Category Archives: Games

The Annoying Quirks of Godot’s Kinematic Bodies

To be clear, I like Godot and am impressed by how far it has come as an open-source game engine. I am quite confident Juan Linietsky is much more brilliant than I. Just because I’m being critical of something, however, this doesn’t mean I don’t like it. I just believe in constructive criticism. Nothing changes if nobody ever talks about it. Also, while I’m focused only on 2D right now, I believe much of this applies to 3D as well. This applies to Godot 3. I haven’t looked at where Godot 4 is headed with all this.

I am currently wrapping up the pain of porting a game to Godot that I first prototyped in Phaser. In brief, Phaser became so annoying to work with that I went looking for another engine that gave me easy access to the browser as a platform (via WebAssembly preferably). I landed on Godot — an engine I’d been poking at for years but hadn’t done much with yet.

Continue reading The Annoying Quirks of Godot’s Kinematic Bodies

Atari VCS is Failing Fast Even Before Official Launch

How to kill a customer base.

Atari is asleep at the wheel again. Yet another junk title was released for the Atari VCS recently, Utopos, and it is pretty much the last straw for me in so many ways:

  • No apparent quality assurance (QA) or curating from Atari for store entry
  • A mini game priced at $10 instead of $1 (dev’s fault… but why?)
  • Apparent favoritism towards those who already have another game in the store
  • No communication from Atari to all signed-up developers
  • No access to the VCS platform as promised
Continue reading Atari VCS is Failing Fast Even Before Official Launch

First Impressions of the Atari VCS Vaults

Atari VCS Vault logo

Why oh why… is the Atari VCS Vault Vol. 2 not DLC (downloadable content)? Why is it a separate install instead of DLC for the Atari VCS Vault (Vol. 1)? Atari could save us an extra gigabyte on the VCS’s tiny internal storage. No, wait, that can’t be correct. The emulators can’t be taking up a gig! So, what is?

Continue reading First Impressions of the Atari VCS Vaults
Atari VCS Classic Joystick

The new Atari what?

The new Atari… wait for it… VCS.  Atari VCS—for some reason of internet-searching confusion with the original Atari VCS product.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Atari.  A big one.  (I still have our original 2600—repaired may times by my brother and I—which even became the center of some controversy over some retro tech.  Perspective enough of my fandom?)  But this new thing’s name… and place in the world… whaaat?  So, let’s dig deeper and see where some honest criticism leads.

Aside from the name—which I don’t really find to be all that terrible—just oddly risky—I’m more concerned about Atari’s apparent business model.

Continue reading The new Atari what?

The complete guide to transferring Angry Birds high scores on Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile (plus, other games)

A complement to this guide:

http://www.angrybirdsnest.com/angry-birds-ultimate-backup-tutorial-for-all-platforms/

Usual disclaimer: You follow this guide at your own risk and I accept no responsibility for damage you may do to your phone because it.  That said, the procedure for WP 8.1 requires no permanent change to your phone and should be far less risky than the procedure for Win 10 (which requires what some call jailbreaking the phone).  Thus, if at all possible, you should transfer scores from an 8.1 phone to an 8.1 phone and then upgrade the OS to Win 10.  Even, revert a phone from 10 to 8.1, if possible, before beginning this operation.

I have no procedure for Windows Phone 8.0 and earlier.  Some of the precursor tools to what are used in the Windows 10 Mobile procedure may be of help if you really need to go down that road.


Windows Phone 8.1

(Scroll halfway down this page for Windows 10 Mobile [⚡️] instructions.)

NOTE: You must “developer unlock” your phone to install the tools needed to gain access to the encrypted part of the SD card (D:\WPSystem) where the files of interest are stored.  Developer unlocking is a standard, Microsoft-built procedure.  This is a bit laborious but possibly not as bad as what one must do to an Android 😉.

Continue reading The complete guide to transferring Angry Birds high scores on Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile (plus, other games)

CyberStorm screenshot - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cyberstorm_command_screen.png

Fixing Up Old (Sierra) Computer Games

Finally!  Another post going back to what I originally intended this blog for, sort of: Supporting old tech for no apparent reason… other than to get the musings out of my head or the white papers off my old floppies.

The Short of It

It is “most excellent” to announce the return of some Windows 95 games by Sierra and Dynamix to Windows 7… and Windows 8… and even Windows 10!  (Maybe Windows Vista too, but: Who cares?)

For those of you not interested in any long-windedness or boring backstory, here is the link to the current home of the patches wiki:

Click here for my complete
Sierra game install instructions and
RBXIT Win7 patches at
github.com/juanitogan/rbxit/wiki

Continue reading Fixing Up Old (Sierra) Computer Games

Board Game Simulation and 40-point Multi-touch Table Computers

Matt Jernigan

May 2014

Background

Air hockey. I read some product reviews recently of an air hockey game on a large touch computer. Even though the game and hardware appear like they have a ways to go before they are ready for prime time (the game has difficulty keeping up with rapid gestures) the application of the game to table computers is obvious… and appealing.

Similarly, I have seen photos of more than one foosball game for table computers. While I have not read any reviews on these games, just imagining how the controls work makes a good study of what may be possible with table computers and simulations. It got me thinking about the subtleties of usability and control in simulators running on such computers versus the real thing. More specifically, and more importantly, it also got me thinking about the shortcomings of such simulators and how to overcome and/or move beyond them to increase their appeal in spite of themselves. Continue reading Board Game Simulation and 40-point Multi-touch Table Computers