I’ve been finding myself working at bursts on a new version of KernType. I have enough done to know it will be published, God willing. It is a task that I have attempted several times since it first came out, but it seemed a cursed project. I would always end up abandoning it when it became too complex.

The reason for the complexity was my ambition: first I wanted to space the letters following arcs, that got quite far. Then I didn’t want to create stages by hand, so I made a Fireworks script that would automatically export all the assets and all the code necessary to produce a stage. Then I wanted letters to be images, so I could support both vector and photographic letters such as signage and stone inscriptions. Then I had to update my fireworks script. Then I wanted to support perspective kerning.

You get the idea, I got tangled in so many details that the project soon proved overwhelming, and I came out empty handed on every single try.

And as I write this I notice a certain hesitance to publish my thoughts: what if this attempt is cursed too, what if I come out empty handed?

But that is impossible, because my only aim, for the time being, is to replicate the existing game into a new codebase, with mobile support. I’m 90% done, and I will release it silently through this work log soon.

Something felt wrong upon writing this, and I took a look to see how much was left to be done before it was playable and tolerable to the bare minimum. The answer was: half an hour. And so to the loyal reader of this work log, here I offer a sneak preview of the new KernType (warning, I might have exaggerated that 90%):


Almost the same thing, as you can see, but the stage scales to the size browser. Many kinks need to be worked out, but the codebase is extremely simple. No libraries except for Anime.js, which I know I want to use down the road, and rewriting css animations or transitions into javascript is a pain.

“Why not create new stages while you’re at it” I hear. But this would be premature, our mission is to replace the old game with the new one announcing it as the old kerning game with mobile support. Only when this happens will I work on more features and stages. Features such as collections of words Spanish, punctuation, rare scripts, inscriptions, wait for that I would need to support letters as images… Ah, always the same trap.

Let us release in the most simple expression possible.