This Hack Draws Memes for You in ‘Splatoon 2’

Those realistic 'Splatoon 2' drawings were made by a machine.
July 24, 2017, 6:04pm
Image: Nintendo

Splatoon 2, the sequel to Nintendo's excellent paint-splatting shooter, is finally here. Like the original, Splatoon 2's main hub, where players can shop for clothes or jump into multiplayer matches, is a city that's populated with other squid kids representing other players. When you approach one of these squid kids, you can see a picture drawn by that player, also known as a "splatpost."

Most splatposts are handwritten jokes, memes, popular tweets, or photorealistic drawings, which is quite impressive considering most players are drawing these by hand one pixel at a time using the Switch's buttons or touch screen.


I say most players because at least one modder found a way to create incredible splatpost art without actually drawing. The modder, known as Shiny Quagsire, created what he calls the Splatpost Printer: a program that automates drawing images for Splatoon 2. You can see in action here with the final product below:

I spoke to Shiny Quagsire via direct message on Twitter about the project, which he has made available for free. All you need to use it is a computer that runs Linux, a Teensy USB microcontroller, a USB-C to USB-A cable, and some patience.

The process, Quagsire admitted, is "a mess." Basically, you have to compile a program for a Teensy USB development board with a pre-edited image that you want to post, then plug that device into an undocked Nintendo Switch with a USB-C to USB-A cable and wait around an hour for the drawing process to complete.

While an hour may sound like a long time to wait for a drawing it sure beats doing it by hand.

"I did some other meme by hand and it took five hours, hence why I did this at all." Quagsire told me.

I personally wouldn't love it if this will lead to Splatoon 2 being flooded with even more popular memes, but Shiny sees it in a more positive light.

"It lowers the barrier for entry for this kind of pixel art, and it can save some headache for those who want to [create] art on a PC and bring it to Splatoon without pixeling it in manually," he said.

So if you're bad at pixel art but good at memes, adequate in Linux, and don't feel like actually playing Splatoon 2 for an hour, you too could see your creation being screenshotted and shared on social media by players.

Here's hoping the process becomes a bit easier in the future so us non-Linux using normies can up our splatpost game.

Correction: An earlier version of this post included a photo of a meme that was hand-drawn. The image has been replaced with one that used Quagsire's program.