Shaun Inman has posted a video of his upcoming iPhone platformer that was created with partial assistance from a Makework Grant which funds artists to work on their "someday-I’d-love-to” projects.

Inman's proposal involved creating a faux 16-bit game engine which aspired to create multiple worlds, various unqiue powerups and hand crafted pixel graphics. Inman explains his appreciation of pixel art:

Good pixel art strikes the perfect balance between appreciable craftsmanship and the gestalt. A single pixel out of place, one too few or too many, ruins the illusion. There’s an unmuddied, economy of expression, the thankless result of the limitations of cartridge-based consoles.

The premise of Mimeo is that of a Mario clone but where power-ups affect the entire game world, not just the player itself. Powerups will take you from a 2-bit world to a 4-bit, then 8-bit and ultimately 16-bit scene. Enemy behavior and level behavior changes between the modes so there is an element of puzzle-platforming involved.

Inman's video explains and demos it well (Vimeo link):

The developer hopes to have the game released in time for the 2010 holiday season.

[ via Daring Fireball ]

  • Yuggle

    That is freaking clever!

    I'll be sure to keep my eye out and even though I don't like platformers this one has me intrigued.

  • http://micro Yuggle

    That is freaking clever!

    I'll be sure to keep my eye out and even though I don't like platformers this one has me intrigued.

  • 5duc29

    It looks really good but the controls he used were kind of weird.. I hope there's other control options. I'll be keeping an eye out for this.

  • 5duc29

    It looks really good but the controls he used were kind of weird.. I hope there's other control options. I'll be keeping an eye out for this.

  • darwiniandude

    I'd hope for control options, but the way he has it set in the video doesn't obscure much screen real estate, pretty cool.

    I'd like to see (faked) low res mode for the lower resolutions instead of just colour pallet. Maybe. :)

  • darwiniandude

    I'd hope for control options, but the way he has it set in the video doesn't obscure much screen real estate, pretty cool.

    I'd like to see (faked) low res mode for the lower resolutions instead of just colour pallet. Maybe. :)

  • monster

    Absolutely love it, going to be keeping a close eye on this one

    Unlike previous posters, I actually thought the controls look pretty awesome and natural, virtual on-screen d-pad get in the way more often than my fingers

  • monster

    Absolutely love it, going to be keeping a close eye on this one

    Unlike previous posters, I actually thought the controls look pretty awesome and natural, virtual on-screen d-pad get in the way more often than my fingers

  • http://www.silentrocco.com Silent Rocco

    Absolutely love the idea!
    Very creative. Will get this for sure.

  • http://www.silentrocco.com Silent Rocco

    Absolutely love the idea!
    Very creative. Will get this for sure.

  • http://www.dot8studio.com Pierre

    If the game requires you to change directions fast, then I could imagine it would take too long for your fingers to move from the top the the bottom.

    Pressing bottom left or right makes the guys move.
    Pressing top left or right makes him jump. Possibly this constant movement of fingers will get your hands tired real quick.

    • http://nodpad.com/ MidianGTX

      Never played a game before, have you bro.

  • http://www.dot8studio.com Pierre

    If the game requires you to change directions fast, then I could imagine it would take too long for your fingers to move from the top the the bottom.

    Pressing bottom left or right makes the guys move.
    Pressing top left or right makes him jump. Possibly this constant movement of fingers will get your hands tired real quick.

    • http://nodpad.com/ MidianGTX

      Never played a game before, have you bro.

  • Scott

    The bit transitions from 2-to-4-to-8-to-16 seem a bit too distracting. It looks cool at first glance, but I think the transition needs to be more fluid otherwise it could get old real quick.

    $.002

    • Scott

      $.02 rather =)

      • andreas

        I'd pay 1.99

  • Scott

    The bit transitions from 2-to-4-to-8-to-16 seem a bit too distracting. It looks cool at first glance, but I think the transition needs to be more fluid otherwise it could get old real quick.

    $.002

    • Scott

      $.02 rather =)

      • andreas

        I'd pay 1.99

  • Deewin

    I was about to buy this until I read the whole article >:-(

  • Deewin

    I was about to buy this until I read the whole article >:-(

  • Ergo

    "Good pixel art strikes the perfect balance between appreciable craftsmanship and the gestalt."

    I'm going out on a limb and state, just on this meaningless nonsense-quote, that this game will be terrible.

    Note: keep your performance art pretensions out of games! We don't need them!

    • Andrew

      Go play another fps.

    • http://thedailyapp.org jon

      Keep your mind-numbing, half thought out, one-third informed flippancy off the internet.

    • Fighter

      Seriously, all that pretentious talk just to toot his own horn about changing resolutions. Another dev who threatens to put his "philosophies" ahead of good gameplay. Seen it all before.

      • http://thedailyapp.org jon

        It is amazing that you know so much about a game you've barely seen.

  • Ergo

    "Good pixel art strikes the perfect balance between appreciable craftsmanship and the gestalt."

    I'm going out on a limb and state, just on this meaningless nonsense-quote, that this game will be terrible.

    Note: keep your performance art pretensions out of games! We don't need them!

    • Andrew

      Go play another fps.

    • http://thedailyapp.org jon

      Keep your mind-numbing, half thought out, one-third informed flippancy off the internet.

    • Fighter

      Seriously, all that pretentious talk just to toot his own horn about changing resolutions. Another dev who threatens to put his "philosophies" ahead of good gameplay. Seen it all before.

      • http://thedailyapp.org jon

        It is amazing that you know so much about a game you've barely seen.

  • Lions

    Controls look like the same as used in Chop Chop Ninja. If so, this game will be super easy to control. You tap or hold on the right side of the screen to move right (same concept for left). Just tap near the top of the screen to jump. it's easy and you don't have to clutter the display with transparent buttons.

    Also have to say i love the whole concept of the powerups. It's clever and I can see a lot of potential with it. Now I just need the game on the App store today.

    side note: Maybe i'm just getting old but I LOVE games that pull off a good NES pixel art style.

  • Lions

    Controls look like the same as used in Chop Chop Ninja. If so, this game will be super easy to control. You tap or hold on the right side of the screen to move right (same concept for left). Just tap near the top of the screen to jump. it's easy and you don't have to clutter the display with transparent buttons.

    Also have to say i love the whole concept of the powerups. It's clever and I can see a lot of potential with it. Now I just need the game on the App store today.

    side note: Maybe i'm just getting old but I LOVE games that pull off a good NES pixel art style.

  • http://www.northernbytes.ca Philly

    looks cool - but one nitpick: black and white is "1 bit" not "2 bits"

    • thewiirocks

      He seems to be confusing bits and color. 2-color to 4-color to "8-bit" (A popular term for the NES) to 16-bit (SNES) graphics.

      Or maybe he really did mean "2 bit". Like those darn, 2 bit, no good ZX Spectrum games! Why, I'm amazed anyone paid good money for those 2 bit games!

      (I kid, I kid! :p)

      • http://www.quantum-sheep.com quantumsheep

        Watch this space ;)

  • http://www.northernbytes.ca Philly

    looks cool - but one nitpick: black and white is "1 bit" not "2 bits"

    • thewiirocks

      He seems to be confusing bits and color. 2-color to 4-color to "8-bit" (A popular term for the NES) to 16-bit (SNES) graphics.

      Or maybe he really did mean "2 bit". Like those darn, 2 bit, no good ZX Spectrum games! Why, I'm amazed anyone paid good money for those 2 bit games!

      (I kid, I kid! :p)

      • http://www.quantum-sheep.com quantumsheep

        Watch this space ;)

  • http://tylertennisworld.blogspot.com/ Tyler

    though im not sure the gameplay is gonna be the best platformer out there, i think the idea is extremely creative and worth a look

  • http://tylertennisworld.blogspot.com/ Tyler

    though im not sure the gameplay is gonna be the best platformer out there, i think the idea is extremely creative and worth a look

  • Corey

    I so want this...but come on Holiday 2010 ....Long wait

  • Corey

    I so want this...but come on Holiday 2010 ....Long wait

  • http://conscripts.bandcamp.com Sinistar

    Holiday season?! The year waiting for this will be maddening...

    • iamPro

      Same here!!
      Why tease us so early?!

      Btw, I totally dig the control system, which looks a lot like Chop Chop and Balloon Head - Two games with the best control method for iPhone platformers.

  • http://conscripts.bandcamp.com Sinistar

    Holiday season?! The year waiting for this will be maddening...

    • iamPro

      Same here!!
      Why tease us so early?!

      Btw, I totally dig the control system, which looks a lot like Chop Chop and Balloon Head - Two games with the best control method for iPhone platformers.

  • Cilo

    I can see this getting old really fast. I'm sure the game is great but that graphic warp effect every 2 seconds would make me not pick this up and play for extended periods. Unless I wanted a virtual acid trip.

  • Cilo

    I can see this getting old really fast. I'm sure the game is great but that graphic warp effect every 2 seconds would make me not pick this up and play for extended periods. Unless I wanted a virtual acid trip.

  • CJ

    Looks interesting. Space Invaders Infinity Gene did a very similar thing to this where the graphics 'upgraded' each level.

  • CJ

    Looks interesting. Space Invaders Infinity Gene did a very similar thing to this where the graphics 'upgraded' each level.

  • http://hawkmankt.wordpress.com Kyle

    I'm going with a big, "Frick Frackin' Awesome" on this one. Looks great.

  • http://hawkmankt.wordpress.com Kyle

    I'm going with a big, "Frick Frackin' Awesome" on this one. Looks great.

  • Jordan10la

    Wow it's like this game was made for me.

  • Jordan10la

    Wow it's like this game was made for me.

  • Adams Immersive

    Cool. The purist in me would like to see a game with even more steps:

    1. Start with blurry white blips on a TV.

    2. Then ASCII art. Green-screen!

    3. Add another stage where 16-bit becomes 3D with flat sprites (Doom-style). Still the same side-scrolling gameplay (no need to ever change that) just with a bit of perspective in the environment.

    4. And then to real textured 3D, with the camera gaining some angle and movement.

    4. And finally modern effects like bumps maps and particles and shadows. (Some of which would work even without a 3GS.)

  • Adams Immersive

    Cool. The purist in me would like to see a game with even more steps:

    1. Start with blurry white blips on a TV.

    2. Then ASCII art. Green-screen!

    3. Add another stage where 16-bit becomes 3D with flat sprites (Doom-style). Still the same side-scrolling gameplay (no need to ever change that) just with a bit of perspective in the environment.

    4. And then to real textured 3D, with the camera gaining some angle and movement.

    4. And finally modern effects like bumps maps and particles and shadows. (Some of which would work even without a 3GS.)

  • http://myspace.com/battlebornmusic Battle Born

    can't wait for this one. though I hope there are more control options than this

  • http://myspace.com/battlebornmusic Battle Born

    can't wait for this one. though I hope there are more control options than this

  • Justin

    Love the idea. Terribly creative. I will be buying this alright. :)

  • Justin

    Love the idea. Terribly creative. I will be buying this alright. :)

  • http://www.ummband.com poutini

    I like the concept. Kinda reminds me of evert.

    Though I would like to see a game that looks entirely like a gameboy game. 16-bit never really appealed to me.

  • http://www.ummband.com poutini

    I like the concept. Kinda reminds me of evert.

    Though I would like to see a game that looks entirely like a gameboy game. 16-bit never really appealed to me.

  • nickcaveman

    waaaaah, we had the same idea for the lambrettinis some month ago.

    the curse of lazyness!

  • nickcaveman

    waaaaah, we had the same idea for the lambrettinis some month ago.

    the curse of lazyness!

  • ender

    Brilliant!

  • ender

    Brilliant!

  • CodeRed

    Love the idea, I'd definitely give it a spin. Only thing now is to make sure the platform action is fun and involving and you have an instant hit.

  • CodeRed

    Love the idea, I'd definitely give it a spin. Only thing now is to make sure the platform action is fun and involving and you have an instant hit.

  • http://lawyers.64x4.com/ Lawyers

    Looks really nice.. I'm definitely trying it soon, seems to be pretty good.

  • http://lawyers.64x4.com/ Lawyers

    Looks really nice.. I'm definitely trying it soon, seems to be pretty good.

  • WolfgangK

    I love the concept, and it really looks like a fun platformer. Only thing I'd like to see is a greater leap from 8-bit to 16-bit. The transition from 8-16 is pretty subtle, vs what I recall in graphics leap from that era. There were some really beautiful 16-bit games.

  • WolfgangK

    I love the concept, and it really looks like a fun platformer. Only thing I'd like to see is a greater leap from 8-bit to 16-bit. The transition from 8-16 is pretty subtle, vs what I recall in graphics leap from that era. There were some really beautiful 16-bit games.

  • JORDZ

    mario?? ....is that you??

  • JORDZ

    mario?? ....is that you??

  • godzilla

    hm, intresting...id love to beta test this one...like mario with a twist...

  • godzilla

    hm, intresting...id love to beta test this one...like mario with a twist...

  • TheFamousEccles

    The release date is so far off that I don't really want to get excited about this. It'll probably get cancelled by then anyway...

    • http://shawndryden.com Shawn

      Don't worry about it getting canceled. There is no company to cancel it. It's one dude, whose a web developer celebrity, using a grant to make the game. He loves pixel anything and does this for fun.

  • TheFamousEccles

    The release date is so far off that I don't really want to get excited about this. It'll probably get cancelled by then anyway...

    • http://shawndryden.com Shawn

      Don't worry about it getting canceled. There is no company to cancel it. It's one dude, whose a web developer celebrity, using a grant to make the game. He loves pixel anything and does this for fun.