Retronauts on the 20th Anniversary of Gunpei Yokoi’s Death

Gunpei Yokoi’s legacy is one of sensible choices and thoughtful compromise. I admire him greatly as a professional. [Jeremy Parish has a retrospective on][link]:

>Yokoi liked to create gadgets. More than that, he liked to come up with clever hacks. He had a keen eye for simple but unexpected ideas that would translate into fun toys, along with an unerring sense of how to make those products affordable for the widest audience possible. Rather than saving costs by using cheap materials, Yokoi preferred to match low prices to premium quality production by making cuts at the conceptual level.

Same, Gunpei. Same.

[link]: “20 years ago, gaming lost a creative visionary | Retronauts”


Korg teases music making app for Nintendo Switch

The announced it by way of [a little microsite][link]. The KORG apps for DS are a ton of fun, I have a feeling this one will be even better.

[link]: “Korg teases music making app for Nintendo Switch – The Verge”


Singer IZEK Sewing Machine/Nintendo Game Boy Color Instructional Video VHS

[What a zany thing to have existed][link]:

>This is the instructional video that was bundled with the Singer IZEK sewing machine/Game Boy Color combo. Hopefully this will help others who may be struggling to set up or operate their IZEKs or for those who just want to enjoy awesome VHS goodness!

via [Frank Cifaldi on twitter][via].

[link]: “Singer IZEK Sewing Machine/Nintendo Game Boy Color Instructional Video VHS”
[via]: “Frank’s twitter post”


From the Internet Archive: Every Issue of Nintendo Power

[Praise be to the gods.][1] Every issue, every cover. What a resource.

UPDATE 8/11/2016: Nintendo poured cold water all over this a few days later. Bummer.

[1]: “Nintendo Power”


New 3D Printable Object: NES Cart Covers


I designed [this simple NES cart cover][link] to use as little material as possible, but still be robust enough to print even on janky printers. Hopefully this will help keep your NES carts safe and sound for future generations. It’s available [on thingiverse][thing] for the low price of FREE.

[link]: “NES Cart Cover”
[thing]: “Nintendo Entertainment System Cart Cover (Tender NES)”


The Rise of Nintendo: A Story in 8 Bits

[A long excerpt from Blake J. Harris’ new book, Console Wars, which I am very much looking forward to.][link]

[link]: “The Rise of Nintendo: A Story in 8 Bits”


Gameboy Advance Emulator for iOS

[No jailbreak required, compiles and deploys in Xcode like any normal app.][link]

[link]: “rileytestut/GBA4iOS”


Quite A Flop, That

>[Nintendo announced this morning that its 3DS has gone on to sell more than 5 million units in Japan — likely thanks to key holiday releases, the system’s price-cut, and other factors building momentum for the portable.][link]

[link]: “Several Months Later…”


Technical Details of The 3DS Internet Browser

[Useful if you have a website which is trying to target 3DS users specifically.][link] Includes the user agent string, actual screen dimensions, and some HTML5 tricks to make it behave.

[link]: “Internet Browser – 3dbrew”


Nintendo To Hobbyist Developers: No Thanks

[Reggie Fils-Aime:][link]

>”I would separate out the true independent developer vs. the hobbyist,” says Fils Aime. “We are absolutely reaching out to the independent developer.”
>”Where we’ve drawn the line is we are not looking to do business today with the garage developer. In our view, that’s not a business we want to pursue.”

Small developer shops are only ever going to be able to do more and better things. Tiny Wings would make a lovely 3DS game, but we’ll probably never see it. Nintendo’s dogged insistence on sticking with their old ways of dealing with developer licenses is only helping iOS.

The way Nintendo interacts with licensees hasn’t changed in 20 years. It’s going to have to, and sooner than they think.

[link]: “Gamasutra – News – Interview: Reggie Fils-Aime On Garage Devs And The Value Of Software”


2009 Tecmo Bowl NFL Player Awards

[If I didn’t know better I’d think this was written just to get me to link to it][link]. Though it is obviously missing a Bo Jackson award for “most unstoppable motherfucker.”

[link]: “2009 Tecmo Bowl NFL Player Awards | The Pigskin Doctors”


Another World Ported to JavaScript

To go with the pure-JS [NES][nes] and [GameBoy][gb] emulators, [here’s a port of the 1991 classic Another World in plain ‘ol JavaScript][link]. Impressive. For now, it shares the same problem as the aforementioned emulators: No sound support.

[link]: “Another World JS –”
[nes]: “Nintendo emulator in Javascript”
[gb]: “GameBoy emulator in Javascript”


The Worst Super Mario Player Ever

[An experiment in beating the original Super Mario Bros. for the NES while getting the lowest possible score][link]. This guy managed to do it while only getting 700 points. Just getting one power-up mushroom gives the player 1,000 points, so this is no mean feat.

[link]: “YouTube – Worst Super Mario Player Ever”


Infinite Mario AI

[Incredible demo video][link] from one of the entrants in the [Super Mario AI][comp] competition. [mentioned previously][prev] on Extra Future. See also: [The project page][project], which explains the process behind the AI.

The developer says he’ll release the source code once the contest is over.

[link]: “YouTube – Infinite Mario AI – Long Level”
[project]: “Project Page for Infinite Mario AI”
[comp]: “Mario AI Competition homepage”
[prev]: “Previously on Extra Future”


Mario AI Competition 2009

[Write a Mario Bros-playing AI in Java][link] and win some money and nerd fame. I can see myself spending a lot of time with this.

via [Jesper][jesper]

[link]: “Mario AI Competition 2009”
[jesper]: “Waffle”


Atlus Announces Shiren the Wanderer Wii for Spring 2010

[This is very good news if you’re a fan of roguelikes][link]. Shiren The Wanderer for the DS is one of my favorite games.

[link]: “GameSetWatch – Atlus Announces Shiren the Wanderer Wii for Spring 2010”


Tecmo Super Coach Updates Roster, Gameplay

[Tecmo Super Coach is a ROM hack][link] for Tecmo Super Bowl (NES) that adds and changes a whole bunch of stuff.

[link]: “GameSetWatch – Tecmo Super Coach Updates Roster, Gameplay”


Closing Tabs 5/27/09

* [Super Mario 64 longplay, grabbing all 120 stars][sm]. If you were under the age of 30 when this came out, goodbye afternoon. It’s such an astoundingly well put together game. At every stage, care was taken to make sure it “felt” right. [Jason Scott][textfiles]’s [talk about Platform Studies][scott] has me rekindling my love affair with it.

[sm]: “Super Mario 64 Longplay”
[scott]: “Jason Scott’s Talk”
[textfiles]: “Jason Scott’s”

* [The Metroid Prime entry on Wikitroid][prime]. ’nuff said. Exploring the 3D transition of one of Nintendo’s other major franchises, which skipped the N64 and went straight to the GameCube. With Mario 64, everyone expected it to be mind-blowing. With Prime, everyone expected it to be shit. Sometimes everyone is wrong. *Disclosure: I have stock options in Wikia.*

[prime]: “Wikitroid: Metroid Prime”

* [ANTHEM Platform][anthem]. A platform for piping Social Networks, IM, email, OEMs, etc, to cell phone applications. Recently acquired by Good Technology.

[anthem]: “Anthem platform”

* [Imified][imified]. A service which runs IM bots for you, and acts as a go-between for you and the IM network. You can code up applications that the bot queries with what is said to it, by whom. They provide examples in PHP, which makes me happy.

[imified]: “Imified”

* [Google is “betting big on HTML5”][goog]. Speed of web development accelerating, `canvas`, `video`, client-side databases, web workers, etc. See also: [YouTube using the HTML5 `video` tag][youtube].

[goog]: “O’Reilly: Google Bets Big on HTML 5”
[youtube]: “Youtube HTML5 demo”

* [Sleeping with the NME: how the British music press picked up a dose of the crap][brit], which is about the sorry state of the British music press. From [Velvet Coalmine][coal], which has become a favorite blog of mine.

[brit]: “Sleeping with the NME: how the British music press picked up a dose of the crap”
[coal]: “Velvet Coalmine”

* [Remote-controlled sperm][kurz], or more precisely: remote-controller sperm-like nanodevices.

[kurz]: “Sperm-like nanopropeller is smallest swimmer ever”

* [CSS-only gradients][grad] using CSS3 and no images. Whatsoever. Uses the `-webkit-gradient` property. Hot shit.

[grad]: “CSS3 Gradients”


Jason Scott’s Presentation on Platform Studies from Notacon 6

[In short: Context is king][link]. His central theme seems to be that simply looking at the rulesets of old games is missing the point. The platform itself informs the game to a huge degree.

[link]: “Internet Archive: Details: Super Jason Scott Presentation 64”

Links Now Selling WiiWare Game Codes

[Following the Xbox Live Arcade codes, this is no surprise, but nice to see][link]. Also of interest to me: Amazon does not allow their associates to get commissions on these cards. Profit margin must be close to zero, if not into the red.

[link]: “ World of Goo [Online Game Code]: Wii: Video Games”