Nintendo programmer Masahiro Sakura coded the Game Boy classic Kirby's Dream Land on a cartridge-based Famicom console and Disk System that lacked a hardware keyboard. According to a recent presentation given by Sakura, "values had to be input using a trackball and an on-screen keyboard."
Sakura, who was 20-years-old at the time, said he just thought that was "the way it was done."
From Game Watch's report in Japanese, translated by Source Gaming:
At the time, the development tool that HAL Laboratory was using was the Twin Famicom, a console that combined the Famicom and the Famicom Disk System. A trackball made specifically for the Twin Famicom was used with the machine, which read and wrote data to a floppy disk and uploaded data to the floppy disks [during development].
Essentially, they were using a Famicom to make Famicom games. Sakurai told the crowd, “It’s like using a lunchbox to make lunch”. However, because of that, they were able to create a functional test product before the project plan was even completed.
(via Ars Technica)
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Watch this inspiring summary of Rob Pyers' journey from laid-off grocery bagger to major player in following the money in California politics. Read the rest
ScratchJr is a simple, free, tablet based programming language kids can use to make simple games and animations. The Official ScratchJr Book has been a great guide for my daughter and I.
I first heard about Scratch, when one of our attendees gave a brief show-and-tell on it at Boing Boing's Weekend of Wonder. It sounded pretty accessible. It came to mind again when recently, in an attempt to get my daughter to use the iPad for more than watching Bratayley, I decided to try and interest her in creating something. She loves art, but Minecraft was far too confusing for her and I was looking for another kid-friendly programming option. ScratchJr is a tablet based, even simpler version of Scratch, installing was as easy as any other app.
The Official ScratchJr Book does a great job, with friendly illustrations, of walking us through the basics. My daughter prefers the painting and drawing of characters, and backgrounds, to the organization of blocks, but the book did a great job of walking us through it all. Having gone through the book together, once, she can now refer to it one her own, if she runs into a problem. Generally, her problem is me grabbing the tablet and adding things.
I am not going to tell you we've made high art, but I think I could throw together a decent 1980's King's Quest parody.
The Official ScratchJr Book: Help Your Kids Learn to Code via Amazon Read the rest
LA Makerspace co-founder Tara Tiger Brown shares a project that her kid-friendly maker workshop is trying to make a reality.
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Between 2008 and 2015 GitHub gained the most traction in the Java community, which changed in rank from 7th to 2nd. Possible contributing factors to this growth could be the growing popularity of Android and the increasing demand for version control platforms at businesses and enterprises. Read the rest
The artist may change, but the template remains the same
What can thinking like musicians teach us about game-making?
Make Games! published a huge list of indie titles
, many of them free or trivially inexpensive, made using the wildly popular game-making software Unity
—I know what I'll be doing next weekend! If you're feeling inspired, Make Games!' getting started
page links to essential articles and Unity alternatives for developers of any skill level. Read the rest
So you've got a yearning to code games, you've got a killer idea, and you want to work for yourself. What next?
[Derek Yu] Read the rest
Why learning to program is about more than a job, it's a way to make your whole life better.
"Microsoft has jumped onto the free-to-play bandwagon with its latest game, a text-driven adventure called Visual Studio 2010
. The innovative new game marries the traditional interactive fiction text adventure with its arcane commands and exploration with the free-form, open-ended gaming" [Ars Technica, following the introduction of gamification and "achievements"
to the coding app] Read the rest