News

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Regularly updated news on all topics relevant to Armchair Arcade.
Bill Loguidice's picture

Issue 49 of the Commodore Free magazine - March 2011, Now Available!

The latest issue, March 2011, of the excellent Commodore Free magazine is now available in the usual .PDF, .txt, .seq, .d64, .html, EPUB, and MOBI formats. Get your copy in the format of your choice here!

Bill Loguidice's picture

20th Anniversary For Dummies - All you ever wanted to know about the series

Publisher Wiley has made available an interesting PDF ebook done in their inimitable For Dummies format detailing the 20 year history of the popular series. As you know, both Christina and I worked on Wii Fitness For Dummies, which was released in 2010, and I'm presently at work with For Dummies pioneer Dan Gookin on Motorola Atrix 4G For Dummies, which is due out in July of this year. Even though I've been a For Dummies author for some time now, there were many interesting factoids in the PDF that even I wasn't aware of. If you have any interest in how the series and industry has evolved in those 20 years, it's well worth checking out.

Matt Barton's picture

Designing Videogames to Treat Videogame Addiction

Nintendo's treatment facility.Nintendo's treatment facility.We've heard often about the dangers of videogame addiction, defined by WebMD as a "clinical impulse control order" similar to gambling, drug addiction, or masturbation. Fortunately, some game publishers are joining forces to do something about it, including Nintendo, Activision, and Blizzard. As Larry Probst of Electronic Arts puts it, "We're fed up with viewing children and thirty-something year old men merely as markets to be ruthlessly exploited. Instead, we wish to leverage our resources to promote prosperity, justice, and goodwill." But what's the plan? It's a simple but cunning plan that might just work: design videogames that will themselves help treat and potentially cure videogame addiction.

Matt Barton's picture

Gnome's Lair Interviews Mike Rose, author of 250 Indie Games You Must Play

Our good friend Konstantinos of Gnome's Lair has posted an interview with Mike Rose, author of the upcoming book 250 Indie Games You Must Play. The book and the author sound great! I think this will definitely be a must-have for all of us interested in truly innovative game development. Perhaps it's a bit controversial, but I really like the fact that he focused on PC/Mac indie games, and every game in the book will play on a modern PC. That's of course good news for anyone who's worried that a particular title will is unavailable on their available platforms (I'm actually quite curious about what notable indie titles are NOT available on PC or Mac). The book is also sprinkled with quotations from designers and developers and boasts color screenshots. Please buy the book using the link to the left to support Armchair Arcade.
Matt Barton's picture

GDC 2011 Postmortems and more now freely avaialble

Get ready for several hours of great video viewing at GDC Vault. The big feature for most of us will be the postmortems, which include Doom with John Romero and Tom Hall, Maniac Mansion with Ron Gilbert, Pac-Man with Toru Iwatani, and much, much more. There's even Raid on Bungeling Bay with Will Wright, Elite with David Braben, and Populous with Peter Molyneux! I suspect you'll want to head over there immediately and start watching these, so get to it. Let us know which ones are your favorites.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Don Lancaster releases his classic computer books as free ebooks!

Thanks to the Apple II news Website, A2Central.com, for the heads-up about Don Lancaster releasing some of his classic computer books as free ebooks, each of which are presently available for download as PDFs. Check it out, particularly if you're into the Apple II!

Matt Barton's picture

Blame Markets, not Criminals for Piracy (Canadian Study)

What's more to blame for piracy: a lax and ineffective legal means of going after and punishing offenders, or lack of access to your products? It's more the latter, according to a Canadian study by their International Development Research Centre. This probably applies more to foreign markets than domestic ones, obviously, but it makes sense--people are most likely to pirate when it is difficult or impossible for them to buy something legally. Maybe the product simply isn't physically or legally available in their country (such as new BBC shows in the U.S. or abandonware), or it could just be that the product is priced too high for the locals to afford (which is the case in developing countries). The study also suggests that anti-piracy measures (legal and educational) have completely and utterly failed to demonstrate a significant result. I should probably put that last sentence in bold.

Would you still pirate if the game was widely available and priced to match your budget? It could be that publishers would be better off simply lowering prices than investing in DRM, regional lock-outs, and fighting so many legal battles over piracy. Or would this simply make it impossible for publishers to make profits on their games?

Bill Loguidice's picture

Fury Unlimited Releasing Cinematronics' Warrior for the Vectrex!

Warrior (Vectrex)Warrior (Vectrex)Inarguably among the top and most prolific homebrew authors for the Vectrex, Fury Unlimited, is now taking pre-orders for an enhanced remake of Cinematronics legendary one-on-one vector fighting game, Warrior. This release includes many new modes, as well as a box and overlay. Check out the original arcade game here on KLOV to see just how impressive this new version is. Among the earliest fighting games, the influential Warrior arcade game is also discussed in Chapter 17 - Street Fighter II (1991), in our book, Vintage Games.

Matt Barton's picture

Game Over for Consoles

Okay, probable flame bait here, but Peter Vesterbacka (marketing lead for Angry Birds) is claiming that the glorious days of console gaming are over. His argument? For one, as we all know, innovation isn't coming from the big companies these days (the ones who target consoles), but rather indies (ahem, Angry Birds). Secondly, there's a huge cost difference ($60 console game; $.99 Angry Birds). He also thinks that tablets pose a real threat to consoles. The main claim there is that "four generations of new tablets come before a new console." These comments followed a session by Satoru Iwata (Nintendo CEO) who wonders if the rush of mobile and social games might destroy the industry, making it impossible to earn a living as a developer.

What do you think? Are the days of the big three coming to a close?

Matt Barton's picture

Mayhem now available on YoYo Games

I was able to successfully upload Mayhem (now "Mayhem by Matt" since Mayhem was taken) to YoYo Games. I'm pretty proud of my first serious effort with Gamemaker 8. I thought it would be available to play in a browser via the plugin, but guess I was wrong. At any rate, if you do enjoy it, please rate it.

YoYoGames
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Mayhem by Matt
Added: 11 March 2011
By: blacklily8

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