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Why lag sucks in online games

Bennett Foddy, creator of QWOP and Sportsfriends, explains why many recent indie games eschew online features in favor of old-fashioned local multiplayer. These twitchy, pixel-perfect retro game formulas just can't coexist with lag. [Polygon] Rob 10

Your friends control the monsters in Cormanesque horror game Crawl

Crawl looks like a fun action RPG in a Victorian horror setting. The gimmick: your friends control the enemies! They have a Steam release date of "first half 2014."
One player controls the Hero, the others possess monsters and traps to kill them. Destroy the hero and it’s your turn to crawl as you instantly take their place. Race to gain enough XP and loot to challenge the dungeon’s boss, cooperatively controlled by the other players!

Kickstarting a new Cheapass game with Patrick Rothfuss

Carol from the wonderful Cheapass Games writes, "Pairs is our latest project: a classic pub-style card game, designed by James Ernest and Paul Peterson. We've teamed up with Patrick Rothfuss to make decks with themes and artwork from the world of his Name of the Wind novels. We still have 10 days left in the Kickstarter, and we've got over 3000 backers, and support that's passed $100,000. As the campaign grows, we're adding more card decks for backers to choose from."

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Super Mario Brothers music performed on a Sheng

In this video, a young musician called Li-Jin Lee performs the Super Mario theme (complete with eerily accurate SFX on a Sheng, an ancient Chinese reed instrument) at the National Concert Hall in Taipei, as part of a lecture on the Sheng.

Taiwan Philharmonic (NSO) - "The Power of Sheng" w. Super Mario 超級瑪莉 (via Kottke)

DICE: emulator for hardwired, discrete-circuit games from the 1970s


Since 2007, Adam has been improving DICE, a free/open program that emulates video games from the very dawn of the industry. These games, called "discrete circuit" games, had no CPU; gameplay was determined through hardwired connections between the electronic components (think of games like the Pong system). This has put these games -- like 1975's Crossfire, 1974's Clean Sweep and Wipe Out, and 1974's Pin Pong -- outside the reach of retrogaming emulators like MAME. DICE recreates the electrical circuits with careful precision, aiming to recapture the original play.

A new version of DICE, 0.8, allows for windowed play, and attains some Mac OS support.

adam's emulation wip (via /.)

Flappy Bird demakes

You may now play the agonizingly addictive thing on the Atari 2600, the ZX81 (with 1 kilobyte of RAM!), your TI calculator, and the most-impressive Commodore 64, pictured here.

Assuming you don't have a C64 or an emulator set up, here's video!

Pussy Riot use footage of cossack horsewhipping in new music video

One day after a video of Pussy Riot being horsewhipped by cossacks in Sochi went viral, the band had released a new music video in which the footage is heavily featured, amid anti-Putin rhetoric.

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A truly super Mario doorbell

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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Kickstarting a pocket-sized board-game

Noah sez, "My dear friend Sam Strick of Laboratory and Scroll Down to Riker, is currently running a Kickstarter for an awesome board game that he designed, originally, to fit on the back of a business card. In addition to it's ultra small form factor (which means I'll be able to carry it with me wherever I go) it's the first game I've seen that has a communal worker pool. That coupled with it's lack of randomness means the game play has more of the feeling of something classic, like chess or checkers, than you're standard eurogame. At $5 a pop it's an easy - and painless - buy. For as long as I've known Sam his ideas have been strikingly unique and compelling, and rest assured that the extra money generated by this kickstarter, in addition to completing some of the cooler stretch goals, will lead directly to helping him and produce more awesome games."

This ticks all my Kickstarter boxes: low cost to pre-order, indie creator with a track-record for shipping, fun, beautiful.

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In R'lyeh FlapThulhu lies flapping

Flapthulhu is the first thing to have caught my eye since I promised myself I would never write another word about ██████ ████.

Games with hidden developer messages

"Unused pieces of text, never intended to be seen during gameplay ... because developers have voices too." [tcrf.net] Rob 5

Crowdfunding "Nothing to Hide," an anti-stealth game about surveillance

Elizabeth sez, "Nothing To Hide is an anti-stealth game, where you're forced to help in your own surveillance. It was released yesterday, in honor of The Day We Fight Back, and you can play the HTML5 demo right now. The game is dedicated to the public domain, with all the art and code on Github. ("Nothing To Hide has nothing to hide.") They've just launched a crowdfunding campaign to fully build this open source game. Ten percent of the funds raised will go to digital rights groups like the EFF, Demand Progress, and Freedom of the Press Foundation."

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HOWTO build a robotic air-hockey opponent out of Reprap parts

Jose Julio realized that the drive-train and parts in a Reprap printer could be repurposed, along with an Arduino-controlled vision-system to create a robot air-hockey opponent. He documented the build here, and the code is on Github.

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Great Language Game: can you tell the difference between spoken languages of the world


The Great Language Game asks you to listen to brief samples of conversational speech and then correctly guess which language is being spoken, choosing from an ever-expanding multiple-choice selection. It's surprisingly fun! My first score was 350 (I was stumped on distinguishing Dari from Malayayam, neither of which I know anything about).

Great Language Game (via Kottke)

Kickstarting a steampunk survival/adventure game: 39 Days to Mars

Philip writes, "I'm developing a co-operative steampunk survival-adventure game called 39 Days to Mars, and it's just launched on Kickstarter!"

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