DOOM is one of the most widely ported games in the world, having reached devices as unlikely as the NeXTSTEP, Atari Jaguar, 3DO and, err, Hewlett-Packard 16700 series Logic Analyzers. However, those are laughably mainstream compared to the game’s next big leap.
Dundee-based indie developer Ally Low has been showcasing and documenting progress with his latest project – automating crossstitch to make simple animations – on his Tik Tok channel. However, in his latest video – published earlier today – Ally has brought the technology to a whole new level. By that we mean a level in DOOM. Yes, iD Software’s genre defining FPS classic is now playable on Ally’s Arduino powered, thread based console.
Warning: Puns Ahead
This technology has evolved at a rate of knots. Ally’s previous video showcased a 2×2 grid. However, by adding an Arduino Mega and ‘some’ I/O extenders the tech has reached entirely new heights. After hooking up a video games controller and tweaking his code, his cross-stitch animation tool is now entirely multi-threaded and can now play video games.
Ally told us about the project and his motivation behind it:
“I knew Doom would be the first thing anyone would ask for so I had to do it.”
“It was a lot of fiddly work but well worth it”
“I’ve always been fascinated with making things animate in real life, like they do on screens, from 3d zoetropes to laser cut illuminated panels and projection mapping pop up books. “
“You really have to see it in person to believe it”
Tapestry, Tech & Tapeworms
Ally’s LowTek Games has made a niche for itself in making games for retro consoles such as Nintendo’s NES and Gameboy, going as far as 3D printed cartridges for these much-beloved old school machines.
However, Ally’s new cross stitch technology could appeal to a whole new demographic. Technology like this hasn’t been seen in the games world before, so could this be the next hypercasual handicraft?
More Than Words…
Making retro games and recreating DOOM in his cross stitch project isn’t the only thing LowTek’s founder is up to. Ally has recently submitted Dislektek – his dyslexia accessibility tool – to the Unity asset store.
This enables developers to add features to their games, which make them more accessible to players with dyslexia. Dislektek allows developers to enable text-to-speech options, utilising tech that is already installed on a player’s PC, giving players the opportunity to pause timed sections in order to read any on screen text and much more.
Ally has been drawing attention to dyslexia and gaming for some time now. He previously developed A Familiar Fairytale Dyslexic Text Based Adventure. The game showed players what it is like to play text based games when you have dyslexia. After highlighting the problem Ally has went on to help provide a solution. Dislectek will be available to developers around the world in the very near future.