Reddit Relives r/place Experiment With Great Success!

And so ends another reddit experiment for April fools. This year reddit decided to relive their experiment from 2017, r/place, with some new surprises. Communities from each corner of reddit could be found stamping their mark, alongside twitch personalities who rallied their huge fan bases. Users battled it out in an effort to create a mini-image on the huge canvas. We saw many old faces make appearances and many new. Without a doubt, the experiment was a huge success and delivered that fun, community feeling as it did in 2017.

How did it work?

Place 2022 followed the same rules as place 2017 — each user is limited to drawing one pixel on the canvas every 5 minutes, the colour of the pixel is chosen from a colour pallete of 16 colours, and the canvas can only be drawn on for 72 hours reaching its final state.

This year however the canvas size started as 1000 x 1000 pixels, and at the end of each day it doubled in size until it reached its final size of 2000 x 2000 pixels. As a further surprise, within the final hours the canvas entered “the end” where only white pixels could be drawn, completely erasing everything on the canvas.

How did communities coordinate their users?

One of the main challenges as a community was planning what and exactly where an image should be drawn. Since we are dealing with images drawn as raw pixels, the coordinates needed to be accurate and the image needed to scale perfectly so that each pixel colour could be determined.

Firstly, an image is transposed into a set of pixels using only the available colours in the place colour pallette and scaled down to fit into a designated area. This was achieved using photoshop or similar software, where in most cases the image was slightly tweaked manually to clean up any down scaling issues.

Next, the community would decide on the coordinates to place the image. The coordinates for place started at the top left corner (0, 0) where the first coordinate is the column and the second coordinate is the row eg. (69, 420) would correspond to the pixel at column = 69 and row = 420. Choosing a position to draw the image was one of the bigger challenges as communities would have to battle it out if another was trying to draw within same coordinates.

Finally, communities were relying not only on reddit but also discord to quickly share information related to their image. Twitch streamers who joined the fun were also coordinating their user bases through discord channels. Communication was one of the most important aspects for coordinating users where discord proved to be the most effective tool.

Will RGB improve on this experience?

Yes! We have several plans on not only how pixels can be drawn, but also how communities can coordinate together. RGB will host all tools to recolor and scale images, plan coordinates, and provide a reliable communication platform. Also, the completed canvas will become an NFT which you helped to create!

We look forward to announcing development milestones in the coming months so stay tuned!

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