8bitrocket.com
29Aug/120

Freelance Flash Games Interview with Steve and I on the Future of Flash and HTML5

 

 

 

Freelance Flash Games Interview with Steve and I on the Future of Flash and HTML5

Read It Here

Thanks, Ryan for the opportunity.

 

19Aug/120

Vectrex Regeneration Closes The Loop On My Retro Game Needs

One a summer day, just like this one, nearly 30 years to the day, I bought a GCE Vectrex with money I made from selling my Atari 2600.    At the time, it felt like an investment in the future.   The Vectrex had a black and white vector screen that could produce images that looked like arcade games.    It came with a with an Asteroids-like game named Mine Storm, and promised the ability to play other vector arcade favorites like Star Castle and Armor Attack.  I love the Vectrex, and even though the games were all very short and sweet, it provided the visceral thrill of golden age arcade game like no other system  has ever been capable of reproducing.

However, soon after I bought the system, the company folded.   I was able to acquire about 10 games before the Vectrex passed into gaming history.  I kept playing it for a few more years, but then the controller port stopped working.   I've haunted eBay since the late 90's looking for a replacement, but the time and budget has never been right for me to make a purchase.   The Vectrex remains the single retreo game platform from my youth that I have not been able to effectively recreate on a modern platform.

Now though, it looks like my Vectrex dreams will remain dormant no longer. A company named RantMedia Games has announced a Vectrex app for the iPad named Vectrex Regeneration.   Apparently it will offer 20+ original Vectrex games for free, plus they will sell upgrades so the app will work with the iCade (yes!), and other new home brew games, multi-player support, etc.   The app will be out "soon".    You can follow them on twitter here.

 

 

 

Filed under: Atari Nerd No Comments
17Aug/120

Bob Cringely Says His Web Site Is Not Viable Any Longer, He Needs To Evolve : We Understand Bob!

Over at Cingely.com, Bob Cringely has finally has explained why he is "quitting".  Basically, a web writer trying to create a destination blog does not pay the bills any longer.  In his story  Facebook, Cringely and the devolution of the web   Bob says :

"I could do a lot better job of marketing this rag and have, in fact, done some little things.  We have Search Engine Optimization (SEO) now... But I’m basically unwilling to do much more that might compromise content. Link exchanges? Paid guest posts? Not for me.I could start selling my own ads and save the commission, but that only makes sense for a rag this small if there’s a single advertiser out there who wants to buy my entire ad inventory, hopefully forever. ..There are more things I could do to stretch out the inevitable as I am sure many commenters will shortly explain, but what’s key here is that any such herculean efforts wouldn’t change the endgame for this column..."

We totally understand.   Attracting an audience to a destination site is so much harder than it was just a couple years ago.   Here at 8bitrocket.com we have had blips of success, but  nothing is ever sustained long enough for us to get any real traction.  We get offers for ad inserts, link exchanges, "guest blogs" , etc. all the time, but we fail to see how any of that will help us.   That is why, you will probably see, more and more,  things like this:   Pong Returns Gamasutra: Developer Diary Post For The Atari Pong Indie Developer Challenge, where we try to get our work onto other sites where the audience is larger and we don't have to market the pieces ourselves.

 

 

16Aug/120

Professor Palindrome! Now For Android Devices

Professor Palindrome! in now available for Android devices.  the Android version cost $.99 and has no ads.  You can get it here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.producto.prefssorpalidonromesmobile

 

13Aug/120

Professor Palindromes! First Dollar Earned As an Indie Studio Partnered With Producto Studios

We put this on our bulletin board. It represents the first dollar we earned from our first game as an indie game studio (partnered with Producto Studios). It's folded to 70% to represent the cut Apple took.

You can see the game here:
http://itunes.apple.com/ua/app/professor-palindromes-unscramble/id543642119?mt=8

10Aug/120

box2dweb for the HTML5 Canvas: Converting MTS Units To Pixels To Apply To The Canvas

I'm starting to love box2dweb.

I've been working on a revisions for the new edition of our O'Reilly book on the HTML5 Canvas, and I thought it would be nice to add some coverage of box2d to chapter 5 (Math and Physics).

There are two box2d implementations for JavaScript.  The first is box2djs, and the other is box2dweb.  Apparently box2dweb is the latest and greatest, so that is the one I chose to use.

At first, it took me a little while to understand what was going on.   I kept wanting to attach images or drawing objects to the output from debugDraw,  Then, all of a sudden, things clicked.    box2dweb is simply a model of the physics.  My job is to apply it to the Canvas.

One of the biggest hurdles with applying  box2d models to the Canvas is that box2d uses mts units (metre–tonne–second)  instead of pixels.  This complicates applying models the Canvas because, for 2D game developers, pixels are a way of life.   Since mts units are designed to apply to the real world (which is good for physics) I needed a way to convert those units to pixels to then apply them to the Canvas.

After a bit of trial and error, I came up with a factor of 30.

<em>var scaleFactor = 30;</em>

To create the walls that bound the Canvas (the walls that the balls bounce off of) I would do something like this.  notice, these are in pixels relative the Canvas.

var wallDefs = new Array(
   {x:theCanvas.width,y:0,w:theCanvas.width ,h:1}, //top
   {x:theCanvas.width,y:theCanvas.height,w:theCanvas.width ,h:1}, //bottom
   {x:0,y:theCanvas.height,w:1 ,h:theCanvas.height}, //left
   {x:theCanvas.width,y:theCanvas.height,w:1 ,h:theCanvas.height}
); //right

 

When I go to define my walls in box2dweb, I apply the scaleFactor to size and position of walls using division.

var walls = new Array();
 for (var i = 0; i &lt;wallDefs.length; i++) {
   ...
    wallDef.position.Set(wallDefs[i].x/scaleFactor, wallDefs[i].y/scaleFactor);
   ...
    wallFixture.shape.SetAsBox(wallDefs[i].w/scaleFactor, wallDefs[i].h/scaleFactor);

 }

When I go to draw my objects on the Canvas, I multiply the mts units in box2dweb by scaleFactor, so I know the size and position of my objects relative to the the Canvas.

context.arc(position.x * scaleFactor  , position.y * scaleFactor ,shape.GetRadius() *scaleFactor ,0,Math.PI*2,true);

Depending on your application, this factor will probably need to be adjusted based on the scale of the world you are simlulating.

To test to make sure all of this works, I make sure to set the debugDraw scale to 30 as well:

<em>debugDraw.SetDrawScale(scaleFactor); </em>

Below is the a screen shot of the bouncing balls demo using two canvases (I can't post the code yet because it is for the new book).  The first shows the canvas version of the demo, and the second shows the debugDraw() version.

Filed under: HTML 5 Canvas No Comments
9Aug/120

Professor Palindromes! Press Release

Here is the new press release for out newest iOS game, Professor Palindromes

Game: Professor Palindrome!

Description:

Unscramble the palindromes!

Palindromes are words and phrases spelled the same way backwards and forwards.

Professor Palindromes challenges you to the ultimate word challenge. Can you form all the palindromes before you run out of time?

The play is simple:  press two letters to swap their places.

The action is frantic: can you make the correct moves before the time runs out?

You get 30 seconds on each level to unscramble the palindromes.  Be sure to read the clues, as they will help you figure out the puzzle.

Any time left over from the last level is applied to the next.   The faster you work on the earlier levels, the better chance you have when things get more complicated.

Fun, addictive, and free!  Download it now!

Itunes Site Link

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/professor-palindromes-unscramble/id543642119?mt=8

Web Site:

http://professorpalindromes.blogspot.com/

Promo Video :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Xi4OwMtjio&feature=player_embedded

Price: Free

In-App Items for Purchase

  • Remove Network Ads :  $0.99
  • Add 30 Seconds To Each Level : $2.99
  • Instant Solve 5-pack: $0.99
Screen Shots
  

Producto Studios Information

Producto Studios is passionate about delivering great design and functionality for your new media projects. In the past ten years, we've brought to life concepts that have motivated sales teams, helped students obtain their online degrees, and marketed nationally branded products.

Our team of animators, designers, and programmers provide client focused media solutions across platforms, software and devices. From concept to beta testing, Producto works as a partner in providing innovative media solutions.

We Provide:

Game Design:

We have designed over 200 games for web and mobile in categories such as action, retro, kids, education, puzzle, word, and many more.

Programming:

Front and back end programming for iOS, Android, AS3, HTML5, Flex, XML, Word Press, ASP, PHP, Cold Fusion, MySQL and others.

Character Animation:

Animation production house featuring a veteran animation team staying on model for all the studios including Warner, Disney, Vivendi, Fox, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network.

 

3Aug/120

Professor Palindromes, Our First iOS Game Is Now Available

Our first iOS game is now live in the iTunes store. "Professor Palindromes" is a free game for word nerds. The object is to unscramble the palindromes as fast as possible. Watch the video below, or go download it from iTunes.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/professor-palindromes-unscramble/id543642119?ls=1&mt=8

 

   
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