(recenty entry on my site http://kirkjerk.com/ )
Ever rediscover a half-remembered book from your childhood and realize that it was probably wildly influential on you? Such was the case with David L. Heller and John F. Johnson's "Dr. C. Wacko Presents: Atari BASIC & The Whiz-Bang Miracle Machine". I recently found a good PDF copy at
Atari Mania's Page of Atari 8-bit Books
The book was a beginner-level but thorough guide to BASIC programming - I suspect I knew most of it by the time I got my hands on a copy, but it was still very cool. The style can perhaps best be described as "Early Doctor Demento" -- hardly a paragraph goes by without a gag of some kind, but still it seems like it would do a good job of explaining fundamental concepts.
I can even see the book's influence in my own guide to Atari (2600) Programming,
Atari 2600 101. (No cartoons, more's the pity.)
I was reminded of this book when I ordered some Eggs Benedict, and I thought about this chart in it:
|Anchovy Burritos:||280 Calories each|
|Twinkle Cakes:||340 Calories a look|
|Guacamole Juice:||90 Calories per slurp|
|Clam Dip:||70 Calories a dip|
|Greaso Burgers:||470 Calories per bun|
|Quicko TV Dinner:||400 Calories a tray|
|Pizza a la Hollandaise Sauce:||900 Calories a sniff|
Atari Mania also finally let me read the book's -- prequel? It was much more advanced, but came first-- companion, "Dr. C. Wacko's Miracle Guide to Designing and Programming Atari Computer Arcade Games". I'd like to think if I had had this book at the appropriate time, I finally would have gotten those damn "player/missile" graphics and in general made some better games.
So I wasn't 100% happy with my KotMK entry, so I updated it...
now the invaders stay upright, and oriented towards the "player", and they have grey outlines, and the "chase cursor" is a bit different... now x+y axis is changed when you move the mouse, and x+z when you move the mouse with the button held down. Plus the chase box is a white box rather than a red dot
again, more of a toy than a game....
A vaguely incredible-machine like puzzle game, made in a weekend by my team at Northeastern U for the 2010 Global Game Jam
Play it at
http://alienbill.com/sprinkle/ or http://openprocessing.org/visuals/?visualID=7321
A pretty deep improvement of my recent KOTMK entry, markovlove360 uses all the works sent into http://loveblender.com/ in 2004 to create a web community / computer /human collaboration tool, using markov chains for statistical textual analysis as the basis for computer-augmented lyrical composition.
Simply move the mouse to highlight the next word you want, and click to select. The most recent 2 words selected define what options are available for the next word; those options are the set of words that followed that word pair within the body of work from the blender, scaled by frequency (the more often a word followed a word pair, the larger its piece of the pie.)
"S" saves the current work to a text file in the same directory, "C" clears the page, and "R" sets a Random Robot to do the selection for you
this came to me in a dream this morning:
I don't know what, if anything, it "means" but I was proud to be able to pull together a java version in like 5 or 10 minutes.
mouse and mousebutton to build, space clears, m toggles the bricks' mortar.
lately I've been thinking about how important motion and kinetics are to me, game-wise.
Maybe I'm more of a toymaker than a gamemaker! I certainly seem to do jack and squat when it comes to level design.
If there's one thing I learned from the MIT Mystery Hunt it's that I like Game James a lot better. A HELL of a lot better.
Actually this extends to like board games. I'm not very competitive, I'd rather not play and stay safely in my ego cocoon than risk proving my freinds smarter than me, but I love creativity based games like Pictionary and/or Scattegories and all that lightweight stuff.
I'm reading Tracy Fullerton's "Game Design Workshop" book. One idea she puts forth is don't worry about playtesters stealing your ideas, your game will be just about as hard for someone else to make as it will be for you, and you obviously have a head start...
Those economics don't quite apply to quick and dirty KotMK-able games, but I'm still a little nervous about sharing because A. i guess i'm "paranoid" about some stealing, but would that be such a bad thing? B. I'm worried I might disappoint people who see this list and what I'm NOT working on
So here is the list from my iPhone "glorious trainwrecks" memo, with explanations, roughly in reverse chronological order
UPDATE Half asleep, I had some more ideas for some of gamebuttons, games where the display and input is all a "normal" HTML pushbutton.
I'm thinking about what platform I want to code on.
I think Processing has been pretty good to me, and I might stick with it... it lets me use my Java mojo, I've figured out how to do sounds, it can embed in a webpage and make standalone downloads, it has some 3D primitive stuff going on, it's kind of artsy.
The downside is it has a big footprint, in terms of download size and processing power, and its 3D is pretty rudimentary, plus I have to code a lot myself, though I'm slowly making progress on some simple engines.
I prefer to be conservative in picking up toolkits (which is a bit of a handicap my professional life shares as well)
So, criteria would be:
* should be embeddable in a browser ... I think downloads are a big handicap for people tooling around with your game
* I'd like to find some kind of 2D and/or 3D physics engine
Any thoughts? I'm taking a 2 part Flash introduction class, just to try and get a feel if that's something I want to get into. I think of the games at http://www.ferryhalim.com/orisinal/ -- but then again, that clearly has a TON of love in the A/V department that my games likely will lack
I was considering pygame, especially since professinally I think cementing my python skills would be a good thing, but I don't think that's embeddable.
In general I think I keep meaning to get more into the online indy game community, tigsource and all that stuff. And I have a hope with my new move reducing my commute to like 25 minutes, I might find it easier to find the time. But even then it's tough to for me to focus when I'm feeling angsty about my chances of making something cool. Also, it's so easy to get jealous when someone grabs an idea I've been thinking about, like heat seeking missles and sproingy rope physics.
VIRTUAL SISYPHUS! Drag the boulder to the top of the mountain!
VIRTUAL TANTALUS! Reach for the delicious grapes, or duck into the pristine water to slake your endless thirst!
VIRTUAL PROMETHUS BOUND! Drag the bound firebringer away from the eagle that seeks to consume his delicious liver