GameDev news for 15 August 2020



So, the big anniversary came and went. People congratulated me. They shared the post. Hardly anyone clicked on the links. Oh well. Time to go on. Especially as August suddenly picked up, with lots of headlines to highlight. How ironic, after changing the format five months early.

But first, a few words about my plans. With the big changes now in the past, I'd like to tackle some more games or at least game-adjacent projects. Like another write-up on scripting languages. Also to bring back Adventure Prompt (again!) as an illustration of the new text adventure engine I described recently. And much more, of course: more to do with the EightWay Engine; maybe flesh out the rule system from Glittering Light 2. But all this is enough work for another year.

Of course, I also plan to continue improving the website, and also to expand the online presence of No Time To Play. In fact I just found a potential venue for that; it's a good community and they seem to like me, but after being burned too many times, it's wiser to wait before trumpeting yet another thing that's doomed to fail mere days or weeks later.

Anyway, onward to the news, of which we have a surprising number today. Just not a lot to say about most of them. About tools, famous games, important concepts, critique, and more. Read on.

In the tool department, we learn the story of reconstructing ZZT. Wait, what? Yep, turns out the original source code had been lost, only for an enthusiast to recreate it perfectly from scratch using the binaries, an old compiler, and Tim Sweeney's blessing. All during the lockdown this spring. How cool is that? And still in the way of ways to make games like in the old days, turns out there's a Forth for the GameBoy. Nerd squared!

In the way of useful concepts, we have a discussion on accessibility, which turns out to be a much more complex concept than it seems, especially when it comes to games. And also in the way of concepts, here's an argument that Mature Audiences Can Handle Video Games That Go Beyond Black-and-White Morality. No kidding, Sherlock!

Same reaction upon learning that an UK survey finds positive links between playing games and literacy. Guess what first drove me to learn English, nearly three decades ago. And I've heard others say the same. Nope, kids don't hate reading. They hate boring, pointless schoolwork. And now they have more alternatives than ever.

Last but not least, we learn about a GoldenEye 007 Fan Remake Shut Down by James Bond License Holders. Congrats to the the IP holders for gaining a lot of ill-will, when they could have had free advertising instead. Good job breaking it, hero. And so that we end on a positive note, a long interview about the history of the Mortal Kombat franchise, straight from its creators.

But that's a lot of newsletter to put together all at once. Enjoy, and see you!


Tags: meta, classics, preservation, retrogaming, history, education