Shaun Inman has just posted details about the latest iPhone game he has been working on, named Mimeo. Having been awarded a grant to create a 16-bit game engine, his latest creations are far more ambitious than CAN’s much loved Horror Vacui. Mimeo started as a Mario clone with a twist: instead of power-ups affecting the player, they affect the entire game world. The mimeo world consists of two 16-bit demiverses sharing 32-bits between them. When the evil Kleptopus King, an 8-bit octopus with an inferiority complex, discovers a portal into Mimeo’s realm and begins to syphon off its bits, Mimeo is sucked in and down-sampled to 2-bit. So begins Mimeo’s quest to restore balance to the demiverses.
Shaun writes about his love for the pixel aesthetic:
The aesthetics of Mimeo (and Horror Vacui before it) are not born solely from nostalgia. Good pixel art strikes the perfect balance between appreciable craftsmanship and the gestalt. A single pixel out of place, one too few or too many, ruins the illusion. There’s an unmuddied, economy of expression, the thankless result of the limitations of cartridge-based consoles.
The story continues with Mimeo collecting carts to upscale himself and the game world and enables switching between acquired resolutions to solve platforming puzzles. Besides creating the scenario, programming and designing all the graphics Shaun is also composing and producing all the music.
Shaun is aiming for 2010 holiday season release. In the meantime, enjoy few short demo videos Shaun uploaded to his Flickr and together with this longer progress report. You can follow the progress on Shaun’s blog.