Not Just a Hat Rack: Deconstructing My 8-Bit ‘Masterpiece’

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Any of my regular followers who are so committed to the cause that they’ve also ventured to follow me on Twitter may have noticed sporadic postings in shaky phonecam footage of a curious little device known as an Arduboy. This credit-card sized GameBoy inspired curio is powered by that staple of the maker community, the Arduino, neatly packaged together with a sharp 1-bit 128×64 OLED display, 4 directional buttons, and 2 action buttons. It was a guilty impulse purchase sometime around October last year, and I wandered into it without holding out much hope that I’d get around to making anything worth releasing. I was initially drawn in by the promise of constraints, which is a strange pull, but I’ve often been amazed at how programmers for early systems were able to squeeze so much out of some very limited hardware (This article about the original Zelda is a great example). The Arduboy is a neat re-imagining of these early restrictions: A screen where each pixel can only be either on or off; The bare essentials of controls; and strict limitations on processing power, memory, and storage. The game making community has risen to this challenge with a wide range of neat offerings showing off just what can be done within about fixed envelope; the excellent Team-ARG and Jonathan Holmes (check out ‘Circuit Dude’) are just a couple of examples from the dedicated programmers who have adopted this little system. Continue reading “Not Just a Hat Rack: Deconstructing My 8-Bit ‘Masterpiece’”

‘Sunshine Blogger’ & ‘Liebster’ Awards

I’m going to level with you all… I’ve started this post several times now and each time it has descended into a spiral of misery regarding the current insular politics that seem to be taking hold on the world stage. I’m struggling, because the very thing I’m trying to write about is small and insignificant by comparison, but it some ways is the kind of thing that we need to hold on to in such times… so stick with me and we’ll get through this…

I am delighted to have been nominated for two community awards in the last week and have once again been reminded how much I enjoy being a part of the blogging community. Those who know me in real life likely understand how much this blog is a place for me to mash together the thoughts, opinions, & musings I have on gaming … and no doubt how it serves as a way for my to unleash my gaming thoughts without fear of boring my audience.

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Liebster Award Nomination!

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Ladies and Gentlemen of the academy; In the absence of a physical award, but still wanting to convey how chuffed this has made me, I’m currently holding my coffee cup like a shiny Oscar, smiling and waving to the crowd. The ‘Liebster Award’ is a formally informal way for a blogger to highlight other blogs they enjoy, reveal a little more about themselves, and pass the torch onwards in a quirky, classy way… Think ‘chain letter’, but if that were a welcome impact on your doormat. Continue reading “Liebster Award Nomination!”

So, I learnt Morse Code…

I stumbled down a link-hole last week to discover Alex Johansson’s browser-based game “MORSE“; an interesting experiment in user input and detaching the player from the action all wrapped up in a battleship-esque pixilated game. Essentially you enter target co-ordinates in Morse code in order to destroy enemy units… Full Disclosure: I didn’t play the game for very long…

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