Mr. Pixel's Programming Paint Set
My goal in creating Mr. Pixel's Programming Paint Set was to provide an environment in which children would become acquainted with basic computer programming concepts while having fun creating art. The basic programming concepts presented included the following:
Instructions to move a pen on the screen
Instructions to draw with the pen
Instructions to change the color of the pen
Repeat Loops: Repeat the instructions of a program, redrawing a picture in another location.
Name a drawing and store it
Subroutines: Redraw a stored drawing at a particular location in a new location
Resize line lengths for drawing, or the size of an entire drawing.
Fill an area with a color
The instructions comprising a drawing could be viewed as a computer program. The instructions appeared as icons, the same icons used in the menus. The program could be edited to effect the drawing.
Programming Paint Set Manual
Mr. Pixel's Cartoon Kit
Mr. Pixle’s Cartoon Kit allowed children to create their own animations. Cartoons were created by moving animated “players” around the screen at various speeds. All the movements were recorded.
The concepts included:
Select a player to move
Move a player at a specified speed and direction
Flip a player horizontally
Hide or show a player
Each player was a “sprite”, a term to define an on screen character. In addition to moving a player on the screen, a sprite's parts could be animated. A sprite consisted of four drawings. The four drawing would be cycled rapidly on the screen to make it appear that its parts were moving. For example, a sprite's arms and legs could be drawn to make it appear that it was running.
Backgrounds for cartoons were drawn in Mr. Pixel’s Paint Set and then loaded in from disk.
Cartoon Kit Manual
Mr. Pixel's Game Maker
We also developed a video game making programming for children entitled Mr. Pixel’s Game Maker. It used animated players from the Cartoon Kit. Instructions included:
Animating players on the screen,
Controlling players with game controllers
Detecting collisions between players and objects
Detecting if a player was within a certain range.
Detecting if a player reached a spot
Controlling the score.
We made some fun games with the Game Maker. Unfortunately it was never marketed by Mindscape.
The Mr. Pixel Series was developed in the assembly language of the following computers. Apple II, Commodore 64, and IMB PC.
The Mr. Pixel Series was developed by Master Software. I was the founder and president of the company. It was financed by Richard Black, an angel investor. He had seen the Illustrator demonstrated in a computer store in New York, and based on that demo he invested in my business. I served as the chief software designer and architect, as well the liaison to Mindscape, the publisher of Mr. Pixel. Members of Master Software included: Chuck Hill, Tom Talley, Brad Beukema, David Silverman, Jay Schauer, Ralph Berger, and Glenn.
In addition to the Mr. Pixel Series, we developed an object based paint program with an integrated word processor entitled Masterpiece. Unfortunately it was never marketed.