Pixel Fireplace at Ahhhcade pop-up event – SFMOMA

27 Mar

Ken and I are both extremely excited that Pixel Fireplace will be featured in a pop-up event at SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) on Thursday March 28 during the Game Developers Conference. It’s a one-day-only experimental games arcade called Ahhhcade with a theme of relaxation, cooperation, and open-world exploration. Go check it out if you’re in SF on that day, and take pictures for us please! It’s FREE, there’s no museum admission required, and the other projects are so intriguing! Get all of the details in the full ahhh-nnouncement on Facebook.

Below are the other projects that will be featured at the event.

image credit: Brandon Boyer's Venus Patrol

image credit: Brandon Boyer’s Venus Patrol

SoundSelf (Robin Arnott + Evan Balster)

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Hexels is out!

28 Feb

hexels_page_banner_mnmlUpdate: The servers are working now! We had one rough day before Dreamhost increased our bandwidth. I’ll make a new post soon about all the AMAZING artwork people have been making, but in the meantime you can see some of it on the tumblr I made called Made in Hexels.

The art program called Hexels that Ken and I have been working on for a year and a half is finally out! …and then our site went down, hah hah :|

Below are backup links to the free version of Hexels and the store where you can buy Hexels Pro:

Mac version: http://www.tedmartens.com/Hexels.dmg
PC version: http://www.tedmartens.com/HexelsInstaller.exe
Store to buy Hexel Pro: http://sites.fastspring.com/hexraystudios/product/hexelspro

Trixel Buildings – trixel shape mode in Hexels

20 Jan

Last week I posted about the new trixels shape mode that Ken added to the Hexels beta. Here’s my first trixels piece along with a speed paint video showing how it was drawn. The video is 3 hours of drawing speed up to 12 minutes.

Trixels will be a feature in the pro version of Hexels, which I wrote more details about over on our Hex-Ray website.

Awesome birthday presents from friends!

15 Jan

Turdy_Ted_notextI got awesome presents from some great friends for my birthday that I wanted to share. Above is a Ted-portrait from Liselore Goedhart (Monobanda) based on my pixel avatar. It’s so cute! I love the fluffy hair and plump Hex-Ray logo in the background. I love Lizzy’s character designs, so it was a nice surprise to get one of myself from her. Thanks again Lizzy! :D

Below is a piece by Natalie Hanke (Coffee Makes Creative) that uses a new Hexels feature made by Ken Kopecky, trixels! I’ve been begging him for the ability to draw both right-side up and up-side down triangles at the same time in Hexels. We decided it would be something to add after release. Hexels hasn’t been programmed with this in mind so it would be a big re-write, however, he surprised me with it on my birthday and got beta testing help from Natalie. Thanks, you two! Click the image to see detail images on Natalie’s website which is full of amazing pieces.

I have great friends :) I’ll post my own art using trixels pretty soon. I’m working on one now that I like, but it’s not quite finished. I’m super excited for this feature, it opens some big doors for Hexels I think!

I’m turning 30!

11 Jan

low polys, ummy num <3

It’s my birthday on Sunday, and I’m turning 30! I thought I’d celebrate by putting Pixel Fireplace on sale, so all day on Jan 13th it will be $0.99 instead of $2.99. And thanks for all the PF love, by the way! I’m really happy that people are enjoying it :)

Shinobi III tribute for Segazine

3 Jan

This is my SEGAZINE tribute of Shinobi III for Sega Genesis. It’s four memorable moments from the game, which was tough because there are SO many. The first one is the dark, science lab full of biological experiments. The second is the mini boss in the surfing level. Next is the Mecha-Godzilla-like boss after the fire level. The last frame is Shinobi making his way up a CANYON by JUMPING ON TOP OF FALLING BOULDERS (no big deal for a 90’s ninja). Originally I wanted to do one frame for every level and/or boss but that would have taken a really long time. I like the way it turned out.

UPDATE: I forgot I was going to show my sketches for this piece! I really like sketching small to get the composition and action figured out because it’s really easy for me to get caught up in the details of a piece. Drawing small forces me to ignore the details and focus on what’s important at the early stage, and it’s really easy to make big changes or start over at this stage. I also do this thing while drawing large pieces where I squint my eyes to blur the details so I can check the overall composition and contrast. I’m sure I look ridiculous while doing it =_=

Each sketch is about 2″ x 2″, and then I take a quick photo or scan them, make ’em larger in Photoshop and draw over top with more details (eventually hiding the layer when I don’t want it anymore).

Below are a few of the many amazing submissions we got from people. We’ll let you know when the zine is available for pre-order, we’re figuring out the layout and printing details now.



Pixel Fireplace update – v1.2 Colors

26 Dec


Pixel Fireplace has a command update – v1.2 Colors. The full version has 25 new color-themed commands. The Mac App Store version is up to date and  it’s also available direct on our Hex-Ray site for both Mac and PC.

All the different colored fires were fun to come up with, Ken added gradient map functionality for me so I could make a bunch of different color commands without having to re-color each sprite. My favorites are the color-combos like ‘sunset’, ‘dusk’, ‘aurora’, and ‘plasma’. A few of them are in the video. It was really tough naming some of the color combinations though. Sometimes you just can’t describe art with words, they are different languages. I eventually figured out a good command for each though, and even changed some of the colors to better fit the name.

Like last year, I’ve received and come across some heart-warming photos of PF running in people’s lives. Here are a few from this year :)

“Doing it right. Merry Christmas” – Rob Sheridan, Art Director for Nine Inch Nails

Custom made mantel for PF at Poke in London. Photo by Mistersnappy

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Merry Christmas!

24 Dec

Martens Family HexmasMerry Christmas from the Martens family!


SEGAZINE – open submissions

1 Oct

I’m working on a new zine with Ashley DavisCorey Lewis, and Paul Veer about the characters, games, and consoles from SEGA’s legacy and we need your help! Below is the gist of what it’s all about, and you can go to the website to see the rules in detail or look at some lists of SEGA consoles and games for ideas.

SEGAZINE is a black & white zine about the SEGAverse. It’s about characters and games from a magical time when SEGA stood for hip and fresh games. A kind of attitude sorely missing in today’s games industry.

Celebrate these times with us! Show us what the SEGAverse means to you. Has it inspired you in any way? Changed you as a person? Do you have any good stories related to SEGA to tell us? Or do you just like drawing SEGA things? It’s all good! We’d love to see it!

Submissions are open until November 1st (2012), so get to it! We will be accepting anything as long as it can exist on paper. That means drawings, 3D renders, photos, written stories, comics, poetry. Anything you can think of.

Though we are taking all submissions, we won’t be able to put them all into the zine. After we print it, the remaining entries will be posted daily on this tumblr page (artist name, site and twitter included), so everyone will get a chance to be seen!

Have fun and spread some SEGA love, we can’t wait to see what you guys send us.


11 Jun

I’ve been helping Steve Swink out with his awesome prototype Scale for a couple months. He showed it at the Experimental Gameplay Workshop during GDC and recently at the IndieCade booth at E3. Here’s a brief FAQ on his site and a video interview on Kotaku with gameplay examples of the basic idea behind the game. It’s been a ton of fun working with Steve and on this friggin’ cool concept, it has so much potential for interesting puzzles and situations.