“Oh,” I thought. “This looks different…”

I had just embarked upon a new Roguelike adventure. On a whim, I had renewed my acquaintance with the rec.games.roguelike.announce newsgroup for the first time in an epoch, and lurking within were announcements relating to the usual long-standing suspects – epic saga ToME, fast-paced DoomRL, Rogue-with-mechs GearHead, classic Angband and its variants, and many others. But there were also lots of unfamiliar names, a testimony to the rate at which the Roguelike scene has expanded over recent times. Looking down the list, something drew me toward Brogue by Brian Walker – was it the clever name or the enigmatically plain description? Or was it just the fact it had an unusually solid-looking version number of 1.6? It’s impossible to say. Further investigation was required!

Brogue, a Roguelike game with style

I was looking at a typical ASCII dungeon of hash signs and dots. But this dungeon had colour, variety, and life – not the usual console window of decidedly 8-colour visuals. Yes, yes – not judging a book by its cover is all well and good, but there’s no harm in making a good first impression, is there?

“Cool – there’s plants that block my vision. Let’s try walking through them. Oh, they grow back! Perfect for hiding in! Neat. Wait up, what’s that over there? Oh hello there, mouse control – this takes me back to playing Larn on the Amiga!” Good first impressions indeed. But there was plenty more to surprise me…

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Greetings to you, gentle folk of the internet. I bid you welcome! Gather ’round, for ’tis time for a rather special Game Music Monday – one that includes a chance for you to win some sublime indie music! Today is the twentieth episode, meaning GMM is finally out of its teens and is fast coming up on the small but important landmark of six months of running. Since I don’t need all that much excuse to throw a party and have some celebrations, and as it’s Valentine’s day tomorrow, this seems like as good an occasion as any to give out free stuff!

I have a gift code for the recently-released Indie Game Music Bundle 2 burning a hole in my monitor. Can you give it a good home? It’s easy to enter yourself for the draw – just log in to YouTube and post a comment on the video containing the magic word “Gadzooks!”

The draw will be held tomorrow at 19:00 GMT, and the winner will be notified through a message to the YouTube account to which the lucky comment belongs. Good luck!

Now, to the video itself…

Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #20: Glyn R Brown – Firelord (Symphonic)

It’s another of Glyn R Brown‘s tremendous orchestral arrangements, this time based on an 8-bit score for the 1986 game Firelord by Ben Daglish. I love both versions, though the game itself was a particularly tough nut to crack and I never got anywhere close to finishing it. Artistic license is exercised to full effect in the later section of this remix but it is still unmistakably the same tune and is done to a very high standard.

I hope very much you enjoy listening – it’s one of the best remixes I have in my humble collection. Good luck, keep it retro, and see you again next week!

Just a heads-up to mention that there’s also a shiny new vlog to illustrate the current state of my pet code-thing-with-no-name. A little progress is better than none at all, yes? You’re welcome to marvel at the 38% reduction in coder art in the little rectangle of moving pictures below. Not only that, but as promised, the Unnamed Dejenol Project now has an at least semi-official working title – it took me the best part of several days to decide, and I’m still not particularly happy with the outcome, but heyho. Watch the video to be underwhelmed by my choice!

Lying ahead for Milestone 4 are things that are somewhat more interesting, and at the same time, also more dangerous: Equipment and combat. I have a feeling that this will involve brain-melting consideration of maths as I try and create some decent formulae to cope with chance-to-hit, damage dealt, and suchlike. Preferably ones that don’t rely quite so much on exponentials as the original Mordor did…

Greetings, traveller of the web! I bid you a warm welcome to another tuneful Game Music Monday.

Today we return to remixing through a choice that, somehow, I’m expecting to receive only a luke-warm reception. Despite being one of the more prolific arrangers out there in the last few years, Instant Remedy seem to be rather underappreciated. Hopefully I can persuade you to give them a look. If you like what you hear below, check out all of their productions over on their homepage – it’s well worth it!

Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #17:
Instant Remedy – Last Ninja – The Wastelands (Extended Version)

From the second those iconic ninja eyes fade into view the discerning viewer will recognise that the song I’ve picked is from 8-bit masterpiece Last Ninja. The Commodore 64 version was produced almost completely by a Hungarian team known as SoftView at the request of Mark Cale, the boss of System 3. They were never credited for it – allegedly at their own request – and nor were they paid for their efforts. Considering the success that their game enjoyed, this seems most unjust. For many it must feature high on list of the best games of all time, on any platform.

Enjoy the track and be sure to tune in next week for another trip back in time!

Guild Wars 2 logoTo mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year, ArenaNet have made an announcement that will surely set MMO gamers everywhere trembling with squeeish delight.

The latest post on the Guilds Wars 2 blog confirms that the waiting game is nearly over, confirming a full release for their eagerly awaited title some time in 2012. They also say that after a press-only beta next month, future testing events will be “aggressively ramped up” from March onwards. Cor! After five years of anticipation, it’s all starting to kick off!

Best get to polishing those applications, folks. It’s going to be one of the hottest tickets of the year…

Greetings and welcome once more, traveller, to another Game Music Monday!

Back in time we go, way back to the happy ol’ year of 1987 – a time when the Commodore 64 was in its heyday, Mastertronic was as close to a household name for budget gaming as you could get, and bedroom coders were busily programming their way towards innovating the next fantastic game.

It’s debatable whether Energy Warrior falls into the exact category of “fantastic”, but I’d say the music is more than good enough to deserve a listen. This is the original title theme as composed by Andy Grimson (according to Lemon, at least… and who am I to prove them wrong?).

Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #16: Andy Grimson – Energy Warrior

I particularly like the punchy start and creative use of unconventional drum sounds, and for me it ranks up there as one of the most memorable tunes of the C64 era. I wonder if the SID chip’s designers ever thought that three channels and some noise would be the source of such fond reminiscing all these years later…

Anyhow, I bid you farewell until next time, SID-heads!

Greetings again, gentle folk of the internet!

Here we find ourselves on another Monday full of dreariness and possibly even despair. But push whatever ails you out of your mind for just a few minutes and enjoy another retrolicious remixed track from two people you’ve probably never heard of before in your life! Apple is the fine person to have rearranged the original composition from Blair Zuppicich. And, er, no… we’re not talking about that Apple. Oh no. Certainly there are no apps or music playing devices in this post, except for the cunning Flash wotsit through which you can enjoy the tune on YouTube, right below these very words…

Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #15: Apple – Cybernetix

If the image wasn’t enough of a clue, let me tell you that this comes from an old but excellently polished Amiga title called Cybernetix: The First Battle. I seem to remember it being similar to Transplant – another game with great music that someone really needs to remix – in that all you had to do was kill all of the aliens in each level. In this game, however, there is no nausea-inducing screen rotation, just good ol’ fashioned wraparound horizontal scrolling. Pretty standard fare for 1992, really, but packaged up and presented quite professionally by the author, Paul Andrews. Some credit should also go to Rodney Smith for the game’s artwork.

Where are they now, eh? I will leave you to ponder that thought until next week’s thrilling episode! :roll:

Since developing Millenipede years and years ago I find that my method of coding hasn’t really changed all that much. I’m sort of surprised, but then I guess it’s like handwriting – although it may vary slightly over time, the basic style will stay the same. Because of this, I’m still programming myself into the same old corners by rushing to get something working instead of planning it out. Though I am acutely aware of its necessity, planning scares me because it’s dull, and dull things have made me abandon projects in the past.

Anyhow, the Unnamed Dejenol Demake Project has reached its second milestone and was considerably more work than I expected – I hope this doesn’t set a trend! As the project is still moving forward steadily enough I want to spend a little more time blogging about my progress than I’ve done with my other projects in the past. Yet this is also a slightly scary event, considering I can’t guarantee the project will ever see the light of day, and I’m wary of getting people’s hopes up (even the whole 2 of you who may be at all interested in this ;)). Maybe the aura of disappointment I spun at the cancellation of Return to Dejenolnngh, there, I said it – has made me too cautious…

Ultimately, though, what’s the point of hobby-coding if you can’t gush enthusiastically to the world about what puny triumphs you’ve made? It’s about time I started dishing the dirt on what this project might become, and based on past experience and my current level of experience, what features it will and will not have.

Click through the break and let us begin a journey through a +1 wall of text!

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