Home > Dataleak, Gaming, Random Picks > The 8 and 16-Bit Revival lives!

The 8 and 16-Bit Revival lives!

I know what you think! And you are right! I’ve been absent for a while again from here but there are reasons for it. I’m working on a bigger scale personal Flash Project since shortly. As soon as I can tell more about it I will open a Flash category here to post more of Flash things like news about the project, actionscripting tips and code snippets which might be useful!

More and more people becoming something like a Retro-game-developer which is good news! It seems recently even the now young generation loves to play videogames that have an age of 10 years and beyond. Today’s games come with high class super realtime rendered 3D graphics and cinematic atmosphere but still the games from yesterday keep their spirit. I believe the reason for this comes a lot from the fact that the simplified graphic of old games allows more room for one’s own fantasy. While today’s high class 3D games look good while you play them (a decent hardware assumed), classics from the 8 and 16bit era look always good – in a gadget-likewise way.

Groups like LucasFanGames remake old classics like Maniac Mansion or Zak McKracken in a better looking PC version. Others continuing the saga of once popular games and design their own creations like Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth. Nintendo re-releasing several of their classics like Super Mario, Zelda or Donkey Kong for the Gameboy Advance – with original graphics, sounds and gameplay! You could say videogame nostalgia is omnipresent popular!

Also now the creation of ‘low-res’ games came closer to people who are not professional game developers but single people or maybe small teams of 2 or 3. Not only with game development kits that can be downloaded on various websites but also in the all-available Flash format! Sites like Coffee-Break-Games.com prove that it’s not impossible to develop games who have excellent pixel graphics and a flawless gameplay. I recommend you, while you are there, to play a session of Mecha Patrol, Succubus or Take Off! Many Flash games on the web using the Flash native vector graphics style which is a pitty and give many games a poor look. Coffee-Break-Games proved that good pixel style also is a way to go in Flash game design.

It’s almost similar like it was to C64 times where programmers like Andrew Braybrook made the graphics, coding and often the sounds all by themselves in famous games like Alleykat, Paradroid or Uridium. (Can you believe it? He gave up game programming in the mid-90ties and started working for an insurance company. I mean what the…? I’ve imagined such skilled people nowadays work in the inner departments of game and software driver manufacturers!)
Well, you had to know Assembler to that time but if you are masochistic enough you still can optimize your Flash Games with Flasm, the Flash Assembler!


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  1. May 14th, 2006 at 01:29 | #1

    The old games programmers had a lot of talent, having to do as you say everything themselves – and they usually managed to eek out every last ounce of power out of a machine, and make the game addictive also.

    Modern games programmers tend to do very little in the way of coding, these days they often just use pre-written game engines to make the games. Plus they dont seem to have the addictive factor of old games, not to mention they take ages to learn.

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  2. May 14th, 2006 at 01:30 | #2

    That’s true! Though somebody also have to write these game engines. But yes I agree that previous game programmers were something like wizards of the machines while today due to the change of operating systems such ‘wizardry’ isn’t needed anymore.

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