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30Jun/080

8bitrocket Diatribe June 20, 2008

The World of 8bitrocket
Things have been busy here at 8bitrocket towers. Steve is moving to a new house and I am preparing for a new baby to arrive into my old one. These little life experiences have left little time for brand new games and tutorials, but we do have some new content in the works. Between watching my LA Galaxy lose to DC United 4-1 and my Spanish brothers (my mom's side of the family) beat my German brothers (my dad's side of the family) 1-0 in Euro '08, I worked on a new tutorial explaining the basics of blitting from a tile sheet. I want this one to be a fun read, but also informative and useful for the beginner. That leads to a lot of diagrams, copy editing and the like. Diagrams take extra time to prepare, as does fact checking on the history of bit block transfer and other ancient subjects (the fun part for me).

I have finally been able to get a basic particle system going into my new game, Boids of Death. It has been difficult to find time recently to sit down and be creative, but I really want to get another game out there before the baby comes. That means I need to hit the keys pretty hard over the next month. Steve's new game seems to be coming on well also, but he has been out of commission lately too. One of the sites he works on was hit with a nasty virus last week, so most of his time was spent cleaning that up and fixing all of the holes he could find.

The world of Flash games - a quick survey of some sites and portals.
nGfx has a a couple new posts on the Gamingyourway.com site. I especially like this one...

Somehow I missed this awesome 2d racing game on Mochi - Speed Warrior

There is a new high quality Bowja The Ninja game ready for you to play on Kongregate.

Addicting Games has more Bloons fun with the Players Pack 4.

Play a Physics Based Twist on Missile Command with Mirc on New Grounds.

Play a nice version of Arkanoid with Xenocrate 2 on Hall Pass.

Finally, an older, but pretty fun Missile Command-like game from Game Jacket, called Last Defense.

The World of Classic Games and Retro
I recently purchased SNK arcade classics for the PS2. It is quite a nice collection of really fun games. Metal Slug is my current favorite. I was digging around the bargain bins at Best Buy Friday afternoon and two new releases for the DS caught my eye: Arkanoid DS is getting some good reviews and will probably find it's way to my video game cabinet soon. As well, Space Invaders Extreme DS looks promising also. The great documentary, King of Kong, might be getting a sequel. I'd love to get one of these (Classic NES Controller for the PC) babies, and one of these new portal NES systems might be a blast also.

In the USA, July 4th is a Holiday.
July 4th marks our yearly celebration of the time in 1776 when the British Government gave up occupying the USA in favor of fighting the French. We took that opportunity to create a country that would one day save both their asses in multiple world conflicts. (I'm not a history major, so some facts might be a little whack). They, in turn have been our tenuous single good friend in the EU for many years, even though we might not have been the best friend back. It's been quite a ride for the last 200+ years and I figure to spend at least some the 4th celebrating by lighting things on fire. Back in the 70's. before Star Wars or Atari, the first controllable multimedia experience Steve and I had as kids was buying, organizing and then setting ablaze our own "Safe and Sane" fire works extravaganza. I am sure there are psychologists that will stand up and say that it was some sort of release of suppressed aggression from being in the womb together for 9 months, but in reality, we just loved FIRE! Safe and Sane fireworks are basically just a line of relatively innocuous spark and sound emitters. Nothing explodes unless you have my dad manipulating them with his bitchen set of 70's tools. We loved what we had though, especially as explosives did and continue to scare the shit out of me. The July 4th celebrations were always our favorite of the year, as much as it signified the real start of summer vacation, as it meant a day at our Granny's house blasting our saved pennies up in smoke. The legal beagles have made this impossible the last 20 or some odd years because of insane in-duh-viduals who accidentally set fire to entire neighborhoods with imported (smuggled) Mexican explosives. So, it has been some time since I have had the opportunity to geek out with minor explosive spark emitters. As it turns out, we have the opportunity to do that once again this year. We will go to the local TnT stand and just buy the legal stuff. It will be the first chance for my young son to watch his uncle and dad relive the days when the 4th meant begging our dad to buy the biggest box affordable, and then supplementing his purchase with our hard earned allowance.

The World's most popular sport
No, I'm not talking about trolling message boards and acting like a jackass - although that does seem to be pretty much the worlds most popular past time. I talking about Soccer or Futbol, or footie, or what ever is it called in your neck of the woods. This isn't a site devoted to sports, but since I am a soccer geek, I will add my two cents every now and then. I am a fan of the Galaxy, and not because of Mr. Golden Balls Beckham. I have been a fan since I dragged my wife to the first game with 79K other Los Angeles area footie fans in April of 1996. I have been hooked ever since. The Galaxy lost 4-1 to DC United yesterday in a "warm up" game to the Euro 08 championship. The most surprising thing about the whole day was ABC TV showing 5 hours of soccer in a row. It is interesting to note that many local affiliates saw that day on the schedule and decided that it was a perfect opportunity to do transmitter moves and commercial make-goods rather than show the soccer games (I'm not joking, these things actually happened). In any case, the Galaxy looked pretty woeful in the DC heat and early morning game (9:00 AM on the West Coast). Landon Donovan looked OK, and Edson Buddle scored a pretty decent goal, but the rest of the team looked out of sorts. Beckham, who I am a fan of, seemed missing and not his usual self. Pires is a joke and the defense was constantly let down by the nonexistent stopper in the midfield. I hope the July 4th performance is better than this one.

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