One-button game made for the Curious Cabinets Arcade Exhibition put on by amazing Hand-Eye Society and hosted by the wonderful Electric Perfume.

Brush’d is an aesthetically minimal one-button game that requires precision and timing. The player controls the movement of a brush by tapping on the button while tracing along a path. Each button press turns the player towards the path to be traced but slows them down. Thus, rapid button presses will keep the player on the line, but will reduce their speed. Players only travel in a straight line between button presses but accelerate rapidly. The perspective only allows a small portion of the image to be seen at one time. After the path is completely traced, the image is revealed and the player is scored on accuracy of their trace and total time spent. If a player strays off the path too long then the life meter starts to reduce. When the meter reaches zero the level is over.

Brush’d was built in approximately 1 month using Unity (and C#).

As my first experience with Unity I was both impressed and frustrated. To start, I couldn’t get the Unity Linux client to work at all. So I needed to borrow a windows laptop to work (I needed one anyways to test the game but still it made things much less pleasant). C# was relatively benign and Unity provided a bunch of needed coding tools to handle some of the crunchier bis of programming a game. It’s lack of support for splines and bezier curves forced me to purchase Dreamteck Splines plugin (and Dreamteck was very repsonsive to my questions) but the entire model of having paid plugins seems really bad. Keeps Unity from fixing and improvement their product since they get a 30% cut. Also despite it’s claims for being able to develop for multi-platforms I could never get anything to work properly for anything but Windows and even then I had a lot of issues with screen resolution. Unity left me basically with a strong desire to try something else next time, but perhaps they are all this bad. Certainly, no one seems to have a decent Linux dev environment for games. Sigh.

Titlescreen screenshot from Brush'd

Example gameplay screenshot from Brush'd

Brush'd on the arcade machine

A short video demonstrating the final version of the software:

The final version of the game turned out fairly fun, and even has a tutorial and tracks high scores (locally). The music and art (thanks to Amy lee and Matthew Roberts, respectively) both turned out fabulous. The gameplay was pretty fun. Very, very frame-rate dependent because of the accuracy needed. People had a hard time understanding the controls because it sort of looks like a driving game, but with a single button the first thing most people tried was quickly mashing the button. Learning the nuances of pressing just enough but not too much and when to start pressing is essentially the gameplay but it was still hard to communicate despite a tutorial. A good, and humbling experience to watch people play at the launch event.

Eventually I’ll have a downloadable version up on and some day I’d like to go back and make a mobile version and work on more levels.