16K Axe Quest

16K Atari Inspired Retro-Remake Contest Entry:

Game Name: Axe Quest (Play It)

Game Inspiration: Golden Axe (Atari ST)

(click screen shot to play)

(click screen shot to play)

Author: Ace the Super Villain

What Ace Has to say about his game:

"AxeQuest is mostly based on Golden Axe, but I liked the idea of
SwordQuest's multiple worlds (earth, fire, water, etc). The original plan
was to swap out the graphics and enemy groups and enter a new 16KB game for
Earth, Fire and Water, but Fire Zone was 16.6 KB so I gave up on the idea
(you can find it on NewGrounds though). I've always been annoyed because
there were plenty of shooting but no face busting games from the olde
dayes, so part of this project was to prove that they wouldn't have been
all that hard to make back then. "


16K Lander

16K Atari Inspired Retro-Remake Contest Entry:

Game Name: 16K Lander (Play it)

Game Inspiration: Atari Lunar Lander Arcade Game

(click screen shot to play)

(click screen shot to play)

Author: Robert Podgórski of BlackMoon Design

Robert says that he chose this game because:

"We have a fond for everything 'retro-space-related' over at BlackMoon's. Re-make of the Lunar Lander was quite a natural choice."


16K Fate Of The Universe

16K Atari Inspired Retro-Remake Contest Entry:

Game Name: Fate Of The Universe (Play it)

Game Inspiration: Pong (and maybe Jedi Arena)

(click screen shot to play)

(click screen shot to play)

Author: Ace the Super Villain

Ace's game description:

"The father of all video games returns as an epic duel between the forces
of good and evil. Wield your blade in the name of justice for THE FATE OF
THE UNIVERSE is at stake!"


7 hours left to enter the 16K Atari Inspired Retro-Remake Contest



It is currently 5:00PM PST. We have already received a number of very well made games, so the competition is fierce.   It is so fierce that I have decided to also give a copy of our book, the Essential Guide To Flash Games, to the second place game. Also, each game will receive a full review on its own playable game page on the site with the developer details  (with an offsite link to a extended Mochi version when/if it is available).

There is a little less than 7 hours left, so good luck, and look for the games on the site by tomorrow evening (again Pacific Standard Time). I will need about 24 hours to get everything ready once we receive all the entries.


Atari 16K Retro Remake Contest Nears Final Date


This Sunday evening, at 11:59 Pacific Standard Time,  is  the deadline for entries into the 16K Atari Retro Inspired Re-make Contest. We have already received a number of very well made entries, so the competition is fierce.

Good luck, and here's to playing some great 16K games on the site starting Monday afternoon.

Voting will start later in the week and will run through the end of the calendar year.

The prize package will be awarded and send out in early January to the game voted best by the community and the judges (Steve and I).

Prize package:

1. Atari' Greatest Hits: Volume 1 for the Nintendo DS

3. The Icarus Kid CD - retro inspired music by the master himself!

3.  A physical copy of our book,  The Essential Guide To Flash Games

4. Clint Herron has graciously offered a license for his Platformer Starter Kit as an an additional prize for the contest

Clint’s product is a full featured development kit for use with the Push-Button Engine. You can see a demo that includes many different examples of the games that can be produced using the kit here: http://hanclinto.com/site/index.php/demo

5. Richard Davey and his wonderful new game, Cat Astro Phi have become an official sponsor of the contest. Richard has graciously added a copy of the masterpiece soundtrack to this game to the prize package.

6. A Snap! Classic Arcades PC game CD collection including: a copy of Atari Warlords for the PC , a copy of Atari Millipede for the PC , a copy of Atari Crystal Castles for the PC , a copy of Atari Combat! (90's remake from Hasbro).

7. The immeasurable prestige and honor of winning the first 8bitrocket.com 16K Retro Game Remake Contest.


HTML5 Canvas Book: Amazon Pre-Order + ES5 JS API Now Available

I just saw that our HTML5 Canvas book is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com.  That is the cover (above).  I have to tell you, it's pretty awesome to see an O'Reilly cover with our names on it.

Also, the JavaScript API for Electrotank's Electro-Server Socket-Server was released today.  I just finished my chapter on it a few days ago.   The API allows you to create multi-player games and apps directly in a web browser without a plug-in. The JavaScript API is very easy to use.  If I get some time over the weekend, I will write-up a tutorial on how to use it.


HTML5 Canvas Book Update : First Draft Delivered!

Tonight I finally finished the last chapter of the first draft of our book on the HTML5 Canvas. The text has been sent off for tech review, which means we still have a long, probably bumpy road ahead, but it still feels good to have another "product" in the pipeline getting ready for release.

After spending the past 8 months researching and writing about the HTML5 Canvas, it's difficult to reflect on how I think the technology will fit into the overall RIA/Web App/Connected App universe. I have just been too close to it for too long. At the same time, Flash has still been a big part of my life, and it will continue to be for as long as I can imagine into the future. I feel like a proud parent with two children, and I sincerely want each one to be as successful as possible.

The HTML5 Canvas proved to be frustrating, interesting, and ultimately exciting to explore. We originally proposed ten 40-page chapters, but ended-up with eleven chapters that ranged from 30-80 pages each. The book does not have "game" in the title, but we could not help but focus on games as a way to explain how to program the HTML5 Canvas. In the course of those chapters we cover topics such as:

  • What is HTML5
  • What does an HTML5 page look like?
  • What is the HTML5 Canvas?
  • Detecting Canvas support
  • How to create a "higher/lower" guessing game
  • Using JavaScript events
  • Mouse input
  • Keyboard input
  • How to display and manipulate text on the Canvas
  • Shadows, alpha, and gradients
  • How to export the Canvas as a bitmap into an HTML Window
  • How To resize The Canvas on the fly
  • How to communicate between HTML form elements and the Canvas
  • How to draw shapes and animate them on the Canvas with paths
  • Compositing on the Canvas
  • Filling objects with colors, patterns, gradients, and bitmaps
  • Using and Manipulating the Canvas state stack
  • Rotations and transformations to path based objects.
  • Creating objects with shadow effects
  • How to display and manipulate bitmapped images on the Canvas
  • Preloading images
  • Animating an image with a tile sheet
  • Applying transformations to images
  • Creating and editing tile sheets with the Tiled editor
  • Zooming and panning an image
  • Scrolling images
  • Manipulating the individual pixels on an image
  • Point Collision Detection
  • Bounding box Collision Detection
  • Circle/Circle Collision Detection
  • Creating push-buttons
  • Creating sliders
  • Creating Toggle Buttons
  • Displaying HTML5 Video
  • Optimizing HTML5 Video formats
  • Loading Video onto the HTML 5 Canvas
  • Creating video events
  • Creating a video puzzle game
  • Moving objects on a vector
  • Bouncing objects off angles
  • Bouncing objects off each other with friction
  • Moving objects on Bezier curve
  • Creating a loop with a Bezier curve
  • Moving objects in circle and spiral patterns
  • Bouncing objects with an without gravity and friction
  • Easing in and easing out
  • Preloading assets
  • HTML5 Audio
  • Creating an HTML 5 music player
  • Optimizing sounds effects for an action game
  • Creating s simple game framework
  • A simple state machine with an interval loop
  • Creating an asteroids style game with drawing objects
  • Crating an asteroids game with images and sound
  • Creating a particle pool
  • Creating a tile based game
  • Creating simple tile editor
  • Using Phonegap to target mobile devices with the Canvas (iPhone example)
  • Touch interfaces
  • 3D on the Canvas with WebGL
  • Multiplayer games with the Canvas and ElectroServer 5

There's a lot more in the text than the above, but this should give you a good idea about what to expect.  We have taken our many years of Flash game development, and we have attempted to bring those disciplines to JavaScript and the HTML5 Canvas.  We attempted to "leave no stone unturned" when it came to the types of things we ourselves would need to know if we wanted to take our work onto the HTML5 Canvas.

Anyway, this was just a short update to say that we are happy to be finished with the first draft. There is a lot more work to go (and probably some struggles), but at least we can enjoy the moment.  It feels good.


How Great Is AtariMania.com? Find out for yourself…

There are two Atari sites that I visit every day. The first is one that all Atari fans know about, the awesome Atariage.com. The other is just as good, but for some reason not quite as popular. Atarimania.com is a wonderful site, completely dedicated to being what Lemon64 and LemonAmiga.com are to Commodore fans, all wrapped up into a single destination for Atari enthusiasts.

Before we go any further, let me be clear that I don't know anyone at Atarimania.com, and they have not asked me to write anything about them. I just feel that this gem is very under appreciated and should be more popular. This isn't completely altruistic, because  the more people that participate on the site, the more fun I will have when I visit.

The AtariMania.com site is dedicated to preserving software, literature, reviews, manuals, and ... you name it for all Atari systems. It used to be a large database of Atari 8-bit computer software, but now it has been extended to the 2600 and the ST as well.  The site also covers all other Atari systems and Arcade games, but they they don't all have the same level of detail (yet) as the 2600, 8-bits, and ST lines. Everyday you will find new goodies uploaded to the site. From new roms dumps, to manual and review scans, to new language versions of games that very few knew existed.  The site is updated some days on an  hourly basis, so I even find my self  sometimes going back a couple times a day when I am taking code writing breaks.

I use the site daily to research games and game ideas. Just last week I used the Berzerk information to help create an HTML5 clone that I am doing in my rare spare time...plus it is just plain awesome fun to read through everything in the database. If you like a game by a certain programmer, you can search his/her name and all of the games he/she created. You can do the same with publishers, developers, time periods, etc. the database it simply incredible.

Also, the people who run the site are very cool. The other day I wrote (in a comment on the game page) that I wanted to play a game (Dave Munsie's shareware classic, Kid Kong - you can see their response in the comments) on my ST emulator but the rom didn't exist. In a matter of hours they had responded an added the disk image for download

Let's take a brief look at what kind of information is on the site.

The 2600

They currently have cataloged close to 8000 Atari 2600 games across various languages and editions. Their database includes over 13,000 screen shots from the various games and 2300+ rom dumps. Best of all, you can play 2600 games from the site, right in your browser.  I do this very often. Today I played Amidar and Maurader to try and see if I could combine them into a mash-up game of some sort for a client.

Atari 8-bit (400,800,1200xl, 600xl, 800xl, 1450xld, 65xe, 130xe, Xegs)

For the 8-bit line of Atari computers they have cataloged close to 9,000 pieces of software (mostly games), along with 15,000+ screen shots, and just about 5,000 actual game disk dumps to play in your favorite emulator (or write to disk and test on an actual machine).

The ST range of computers

The Atari ST range of computers is pretty new to the site (relatively),  but is has been receiving the most updates over the last few years. They have cataloged over 6,000 peices of software (again, mostly awesome games), with 22,000 (!!!) screen shots and over 2000 disk / game dumps.

The rest of the stuff

Aside from game roms, screens, and descriptions, they have a giant collection of Magazines and books, as well as videos, scans, and other various awesomeness across the range of Atari machines (arcade, 5200, 7800, Lynx, Jaguar, etc). You can even sign up and create your own collection pages using your account.

There is also an extensive collection of reviews, manual scans, catalogs and other juicy coolness on the pages for the various games in the database.  For example, take a look at the entry for Bruce Lee (one one of the best 8-bit games ever created). They have even typed in  the original reviews for the game from Electronic Games and Electronic Fun magazines.

The Problem

As a fan, the site needs more users and participation. There are too many games (even classics) than have few if any ratings or comments on them. There is also a pitifully underused and under-appreciated message board that should be a popular as the Atariage board  but only has a reflection of a shadow of Atariage's awesome participation.  Let's make one thing clear though, the site certainly has a level of popularity and participation, but it would be much better if more people got involved.

The Verdict

I know that many people (like me)  visit Atariage.com on a daily basis and participate (or at least lurk) in the forums.  So I ask all of those people to please also visit AtariMania.com.  I know that Atariage.com users love to write because by god, I see literally (ok figuratively) novels written every day (on the Atariage message boards) covering subjects like The ST v. The 8-bits, and the top 10 best Pac-man games on the 2600. The best thing (in my opinion) you can do for a site like Atarimania.com is to take some of that Atari enthusiasm and write comments on the games and materials that are being tirelessly formatted and put up on the site by the amazingly dedicated staff.

My Plea

Anyway, this is my little plea to the Atari community at large. How great is AtariMania.com? Pretty f*cking great.  Don't take my word for it, visit the site for yourself. You may find yourself lost in the games, videos, magazines and playable 2600 games.  So if you have not been  there before, you might want to do it when you have some time to browse and comment on things.  These guys are doing some great work, and the best way we can show them we appreciate it is to spend time looking at it and letting them know how awesome it really is.

(8bitjeff is Jeff D. Fulton)

Filed under: Atari Nerd No Comments

Target Now Sells Our Book!

I was just doing my cursory "search of the internet to see if anyone has written anything about our book, The Essential Guide To Flash Games lately",  the same search that has become less and less frequent as the months since the release have passed, and I came across this:

Yes, it appears that even target knows what's best for you when trying to learn how to build Flash games!


16K Atari Inspired Retro Re-Make Contest Update



Here is the latest news on the contest:

The biggest news is that we are going to extend the contest end date until Sunday 11:59PM Pacific Standard Time December 19th. This will give everyone the entire weekend to find time to optimize and finish their games before we post them for voting.

Just as big news: We are proud to announce that Richard Davey and his wonderful new game, Cat Astro Phi have become an official sponsor of the contest. Richard has graciously added a copy of the masterpiece soundtrack to this game to the prize package.

Also, for those of you without a Nintendo DS we have added a set of PC Atari games to the prize package:
A Snap! Classic Arcades PC game CD collection including: a copy of Atari Warlords for the PC , a copy of Atari Millipede for the PC , a copy of Atari Crystal Castles for the PC , a copy of Atari Combat! (90's remake from Hasbro).

Of course, the winner will also receive the DS game just along with the other prizes in the full package.

See the contest page for full details.

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