Warning: may cause “Nintendo Thumb”

Whenever I think of old Nintendo games, I can’t help but think about my sister. The best games were the ones that let us both play at the same time (sharing wasn’t always an easy option). Video games were an obsession. Every time we got our grubby little hands on any birthday money or spare change, we took it to the local movie rental store and rented games. Our mother became our crack dealer, buying used nintendo game cartridges at yard sales. We had enough Nintendo and Super Nintendo games to fill a small bookshelf back in the day.

About a month ago I had a bout of nostalgia for the video games that my sister and I used to play together. Over the years those games and systems have been sold or left behind during moves. I’ve had this longing for the old games before. I’ve tried to cure it with emulators on my computer. They were always horrible to play. Who wants to play a platformer with your computer’s keyboard for the controls? I even purchased computer game controllers to try to make the games “better” but it was never as good as it used to be. Continue reading Warning: may cause “Nintendo Thumb”

Video Games – Thinking Back Fondly

The first electronic games that I remember playing were on Bally’s home console system, the Astrocade. These were fairly simple games but they were definitely fun. I remember that there was a 2 player old west gun fight game, a video poker game, a game where 2 players had long ‘worms’ that grew and grew longer in length as the players weaved their way around the screen attempting to not bump into each other and also a pretty basic art program where you could change the size of your brush (a simple rectangle) and change the color by turning the dial.

At school we were using an Apple II to play games like Oregon Trail. There was a game where 2 players had bases and tried to shoot the other player with a missile, taking into account basic distance and wind speed factors. I remember a game called Underground Railroad that was an RPG that cast the player in the role of a newly escaped slave working their way through the woods and countryside to make their way north. There was a game where you ran your own lemonade or fruit stand and tried to make money.

When we got our first computer at home the games were more sophisticated than the text and green graphics on the Apple II. At first there were mostly DOS games. We had Jeopardy, a simple platform game and a few casino games. There were also the games that came with the Windows operating system, solitaire and minesweeper. Later we bought a few strategy games like Caesar. Continue reading Video Games – Thinking Back Fondly

Retro Space

Here it is in all of it’s retro glory. Retro-space is a side-scrolling arcade game. There are 3 short levels and 2 difficulty settings. Download It Here!

Not so long ago, in an arcade down the street, space was filled with a vicious onslaught of aliens bent on galactic domination. Relive the excitement of alien invasion style games! In Retro Space waves of aliens threaten our existence and it is your duty to protect all life, as we know it, from ceasing to exist. Go to Retro Space, meet interesting aliens and shoot them.

Game Play Information
The player loses when they have no more ships to fly. Running into planets, asteroids and enemy spacecraft cost the player ships. Some enemies also fire weapons at the player’s ship, costing the player’s ship hull strength. When a ship has no more hull strength it is destroyed. Blasting away pesky asteroids grants the player 1 point. Destroying an enemy craft gives the player 10 points. Defeating an enemy boss at the end of a level gives the player 100 points.

Player Controls
Arrow Keys: Control ships movement up, down, right and left
Space Bar: Fire the ships lasers
Left Mouse Click: Move to the next screen between levels

Game Design Challenge: The Letter

The Challenge, from GameCareerGuide.com
Come up with a concept for the game The Letter.
Assignment Details

Though paper letters aren’t such a big part of our lives anymore, they were once of tremendous significance. Email, Twitter, blogs, instant messaging, cell phones, and Facebook have all drawn us closer, but there was a time when momentous information would come in a letter; information that could change the course of someone’s life.

This design challenge deals with such a letter. Continue reading Game Design Challenge: The Letter

The Colony – SciFi MUD Concept

Genre: Sci-Fi
Setting: Ancient Colony on Mars
Type: PVP Faction
Concept: Humans vs Robots

Long ago, Humans left their polluted and frozen world behind. They traveled to their terra-formed neighbor, Mars. Early Mars Humans hid from vicious radiation storms in simple caves. Small settlements had long been since been established and the planet’s atmosphere and water table partially restored. The mineral rich soil combined with the water to form hazardous pools of acid and foul swamps. The human spirit survived this harsh new home and embraced it.

Deep beneith the mucky surface of Mars, caverns filled with ancient technology wait to be re-discovered. Long-forgotten robots with corroded circuits and broken parts lay abandoned in the first settlement caves. Abandoned and trapped for centuries, the now sentient beings await a time for revenge upon their creators and imprisioners.

This is a good concept. Here are the benefits of going with this Mud idea: Continue reading The Colony – SciFi MUD Concept

The Never-ending Project – MUD Design

mud3MUDs are a niche gaming community that I fell in love with back in the late late 90’s. These text-only games have been the corner-stone of online gaming communities for many years. My interest began with a little-know MUD called Age of the Throne. It’s set in 17th Century Paris. If you love Dumas’ books, a MUD designed around this theme is a fantastic idea. After playing the game for a few years, some major flaws could no longer be ignored. I quit the game that had been my 2nd life and walked away. I have been coming up with ideas for MUDs ever since.

I ran a small mud called Athens for well over a year. It was always in development and there were only a few of us working on it. We used a code-base called Dawn of Time. It’s a bloated and sloppy mess that many different programmers have edited and added to but we were able to form it into our vision of a Greek Fantasy MUD. We even won a little award with it – MUD Magic’s Game of the Month. Continue reading The Never-ending Project – MUD Design

Athens Player Tester Information

All Player Testers will receive an email that will give you information on the following:

What being a player tester means.
How the mud staff will be working with you.
Testing on your own for fun.
Testing as requested.
Rewards for being a tester.
Your Character Info (including password and login)

Being a player tester means that you are allowed early access to an otherwise closed to the public mud. The staff for Athens has been working hard for over a year now to create a great new mud set in ancient Greece. Although our mud is growing very large, only a small area is ready for player testing – the city of Athens itself. As more areas are finished to our standards, they will be opened to you for exploration. These are temporary characters that you’re being given. When the mud opens officially to the public, you will be given a new character to start out with.

The mud staff will be there to talk to you about questions you may have and bugs that you encounter while playing. That is after all, the heart of what player testing is about, communication. If no staff member is on and you encounter a problem, please make sure to submit a bug note inside the game.

As you explore and quest in Athens you’re free to run foot loose and fancy-free just like an ordinary player on a mud. This is how you find things and react as a genuine player would, providing us with an accurate testing.

Sometimes a staff member will have a problem or project they are working on and will ask you for assistance or your opinion. Please be sure to cooperate with them first and foremost. This is how the mud improves and we’re so glad you want to be a part of this process.

The rewards for being a player tester are: You will have been playing the game for a while before the public can gain access and will therefore know your way around better and be comfortable with the mud; you will have a sense of pride, knowing that you helped to make Athens a better place, and your new character after mud opening will be given an in game reward.

You can have your name changed when you log on by speaking to me.

I’d like to thank you for your participation in this program and hope to see you in Athens soon.

Why MUD Games Are Fun to Play and Create

A noble, high elf surveys the valley of lush wildlife thriving below the cliffs at his feet as his feline companion stands nearby. Meanwhile, on a completely different world, a Martian Robot attacks a group of colonists in a desperate attempt to exact revenge for years of unfair treatment. These two wildly different pictures are ideas for stories that could be used in one of the many online community games known generically as MUDs or Multi-User Dungeons. While there are many other types of online games available on the World Wide Web, the often over-looked MUDs have many features and advantages to offer both potential players and the people who create them.

MUDs are text games played through the Telnet Protocol. Telnet connections can be made through a program named telnet.exe that is included with Microsoft’s Windows operating systems. Software clients offer connections to MUDs with additional features for gamers to make the experience more enjoyable. There are also java applets that allow the connections to these games to be made through browsers. MUDs do not contain graphical interfaces or images of any kind. Sending text over a Telnet connection is a bandwidth-light way to send information over the Internet. Since MUDs are not system-intensive to play and do not take up much of the user’s bandwidth, it is possible to play MUD games from just about any modern PC, even wireless net-books. Continue reading Why MUD Games Are Fun to Play and Create