Matt Barton's blog

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Matt Plays Might & Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven

Hail, fellow adventurers! I'm back this week with one of my favorite 90s CRPGs, Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven. It's held up might well over the centuries (well, in game time!), and is still extremely fun to play today. Heck, I was so engrossed in it I had a hard time pulling away to do the video!

As always, you can download the video here, but don't forget to toss a few coins into the bard's hat. You can also buy the "Might & Magic 6-pack" from GOG for only $10, but please use my affiliate link. Thanks!

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Mayhem by Matt: HTML 5 Version

Mayhem: Play it now in your browser!Mayhem: Play it now in your browser!Here's my game "Mayhem by Matt" now fully playable in your browser! Blast those planes, crush those blocks, destroy the mighty PLANE GOD OF ROBOT DEATH that waits for you at the end...!

Mayhem by Matt
The music in this version is by Kevin MacLeod. My old music wouldn't work because they were in MIDI format. I also made some gameplay and coding tweaks, particularly to the collision code. Enjoy!

Overall, the conversion process wasn't bad for this one...Mostly just cleaning up bad code from the original. I learned a lot of stuff making Jeepney Jeepers that I was able to apply here, though I still left some of the spaghetti--hey, if it works, don't fix it, right? Have fun! Just click "read more" to play the game. NOTE: For whatever reason, if you're on Firefox you may not be able to click on the "START" button below. Just hit your ENTER key instead!

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Matt Chat 122: Josh Mandel's Insider Scoop on the Failure of the Dreamcast

I know a lot of you guys are big fans of the Dreamcast, so prepare to be traumatized by this episode. Josh acknowledges that there might be plenty of other reasons for the short production cycle of one of the best consoles ever, but his description of the inexplicable attitude of Sony of Japan's attitude towards their American branch is pretty damn revealing, if not downright disgusting.

You can also download the video here, but don't forget to tip the bard first. A few bucks and a few minutes of your time is all I ask for all my work.

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Jeepney Jeepers: All-Original Retrogame from Myth Core Productions

Jeepney Jeepers: Multiball FTW!Jeepney Jeepers: Multiball FTW!Armchair Arcade is pleased to present Jeepney Jeepers, the all-new game from Myth Core Productions, designed and programmed by Matt Barton with comics and graphics by Elizabeth Barton.

Aliens have landed in southeast Asia, and the only thing standing between THEM and humanity is...one man and his jeepney. Are you brave, fast, and just plain dumb enough to snap on that space-age laser prototype and defend the earth? Of course you are! So get your butt in that jeepney, yup!

  • An homage to classics block-busting games like Arkanoid and Breakout but with a crazy twist!
  • Blow up blocks, roast the invaders, rescue your fellow humans and--above all else--get to the last level and take on the awesome might of THE GORFINATOR
  • Collect upgrades and unleash the unbelievable block-busting power of the five-pronged MULTIBALL
  • Bust that crit bubble for the amazing SUPERBALL
  • Bounce up them balls as much as YOU want, no more, no less
  • Feelin' lonely? Bust out those poor little refugees for fun, fame, and profits
  • Get the energy boost powerups and ram right through the blocks with your jeepney
  • Surrounded? Don't panic, make THEM panic with your amped up car horn
  • Twelve colorful levels with an awesome retro-arcade inspired boss fight
  • Compete with friends and family for the honor of the High Score table
  • Why ain't you playing this already?

Download this sweet mama right now!
JEEPNEY JEEPERS (version: 1.04b)

And if you enjoy playing this game, please leave us a comment below. It's man and womandatory.

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Josho Part III: Sierra's Epic Fail

Hi, guys! I'm back with part three of my interview with the amazing Josh Mandel. In this segment (which is frankly required viewing for any true fan of classic computer games), Josh talks about how thinks went awry at Sierra, eventually sending him on a quest to find a new publisher in Legend. He also chats about his favorite creation, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, and the future of adventure games as a viable genre.

Download the mp4 here, and don't forget to drop a few dollars into the bard's hat!

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Matt Chat 120: Freddy Pharkas & Space Quest 6 with Josho

I'm back this week with part two of my funtastic chat with Josh "Josho" Mandel. This time, the maestro chats about why point-and-clicks were a dumbing down from the parser days, the making of Freddy Pharkas, his voicework as King Graham, his thoughts on LucasFilm and Myst (loves the former; loathes the latter), and Space Quest 6.

If you want to buy Space Quest 4-6 for only $10, DRM free, get it here to support Matt Chat at no extra cost to you!

You can download the mp4 here as well.

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Matt's Podcast #5: The Time Police (Design Project)

Hi, folks. I'm back this week with another podcast, this time discussing my game pitch for "The Time Police," a project I've been brainstorming and planning for some time. It still has a long ways to go, but I'm excited enough about the idea to want to make a podcast about it. If you have thoughts or suggestions, please let me know.

Download the podcast here.

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The Time Police (Working Towards a Pitch)

I've been working on this thing I'm calling a game pitch for a few weeks now and thought it was time to put it out there to see what people think of the general concept. In a nutshell, this is Deus Ex with Time Travel, Tactical Combat, and Disco Dancing. I've also made big changes to the way character creation, leveling, and dialog are handled.

It's not complete, but I think there's enough here for you to get the basic idea and see whether it sounds like something you'd be interested in playing. It's not totally original or super ambitious or anything, but for what it's worth I've tried to imagine the sort of game I'd most like to play and this is it.

Let me know what you like about it first, and then we can get down to what needs re-thinking.

Oh, I know for sure this is way, way beyond anything I'm personally capable of developing myself. The "dream scenario" is that we could get this to a real developer who can turn the dream into reality (without, let's hope, altering it beyond recognition).

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Matt Chat 119: Josh Mandel on remaking King's Quest

In this first segment of my interview with Sierra designer Josh Mandel, we chat about how Josh got his start, remaking King's Quest, Zeliard, Leisure Suit Larry, Laffer Utilities, and much more. We also talk about the difference between creating puzzles for parsers vs. point-and-clicks. Josh thinks the latter was a dumbing down with grave consequences for the genre.

Download the MP4.

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The Systems I Wish I'd Had and When

Apple II: The mother of invention.Apple II: The mother of invention.They say hindsight is 20/20. (Actually, I think it's more like 10/40, but what can you do?) So, if you found yourself suddenly zapped back to the dawn of the videogame era, what choices would you make? Which systems would you rather have had? And what impact do you think these changes would make on your personality today?

Of course, most of us back then could only afford to support one, maybe two systems (assuming one was older). It would have been nice to have enough money and time to have all of them.

Now that I'm older and hopefully wiser, I've put together a list of the systems I wish I had had, and roughly when. I'd very much like to hear your thoughts and see your lists.

1977-1982: Apple II. There's really no doubt about the importance of this system during this period (and beyond), but it saw the birth of countless genres and franchises. Ideally, I would have been able to expand and keep this system after getting a new computer, since it was still seeing important exclusives well into the 80s, especially the Ultima games and Sierra On-Line adventures.

My second choice for this period would be the Atari 2600, a very capable games console with a respectable lineup and of course immense popularity.

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