Owen Piette’s Falling Sand Game
First of all, mad props go out to the original creator of this game. Great idea. I only wish I could read Japanese… Here’s a link to the original, or at least as close to the original as I can find (Again, without knowing how to read Japanese.) http://ishi.blog2.fc2.com/blog-entry-158.html
Having wasted hours of productivity on the Java verison of the Falling Sand Game, I began to think of improvements that could be made from the original. No source was available for the original, and Java isn’t my choice programming language, that I decided to start de novo with C/C++ and the cross-platform wxWidgets. That’s why I called it “wxSand”, although a lot of people call it “Owen Piette’s Falling Sand Game”.
I tend to feel that The Falling Sand Game should be more of a Zen experience than anything else. I also believe that the game should be as cyclic as possible, so that environments can run and evolve for long periods of time. Finally, I recognize the close connection of The Sand Game with the game of Life: Whereby, with a few very simple rules, and some starting conditions, you can create a very unpredictable outcome.
Of course, the original is pretty sweet. So I’ve make a version with my own rules, and the ability to write your own mods with whatever elements you create. I have implemented many, many more interactions and elements than the original version. Discover them as you play.
Originally, I didn’t want to make this Open Source. I think it takes away from the mysticism of the game. Those of you that are so inclined should be able to see the simple algorithm. Note the close connection with the game of Life. Also note the impossible situations, like unequalized water levels. These aren’t shortcomings of the game, but instead interesting artifacts of the rules of this alternate reality!
Unfortunately I haven’t had time in the last five years to update the game. If programming was my day job, you might see an update. If people donated money, I would release an update. I would probably re-write it in C#, which is what I’m using these days. It might even port to Linux and mac with Mono?
I like to think that this game can be played with a very laid-back approach. Just set up some walls and watch the sand fall… I completely support any other games written in the same style, like the games at SmartMelon Games.
I am an independent programmer and I support other independent programmers. Large publishing companies all too often kill a good game off by making sequel after sequel. Wolfenstein was awesome, but Return to Castle Wolfenstein? Indie game developers introduce new ideas into the gaming world. Go check some out at GameTrove.net.
I always appreciate constructive feedback:
If you like the game, you can tell me that most effectively by making a small donation for my effort. Of course, I always appreciate any help in paying for bandwidth to host this site too. Since I was listed on digg.com, joystiq.com, and other places, I’ve used 25GB of my bandwidth just for this page!
I use dreamhost.com for my websites, email, ssh, etc. They’ve been excellent and I have no problem recommending that you use them too. Easy maintenance and no nuisance.