8bitrocket.com
27Aug/142

Strawberry Shortcake Musical Matchups – Atari 2600 Game – Old Crap From My Attic

8bitjeff (Jeff Fulton)

This time I do mean CRAP. While other things from my attic have been true gaming or music treasures, this game, while being quite possibly the first interactive gaming experience for the Strawberry Short Cake brand, is awful to play. That doesn't mean that hard work didn't go into the making of this cartridge, because it took a literal rocket scientist to code for the VCS (2600), but the game play and music is awful, and lacks any of the "Fun" that should be associated with a GAME.

 

Strawberry Shortcake VCS Box Front

Strawberry Shortcake VCS Box Front

(click on image for a more detailed photo)

This game did not receive any really positive reviews, and is down-right annoying to even watch.  On that note:

See video here (or don't at your own risk):

This relatively Rare Atari 2600 Cart was produced by Parker Brothers and released in 1983.  I'm pretty sure the idea is to match mixed up character pieces while listening to droning tunes, but I can't really tell.  This was the state of children's games in 1983.   Even though it is rare, and not very fun, it is not for sale.  I received it as a gift from someone who was trying to get a cool Atari movie completed. I was working on a 2600 style HTML5 game Adventure game to go as a prize for the Kickstarter, but it was never funded.

Here are some more images I took. (click on each for a more detailed photo - at your own risk!)

Strawberry Shortcake VCS Box Back

Strawberry Shortcake VCS Box Back

 

Strawberry Shortcake VCS Cart In Box

Strawberry Shortcake VCS Cart In Box

 

Strawberry Shortcake VCS Instructions Front

Strawberry Shortcake VCS Instructions Front

Strawberry Shortcake VCS Instructions Back

Strawberry Shortcake VCS Instructions Back

 

Next time I hope to find a much better game in box.  I have a whole bunch 7800, Atari ST, and and a few more 2600 games some place in this attic of mine.

25Aug/140

Bob Mould’s See A Little Light “CASSINGLE” – Old Crap from My Attic

By 8bitjeff (Jeff Fulton)

When Husker Du went "KAPUT" in the late 80's, both Bob Mould (lead guitar, song writer and vocals) and Grant Hart (drums, song writer and vocals) went  their separate ways, each going on to create intriguing new musical projects.   Both Hart's solo effort, Intolerance and Mould's Workbook were excellent albums but very much a departure from the "wall of sound" that had defined the Minneapolis Hardcore (pop-core to a great extent) band's previous sonic pallet.

See a Little Light Front

See a Little Light Front

(clicking on all images will result in larger, more detailed versions)

Bob Mould's excellent first single, released in 1989 on Virgin America Records,  was  "racked" as a  12", 7", CD, and mini CD as well as this gem, a  Cassette Single or "Cassingle" as we called them when I worked at a record store in the late 80's. The reverse side of this acoustic-based song was  "All Those People Know", a little bit faster and harder edged song.

See a Little Light - side 1

See a Little Light - side 1

The B side of this single was a song called All Those People Know:

Side 2 -All Those People

Side 2 -All Those People

Here a couple more images from the single:

See a Little Light Back

See a Little Light Back

 

See a Little Light - Side

See a Little Light - Side

 

All in all, this was a great single, and showed what kind of quality was to come from Bob Mould in the next few years, and even today.

6May/140

International Day Against DRM is Tuesday, May 6th

Here at 8bitrocket, we fully support a DRM-Free world. A place where you control the content you PURCHASE. Yes, I said purchase.  There are just pennies on the dollar for the developers of EVERY medium in today's world of easy stolen streams and file sharing networks.  That's why we fully support our publisher, O'Reilly, giving 50% off all e-books (of course that lowers the pennies we earn) and 60% off orders over $100.
Our book is included in this of course.

HTML5 Canvas 2nd Edition

HTML5 Canvas 2nd Edition

In Celebration of *Day Against DRM*
Save 50% on all 8000+ Ebooks & Videos
(Save 60% on orders over $100)

http://oreil.ly/DRM-FREE-2014

Having the ability to download files at your
convenience, store them on all your devices,
or share them with a friend or colleague as you
would a print book or DVD is liberating, and is
how it should be. Learn more about Day Against DRM
(http://www.fsf.org/news/may-4-day-against-drm)

At O'Reilly Media, we've always published our ebooks
DRM free, following the advice of Lao Tzu, who said,
2500 years ago, "Fail to honor people, they fail to
honor you." --Tim O'Reilly, Founder

Deal expires May 7, 2014 at 5am PT, and cannot be
combined with other offers or applied to Print,
or "Print & Ebook" bundle pricing.

Learn more about the International Day Against DRM.

18Mar/145

Final Mochi Comments and Flash Game License

Jeff Fulton (8bitjeff)

In about 2005 I started this blog with help from 8bitsteve purely to experiment with game development and design. Many of the older posts are gone or missing after many transitions between various blogging software, but many still exist.  When I first started to make a few indie Flash games there was no real way to make any money off of them other than sell a license to a large gaming portal.   Mochi Media changed all of that. They allowed any game to be ad sponsored and the make at least a small amount per 1000 game plays. Other companies joined the fray, and large portals (Kongregate, King, etc) swooped in and started to sponsor and or put their own ads in games to help developers make some cash from their games.

Luckily, we were never in it for the money, just for experimentation with technology to help write a couple books, one on Flash: The Essential Guide To Flash Games and one on the HTML5 Canvas.  The earnings from those books far out weighted the ad revenue we received from games a good 20 to 1 ratio.  But, to some developers, who were working on games to make a living,  much more ad revenue could be made.

flash_game_license

flash_game_license

The great news is, Flash Game License, which  was one of the first companies to offer similar and extended services that Mochi offered, are still around.  Not just still around, but thriving and expanding because they have embraced HTML5 games FGL offers a wide range of services all for the indie developer, including a $200 bonus for any HTML5 game they decide to publish.   It's a great service and should be considered for all of the older or new Flash games you have hanging around, (in Mochi or waiting to go into Mochi) or newer HTML 5 games you may have or want to create.  Bedroom coders rise again!

I might even start up again and make some HTML5 games that use their services.  That would be pretty fun.  Until then, RIP Mochi and hello to new frontiers.

 

17Mar/140

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!! Play our old Flash Game Mission Leprechaun

Happy St Patrick's Day!!!

In honor of this day (and my Scotch Irish roots) plus the demise of Mochi (where this game was initially published), I present to everyone who is NOT on mobile, a game I created about 7 years ago (with my sister Mari and Steve Fulton helping with level graphics and level design respectively). It's in Flash, so you can't play it on a mobile device unless you have an Android device with the Flash player (and a keyboard). Your mission on each level to to rescue the trapped Leprechaun. There's more to it and LOT's of power-ups and strategy. It is essentially a Pacman like game with much more going on. I think this one got up to about 2.5 Million plays before I stopped looking or counting. It's fun though, and difficult. Read the instructions to get the full gist of it. The song at the beginning is an original by me (no singing, so don't cringe before you play).

Mission Leprechaun

Mission Leprechaun

Play on Mind Jolt.

 

15Mar/140

Goodbye and Thanks Mochi Media

On March 14th Mochiland, the blog that has been the mouthpiece for Machi Media since 2006, announced that the array of Mochi Media services for Flash game developers will go offline on March 31st.  Josh Larson wrote a logn detailed message to describe the situtation. Here is the most important part of it:

"It saddens me to make this announcement today–our parent company Shanda has decided to dissolve the Mochi Media business. The last day that Mochi Media services will be available is March 31, 2014."

Developers and publishers who use the service should read the blog post so they can find out what to do with their content, and what they need to do to get their final payments from Mochi Media.

As a long-time Flash developer myself, I know full-well the flack Flash got in the traditional game community, some of it deserved, and some of it not.  However, no one can deny that the Mochi set of services, from Mochibot (basic stats), through Mochi Ads, Analytics, High Scores, Game fund coins, content hosting, distribution, etc. were game changers.   Mochi's self-publishing model for indie game developers was the template for the current mobile games industry.    The Mochi set of services gave 1000's of bedroom and semi-professional game developers their first taste at the joys and pitfalls of what the indie game industry would become in 2014.   In that way, long before iTunes and Google Play,  Mochi services acted as a breeding ground for game talent where almost anyone could get an idea published at their discretion. The ones who had thick skins, and were not discouraged by low eCPM rates, kept making games until they were good enough to ply their skills elsewhere.

It's not a mystery as to why Mochi Media has to close its' doors.  Most "Flash" game developers I knew from the halcyon days of Mochi services (2006-2010) have moved on to make games in  HTML5, Unity, and Corona for platforms like Android, iOS and  Steam.   Some of them were lured out of their bedrooms to work on Facebook games for giant companies, and then moved onto jobs in the traditional games and media industries.  Others just kept making games on their own.  Almost all of them are still working in the games industry today.

It's sad that Mochi could not find a way to extend to mobile and HTML5 gaming themselves,  Their inability to change with the times is a lesson for pioneers of new platforms.  Maybe if they did not sell out to Shanda so quickly, maybe if they did not rely on a single technology for their APIs, they could have survived and thrived.

Maybe, or maybe not.

However, for myself, Mochi Media meant freedom. It meant I could finally break out and make the games I wanted to make, and publish them when I wanted to publish them: who cares if they were not good enough, or the types of games people wanted to play?  I could experiment with little consequence, iterate, and try again.  Mochi let me do that. For me, Mochi Media were the DIY disruptors of the the game industry.

They were my indie "label".

They were my punk rock.

And I will never forget them.

-Steve Fulton

1Mar/140

Pennywise – Word From The Wise 33 1/3 7 inch Ep – Old Shit From My Attic

By Jeff Fulton (8bitjeff)

Penny Wise - Word From The Wise 33 1/3 7 inch Ep - Old Shit From My Attic.

pennywise_word_front

pennywise_word_front

I remember picking this seminal, LA South Bay Suburb Punk Rock disc at the old Go Boy record store on PCH and Ave F.  This vinyl, 7 inch 33 1/3 (as opposed to the usual 45 RP 7"inch) was a power house of Descendents / LA Punk (but also original sounding) inspired greatness during a sea of hair metal and late 80's alternative, post punk whiny KROQness.   The original 500 copies were released in 1989 and have a green logo on the front. My version, while purchased that same year, is one of the later pressings.

 

pennywise_word_back

pennywise_word_back

The disc is double sided and includes 5 outstanding tracks.

Side 1 Final Chapters
Side 1 Covers
Side 2 Depression
Side 2 No Way Out
Side 2 Gone

The inside includes  a fold out lyric sheet plus original pirate artwork.

 

pennywise_word_inside1

pennywise_word_inside1

pennywise_word_inside2

pennywise_word_inside2

 

This disc was released on a CD with Wild Card tracks in 1995.
Here is the Amazon link. The Mp3's are reasonable, but the CD is very collectible and not easy to obtain.

Here are images of the two disc sides:

penny_word_disc_side1

penny_word_disc_side1

penny_word_disc_side2

penny_word_disc_side2

The tracks from this can be easily heard on Spotify where the band will get a few pennies from every million listens.  That's the sad state of the music industry today.

 

3Feb/140

Compile Me Baby! Dedicated to the 2005-2010 Indie Flash Game Underground!

Compile Me Baby! Dedicated to the 2005-2010 Indie Flash Game Underground!

To all those that were through through the Mochi and Flash Game License Years.

WE salute you.

6Dec/130

Big Drill Car / Chemical People Yellow Vinyl Cheap Trick / Kiss Cover 45 RPM (all the crap in my attic)

By Jeff Fulton

Big Drill Car / Chemical People Yellow Vinyl Cheap Trick / Kiss Cover 45 RPM (all the crap in my attic)

Back in college (1988 - 1993) we followed the local Los Angeles bands ALL, Big Drill Car, and the Chemical People as they played all over the LA area. They always put on great shows and it was like a little punk rock Renaissance in the midst of hair metal before Nirvana changed the music landscape forever.

This disc was purchased at the old Go Boy Records on Ave F in Redondo at PCH.  We spent many waking hours a Zed Records in Long Beach and Go boy, looking for gems like this.  Released in 1991 on Cruz records, this 45 contains The Chemical People covering Getway by Kiss and Big Drill Car covering Surrender by Cheap Trick.

yellow_vinyl_cruz_chemical_people_getaway_cover

yellow_vinyl_cruz_chemical_people_getaway_cover

 

yellow_vinyl_cruz_big_drill_car_surrender_cover

yellow_vinyl_cruz_big_drill_car_surrender_cover

yellow_vinyl_cruz_chemical_people_getaway_45

yellow_vinyl_cruz_chemical_people_getaway_45

 

yellow_vinyl_cruz_big_drill_car_surrender_45

yellow_vinyl_cruz_big_drill_car_surrender_45

 

I can't find an existing version of the Chemical People song, but it is well done and sounds like this:

4Dec/135

Torrents are killing the technical book industry.

Torrents are killing the technical book industry and making it really difficult for me to provide a decent holiday season for my family.  I know times are tough all over, but the number of stolen copies of our three books compared to the numbers sold is almost 1000 to 1.

A simple web search will find both The Essential Guide to Flash Games and The HTML5 Canvas First and Second Editions (as well all every other technical book released in the last 20 years)  in 100's of Torrent files.

That's awesome for anyone who wants to learn these languages for free, but REALLY sucks for the authors(and publishers). Let me give you a brief lesson in the economics in being an author of a second edition of a book.

You get no advance payment and you need to write at least 50% new content, while revising EVERY page of the first edition.  You release the book and hope that sales will pay for the 500-1000 hours or so hours it took to write, re-write, and test this content on multiple platforms.  After that, you get royalties on the 10% of all sales. It is as simple as that.  But, when no one is buying your book because they can get it for free, those 1000 hours turn into no money for the authors or the relatively tiny book publishers  that you are trying (or not trying)  the "screw" by obtaining and using intellectual property for free.

We have a great book company, O'Reilly, that should NOT be screwed out of anything.  We also have no incentive to write any more books if we are not going to make a dime by writing them.

So, here is my proposal. If you have Torrented ANY of our books - The Essential Guide To Flash Games, The HTML5 Canvas or the HTML5 Canvas 2nd Edition, and have found them useful, we ask that you donate to the cause of helping give us incentive write a 3rd edition. It won't happen with the current royalty stream. In less than a year, royalties have dried up beyond belief.

You can donate via PayPal by sending $2.00 (10% of the discounted $20,00 e-book price) or any amount you want to info[at]8bitrocket.com Paypal address.

No questions asked. We appreciate your honesty. Also, we understand that some people truly cannot afford books. That's OK.  For those who can afford to donate and are using our hard work, please give donating some serious thought.

Thanks,

Jeff Fulton

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