Glitch is Dead, Long Live Glitch!
November 18, 2013 10:17 AM   Subscribe

"The collaborative, web-based, massively multiplayer game Glitch began its initial private testing in 2009, opened to the public in 2010, and was shut down in 2012. It was played by more than 150,000 people and was widely hailed for its original and highly creative visual style. The entire library of art assets from the game, has been made freely available, dedicated to the public domain. Code from the game client is included to help developers work with the assets. All of it can be downloaded and used by anyone, for any purpose. (But: use it for good.)"

Tiny Speck, Inc., the game’s developer, has relinquished its ownership of copyright over these 10,000+ assets in the hopes that they help others in their creative endeavours and build on Glitch’s legacy of simple fun, creativity and an appreciation for the preposterous. Go and make beautiful things.
posted by jenkinsEar (41 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
Oh wow.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:20 AM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wouldn't have hurt the post to include background for the uninitiated or even some idea of what the assets look like assembled.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:22 AM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

oh man. i don't even know what to do with all this, but i'm glad to see it! i loved that game so much.
posted by nadawi at 10:26 AM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

It was great...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 10:28 AM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wow. I kind of wish we could use the avatar builder here to make our own MeFi profile images. Heck, I wish every site/service I used offered glitch game art for backgrounds, avatars, and whatnot.
posted by mathowie at 10:31 AM on November 18, 2013 [6 favorites]

It feels very odd to have such a nostalgia waves for images that aren't even five years old.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:32 AM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

They're all mine now!!!
posted by grajohnt at 10:33 AM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

Yay! I tried to archive as much of the assets as I could before it went down, but having them available in neat little packages like this is very nice! Though I only jumped on board after the ship started sinking, the wonderful art direction was one of my favorite things about the game, so I'm glad that's being kept alive and available.
posted by byanyothername at 10:41 AM on November 18, 2013

Also released: Keita Takahashi's [Glitch, Katamari Damacy] 200 Quick Ideas for enhancing the gameplay in Glitch.
posted by xqwzts at 10:43 AM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

All files are .fla or .swf?

posted by gwint at 10:44 AM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I could never get into the game as a game, but it was very pretty. I'm glad the art is available. Also if anyone makes desktops/phone backgrounds from it, let us all know. I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one who was interested.
posted by immlass at 10:55 AM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

I still have sad feelings of I really wish I were playing Glitch right now on a weekly, if not daily, basis. I have zero idea of what to do with this stuff, but have downloaded literally all of it and will probably occasionally gaze at it sadly and resent myself for not being better equipped to somehow Do Cool Things with these.

Thank you for this.
posted by MeghanC at 10:55 AM on November 18, 2013 [10 favorites]

All files are .fla or .swf?

There is a zip of .png files although I don't think it includes everything. The zip does include a "plate of beans" icon, though.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:58 AM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

gwint, also released are all the tools needed to take those FLA assets and convert them to png spritesheets. for example. The game client converted nearly everything to bmps at run time, for performance.

(I am co-founder of Tiny Speck and was lead client dev on Glitch.)
posted by ericost at 11:28 AM on November 18, 2013 [25 favorites]

Obvious quality of graphics and art design aside, the writing in this game was really top-notch and was one of the main reasons why players were so enthusiastic about it, I think. From the naming of things to the bubble dialogues, every single line of writing was a positively essential part of that gleeful experience. It's not an asset you can easily upload as a file and showcase, though, so let me extend a late but heartfelt Kudos to the Glitch writing team: your work had not gone unnoticed.

It's just so sad that despite all its overwhelmingly positive attributes, it never quite worked as a game. I wish Glitch and Little Big Planet had a baby.
posted by procrastinator at 11:30 AM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Awesome! I miss Glitch so much. Animal Crossing: New Leaf scratches the itch a bit, but I hate that I can't customize my character's appearance to the same degree, and it's much lonelier (because the game's networking features are tedious to use and buggy as hell).
posted by asperity at 11:42 AM on November 18, 2013

The zip does include a "plate of beans" icon, though.

Were Metafilter ever to include emotes (ala phpBB or emoji or what have you), this would have to be one.
posted by sparkletone at 11:48 AM on November 18, 2013

I agree it was the writing that made the difference, but I suspect the concentration on beautiful experiences clashed with the addictive monkey grinding repeatability that make a game work long term. I came late enough that I was able to do nearly everything interesting but not so late as to get bored, so I think I hit the sweet spot.
posted by tavella at 11:49 AM on November 18, 2013

I miss Glitch still. Even now I sometimes catch myself glancing at the clock and thinking, "It's almost a new day. Shake your pouch, fix your tools!"
posted by mixedmetaphors at 12:11 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

(Here's a thing I keep meaning to get made into a nice print.)
posted by ericost at 12:24 PM on November 18, 2013

ooohhhhhhhhh *pets the gas trees*

I can't express how much I still miss Glitch. And the community and yes, the writing. And the whimsy -- so much whimsy! And the bouncing and flying and swimming and jumping and spelling -- with friends. And my panda hat. And so, so much more.

I hope that this helps to bring life back into the ongoing efforts that are out there to build a new world to play in together someday.

In the meantime, thanks for the panda hat.
posted by KatlaDragon at 12:45 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

I loved Glitch.

I still remember my first Rook Attack. I was on my own in a street, panicking that I'd have to fight the thing on my own. Then suddenly, 40 people appeared to help out. Kind of epitomised the entire game, really.

I remember killing a chicken once, after thinking that it wasn't actually possible. And leading Ghost hunts, and random subway rides. God I miss that game.
posted by Solomon at 3:06 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

I, too, miss Glitch and my little house and my Mefite Glitch friends every day. Hi guys!!!
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 3:22 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

Were Metafilter ever to include emotes (ala phpBB or emoji or what have you), this would have to be one.

posted by acb at 4:18 PM on November 18, 2013

My now-six-year-old and I used to play Glitch together. She'd dress up our character & we'd go exploring after dinner, until I told her it was bedtime because I really just wanted to chat with my glitchy friends rather than squeezing every chicken we saw.

Not a week goes by without her asking why we can't play anymore.

We bought chickens for our farm & now she gets to squeeze them IRL, but it's just not the same.
posted by belladonna at 4:19 PM on November 18, 2013 [7 favorites]

I really miss Glitch too. Nothing else like it.
posted by Specklet at 5:49 PM on November 18, 2013

The best thing about Glitch was working together.

Also, randomly giving strangers gifts.

And the Moon Parties.

And toiling for hours and hours and hours in Ajaya Bliss. I remember going there early in the morning, Christmas morning, thinking I would be alone (all the sparkle is mines!). There were a few other parents in there, drinking their coffee, waiting for the kids to wake up. It was a lovely way to start the day.
posted by ColdChef at 7:14 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

No to get all lawyer-y or anything, but I don't get why you use a CC "license" when you want to release works into the public domain.
posted by benbenson at 7:37 PM on November 18, 2013

Rainbow Connection
posted by ColdChef at 7:38 PM on November 18, 2013

posted by ColdChef at 7:45 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

acb: 🍛

That is curry and rice, and we should accept no substitutes.
posted by sparkletone at 7:56 PM on November 18, 2013

No to get all lawyer-y or anything, but I don't get why you use a CC "license" when you want to release works into the public domain.

Under US copyright law, anything that someone creates* is automatically copyrighted. The benefit of the CC public domain method is that it's a "known good" way of releasing something to the public, without any legal pitfalls or risk of it not working right (or for that matter allowing the creator to go "ha gotcha not actually public domain you owe me money"). As I recall, the way it actually works is that you sell the copyright to the CC organization for $1 (that is, there's an exchange of consideration, to make it a clearly binding contract) and they make it available under the equivalent-to-public-domain CC0 license.

*with some exceptions, like uncopyrightable things and works made for the government
posted by NMcCoy at 9:03 PM on November 18, 2013

I'm really happy to see these released. I miss Glitch terribly. I hope someone uses the avatar stuff especially, because I love having the options available there and I miss the gender-neutral character designs. It was really nice to not be stuck in a stupid gender binary in character creation.
posted by NoraReed at 11:43 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I never got to play Glitch. I excitedly signed up for the beta, checked back a few times and nothing seemed to be happening.

Eventually, I forgot about it in the maelstrom of my life. Then, the next time I am reminded of it, it's being shut down!?!?!?! I'm sure I wasn't the only person for whom it slipped under the radar. There was more hype for signing up for the beta than there was for the actual release.

I'm disappointed I never got to experience it. It looked wonderful.
posted by Homemade Interossiter at 1:53 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I miss Glitch daily.
posted by emmling at 4:33 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I miss Glitch too. I keep wanting to play it again. How bittersweet to see these!
posted by apricot at 7:08 AM on November 19, 2013

Apparently they added the server code to the release. How exciting is this?
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 12:58 PM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

This thread made me cry.
posted by MeghanC at 6:48 PM on November 19, 2013

What does that mean? Could the server-side JavaScript make it live again? I will pay moneys for this.
posted by NoraReed at 7:54 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wow. Thank you, ericost. I didn't get the chance to play the game when it was online, but this is an astonishing treasure trove. Not coincidentally, I discovered and am trying out Slack today, too.
posted by ~ at 8:58 AM on November 22, 2013

I loved Glitch, or at least the concept of Glitch. The world and its characters were beautiful, and what you could do in the game seemed infinite, and every little detail was laced with humor or pithy statements. Wonderful.

But somehow I never really got into playing it. After creating my character and exploring the game world, I seemed to be inundated with missions. It was overwhelming.

Additionally, I wanted to buy a house more than anything, but they were limited and it seemed that to earn the in-game currency needed to purchase one, I would have to grind.

And that's the thing. I didn't have the time, nor the energy, to grind. Grinding feels too much like work, and I don't play games to do something tedious. I play to relax, to have fun, to immerse myself in a different world. Maybe it just wasn't the right game for me, but I desperately wanted it to be.

Still, I miss it, and I hope another developer creates another great game, or at least some kind of toy or app from these assets. Thank you for everything, ericost/Tiny Speck!

PS I miss Game NeverEnding, too. :(
posted by Lush at 12:34 AM on November 24, 2013

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