Have You Played Atari Today?

While eating lunch today, I came across an advertisement from Kohl's. They are selling an Atari Flashback Portable device for $39.99. It has a very small screen (less than 3 inches). It mostly plays Atari 2600 games. However there are some updated games included as well. This sounded very interesting.

Looking at the official documentation for this device, I see the following gems included:
  • Centipede
  • Dig Dug
  • Galaxian
  • Tempest
Some titles that I would have like to have seen were Kaboom and Pacman. Although the handheld has a tiny screen, you can hook up the output to a TV if you get some cables to do so. You can also plug in an SD card and play more games.

There are buttons on the pad for control. Might be a bit harder than the real joysticks/paddles from the 2600 console. Still this is a trip down memory lane. I never owned an Atari 2600. But the neighbors did. I know I really wanted to have one. Instead my parents bought me a computer. But that is another story.

Short Lived Victory

I have been playing the Warrior class in Angband. It is tough not having all the useful spells I had as a mage. But at least I strive to have good strength and dexterity. Makes hand to hand combat so much more effective. Some monsters are just resistant to magic. As a warrior, I can deliver a combat beat down.

Was scumming up and down the stairs to quickly find loot and battles. One such fight produced special boots. Boots of Feanor? These were better than vanilla boots of speed. These were +15 to speed. Unfortunately the victory was short lived. A bunch of hounds ganged up on me. I was super stunned. Essentially I got paralyzed. Game over man.

Adventure Creation with Twine

Live has been very hectic this year. Did not get to participate in the 7DRL rogue-like game building contest. Damn. I have been doing them for 5 or more years religiously. Oh well. Better luck next year.

I do read a lot even though I am busy. Just saw a post on how to make an adventure using Twine. "No programming necessary." I downloaded the program. It was 43M in size. The user interface is quite minimal. I tried following the instructions on the post. Was able to create locations. But I could not for the life of me figure out how to link my spots together.

Then it dawned on me. You need to create links by surrounding text with your location names in double braces. So if you wanted to link to a spot called Start, you type this in the description of a location: [[Start]].

All that seems simple now that I know how to do it. But the tutorial I was reading only showed a picture of the link. It did not explain that in English. All right. Now I can make a choose your own adventure game without programming.

The good news is that Twine outputs HTML. Now if I could only figure out how to upload the HTML to my new web hosting provider, I will be good to go!


As usual, I found myself reading about game development on Reddit. Some guy wanted advice on how to survive while developing games full time. One girl chimed in with some decent advice. Someone else replied that it is easier if you are a good looking girl. But who was this girl?

I checked out her Twitter. She has a lot of posts. Good pictures too. Apparently she is Renee Gittins. She is CEO of her own game company. It is a small outfit. Looks like the first game is "Potions: A Curious Tale".

You should check out her Twitter. Good stuff. Not really related to Angband. But in the game development arena for sure.

Missing Scrolls

I recently died playing Angband. Had been playing the character for a long time. Got complacent. That resulted in a death. So it was time to roll the dice again. This time around, I chose a human warrior. Got lucky with a unique weapon early on in the game.

This new character found some boots of speed too. I made sure I had something to prevent blindness. And I wore two items of resistance. Then I headed down deep. I cleared out a level. Had a lot of stuff I needed to sell up in town. Tried to read my scroll of recall. Ooops. I have no scrolls.

I knew I was running low on the scrolls. Happened twice in a row that I could not buy any in town. I guess the little I had must have burned up when I was not paying too close of attention. Now I needed to walk all the way up into town.

Conserved my food. Scummed the stairs. If I saw a way up, I would climb up. Otherwise just went up and down the stairs to see what random things would get generated. Any items that would help me detect the stairs were picked up. Two thirds of the way up, I found a scroll of word of recall. I decided not to use it. I came this far. Might as well walk all the way up.