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Bob Ross And The Joy of Painting 78

hmccabe writes "'The Joy of Painting', the PBS show that taught many of us how to paint 'happy little trees,' is being made into a videogame. Apparently Nintendo's DS and Revolution systems, and PC computers will be seeing the title, which has been confirmed as not-an-april-fools-joke." From the article: "Hatcher himself admits to being a big Ross fan, which is partly why he wants to make games based on his work. 'I personally loved watching Bob Ross growing up and I enjoyed watching how easily he created his paintings. We want to translate that same feeling of watching the TV show into playing a Bob Ross game," he said. "Whether you are an eight-year-old child, or a 65-year-old grandma, we want anyone to be able to pick up the game to create and play to your heart's content.'" "
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Bob Ross And The Joy of Painting

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  • This sounds very Japanese. And now we paint a happy little tree over here.
    • Re:Japanese (Score:4, Informative)

      by tsa ( 15680 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:34AM (#15050452) Homepage
      And now we paint a happy little tree over here. ... And let's paint another one next to it so it doesn't feel so alone.

      I loved Bob's shows.
      • Yeah, he was pretty cool. Definitely a game to watch.
      • I watched it 'dubbed' (well, not entirely dubbed, as ou could hear his talk in the background, but it was almos unaudible).

        So now for my comment.

        And probable here, yes, here, live a nice little chipmunk
        By the way, the chipmunk I told you about the other day is ok, she eats a lot of nuts, it's very funny...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The blobs I painted look nothing like happy trees. Maybe a happy blob, but certainly nothing tree like.

  • by Tepshen ( 851674 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:35AM (#15050460)
    But it depends on what angle they approach it with. If is some lame sandbox type game along the lines of mario paint I would just as soon pass it up. After all I already have photoshop should I want my kids to play around with paint. But if its approached more as a learning tool I.E. Bob Ross teaches to paint by example I could really get behind that for any kid that might be interested in computer graphics.
    • I think if it doesn't include a sandbox painting tool, then the whole project will be something of a wash. It HAS to include content creation tools, or the thing will be useless since waving a Revolution wand around to paint, for all its coolness, is still dissimilar enough to applying a brush to canvas that little will be actually learned by the process.

      By the way, I would love to see a new Mario Paint after all this time. I think that would be most, most excellent.
      • by Tepshen ( 851674 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @12:50PM (#15051257)
        My point is that there is little need to create "Virtual Paint Game" in and of itself. For the money you spend on the game you can buy real paint and brushes give it to your kid then depending how old they are take the leftover money and pay someone to clean up the mess. Unless its point is to teach painting (much like Ross did) the game will be pointless. I think it would be an affront to his work if all they did was put his picture on the box and some voice recordings in here and there and made no effort to TEACH. Thats just my opinion though, I could be wrong.
        • For the money you spend on the game you can buy real paint and brushes give it to your kid then depending how old they are take the leftover money and pay someone to clean up the mess.

          You've obviously never gone shopping for oil paints. :)
        • For the money you spend on the game you can buy real paint and brushes give it to your kid then depending how old they are take the leftover money and pay someone to clean up the mess

          Virtual painting on the DS (or on a tablet PC, whatever) has several advantages:

          - you can paint in the car
          - you can paint on an airplane
          - you can paint at grandma's house
          - there's no need to prepare a work area
          - there's no need to clean up

          The fact that it's a zero-mess, completely portable solution makes it a VERY viable idea a
        • Well, virtual paint could very well sell -- Mario Paint is regarded as a classic now, after all. And there is a certain attractiveness to non-messy paint.....
    • I.E. Bob Ross teaches to paint by example

      Err, you do know that he's dead, right?
  • by ToxikFetus ( 925966 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:39AM (#15050503)
    Does the game teach you how to get Bob's wicked cracker-fro?
  • The category of Art Games seems sparse, but Pokemon Snap [] was a nice, fun change from the usual 1st-person shooter. Instead of blowing monsters away, you took photographs, with limited "film" so you couldn't just spray away.

    The only real problem (apart from the general Pokemon-ness, which for some people would be a barrier) is the scoring system. I think they did as well as could be expected, but scoring seemed to be centered on a particular aesthetic, e.g. photos with a critter well centered scored higher.

    • Pokémon Snap was a lovely game indeed - but you really should forgive them for requiring centered pokémon for good pictures. The game is (was) aimed at children, after all, not at professional photographers. ;)
      • You're quite right, of course. It would have been cool for it to have a variable scoring system, e.g. "kids", avant-garde, tourist .... but as is, it was darn good.

        I suppose in some sense, websites that let you post photos and rate those of other people is a comparable game ... in which ratings are the scoring system.

    • "Can you imagine it as a MMPORG???"

      My God! Its full of 'fros!
    • Yes, yes I can imagine it as an MMO. It would consist entirely of griefers running around slopping paint over other peoples' work and yelling "OMFG NUB!"
    • You would probably like Beyond Good and Evil, Reporter Female lead collects pictures of wildlife and then uncovers and snaps government Corruption and more wildlife.

      Good Game, Underated

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:40AM (#15050510)
    And if you tell anyone about this game I will cut you.
  • by rad_chad ( 611206 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:46AM (#15050587)
    As a kid I watched his show and enjoyed it, but did he ever really paint anything other than happy little trees? And maybe a mountain or a lake to compliment them. Isn't he the AC/DC of the painting world?
  • Must have Feature (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Irish_Samurai ( 224931 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @11:56AM (#15050703)
    I will only buy this if it comes with a "Theater Mode" where I can let Bob's voice lull me into a happy tree coma.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Yes, I used to love slipping into Bob Ross semi-comas when I was little.
    • I believe that if you go to the Bob Ross site [], you can order your very own coma-inducing videos.

      Which is what I need right about.... now.

      Disclaimer: I have not ordered nor viewed these myself. Your coma-inducing mileage may vary.

  • I hope they include some sort of hidden level, maybe i you just stare at the canvas for ten minutes without moving you will start to hear that 'rat-a-tat-tat' of the Victor-Charlie gunning down your position, and you will lob a tube of titanium white at the cameraman before trying to dive for cover behind one of the "happy little bushes" you've painted. (seriously though, as lame as this Could be - there's a part of me that has to see it in real life)
    • No need for the "rat-tat-tat" sound effects... 'ole Bob, when he got excited about adding a highlight of color to a sunset or water effect, would fiercely whisper "fire it in there! Just fire it in!" Now that would get anyone's adrenaline going!
      • Don't forget that he would beat the holy hell outta his paint brushes to get the water out of them. That's gotta be in the game, for sure.
        I can envision an energy meter that waxes and wanes as depending how ferociously you move the brush, and points for how many people on the production crew you can spatter.
  • "We want to translate that same feeling of watching the TV show into playing a Bob Ross game"

    Err..mind-numbing boredom?

    "Whether you are an eight-year-old child, or a 65-year-old grandma, we want anyone to be able to pick up the game to create and play to your heart's content.'"


    Seriously, I can only see one hope for this game: a series of lessons on how to paint ponies.

    • easy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MilenCent ( 219397 ) * <(moc.liamg) (ta) (hwnhoj)> on Monday April 03, 2006 @12:26PM (#15051037) Homepage
      Nintendo is chasing after non-gamers for the DS and Revolution, so this has the potential to be a real coop for them to have this on their systems. Bob Ross has greater name recognition, outside of gaming circles, than Grand Theft Auto.
      • obviously! is there anyone here who DOESN'T have a vague notion of who Bob Ross is? Do any of you know WHY you know who Bob Ross is? i sure don't
        • Hmm... I figure I know who Bob Ross is because of the web of popular culture references that have been made about him that have served to elevate his low-budget PBS show into one of those second-tier cultural artifacts that's just famous enough to be known to most people today, but in eighty years will make all kinds of historians wonder what the hell we mean when "Bob Ross" comes up in an ancient document they're investigating.
    • Seriously, I can only see one hope for this game: a series of lessons on how to paint ponies.

      Lesson 1:

      Get the pony to stand still -- its a pain to try and paint on a moving canvas.

  • Serious Thought (Score:5, Insightful)

    by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) * on Monday April 03, 2006 @12:13PM (#15050889) Homepage
    I love jumping on the ol' good-natured-poking-fun-at-Bob-Ross bandwagon, but let's actually consider what this game could end up being--and doing.

    First, consider where Bob Ross' style meets computer technology. Ross is best known for two things: painting landscapes and easily recycled phrases. Now, think about what you could do with this in a computer game: dynamically-generated landscapes ("never the same painting!"); reasonably intelligent guidance (processing...object:forest. Speak: "happy little trees". Append random advice on painting trees. Bleep bleep.); Ease-of-use (no setup, no cleanup--paint for five minutes at a time! No need to buy brushes and canvas--you've got a full professional setup already!); and finally, the Revolution's controller (select: 1/2" fan brush. Dab, dab, dab, tilt, dab, dab--whoa, a happy little tree!) Get past the obvious snark, and this game actually holds some promise.

    While I doubt it'll end up being a killer game, it could very well end up being a tipping-point game for parents/casual gamers making a purchasing decision. "Hey, here's something I could see myself enjoying..." "Hey, it has Tetris, Scrabble and this painting game...looks like it could be fun!" Heck, even I'm intrigued by it--and it certainly isn't the kind of thing I'd typically consider for a video game.

    There are a lot of unsolved variables in this equation, but it could turn out to be something fun, profitable and--dare I say it--revolutionary...

    • And wouldn't this be the perfect game for the DS, which already comes with a "paintbrush"? Another thing to add to their "Your grandmother will love you if you get her this for her birthday" list along with Brain Training/Nintendogs/whatever. Maybe even allow you to export your creations via that underused wireless connection -- mail them to your friends, post them on your website, etc.
  • Killer app?
  • by ShawnDoc ( 572959 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @02:55PM (#15052421) Homepage
    The evil Republicans, tired of Bob being funded with taxpayer money have stolen all of Bob's paint. Help Bob get his paint back! You control Bob through 27 levels of platforming fun, dodging right wing kooks, NRA members, and the religious right while collecting every color of paint under the rainbow.
  • For those of us who love drawing, and love drawing on the go, this will be great. Pictochat is good enough for some pretty cool stuff - considering that you're doing it on a portable game system. I hope they let you save enough of your creations - that is a major flaw of Pictochat, and from what I hear Electroplankton.
  • by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @03:34PM (#15052705) Homepage
    Bob Ross: And we're just gonna paint a happy little tree there, and that'll be our little secret....

    ....and if you tell ANYONE, I will come to your house and I will CUT you!

  • Ah, I first discovered Bob Ross when I was a little girl. I saw his awesome show on PBS, barely visible because of all the fuzz caused by non-cable TV. I liked him because he understood that you have to make noises when you paint. I used to say and still do "you gotta make the noises or it won't work". I still insist that he was coppying off of ME even though he was who he was before I was even born. He's my kind of people. I would like to have met him.
  • watch the bob ross episode of the boondocks, and you will realize just how crazy the guy has to be - I mean cmon, painting "happy little trees" is the highlight of his life...
  • In 1998 Maarten Ploeg and Dick Tuinder wrote a Bob Ross emulator for Amiga,
    the program can be seen in action here: ection_id=17&record=711 []

    (Quicktime movie)
  • Will there be a sequel featuring The Secret City?

    IIRC Secret City was this guy who dressed like Joel Hodgson's MST3K uniform and showed you how to draw 3/4 perspective buildings, etc.
  • The remark about "not being an April Fools joke" was great. I wonder how many hair-brained (Afro?) schemes got their PR moment in the sun just in time to be laughed off the email inbox / fax machine?

    Oh man - I"m still chuckling over it.


    Editor: yea right April Fool yourself.\

    PR: No REALLY!

    Editor: Yea Yea Yea...

    PR hellday. I love it.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.