Flash games all around but some stand out much more than others. Yesterday I discovered Kavalmaja by Tonypa, a pretty amazing game. He describes it as a “kind of adventure-puzzle game”. That’s pretty much what it is.

Kavalmaja by Tonypa

In the game you wander around a maze trying to figure out what everything does. It uses only the arrow keys and you don’t fight anything. The game uses abstract pixel art and offers no upfront explanation so you have to play around and interact with objects to progress in the game. The artwork is pretty clever and makes symbolic use colors. For example, a gray block is a door that can be opened by a switch or a key and a red object will hurt you. You’re wandering through the maze as you attempt to figure out what these objects do and when you think you’ve figured it all out, it throws in a new surprise for you.

What I found was that my view of what the game actually was changed constantly as I played, as I learned the new rules. That made me curious to find out what it was all about and if I could solve the puzzle!

It’s an simple and clean game. It auto-saves at every screen so you can pick it up and play it any anytime. I think I’m close to finishing it! The perfect game for a mid-core gamer. 😉

But that isn’t the only game to catch my eye recently…

Continue Reading…

Faxanadu might be one of the best games you’ll never play.

  • Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Developer: Falcom
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Release: November 16th, 1989

“I’ve been on a long journey. I came back to my home town to
find it is almost deserted. The gate is closed, people are gone, and
the walls are crumbling. I wonder what happened?”

You’re a worn warrior returning to your home of Eolis, a village just outside of the World Tree. You have nothing but the ragged clothes on your back. You discover that the home you return to is not how you remember it. The lakes have dried up and it has become a monster-infested wasteland.

Sounds like the beginning of a grand adventure to me.

Continue Reading…

I just heard about Eve Online’s Player government setup and man am I jealous.

Eve Online Screenshot 01

This is a voting booth.

It’s great that they’re exploring the area of player government, but it sounds like they’re being somewhat timid about it. The players don’t seem to have a tremendous amount of power and the governmental system within which elections are occurring was constructed and is enforced by the developers rather than emerging organically from the players themselves. It’s not a bold step, but a step nonetheless.

This has prompted me to publicize some of my own experiences in regards to player governments. Anyone I’ve seriously spoken to about games has heard all about these because I’ve found them to be unique and tremendously valuable.

Continue Reading…

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess continues to mesmerize me. I jumped into the game directly after finishing Super Mario Galaxy a couple weeks ago and I’m still loving every minute of it.

Zelda Twilight Princess Screen

What’s great about this game is that it’s full of surprises. Adventure. And as anyone that’s played Zelda would know, adventure is what Zelda is all about.

Continue Reading…

Series: Robot Music I, Robot Music II: Modes, Robot Music III: The Circle of Fifths, Robot Music IV: Scales of the World

Robot Music Logo - Circle of Fifths

New logo baby.

Robot Music I proved that a pleasing song can be randomly generated under the right guidelines. Those guidelines stuck to a 4/4 rhythm and the C Major Pentatonic Scale.

Robot Music II proved that the C key could be replaced with any other (changing the root). It also showed that the Major Pentatonic Scale (5 notes) could be expanded to the Major Scale (7 notes) without harming our method. And most importantly, this section covered modes and demonstrated that shifting a song’s mode can significantly change its tone. Knowing that the tone can be changed, how can we control it?

Robot Music III introduces the Circle of Fifths. It is a basic musical tool that will help us predict the impact of a mode of the Major Scale. With it, our Robot can place notes along 2 dimensions (Consonance vs. Dissonance, Dominance vs. Sub-Dominance) and estimate the emotional impact of a note according to an arbitrary algorithm based on personal tastes.

This installment is the first to go into the perception of music. To begin, we must discuss aural perception and some musical fundamentals. That technical information will be related to our previous musical concepts by the use of the Circle of Fifths. And finally, a demonstration of mode relationships and some discussion of their popular uses.

You probably already know some of this, so I’ll try to move fast.

Continue Reading…

I’ve been seeing a lot of cool 3d Flash stuff here and there, mostly on development blogs or forums. When I tell people that Flash can do 3d stuff, I get an impression which is a mixture of shock and disbelief. After checking out an informative PaperVision 3d video tutorial on gotoandlearn.com, I was less intimidated and ready to jump into it. Been looking for an excuse to brush up on my 3d skillz.

CUBOCC face demo

Anyway, I saw this demo at http://cubo.cc/ today and it kind of shocked me. Apparently it’s a bit viral already, spreading around the net as it should. Some awesome coding, brilliant texturing and a simple design goes a long way, doesn’t it? The future of Google Adsense? Unfortunately, most likely! haha

But wait… that’s not all!

Continue Reading…

It has come to my attention that when I put up these forwarded posts, people come look at them! So here’s another one.

Citizen Kane - Opera House

I’ve a compilation of opinions this time. A dominoed trail of disagreement leading through the mouths of Roger Ebert, Jim Preston and E. Daniel Arey. Each of course followed by my charming additions <3. And finally, I end our tour d’text with a look at Arey’s comparison between Ico and Citizen Kane.


Critiquing the film adaptation of the popular video game Hitman, Ebert states:

. . . video games will never become an art form — never, at least, until they morph into something else or more.

Like what, I wonder. Maybe until they morph into movies or become something like a swiss army knife. Nothing smears your misteps like a good old contradiction, friend: never and until being the operative words. In a stroke of literary genius, Ebert contrasts the wanting state of games against his own mastery of propaganda; the delicate power to write a word while only conveying the vaguest semblance of an idea (and without a shred of evidence!).

Needless to say, the review caught some attention among the gamed (gām·ĭd) and it was time for Jim Preston to say his piece. Continue Reading…

Close Up Die

Series: Robot Music I, Robot Music II: Modes, Robot Music III: The Circle of Fifths, Robot Music IV: Scales of the World

It’s been a long while, but response to the last music post was enough to get me revved up again. Now it’s time to continue with the Robot Music series on procedurally written music.

I wanted this tutorial to be simple, but educational enough that if you wanted to study more, you would know where to look. For that reason, there is a lot of music vocabulary in here. I’ve done my best to explain each term as it comes up, but if any remain confusing, don’t hesitate to look them up elsewhere or even skip them. You can probably forget all of the fancy words and still understand the important concepts being discussed.

In the last session we rolled a die to generate riffs in a Major Pentatonic Scale. Sticking to that one scale limits the sound of your music a lot, so now we’ll mix up our technique by exploring modes. We’ll be replacing the Major Pentatonic Scale with the full Major Scale. The pentatonic only has 5 notes, while the entire Major Scale has 7. Those last two notes can be seen as bothersome* which is why they were left out last time.

Most people’s first musical revelation is the amazing power of switching between a Major scale and a Minor scale. It’s often generalized that when a song is in the Major scale it sounds happy and when it’s in a Minor scale it sounds sad. That is the effect we will be looking into to change the emotional impact of robot songs.

Continue Reading…