8bitrocket.com
8Apr/120

Ace’s (The Super Villain) InterWeb Mash-up Special Edition #2

ASV Interwebs, Go! (I'm already starting to see why you stopped doing this every week)

Abobo - http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/587787 - A gargantuan NES tribute parody with classic NewGroundsian sarcasm, hyperbole and violence. Abobo is supposedly an NES character who was never allowed to exist because he was too violent and ridiculous. His son, Aboboy, gets kidnapped so Abobo must fight through every NES classic to save him. I meant to tell you about this earlier, but I forgot.

I went to visit Rogue Basin to see if Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup 0.10 was released yet. It has, and I found some other things.
"7D...L... what?"
" *ughhhhh* ...fine."
7DRL stands for "Seven Day Rogue-Like". Rogue was a revolutionary adventure game that used ASCII symbols as visual tiles and the predecessor of modern RPGs, from Dragon Age to Pokemon. "Seven Days" means that these particular titles were constructed in only 7 days. The basis of this tradition being that sure, anyone can build a rogue-like, but only a mentally-retarded genius can do it in 7 days.
I haven't actually tried any of the entries yet, so I'll tell you next week if any of them are good.

Although Stone Soup 0.10 introduces an excited new race of sentient cephalopods called Octopodes, (probably to complement 0.9's addition of sentient cats), they have done away with Mountain Dwarfs. Although the Mountain Dwarfs are survived by their asinine cousins, the Deep Dwarves, (DC:SS's only race that can't recover health naturally), it is truly a blow to dwarf-lovers everywhere. There are also game-play related reasons for keeping or kicking them, which you can read here:

In other Rogue-Like news, someone has invented "Necklace of the Eye" or "NotEye", a front-end that turns ASCII interface Rogue-Likes into graphical tiles. It can also produce those old First Person Perspective dungeons, if you like those (I hate them). I'd love to see if this would work with AnimeAngband, but I'm a little skeptical because sometimes RL related equipment are designed by people who use Linux as a contraceptive and require an advanced programming degree to work, but nonetheless, I'll give it a shot soon and let you know.

In the exciting world of Bronies

In the exciting world of Bronies


Jeff posted some of these long ago I think, but i've been exploring YouTube's vast array of 8-bit heavy metal song remixes:

Master of Puppets - (Alloy Tengu version:  )  - (Editor's note - both kick ass)
Aces High -  (obviously, my favorite)

Also non-metal songs:
Final Countdown - (editor's note...awesome, and should be used in the Arrested Development new season)
Ballroom Blitz (Editors's note: Sweet shit...see what I did there?)

Thanks again to ace for doing this. Its is more work than it looks like!
30Mar/120

Ace’s (The Super Villain) InterWeb Mash-up Special Edition

I have been meaning to start these up again and cover the world of games, retro, etc, but time has not been on my side. Ace SV is filling the gap though and sent this over today.


Dragon Age - but in Flash with hexagons. If you've played or seen the original, the likeness is astonishing.


Anaksha, Mini Adventures 2 - A fun little adventure game with Final Fantasy 1-6 esque graphics. There are drug lords and seedy bars and whatnot, so the maker was kind enough to put a warning on it, but it's not that bad, and certainly not the worst the internet can offer.

Masters of the Universe LEGENDS - I was researching He-Man and found a collection of models that are "remakes" of the classic He-Man cast made by mixing and matching parts from various other models. You would hardly guess it to look at them:


(Prince Adam is trapped in Skeletor's laser-bar prison. Man-at-Arms and Orko come to the rescue.)
Man-at-Arms: "Here Adam, take your magic sword and transform!"
(Tosses the sword, but it falls short of Adam's grasp)
Adam: "I'm chained down ... I can't reach!"
Orko: "I'm small enough to fit, Adam. I'll get it for you."
Man-at-Arms: "No, Orko! If you touch the laser bars, you'll be disintegrated!"
Orko: "Hey, I'm the one who got us into this mess, and I'll be the one to get us out!"
(Orko skillfully passes the laserbars and hands Adam the sword)
Adam: "Thanks, Orko. You really came through."

And Hulu ran a commercial to announce that they now have Lost in Space. They also have lots and lots of He-man (which is what I was watching) but not Galtar and the Golden Lance, which is disappointing.

Thanks Ace. You can look forward to more of these from us and Ace (if he is so inclined) in the future.
4Sep/110

8bitrocket Interweb Mash-Up For September 3, 2011

Iain Lobb On The Flash Community

So we missed this a month ago, but Iain Lobb posted a really great piece named The Flash Community Needs a Complete Reboot about a month ago.  It's still worth reading.   We really need to read our own industry feeds page more often...

Photonstorm Wants some Special FX Plugins

Richard Davey from Photostorm is very interested in adding retro-style (looks like 16-bit ST and Amiga era) demo scene style special FX to his Flixel Power Tools.   If you have any code you would like to contribute, you should contact him.

The Video Game History Museum Has Been Funded!

Last time we left them, the Video Game History Museum Kickstarter project was $1000's of dollars behind.  Well, we are happy to announce that it is now over funded.  Currently at 167% funding means the project can get started!  Go on over and take a look.

Atari History Facts For September 1981 (30 years ago)

  • APX releases Eastern Front (1941) for Atari 8-bit computers
    Programmed by Chris Crawford
    Jerry White in ANALOG #5 said “No program is perfect, but this one is about as close as you can get.”
  • Atari Inc US trademarks FUIC date for “We’ve Brought The computer Age Home
  • September 1:  Atari creates last known prototype for 2600 game Yar’s Revenge[i]
  • Upper Reaches Of Apshai By Automated Simulations for Atari 8-bit
  • Abuse for the Atari 8-bit computers published
    Developed by Randy Simon & Robert Freedman
  • September 16: Atari publishes Tempest Troubleshooting Guide
  • September 16: Atari copyrights Tempest coin-op operation, maintenance, and service manual
  • September 25     Atari CommercialAtari 400            Boy Learns French            60 secs                        Movie
  • September 26: Atari Inc. US Trademarks FUIC date for The Communicator
  • September 28 : Atari introduces Arcade Game Tempest in San Francisco
  • Features Atari’s new Quadrascan color vector graphics system

 

 

 

 

24May/110

Daily Interweb Mash-up: 5/24/2011: Canvas Game Tutorials, iPad Naval Gazers, Apple Heroics

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New HTML5 Canvas Game Tutorials Coming


Jeff and I have each been working on an HTML5 Canvas game to talk about here.  Mine is called "Brickbasher Infinity" (a progressive Breakout game), and Jeff's is "Bug Off!" (a Centipede style shooter).  The games are 8-bit styled with pixels, particles, etc.  We wouldn't have it any other way, would we? The first entries for each should appear this week.

This guy Thinks It's Good that the iPad/iPhone Has No Flash

Never in the history of computing can I think of time when more navel gazers have had so many positive things to to say about a product line with broken and missing functionality. I like my iPhone, I thinking about an iPad too, but damn, I'm not going to justify missing stuff just so I feel good about it.   This is like 90's video game platform spec arguments (i.e.  "the SNES might not have 3D but it has Mode-7 which is way better dude!") but for I.T. nerds who pretend to understand the mind of Steve Jobs. (link)

Apple Looks Like A Hero When It comes To Patent Hawks

Apple did something very cool this week.  They have asked patent hawks Loadsys to "cease and desist" trying to sue iOS developers who use in-app payments.  Apparently somewhere along the line Loadsys scooped up a patent on payments inside applications and have been going after iPhone devs with it.   This was a very cool move by Apple to try to both defend their platform, and help their devs at the same time.  Bravo.

The 8bitrocket Daily Inter-Web Mash-up Briefing is compiled and edited by both Jeff D. Fulton and Steve A. Fulton. We cover the world of retro games, new games, indie games, Flash / Web games, game coding, the toy industry, and anything else we find cool. Send news items that you would like covered to info[at]8bitrocket[dot]com

16May/110

8bitrocket.com Daily Interweb Mash-Up: Monday May 16, 2011

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Death Of Unicorn Death Is Pixelated Awesome
Play the Mochi Game of the week, Death Of Unicorn Death.  It's an awesome bit  of pixelated madness.  It also has some juicy 8-bit in all the right places!

Angry Video Game Nerd Takes On The "Mattel" Power Glove
Mattel has had a long history of mis-fires when it comes to video games.  They might be the world's largest toy company, but when it comes to technology, they have a very hard time finding their footing.   The "Power Glove" was their attempt to cash-in on the "Nintendo Craze" in 1989.  The Angry Video Game Nerd does a great job of describing exactly how well the thing worked.   By the way, he also takes on the Intellivision and Colecovision. (warning, language is NSFW)

Video Game Cereals At GamingWithChildren.com
Over at GamingWithChildren.com, the prolific Cary Woodham has a neat article about video game breakfast cereals.

From The Blogs
- Rich over at Photonstorm is reporting that he as moved Flixel to GitHub and has add a slew of new stuff, including a comprehensive Getting Started Guide (just what I needed).

- Iain Lobb takes us to Game Camp with him.

- Michael James Williams wants you to Understand The Game Loop.

The Latest and Greatest Count-downs from Cracked.com
-Six Gaming "Innovations" that are way older than you think they are (our readers know most of these already). Muds, the Vectrex, and more are covered in light detail, but it's a fun read.

-Eight special effects you won't believe are not CGI. Any list that incudes Escape From New York is a list worth reading.

What's new at OldGamesNews.Com
- Kotaku  has some great PS1 commercials
- Geist Force might make its log awaited debut on the Dreamcast (yes, you read that right) very soon.

The 8bitrocket Daily Inter-Web Mash-up Briefing is compiled and edited by both Jeff D. Fulton and Steve A. Fulton. We cover the world of retro games, new games, indie games, Flash / Web games, game coding, the toy industry, and anything else we find cool. Send news items that you would like covered to info[at]8bitrocket[dot]com

13May/110

The 8bitrocket Daily Inter-Web Mash-Up – May 12, 2011

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Atari releases  the first update to Star Raiders in almost 20 years.
The original Star Raiders was one of the best 8-bit computers games of the golden-age and the main reason that over a Million Atari 400 and 800 systems were sold in 1979 and 1980.   This week, Atari released a new version for the XBox 360 Arcade (PC and PS3 to follow). We've played it, and while it is a decent game, it, like the re-done version of Yars Revenge from a couple months back, just doesn't have the feel of the original. Maybe that isn't fair because both the original Star Raiders and Yars Revenge were instant classics, and it is probably too much to assume that a lower budget XBox Live Arcade game would be able to pull off the same revolutionary game-play.

This new version of Star Raiders is a decent first person arcade space shooter that seems to lack the feel of flying through space that made  the original so revolutionary.  It isn't a bad game though and it certainly is pretty.  The artwork is lush and it is obvious that a lot of time was spent making this look like a very cool, modern title. That might be the problem though.  Atari fans might be a little disappointed with the overall feel and the seeming lack of reverence (in some cases) to the original, but being a developer, I certainly can see the work and creativity that went into the title.

Our 8-bit Rocket opinion is that both the new Yar's Revenge and Star Raiders are decent games, but lack the necessary familiar and retro evolved elements from their predecessors to pluck our retro heart strings.

Star Raiders is available to PC, XBox and PS3.

Replicating the Game Maker Choose() function in AS3
Via Skype last night, Ace The Super Villain and I were discussing how to replicate some of the functions he misses from Game Maker in AS3. The first example he gave me was a function called choose() that would randomly select a value from a passed in list and return the value.  The problem with creating a utility function like this is the strong typing in AS3. If the return value of the function is a discrete type, then the function becomes pretty much useless as a utility to be re-used. We discussed maybe having the function return a generic object or an array with the first element being the return value, but both of those seemed messy.  Here I have created a simple version where the return value uses the "*" syntax. I am unaware of the consequences of this (memory leaks, etc), but it seems to function very well. If anyone knows of a better way to do this or of a red flag this might produce, let me know.

Here is the Utility function (in a class called Utils):

package  {
  /**
  * ...
  * @author Jeff Fulton
  */
  public class Utils {
    public static function choose(list:Array):* {
      return list[Math.floor(Math.random()*list.length)];
    }
  }
}

Here is an example of using this static function.  Notice that I have created a list of choices that contains many (OK 4) different distinct object types. Normally you would probably use a list of the same type of custom class or object, but I wanted to demonstrate the flexibility.

var testArray:Array = [true, "Help", { x:1, y:2 },
                       new Sprite()];
 trace(Utils.choose(testArray));

The trace will show a return value that is any one of the four different types. Constructed and used this way, this function might prove to be a very flexible, useful tool.

Just Plain Cool
-Make a Batman Utility Belt at home with these tips. (truTV)

- Did you know that Greece once banned all video games + 5 other odd things that have been banned by governments. (Cracked)

- Watch lightening hit a jet above London (Yahoo)

- Wired discusses classic Game Boy games that it would like to see in the 3DS e-shop. (Wired)

- Something else cool from Wired, a hands-on review of the new Chromebook - The Samsung Series 5. (Wired)

The 8bitrocket Daily Inter-Web Mash-up Briefing is compiled and edited by both Jeff D. Fulton and Steve A. Fulton. We cover the world of retro games, new games, indie games, Flash / Web games, game coding, the toy industry, and anything else we find cool. Send news items that you would like covered to info[at]8bitrocket[dot]com

10May/110

8bitrocket.com Interweb Mash-Up: Tuesday May 10, 2011

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What is Obama's favorite game system? Why did Jeff hate the Fringe Finale, where can you buy our new book, and much more.

Our O'Reilly HTML5 Canvas Book Has Arrived

HTML5 Canvas

Clocking in at at hefty 652 pages, our thinly disguised book on HTML5 Canvas game development has been released. This one focuses on many basic and intermediate topics such as drawing, bitmaps, physics, sound, video, and text before moving on to game applications, devoting a chapter to iPhone development with Phone Gap, and rounding out with discussions and application demos dealing with 3D and using the new Electroserver Javascript API to create a multiplayer experience.

 

***

I would have pegged Obama as a 360 fan, but this photo proves he is a Playstation 2 player(wired controller? There must be a budget crisis).

but then I see this, and I can't figure out which system is his favorite:

Oh, wait:

Flash Game Mini Review
-
Zombie Knight - You are a zombie, you get to kill zombies. You get kick ass skillz in this very well made 2d beat-em-up.

Old Games News Bites
- The greatest swords in video games
- South Korea and other countries are trying to stave off gaming addictions
- It's "Jumpman" for $100,000

Jeff discusses why the Fringe Season Finale pissed him off.
I have been a huge Fringe fan from Episode #1, but the 4th season finale Jumped the Shark, and ran over cousin Oliver on its way to crashing into Newhart waking up from his dream. It made no sense what-so-ever. It made the Dollhouse finale look like good television.

The Fringe writers are generally pretty excellent and  I never really have anything but good things to say about the stories, characters arcs, etc. The first 21 episodes of the season were really good and then suddenly they replaced their writers with 4th rate, free blog software published fan-fiction.

Why would Peter disappear? Why would he go 15 years into the future, but somehow be conscious of the all the events between 2011 and 2026? Sending the pieces of the machine back in time was a lame use of the paradox theory pretty much stolen verbatim from Bill and Ted's Excellent adventure. If Peter is gone, why would there even be a Fringe division in either universe? No Peter means no Ground Zero kidnapping. It's like we were all given chance to see how the proposed Veronica Mars 4th season FBI story-line would play out...and it sucked.

The 8bitrocket Daily Inter-Web Mash-up Briefing is compiled and edited by both Jeff D. Fulton and Steve A. Fulton. We cover the world of retro games, new games, indie games, Flash / Web games, game coding, the toy industry, and anything else we find cool. Send news items that you would like covered to info[at]8bitrocket[dot]com

8May/110

8bitrocket Daily Interweb Mash-up : Saturday May 7, 2011

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Atari 810 MicroSD Drive!

This is amazing!! A MicroSD card reader in the shape of an Atari 810 disk drive that can be mounted and used by an Atari 8-bit computer (400,800,1200xl,600xl,800xl,65xe,130xe).  We want to buy this NOW!!!

History Of Atari computers @ CIO Magazine

Here is a nice slide-show that gives the great engineering of the original Atari computers some web-time.

Xbox 720?

Rumors have started that Microsoft will show a new Xbox at E3 this year.  IGN says the rumor has been debunked, but we are still hoping.  We'll see how it pans out next week.  The rumors have started the same way the Nintendo Cafe/Feel rumors started a few weeks ago...hmm...

Apparently Our HTML5 Book is now available for Kindle

Like we reported earlier, our faithful reader Hayes reports that our new O'Reilly book, HTML5 Canvas, is now available for the Kindle:  You can see it here.

A PC For $25!!

David Braben has created a PC so small it can fit in your pockat and costs $25.  It has HDMI output, and /uses MicroSD cards for storage.  The idea is to use it to teach kids around the world to program.  We love it!  Read about it here.

 

The 8bitrocket Daily Inter-Web Mash-up Briefing is compiled and edited by both Jeff D. Fulton and Steve A. Fulton. We cover the world of retro games, new games, indie games, Flash / Web games, game coding, the toy industry, and anything else we find cool. Send news items that you would like covered to info[at]8bitrocket[dot]com

6May/110

8bitrocket Daily Inter-Web Mash-Up – Friday, May 6, 2011

Flash Games We Like
- Wing Defender - Fun top-down shooter with cartoon-style graphics and a retro feel to the game-play.

-Go Go Gummo - This Mochi FGF winner is a really cool puzzle game with elements of an action platformer...or is it the other way around.

From the Flash Game Blogs
- Have you finished your game yet? No? Me neither. Richard Davey tackles motivational issues that plague indie game development and how to combat them

- Squize tackles hackers and skript kiddies...

-Iain Lobb speaks at a lot of conferences, so his advice for those starting out is well worth the read.

Nigel Twist discusses using an Atari 1040 ST to build The Alarm's Rain In Summer Time
Nigel Twist, drummer for classic version of the The Alarm  (1981-1991)  discussed using a 1040 ST to program their hit Rain In The Summer Time for their 1987 album Eye Of The Hurricane today in the Facebook Alarm 30 years anniversary group:

"Rain" was one the The Alarm's biggest hits and co-written by the band. It started as a jam one day at a rehearsal studio in Elephant & Castle. I was playing with a drum machine and had the basic drum riff going. Dave was jamming along to it and ended up with the guitar riff you hear on the track. Mike and Eddie arrived at rehearsals and the track was born. When we recorded it at Linford Manor, I wrote the bass and drums lines using "Pro 24," a very early music sequencing software that was designed for the Atari 1040ST computer (which I still have). I recorded live drums over the samples triggered by the Atari. All the cymbals, Tom-Tom riffs, Timbale and percussion were live in the studio.

Another Game Algorithm That Might Be Useful in Interviews: Find the Largest Integer in an Array

This might be an overly simple solution, but i just used it today and it works great.

package
{
	import flash.display.Sprite;
	/**
	 * ...
	 * @author Jeff Fulton
	 */
	public class LargestIntegerInAnArray extends Sprite
	{

		public function LargestIntegerInAnArray()
		{
			/* Look at each value in the array and
                         * compare to the first
			 * Skip evaluation of the first item in
                         * the array by
                         * using it as
			 * the initial value for max.
			 */

			var theArray:Array=[5,13,25,16,17,2,5,
                                               21,77,05,33,54,
                                              1144,256,702,
                                               51,23,56]
			var max:int = theArray[0];
			for (var i:int=1;i max) {
				max = theArray[i];
			}
		}
		trace (max);

		}

	}

}

The 8bitrocket Daily Inter-Web Mash-up Briefing is compiled and edited by both Jeff D. Fulton and Steve A. Fulton. We cover the world of retro games, new games, indie games, Flash / Web games, game coding, the toy industry, and anything else we find cool. Send news items that you would like covered to info[at]8bitrocket[dot]com

5May/110

8bitrocket Daily Inter-Web Mash-Up for Thursday, May 5, 2011

Attack Of The Mutant Sheep!

Robert Podgorski, the winner of our 16K Game contest has released a new iPhone/Ipad game named "Attack Of The Mutant Sheep".  It's very 8-bit, and very awesome.

You can download iPhone version (it's free) at: http://itunes.apple.com/pl/app/mutant-sheep-2/id433857505?mt=8

The iPad version ($.99) at http://itunes.apple.com/pl/app/msheep-hd/id430579572?mt=8

Wanna learn Box2D Game Programming?
PlasticSurgeon.com released a HUGE tutorial and the full source for creating a physics-based cannon game. To get pumped up for the tutorial, check out Zach's  commercial client game based on this same code.

Play the Ace The Super Villian's Dress Up Game's
Sheer brilliance!
ASV Dress-Up #1: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/536915
ASV Dress-Up #2: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/544360

From the Atari Age Forums
-A new remake of the Activision Classic, Enduro, was release to the iPhone by Nemo Games.
- A couple new free, retro-style 2d side scrolling shooters for the PC.

Speaking of iPhone games...
- Draw Race 2, looks pretty sweet.

Check out this Kick-ass Old Skool Gaming Site
The Old School Games News site is filled daily with awesome content dedicated  to retro gaming.

Sweetness
The Insane Clown Posse Reviews Water For Elephants (FilmDrunk) (hint: they are not huge fans..but they love James Woods!)

20 Awesome Photos Of Darth Vader (heavy.com)

Of Course the Meme on the Obama Situation Room would have to include The Situation

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