Founding documents #9: Mock-ups are just mazes without walls (level up!)

RobotronX-gameplay

Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 5:46 PM
From: Joe Milazzo
To: eric lindley

Superb! Thanks so much!

I will continue tweaking and such. My eyeballs feel all crossed up, still, but maybe if I go read some Francis Ponge and then come back to the code…

These sprites are all sourced from vintage arcade games. I’m fascinated-slash-repelled by portrayals of endangered humanity from that era. It was a trope of the times that your role in the game was to ensure the survival of the race, whether against alien attack or from itself. But such games were never won, defeat was always inevitable, and it was never possible to feel any sympathy for the human representations that frustrated your real mission: to blow away as many enemies (pixellated; by proxy, your competition on the high scores board) as possible. Worst moment in DEFENDER: all the humans have been transformed into mutants, and your planet explodes spectacularly, leaving you with nothing to defend but yourself and your inexhaustible supplies of fuel / energy and arms.  But are you really human? In the game itself, you appear as a drone zooming across a vaguely lunar — post-nuclear? — landscape…

In any event, these old sprites still appeal to me as machine visions of the subject, i.e., they are just graphic doodled out by programmers somewhere, but, from the gamer’s experience, they really are what the enemy AI think of human beings — minuscule in evolutionary stature, gigantic in vulnerability, and mysteriously proliferate.

Enjoy your weekend,

JM
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Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 10:43 AM
From: eric lindley
To: Joe Milazzo

That’s beautiful—it’s like the time spent fighting is merely time bought to make amends with coming death.


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 3:13 PM
From: Joe Milazzo
To: eric lindley

Wikipedia sums it up well: “Jarvis and DeMar designed the game to instill panic in players by presenting them with conflicting goals and having on-screen projectiles coming from multiple directions… Robotron: 2084’s gameplay is based on presenting the player with conflicting goals: avoid enemy attacks to survive, defeat enemies to progress, and save the family to earn points.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robotron:_2084

The result is an intensely physical experience. Or an intensely cerebellum-centric experience.


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 3:29 PM
From: eric lindley
To: Joe Milazzo

And in 3d it remains just as disturbing and alienating, I’m pleased to say!



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