Weekly Links #62
I don't even know how to say this, so I'll be brief: to the few people who read this blog and want it to stay online, I need your help. As of April 1st, I won't have enough money left to eat, let alone pay for web hosting. The former is my problem; for the latter, I could use some spare change. My costs are $14/y for the domain (paid until July) and roughly $7/mo for the hosting (which includes my Internet access).
How you can pay:
all of our games have Flattr buttons on their respective pages; I sell a few of them over on Itch.io; and of course you can use PayPal directly -- leave a comment below and I'll get in touch. Thank you very much. I want No Time To Play to stay up.
In other news, as you can see I made more progress with Tomb of the Snake -- right now in the way of user interface. It's not as much as I would have liked, but I've been working on another long-form article (and having some very bad days, but that's another story). Don't worry, it's all coming along nicely.
Now let's see what else happened in the world of gamedev this week.
Do you like mathematics? Do you like mathematical games? Then you might enjoy Chaos at the Sky, a friend's blog. I'm afraid it's all going over my head, so you're on your own there. Have fun!
But if math isn't my thing, I'm still nostalgic for the good old ZX Spectrum. Clearly I'm not the only one, judging by this top 50 underappreciated games for the platform. I remember wandering through Movie for hours, mostly not knowing what to do but marveling at the richness of the game world. And Dan Dare 3 was one of the few platformers ever that I truly loved.
Amazing what they could code on such a limited machine.
Speaking of old games (but not quite as old), over at The Escapist Shamus Young warns that older PC games are getting harder to play. Except... it's not older games, it's newer games. Master of Orion, Doom or SimCity 2000 will never get harder to play, thanks to DOSBox, FreeDOS and the like. You only have to emulate bog-standard PC hardware with public specs, and a simple operating system. But for anything made after 1997 or so, he's right: you also have to emulate Windows (all those versions), DirectX (ditto), increasingly complex GPUs with secret hardware, their closed-source drivers...
Suffice to say, Wine has been trying hard since 1993, but never quite managed to catch up. I can't even blame them. And while it's arguable whether Call of Duty 5... thousand deserves a place in history, consider that we might lose Baldur's Gate 2, while crappy Dungeon Master clones just a few years older will survive forever.
Last but not least, a lot of people make Twine games nowadays, but few have a place to host their own work online. This is serious; one Ramus user asked me to host their game for them, because they couldn't. That's why I was happy to learn about philome.la, a free hosting service for Twine games, which conveniently come as a single HTML file. It's a good idea, one that would work just as well for other kinds of games packaged in a similar manner.
But it's late and I'm tired. See you again soon.