Archives for 2017

GoldenEra: An Intriguing Documentary

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

Why did former Beatle and rock legend George Harrison give the British comedy troupe Monty Python $4 million dollars to go off and make Monty Python’s Life of Brian? Because he wanted to see it. Eric Idol, of Monty Python, said,” It’s still the most anyone has ever paid for a cinema ticket.”

While listening to a sports radio show, I heard that a film company in Australia was crowdfunding for a documentary about the Nintendo 64 classic game GoldenEye 007, called GoldenEra. I thought to myself, I’d really like to see that.

I have never participated in a crowdfunding project, but there was something about a documentary centred on the phenomenon and legacy of GoldenEye 007 that changed my mind. Also, it being the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking first-person shooter (FPS) game, made contributing money to the project even more alluring.

I went onto the Indiegogo campaign page and became a backer. For my first time, it was kind of exciting.

In high school, my friends and I would play GoldenEye 007 constantly. We called it Bond for short. There’s no telling how many times, after classes, my friends would say, “Let’s play some Bond.” It was a bonding experience for all of us, and it came in handy when we were broke on weekends.

Once, when two of my best friends almost got in a fistfight over something foolish, I made them settle it over a game of Bond. I deterred violence with some fake, simulated violence. And after some split screen multi-player action, they had forgotten what they were upset about. My girlfriend, during my freshman year of college, was better at Bond than I was. She had her own N64 console back home and she really schooled me at times.

I have so many fond memories of playing Goldeneye in high school and college. Sure, we were sitting on our rumps playing a video game for hours, but playing Bond was something that we shared that brought out our competitiveness; and it was a nice relief from stressing about your grades and other teen pressures.

Who ended up beating who didn’t matter and the scores were quickly forgotten, but having something fun that we all enjoyed doing together was rare and ultimately important; even if we weren’t aware of it at the time.

I’ve never played any of the other popular first-person shooter games that followed GoldenEye. I have never played any of the Halo games. I think if I ever played one of the many versions of Halo, I would be comparing it to GoldenEye the whole time. GoldenEye made that much of an impact on my gaming.

I hope the project reaches its crowdfunding goal. The filmmakers are aiming for a 2017 release. If it makes it a more entertaining documentary, perhaps they should wait to release it when they think it’s perfect.

source: GoldenEra on IndieGoGo

 

Code Breakers: Women in Games

Press play on Code Breakers, an exhibition curated by ACMI and the first of its kind in Australia celebrating the achievements of women working in the games industry.

Code Breakers celebrates emerging and established female game makers in an interactive and immersive exhibition. Visitors can get hands-on with an array of playable games – from indie through to commercial hits and new releases – all made by Australian and New Zealand women working in different capacities: as directors, programmers, developers, digital artists, writers, producers and designers.

Katrina Sedgwick, Director and CEO of ACMI says, “Despite women making up almost 50% of game players, they account for less than 10% of the games industry. Code Breakers seeks to shatter stereotypes and celebrate the women who are breaking down barriers and building vibrant, creative careers within a global industry that is increasingly diverse. Our hope is that the industry will soon reflect the diversity of the gaming community it seeks to serve.”

Nicole Stark, Co-Founder Disparity Games and Art Director and Designer on Ninja Pizza Girl

From platformers and role-playing strategy digital board games through to graphical adventure and racing games, Code Breakers offers something for everyone at every skill level. Deliver pizzas and crush bullies in Ninja Pizza Girl, join an animal clan in Armello or race souped-up cars in Need For Speed: No Limits.

Code Breakers ponders important questions in a post Gamergate landscape: What does a more inclusive games industry look like? How do we encourage this diversity? In Code Breakers, each maker reflects on the sometimes challenging journey they’ve made into this male-dominated industry, revealing the human stories behind their games via a custom built exhibition audio tour.

“I think this exhibition is an excellent way to give Australians a peek behind the curtain of game development, and highlight that women are playing an integral role within the industry. I really hope it helps to inspire girls and women to begin making their own games,” says Rebecca Fernandez, a games programmer who worked on recently released PS4/Steam titles Tricky Towers and Armello.

Lisy Kane, Producer at League of Geeks

The game makers featured in the exhibition include: Lisy Kane, Producer at League of Geeks, co-founder of Girl Geek Academy and one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in the games category; Katharine Neil, independent Game Developer and director of the hugely controversial and influential game Escape From WoomeraMaru Nihoniho, Founder and Managing Director of Metia Interactive and recipient of a New Zealand Order of Merit for her service to the gaming industry; and Siobhan Reddy, Co-Founder and Studio Director of Media Molecule, named in Fortune‘s 10 most powerful women in gaming.

Siobhan Reddy, co-founder and studio director of Media Molecule

Code Breakers has been curated by ACMI in collaboration with an advisory committee consisting of key industry figures Kate Inabinet, Animation and Games Industry lecturer at RMIT and creator of education based games for children; Helen Stuckey, media arts curator, researcher and Program Manager of Games at RMIT; and Leena van Deventer, a game developer, writer, educator and Co-Director of WIDGET (Women in Development, Games and Everything Tech).

A free exhibition, Code Breakers: Women in Games premieres at ACMI on Tuesday 25 July and runs until Sunday 5 November 2017. Information at acmi.net.au/code-breakers

source: ACMI

 

May The 4th Be With You: A New Stern Star Wars Pinball?

With the internet rumour mill running amok regarding Stern’s next pinball machine, we wonder if they will announce a new Star Wars themed pinball machine on ‘May The 4th Be With You‘ Star Wars day? We can only hope!

If you weren’t aware, there have been quite a number of Star Wars themed pinball machines over the years, from Hankin’s wide body The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Sonic’s Star Wars (1987), Data East’s Star Wars (1992) to Sega’s awesome Star Wars Trilogy (1997) and Williams’ Star Wars Episode I (1999) built on the ill-fated Pinball2000 platform.

If Stern does announce a new Star Wars pinball machine, then we cross our fingers that it will be a mix of the Data East and Sega Star Wars machines. Oh yeah, we would love some Dark Side and Light Side LE machines too – hope you are listening Stern!

What are your predictions for Stern’s new pinball machine? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

May the force be with you!

One of our favourite Star Wars themed pinball machine, Sega’s Star Wars Trilogy

A close second, Data East’s Star Wars

You either loved it or hated Williams’ Star Wars Episode I

The first Star Wars themed pinball machine, Hankin’s The Empire Strikes Back

Straight out of Spain, Sonic’s Star Wars
source: Internet Pinball Database

 

How the Gun on the Original Duck Hunt Worked

‘If you’ve ever played Duck Hunt or any of the other NES games that used the NES Zapper gun, you probably at one point or another wondered how the game actually knows where on the TV you are aiming the gun when you pulled the trigger. It turns out, the method for accomplishing this is incredibly simple, as is the gun itself.’


Source: Today I Found Out

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msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Co-founder, editor and writer at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter

 

 

Supanova Comic-Con and Gaming 2017: Melbourne

Can you believe that Supanova is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2017! Since it started in Sydney all those years ago as comicfest! entertainment expo, Supanova (as we lovingly know it these days) gets bigger and better every year.

This past weekend, Supanova Comic-Con & Gaming Expo came to Melbourne and it definitely did not disappoint. This year’s event at the Melbourne Showgrounds was markedly bigger than the last, which meant there was lots more to see and do, and a lot more space to move around in and meet up with fellow attendees.

We were wowed yet again by the brilliant cosplay on show and for the first time in Melbourne, we even got to play some retro games in the Epic Retro Gaming Lounge. And for those Supa-fans that wanted to check out some cool foam-based toy blasters, the Hasbro’s NerfHQ area was the place to be at to sample the Accustrike, their most accurate Nerf dart!

There were also lots of exciting screenings in the AnimeLab Theatre from hit shows like Sailor Moon Crystal, Terra Formars, Attack On Titan and Beyond the Boundary to name a few. There was also a special event screening of The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One at the Film Ink Theatre on the Friday. If you preferred to check out the seminars, then you weren’t let down, with a myriad of topics from well known artists and actors.

Oh yeah, Supanova always tends to pull in the big name film and TV actors, and this year they went all out by having David Boreanaz of Bones, Angel and Buffy The Vampire Slayer fame in attendance. For us, we were quite chuffed to see our childhood hero, Lee Majors – the Six Million Dollar Man.

If you didn’t get the chance to attend Suponova in Melbourne, then check out some of the pics we took from this most awesome event!

Michael Lanzer – The Puppet Creation Lab

First time Supanovians: Phil and Kristy!

1951 Queen of Hearts by Veldrath Custom Embroidery and Cosplay (Bree Frost)

Ms and Mr Ausretrogamer – we hope to see you all back at Supanova in 2018!

Grand Theft Auto: The Complete History

Come over to the seedy side of town as Slope’s Games Room’s Daniel Ibbertson dons his tracksuit pants and delves deep into the complete history of Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto!

If you have missed Daniel’s previous complete history videos, then do yourself a favour and hit this link!


source: Daniel Ibbertson

 


The Time Mattel Made A Pinball Machine

What the hell – Mattel made pinball machines? Well, A pinball machine! Yeah, that’s right, Mattel dipped their toe in the pinball market with their one (and only), Las Vegas Pinball!

We only ever associated Mattel with the Intellivision and our fave childhood action figures, Masters Of The Universe, so when we stumbled upon this anomaly, we thought we’d let the rest of you know (Ed: unless you all already knew!).

Before you get excited, Mattel Electronics’ Las Vegas Pinball was never intended for commercial use, hence why you may not have seen it at your local pinball parlour. The playfield is standard fare for a pinball machine of this vintage (the late 70s) – couple of pop bumpers, slingshots and four stand-up targets to keep you flipping.

The interesting part about this Mattel pinball machine is the ability to select one of three game versions (similar to modes on modern machines), Beginner’s Luck, Cool Hand or High Roller. Coupled with selecting the game version, Mattel also included a handicap switching system, allowing players to select a choice of  3, 4, or 5 balls for their turn at play. This feature allowed competing players to give any player a handicap advantage of one or two extra balls, if desired.

Mattel had another cool feature called Double Or Nothing, which could only be used once during a game – prior to shooting a ball into play, the player presses a button on the front of the cabinet to activate this option for that ball only. Then, lighting all four targets doubles the player’s score. Failure to light all four targets penalises the player of all the points earned on that ball. Sounds pretty cool to us!

Which ever way you look at it, this Mattel Electronics Las Vegas Pinball machine was quite nifty for its time – we just hope we find one in our travels so we can have a go!

Have you played this pinball machine? If you have, tell us what you thought of it on Twitter or Facebook.

source: IPDB