Konami Code creator Kazuhisa Hashimoto has died

Kazuhisa Hashimoto, who created the famous ‘Konami Code,’ has died.

He was 79. Read the rest

Cockatiel sings Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 'Lost Woods' song (with sound)

It's downright majestic is what it is. Read the rest

Pop-up book of classic Sega arcade cabinets

Sega Arcade: Pop-Up History [Read Only Memory] is a beautifully-illustrated hardcover book about six classic Sega "body sensation" arcade cabinets – Hang-On, Space Harrier, Out Run, After Burner, Thunder Blade and Power Drift – complete with pop-up cardboard models.

Accompanying this 3D showcase is a written history from Guardian games writer and best-selling novelist, Keith Stuart, punctuated by specially restored production artwork and beautifully reproduced in-game screens. The book features contributions from arcade game innovator Yu Suzuki, who offers first-hand insight into the development of these groundbreaking games and the birth of the Taiken cabinet phenomenon.

The book's £35 and shipping now.

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Steam’s Google result reads “F☠️ck Epic Games Store”

The broken ASCII-art "FUCK EPIC GAMES STORE" wasn't placed intentionally by Steam to show up as the store's description in Google search results, but there it is, all the same. Google and its algorithmic gods picked the phrase, a comment left by a user of the site, for reasons known only to itself. [Rock Paper Shotgun]

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Cool retro console lets you play Conway's Game of Life

Love Hultén, who makes retrofuturistic game consoles, built this thing called an EvoBoxx, which lets you play mathematician John Horton Conway's Game of Life, a cellular automaton he devised in 1970. "The game is a zero-player game," writes Hultén, "meaning that its evolution is determined by its initial state, requiring no further input. One interacts with the Game of Life by creating an initial configuration and observing how it evolves, or, for advanced players, by creating patterns with particular properties."

If you don't have an EvoBoxx, you can play The Game of Life here.

Image: Love Hultén Read the rest

'My hobby is designing and building unique arcade games from scratch.'

This is a really cool homebuilt arcade game project. Read the rest

Textmode Space Harrier

What you see before you here is frenetic, graphics-heavy 1985 arcade game Space Harrier as a textmode app. Though represented as chunky extended-ASCII characters, the underlying game is startlingly authentic, with bosses, pylons, tunnel staages and music all running at the Sega classic's freakishly fast clip.

It's not a clever terminal project floating up on Hacker News: it's actually the conversion for the MZ-700, a 1982 Japanese 8-bit, apparently created by Kazuhiro Furuhata in 1988. But this makes me think that Cannonball, the modern implementation of Sega's mid-80s sprite scaling game engine, needs a textmode feature.

(If you liked this, check the same game out on the Sharp X1, a more powerful Japanese 1980s machine: a truly bizarre mix of textmode and sprites, X1 Space Harrier is an arcade-accurate yet glitchy mess pushed as fast as a z80 can muster.) Read the rest

Prototype Nintendo PlayStation up for auction. Bidding's already sky high.

In the 1990s, Nintendo and Sony collaborated on a new game console. Nintendo quit the deal suddenly, one of the greatest business mistakes in video game history. Sony developed and released its own version of the PlayStation console, to spectacular success.

But there was a prototype "Nintendo PlayStation", and the working device is up for auction. It's going to go for a lot of money; bidding is already in the five figures.

Nintendo Play Station Super NES CD-ROM Prototype - Sony and Nintendo c. 1992. At one point, this dual-branded prototype's existence was mere myth, and this is the very first time it will ever be offered at public auction. It is said to be the last remaining prototype of the alleged 200 that were forged from the failed joint-venture between Sony and Nintendo, two of the biggest competitors in the home console video game market. Reportedly, the other prototypes have since been destroyed. We at Heritage can attest the prototype is working, as we've played a couple of rounds of Mortal Kombat on it using a Super Famicom cartridge.

The prototype does share some exterior similarities with both the Super Nintendo and the Sony PlayStation, but it has its own, unique characteristics as well. It has not only a slot for Super Famicom and Super Nintendo games, but a CD-ROM drive that was meant to play disc-based media and presumably video games as well. Though the CD-ROM drive was not currently working when it was found in 2009, it has since been repaired by Benjamin Heckendorn, a YouTube personality known for his console repair videos.

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38,000 Flash games bundled in a single, just-works game launcher download

Flashpoint, by BlueMaxima, is a game launcher that comes with more than 30,000 flash games built-in to a single download. As getting Adobe Flash working moves from "troublesome" to "virtually impossible", it's a timely feat of internet preservation.

Internet history is important, and content made on platforms such as Adobe Flash make up a significant portion of that culture doomed to obscurity. This project is dedicated to preserving as many games and animations from these platforms as possible, so that they aren't lost to time. Since early 2018, over a hundred contributors have helped Flashpoint save more than 38,000 games and 2,400 animations running on 13 different platforms.

"So much culture saved from the jaws of death," writes Bennett Foddy. Read the rest

1982's porn computer games of tomorrow

In 1982, at the height of the first video game boom, the magazine Porn Stars imagined what the porn titles of the future would look like. Bacchus at Erosblog fished out the amazing mockups. You can see the full NSFW spread there; here's Ron Jeremy's idea for Penile Command, a pisstiche of the then cutting-edge Missile Command.

Kinky aliens are trying to destroy the earth with golden showers. Defend your cities with a giant umbrella or build an ark to prevent ultimate destruction.

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The ancient world's greatest board games

Ludus Latrunculorum. Senet. Chaturanga. And don't forget Hnefatafl. These were just some of the board games that ancient people were into thousands of years ago. Over at Smithsonian, Meilan Solly explains "The Best Board Games of the Ancient World." From the magazine:

The rules of Mehen remain unclear, as the game faded from popularity following the decline of Egypt’s Old Kingdom and is sparsely represented in the archaeological record.

Writing in 1990, Egyptologist Peter A. Piccione explained, “Based upon what we know of this game ... the feline game pieces moved in a spiral along the squares, apparently, from the tail on the outside to the head of the serpent at the center.” The spherical, marble-like tokens may have been similarly rolled through the “longer spiralling grooves.”

In Patolli, a gambling game invented by the early inhabitants of Mesoamerica, players raced to move pebbles from one end of a cross-shaped track to the other. Drilled beans used as dice dictated gameplay, but the exact rules of “entry and movement” remain unknown, as Parlett notes in the Oxford History of Board Games.

Among the Aztecs, Patolli held unusually high stakes, with participants wagering not just physical goods or currency, but their own lives. As Diego Durán, a Dominican friar who authored a 16th-century tome on Aztec history and culture, explained, “At this and other games the Indians not only would gamble themselves into slavery, but even came to be legally put to death as human sacrifices.”

Images from top down: "Senet from the Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund; "Mehen" by Anagoria (CC BY 3.0 Read the rest

Hexagonal grid notebooks

Hexagonal-grid notebooks like Hexanote [Amazon] are marketed toward organic chemistry students and pros; the image here is from the thicker, spiral-bound Benznote.

But I'm thinking ... maps.

Unfortunately, the paper in all the available offerings is lightweight and probably won't hold marker pigment well, let alone paint. (The big-sheeted dry-erase grids intended specifically for games look like a lot of fun, but aren't what I'm looking for) Is there, to the best of your knowledge, a hexagonal notebook with paper that's 100gm or more?

Watercolor paper would be ideal, but I'm not fussy.

PREVIOUSLY: Create and print custom gridded paper Read the rest

Florida men play Uno in the road during a red light

In a prank commenting on bad traffic in Cape Coral, Florida, Paxten Sester and his buddies passed time during a long red light by playing Uno in the middle of the road. Dylan Kjos caught the minute-long gag on video for TikTok and its since gone viral.

"(After a minute,) we rushed back into the truck, thinking that the light was about to change. And we still sat in the truck for about another minute," Kjos said.

According to UPI, "Kjos and his friends said they were aiming to poke fun at the local traffic, which they said is particularly slow during the winter.

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Terminal Phase: side-scrolling shooter in the terminal

Terminal Phase is a side-scrolling shoot-em-up in the Gradius and R-Type tradition, but in text mode. In the terminal! It's free software created by Christopher Lemmer Webber [Patreon].

The game is completely playable and is a fun game (well, at least a number of playtesters told me they thought it was fun). It includes two levels (one of which is more balanced than the other), and more content is on its way (1.0 isn't the end!). You can see it being played above in cool-retro-term but it works in all sorts of terminals, including gnome-terminal and etc.

I also released a video recently (archive.org mirror) of me doing a live playtest of the game and also showing off how to make new levels and program new enemies (which serves as kind of an introduction, but probably not the best one, to Spritely Goblins).

One of the first games I had as a youngster was Harrier Attack, which was essentially the same idea of a textmode side-scrolling shooter, albeit with redefined characters to try and get it looking "better". It was not great. Read the rest

EA to brick Tetris phone app

A popular, official Tetris app is going to get bricked. Users of Tetris Blitz fired up the game yesterday to be given a smarmy "it's time to say goodbye" message from the publisher.

Hello Fans,

We have had an amazing journey with you so far but sadly, it is time to say goodbye. As of April 21, 2020, EA’s Tetris® app will be retired, and will no longer be available to play. Kindly note that you will still be able to enjoy the game and use any existing in-game items until April 21, 2020. We hope you have gotten many hours of enjoyment out of this game and we appreciate your ongoing support. Thank you!

Gizmodo reports that it's unusual for a game to be actively bricked by its publisher, and a reminder that you own nothing.

There are thousands of games on the App Store that developers abandoned years ago, but most can still be played until they stop being compatible with the latest version of iOS. But come April 21, both of EA’s Tetris games will simply stop working. Players are welcome to scream and shout about the decision on their online soapbox of choice. But buried deep in the games’ terms of service, EA has made it clear that the company only has to give notice 30 days before terminating one of its services.

It's not EA's fault, at least not directly: the Tetris Company has a new partner, and it appears EA's license for the game lapsed. Read the rest

Play: Dungeons and Deadlines, "an epic game of work-life balance"

Smarter people than me have pointed out that "work-life balance" says the quiet part out loud, implicitly confirming that you stop living when you're at work. Miles Matrix's Dungeons and Deadlines makes all this much realer with acerbic wit and rockin' chiptunes. My spouse left me after five turns. (via Four Short Links) Read the rest

Idle Idol, a frenetic free clicker-management game

Idle Idol, by Daniel Moreno, casts you as a huge immobile statue in the middle of an island. You will attract followers, but if the island gets overpopulated and things run amok, they'll destroy you in the chaos. Better give them something to die for, then.

Idle Idol is a clicker (sort-of) and resource management game about a goddess and her followers. Building temples or destroying obstacles will cost you some followers, but the temples will generate more over time. Manage your limited space around the statue to place temples.

Controls

Left Click: Select/Build/Destroy Right Click: Cancel build (if in Build mode)

By the end, you'll be furiously bouncing from that last icon on the right to empty spots on the lawn and back again: it's not a game for RSI sufferers!

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