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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/11/2022 in Blog Comments

  1. 3 points
    Along the lines of what Cafeman said, I think it also helps to have a good summary up-front along with some screenshots. That way people can judge if the game suits their tastes or not right off the bat. Often times I think the reason people may not react to something is because they just don't wanna take the time to find out if it's something they're interested in, because if it isn't, then that would be wasted time for them. And people have short attentions spans after all, especially on the Internet.
  2. 3 points
    I've followed your blog for a while and I always find your commentary and thoughts interesting and a good read. I also like your game ideas especially the ones like Uncle Hairy's Nosehair, that are quirky and original. If you have completed games, there is nothing stopping you from releasing them yourself. I don't know much about releasing games on platforms other than the 2600 and 7800 so I can't offer much advice there, but on those Atari platforms, if you want to talk about releasing your games, shoot me a PM and I'll try to help.
  3. 2 points
    This would be really helpful to guide people to your content, especially as you are active on multiple platforms.
  4. 2 points
    Hey Chris. I can see how your situation can make you frustrated and depressed. But consider changing your perspective. Atari era homebrew gaming is a small niche. There aren't a lot of people paying attention to any homebrews. So any exposure your games get, be thankful for it and enjoy reading or rewatching that content. Sure there are more and more 2600 and 7800 games that are sold in the AA store. But think about it, but who knows how many copies are being purchased and actually played. And how many are being bought by the same 20 to 50 people who always buy a new homebrew. My point being, I would not assume your games are always ignored while every one else's games are super popular within the community. It wasn't long ago that a ZPH episode featured Uncle Harry's Nosehair, which was hilarious and a hit! And they tried out your older game Jack and the Beanstalk too. Come on, seeing your game being played live on Twitch and forever kept on YT should give you tremendous satisfaction! I know you've made a ton of little homebrew games on various retro systems. I don't even know what they are , and not just yours, I can't keep track of all the various projects out there. Is there a list of your games somewhere? If not, why not create a blog entry with that list, pointing to other blogs one for each game? You could even bundle the roms and call it The [your name] Collection. It might be more visible to have that content be it's own thread in the Homebrew forum, because based on views, I think many AA users never check out the blogs. Concerning the quality of your games, I'd say if you are happy with it, it should be good enough, as long as it isn't glitchy and is fair and playable. Look at popular franchises like Madden and Halo, there are many gamers who have never enjoyed those games and refuse to play them. The same will happen with homebrew games, some will dig them and some will think they are crappy. We homebrew enthusiasts just gotta live with that. But remember that nice graphics and sounds very much attract attention, more than gameplay, at least at first. The other thing that attracts attention is when the homebrewers make a port of a beloved existing game. They have a built in audience. When you make a unique, new original game idea, probably only the hard core gamers with lots of free time are going to notice it, unless it has great fresh graphics to catch their eye. And making great graphics on 2600 is pretty tough. Hope your mood brightens soon.
  5. 1 point
    Once the other artwork is revealed, I can explain a bit more. But basically it has to do with the amount of detail in each illustration, the amount of shading (ie. not just flat colors), and the software I use to create the final artwork with. In the case of all of the above games, they started out with a digital (bitmap) sketch on my iPad using Procreate. This is great for roughing out ideas, but I don't use it for finished work, because I don't feel that I have enough control over the final image. So from there they went over to Adobe Photoshop to weed out errant layers and get converted to CMYK colorspace (required for printing). After that, they went into Adobe Illustrator for the finished illustration. I've typically used Illustrator for the line artwork, because Illustrator is a vector drawing program - not bitmap. So the artwork is infinitely scalable (and malleable) in a way bitmaps aren't. I can get super-clean lines and change characteristics of them in ways I can't do with bitmaps. Then I'd often take the line art back over to Photoshop for "painting" since it's well suited for shading, textures, gradients, etc. For artwork that doesn't have much shading (Zoo Keeper, Aardvark) I just used Illustrator for most of the artwork since flat colors are very easy to do (and again, very easy to change). Zoo Keeper has a bitmap for the brick background. Aardvark's background is fully vector. This time, I did nearly all of the final artwork in Illustrator (except for the backgrounds in UniWar S and Galaxian, which are bitmapped "paintings"). For Lady Bug Arcade, the shading was minimal, so it wasn't difficult to do. In Photoshop, you can just grab a big ol' brush and swipe it across an area to add shading. But to get complex shading in Illustrator (where it follows a shape, or you have a highlight and shading in the same area), then it requires more work to set up because you're not "painting" as such, but assigning values and parameters to objects. So with Lady Bug Arcade I started experimenting more with that, which required using multiple layers of different gradients with transparency, or setting up (what Adobe calls) Freeform Gradients. Freeform Gradients are relatively new and a bit twitchy (and not always predictable) to work with. But they're very powerful since you can create gradients of (almost) any shape and color combination. And again, you can edit them without "repainting" them as you would using bitmaps. You just change values and parameters. It's like sculpting, but on a flat plane. Once I'd gone through a learning curve on Lady Bug Arcade (which is part of the reason it's a "6", but also because I completely re-drew the entire label after the original version was well underway ), I decided to try applying those techniques in Illustrator to both Galaxian and UniWar S, which are both more "painterly" in appearance, and are the kind of labels I would have historically done in Photoshop instead. That's where the difficulty went way, way up, because I was trying to replicate the appearance of what I would have traditionally done pretty quickly in Photoshop, using a completely different method in Illustrator. There was a lot of trial and error in the process, but I was able to achieve the end results that I wanted. Perhaps even better than what I could have done in Photoshop. Certainly, there are some tools that vector graphics have (such as easily replicating and scaling objects) that makes repetitive tasks much, much easier to do. At the other end of the difficulty spectrum, Pac-Man Collection is pretty straightforward. Mostly flat colors and minimal shading. So the technical challenge of executing it was the easiest of the bunch. Pretty sure I'm not going to work on so many labels at the same time again though. Although it did help in the sense of having something else to switch to when I got frustrated or stuck.
  6. 1 point
    Oh... and in case anyone was wondering: Apart from Gorf Arcade (which will be completed later in the year), I guessed pretty well on these. I'd probably give Lady Bug Arcade a difficulty of 7 though.
  7. 1 point
    Updates: 1-14-22: Final box/label/manual artwork for Pac-Man, Galaxian and UniWarS are now finished. Manual and box layouts are in progress.
  8. 1 point
    If you are having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
  9. 1 point
    There are always ways to read old data. Especially in this community. I still have an ancient (working) Mac clone ca. 1996 that boots and runs. So if you do ever run across backup CDs you can't read, let me know!
  10. 1 point
    Sadly, I have no idea where any of this stuff has gone. The intervening years were a rough patch. I still have my physical things, but I'm unsure about where any of my digital things are. Even if I had the foresight to back this stuff up, they're probably burned into a CD-ROM that I might not even be able to read anymore. (I have one CD drive in the house. A superdrive that works with a MacBook Pro from 2015 or so.)
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