Shawn Delahunty's blog

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Crystal Ball Time: Windows 8 VS. Retro-Gaming

Hello everyone. The last part of my article on "Randomness and Zero-Sum" is forthcoming shortly. However I wanted to jump topics for a moment, and bring to your attention a subject that, I believe, will become problematic in the next year or so. Specifically, I want to direct your focus to what I predict as another soon-to-ensue debacle, courtesy of the (not really) friendly folks at Microsoft. Yes, I'm talking about Windows 8. No, I'm not picking on it for the reasons everyone else is.

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Nothing Adds Up & The Dice Are Loaded - part 2 of ?

All right folks, this time I'm back to cover the second topic for this pair (group? series?) of articles. (As an aside: I have NO idea exactly how or why my stuff turns into multi-part explorations--it just does, all on it's own. Which is weird, considering I'm the guy supposedly running the keyboard when I write. So I have to ask your indulgence here.) Anyway, just to refresh your memory or in case you missed Part #1, here are the two game related topics I brought up for everyone to mull over.

  • Zero-sum games, or zero-sum outcomes
  • The danger and difficulty of "Truly Random"
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Nothing Adds Up & The Dice Are Loaded - part 1 of ?

Hello everyone. I'm back after another long hiatus, brought on by that pesky "Real Life" stuff. This time, I'm coming at you with another multi-part article. In it, I want to discuss two concepts which should be near and dear to any gamer's heart:

  • Zero-sum games, or zero-sum outcomes
  • The danger and difficulty of "Truly Random"

In the past several weeks I've become hopelessly obsessed with these two concepts. I've thought about them so much, and contemplated how they fit (and how they don't fit) into my concepts of "Good Game Design", that I'm practically humming with nerdly thought-energy. I'm also itching to get as much feedback and as many opinions on the issue as I can. So please chime in with your thoughts, your experiences, and any anecdotes and stories which you can muster.

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The New Armchair Arcade TRS-80 Emulation & Gaming Page:

TRS-80 Emulation & GamesTRS-80 Emulation & Games
We here at Armchair Arcade are very happy to announce a new website feature for our audience: An on-line, in-browser emulation of one of the classic 8-bit computers--the TRS-80 Model III personal computer. You can now play and re-live some of the best 1-color, 8-bit gaming goodness of yesteryear!

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Retro-ZAP! Redux: Part 3 of... um, 2.

In my last article, I wrote at length about my experience making Retro-ZAP! on my near-ancient TRS-80 Model III computer. As I described, the experience was a fun and interesting one. It provided a mix of both high- and low-points, all of which were fun to write about. What I did not expect however, was the level of attention that would be generated by a Space Invaders knockoff, written in interpreted BASIC.

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Retro-Invaders! - Part 2

"That's No Moon, It's A Space-Station!"

Hey again! Time for Part 2 of my little foray into retro-system game programming. This time around, I'm going to jabber on a bit about the process I went through while actually experimenting and coding "The Idea". To bring this "Retro Masterpiece" of slow-poke BASIC code to life took me a grand total of about 18-20 hours; and that includes the time I spent mucking around trying to get the &*#%$-ing cassette port working, plus writing the various bits of test code. (Hah! Take that 3D-Realms!)

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Retro-Invaders! - Part 1

"I've got an alien inside my brain..."

Greetings to all. After a looong hiatus from posting much of anything here at Armchair Arcade, thanks to a heavy dose of "Real Life" interfering, I figured I should get back into the swing of things. The question, naturally enough, was, "What the heck should my next blog posting be about?" Thanks in part to Matt Barton's recent posts on his game development of Match Invaders, I hit upon "The Idea."

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Peering Skeptically Into The Past: "SuperQuest" for the Apple][

Welcome everyone! For this blog entry, I decided to go back into my computer past a good ways--and drag you with me, kicking and screaming.

Part 1 - Where to Begin?

After having my interest in CRPG's re-ignited by the excellent discussions on Armchair Arcade, I started rummaging around in my memory-banks for the names of the old games that I used to play in study-hall. Yes, I'm going far back into the past; the early-to-mid-1980's to be "fuzzily precise". There were a number of games (mostly pirated) that I and my classmates played, but only two could be classified as CRPGs. And of those two, only one has taken on near-legendary status in my memory. And so with a blast of trumpeted fanfare, I give you!...

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Game Review: World of Warcraft - The Sound of One Hand Clapping

EDIT: An important correction was made to this post near the very end. Please scroll down for the full scoop.


The subtitle of this blog-post is an adaptation of an old, fairly well-known Zen Buddhist koan (profound question): "What is the sound of one-hand clapping?" It's not a real question in the classic sense, but instead is intended as a probing statement. It's meant to stimulate thinking on the part of the listener, to get them to ponder their full state of mind, state of being. True Zen practitioners would take a great while before answering, usually with something equally cryptic.

Since I was a kid though, I have had an immediate answer for this supposedly profound question. (I say "supposedly profound", not because I'm belittling Zen Buddhism, but because I've always been way too literal-minded. The question never struck me as being 'profound' in any sense.) My answer when asked that question? "Pointless."

At first blush, my answer may seem thought-provoking; as if someone had asked me, "How much is 7 minus 3?" and I answered, "Orange." This casual listener, perhaps slightly familiar with Zen Buddhism, might suppose that I was seriously attempting to probe the deeper-meanings of myself, my being, and how I relate to my universal "one-ness". They could be excused for thinking that I was attempting to give a 'profound, meaningful, inner answer' to the 'profound question'.

I hate to disappoint anybody, but here's what actually goes on in my head:

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Musing on "Meaningfulness" in CRPG's - Part 3:

Ok, here we go. Part 3 of 3, at loooong last--sorry about the delay. I must tell you that I've been anticipating posting this blog entry for days and it has been a blast to think about and to put together. Before I completely say goodbye to Part #1 and Part #2 of this blog post though, I want to provide a summary of where I stand on the CRPG vs. MMORPG debate that began my "Musing":

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