Noiz2sa by Kenta Cho (2002) |

“Noiz2sa is an early study in the art of bullet barrages and playing strategies. It is Cho’s Well Tempered Clavier, in which he challenges several of the aesthetic assumptions of the genre, showing off a talent for composing dizzyingly varied game stages out of a self-imposed set of constraints. “

Here’s a diversion for you. I found Noiz2sa by accident in Ubuntu’s repositories. It’s an abstract 2D space shooter. The review quoted had the funniest–and pretty much the only review for it. The game really is like an exploration of the genre. It’s like he said to himself, “what if we had, lots of bullets, and it was hard for you to get shot?” You have no powerups, and you have to make it through 10 substages. It’s actually a fun and addictive game, not to mention pretty.

Beyond being a diversion, I thought it was noteworthy that he expresses the bullet patterns in BulletML, a markup language for bullet patterns in 2D shooters. This makes it interesting, since you can attach it to a genetic algorithm, and evolve it as the player got better at dodging your previous bullet patterns through the game. It would not be far fetched to write a server that served these BulletML files in front of of the genetic algorithm, so players can download it, and then report how they did.

BulletML actually just describes a particle system. It might be applicable in certain data visualizations–though I don’t know what. What other uses do you think BulletML would have?

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