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About this blog

Mostly Atari-related projects, and other ramblings. Home of the Artie the Atari comic strip.

Entries in this blog

 

iBlog

So I've finally joined the rest of the world, and got myself an iPhone. Of course the first appropriately nerdy thing to do with it (after using its GPS to plan an alternate route around the traffic to get home from Northridge), was to type an entire blog entry with it. I must say I'm rather surprised at how well the virtual keyboard works - especially in landscape mode and in no small part thanks to its on-the-fly auto-correct feature*. Of course I could type way faster than this on a real keyb

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

The last PSP game?

Well, despite my hesitancy to be an early adopter, I did go out and buy Tron: Evolution for the PSP. It was an impulse buy, and I feel terribly guilty about it.   Mainly because I bought it at Wal-Mart.   It's not the same Tron: Evolution that's on the PS3 or XBox360, but rather a collection of mini-games. Most are similar to the games on the Tron: Legacy iPhone app, but the PSP version adds a few more. I suppose Disney chose to go this route since they're both portable platforms, and the

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Incoming! part 1

I'm splitting this "making of" into two parts. The first part will go over the usual "how I made the label" thing (is this getting boring yet?), and part two will be more of a Photoshop tutorial.   After the Lead contest, I really wanted to do something that felt more like a painting, or a loose illustration. Not really tight and fussed over as my Lead illustrations had been. A lot of the early Atari 2600 artwork has a loose feel to it, where you can still see some of the pencil art underneath

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Going slightly Mads

So, remember this?   No?   Well, I didn't expect you to.   Anyway, so here's the entry.   And sorry Dave... it's not about "Top Gear".   However, it is about cars driving really fast. Just without the wacky British humor.   It's about rallying.   Oops... okay, before you leave - those of you in the United States - stick with me a minute. Yes, rallying is pretty-much a non-entity in the U.S., but unlike say... soccer... rallying is actually interesting.   (And before soccer footba

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

100,000!

Well, for whatever reason, my blog is the first one here at AtariAge to hit the 100,000 views mark. (Although I'm a little disappointed that the score didn't roll over.)   The rather astonishing thing about this, is that only about 97,532 of those are me either clicking "reload", or going back into my old posts and correcting spelling and grammar mistakes (although regular viewers know full well those almost never happen ). I figure another couple of thousand views are due to various web-bots

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Living in Harmony

Awhile ago, I went over the process for coming up with the Harmony cart logo, and the pre-production label. I assumed at the time that there wouldn't be much of a change from that label to the final.   Hoo... boy!   Fred (batari) was interested in having a new label for the final cart (now available for purchase), although he wanted to keep the same sort of color scheme (green and white) as the previous one. The green and white, incidentally, comes from the color of the circuit board and th

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Making Labels - Part 5

Part 5 - Shading: Bonus Tutorial     How to chrome almost anything   I was taught some of this stuff by a guy who used to work at GM designing cars. He could crank out a rendering of a car in 30 seconds that was better than anything I could do in 30 minutes. It was pretty humbling, but I learned how to draw chrome.   Here's the thing to remember about chrome: it's just a surface that reflects everything around it.   So what you're really drawing is the environment the object is in. Not

Guest

Guest

 

WRC - MIA... again.

Last year, after the World Rally Championship season started in February, it took until April for highlights to start showing up on TV.   This year, they may not show up at all. Assuming the season actually happens in the first place.   The problem is that the WRC's main sponsor - North One Sport - was sold last year to Convers Sports Initiatives - a Russian-owned company that in the end, turned into a $1.6 billion case of fraud. Ouch.   North One Sport provided the WRC's website, smartpho

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

WRC - MIA?

The 2011 World Rally Championship season has kicked off, and yet there's zero TV coverage of it so far.   So where I'd normally use this as an opportunity to recap the highlights, instead I'm going to use it as an opportunity to just talk about car stuff in general.   Until HD Theater gets off their thumbs, that is.   Currently, the rumor I've been eagerly following is the joint Toyota/Subaru TC-86 concept sports car. Toyota design, Subaru power train. Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

To-doing

Sounds like a Don Martin sound effect*, doesn't it? To-doing!!   But actually, this is yet another To-Do List. However, since some of it is already in progress, that makes it a "To-doing" list.   If the blog tags weren't still broken, you would be able to click on a handy link, and look at my previous To-Do List entries. But it's just as well you can't, since even I don't particularly like looking back on lists of things that I never got finished.   That said, I'll continue with the tradi

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

300th Stupid Blog Entry!

Part 1 - Eh, close enough   Sharp-eyed viewers will no doubt notice that this isn't the 300th Stupid Blog Entry... it's the 301st 302nd 305th 307th 310th.   Yeah... I've procrastinated finishing this one a few times.   However, this entry is about the 300th Stupid Blog Entry, so technically, the title of this entry is correct.   Descriptively speaking.   Back in September, I was planning to write up some massive, over-long entry like I did for the 200th Stupid Blog Entry and 100th Stu

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Sci-Fri

So last Friday saw the second season premiere of The Clone Wars. It started off quite well with a two-parter about the bounty hunter Cad Bane, attempting to steal something called a Jedi Holocron in the appropriately titled Holocron Heist, and then using it to get some critical information for the Emperor in Cargo of Doom.   The animation seems a bit better this year (still some wonky walking), but the plot was a definite improvement.   First, Cad Bane is an excellent character. Unlike the u

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

A big, flickery mess?

So... back to one of the things on my "To-do" list - namely, "Stupid Game Ideas". (Pretend that was said in a loud, booming voice with lots of echo.)   ...ideas... ...ideas... ...ideas...   These are the games I would make for the Atari 2600, if I had any clue about programming.   And trust me... I don't. I've read through a bunch of the 2600 "how-to" stuff, and even though I kind-of get some of the limitations of the 2600, and have a vague sense of what the hardware is doing, I have no

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Somebody at Disney likes video games...

First Tron: Legacy, now Wreck-It Ralph:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPSQOomMWro   I'd first heard of this years ago (it's been in development for ages under different titles) and was skeptical of it, but it looks pretty good. I've heard some good reports coming out of the studio about it as well (in fact - they have a number of arcade classics set up there for "research").   (Edit: replaced trailer with higher-quality version, without annoying introduction)

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Jean “Moebius” Giraud

Jean "Moebius" Giraud passed away Saturday, at the age of 73.   Another phenomenally gifted artist, his work graced countless comic books, science fiction and fantasy art (most notably Heavy Metal magazine), and movies including Alien, The Abyss, The Fifth Element and of course - Tron.         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRvbPH_6lcQ   (I can't understand a word he's saying, but I love the fact he has a Snoopy poster on his wall. )

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

More Tron, more fun

"Recognize" this?     Remember wanting to play it?   Well... go ahead!     Space Paranoids is now online! And it even works on a Mac!   Well... not my G5 iMac. It runs like a dog on that. But it runs great on newer Macs. (Not iPhones though. Maybe someday.)   42 Entertainment made the game last year for the Comic Con Flynn's Arcade event that kicked off Tron Legacy's viral marketing campaign, which is starting to get rather extensive.   There have been clues left on various vir

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

To-Do Redo

Well, it's time to consolidate my To-Do list, so I can actually update the thing without getting hopelessly confused.   Homebrew stuff: Manual and label for another 2600 homebrew - In progress Sprites for Moon Cresta homebrew - In progress Sprites for still-yet-another-arcade-port - In progress Sprites for yet-another-arcade-port - In progress Atari logo on a Mac folder icon - Starting soon Sprites for Wizard of Wor Arcade - In progress Revised sprite for Thomas - In progr

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

iBlog 2

So I finally bit the bullet, and bought a new cellphone:   http://youtu.be/ZJoEPWVJqFw   Man... I love those commercials. "The HerniaMate™ 2000! Pick one up (if you can) now!" What's in that thing - a car battery?   Anyway, what I really bought was an iPhone 5. Hence, the start of iBlog 2, and the end of iBlog 1. So long! It's been fun!   Well, fun up until my battery died three months ago and I had to pay for a replacement to tide me over. In hindsight, I don't regret it, since my old p

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Return of Stupid Game Ideas: Lunar Lander Arcade

Wow... it's been awhile since I posted a Stupid Game Idea (idea... idea... idea... idea...).   They're not so much "stupid" I suppose, as "speculative". But since this blog doesn't have "Speculative" in its name, "Stupid" is what I'm sticking with.   I've got a few of these I've been planning to write up for awhile, and another recent speculative project has given me the incentive to finally dust these off.   So... several years ago (in fact, around the time of the last Stupid Game Idea (i

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

An incomplete history of portable racing games - part 1

If you didn't grow up during the 70's, it's hard to relate just how cool it was the first time I saw a digital watch. Not the kind we have now and are so commonplace they're given away in cereal boxes and gumball machines, but the red LED ones that cost a fortune and drained batteries so fast you had to press a button to turn on the display.   They were undeniably the coolest thing in town.   That, and pocket calculators.   There was just something magical about those glowing red digits.

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Another mouth to feed...

So, I finally bought a PlayStation 3.   I had planned to do so a year ago on Black Friday, but just didn't want to deal with the insanity of fighting people at stores for one, and all of the online deals sold out before I could get to them.   This year though... I had a plan!   I was going to camp out on Amazon, and snag one in a Lightning Deal™. I knew when their PS3 bundle was going on sale - all I had to do was just log on a little early, refresh the page until the deal showed up, and b

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Getting Squished

When coming up with a label for Bob's port of Squish 'Em, I ran into the artist's equivalent of writer's block.   Y'see, I thought it would be funny to send Bob this for a label design: Just as a joke, of course.   Unfortunately - that idea stuck in my head, and I couldn't get it out! But what I wanted, was something that implied some of the ideas in the classic Popeye cartoon A Dream Walking.   So, as is often the case, I pestered Dave Dries for some ideas. We'd been planning to colla

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

So... what is Brave, anyway?

Watch this teaser trailer for Pixar's Brave...   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYg0VgPy6Uk   Then this trailer...   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEHWDA_6e3M   Then this extended scene...   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4EZULqhP2E   Sounds like typical Disney fare, right? Where you have a girl with hopes and dreams, but has to break free of society's conventions and expectations of her to find true freedom and happiness. And probably some dude to hook up with.   But then watch

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Homebreviews - part 19

Believe it or not... this entry includes my 60th Homebreview! To mark the occasion, I'm reviewing a couple of games that were released at the Classic Gaming Expo this summer. The ROMs aren't available, so I've posted movies of them, to show you what they're really like (sorry about the quality - they were shot off of a TV screen).   Actually, I would have rather reviewed a really good game instead, but these are the last two unreviewed games that I've got. So there you go.   Although these r

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Artie the Atari - the (in)complete index

As Artie the Atari grinds its way towards its 150th episode, I decided to put an index together of all of the episodes to date. Someday, I'd like to annotate and collect them all into a PDF or iBook, but that may have to wait until episode 300. (Note: since writing that I've gone well past the 300th episode. Still thinking "someday" for the book. ) I'll periodically update the index as new episodes are added. 2007 The first strips! Artie's flickering Adventure: Stripping (includes link

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

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