Studio Pixel’s New Game

Studio Pixel has been working on a new game to follow up the incredible Doukutsu Monogatari, also known as Cave Story.

I’ve waxed poetic on Cave Story before, but 4 Color Rebellion has a great collection of links on Pixel’s new game, which looks to be a top down scrolling shooter. Also linked there is a translation of Pixel’s workblog so you can keep up with his progress on the new game.

The Advantage – Elf Titled

The Advantage are back with their new sophomore album, “Elf Titled”. Being my favorite in the seemly ever growing category of NES cover bands, they have always stood out for their exacting precision to the actual music itself. No “interpretation” for them, but each of the band members each cover one of the NES’s 4 sound channels and they each reproduce the sound as best as possible.

They did an interview for the new album in the Sacramento News and Review that’s worth reading.

Portable Game System Family Tree

Saw this linked off of Joystiq. It’s the portable system family tree. It’s fun to see the design evolution as well as the sad fact of all the other contenders to the Game Boy’s reign that have fallen to the wayside.

It reminded me of the Console Controller Family Tree that I’d seen last year. It’s always interesting to see who innovated first and who copied, and what stuck and what was left by the wayside.

The Secrets of Archon

From a link on Game Set Watch, a new gaming blog I’ve started frequenting, they had a post linking to Vintage Computing. I’d never seen this site, but it’s something I have wanted to see in a long time. His adventures in collecting and playing vintage (i.e. retro) games and computers. I love it!

The article linked was about The Secrets of Archon, and the stats and details that went into creating this old action strategy game. I had a few fond memories playing this with a friend and loved the detail that he went into on it.

RPG Plots Summed Up

Need a plot for your RPG that you are planning to create? Try out The Big List of RPG Plots, by S. John Ross, who has neatly and quickly summed up many many an RPG plot line. Try one on for size?

Quest For the Sparkly Hoozits

Somebody needs a dingus (to fulfill a prophecy, heal the monarch, prevent a war, cure a disease, or what have you). The PCs must find a dingus. Often an old dingus, a mysterious dingus, and a powerful dingus. The PCs must learn more about it to track it down, and then deal with taking it from wherever it is.
Common Twists & Themes: The dingus is incomplete when found (one of the most irritating and un-fun plot twists in the universe). Somebody already owns it (or recently stole it, sometimes with legitimate claim or cause). The dingus is information, or an idea, or a substance, not a specific dingus. The PCs must “go undercover” or otherwise infiltrate a group or society, gaining the dingus by guile or stealth.

Projects

Getting time while commuting over the last few years, I’ve had a lot of time to think, and contemplate things. A common occurrence is to continue to think of my “projects” that I have mulled over for years, but still have never had the time to really sit down and do. Well not all of it is time, some of it is pure getting distracted by a new (or old) game or just lacking the knowledge to complete them. I thought I’d share a few things I hope to at least try, or at least enjoy planning in my head.

– A homemade arcade controller – Since seeing the home built MAME arcade cabinets people have made over the years, I’ve always wanted to do something, but on a smaller scale, like a nice two player set-up where I could play Street Fighter 2 against my wife and friends, and have something nice to actually play these arcade classics correctly. I’m sorry but the keyboard, or a game pad is not the way to play a fighter.

– An EEPROM Burner – This ties into many different ideas and projects, but basically it would be a great way to get back to electronics, and allow me to move into some NES Development and hacking. I’ve always wanted to create my own cartridge of some of the hacks and translations of old NES games, and be able to play them on my TV. All this leading eventually to getting the NES hooked up to the Internet. Possible? Don’t know, but it would be fun to try.

– A Podcast of my very own – So in thinking of ideas for doing a podcast, I thought of covering my rentals from Netflix, as Jess and I have tended to get classics and foreign films, it might be fun to discuss them and talk about them in a podcast format. Though I wonder if I could actually talk long enough to make it interesting.

– A nice working house media server – I think I’d have a hard time convincing the wife that this was necessary (since it isn’t) but it would be a lot of fun and with technology going crazy it’d be great to be able to play movies on my TV from a computer that is down in the basement, or something along those lines. Neat? Yes, but I’m going to be realistic on this one and say it’s not going to happen.

There are a few more, but I’ll save them for later.

The Escapist

Not the Michael Chabon superhero of Kavalier & Clay fame, but the new “webzine” called The Escapist. I found it on a link from Insert Credit as a new weekly look at video gaming topics. Each week would have a theme or area that the articles would cover, with the results being available on-line and also in a much more readable PDF format.

It’s in it’s 12th week so far and though all of the articles arn’t something I’m that interested in, and not all do I agree with, they have have had some insightful articles on many aspects of gaming from mobile, casual and even the massive multiplayer experiences. Subscribing to it is easy enough with an e-mail being sent to you with the latest articles every Teusday, and another one with Friday extra articles.

It’s worth it to take a look at what they have to offer. It offers a break from traditional game writing, without decending into the navel gazing that new game journalism can decend into. Take a look.

New Stuff

– I was pointed to this little gem of an independant game by Quarter to Three, a board I’ve taken to visiting recently. Mount & Blade is a fairly addiciting medieval combat game at the moment.

You create your character, the usuall stats type system, but the game also has a really robust face creator for creating a unique character for yourself. Then you go out and build yourself an army of locals and train them and yourself to take on river pirates and bandits, before moving on to other larger and harder bands of roving bad guys. The game has an impressive combat engine, where you can ride your horse to battle or move on foot to take on your enimies. And all this done buy a husband and wife team from Hungary. Check out Mount & Blade.

Star Control 2 – one of the best games I’ve ever played has had it’s source code released a few years back by the authors and there is a crew of people updating the game to run on modern computers. The Ur-Quan Masters has just released version 0.4 of their project. Go get it, try out the amazing music re-mix packs as well.

– I’ve heard a few rumblings that George R. R. Martin has finished up the fourth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series that he’s been writing entitled “A Feast for Crows.” After five years of waiting, it’s about time.

BBS: The Documentary is now shipping. This guy devoted years of his time and hours and hours of footage to interviewing people who were involved in the old days of BBS’s (Bulletin Board Systems) in the days before the Internet as we know it exsisted. BBS’s were usually more community based and you tended to actually know a good deal of the people visiting them. I’ll review it more when I recieve my copy.

Doukutsu Monogatari

Doukutsu MonogatariThis amazing little game was brought to my attention by Insert Credit. Doukutsu Monogatari is three weeks of work by a Japanese programmer called Pixel. It’s a little adventure platforming game similar to say Metroid. It’s hard to describe how the game fits together to make a game that is not only challenging, but engrossing, fresh, and pulls together everthing in a tight package that so many companies try so hard to reach. It’s by no means revolutionary, or filled with new ideas, but it is one of those games that you just can’t wait to keep playing.

It’s fun weapon leveling system, and creative music, and story all take you in. It’s got secrets to spare, and three endings to search out. Play it. It’s worth it. Go here to get the game (it’s the first link), and then go here to get the English patch (easy to install).