FreeRunner owners might be interested in Numpty Physics: http://numptyphysics.garage.maemo.org/ [maemo.org] & http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/rantalai/freerunner/numptyphysics/ [helsinki.fi]
    • Months ago, I installed Numpty Physics [maemo.org] and a substantial portion of NP-complete [maemo.org] (the levels that didn't crash) on the computers at a tutorial center. For reference, they run Windows, except for a Pentium II that I "donated," running Xubuntu.

      Now, it's the most popular computer pastime among both the kids and the (high school, lower-division college student) tutors.

      I haven't worked out how to introduce level editing to them, yet.

  • That's probably the most creative computer game I've seen in years. Simple. Effective. Looks like fun.
  • by Jott42 ( 702470 ) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @03:38AM (#26462693)
    Is this the game/level-version of Phun? ( http://www.phunland.com/wiki/Home [phunland.com] ) Which is a very similar simulation, but instead in a sandbox format.
    • Yep, I was playing around with Phun at least a year ago. Why's this so special again?
    • by Plow ( 1220866 )
      No it's not related to Phun. Phun, however, has evolved into an educational tool named Algodoo. It has been optimized for Intels Convertible Classmate PC, adding support for the pen and the built in accelerometer http://www.algoryx.se/algodoo.html [algoryx.se].
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So it's like Fantastic Contraption [fantasticcontraption.com] but with crayons. Yawn.

  • It appears he has been completely ripped off with the program 'Touch Physics' for the iPod and iPhone. Before this article, I didn't know any better and bought the clone.
    • I recall playing a free game like this via Installer long before the app store was live. I could have sworn it was just called "crayon physics" though...the one I'm thinking of had a pretty big repository of addon levels and puzzles.

  • Gets the music but black screen.

    Too bad the author did not develop the game multi-platform :(

    For an independent game developer it is quite sad to lose the opportunity to cater an audience (OSX and Linux users) that is lacking (AAA) games and probably quite interested in this kind of physics-based yet casual game altogether.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Seems to work for others though:


    • Does not work under Wine

      Too bad the author did not develop the game multi-platform :(

      Yes it is a shame. But what does it have to do with Wine? You're talking about two different subjects: a) Will the game run under Wine; and b) is the game cross-platform. Obviously the cross-platform approach is ideal (and I agree with you I think). But you're conflating two different subjects. A program able to run under Wine is not cross-platform.

    • Works for me under Wine
      (Ubuntu 9.04)

    • Well at least the author plans do a Mac and a Linux version in the future. From the FAQ [kloonigames.com]:

      Is there a Mac / Linux port
      Unfortunately not at this moment. I'm planning of doing these as soon as I'm done with the PC version of the game, but I can't promise anything at this point.

      Also, since there is an iPhone /iPod Touch version already, I think making a Mac version should be relatively doable anyway.
    • by hahiss ( 696716 )

      Under Ubuntu 8.04.1 and Wine 1.1.12, I was able to get it to install and run the first time (The only problem I found with it on the first run is that the cursor doesn't quite line up on the Options screen--the cursor appears to be in one location, but clicks register elsewhere. This doesn't happen in the game itself.)

      However, when I tried to run it again, I ended up with just the black screen.

  • I just downloaded the demo to try it out and spent an hour. It's like the old bridge building games. Fun with gravity! Not sure how realistic the physics are... but who cares? It's midnight Slashdotting :)

  • Penny Arcade ran that about a week ago. http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/1/9/ [penny-arcade.com]

  • CP won a game award in 2008, same as World Of Goo (http://worldofgoo.com) -- both are awesome games, both promised to create a Linux client and both cost me $20.

    Here's to hoping the small indie shops get more exposure. And even more hoping to them open sourcing their stuff after some time :)

    • Even if they don't open source it, I would be happy enough if the *sell* a Linux version .
      • by RichiH ( 749257 )

        Both promised me personally. Only after that did I pre-order to help them get over the half to full year of unemployment when they made their games.

        As an aside, Crayon Physics introduced me to lullaby by _ghost -- freely available on CCMixter and easily in my personal Top 5 _ever_.

  • Hey awesome, free ad space! Please check out as well my anti-tetris that's also using Box2D: Brick Yard [kongregate.com]!
    • by maxume ( 22995 )

      Slick. You event loop stinks though (there are plenty of games on Kongregate that actually do nothing when they are doing nothing).

      • Hmm, physics games that do so? ;) Or do you mean that when they are out-of-focus, then those games freeze? You can always imagine in your mind that my game doesn't do a thing when left alone, if that makes the experience much more beautiful! XD
        • by maxume ( 22995 )

          It consumes 100% cpu at the opening screen. "It's a physics game" doesn't really work at that point.

          And really, instead of imagining it not running, I don't bother running poorly written flash.

          • You are the king! Also please tell that to those who love the game, perhaps they might just start to hate it as well! :D I'm sorry I made a (almost) free game to the Internets. ;( I know it sucks... But I can't help it, I'm a retard, you see.
            • by maxume ( 22995 )

              I don't think you are a retard.

              That said, are you really sure that your event loop cannot be improved?

              • Actually, the game consumes 20% of my CPU, but I've set the framerate to 60fps. Perhaps that's the reason the game is eating those CPU cycles? I'm not updating the physics while the main menu is displayed, so the virtual machine is calling that onEnterFrame() 60 times a seconds, which just checks some clicks etc and exits... Should be the basic Box2D framework with a 30->60 fps mod. If I have time, I'll try to do something about it before I release my next Box2D game.
                • by maxume ( 22995 )

                  For reference sake, 100% of 1 core on an Intel Core Duo at 1.66 GHz, with 2 Gig of ram and intel integrated graphics (a not that ancient laptop...).

  • it really mesmerizes a gamer veteran like me. odd feeling.
  • My two cents.

    Great game. Totally got me hooked after trying the demo. However:

    - Way too easy. Or should I say, way too short. I finished the full game in just over 4 hours. And 1 of those hours was when I got stuck trying to force the intended solution for one level, finally got angry and came up with my own solution (One of the rocket levels, ended up not using the rocket). - No, I was right the first time; way too easy. Once you find out you can pin stuff and lift the ball just using small 'lifts', it
    • by crossmr ( 957846 )

      They really forgot to include the fun in this game. As soon as you pin a couple walls you can draw boulders and lift the ball to any star no problem. Most of the interesting "tricks" they show you in a lot of levels depend on there being premade pins to drop stuff over, etc as trying to create your own breaks the "physics"

  • Add a Wii Controller (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jmichaelg ( 148257 ) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @08:48AM (#26464273) Journal

    I used the Crayon Physics demo to try Johnny Lee's whiteboard hack [cmu.edu]. I was primarily interested in the whiteboard hack and wanted something interesting running so I could watch different people using the IR pen I had built to see what limitations it had. The game drew enough people into it that they completely forgot about how they were interacting with it that I figured the hack as a win.

    fwiw, I used a key ring led [amazon.com] to house the IR Led and battery. It took about 5 minutes to swap the white light led with an IR led. My cell phone could see the IR led light up which told me I had done that part of the hack right later on when I had problems with a Broadcom Bluetooth driver.

  • over the winter break, I played it on the ipod touch and it has been adapted to the small screen pretty well.
  • by poot_rootbeer ( 188613 ) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @11:05AM (#26465637)

    'You draw stuff and your drawings behave physically correctly. As soon as you release the last button, the laws of physics are applied to your drawing.'

    MARVEL at the way the virtual crayon material seems to adhere motionlessly to the virtual paper! THRILL as the virtual pigments simulate the refraction of light at different wavelengths!

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Meh. I'll wait for the open source knock-off.

      If its true to form, it might not work precisely correctly out of the box, but you will be able to enter the initial conditions for the Universe. For example, you could interchange the masses of the up and down quark, or alter the U(1) gauge coupling parameter from 0.357 to 0.5. Once you have managed to get the laws of physics as we know them to emerge, you will be able to play a game with correct physics for our Universe.

      Or maybe it would be more fun to p

  • There was something like this called "Fun Physics", from Knowledge Revolution, in 1988, for the Mac. (!) That eventually became Working Model, a 2D engineering simulator. Knowledge Revolution was acquired by McNeil Schwindler, the price of Working Model was increased by a factor of 10, and the game product disappeared.

  • Nothing to see here. Move on.

Programmers do it bit by bit.