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About GameSetWatch

GameSetWatch.com is the alt.video game weblog and sister site of Gamasutra.com. It is dedicated to collecting curious links and media for offbeat and oft-ignored games from consoles old and new, as well as from the digital download, iOS, and indie spaces.

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New Donkey Kong Intellivision Release Is 'The Way It Should Have Been The First Time'

July 26, 2011 11:00 AM |

It being before my time, I had no idea there was so much unrest over Coleco's Intellivision port of Donkey Kong. Programmer Carl Mueller Jr. breaks down the dissatisfaction of the early '80s Intellivision gamers:

"It has been debated over the years if Coleco deliberately released a poor version of Donkey Kong to make the Intellivision appear inferior to its own Colecovision. After seeing games released by Imagic, it was obvious that the Intellivision could produce smooth, colorful graphics. But the question then became -- how good could Donkey Kong have been?"

Mueller has answered that question with the release of Donkey Kong Arcade, a homebrew Intellivision edition of Nintendo's classic game that he's worked on since 2002. He promises that this version is "the way it should have been the first time".

"Donkey Kong Arcade makes the Intellivision shine," boasts the programmer. "It contains all intermissions, and all four arcade levels, with the added bonus of being able to play as different characters - each with their own strengths and weaknesses!"

The game will ship in late August, but you can preorder here by signing up for the mailing list. Donkey Kong Arcade is priced at $50 before shipping, and will include a copy of the game, a manual, and a box/controller overlays with new art from Oliver Puschatzki.

[Via revolutionika]

M.Bison's Shadaloo HQ Is The Raddest Secret Base Ever

July 23, 2011 3:00 PM |

Versus City doesn't recall where it found this blueprint of M.Bison's base for his Shadaloo crime syndicate, so it's likely this isn't canon, but one can't help but marvel at this amazing island that the dictator has created.

In just the cropped image above, you can see that he's created a sort of Mt. Rushmore-esque sculpture for his own face, plus those of of Sagat, Balrog, and Vega (with mask). And there's a big dish set up to communicate with a satellite bearing a giant skull and skeleton arms!

In the full image below (click for a larger version), you can see Ryu and Chun-Li crying over the fact that they'll never have a base as awesome as this. Right next to Chun-Li, there's several floors containing a shopping mall, a caeteria, a jogging course, and an arcade.

And check out the conference room underneath the fighting stadium, which has trap chairs that fall into a crocodile-filled pool! Next to that, there's an emergency space shuttle, a secret factory, an electric brain control room, refinery, rest room, and even a hot spring.

Dwarf Fortress' Tarn On Angry Birds, Minecraft In NYT Profile

July 22, 2011 3:00 PM |

The New York Times just published a splendid profile of Bay 12 Games' Tarn Adams and Zach Adams, the brothers behind cult-favorite PC game Dwarf Fortress -- if you have a love for super complex but extremely rewarding sims, you really, really need to play this game.

In the piece, you learn quite a bit about the brothers' personal lives, from Tarn's struggles in trying to pursue a career in math, to his youth spent programming video games and making Star Trek parodies with his dad's camcorder.

Tarn also comments on indie darling Minecraft, which the article describes as "a more user-friendly version of Dwarf Fortress". Though the popularity of Mojang's Minecraft has sent new players to Dwarf Fortress, writer Jonah Weiner sensed some bitterness there:

"Still, in the only moment I heard him speak with anything like bitterness, Tarn called Minecraft a "depressing distillation of our own stuff." He paused, adding more magnanimously that the game 'has its own things going for it.' The problem, he concluded, 'isn't with Minecraft so much as it's with society."

Tarn was less kind to games like Angry Birds or Bejeweled, which the Dwarf Fortress creator called "abusive" in their attempts to trap players' attentions with addictive loops of frustration and gratification, presented with the pretense that you need skill to win:

"Many popular games tap into something in a person that is compulsive, like hoarding, tthe need to make progress with points or collect things. You sit there saying yeah-yeah-yeah and then you wake up and say, What the hell was I doing?

You can call that kind of game fun, but only if you call compulsive gambling fun. I used to value the ability to turn the user into your slave. I don't anymore."

You can read the entire profile on the NYT's website, which also goes into the appeal of Dwarf Fortress, the game community's intense devotion, and Tarn's super unhealthy diet.

Comic-Con Time With the Raroos: 2011 Edition (Part 2)

July 22, 2011 12:00 PM |

Street Fighter X Tekken X Raroo

[GameSetWatch columnist Mister Raroo and his family continue their report on San Diego Comic-Con International with a chronicle of the first full day of the convention. If you missed it, be sure to check out their account of Preview Night. Look for more updates from the Raroos in the coming days.]

We don't usually bother standing in line to get autographs because, well, standing in line is pretty boring and there are much better things to go. But in the case of having a chance to meet Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada and Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono, we lucked out in timing because the line was short, and it only took a couple minutes to get to the front.

It was cute to see that Ono had his little Blanka figure with him, which seems to travel along with Ono wherever he goes. Ono seems like a pretty happy guy. I bet it would be fun to party with him. And by "party" I mean enjoy my famous baked-from-scratch cookies while we play video games together. That's pretty much my idea of partying.

Hoarders Spotlights Arcade Collector

July 20, 2011 5:00 PM |

My wife and I love watching Hoarders (and Intervention, of course), the A&E series about people trying to overcome their compulsive hoarding and clean up their extremely cluttered homes, just for that "Holy crap, that's crazy; thank god that's not us" feeling you get from these programs.

And some of the items the featured people hoard are just demented, like rats, creepy dolls, and lots and lots of trash. This week's episode of Hoarders isn't as disturbing as some, but it features a topic that's relevant to what we cover here: pinball machines, arcade cabinets, and other amusement machines.

Many would argue that Randy 'Mr. Fascination' Senna is simply a collector, but it looks like his collection has gotten out of hand. From the episode synopsis:

"Randy's boardwalk memorabilia collection fills a 20,000 square foot building and numerous tractor trailers. Room after room of pinball machines, signs, games, toys, tickets, and hundreds of mannequins modeled after Randy himself. He's spent millions on his fantasy world known as Randyland -- but it's never been open to the public. Now he must figure out how to make money from his hoard or go broke and lose everything."

You can watch the full episode with Randy (and another hoarder named Vicky) here. And after that, you mgiht want to check out this trailer for a documentary someone is making about Randy and his struggles with the arcade museum.

[Via Arcade Heroes]

The Hand Eye Society Announces The Difference Engine Initiative

July 19, 2011 9:00 PM |


As part of The Hand Eye Society's continuing efforts to diversify and empower Toronto's various video game communities, as well as to inspire those elsewhere, The Difference Engine Initiative has just been announced. Two game making incubators will take place in the coming weeks, the first in August-September, and the second in October-November. The initial focus will be female game makers.

Both incubators will have a maximum of six participants, who will attend a weekly three-hour session for six weeks. Each with work with various tools that do not require any programming experience, receive feedback and support from those with experience, plus most enticing of all, "a peer-mentorship atmosphere that has more in common with crafting circles or writers' groups than a traditional classroom setting."

Along with the sessions are required assignments that should take between two to four hours to complete. Once the incubation period has passed, each participant will get the chance to present the game they created all by themselves at a gathering of fellow Toronto based game creators. Needless to say, anticipation over the fruits of such an initiative is already quite high. Hopefully it will be a success and other similar communities across the globe will attempt something similar.

[Via The Hand Eye Society]

To Everyone's Amazement, Go Vacation Looks Kind Of Awesome

July 19, 2011 3:00 PM |

It is 2011, and we've all come to expect that third-party minigame collections on Wii are, for the most part, junk. So, when Namco Bandai announces a title like Go Vacation, which seems to revisit motion-based activities that other games have explored before.

But watching the game's trailers, it looks like a quality title with the polish of Wii Sports Resort, but with fifty different minigames to check out instead of just a dozen. It also has an open world presentation, allowing you to explore its island/resorts for new activities.

After the break, you can see more of Go Vacation's 50 minigames, including dog sledding, jetskiing, diving (very Endless Ocean-esque!), surfing, rollerblading, and more. Namco Bandai will release the title here this fall -- late considering the summer vacation theme!

Shanghai Game Jam Kicks Off July 22

July 13, 2011 3:00 PM |

Organizers for the Shanghai Game Jam have announced that the two-day IGF China-sponsored event, which invites attendees to join a team and rapidly prototype a game in 48 hours, will start on July 22.

As with similar game jams hosted around the world, participants will build a video game from scratch, using hardware and other development materials they provide themselves. They also have the option of creating non-digital projects like board or card games.

The game jam begins on at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 22, and attendees will be given time to sign in, socialize, and possibly form a group before the event's theme is revealed. After that, teams will have 48 hours to build a game that they will present to their peers at the contest's conclusion.

It is recommended that developers partner with strangers -- organizers will reward outstanding games built by teams made up of strangers with Tutorials & Summit Passes for GDC China 2011 (valued at 1500 RMB/$232).

The free event is open to anyone, regardless of experience or expertise, though the venue can only hold 50 participants. Those who sign up now at Shanghai Game Jam's official site will be able to guarantee a spot at the competition.

Shanghai Game Jam is hosted by iOS developer Coconut Island and sponsored by The 3rd Annual IGF China competition - part of UBM TechWeb's Game Network, as is this website. IGF China's organizers encourage developers to submit their Shanghai Game Jam titles to its own contest afterward.

Chinese developers around Beijing will have a similar event they can participate in, Game Jam - 2011 Summer Beijing, which also begins on July 22. More information is available at local independent gaming news site Doujin Game.

Game Developer Debuts Free 2011 Game Career Guide Issue

July 11, 2011 7:00 PM |

For the fourth year running, Game Developer magazine's annual Game Career Guide issue -- which aims to help students and aspiring developers secure a job in the game industry -- will be given away for free.

This special issue is now available in digital form for free, and includes over 100 pages of content targeted at those interested in sinking their teeth into game development.

This year's Game Career Guide builds upon the success of the 2010 issue, which saw more than 300,000 online page views from more than 37,000 people, and was physically distributed to over 30,000 people worldwide at major video game consumer and trade shows, including Penny Arcade Expo, GDC, and more.

The 2011 Game Career Guide includes a helpful tutorial on how to make a basic 3D game in Unity, and provides a detailed breakdown of the essentials of pixel animation. Also included is a feature on AI pathfinding, with diagrams and examples that should help beginners wrap their heads around the basics.

In addition, the Game Career Guide issue will provide a version of Game Developer's handy salary survey, which offers a comprehensive breakdown of entry level jobs in professional and indie game development.

Today Show: Gamers Over 30 Are 'Weird'

July 11, 2011 1:00 PM |

"Do you think it's okay for men to play video games in their 30s and over?" asks Today show viewer Elizabeth in a note sent in recently for the program's segment with TV personality Donny Deutsch, The Other View: Getting A Guy's Perspective On Love.

Ignoring that the average age for a gamer is 37 years old, according to a report from the Entertainment Software Association, Deutsch says it's not okay: "When you're in your 30s, there should be something more on your mind or attention than video games."

Kathie Lee Gifford, the oldest member in the group discussing the topic (she was born in 1957, and was likely too busy hunting woolly mammoths to bother with video games in her youth), also eloquently voiced her distate for older gamers by adding, "That's weird... Xbox."

Deutsch, Gifford, and Hoda Kotb all agree, though, that it's alright if you're playing video games with your kids. See, they're just talking about the "those weird ones in the basement" here.

[Via Orion Pimpdaddy, who you can see in the skies on a clear night, bedecked with a purple hat and cane]