Sound chips that shaped video games

Sound is present since videogames are such. From little beeps to the complex, positional digital audio system nowadays. Sound effects and music in the digital entertainment have come a long way, and so the necessary hardware has.

Among the electronic circuits that have made possible the sound aspect of the digital world there are really notable ones. Because the melodies they have been written for, the impact in the gaming (or general) culture, its capacities or simply because the leap they meant. As the dumb lists enthusiast I am, here is a list of some which, in my judgement, are the most interesting and deserve to be remembered.☞   🇪🇸Seguir leyendo 🇬🇧Read more

Kero Blaster – Impressions

My first reaction to an “indy 8bit pixel shooter” is skepticism. Rationale is no other than a market already stuffed with, at best cases, mediocre games, faux retro posers and, definitely, games I won’t play even getting paid. Why should I bother with this game?

There is something in Kero Blaster (2014) that dispels all my doubts at first glance: it’s signed as the second completa game by Daisuke “Pixel” Amaya, the mastermind after the legendary Cave Story (2004).☞   🇪🇸Seguir leyendo 🇬🇧Read more

Afterlife – Retroview

When one thinks of Lucas Arts it immediately comes to mind the incredible adventures that provided us of many great (and not so great) memories. However, this company is also author of many other interesting and crazy works. Until… well, it went to be yet another victim of Electronic Arts and went to the EA Hell. (The Turnip Inn, if you can read Spanish)

In 1996 they created a game strongly inspired in the great Sim City 2000 (1993, Maxis), this is, a city simulator. However its subject is so unique and different: instead of cities we must create and take care of Heaven and Hell, so Planet’s souls can have their eternal rest. With the advice of our two assistants, we should make their journey to the Great Beyond profitable for us.☞   🇪🇸Seguir leyendo 🇬🇧Read more

Taking Sim City 2000 into pieces

SimCity 2000 (Maxis, 1993) is one of my superfavourite games, ever. I’ve been playing it for 20 years and it’s partially responsible of my terrible grades at high school. I have always liked modifying games, but so far I haven’t been serious about decoding the data files of this city simulator. And I have found some quite interesting things!

There were ports in a great number of platforms, from the Macintosh (the original) to GameBoy Advance, but my favourite is MS-DOS, and it’s what this article is about. There are two interesting files: the executable (SC2000.EXE) and the data file (SC2000.DAT). Unfortunately, Windows version didn’t came out in Spanish (my mother language), and Network Edition version works awfully bad (and it is available only in English).☞   🇪🇸Seguir leyendo 🇬🇧Read more

JSF converter for SelectOneMenu

The main JSF feature (or, at least, the one I like the most) is the ease to link controller bean attributes to xhtml view. However there’s an inherent important limitation: in the HTTP standard keys and values always will be strings, because they are sent that way. Of course you could serialize an object to base64, but a barbaric thing like that should be avoided in almost any circumstance.

Then how can we link a HTTP control to an object? For that, JSF provides converters. Well, it will allow you to program them, of course. Neither PrimeFaces, my library of choice, includes these converters. Thus, I’ve programmed a simple one for SelectOneMenu, the dropdown menus in the like of a combobox. I’ll leave it here for my own reference, and for anyone that could use it.☞   🇪🇸Seguir leyendo 🇬🇧Read more

State of the Art: mémoires

At this stage is needless to say that Amiga is one of the most loved architectures by its fans, or that its multimedia capabilities made its demoscene one of the most important. One of the most long-remembered productions is, of course, State of the Art, by the group Spaceballs, from 1992.

Technology behind this demo is not groundbreaking. It is true that the use of rotoscope made it very interesting, but for the rest it could go unnoticed. It was however very bold regarding one thing: it was one of the first demos that used mainstream techno themes. For first time you could show it to a person not from demoscene circles (those nerds with their computers!) and exclaim: “That’s dope, dude!”☞   🇪🇸Seguir leyendo 🇬🇧Read more