GIFs from Akira, the 1988 video game for Nintendo’s Famicom system

Last night I booted up Akira on an NES emulator and did my best to live-GIF the experience. Akira is one of my all-time favorite films and I remember hearing rumors of a 8-bit videogame version released in 1988, but it was only released in Japan for the Famicom. 25 years later, some volunteers worked their asses off to create an updated NES version of the ROM with english translations.

The game sucks. It’s filled with amazing pixel art and a really interesting (and at times experimental) chiptune soundtrack, but it’s downright painful to play without step by step instructions. It often requires clicking on an option that is hard to find (or off screen), or some convoluted sequence of clicks that require clicking on the same option a number of times even though the answers don’t change. At some point it briefly turns into a 1st person shooter, as you dodge bullets in the sewer, that’s super twitchy and kills you instantly, requiring a long slog through various dialogue options just to instantly die again. I hate this game so much.

But the graphics are incredible, so I captured a bunch of GIFs of the game’s best moments. You can download the ROM here and follow this guide for the best experience. FYI, I made it all the way to the final “boss fight” with Tetsuo and Kaneda before the game just glitched out. I’ll have to try another play through to get the ending animations, which I assume are beautiful.


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How to find me at Protospiel San Jose this weekend

I’ll be demoing my two newest board games, ROM and The Lonely Dungeon, at Protospiel San Jose this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. My personal goal is to get gage interest in the games and maybe even find a publisher for one of them. I’ll be running a raffle throughout the event and giving away one copy of each game after the event is over.

The event will be at Game Kastle in Mountain View and is free and open to the public. I’ll be sharing table #39 with Jamus Thayne, who will be demoing his cyberpunk adventure game while I’m away. Here is our schedule for the weekend:

Friday:
10-2 Doc
2-6 Jamus

Saturday:
10-2 Doc
2-6 Jamus
6-10 Doc

Sunday:
10-2 Jamus
2-6 Doc
6-10 Jamus

protospiel san jose table map in Mountain view

 

Demoing my new board games at Protospiel San Jose 2017

Many of you may know that I’ve been working on two board games for the past year, The Lonely Dungeon and ROM. After a ton of work, both of these games are nearing completion, so I’ll be heading down to Protospiel San Jose 2017 to demo what I have and get feedback from players. If things go well, I might even sell one of them to a publisher. If not, at least I’ll get some great feedback from players and maybe be ready to Kickstart one of these games.

If you live in the South Bay and love gaming, please come and say hi. You can see what games will be demoed here, and if you are interested, you mark yourself as interested in ROM or The Lonely Dungeon too.

 

Making progress on The Lonely Dungeon

The Lonely Dungeon is a tabletop game I started working on a couple years ago. I cranked out most of the game in a single afternoon and have spent most of the time since then working on the rule book. The rules themselves are fairly simple, but communicating them on paper has been a huge challenge for me.

I’ve been working really hard on the game this past week, mostly making changes to the rule book, and I think I’ve finally got it down. I’ve been to 4 game dev meetups in that time and each playtest gets better and better. In fact, I’ve just placed an order for my second game prototypes! It was a lot of work, but I’m really excited about how much better these changes are for new players.

The current plan is to bring this new version of The Lonely Dungeon to Protospiel San Jose, where I’ll be demoing the game to players and publishers. Then I’ll make some more art changes and launch the game on Kickstarter in May (unless it gets picked up by a publisher before then).

I’m looking for some folks to help me test this new version of the TLD. If you are interested, I’ve put a few copies up on TheGameCrafter.com for you to buy. These are the current cards, tiles, and rules. This MIGHT be your only chance to get the game, and I could really use some feedback.

I’ve been testing TLD out at several local meetups, here are some pics:

The Lonely Dungeon

My friend Allan playing a round of The Lonely Dungeon

The Lonely Dungeon