Island of Mimir

Explore an island made from digitally painted tiles

Way back in 2009 when Knytt Stories was relatively new, a digital painter going by Sinix started making one of the most beautiful levels of all time. Unfortunately he didn’t get very far. What he had made he released to the public so we could see the potentially wonderful experience that would never be.

Right at the end of 2020, I decided to change that. I picked up from where Sinix left off and expanded the demo into a full island. It is still a small level. The painterly, chaotic graphics were a challenge to work with and reproduce. If it gone on for too long I would have needed to create new landscapes. As it is I added Mayan inspired statues and a night version of the island.

I reached out to Sinix for permission to release this level. He not only gave his consent, he made new artwork for the level. He also had some good ideas, one of those being to add hidden places. This was a request I was happy to take. The secret places give players more challenges to beat, more places to explore, and more reason to spend time with this jewel of a level we’ve created.

Download Island of Mimir 15.7 MB

Requires Knytt Stories to play.

Halloween Story Match

Build a spooky story through a simple card matching game.

Halloween Story Match is a casual card matching game with a few fun twists thrown in. The most important of these are health, stories, and achievements.

Health comes in the form of little wisps at the top of the screen. Every miss-match causes one of them to disappear. Losing all of them means you lose the round. But, there is hope. There are three types of candy cards, and matching a pair of them returns one wisp.

The best part of the game is the stories. If you match all the cards, you’ll be presented with a spooky story with sound effects for you to read. This story is actually generated by the matching game. There are five types of picture cards. The first match of these will start you out on one of five main story trunks. The next matches branch the story in a different direction. In total there are one hundred and twenty possible outcomes. Some are scary. Some are funny. All of them are short and sweet.

In addition to the main game and the stories is a treasure trove full of oddities which you can collect through in-game achievements. With the exception of a dowsing rod, these are all extremely rare and often unique items. Each comes with a short description to explain itself and why some might find it valuable, or if you don’t have something yet you can find out how to get it.

This game is free and there are no ads or restrictions, but there is one solitary and permanent in game purchase. The book icon in the menu leads to story mode where you can read the stories as you wish without going through the card matching first. It is my strategy that you will either find the branching stories so compelling that you must read them all or enjoy the game so much that you wish to thank me for entertaining you. But, there is nothing available in story mode that you can’t get freely through the game.

Get it on the Play store

Watch the promo on YouTube

Progress Report: The Tree of Knowledge

Made some progress thanks to a Lenten resolution. See a rocky-beach screen capture.

Out of all my projects the one I’m most intent on completing right now is The Tree of Knowledge. I’m truly making an effort to finish it this year, by August if possible. That month marks the 10-year anniversary of Knytt Stories, the foundation upon which TToK rests. Though it may have been an odd resolution, I made working on it every day part of my Lenten practice. Now that Easter has arrived, I figured I’d let the world know that this project is not dead. It is very much alive.

pixel-art rocky-beach game-graphics

I’ve been restricting myself from posting too much about this project. Chiefly, I don’t want the people who have been following since the beginning to be familiar with every location before I publish the finished product. Another reason is I’ve been working (and mostly not working) on this for a shamefully long period of time. I seriously don’t want to create any hype until it’s nearly complete.

New Project: HiddenStar

Tim McDowell launches himself into making a game about a little robot and a strange alien.

Since early Summer I’ve been working on a new project. The concept is to create a new game based on the Knytt Stories source which will use the Knytt Stories level editor for design. Anyone will be able to create and share their own content for the game. Though this approach gives me a good head-start in programming, there’s still plenty of programming to do, not to mention the gargantuan task of creating all the graphics and sounds. Thankfully, I am receiving help with music.

To make Hidden Star stand in its own right, I’ve reworked many of the key elements of game-play. The first notable change is the view. The camera tracks the player through large zones while the viewing area has shrunk. This has allowed the addition of parallax scrolling backgrounds. The smaller view necessitated cutting back on the player character’s speed, which brings me to the second big difference: platforming mechanics. There are two playable characters each with their own move sets. The fast little robot can’t climb sheer walls; but he can duck, crawl, and grab ledges. The large and strange alien can climb some surfaces, glide through the air, and swim through the water. Additionally each character has special ways they can interact with the environment, and receives different reactions from its inhabitants.

The video below has the robot showing off his moves to some uninterested humanoids. I’ve a long way to go in this endeavor, but I think I’ve made a good start of it.

Through the Swamp

A pit stop between adventures becomes a bit of an adventure itself. Follow Juni as she traverses a swamp in search of refreshment.

A pit stop between adventures becomes a bit of an adventure itself. Follow Juni as she traverses a swamp in search of refreshment.

A long time ago I made several Knytt Stories tilesets for an aspiring level designer. One of these was a swamp based on Fredrik Andersson’s Thin Forest tileset. Through the Swamp was conceived as a nice way of releasing these graphics. And though it certainly is that, Through the Swamp has managed to become a charming level that can stand proudly among my best work. It’s available in 2 versions. The mono version is for those with low bandwidth.

Download Through the Swamp 15.1 MB

Download Through the Swamp (Mono) 9.4 MB

Requires Knytt Stories and Knytt Stories + to play.