PixelatedArcade News


2022-03-16

The March Miscellaneous Mischief

Code, Books, and Squirrels

Welcome to March 2022! I don't have a particularly substantial update or review this month, but thought I would point a few things out. First is several PixelatedArcade code updates have been pushed live; some changes you won't notice as it's mostly backend administrative stuff, but I did finally enable sorting on game lists! It's a pretty basic feature and embarrassing it took this long to get in place. I've actually had the code in place for a while but not enabled due to some really poor performance; I finally resolved the performance issues so it's available now...

2022-02-10

Do Not Attempt To Adjust The Picture

Actually, DO Adjust It For These Games

Color monitors are ubiquitous now, but that wasn't so in the early days of computing. On early computer systems and game consoles where support for color displays was even an option, color was always achieved with various trade offs (usually as a result of limited amounts of RAM in order to keep prices low). Some computers simply limited the number of colors available at once; the Amstrad CPC and IBM PC with CGA let programmers set any pixel to any color, but no more than four colors at a time could be on screen (without clever programming that is). Many systems, including the popular Commodore 64, allowed more colors on screen at once with the catch that you couldn't just set any pixel to whatever color you wanted willy nilly; the screen was instead broken up into blocks, and within each block there could only be a limited number of colors (typically 2 or 4) depending on the resolution and computer. And finally, among this list of tricks to achieve color are systems that took advantage of artifacting in NTSC composite video. This oddball technique turned a flaw into an advantage to achieve more colors on the screen with the disadvantage being a loss of resolution and clarity...

2021-12-20

Happy Holidays 2021!

The PixelatedArcade 2021 End of Year Roundup

It's hard to believe, but another year is just about wrapped up! That means it's time for another end-of-year roundup as seems to be the tradition - essentially just a quick note to say thanks for checking in and hope you enjoy seeing all of the vintage games, both the good and bad ones. Overall 2021 seems like it may have been a slow year for adding new games, scans, screenshots, and more to the site, but it's been busy nonetheless. A big chunk of time was taken up by my Silpheed project, an attempt to envision what that game might have looked like had there been an arcade version. Other cabinets and props were built along with that as well. It's not always immediately obvious, but several updates to the PixelatedArcade codebase were completed as well in order to improve features, resolve bugs, and to overall make administration of the site easier...
2021-12-03

Silpheed: The Arcade Game (Sort Of!)

Re-Imagining a Classic in a New Format and Behind the Scenes

Have you ever wondered what Silpheed might have looked like had there been an arcade version of it? Most likely the answer is no; Still, I thought why not find out? It seemed to me like a natural candidate; the gameplay is arcade-like, the controls are simple enough to be picked up quickly, unless you're good a game only takes a few minutes, and the game even as a demo resembling an arcade game's “attract mode”; not at all unlike many arcade shooters! So, I embarked on a project to not only imagine what such a beast might look like but to actually build a complete, actual size, playable cabinet. Here are some photos and an overview of the final results...

2021-10-24

Authentic, or Fake?

Identifying Big Box Computer Game Shrink-Wrap

Are you into collecting vintage computer games? If you're here, there's a good chance you are! As prices continue to rise for games that are still in their original shrink-wrap, being able to reasonably spot games that are, in fact, not in the original manufacturer's shrink-wrap and were done by the seller or someone else along the line can save you a lot of money and frustration. So, how can you tell? Fortunately, there are often signs to look for! Classic PC game guru Trixter has put together an incredible video explaining how. I highly recommend checking out his YouTube video Authentic, or fake? Identifying Big Box Computer Game Shrink-wrap to learn more. The information has been thoroughly researched and not only explains how to identify legitimate shrink-wrap but includes plenty of background and historical information as well; check out the video description which includes chapter stop details if you don't have time for the full video and want to jump around. This is yet another invaluable classic gaming resource following his IBM PCjr Print Media Archival Project.
2021-09-11

Dragon Con 2021 Photoset

Cosplay Photos from This Year's Dragon Con and Interesting Stuff

It's been a busy summer here, and now heading into the fall we're keeping equally occupied. Not really a gaming related update this month, however for those interested this past week we returned from Dragon Con in Atlanta, GA and my photoset from the event is now up at PixelatedImages. Dragon Con is always a wonderful time, and after last year being cancelled due the pandemic it was truly great to be out and photographing again. In the meantime, a stack of games has been piling up here that needs to be scanned and uploaded...

2021-07-14

Welcome to Xenon

The Sounds of an Early Solid State Pinball Game

Released in 1980, Bally's Xenon broke new ground for pinball. Electro Mechanical machines were on the way out with the last EM game having been released just a year prior; Solid State became the new normal for pinball with hardware that allowed for more complex games, synthesized and/or digitized sounds, and an array of other features. Xenon was not the first solid state machine or the first with digitized voices, however it was the first to feature female voices. All of the music, sounds, and voices in the game were developed and recorded by synth pioneer Suzanne Ciani, and now you can hear her original recordings! A mini-album was recently released on Suzanne Ciani's Bandcamp page featuring all of the vocals, music, and sound effects she recorded during development of the game in their isolated form. This is a rare and fascinating look behind the scenes of a classic pinball game and is worth checking out...

2021-05-31

Introducing PixelatedArcade.gay

Fun Styles and Support for the LGBTQ Community

Greetings classic gamers! Just a quick update here; to celebrate pride month this year, PixelatedArcade would like to welcome you to check out pixelatedarcade.gay! The information is the same, but to show support for the LGBTQ community and just for some fun a few minor color and style changes are visible throughout the site; I had originally intended to add a little more, but time ran out. Also, 20% of all new registration revenue is donated to benefit LGBTQ nonprofit groups. Find out more at what is .gay?.
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