Abxtract Tractx

About Abxtract Tractx

Do you think Abstract Art is too simple to be considered art? Try reproducing all 6 iconic abstract paintings in the very puzzling Abxtract Tractx!

Abxtract Tractx

How to play

Controls - keyboard

Your goal is to reproduce on the left-hand side canvas the abstract painting shown on the right-hand-side.

Move with left up right down or W A S D. Stepping towards a coloured square will launch a straight line of colour onto the canvas all the way to the frame.

Press Z to undo a move. Press R to restart the level.

Controls - touchscreen

Tap to simulate pressing X and swipe to simulate an arrow keypress.

E-mail Pedro PSI real-time feedback

Press E anytime to e-mail real-time feedback to Pedro PSI! Much appreciated!

Level navigation

Press L or click Level X/Y or Select level in the game bar to navigate freely between all levels..

Type the level number directly with 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9, press Tab/Shift+Tab or Left/Right to cycle through levels, Enter or Click to confirm, Esc or L to cancel.

Fullscreen

Toggle Fullscreen by pressing F.

Community

Hall of fame

Once you beat Abxtract Tractx, you'll be invited to enter Abxtract Tractx's Hall of Fame! As soon as you pass the final credits screen after winning, you'll be able to type your name in a new window. Make sure you are connected to the internet, then press Submit to be remembered forever or close the window to forsake your glory.

Guestbook

Enjoyed Abxtract Tractx? Add your message below to the Creative Archive's Guestbook!

Leave your message!

Credits

Abxtract Tractx by Pedro PSI, 2018.

Abstract Artworks

All abstract artworks, listed chronologically below, are in the public domain (see Wikiart page link).

YearAuthorTitleLink
1914Vanessa BellAbstract PaintingWikiart
1915Kasimir MalevichBlack SquareWikiart
1923Theo van DoesburgStudy for Composition XXVWikiart
1922Paul KleeSeparation in the EveningWikiart
1927Sophie Taeuber-ArpProjet pour l'AubetteWikiart
1930Piet MondrianComposition in Red, Blue and YellowWikiart

Classical Music

Background music by Gustav Holst Camille Saint-Saens.

Music tracks in Abxtract Tractx
AuthorTrackYearGenrePerformerLicense
Gustav HolstThe Planets - Op. 32 - Venus - The Bringer Of Peace1914ClassicalUS Air Force BandPublic Domain
Camille Saint-SaensBassoon Sonata - Op.1681921ClassicalCharles KaufmannCC-BY 3.0

Game Engine

Made with Puzzlescript and Pedro PSI's game bar!

Inspect the source freely, but consider the option to support the Creative Archive!

Special thanks

Lucas LeSlo, William Hu (TheGreatEscaper), Personman, Ili Butterfield (Chz), Marcos Donnantuoni and Matthew VanDevander for early positive feedback and/or for suggestions about the game synopsis; Elyot Grant for spotting other polishing opportunities.

F.A.Q.

What does the name Abxtract Tractx mean?

Abstract Tracts refers both to the vast canvas areas (tracts) to become abstract art, and to the colourful lines (also tracts) connecting different areas in each painting. The Ss were replaced by Xs to represent the intercrossing of paint lines - so often a byproduct of the game mechanics.

Why is Abxtract Tractx so unusual a game?

Because:

  1. its main purpose is to spark curiosity for abstract art and classical culture in an entertaining way;
  2. it draws extensively from the history of art rather than from a purpose-made fictional world;
  3. its original mechanics are simple yet difficult to master and
  4. it belongs to the very rare art puzzle computer game genre.

Do you agree? Leave a comment!!

Were similar games made ever since?

Absolutely. Check, for instance, Leo Lefebvre and Sacha Chouery's Paisible après midi au fil des toiles (thanks Ili Butterfield (Chz) for the tip).

Which criteria guided the choice of artists and artworks?

The most important criterion for inclusion was the availability of at least one public domain artwork (per artist) that would broadly fit in the abstract category (e.g. Neoplasticism, Suprematism, Abstract Expressionism...). Critically, each artwork had to make a good puzzle, so those with very complicated details or too many colours were excluded. Also, due to the game mechanic and low resolution, right angles were preferred to obliques, and no curvature could be added. So, for instance, Rothko, Pollock, O'Keefe, Delaunay or Kandinsky couldn't be included.

Why are there differences between the original artwork and its depiction in Abxtract Tractx?

Most differences arise from the low-game resolution and by the limited colour palette (common to all paintings, chosen for simplicity). Canvas size was limited so it wouldn't be tedious to traverse by the player. Also, brush strokes and other tridimensional paint features were not considered.

Changelog

10/2018

Shortening of canvas size in level 5; improvements to colour contrast.