Boing Boing 

Wicked Witch is an 8-bit Flappy Bird demake with style

72999 Flappy Bird clones, including demakes, are old hat. But this old lady's hat is different: Wicked Witch, a finely-wrought artifact from a parallel universe where the early 80s never ended.

PLAY: Santa vs Hallowe'en


Chris writes, "To parody the earlier and earlier onset of the holiday shopping season, Betabrand created a video game where St Nick sets out to conquer Halloween. Now that Christmas has overrun Thanksgiving, it's only logical that Santa will set his sights on All Hallow's eve, so that he may turn Black Friday into Black Fall."

Kickstarting Night Witches, an RPG about WWII Soviet airwomen


Night Witches is the latest game from Jason Morningstar, creator of the excellent caper/heist game Fiasco.

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Popehat's #Gamergate rants

Former federal prosecutor, free speech advocate and generally smart dude Ken "Popehat" White has posted "ten short rants" about #Gamergate, which, surprisingly, contain nuance and gloss I haven't yet encountered in the verbiage devoted to the subject elsewhere.

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Classic adventure game hero Gabriel Knight returns for remake

But what can he tell us about Voodoo? Brian Easton hopes for more.Read the rest

Blogville, a virtual world where you can read blogs


Philipp writes, "In Blogville, you can read blogs... including Boing Boing! This is part of Manyland, the browser-based MMO universe where you can draw and script anything to build the world."

Kickstarting a new edition of the classic game Paranoia


Eric writes, "Paranoia is a cult classic tabletop roleplaying game that has sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide, won the Best Role Playing Game of the Year award, and been inducted into the Origins Award Hall of Fame."

Paranoia is light-hearted game of terror, death, bureaucracies, mad scientists, mutants, dangerous weapons, and insane robots, which encourages players to lie, to cheat, and backstab each other at every turn.

Paranoia is a darkly humorous roleplaying game set in Alpha Complex, a dystopian underground city of the future, ruled by The Computer. Alpha Complex is, according to The Computer, a Utopian society, but one threatened by all kinds of real (and imagined) traitors: mutants, members of treasonous secret societies, and terrorists. The players are Troubleshooters, agents of The Computer, whose job it is to uncover these enemies, and, well, shoot trouble. Each player is a mutant, and a member of a treasonous secret society, so each has a reason to discover the treasons of their co-workers -- and execute them, the better to convince The Computer of their own fervent loyalty.

Paranoia, originally published in 1984, was a product of, well, Cold War paranoia, but it is even more relevant in an era when the NSA and GCHQ work tirelessly to ensure that we are all safe and secure against the pervasive threat of Commie mutant trai.... Uh, I mean, evil, crazed terrorists. When we are all subject to constant surveillance by both government and private entities -- and when the kind of hard AI that might lead to The Computer seems just over the horizon.

This new edition of Paranoia...

...will include cards, special dice, reusable character sheets and other devices to promote fast play, a Paranoia state of mind, and a minimum of 'old school' paper-and-pencil logistics a la Dungeons & Dragons.

...will double down on the original darkly humorous premise built around a 24/7 full-surveillance police state (e.g., the cover of the 1984 edition showed a low-level guy's every move being watched from several different angles by The Computer and several of its Internal Security troopers).

...is being developed under the auspices of Mongoose Publishing, Britain's largest RPG publisher, which has run several successful Kickstarters before. It is being designed by James Wallis, a World Famous Game Designer (Baron Munchausen, Once Upon a Time), with assistance from the original game designers (Eric Goldberg and Greg Costikyan), as well as Grant Howitt and Paul Dean.

All good Citizens should show their fervent loyalty to The Computer by pledging eagerly. Those who fail to do so may receive an all expenses paid vacation in the HEL Sector Recreational Gulag & Reeducation Center. Trust The Computer! The Computer is Your Friend!

Paranoia RPG

(Thanks, Eric!)

WATCH: 8-Bit Silence of the Lambs

Daniel writes, "As Halloween draws closer, CineFix presents The Silence of The Lambs retold via old-school 8-bit (and a little 16 bit) game tech." (Thanks, Daniel!)

Vultures circle GamerGate

The mainstream media finally discovered the Internet's latest subculture of hostile, cynical, easily-led youngsters. Matt Binder on the narcissists, grifters and creeps arriving in its wake.Read the rest

Why (and how) games are art


I sat down for an interview with the LA Times's Hero Complex to talk about my book In Real Life (I'm touring it now: Chicago tomorrow, then Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Warsaw, London...), and found myself giving a pretty good account of why games are art, and how the art of games works:

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If you don't agree to the new Wii U EULA, Nintendo will kill-switch it

When you bought your Wii U, it came with one set of terms-of-service; now they've changed, and if you don't accept the changes, your Wii seizes up and won't work. That's not exactly what we think of when we hear the word "agreement."

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Kickstarting Haphead, a science fiction web series about gamer culture

Haphead, the wonderful science fiction webseries about gamer culture that I wrote about in March, is kickstarting a budget for kick-ass post-production. It's from Jim Munroe, who made Ghosts With Shit Jobs.

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Anita Sarkeesian cancels Utah campus appearance after threats of a "Montreal-style massacre"

Sarkeesian was willing to go on with the show at Utah State University -- as she's done after all the other death threats that she's received as a speaker -- but wanted attendees checked for firearms. Ogden, UT cops refused, citing Utah's open-carry firearms law. At least one of the threats cited Gamergate.

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Apps bring new possibilities to board games

Matt M. Casey on Golem Arcana, one of the new offerings whose gameplay leaps from tabletop to tablet. Read the rest

Gamergate as a hate-group


Jennifer Allaway is a social scientist who studies diversity in games. In the wake of being targeted by Gamergate trolls, she has written an analysis of the movement as a hate group, showing that it satisfies the formal requirements for such.

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Booze flasks that look like NES cartridges


I bought one of these at New York Comic-Con this weekend -- it's a surprisingly good facsimile of an old NES cart; and the rubber stopper (rated to 10psi) performs better than it looks like it would. My only complaint is that it's a bit awkward to nip from directly, though it'd be fine with a straw.

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eBay: Huge collection of 80s-90s console videogames

$_57

On eBay: a massive collection of 5700 console games, 5700+ games, and custom shelves for it all. Buy it now for (gulp) $164,000.

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Castelvania casemod


Vadu Amka gave his old-school SNES a stunning Castelvania casemod makeover, with an attention to detail that demands our respect and admiration.

SNES Castlevania - Dracula's castle Edition (via Kotaku)

3D Zelda game gets 2D makeover

ZELDA

Ocarina of Time is lauded among the series' greats, but some find its early 3D graphics charmless. A fan project is remaking the game with chunky pixel art to give it that perfect old-school look. Borrowing art and audio from other entries in the Legend of Zelda set to augment their own work, they've already released a playable demo of the classic's first chapter. [via]

Actual ethical issues in video-games


Leigh Alexander has a partial list, from their use as military recruiting tools to Apple's censorship of games critical of the electronics industry's manufacturing ethics to actual paid-review sites to the naked pay-for-play of popular Youtube game-reviewers.

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Social Justice Warriors and the New Culture War

Laurie Penny, author of Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution explains "Social Justice Warriors" and why they're winning. Read the rest

Open Field Echo Sounder - game app for blind kids

Bob Smolenski developed a game for blind kids to play outdoors. It's called Open Field Echo Sounder. He wrote about how he made it on Medium.

I used Adobe Air to program this app. After years of Flash animation and as3 programming I decided to put those skills into making cross-platform game apps. The biggest challenge was to translate the players movement using the data from the phone. iPhones have detailed direction finding. I use that to “shoot” out an audio ping. The program can sense a “hit test” either on the right, center or left side of the object. Android phones do not have any compass heading data. So I hacked a way around that. Implementing a breadcrumb trail to point the way.

The other programming challenge was to scale a field around the player’s longitude and latitude data. I found a bit of code that calculated your location between the four corners of a 960 x 640 screen.

Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! - A gamer’s alphabet

Video game players have their own jargon and much of it is foreign to non-gamers. My 11-year-old daughter, an ardent gamer, was familiar with more of the words in Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! (e.g., griefer, instance, mod, sandbox, unlockable) than I was, but we both appreciated Joey Spiotto’s cute and colorful illustrations that accompanied the terms. The book was written by Chris Barton, author of The Day-Glo Brothers, previously reviewed on Wink.

Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! by Chris Barton (Author), Joey Spiotto (Illustrator)

Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

Directors' commentary for "In Real Life"


On the Forbidden Planet blog, Jen Wang and I discuss the origin-story of In Real Life, our graphic novel, which comes out on Oct 14.

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Making better use of dice in games

Game designer Stefan Feld has designed eight published games that focus on dice. Each takes its own approach to using the 5,000-year-old randomizers without creating a random winner. By Matt M. CaseyRead the rest

Tentacle sex game that's all about consent


A playtest of Naomi Clark's forthcoming tentacle-sex card game Consentacle reveals a game that's as much about strategy as sex, where trust and consent are the keys to victory.

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Interview with Minecraft composer C418


Ziad sez, "I interviewed C418; we talk about Minecraft's early days, the purchase by Microsoft, how the gaming community has helped him become a self-sustaining, independent musician, and creativity in the gaming industry."

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Kickstarting a port of Glorantha to the D20 system


Rob writes, One reason that Glorantha, a legendary RPG world that has influenced designers like Sandy Petersen and White Wolf founder Mark Rein-Hagen, has been out of the mainstream is that its gaming systems (RuneQuest and HeroQuest) are not as familiar as D&D's D20-based system."

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Tetris, the, er, movie

“This isn’t a movie with a bunch of lines running around the page," said production company Threshold’s CEO Larry Kasanoff. "We’re not giving feet to the geometric shapes... What you [will] see in ‘Tetris’ is the teeny tip of an iceberg that has intergalactic significance."

"A ‘Tetris’ Movie Is in the Works" (Thanks, Gil Kaufman!)

Hanabi: card game with the goal to launch a spectacular firework display

In this immediately enjoyable card game players take on the role of Japanese pyrotechnicians with a shed full of unlabeled fireworks that they must assemble correctly before the show begins. By Jon SeagullRead the rest