Breaking the DRM on the 1982 Apple ][+ port of Burger Time

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4AM is a prolific computer historian whose practice involves cracking the copy protection on neglected Apple ][+ floppy disks, producing not just games, but voluminous logs that reveal the secret history of the cat-and-mouse between crackers and publishers. Read the rest

Science fiction: what if game companies could get rich on bots, instead of players?

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MVP -- Patrick Miller's "game dev short story" -- is a cleverly told piece of science fiction about a game dev team that hits on a weirdly compelling, unlikely and eerily plausible commercial strategy: optimizing their game for gold-farmers' bots. Read the rest

Evolution simulator runs in browser

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In Cary Huang's evolution simulator, one first generates 1000 random geometrical beasties. Then one watches them iterate until equilibrium prevails, commanding the most successful to reproduce and decimating the failures. The measure of the monster is how far they can flop and wobble along in a simple a 2D landscape: most fail rather fast and hard.

(The game window will start out too large for the website: scroll down and click the "full screen" icon at the bottom of the window.)

The wireframe life forms remind me of an early and massively-overhyped "evolution simulator" called Eco, released in the late 1980s for 16-bit computers. Read the rest

Howto: make a glowing bottle of Fallout 4's Nuka Cola Quantum

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Redditor MymlanOhlin shares their method for making a glowing bottle Nuka Cola Quantum from Fallout 4, a fiendishly difficult videogame whose brilliant storytelling and gorgeous, explorable landscapes have totally colonized our household. Read the rest

Sears Xmas Wishbook '77: synthetic fabrics, expensive video games, digital watches

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Greg Maletic scanned the 1977 Sears Christmas Wishbook, "Amazon, printed out." He presents a guided tour of its highlights, starting with the nascent console game and handheld electronic game industry's top offerings, which, when converted to 2015 dollars, are scorchingly expensive. Read the rest

Black women are already superheroes

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What can game developers do to better represent black women in games?

Uninsured driver plows through gamer's living-room wall and creams him mid-Fallout 4

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Ben Rose was in the middle of a game of Fallout 4 when an uninsured driver in the parking lot outside his Irving, TX apartment building hit the accelerator instead of the brakes and crashed straight through another apartment, then through his living room wall, straight into Rose, fracturing one of his vertebra and nearly severing one of his tendons. Read the rest

Networked gaming is the new social media, and it's a boys' club

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Earlier this fall, Pew released the results of a new survey documenting how digital networks are key to how teens connect with friends. What was most striking was the gender disparity. Girls socialize via text and social media, and boys tend to connect with friends through video games.

Itch is a desktop app for indie gaming's open marketplace

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Itch lets you download and play indie games on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Although the itch.io website is great for finding games, supporting creators, participating in communities, creating game jams, and following developers, there are a few things that just don’t work that well from your browser. We started building the itch.io app many months ago to address the common request of managing your itch.io library, installing, and running games right from your desktop.

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Monopoly simulation suggests you buy orange streets

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Koaning.io used Markov chains, a kind of stochastic modeling more famously used to generate pseudo-meaningful written text, to show that the board game Monopoly is heavily imbalanced by the "go to jail" mechanic.

Monopoly is still a game of chance and there are many dimensions that we did not simulate… Still, one clear result of this simulation is that you should keep an eye on that orange street. It should provide a very steady flow of income.

A worthy project would be to provide a solid computer model to show that the board game Monopoly ruins Christmas. Read the rest

Lumino City – A game by Makers

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Lumino City is a charming, hand-crafted point-and-click adventure that’ll make you smile. It’s a cozy world of clever puzzles and light storyline where you hunt for your kidnapped Grandpa while repairing the world around you.

It’s now available on Steam and on your iOS device.

Did I mention this is a hand-crafted? Even if I did, it’s worth saying again because at first glance you probably wouldn’t know it. London based game company, State of Play, took 3 years to lovingly create a 10 foot tall physical set entirely out of paper, balsa, miniature lights and motors.

They then filmed transitions from one area to another to achieve an interesting and cinematic gaming experience.

Lumino City reminds me a bit of the claymation game Neverhood from the 90‘s where camera movements and focus shifts wasn’t programmatic but created from real cameras in physical environments.

The working set pieces are just part of an undertaking that was clearly a labor of love.

And it’s one of those projects I wish I was a part of.

I love making stuff – but more than that I love making stuff that comes to life.

Once State Of Play created and filmed their whimsical set, they plopped 2D animations on top of it – and what they now have is a unique and delightful wonderland to us to explore with Lumi, the main character.

The movement of Lumi works and looks beautiful because the designers elegantly keep the plane that she travels in crisp and the others hazy. Read the rest

Rush Hour Shift – A strategic twist on the classic get-the-car-unstuck logic game

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See more photos at Wink Fun.

Rush Hour Shift is an entertaining twist on the classic get-the-car-unstuck logic game. Instead of a single player working through pre-designed puzzles, now there are two players working against each other in a constantly changing landscape. The manual includes instructions for ten basic board set-ups to start. Following these instructions, players are positioned at opposite ends of the board while cars of different sizes and colors are placed between them. The object of the game is to get your car (Silver versus Gold) to the other side of the board.

Each player is dealt four cards, and on your turn you play one of your cards and do what it says. There are four card types: Move, Shift, Slide, and Move & Shift. Move cards allow you to move any car (except your opponent’s car) the number of squares indicated on the card. You can also strategically split up the number among cars, so if you play a three you could move one car two spaces and another car one space, or you could move three cars one space. Shift cards allow you to move the board itself, and this is probably the coolest aspect of the game. The game board is built with three interlocking pieces, and when you play a shift card you can move either of the end pieces as far as you want. So you can literally remove the path from your opponent so they have nowhere to go. Slide cards allow you to move as many spaces you want until something blocks your path. Read the rest

Starforce Pi puts real arcade controls in your travel bag

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I once built and housed a full-size MAME cabinet, but soon came to resent its enormous presence in my house and got rid of it. Since then, I've dreamed of having something with the right controls and no cables, but less…maximalist. The Starforce PI looks like it might be just the ticket.

Described as "an Electronic Tabletop Mini-Arcade featuring microswitch controls, arcade video & audio, and a portable formfactor," the Starforce PI is being kickstartered by creator Marcel J. de Haan.

The small gaming console is based on early 1980s pre-Nintendo portable videogames, and features full-sized microswitch joystick and buttons, blasting stereo speakers, accurate video playback, and a durable, portable form factor.

With a modular design, off-the-shelf components and a Raspberry Pi at its core, the STARFORCE PI will support an impressive library of classic gaming systems and modern 16-bit style retrogames, thereby becoming the Ultimate Dimension in Portable Arcade Gaming.

Read the rest

Empowered female heroines work hard

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A classic Mallory Ortberg humor column sets out a day in the life of an "empowered female heroine," a fictional staple on whom society (and literature) project a huge amount of aspirational demands. Read the rest

Here's what the Cards Against Humanity staff bought with the $70k they made selling "nothing"

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On Black Friday, Cards Against Humanity sold the "experience of buying nothing" for $5 a pop.

This stunt earned them over $71,000 in sales. As a way of thanking their customers, the staff posted the stuff they bought with the money. I wish they had taken the cash, poured gas on it and burned it, though. That would have been true art and a great video.

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A Canadian teenager used America's militarized cops to terrorize women gamers for years

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If you're a woman on the Internet, harassment comes with the territory. There have been jerky dudes since time immemorial, after all. But with the advent of America's militarized cops, sociopathic misogynists have a new, deadly force-multiplier in their war on women. Read the rest

Gorgeous robotic cosplay wings

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Leo spent 1,000 hours making these 17kg robotic cosplay wings, modeled on Kayle from League of Legends. Read the rest

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