flipCode - Tech File - Nicholas Vining [an error occurred while processing this directive]
Nicholas Vining
Click the name for some bio info

E-Mail: vining@pacificcoast.net

   05/08/2000, Tech File Update

Just a quickie this time. I promise, the next time I write a techfile, it will be marvellously full of interesting crap, but I want to say this.

Something happened a while ago that made me reflect on just how long I'd been a game geek/programmer and the fact that I will always remain one. A while ago, I was looking through a pile of stuff to be thrown out, given away, whatever, when I happened to come across an item which made me reflect a bit.

It was a pair of Super Mario Brothers underwear that I wore, proudly, at the age of seven.

I think one of the reasons that I still have a lot of trouble adjusting to playing in three dimensions (my Quake skills leave much to be desired) is because I spent most of my youth playing in two. I grew up with the original Nintendo, and the original Super Mario Brothers/Duck Hunt combination cartridge. And boy, did I play it. I was fairly good, too... the original Super Mario was remarkably challenging, and a good test of dexterity for pre-adolescent fingers.

I waited eagerly and with baited breath for Super Mario 3 to come out, and sure enough, it did, and I begged, stamped feet, and pleaded for it, until eventually I got it. That thing had replay value. Every so often, if I'm feeling bored, I'll drag out the Super Nintendo, fire up Super Mario All-Stars (my original game for the NES no longer works without about fifty minutes of kicking and swearing) and whail away at it. I usually get to Plant Land before I give up. Compare that with a lot of games that I play today, where I don't get NEARLY as much replay value... even classics, like Warcraft II or Diablo.

All this 3D is hellishly sophisticated, and I have to admire it from that perspective. The mathematics behind it are complex and fascinating, and the images that it produces are gorgeous. That said, it's not everything... and occasionally, we lose track of what makes a game truly great. So, I leave you with a thought:

Let's make simple games that are fun to play.

-- Nicholas

  • 06/19/2000 - Tech File Update
  • 06/04/2000 - Being John Carmack
  • 05/08/2000 - Tech File Update
  • 04/11/2000 - Tech File Update
  • 03/07/2000 - Introduction

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