Happy 20th Birthday, Quake by John Romero [rome.ro] “Twenty years. Wow. Where has all the time gone? We've all had many adventures during those years and Quake spawned many a game franchise and/or game company whether directly or through its influence. For this 20th I'm going to share a document created by Joost Shuur called QUAKETALK 95. This Quake FAQ was created on 10/22/1995 to keep people up to date on everything that had been posted about Quake up to that point. People wanted to know what the game was about and information was spread thin all over the place: magazine articles, IRC logs, even in hint books.” [You can download QUAKETALK 95 here.] [more inside]
DOOM [Campaign Trailer] As the iconic DOOM Marine, you wake to learn that the Union Aerospace Corporation’s facility on Mars has been decimated and overrun by hordes of demons. Humanity’s survival rests in your hands – and your hands alone. [more inside]
On April Seriousness Day, Vinny from Vinesauce streamed himself playing and watching four instalments of an obscure but beloved video game franchise. What, you've never heard of Scrimmy Bingus "and the" Crungy Spingus? [more inside]
Dark Souls III [YouTube] [Trailer] Dark Souls III is coming April 12, 2016! The opening cinematic from Dark Souls III sheds a tiny beam of light onto the mystery of where and when Dark Souls III takes place. [Previously.]
In the 1980s Atari offered golden treasures as gaming prizes, most of which were lost to time. Until now.
The Man Who Made A Million Empires by Colin Campbell [Polygon]
Not many creators have the brazen audacity to slap their name in the actual titles of the things they create. John Lennon didn't call his 1971 album, "John Lennon's Imagine." Mrs. Dalloway isn't called "Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway." James Cameron has so far managed to keep his name out of all his movie titles. But a lot of Sid Meier's games flash the words "Sid Meier" right there in the title. Most famously: the Sid Meier's Civilization series, which has sold more than 33 million units over the past 25 years. The most recent is 2010's Sid Meier's Civilization V. It's one of the greatest strategy games ever made.
The Forgotten Politics Behind Contra's Name by Matt Morey [Kill Screen]
Do a quick Google search of “contra.” Browsing the first few pages, you should see a saturation of links about the videogame—the now-primary version of the word—sprinkled with other definitions. Next in the deck is contra as preposition: “against, contrary, or opposed to,” suitingly enough. Then, a “contemporary New York cuisine” restaurant; contra-dancing, a folksy flirty form adaptable to many musical styles; the second album by Vampire Weekend; and eventually, peeking through before being closed out again, you’ll stumble upon the elephant in the room.
Devil Daggers is an irresistible Sisyphean nightmare. [The A.V. Club]
It’s an endless first-person shooter where you run around a floating arena and try to kill everything that moves before they kill you, which usually happens in under 60 seconds until you get the hang of things—and even then, you’re lucky to last much longer than that. The only weapons at your disposal are your wits, your agility, and the infinite daggers you can shoot from your hand in either a concentrated shotgun blast or a machine-gun-like hose of death.[more inside]
‘I am a radicalised goat hell-bent on jihad’ – the FBI’s new anti-Isis video game: “As the title suggests, there are more metaphors to unmangle here: a wooden mannequin bound by strings, for example, which you can free by visiting all the site’s sections. These are rendered as rooms of a confusing family home, which appears to contain a dingy, windowless lecture room and a serial-killer basement.” (SLGuardian)
The always-excellent Shmuplations has translated a 2011 interview about the creation of classic NES game Rockman, known in the US as Mega Man, and its sequel. It's a great depiction of the creative process relating to game development.
Colin Hanson, aka Active_ate, goes through the original (fan-translated) version of Final Fantasy V with only a single Time Mage character, and provides complete, exhaustive details of how this feat was achieved: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3. From retrogaming enthusiast site Skirmishfrogs. [more inside]
Scott Buchanan is a Super Mario 64 challenge runner who can do amazing things in the game while pressing buttons as little as possible. Here's a 25 minute long video of him collecting the Watch for Rolling Rocks in Hazy Maze Cave star while only pressing the A button one half of a time.
Jeremy Parish writes about video game(-ish) music label Brave Wave and has interviews with Ninja Gaiden composer Keiji Yamagishi and Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae, both artists on the label. (Brave Wave previously)
Game artist Jude Wilson, like many of us, spent a lot of time playing Goldeneye (previously) on the Nintendo 64. Videogame graphics have come a long way in the nineteen years since Goldeneye was released, so Jude undertook to recreate part of one level in Unreal Engine 4 for his portfolio. [more inside]
A Father, a Dying Son, and the Quest to Make the Most Profound Videogame Ever: Wired interviews Ryan Green about That Dragon, Cancer, the upcoming game he created about his terminally ill son.
Video game composer (and longtime video game remixer) jake has composed an album on behalf of a boy band. A boy band composed of established video game villains, including Ganon(dorf) and brooding bad boy Sephiroth. He and a group of video game YouTubers have finished recording, and now there's a video! [via mefi projects]
Zelda Day 2015:
- If you love the NES original but are sad you know where everything is, try the Zelda Randomizer! (Windows EXE, requires ROM). Tries to guarantee solvable games! YouTube play.
- Did you know that, in the original releases of N64 Ocarina of Time, if you hold the R button down when you get a certain item, you get a different one instead? Info with more OoT glitches.
- From Double Fine! Devs Play The Legend of Zelda, four parts: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4
- Fan animation, "Racing For Rupees".
To avoid spoilers by quoting JHarris from here, "Retro Sabotage is a collection of recreations of classic video games. Or is it?" And they have just released their first content in almost six years to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Space Harrier: To War. Oh, and here's JHarris's hint about Retro Sabotage in general: "If a button needs to be pressed, it's the space bar unless it's explained otherwise." [more inside]
To paraphrase: Grappi is the fun friend from story and products, now in the light and shadow of a television! Interact of Grappi and do the good; make a health, not a hurt. Find a place, a weather, a friend! Do a many thing, make a Grappi joy! Hupa! You have found a strange video game that appears to originate from no known civilization. You have found Virtual Grappi. Be sure to check the instruction manual. (More from the real creator in the unfiction plane. And here's her original forum game [WARNINGS: PERHAPS TO SPOILERS])
Steve Meretzky has released a treasure trove of (minimally redacted) Infocom working documents. Written from 1981 to 1987, these internal documents were instrumental to Jason Scott when producing his documentary GET LAMP and have now been released on the Internet Archive. They include business memos, playtester notes, design documents, mockups by their packaging designer, and a tantalizing look into the elements of games that got cut or never fully developed. Stanford University has the originals.
In Cities: Skylines ... it can be hard to keep tabs on a single person's life for very long, and difficult to find them again later. I thought I'd fix this problem by creating a city in which only a single home could be built. Then I'd see who moved in and keep track of their lives. Here's what happened.[more inside]
Hideo Kojima's new game, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, is the video game analogue of Jonathan Franzen's books: technically dazzling, but built upon a bed of sophmoric ideas.
Here is the new series of video articles started by the ultra-knowledgeable folks at Hardcore Gaming 101. The first two are up, the beginning of series on Pre-Super Mario platform games and on the early history of JRPGs. Related is the video adjunct to the Game Club 199X Podcast, with over 50 videos. (Previously.)
Laura Hudson at Boing Boing has a thoughtful, in-depth review of Undertale, the new RPG by Toby “Radiation” Fox, the creator of the new RPG Undertale. (Kickstarter) The game was inspired by the Shin Megami Tensai franchise and Earthbound. All combat can be resolved through pacifist means, and the consequences of subsequent playthroughs stack and change the environment. In her review, Hudson compares playing the game to the classic spider-man piñata video –at least, if you want it to be. [more inside]
It started with the Humble Indie Bundle. (Previously, and multiple times.) But there's now plenty of other places to get indie games bundled cheaply: IndieGala, Bundle Stars, Groupees, and, because you can't get cheaper than free, Freebie Bundle and Free Bundle. There's also Indie Game Stand, Buy-Some-Indie-Games, Fire Flower Games, Shiny Loot and GreenManGaming's Indie section.
Here's David Manning's YouTube videos illustrating how to make use of ghost AI quirks on the fly while playing in Ms. Pac-Man: Ghost Behavior and On Grouping. It's excellent for building an intuitive sense of how to play the game which, because of random aspects, cannot be reliably beaten with patterns as with Pac-Man. [more inside]
Here is John's Arcade, a resource about collecting, maintaining and playing classic arcade video and pinball machines. But the real reason I'm posting this is his YouTube channel, which is full of long videos (many over an hour) about arcade repair and maintenance. Like restoring an incredibly rare I, Robot machine, or Computer Space, the first video arcade game, or Quantum, a rare Atari game developed by GCC, programmers of Ms. Pac-Man. Or you can just watch him try to break 300,000 in Donkey Kong over several half-hour videos.
Here is what causes the kill screens of Ms. Pac-Man and why they happen long before level 256. Here is why you can sometimes control the attract mode demo in Galaga. Computer Archeology explains the "no fire" cheat in Galaga, which causes the enemies to stop firing if you keep two specific bugs alive long enough. (What, you don't know what Galaga is? galaga.info has you covered.) [more inside]
Here is Let's Glitch Super Mario World, an in-depth series of 47 YouTube videos (each from 10 to 30 minutes long) that demonstrate breaking the game in myriad ways, with clear descriptions of what is going on.
Here, in their own words, is the story of the development of Diablo II, and what it was like to be at Blizzard North in those days lasting from early 1997 to mid-2000.
Here is video of an unusual moment in David Beckham's varied career: the time he was called upon to defeat Mister Woe and the monsters of the Fourth Division. It's GO! GO! BECKHAM! Here's when he fought a giant bird with his soccer powers. Here is the beginning of his adventure on Soccer Island, and here's a complete speedrun.
Here's a list of things not to do in your Mario levels, consider it advice for when Super Mario Maker comes out in a week and a half. Also, here's things not to do in your Mario overworld. They both come from the rom hacking community at SMWCentral.
"During one of the worst years of my life, I drew solace, as much as from any book, from regularly visiting the swamp level of Beyond Dark Castle, a video game for the Mac. You had a little helicopter-backpack, and you just motored over this desolate bayou throwing rocks at bats in the darkness and silence. There was a sense of stillness and peace there that I still refer back to in my head." [more inside]
You may think: "The last thing I want to do is intentionally watch a commercial for a Madden video game." You're wrong. (SLYT)
Nintendo's quirky squad shooter Splatoon, which sold 1.6 million worldwide copies in two months of release, is their first real new property since the Gamecube era. People are calling it the game that could save the Wii-U. [more inside]
400 Years - a browser game that uses time as a gameplay mechanic as you play a stone idol racing to stop a looming disaster (via Gamefilter).
PICO-8 is a fantasy console for making, sharing and playing tiny games and other computer programs. When you turn it on, the machine greets you with a shell for typing in Lua commands and provides simple built-in tools for creating your own cartridges.What does that mean? PICO-8 is like an emulator for a lo-fi game console that never actually existed. With 16 colors, 128x128, 4 channels of sound, and tight data limits, PICO-8 "cartridges" can be played -- and created -- in a web browser, or on just about any home computer, and even inside maker Lexaloffle's other, more full-featured fantasy console, Voxatron. [more inside]
YouTube user Merfish has recreated some popular TV show theme intros in the video game Grand Theft Auto V [NSFW]:
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Full House Arthur Family Matters
@Pixel_Dailies gives you a theme or subject every day for you to draw. They retweet and blog their favorites each day. The art club just had its first birthday.
Remember the surprising stealth thing-that's-great Frog Fractions (previously)? When creator Jim Crawford (also previously) and his team released its successfully Kickstarted sequel, they won't tell anyone, and will leave everyone to find it for themselves. Enter the unofficial Frog Fractions 2 twitter account, which bugs Jim about a different possible culprit every day. And for those who didn't back the Kickstarter and thus won't be automatically notified when The Jig Is Up (TM), there's always IsTheJigUpYet, which also attempts to guess at FF2's identity (albeit using a sliiiiiightly different method). [more inside]
Why read lengthy articles on the history of Atari when you can hear stories first-hand? Hear Nolan Bushnell (and a few others) tell all about how a little company named Syzygy became Atari, in clips both new(ish) and old; tune in for four episodes of Once Upon Atari, featuring Atari staff reminiscing about the good times and bad; and visit Alamogordo, New Mexico, home of rocket sled land-speed records and the grave of Ham, the first chimp in space, with Zak Penn as he digs for the truth behind the legend of the buried E.T. cartridges in Atari: Game Over with fans and Howard Scott Warshaw, the man who made the Atari E.T. game in five weeks. [more inside]
Kill Screen Daily has an interview with FM Towns Marty (NSFW), who posts images and gifs from otherwise inaccessible retro Japanese computer games. His images were controversially used in Jon Rafman's video for Oneohtrix Point Never's song Still Life (Betamale) (NSFW).
Retrogaming blog VGJunk has just turned 5, and celebrated with a post about the gonzo Capcom beat em up classic Captain Commando. Over the last half-decade, VG Junk has uncovered a hidden Treasure with McDonalds, helped NSync get to their show and imagined what Re-Animator would look like on the NES. He's also investigated the national stereotypes that hide in fighting games, with his probing look at the fighters of Brazil, France, Germany, Russia, and Spain. So put on some Queen, watch out for Jack the Ripper, and enjoy a stroll down memory lane.