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Artists are turning to voxels to make the familiar feel new

On February 21, 1986, Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda was first released in Japan. This week, to celebrate the game’s 30th anniversary, series fans Scott Liniger and Mike McGee took to browser to release a complete 3D remake of the first game titled The Legend of Zelda: 30 Year Tribute. Unfortunately, Nintendo has since pulled the project, but what’s notable about it is how it used voxels to make the familiar world of a decades-old game feel new again. Short for “volumetric pixels,” voxels are an oft-forgotten method of rendering 3D worlds that have nonetheless been making a comeback as…

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This voxel editor envisions an alternate history in which all games look like Minecraft

There was a very brief window of time, way back in the early 90s, when the future of 3D graphics was up for grabs and the voxel was a contender. Obviously, polygons blew them out of the water.  But CubeTeam—the multiplayer, browser-based voxel editor—lets you build and print via a 3D printer the cubist landscapes that might have existed if games were built of tiny cubes instead of tiny triangles.  Perhaps not surprisingly, they would probably look a lot like Minecraft, a game that doesn’t technically use voxels but achieves something similar visually. This gets very inside-baseball, but there are…

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The unreal, voxel-based matrices you can play with a controller

There is a certain school of thought that says that coding is a world of beauty. The trouble is, it’s largely an invisible world; i.e. you have to know programming language in order to appreciate it. It’s not like the average person is going to look at a page of HTML and be blown away. But after seeing the algorithmic, 3D environments created by the digital artist GMunk and programmer Steff Kelsey, they just might believe.  This cubist project was created as part of the From Paper to Pixels exhibit in Boston last year. The point of that show was…

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The first holographic system actually has some games for it now

As pointed out by Hyperallergic, the hypnotic holographic system called the Voxiebox was shown off a week ago at Indiecade East. This marvelous volumetric display has been around since Maker Faire 2013, but has recently made mucho headway in terms of people actually programming games for it—classic-style games composed of cubes of blistering light that occupy physical space.  At Indiecade, it was Voxatron, the voxel-based twin-stick shooter (maybe?) that’s still in alpha but sure looks voxel-y. There was also a version of 3D Pong made for Global Game Jam 2014. And a galloping red horse. All this makes my eleven-year-old…