Monday, May 19, 2008

Taking from the lolz, adding to the You Tubes

Foolish Paduwan puppy. There is no try. There is nom and there is nom not.

So after hunting around yesterday on the Internets to find out all I could about Ninja Golf, a project I was not involved in, I wanted to see if there was any proof that I ever wrote any games, and sure enough there is. In fact, on The You Tubes someone recorded himself playing Zenji, my personal favorite of all the games I ever worked on. Zenji was the last game of mine that was published where I deserve the credit/blame for everything on the screen, from the graphics to the music to the game design. The idea is that you control the little round face thing, and you roll around the maze and can change it by rotating the maze sections. The goal is to get the entire maze connected. Parts that are connected to the center are green, and parts unconnected are gray.

In later rounds there are little flaming things chasing you around and shooting stuff at you, but you can't shoot back. This is not because of any latent pacifism on my part. It's because there is only one button on the old Atari controller, and pressing the button meant you wanted to twist a maze piece.

Here is The You Tubes version.

The title of the song was Drunken Sailors Remind Me of Home. Probably more people have heard this little tune of mine than all the other songs I wrote put together. I think it works as a video game earworm, and I'm proud of the fact that there are changes in the song that reflect changes in the game.

It's like all thematic and stuff.


Padre Mickey said...

When I think of Drunken Sailors Remind Me of Home I remember all the takes I did trying to get the perfect recording of the wood-block for the percussion track on that song (which isn't on the Zenji version, but on the Matthew Hubbard, Popular Vocalist tape we made on the wire recorder all those decades ago).

I have an Activision cd-rom of their greatest hits for mac which includes Dolphin!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Did you work on the Kool-Aid Man game for this system? I remember playing it.

dguzman said...

So you did this game after you invented Atari and Nintendo, right?

Jess Wundrun said...

I think what Padre Mickey needed wasn't the woodblock but more cowbell.

I love the name of the song. It has a Warren Zevon thing going on.

Splotchy said...

Pretty nifty!

I was going to ask you the motivation for calling it "Zenji" then I found what looks to be the manual here:

Avoid desires and illusions, and carefully watch the time

Can you guarantee spiritual enlightenment with this game?!

Matty Boy said...

Padre: That's a musician for you. Other people say, "I remember the high school dance when that song played". Musicians say, "I remember trying to get that damned wood block right."

Dr. Monkey: No Kool-Aid game for me.

dg: I did all those things and so many more, I can't completely recall which I did first and which I did "right after" anymore.

Jess: In this song I was going for an Asian feel, but if I could write it all over again, I'd write Gai-jin Man by Nick Lowe.

I could have written a jillion great songs, but that Nick Lowe kept beating me to them! (To be fair, They Might Be Giants beat me to a few others.)

Splotchy: The name was marketing's idea. My working title for the game was Rotating Heads, ripped off from The English Beat tune, though my game tune has nothing to do with it.

Splotchy said...

A videogame named after a English Beat song? Be still, my heart! By the way, I think Twist and Crawl would be a wonderful game title as well.