Burning floppies

April 6th, 2015 6:26 PM
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Attending the Different Games conference in New York City this past weekend gave me plenty of opportunity to catch up with Juiced.GS staff writer (and frequent Apple II Bits blog subject) Ivan Drucker. While waiting for registration for KansasFest 2015 to open, we reminisced about our favorite moments of last year's event — Ivan's sixth KansasFest, and my 17th.

I was delighted to discover Ivan had not previously stumbled upon Kevin Savetz's video capture of a unique moment: Martin Haye, having just demoed 8-bit Western RPG Lawless Legends, burned the game to disk and declared it ready to ship.

For those archivists who thought it was too late to preserve floppies: Martin's making sure of that!

For an equally entertaining pyrotechnic display, try burning an actual compact disc:

Ken Gagne, Gamebits, Apple II Bits, and Martin Haye offer no assurances, guarantees, or warranties, express or implied, regarding the safety of you or your hardware, software, or other property or loved ones as a result of information received or linked to from this or any other website.

Happy burning!

Let's Play Structris

August 4th, 2014 12:00 PM
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KansasFest is a week over, and all I have is memories.

Memories — and an awesome mug.

For the second consecutive year, attendee Michael Sternberg hosted a Structris tournament based on his version of Martin Haye's original Tetris game. I entered and, after a poor showing in 2013, rebounded in 2014: I had the highest score in the first round (100 points); went up against the reigning champion and broke the world record in the second round (249 points on level 17); and, in the third and final round, defeated the developer himself. It was pretty epic.

To give something back, I've created a Let's Play video of Structris, coinciding with last week's 25th anniversary of the North American launch of the Nintendo Game Boy, which came with Tetris. Enjoy!

Next-generation Structris

September 16th, 2013 12:11 PM
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Yesterday I attended the second annual Boston Festival of Indie Games, or BostonFIG. Developers from throughout the Boston region set up shop at MIT to demonstrate a passion and talent that shines despite a lack of funding or big-name notoriety.

In anticipation of this event, The Boston Globe's Jesse Singal published an article, "Cool titles await at Festival of Indie Games", which described one game, Blocks of Explosive Dismemberment, as "'Tetris,' only there¬ís a little guy — controlled by your human opponent — running around at the bottom trying not to get crushed by the falling blocks."

Sound familiar? I was perhaps the only BostonFIG attendee with the background to find the game evocative of Martin Haye's Structris. Admittedly, it'd bit of a stretch to accuse Explosive developer Barbaric Games of ripping off Martin's idea. Plus, Barbaric Games promised their take would be "bloodier and with an extra dimension".

As it turned out, there was much more to their game than that. Read my report on Computerworld.com for more details.