Pixel Colony

  • user warning: Table './glorioustrainwrecks/sessions' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT COUNT(sid) AS count FROM sessions WHERE timestamp >= 1665047818 AND uid = 0 in /var/www/glorioustrainwrecks/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 175.
  • user warning: Table './glorioustrainwrecks/sessions' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT DISTINCT u.uid, u.name, s.timestamp FROM users u INNER JOIN sessions s ON u.uid = s.uid WHERE s.timestamp >= 1665047818 AND s.uid > 0 ORDER BY s.timestamp DESC in /var/www/glorioustrainwrecks/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 175.
ihavefivehat's picture


I've been poking at this game on and off over the past month or so and I've gotten to a point where I think I'm done with it. I got rid of all the major performance problems so the game can now run to completion no matter what image you choose or how crappy your computer is. (Unless you have a pretty old computer) I also added a shiny new UI (The first time I've ever made a UI) and made the color palette more interesting. There are a bunch of other smaller changes that I don't remember specifically.

So anyway, if you tried the game before, please give it another shot.


This program will ask you to select an image. It will then turn that image into a terrain map which you use to create an island paradise. Your island will then be colonized by a ship full of pixels who will multiply and begin to convert the landscape into industrial sprawl. There is no interaction; the effect is supposed to be more like watching an ant farm than playing a game.

I've attached some images that work particularly well.

Event Created For: 
Made For: 
An event
5pecqo.jpg24.02 KB
Meda_songs,_1851.jpg1.67 MB
Carajas_Mine1.jpg575.85 KB
10001576_421616001317542_1526527054_n.jpg58.98 KB


everythingstaken's picture

This doesn't seem to be

This doesn't seem to be working. It just turns images into black and white and then that's it.

ihavefivehat's picture


I accidentally uploaded a broken build. :[

Thanks for the quick catch. and it should work now!

everythingstaken's picture

this one won't open :(

this one won't open :(

ihavefivehat's picture

foiled again by the internet

Wow, I'm bad at this! Hopefully I got it right this time.

everythingstaken's picture


It works! Seems like half of the population is employed though after running for about 30 minutes. :-( Seems like they need a re-election.

froggie.png43.05 KB
ihavefivehat's picture

Yup, unemployment tends to

Yup, unemployment tends to hover around 50%. Basically, this society has a big problem with urban decline. All of the jobs are available at the edge of the city, where agriculture and industry take place. As those plots of land are converted into urban sprawl, the people who were working on those farms/factories lose their jobs and wander around aimlessly in the inner city until they either find a new job or starve to death.

If you play long enough, the entire island will become depleted of resources and everyone will die off, leaving behind a desert wasteland.

I've lived in a large city for the last few years and a looking back on it, lot of this game's character came from my anxiety about urban life.

everythingstaken's picture

lol Jesus Christ, what large

lol Jesus Christ, what large city? Must have been pretty depressing. I think all human life without change will be destine to die off like these people. Future humans should take this game as a warning.

ihavefivehat's picture


I actually like it here most of the time, but there are depressing things going all around you if you look for them. I try to keep in mind that unlike the pixels in this game, real-life humans can question and change their own actions. Maybe that's something I'll think about for a later, more uplifting version of this game.

clyde's picture

I have some questions. When

I have some questions.
When the red dots are going from the city to the light green dots, is that workers communting to the farm for work?

Sometimes a yellow pixel will travel over green, leaving a light green trail. What is this?

So let me tell you why your game is great:
1. You know how there is something intoxicatingly dramatic about setting a physical photograph on fire and watching it burn? Well there is something incredibly novel about doing it to digital pictures in my collection.

2. If I watch the process carefully, I end up with a very specific history of what happened (kinda like in Civ5). The really interesting part of this for me is that pictures are typically intended to encapsulate their subjects as representational memories. But here, I'm developing memories of what happened to the picture; it's important to note that the inherent qualities of that particular picture are influencing this new history. So (and I'm using a made up example here) if my mom wore a green suit to the wedding, I might be like "Ah yes, I remember mom getting populated way before the dance-floor or cake because she chose to wear green.

Wish list:
-I want a color key-code .

ihavefivehat's picture

to answer your

to answer your questions:

1) Yup, those are pixels commuting to work
2) Those are groups of pixels leaving to found a new city. When they get to a good spot (adjacent to the coast or a mountain), they'll settle down.

I originally made this game so that you used your webcam to take a picture of yourself. I thought it would be cool to watch your own image be defaced in a utilitarian sort of way by a program which is ignorant as to what effect it is having on you emotionally. but then I realized that a lot of people won't have a webcam and I liked the idea of having people using random pictures from their machine which might be family photos or other things like that which might be even more interesting.

A color legend is a good idea, I'll see if I can put one in.