Weekly Links #96
It's an awkward moment to post this newsletter: the Interactive
Fiction competition is set to end at midnight, and the Procedural
Generation Jam two hours after that. But then, once they're both done
I'm going to need some time looking at the entries, so maybe it's
better to leave them for next week.
For now, other news. After Prince of Persia, another gaming classic
has its source code recovered and made public. Atari's Star Raiders
is now on the Internet Archive, in the form of a book full of
6502 assembly code. A few volunteers have started moving it to GitHub,
but from here to being able to rebuild the game is a long way. Still,
it's one more bit of gaming history preserved for future generations.
Moving on. Nowadays it seems hard to believe, but there was a time
when PCs didn't come with built-in sound cards. Well, there's a book
out recounting how it all started, and it turns out the
Sound Blaster won via business trickery, not technical excellence.
Where did we hear that before? Oh yeah, it's how Microsoft ended up
utterly dominating the operating system market for decades. Still
think capitalism has your best interests in mind?
Last but not least, I rant often enough against the dangers of always
chasing the latest fad in computer graphics, so it warms my heart to
see that artists from outside the digital realm understand the
issue better than people who spent decades immersed in it. As the
article points out,
The odd thing about games as opposed to more traditional mediums
such as painting is how entire aesthetics are often considered
obsolete as technology progresses. Imagine if cubism or
impressionism were simply tossed aside with the invention of
Oh, there is the occasional exception to that, such as pixel art, but
we need many more such exceptions. And while my own experiment
with low-poly art didn't go anywhere, the potential is obvious. So
consider it, maybe?