Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Battle(Poké)Toads

Horry for shoddy demaking skills!

Friday, March 28, 2014

The downfall of the Pac-Man tribute project

Greetings everyone.
Originally I had written a post on this before a few months ago, however I decided to rewrite it with a more mature approach along with some backstory.

Let me introduce you to Shaun LeBron, the key developer of the iOS title Pterodactyl Attack and for some time was the owner and creator of an online incarnation of Pac-Man that was in-developent for some time until Namco Bandai reared it's ugly heads into the window and shot down the project's GitHub page, failing to see the concept of a fan-made non-profit tribute. I'm sure if this project was made in Japan it would be safe, as games that are obvious clones like Rosenkreuztilette have existed far longer and are much more well-known than this project, and no form of copyright from Capcom has slain those series' existences.

The project was simply known as the Pac-Man Tribute Project, and it's final version prior to it being canceled can be found here.
The biggest part of the project to some was it's extreme accuracy to the original Pac-Man (something that even World's Biggest Pac-Man, something that was sponsored by NBGI themselves couldn't even get halfway right), but it's primary selling point was the "Cookie-Man" variant, which generated randomly-built mazes that a good Pac-Man maze designer would create, and something that would be appropriate for an actual arcade Pac-Man title designed professionally. An in-depth document showing how level generation is done is shown here.

As I was going through a huge Pac-Man phase at the time, including creating hacks of the Atari 7800 Pac-Man titles, I was able to find Shaun's project through some careful Googling, and from there I found his e-mail and began discussing with him my own ways in which his tribute project could be taken to the next level, incorporating new design elements from various unauthoritised Pac-Man clones, the most obvious being the two Champ Pac-Em titles developed for DOS by CHAMPrograming, as well as the massively lesser-known Ultra Pac-Man featured in the "Super ABC" board released as a conversion kit for Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man cabinets. Elements from Pac-Man Plus were also suggested, along with a newer maze generator that allowed for a wider selection of map designs with Cookie-Man. Also suggested was both a level and a level-set editor, allowing the tribute project to serve as a platform for one's own Pac-Man fan-game.

If you want the full resources collection I supplied to Shaun last year, you may acquire them below:

Shaun at first welcomed these suggestions happily, even declaring me a conceptual artist, but due to development on his other project Pterodactyl Attack, as well as the above mentioned troubles with NBGI, Shaun would have to delay updates to the project.

I contacted Shaun later on a few more months down the line, and he still seemed interested in doing the Pac-Man tribute project revival, though as stated before Pterodactyl Attack would remain his big project, and come November the same year, he states that because of lack of interest and worry of Namco Bandai striking again (and possibly the complex nature of my features), development on the Pac-Man Tribute Project was canceled. In it's place, Shaun had discussed the possibility of making an educational legal guide about how Pac-Man worked rather than developing a game that recreated the existence. I contacted him back further questioning the cancelation of the project, and he announces his idea to terminate our short-lived friendship by blocking me on Twitter and ignoring any and all e-mail attempts since I had tried convincing Shaun to revive the project after he stated the eventual fate of the project in Janruary.

Shaun, wherever you are, and if you're reading this, please accept my apology for making a fool of myself and not understanding the legal troubles that you went through and were trying to avoid with this project at first. I wish you with the best of luck on any further projects that you may decide on, including Pterodactyl Attack. If you begin responding to my e-mails again and un-block me on Twitter, I promise I will not pester you to continue the project you canceled. I'll just wait till I learn programing myself and create the revival from scratch, or find if anyone out there wants to experiment with this and bring it into existence with altered graphics and etc. to remove the Pac-Man feeling and make it less likely to encounter legal troubles (complete with disclaimers).

On an unrelated note, happy 5th anniversary to this blog.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014



No I am not posting these directly onto deviantART. Facejobs don't count as real art.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Best Game for Wreck-It-Ralph

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Get it? Because he's named Wreck-it Ralph and the game's called Wrecking Crew.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A disturbing Famicom game just got HORSE

Eh, it was bound to happen eventually.
(The game pictured above is Touhou Kenbun Roku (東方見文録), an unknown Japanese-only Famicom game, for good reasons.)

Also my first Pony post... yay?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Java Troubleshooting

Hello everyone.

Recently Oracle made an update to their utility known as Java. Since then I haven't been able to start up any online Java applications, even to the point where the Java Icon doesn't appear on my Dock and a Java console window won't appear on the top-left of my screen. It may be related to my home folder not being in the same hard drive as my system's Library (Java Preferences do not allow me to change the location of the main Java data files).
I also should note I have Adblock on. Because screw you I don't want any spyware and tracking cookies on my Mac.

If you want to help, I need some checking with what I have checked under "Advanced":

Friday, January 3, 2014

Tetris Printer Algorithm

First off, Happy new year to all my readers!

I know this thing has already existed for seven months on the internet and was spread around to death, but I do want to make my say on this little project from Michael Birken:

This is a tool designed with the mind of making pixel art out of Tetris blocks, explained in full detail at this link. As a quick Tl;DR version, basically by placing and eliminating just the correct blocks and rows on an enlarged Tetris board (20 blocks wide), you can form pixel art of up to 8 colors. After seeing this I contacted Michael about the possibility of making an online tool for taking low-res pixel art and turning it into a GIF image that simulates the experience of the video above, and he considered it as a "Part II" of the algorithm.

As for the artist's edge of things, I'm still not really in full swing yet. Damn you Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch and your large online community!

Monday, December 23, 2013

SMB1 Snow

I guess you can say this is somewhat fitting, considering Christmas coming within the next two days from when I'm typing this.

Here is a faithful reconstruction of the "Super Mario Bros. Snow Editon" featured as a challenge in NES Remix. I'm hoping this gets dumped and distributed online like what eventually happened with Donkey Kong Classic and Mario Bros. Classic. 

Anyways happy holidays.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wai Wai World: Minus a Kong and a Goonie

I know this blog doesn't get as many readers as others, but it's still fun writing up posts regarding some of the more insane stuff I come across.
If you couldn't tell by the title, this is in regards to Konami's Japan-only crossover platformer Wai Wai World, perhaps one of the earliest examples of a video game crossover, alongside the Famicom Jump games. Wai Wai World has since gotten quite an overseas following in the more recent years thanks to the whole console emulation boom, and even featuring two non-Konami guest stars, which (obviously pulled from Wikipedia) got included as Konami-developed games based around the two guest characters spawned years prior. These two characters were Mikey from The Goonies and King Kong from the film series of the same name, preferably the sequel "King Kong Lives" which was dubbed as King Kong 2 in Japan. Konami made two licensed games each for the two characters, with Mikey getting The Goonies and the video game-only sequel The Goonies II (the later being the only of these games to be released outside Japan) and Kong being granted both Yomigaeru Densetsu (exclusive to the MSX2) and the slightly more known Ikari no Megaton Punch. Seeing as Konami still held the rights to these two series, they decided to include the two in Wai Wai World, giving both Mikey and Kong their own respective stages and abilities. The "sequel", Wai Wai World 2 - SOS!! Paseri Jou (and I put that in quotes since it doesn't really play like the first game) didn't feature any guest stars, and stuck solely to Konami-based franchises. Very likely this was since Konami lost the rights to both The Goonies and Kong Kong between both the Wai's (or however you wish to call them).

Fast forward to 2006, when Konami began it's slew of porting their classic titles to mobile phones, with Wai Wai World included in the lineup. This version was altered in slight parts to remove any and all mention of The Goonies and King Kong, instead featuring Upa from Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa and Penta from Antarctic Adventure respectively. Since then I've been trying to look for good-quality screens or videos or even a playable/downloadable version of the Mobile version outside of the actual mobile version and not counting the screens on the official site, but sadly no such things exist. I'd be surprised (and excited) if someone ported it to the NES via excessive ASM and sprite hacking.

If anyone out there either has the Mobile port and can take decent screens or knows where I can easily get it without a classic mobile phone (not iOS or Android) I'd appreciate it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

To all giant monsters and etc that eat people

This picture pretty much explains it.

The ultimate revenge to a carnivorous dragon/giant/kaiju that swallows you whole without chewing.

And no, mutating into a monster from inside the carnivore's stomach is not something I'd consider "giving out a message" to the monster's allies. Humans in the Attack on Titan canon are so small, I really want to see someone dig their way inside a Titan's body (a place where even a Titan itself couldn't reach) then climb around and slowly rip apart organ after organ as the Titan does its daily routine, slowly killing it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

iOS Game "Orborun" Available Now

Hello everyone.

A while back I mentioned a game known as Orborun, a Super Monkey Ball-esque ball-rolling game that had an online demo available for some time. Since then, the full game was just recently made available, which contains many new improvements and environments.

Now where do I fit in all this? One of the characters in Aozora's Adventure, Ball-Kun, was used as the basis for an unlockable skin for the "Lightning Orbot" character, as shown below:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chinese Arkanoid- a Hack Preview

Greetings everyone. As you can see from the above screenshots I have decided to create a ROM hack of the NES port of Taito's arcade smash hit Arkanoid. This hack was constructed based on a Chinese translation (of the Japanese version) you can find online, and unlike Dragon Eye Studios' Dimension of DOH, this hack intends to feel more like an official game with proper difficulty, decent power-up capsule placement (so it feels randomized like mostly every other Arkanoid clone), and 32 levels created based on a Chinese theme. It was constructed thanks to the "Arkalavista" utility by Trax, whom I'm assisting with to further advance the emulator so it becomes more user-friendly and not as complex to use (especially compared to the original 1.0 release of the utility) by someone who's not familiar with hexes or ROM hacking in general.

I'll release this onto once it's ready.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Salaryman Champ: Emulation Talk

I wouldn't think I'd ever touch this game again after my failures to try and get it to run the first time. But after finally downloading all the necessary files for ePSXe and running Arkanoid R 2000, I got the motivation to finally try Salaryman Champ in MAME (since the game in question had a PSX port).

Let's just say it's not as satisfying as I had hoped. No it's not a bad game by any means, but if you want more explanation on the "not as satisfying" part, please read on.

Before I jump in, let me explain a bit of the game's backstory. Not the other "Bishi Bashi" games that predated Salaryman Champ but just this game in general. Each player takes control of one of three salarymen: Burning Red, Intelligent Green, and Cool Blue (their names according to the PSX intro) and competes in 27 individual activities that all utilize three buttons. Unlike other "party" games such as Daisu Kiss, all the mini games progress through a set order rather than being randomized, and some play almost identically to each other, leaving the game a bit short on variety. Players are given ranks based on the number of victories and defeats he/she gets in each mini game, with victories moving upwards and defeats moving down (any player that doesn't finish in either 1st or 2nd loses a life, and must insert another credit to continue through). There are two Top 10 leaderboards featuring those that finished the game, one for Best 10 and one for Worst 10.

In the world of home emulation... ho boy. Unless you want to spend hundreds of dollars to get a Japanese PSX and Salaryman Champ itself, get this: In MAME, the game only supports two players compared to the three that are normally featured, with Intelligent Green always being controlled by the computer, leaving human players only to Burning Red and Cool Blue. To my understanding, there are certain Bishi Bashi cabinets (in Japan) that run with only two sets of buttons instead of three (and considering how almost all Japanese arcade games are not given dedicated cabinets; they're all conversions into blank cabinets). The PSX port, to my knowledge, also only does two players (with Cool Blue now the always-CPU character) unless you have a multitap, from there you can link every controller to the console to present all the characters with someone to control them.

To get Salaryman Champ running in MAME, you have to get both the ROM, (I believe) a BIOS, and two CHD's. Then you put them into the ROMS folder just like you would a basic standalone game, run it, press the indicated buttons/keys when prompted. It will take some time to configure the controls. Configuring Burning Red's controls is easy, but Cool Blue's three buttons are mapped else ware to whatever is Player 1's Down, Left, and Right buttons in other MAME games. From there you shouldn't have to wait much for the game to load up after booting the ROM. Just insert your credits when the game enters attract mode, and there. You'll be playing Salaryman Champ against some of the most brutal A.I ever known in any party game.

I'm as of yet uncertain if the PSX port of Salaryman Champ has been dumped publicly; every download points to the Arcade version. Similarly, I'm trying to figure out how to set 3P Bishi Bashi cabinets in MAME so I can control all three characters with no computer players.

With that said, there's nothing really much left to comment on. As a little bonus, here's some stills of the playable trio. Use them for any purpose you desire.
FTR, yes I'm quite aware of the recently-launched Mighty No. 9.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

SMBC; with a touch of Special.

Yesterday the most recent version of Super Mario Bros Crossover, version 3.0, was released to the masses; the biggest update to the game thus far, adding in the entirety of Super Mario Bros. Special as well as Easy and Hard variations of it and vanilla SMB, quadrupling the number of maps in the game. Considering how much of a sucker I am for Special, I decided to list off some notes regarding the design choices.

*As expected, the game is built to run with SMB1/2J physics, not the choppy and crappy ones from the home computers.
*The Sharp X1 version's skin is the only available version of the two; the PC88 skin is completely absent even if just about all the needed resources for it exist on the Exploding Rabbit forums and the Spriters Resource. Restricted colors or not, I consider the PC88 version the most well-known incarnation of Super Mario Bros. Special.
*The levels are not 100% authentic recreations of the original's, however unlike the NES romhack, the level recreations are much closer and capture all the original charm, since SMBC does not run on the limits of how tiles in SMB1/2J could be placed. And the differences in the level design present are very minimal compared to those of the NES romhack, such as reversing the direction of an underground elevator platform, adding an extra 1UP into a castle level, and making a previously-invisible block now visible.
*Levels now take advantage of the extra map hight in SMB1/2J, 13 tiles high as opposed to 12.
*The unintentional traps of 4-2 and 4-3's major secrets have been ridden of. 4-2's supposed "Warp Zone" which was non-functional in the original, now leads to a secret room that wasn't in the original (or the Mari0 recreation from last year) with many coins spelling out "Exploding Rabbit" and a secret item that completely stocks up your character of all his/her weapons/upgrades, resembling the ER logo. As for 4-3's bonus room, it now exits to the proper pipe under the staircase of mushrooms.

You can play the game directly from this link. Or on its Exploding Rabbit page.