The Little Things In Life Kickstarter


April 15th, 2015

A peep into the lives of two small friends and their day to day adventures. See the world through their eyes.

by Simon Butler

 

You’ve listened to Dinosaur Pie, now check out Simon’s Kickstarter Project for the book “The Little Things In Life”

Let’s see if we can get this book funded.

For all the Kickstarter info go to:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dinosaurpie/the-little-things-in-life-0


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Edgar M. Vigdal – The ‘Golden Age’ game developer you didn’t know you knew.


April 7th, 2015

Weekends for me as a child could be quite sheltered, I didn’t go outside much and little has changed so it should come as no surprise that I had a strong bond with the family computer in our house and lucky for me that just happened to be a Commodore Amiga 1200. I had a few games that were almost part of a video game OCD for me, I had to play them even if I was terrible at the game but they seemed to warm up my game face and get me in the mood for a bit of the old Deluxe Galaga!

Deluxe Galaga - Amiga 1200

Deluxe Galaga – Amiga 1200

 

My good friend and all round nice guy William (Arcade USA, Colecovisions podcast, Stalking the Retro podcast) is a big fan of Galaxian (1979) and I love Galaga (1981). Both games are great but both William and I would agree that they belong to the arcade, they are games that offer the user fantastic shooting game play and you can rack up a great score BUT that’s where the game ends, and this is where Edgar comes into the story, he literally changed the game of Galaga and arcade style shooters and increased the life expectancy of each players gaming session.

This is an example of the Profile locks you can open in the game.

This is an example of the Profile locks you can open in the game.

If you were lucky enough to play Deluxe Galaga you would have been given the option to open a ‘profile’ and in this profile you have a list of objectives and next to it a series of empty boxes (see photo) so some of these objective are simple; reach level 100 to unlock bonus box 1, when the user reached level 100 and unlocks the first box a second and now be achieved which will double in difficulty ‘reach level 200’ every box you ‘unlock’ gives you a ‘Permanent’ upgrade that can be used time and time again when you come back to play the game and open up your profile at the start up menu.

That ability meant that you had a reason to come back and play the game again, the more you play and unlock the better your ship is when you start level 1, until you have a super gun, unlimited auto fire, shields and several other bonuses on level 1, this game gave the user a feeling of almost God-like invulnerability, so what’s the point in playing when nothing can kill you? Well you haven’t played Galaxian or Galaga for long if you think being given a big gun will keep you alive! Wrong! Even with a great big gun you are still playing an Arcade game and that’s why I name-dropped William (above) because unless you are a fantastic arcade game player like William (watch him play video games via his www.Twitch.TV/arcadeusa account to see him tear up arcade games) the chances are you will die often and loose these upgrades. Just when you thought the fun was over there was another life altering feature in this game that both a younger and older me loved!

In fact I have always loved this feature in retro games and that’s an in-game shop! I could spend years telling you how much I loved playing Wonderboy In Monster World and how it seemed so much more real because it had shops where you could repair your clothing, boots and upgrade items, well the space shooter genre was no different for me, the idea that you had a shop was a revelation, normal people go to the shops to get new things and now our space shooter pilot is doing the same thing, and that bought me one step closer to the cockpit of my craft and a young me loved it!

 

This is the shop front in Deluxe Galaga. The War 1 Plasma is EPIC!

This is the shop front in Deluxe Galaga. The War 1 Plasma is EPIC when combined with auto fire.

 

Well Edgar had remade Galaga and added ‘Deluxe’ to the title and then released it on the commodore market and it reached number 1 in the game sales charts here in the UK, it became one of the bestselling games on the platform AND got into the top 100 best ever Amiga games on various gaming website polls, it was a hit but it was freeware so although it was a hit for Edgar it wasn’t a perfect situation as he didn’t own the rights to the game Galaga.

 

Warbladed title screen. Windows/PC

Warblade title screen. Windows/PC

WARBLADE – Years later Edgar would release a game called Warblade via his game development company EMV Software, this game was Deluxe Galaga but renamed and cleaned up a little from the Amiga version, not a perfect port in the sense that it was a replica but I couldn’t tell the difference between ‘Deluxe’ and Warblade so for me it was an opportunity to relive the classic game but on hardware (my PC) that was more reliable than the Amiga, I bought a copy of the award winning game and fell back in love with it!

 

Warblade - In game screenshot.

Warblade – In-game screenshot.

Warblade was received with open arms by fans of Amiga games and the Galaxian/Galaga series of games and it went on to win lots of awards and accolades, it certainly left room for a new game which would have new aspects included with enough style of Warblade to call it a sequel, but that game was in trouble even after it was successful in a crowd funding project. If you visit the EMV Software forums and look at the threads concerning the new game in development you will see that a lot of funders were growing inpatient while waiting for the new game, you can still read the comments on the crowd funding page and they leave nothing to the imagination, some fans even claim that Edgar and EMV are scamming folks of money. Due to this outburst from backers/fans Edgar and his team released as much news as possible (and now we know that it was an illness and not an evil scheme to rip people off) but inevitably given the circumstances the news went quiet again, we got trickles of news and a few mentions about the team working on a separate games, later they mention working on a Deluxe Galaga game that perfectly replicates the original Amiga game with original music and so on. A forum moderator going by the handle Hitm4n at the EMV forums often tried to calm disgruntled backers/fans by re-assuring them that Edgar was working on the project but had ‘other’ things in his life that needed time to work on. We can assume cancer would have been the biggest time consumer and for that I’m sure Edgar would be forever grateful to Hitm4n for how much heat he took from inpatient people instead of letting it get to Edgar himself. I personally want to thank Hitm4n on behalf of Edgar’s more patient fans and say you did a fantastic job of keeping your head and deflecting stress away from Edgar during his last months.

 

A suggested title screen image for the unreleased Warblade MK 2

A suggested title screen image for the unreleased Warblade MK 2

Only Edgar’s family and close friends will know the full extent of his illness and I won’t speculate about what I think he was suffering from because it’s not important, what matters is that this game dev seemed to run into a few problems getting the new Warblade game out to the market but you can see he had tried very hard to do that, it’s because of that effort and genuine intent that is can be troubling to read some of the comments on the EMV forum and the crowd funding comments page, they can be bitter and sometimes confrontational, these people would only have added to Edgar’s stress rather than give him the time off that he obviously needed.

 

This is just one of the over the top and negative comments left for Edgar and his team.

This is just one of the over the top and negative comments left for Edgar and his team.

 

I hope the game is worked on and released and Edgar thanked posthumously for his creative output that made so many gamers happy. If you haven’t played Warblade yet you still can, buy it from the official website for a few bucks and it will be well worth your money, trust me you’ve spent more on digital games that you know yourself you will never play. Enjoy this game and let’s all thank Edgar for his dedication to making great games.

I wish his family and friends the best of wishes and together we all mourn the loss of a game developer from the golden age of gaming that really did change the game on more than one level.

A photo of the late Edgar M Vigdal.

A photo of the late Edgar M Vigdal.

 

Some helpful links to save your chubby fingers time!

The EMV Software forum –

http://emv-software.weebly.com/forum.html

WARBLADE – official page and store

http://www.warblade.as/

Warblade II Crowd funding page –

http://www.ulule.com/warblade-mk-ii/

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RoundUp 085 – James In Games, Yeah


March 30th, 2015

TOPICS COVERED IN THE SHOW
Hardware Flashback – (00:00)
Dinosaur Pie – (30:26)
Guinness Gaming Records – (61:59)
Allister Brimble: Superfrog Gambling – (63:58)
Bob Smith Interview – (66:05)
Top Ten Best And Worst Atari Jaguar Games – (101:22)
Gaming Trivia – (378:41)
Estrayk: Back In 2002 – (379:23)
Amiga Minute – (381:02)
Live News And Listener Views – (389:39)
URLs And EMails – (327:50)

See the shownotes page, read the Live News chat log and vote in our Top Ten Poll.

Join our Facebook Group and follow us on Twitter.

Donate to the show.

Podcatch via the RSS Feed.

Stream the show 24/7 or listen to RGR Radio.

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RoundUp 084 – An Abomination


March 1st, 2015

TOPICS COVERED IN THE SHOW
Hardware Flashback – (00:00)
Dinosaur Pie – (25:28)
Guinness Gaming Records – (58:28)
Instant Remedy: Commando V2 – (61:26)
Nick Talesfore Interview – (66:20)
Top Ten Worst Atari 2600 Games – (148:39)
Show Sponsor – (290:20)
Gaming Trivia – (294:06)
Neshead: Ninja Gaiden 2 Chaosium Sword – (295:02)
Amiga Minute – (297:20)
Live News And Listener Views – (339:01)
URLs And EMails – (420:00)

See the shownotes page, read the Live News chat log and vote in our Top Ten Poll.

Join our Facebook Group and follow us on Twitter.

Donate to the show.

Podcatch via the RSS Feed.

Stream the show 24/7 or listen to RGR Radio.

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Retro Collect Video Game Market 2 – Does bigger mean better?


February 11th, 2015

The start of something big

2014 saw the start of a new gaming event in the U.K. Based around the concept that ebay, car boot sales (swap meets to those over the water) and to a degree conventions/expos had become a much harder place for collectors and enthusiasts to hunt out new games to collect and play, especially at reasonable prices.

The folks over at the Retro Collect website decided to set up an event that was:-

  • cheap for shoppers to get in (there’s arguably no point saving £5 over ebay prices at an expo when the tickets were £20)
  • cheap for sellers (again, prices are not going to lower if the shop needs to cover the cost of it’s pitch, and private collectors are not going to be able to justify a high setup cost just to shift some of their doubles)
  • open at a reasonable time, getting up at 5am on a Sunday morning to rummage around in the dark at a car boot sale held in a muddy field is not exactly everybody’s idea of fun

The problem was though, the event was a victim of it’s own demand, arriving close to the opening time of 11am you were greeted by a huge queue snaking around the outside of Leeds town hall, and almost instantly they had filled the small room that had been allocated for it, and were left with no choice but to operate on a 1-in-1-out basis.

Inside, there was an excellent balance of full-time dealers, part-time dealers and individuals selling a much wider variety of items than would usually be found at a convention, but the shopping experience was hampered by being jammed into a tiny room, and essentially having to move around the stalls at the same speed as the rest of the sea of people. Heaven forbid you want to go back to look at an item from a couple of tables ago, as this often meant following the masses all the way back around until you arrived there again, hopefully with the items still there.

The law of sequels

So, fast forward a few months, and there were already signs afoot in the community that there will be a second videogame market, and this time with more sellers, more space, and somehow even more variety.

As all gamers know, to continue a franchise, the next instalment needs to build on the core concepts of the former, and add more of everything. More people, bigger environments, a greater variety of items and enemies, and more gruesome and intricate ways to kill, or be killed by said enemies (ok, so perhaps those last points don’t entirely apply here)

Retro Roadtrip Roundup

So, just irvgm2_001n case, the decision was made to meet up around an hour earlier than needed this year, so that we had a fighting chance of being near the front of any queues, and not have to stand out in the cold for 2 hours to get inside. As it turned out, this was a very good idea, as by the time we’d had a leisurely stroll from the Merrion Centre Car Park, there was already a pretty healthy queue forming (youtube interviews with attendees would reveal that the passionate nerds at the front of the queue had arrive around 3 hours before the doors were due to open!)

Fortunately, after some queue bants the time had flown by, and after a little bit of a false start with the queue movement, we were soon underway and making our way inside, and boy, what a sight you were greeted with.

 

Entering the main room, there were stalls running from the edges of the doors, all around the room, a large area in the middle with more sensibly laid out stalls, in the distance there was a seller that was taking over the majority of a tiered staging at the back of the room, already it looked formidably larger than last year, and then I noticed the doorways leading of either side of the main room promising MORE SELLERS beyond them. These signs were dotted around the rooms, and not only provided useful information on where to go, but also epitomized the theme for the event.

 

Straight arvgm2_012way, I was lured in by the shiny temptation of the Sore Thumbs’ vast array of Japanese titles, and no sooner had I had a good rummage around in a storage tub crammed with all manner of Neo-Geo CD, Sega Saturn and PC Engine titles did I realize that I had already become separated from UK Mike and Ben Jones. Already it was looking like I was better off adopting an every man for himself strategy, and headed off to try and get to some of the more distant stalls before the masses had made there way to them.

The next hour seemed like a blur, filled with a combination of taking photos and hunting for some interesting games, interspersed with some enthusiastic chats with like minded collectors, both there for buying and selling. Soon enough though it was starting to get a bit overwhelming, no sooner had I got myself in a good position to browse, and worked through a large selection of loose Super Famicom cartridges would I realize that there was a whole second layer underneath, and frankly I was flagging and running out of the determination required to spend another 10 minutes fighting through that layer.

rvgm2_030I managed to skim through what I hadn’t yet seen, to get a good mental map of what else was around, whilst hunting down the other two, to catchup with how they were getting on (Ben appeared to have given into his feminine side and was carrying a bag of soft furnishings). We sauntered through the outer loop, until ending up separated again, only to shortly later find each other again in the bar that was situated halfway round (what were the chances of that! ;-) ) and had a well earned refreshment break.

With the power of Lager inside us we headed back out, this time with a little more focus. I had identified some interesting collections of loose Game Boy cartridges with various sellers that I wanted to try and strike a deal with, and Mike was looking for a Spyro the Dragon for the PS1.

IMG_20150208_080132~2Fortunately for us, there seemed to be a lunchtime lull in effect, and the little bit of extra freedom to move resulted in a much less stressful ‘second half’ and I ended up feeling pretty happy with the deals that I managed to negotiate for my gameboy titles, resulting in all seven costing just £12 total.

As a bonus, I even managed to pick up two of the Beatmania Append discs that I don’t have, for just £5, Mike however did not manage to buy a Spyro, as it would appear that the market value is averaging around £15, which is frankly ridiculous, is this a fallout of the Skylanders craze I wonder?

Feeling pretty tired, and worried about spending too much money (Nintendo’s decision to release the new 3DS, Monster Hunter 4 and Majora’s Mask this friday has given my gaming budget a hammering), we decided to call it a day, and head for the now traditional Guinness and carvery lunch to wrap up the day.

Irvgm2_035 feel fairly confident that the everyone who attended will have been thoroughly happy with the day, and Retro Collect should feel pretty darn proud of what they have put together, I shall certainly be attending future markets, hopefully with a little more spare cash too.

Be sure to check out the photos that I took throughout the day at the Retrogaming Roundup Gallery page

http://www.retrogamingroundup.com/images/events/videogamemarket_02/

 

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