End result: Hit save in Pixelmator, web page automatically reloads with new PNGs.
Tools: Pixelmator (image editor), Grunt + LiveReload (task runner), Automator (Mac automation thingo), Bash (Bash).
I'm generally not a fan of automating tasks, unless the task is consistent over multiple projects and over long periods of time. Automating things is fun - so you quickly lose track of how much time you reeeaaallly spend on it and, more importantly, automation tends to be subject to "digital decay" - project structure changes, build tools update dependency versions (or disappear entirely), things require maintenance. Finally, the build tools and scripts become part of your code base: which is a cause of incidental complexity. Anyone touching your project needs to not only understand your code, but also all the extra cruft around it to "save time".
My loyal long-term readers (by whom I mean Anton) would know my technological aesthetic bent strongly favour the 1980s. Seeing as the third dimension was not discovered until 1992, I have thus far had little inclination to bother with it. But things have changed: now that the 90s are suitably retro I feel it's finally time to gently prod at the edges of this strange new plane...
Ludum Darer JellyCakes has been live streaming his playing-and-rating efforts of entries in Ludum Dare 26. He's an excellent reviewer: testing each game very thoroughly and fairly. And he's hilarious. After giving my entry a good run through its paces he concluded with the above video. Might not fit the competition's theme of "minimalism", but dang... it's awesome!
That image is the punchline to the question I awoke with in the middle of last night: "How the FLIPPIN' 'ECK did that guy do destructible terrain for DHTML Lemmings... in 2004?!!!". I lay there for some time as thoughts raced through my mind: There was no canvas element in 2004. No WebGL. In fact, there was no direct pixel access of any kind! (Not counting black and white XBM images, which had been killed off by then anyway).
Eventually I was forced to get out of bed and take a look. The answer, as pictured above, was a piece of creative brilliance: each level is a simple jpg image that sits in the background. As diggers dig down they add "holes" - small black images - to the page. every few pixels dug requires a new hole image.
Destruction via creation! That's the kind of lateral thinking that'll get you places.