Playscii logo

Playscii is an open source ASCII art, animation, and game creation program, the successor to EDSCII. It runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX.

Playscii 0.3.4 screenshot
A screenshot of Playscii 0.3.4 in action.

What is an ASCII and how does one Art with it?

ASCII art uses computer characters (like letters, numbers, punctuation, or any other symbol that can be produced via text entry) instead of pixels to produce images. Old style emoticons like :-) are an early form of ASCII art, though it predates digital computers as typewriter art and continues today in a beautiful variety of forms.

Sounds neat, can I try it out?

Playscii's development is ongoing and the program is usable for creating artwork and games, though you should expect some bugs as it's not ready for a stable release yet. If you run into any, please file a bug if you're able. Download the latest build here. The project's readme file has info on using Playscii, running it from source with Python, and other stuff. If you're feeling audacious, you can have a look at the included examples and try to make a game, but there's no documentation on that part of Playscii yet.

With the executable builds for Windows and Mac you don't need to have anything else installed - just download, unzip, and run. If you're running from source then you'll need the dependencies listed in the readme.

What sorts of things have people made with it?

Now that Playscii is up and running as an art tool you can follow @Playscii on twitter or the Playscii Tumblr blog for art and development updates. You might also search for @playscii on twitter to see work other people have made.

Playscii's game creation capabilities are maturing as well: Endless Ladder Climbing 2 is the first released game made using Playscii.

What's the development plan for Playscii?

I'm Playscii's sole author and I'm building it to be a tool and tech base for a series of games, the largest being an unannounced commercial game that may very well not be open source. For the foreseeable future, my dev priorities on Playscii will be focused on supporting that. If Playscii attracts interested developers who I feel I can work well with, I'd be happy to let the project's scope broaden as seems reasonable.

Since version 0.7.0 most major features exist in some form, so development is now a process of refinement. For a very detailed view of what's being worked on, see the project's TODO list.

Which open source license is Playscii's code offered under?

The MIT license, which is very permissive so you can pretty much do whatever. Note that even this liberal license does not apply to artwork created with Playscii, so please use it however you like!

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