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.
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.
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).
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.
By Jeff Fulton (8bitjeff)
Penny Wise - Word From The Wise 33 1/3 7 inch Ep - Old Shit From My Attic.
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.
The disc is double sided and includes 5 outstanding tracks.
|Side 1||Final Chapters|
|Side 2||No Way Out|
The inside includes a fold out lyric sheet plus original pirate artwork.
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:
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.
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.
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.
I can't find an existing version of the Chemical People song, but it is well done and sounds like this:
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.
By Jeff Fulton
Today we are going to take a look at one of a small handful of Atari 8-bit computer game cartridges that I have stowed in my attic. This time the game is Demon Attack, one of the most popular Atari 2600 games, but this version is for the Atari computers. Without a translator disk, this will not work on an XL or XE computer.
Originally released in 1982, this is the original Atari 8-bit Computer version of Demon Attack - Full Boxed Edition. Rob Fulop was the original designer / programmer for the Atari 2600 version, while Dave Johnson is credited with coding effort on this version.
There were many fewer of these produced for the Atari computers than for the 2600, but it is essentially the exact same game. It is an excellent title for both systems. It was also released for these systems (according to Wikipedia): Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64, Intellivision, Odyssey², PC Booter, Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, TRS-80.
Below this comprehensive set of photos of the un-boxing, you will find you-tube videos to compare some of the various versions.
Video of just the Atari 8-bit computer edition (by Highretrogamelord89):
A comparison of the 2600 and Intellivision versions (by IntellivisionDude)
Super Demon Attack for the Ti-994a (niceandgames)
Next time I'll be tackling cassette from my collection by the band the Jam.
Minor Threat "Salad Days" 45 RPM single with poster sleeve (all the stuff in my attic)
This is a three song masterpiece of mid-80's DC punk!
Here is the next item I found in my attic. This is the 1985 release of the Minor Threat (one of their final releases before Fugazi was formed) 45 RPM vinyl single with poster sleeve. This was purchased at ZED records in Long Beach when the "scene" was really happening there (Bogarts, etc).
Here is a set of comprehensive set of web sized photos of this really nice single.
This youtube video has all three songs from this awesome 80's DC hardcore package in one long play for your listening pleasure. If you are a Fugazi fan you can hear the future sound in here very well.
For me, the best song is the final one, "Good Guys". So stay around for that one! =)
Next time I will be tackling a video game from my attic. I'll spread it around. I have a whole bunch of all kinds of stuff the geek out on.
The Dead Milkmen - Big Lizard in My Backyard Cassette (old crap from my attic)
By Jeff Fulton
In 1988 - 1989 I worked at one of the worst record / tape / CD and video stores in the South Bay. The Wherehouse on Sepulveda was across the street from the famous Video Archives in Manhattan Beach and down the street a few miles from good music stores such as Go Boy and Recycled in Redondo and Hermosa beach respectively. The only worse store for music would be the short lived Sam Goody mall music stores. What this store lacked in decent Cd and dwindling vinyl it more than made up with an extensive selection of awesome cassettes up against a wall. I think for this one year I was there, the company was still trying to figure out what to do with this inventory, so most of the cassettes were pretty cheap and with our 50% employee discount on tapes I built up a huge library (most of it sadly has disappeared). The store was happy because as I purchased cassettes that no body else came in for they didn't have to replace them. Plus, I was happy because it was the one medium in the store almost completely devoted to 80's flute Jazz (not kidding).
I found a few of those cassettes recently, and rather than blab on about them, I have taken a series of photos of my favorites, The first is by the Dead Milkmen - Big Lizard in My backyard. This contains the absolute classic tune, "Bitchin' Camaro", and the totally un-PC "Taking Retards to the Zoo". If you want to show your kids what one of these looked like, the series of photos below should be enough to start a lot of conversations.
There you have the detailed images of soemthing your kids will never understand. I always liked the smell of a freshly un-wrapped cassette and the thrill of putting it the car stereo for the first time.
Here is are a couple youtube videos from this album.