Researchers at the ETH Game Technology Center of the Swiss national technical institute in Zürich, have applied their considerable talents to the critical problem of immersion in 2D side-scrolling, 8-bit era games. Witness in this video the splendor of a 360° projected Mario world that unrolls across the walls as players reveal each subsequent tile of the game map.
Robert Sumner, founder of the GTC explains:
...we observed that the 8-bit era of gaming had a huge collective influence on so many people, but the actual gaming experience was typically an individual one. We wanted to turn this idea upside down, and elevate the NES console experience into a group experience where the game surrounds a large event, allowing multiple people to play in a collaborative setting. The panoramic stitching and 8-way controller multiplexing hardware were the main ways we accomplished this task.
The group submitted the paper "Unfolding the 8-bit Era" to the European Conference on Visual Media Production, and then built the system to unveil at the Eurographics Conference. Utilizing a vintage 8-bit Famicom/NES system and a PC with a point-correspondence vision tracking algorithm, the researchers developed methods to detect the edge of each screen segment, adding it to a continuously expanding texture map in real-time. This panoramic texture is then seamlessly displayed on eight aligned projectors. The vision algorithm requires no prior knowledge about the game, so it is possible to play any side-scroller on this system, such as Super Mario Bros., Castlevania, Metroid, and the like. Read the rest
Remember the glory days of playing Super Nintendo on that classic gray controller with its signature purple push buttons? Yeah, we do too.
8Bitdo is bringing the 8-bit gaming vibe back with the SNES30, a 1:1 original design that supports both Bluetooth and USB connections.
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This delightful-looking deck of cards, featuring classic computers, is yours for $15 from the already-successful Kickstarter campaign.
The selection is good and each card has the right stats: CPU model and bit-width, clock frequency, RAM, display resolution, maximum number of on-screen colors, and the year it was launched.
There are already over 30 retro computers in the deck. As well as 8-bit classics there are a few early 16-bit and 32-bit machines too (e.g. Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Acorn Archimedes). The machines we have so far:
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I've found a beautiful and mysterious Tumblr that combines (what look like) old, obscure video game screenshots with (what look like) snippets of original fiction. As is so often the case with Tumblr I'm not sure who runs it or why, or if it's part of something larger I'm missing, but I sure do like it. Read the rest
If you're having a hard time getting back in the swing of things after the holidays, perhaps Powerglove's retro-kitsch "Batman" video will inspire you. Read the rest
A while back, we posted about Nick Criscuolo's fantastic intro to a non-existent 8-bit game version of classic Connery SF outing Zardoz. Well, Nick--an artist and animator--is setting out to make the game itself, and is on the hunt for a talented coder willing to volunteer their skills to bring this crazed, red-leathered concept into reality. If you're interested, check out Nick's project site, featuring some sample designs and character animations--and get in touch with him.
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8-Bit Zardoz will be a browser and mobile arcade style action game with different types of game play for each level. From infinite runner, to catching falling objects, to side scrolling beat um up, to old school first person shooter. The levels will be couched in simple but cinematic cut scenes to preserve the important elements of the story.
I'm an artist looking to partner with a programmer who loves the movie and wants to make this game with me, but anyone who wants to contribute in some way is welcome to do so whether with additional graphics, music / sound FX, or web work.
I would really like to enter the game at BostonFIG this year. It requires a playable first level by June 19th for entry. The actual festival isn't until September 13 so there will be more time to work on it before showing the public.
I'm a big fan of free culture so I would like the game to be a GPL-3.0 release. After the game is finished, all the components should be available on github and archive.org.
Joseph "Rawr" Thai's Mario-themed doorbell makes a coin-chime every time its pressed, and increments an LCD counter showing how many coins have been racked up by visitors to the house. Every ten presses, the doorbell plays a 1UP sound, and after 100 presses, it plays a mushroom upgrade chime.
Rawr's got detailed plans for building your own Mario doorbell.
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I'm a bit burned out on 8-bit everything but I do love The Shining and this is a fun 3 minutes. CineFix: "The Shining - 8 Bit Cinema" Read the rest
"Videographic shamanism" from Lasse A. Gjertsen.
It is a story about a persons life and death told in 8-bits video game graphics. I made it in about half a year together with my friend Trygve Knudsen, who made the 3D-sequences. I made all the 8-bit-shit :) We worked on and off with it from February 2008 and completed it in January 2009. It has been screened at a bunch of film festivals all over the planet, and is originally made for 35mm film with surround sound (kicks in during the 3D-sequences).
[Video Link] [Thanks, Yngvar!] Read the rest
Behold! A brand new, independently funded and produced 8-bit movie!
Dmitry Samal offers a range of pixelated sunglasses (top left), priced $150 or so. Triple Optic has a similar design (top right), which are almost as cool ... and just $10.
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As I somehow missed this fantastic intro to a nonexistent 8-bit Zardoz game last year, perhaps you did, too! Animator Nick Criscuolo writes: "I realize the audio isn't entirely 8bit, more like 8/16 bit. Maybe more like Amiga game music than Atari or Nintendo. I just couldn't imagine it without the Zardoz voice." [VIDEO LINK. Submitted by jeans] Read the rest