Friday, July 31, 2015

Hiatus, Space and Did Video really kill the Radio Star ?

This month seems to have been, so very busy ! Just when I thought I had time to do something, the minutes and hours flew by. However, I was still able to do a few things and get some rest at the same time. The rain came at long last, which cooled things down a little with temperatures dropping by just a few degrees making it more comfortable to sleep and do routine things during the day.

There is a nice selection of stuff to read below with a stack of YouTube videos to watch as well, which is always a good thing right ?

I have decided to put all gamedev on hiatus for the short-term, but I am not totally abandoning any current or future projects. With a break, I think I can refocus on 'Assault ( Surreal Office Duties Challenge )' and 'Barriers' without feeling a failure for only spending a few minutes here and there. The blog will continue with goings on from each month and hopefully a spark back into gamedev !

Games Designed from the Past ::
During July, I managed to record some gameplay footage from some of the games I have designed over the last few years with GameMaker. I used Fraps which held up pretty well, although one game didn't run too well, as it wasn't fully compatible with Windows 8.x. Still, with what I was able to record, gives you a taste of the games play like and their overall look.
Elastic Band Warrior is quite a simple game to play and was inspired by a lot of things, including some of the earlier Mastertronic games from the 1980's. The very basic ones with only one screen levels and crazy, if not impossible gameplay !
Coin Mania Remix was my attempt of creating a remake of the original Amiga game from the 1995, but in an isometric style. Without sounding too boastful, I think I did a good job. The collision detection was a little tricky to work out at first, but with the use of masks, everything worked out in the end.
Phantom Millennium was another remake, this time it was from the original Commodore 64 game, 'Phantom - The Mission'. I thought it was farily close to the original gameplay, even though the graphics and titles were obviously different in areas. The gameplay recording was from an old Windows Vista Laptop and appears slow in places. This does not reflect truthfully on the actual game and runs perfectly well, but not so good on Windows 8.x due to some random compatibility issue.

Games Played in July ::
For a while now, I have heard of DOSBox, but never used or quite understood how it works. So, I took it upon myself to find out, even if it meant playing around with the settings for a few minutes. Although, the use of this x86 Emulator may seem a little controversial for it can play older PC games with some CD-ROM access disabled on them. It was still worth a go ! I managed to get Xenon 2, Doom and a partly working version of my first ever PC game owned, Screamer working. I was really impressed !

Nerd Block :: ( July 2015 ) | Humanity's Last Hope
I really liked this month's selection of items, including a Buffy the Vampire Slayer Vinyl figure and an intriguing Ghostbusters Wallet made from a special type of paper. Which to be honest, I couldn't really work out !

Lego :: ( Let's Build )
Purely by chance I came across a Lego mini build set on eBay and for the amazing price of £4.99 ( including shipping ), I was able to get myself a Space Shuttle.
Being a mini build, there is usually less than 50 bricks ? Which shouldn't take too much time at all to construct for a novice or expert.

For the first time ever, I decided to record myself building a Lego kit and what a place to start, the Space Shuttle mini build. I think I did pretty well and learnt how to speed up a section of the video as to playback at a faster rate and show the initial build in a shorter time. This would be particularly useful with longer or more detailed build.
I don't have a massive Lego collection, but I do own enough to be happy with and it's nice to pull out a box now and again and build. The Creator series is good example of this !

Even though I appeared to be short of time in areas during this month, I certainly didn't get bored at all. Music always surrounds me with my favourite decade being the 1980's ! Although, I really do like computer music and synth melodies. Cue Commodore 64 overload !
A classic game called Finders Keepers by Mastertronic with fantastic music by David Dunn. I never completed the game itself, but loved the music as I played along.

You have to ask yourself though ... " Did Video really kill the radio star ? "

It's nearly time to leap into August, until next time ...

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