Cross stitch animation may sound like a niche interest for developers with too much time on their hands, but in reality it's a fascinating combination of artistry and game development. It requires great attention to detail and the ability to not get exasperated by dozens of wires. One of the latest examples of cross stitch animation comes from @wallmasterr on TikTok, who recreates my favorite first-person-shooter game on Earth: Doom.
This cross stitch iteration of Doom is based on the original masterpiece. The TikTok user used an Arduino Mega and multiple input/output extenders to create a loom out of the famous title. @wallmasterr says that he had to hook the video game controller up to the animation tool and managed to create a 25x25 grid. As a result, the developer created a noisy-but-absolutely-amazing black and white version of the FPS classic.
@wallmasterr has another cross stitch animation project on lowtekgames.itch.io, which is open to people online. In this particular game, the developer lets you pick colors for both cross and line stitching. By hitting space, the cross stitch loop activates while pressing R will reset the loop to a blank slate. There's no way to save your project but it's a hypnotic loop that can kill some time if you’re terribly bored.
Try it yourself — You might even be able to create an interesting looping image. In another project using the cross stitch animation editor prototype linked above, @wallmasterr drew a funny TNT explosion out of cross stitch that looks like this:
Cross stitch animation will never become the de facto video gaming style, sure, but there’s something visually addictive about this amalgam of rough stitches and some mechanical wizardry that turns Doom into a little embroidery project. It’s also additional proof that the popular game can run on practically anything, including, heck yes, cardboard.