I was the art director on the PS3 game Journey, formerly employed at ThatGameCompany.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I have been writing a program, codename Navashop. Yes, writing code. A great frontier of nerdiness that have yet to explore. I started this with zero knowledge of any programming at all. I'm using a thing called Processing. Navashop is a painting application. Currently its not exactly feature packed. But its going to be awesome. Trust.
This is a portrait of John Edwards, lead engineer at ThatGameCompany. It's also a sample image showcasing the incredible abilities of Navashop 1.0. In this first iteration of this killer app, all you can do is draw one-pixel-wide jaggy lines. No fancy features. Like save, for instance. So this is actually a screenshot of the program. Haha.
Here's a sample image from Navashop 2.0. There were vast improvements in this iteration, largely thanks to Rick Nelson. Rick is an engineer at ThatGameCompany who taught me about the invaluable programming concept, "loops." And no, that is not a portrait of Rick Nelson. Navashop's most notable improvement was the ability to sample colors by holding down the option key. I also made the drawn lines thicker. You might notice there's something that looks like a color selector on the left there. Don't be fooled. It's just the background. You can't actually shift the hue with that slider. You can, however, see the currently selected color update in that little square on the left.
This is a sample image created in Navashop 3.1. Notable new features include: variable brush size controlled with hotkeys, a color selector that actually works (to a certain extent), brush stroke transparency, improved line drawing math...and a sweet bomb button. If you click the bomb, it will clear the image...great for starting over without having to quit and re-open the program. This iteration reads information from a wacom tablet about pressure, allowing you to paint semi-transparent strokes. That means you can blend colors, folks. In order to improve the drawing accuracy, I had to get help from two great individuals: Pythagoras, philosopher from antiquity, and Bryan Singh, game designer from ThatGameCompany. With their help, I did some real math, for the first time since high school.
Navashop 3.1 is unfortunately Mac only right now, because of something to do with a tablet library. But I think I can fix that.... maybe. There are a lot of great features in the line up for Navashop 4.0... however I currently have no idea how to implement them! Before Navashop 4.0 is created, i will need to understand something known as... the back-buffer. So it may be a while. Check back later for updates.


  1. Oh what, you adding code to your smorgasbord of abilities? Will you please stop? :)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. the one corner you hadn't conquered. you went for it.
    congrats: soon there will be nothing left to learn.

    jk. in navashop's awesomeness we trust.

  4. COOOOOOOOOL!!!! What an exciting trip through the evolution of Navashop!!

    I'm glad you're writing more too cus your other posts always left me wondering what was going through your Navabrain.

    COOOL! NAVASHOP 4.0!!! That's AWESOME!

  5. HAHAHHAAHAH that looks just like Rick! so you went from knowing zero to now knowing ones? get it... ones and zeroes... programing... computers 100010101010100101011010101. I just wrote Navashop will only be awesome if you create a hot key to rotate the brush in binary code. Awesome work Matt and TGC!