But I get ahead of myself. The name you're used to seeing here, especially when covering recent developments in textmode artwork, is that of Blocktronics, the ANSI art mega-group. They had a Hallowe'en release last month and it did not disappoint! By which I mean, it contained not just ANSI art, but some ANSI art on video game themes. Here, for instance, is a 3D Space Invader by Enzo:Mistigris also enjoyed a Hallowe'en artpack release, MIST1016. It featured no fewer than two pieces of spooky seasonal art inspired by Konami's vampire-slaying series Castlevania -- the first an ANSI art / HD photography mash-up experiment by Whazzit (who released many further similar pieces, fascinating despite being sans video game references, in the above Blocktronics pack). Here in a real-world church, an ANSI art Simon Belmont confronts an ANSI art Dracula, while ANSI art bats perch overhead. Basically, it's amazing. which you can play here. But there were other intriguing goodies contained therein... consider the following, from the prolific desk of Starstew: a turtle playing Yar's Revenge on an Atari 2600: making a tiny textmode re-implementation of earlier this year! the Creaking Planks. Players just saw these things as little icon thumbnails on an already-small mobile screen, but I'd been to their offices and seen the full-sized originals hanging in frames and knew that the players were missing out not ever to see Elin Jonsson's artwork at a reasonable size... or, as is the case, quite a bit larger than you'd ever want to see on your computer monitor! The first is "Forlorn", and the second "Paria":
Friday, 25 November 2016
Tuesday, 25 October 2016
Cooling this blog off was a bit painful since my last major spree -- the PD spelunking series that ran practically daily in July. I was reaching hundreds and indeed thousands of you, but only as long as I kept the pace up. Of course if I don't have new content for you, you have no reason to check in, and I can rest confident that when there IS an update, your RSS readers... oh, wait!
They get bigger and more colourful (thanks, RM! Making this in 2011 means it's a modern masterpiece of sorts!)...
and bigger yet... (by Korma of DFS)
OK, ok, let's move two years ahead to Namco's big splash, Pac-man. And to kick it off, another Deater ANSImation!
This Pac-man was devised an an exercise into adding colour into unix terminals:
Pac-Man might have had a little nibble of a Super Mario mushroom, as his size is undeniably increasing here (from the memberlist of the 50th Mimic collection)...
until finally Pac-Man assumes the humanoid proportions and appearance allowing him to shed his iconic incomplete-pizza role and become a charismatic hero players can identify with (an excerpt of a larger, less-video-gamic piece by Ewheat of Apathy):
Time marches onward, and delivers us to another hardened veteran from Namco's cohort: Bubble Bobble from 1986. Here's a monochrome ASCII rendition of one of the two dragons (with no colours to distinguish Bub from Bob, I'm sure at a loss) by Sudden Death of CiA...
... and here, a somewhat rougher ANSI version that nonetheless makes it painfully clear who is who (by Cleaner from a MicroPHusion artpack):
As for this party (by Aaon, also of iCE), I have no idea if they're adaptations of game art, or just another ad for the BBS using the game's name as its own, but here you have it!
And now we're firmly over the decade barrier and into the '90s (well, 1990 to be precise) with Toys for Bob's SF update of Freefall's Archon -- Star Control 1! This ANSI art adaptation of its wicked awesome box artwork is itself also wicked awesome (by the wicked and, presumably, awesome Black Knight of BAD.)
And in conclusion, a picture only Nootropic could bring to the table: a naked Spathi, unshelled:
And if that awesome game didn't end up taking over the world (though its developers, Toys for Bob, sure did end up making a mint with Skylands!), these 1991 successors came quite a bit closer: it's DMA's Lemmings! (OK, Lemmings didn't end up taking over the world also -- I think someone hit the "nuke" button -- but DMA's follow-up Grand Theft Auto sure did!)
I don't know why, but these first two screens, above (by KuoYen Lo) and below, feature appearances of Lemmings drawn within level layouts for Epic Megagames' textmode ZZT.
Oh No! More Lemmings! (Thanks for nothing, KP of iCE!)
and one more piece of Lemminging, by Abomination of Skill, before the main attraction...
And from Grim Fandango (1998, just one year later... yow!) -- the revolutionary skeleton Salvador Limones, drawn in Amiga-style ASCII by Hellbeard of Impure!
OK, there's your old-fashioned video game ANSI art grab-bag, just like this blogger used to crank out as quickly as he could!
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
Nettwerk in its earliest days enjoyed the scantiest of scenes around Skinny Puppy and Front Line Assembly, and sure, we hosted a couple of instalments of the "New Media" demoparty in the early '90s, and okay, we got raves filling our warehouses same as everyone else did, but basically... none of it ever amounted to much of anything! A few rooms full of people danced while whacked out of their gourds, but in the end things looked pretty similar to how they looked at the beginning.
So here we are in the 21st century and finally at long last those of us not living in New York, Berlin or Tokyo are beginning to have some options presented to us for public enjoyment of music that emerges from a SID chip or comes out of a Game Boy's beige housing. My old colleague bryface has been travelling the world as opportunity allows for the past few years, witnessing, networking with and learning from chiptune events and organizations all over the place, and I guess he's reached the point where he's concluded it might be nice to be able to enjoy a show without having to get on an airplane. I don't know if there is or is not any formal relationship organizing as high up as the Northwest Chiptuning Facebook group but for a hyper-local focus we can now look to the Vancouver Chipmusic Society to dish us all up a healthy serving of square, sine, and sawtooth waves (a static channel is extra, though.) (Do you think that they are an actually-registered society in accordance with the Societies Act of BC, with rules about membership and annual general meetings? We felt crazy when we registered our accordion community, which has to be at least as niche as chiptunes, but it was an essential step on the way to being able to tap into grant funding to support our activities. They can get away without registering for two or three years as long as they keep good financial records. But I digress!)
Øverfløw #000: Vancouver Chipmusic Showcase, over on Facebook. The featured live performers include Norrin_Radd, meckz, Fastbom, and that bryface character, plus Melodia (who just this week released a music disk of an hour and a half of .XMs thought lost forever in 1999!) and uɴɪᴄ⊙ᴅΞ (among others) will be audible as part of the open mic portion of the evening.
If you'd like more information and find my account of things a little too insider baseball, bryface did an interview on the subject for Roundhouse Radio and you can get another take on it over there. And now, I'll turn it over to their potted press release!
LIVE CHIP MUSIC | OPEN MIC | LIVE VISUALS | RAFFLES | MORE /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ADMISSION $12 online va EventBrite http://overflow000.eventbrite.com/ $15 at the door /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Introducing Vancouver's very own chiptune event series! Enjoy a night of live electronic musicians pushing the limitations of old gaming platforms' sound chips to create fresh music in a diverse range of styles - electro, pop, drum n' bass, metal, jazz, funk and everything in between. Experience the raw, crunchy waveforms of the NES/Famicom, Game Boy, Amiga .MODs, Commodore 64 SID tunes, and 16-bit SNES/Genesis-era samples pumping full-blast through the Fox Cabaret's pristine sound system. Prepare to have your expectations shattered repeatedly as these artists use and abuse these vintage platforms and formats in unexpected and forward-thinking ways. This special first installment of the show specifically highlights our locally-based talent - a killer lineup internationally recognized for their individual dedication to the craft of chip music and the low-bit arts. Join us in the celebration of new life given to vintage systems - this is definitely a night for tech/synthesis/gaming enthusiasts alike. // MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26th, 2016 // DOORS OPEN 7:30pm | MUSIC STARTS 8:00pm // $12 ONLINE/EARLY-BIRD | $15 AT THE DOOR | 19+ *** UPDATE SEPT. 8: *** The show has relocated slightly from the Fox Cabaret's Projection Room to the main stage! Huge thanks to the Fox for hooking us up with the extra space. /// MUSIC > NORRIN_RADD (Vancouver, BC) > 16-bit soundscapes + Retro City Rampage OST mayhem > MECKZ (Victoria, BC) > insane progjazzclassical NES/famitracker mastery > FASTBOM (Stockholm, Sweden) > demoscene/cracktro-style Game Boy / C64 anthems > BRYFACE (Vancouver, BC) > eclectic + progressive Game Boy electrofunkbreaks /// VISUALS: alterus (Victoria, BC)
Friday, 5 August 2016
Kirkman respectfully disagrees, by which he means that his local PD BBS community demonstrated a much healthier interest in sports than mine did:
I know every BBS scene was different, but I think there were plenty of sports fans calling BBSes, especially adults. Some BBSes ran “football pick-em” or “football pool” tournaments, for example. These were either run manually though the message bases, or managed by a door game. I participated in one on Flash BBS in St. Louis for a couple years.Case in point, here's a piece by "ANSI-Mation!" for a fantasy baseball message base: appearing somewhat stable today) was FOOTBALL, American-style. (I know, despite the Olympic hook I opened with, athletics and track & field events are basically totally unrepresented otherwise. Bait and switch! These are all pro league sports here today.) We'll start with some local appeal from the Seattle Seahawks. (Pixel Pompeii is based out of Vancouver, Canada; I could find no BC Lions ANSI art 8)
more interesting than I might have thought!) ANSI-alike needlepoint! My textmode art history is rigorous!) bill... missed opportunity!) - Mike Fuller used these TheDraw fonts to celebrate their conflict, and he wanted you to know it. Caucasians" jersey has been on the market for nine years now, but it's only just begun recently picking up steam... it's about time!) drawn by a name we've seen before in the PD ANSI sphere, George Ramos. (Whether Jr. or Sr. remains unclear!) Sid Meier's nautical video game.