— cjohnson games

How Bots See Art

Back in 2015, several months before releasing Expand I returned back to working a regular day job. As I’d previously been teaching at university this return meant that I was now programming full time for someone else, something I hadn’t done before. One of the downsides with programming jobs is that after work you feel less inclined to work on your own personal programming projects. This is a good thing. After sitting inside all day, it’s probably a good idea to get out and do something else.

Even so I feel inclined to still make stuff so I started playing around with Twitter bots. I started by making the Who’s That Poke’mon bot based on the Poke’mon TV show. Then I made three bots that would take a daily quote and display it in ASL, Auslan and Braille. One night I made a small bot called Powerball Bot that would randomly pick lottery numbers before the US lotteries. It’s kind of amusing to think that it’ll eventually pick a winning set of numbers.

Recently I made a new bot called How Bots See Art. It takes images of pieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and describes them using Microsoft’s Computer Vision services. It’s produced some amusing results.

I’ll probably continue to make a few more bots in the future. I really love how for such a small amount of work they can produce rather neat results.

Candle Capers

Currently I’m on my Christmas break and so I thought I’d make a small, festive game. That game is Candle Capers, a short PuzzleScript game about lighting candles. There are 10 levels. It should take less than 30 minutes to play through.

You can play the game here


Light ’em Up

Over the last few days I’ve been tinkering around with PuzzleScript some more and have put together a new game called Light ’em Up. There are 10 levels. Should take less than 30 minutes to play through. Enjoy

You can play the game here


Beetroot and Carrots

I’ve just finished working on my first PuzzleScript game called Beetroot and Carrots. It’s based on a Japan only e-card reader game for Pikmin 2. Since I couldn’t play the game I figured that I might as well try to make it.

Originally I recreated the levels from scattered footage of the game and then created a set of my own levels. After doing some play testing I realised that a lot of the later levels became tedious and impenetrable so I decided to simplify the levels and strip out the coloured pads from the original game. The final game only uses one, altered level from the Pikmin games.

You can play the game here.


Adelaide Game Playtesting Session – October 2016

We were intending on having another playtesting event last month but it was cancelled due to the recent storm in Adelaide. Unfortunately I forgot to post up about that one. Either way we’re running a replacement event later this month. Here are the details. Hope to see people there.

Date: Tuesday, June 28 at 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Location: AIE Adelaide Campus, 32 Grenfell St. Adelaide, SA 5000
Facebook Event and Additional Details

I’m working on a new game that I’m hoping to demo. It’s a different game from the midi controller game.

Expand in Humble Indie Bundle 17

I forgot to post about this here earlier but Expand was in Humble Indie Bundle 17. We were added to the bundle half way through the promotion. If you paid more than the average then you received a copy of Expand, the soundtrack and a slew of other games.

Below is a listing of all the games in the bundle. The lineup was pretty fantastic.


Moirai is on Steam

In case you missed it, Moirai is available on Steam. The response has been pretty overwhelming. I’m probably going to be writing up a long form piece on it later. So keep an eye out for that.

Adelaide Game Playtesting Session – June 2016

It’s been a little while but we’re having another games playtesting session. Here are the details.

Date: Tuesday, June 28 at 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Location: AIE Adelaide Campus, 32 Grenfell St. Adelaide, SA 5000
Facebook Event and Additional Details

I’ve also started working on a small game that uses a midi controller. Hoping to have a new build ready for the playtesting event.

Prototype for Loop Game

Leading up to Christmas I’ve been pottering away on a prototype for a programming game. My friend Matt, whose game Hacknet has piqued the interest of educators, has been pushing me to look at educational games. I’m not really interested in these kinds of games but I told him that I’d think on it. After thinking for a while I came up with a small prototype which you can play by following the link below.

In the game you need to write some basic programming code that will reduce all the numbers in a grid to zero. The game limits the number of times you can use loops and if statements. The game will step through your code showing you which lines are being executed and when changes are made to the grid. It should take you about 10 minutes or so to get a feel for the game. Please read the README file before starting.

Download Loop Game Prototype(Windows only)


I’m not really sure if I want to pursue the game any further which is why I’m posting out to see what people think. Feel free to post a comment with your thoughts, email me or tweet at me.

Pokebot, Playtesting Session and Expand on Kotaku

I haven’t posted here for a little while so I thought I’d do an update especially considering that quite a bit has happened this week.

I’ll start by running through the heading in reverse order. During PAX Australia this year my friend and creator of Hacknet Matt Trobbiani and I were interviewed by Mark Serrels from Kotaku Australia. On Tuesday he posted his article based on that interview. It gives an insight into the human side of game development. I won’t say much more. I think you’ll enjoy it.


On Wednesday we ran another game playtest event at AIE. The weather in Adelaide has been terribly hot lately but even so it was great to see a good group of people turn up with their games.

Today I pushed out my first Twitter bot. If you’ve watched the Pokemon TV series before then you may remember a segment called Who’s That Pokemon? The idea is that a greyed out Pokemon is display before a commercial break and when returning from the break the show reveals the Pokemon. This bot generates images based on the segment each day and reveals the answer before posting the next Pokemon. Follow @WhosThatPokebot to play along.


So that’s what has been happening with me lately. I’m working on a few other things on the side. I’ll be sure to post about when I have something to show.