Friday, 9 September 2011

Amiga game playthrough videos

There weren't many Amiga games available in my New Zealand home town. The few that made it there, were too expensive or unappealing. There were many games in the computer magazines (which were readily available) which I wanted to play but was unable to. These days people play through (AKA longplay) the old computer games, record it in their entirety and then upload it to YouTube. This gives me a chance to see what the games had to offer, without having to invest the time myself.

Link: Recorded Amiga Games.
Link: Longplays YouTube channel.


Castle Master:


There's actually a lot of playthroughs for games for other platforms, even recent games. Gives me a chance to experience the best parts of a game without wasting time and money to find out if it was worth it. Not that I would have played them anyway.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Gucun Park

Getting off the metro at the Gucun Park stop I needed a drink badly, having eaten the Starbucks' mooncake earlier and it being a hot and muggy day. Unfortunately, the only thing nearby that wasn't a building under construction was Gucun Park. Since I was there, I decided to check it out. In the worst case scenario I would be able to buy something cool to drink.

The subway entrances were surrounded by typical buildings under construction. You can see finished buildings further down the road away from the park.

2011-08-21 - Gucun Park - 01 - Entrance surrounds

The sign was the only reason I knew the park was there. All the other buildings except for the ticket office were empty and had not been touched since construction.

2011-08-21 - Gucun Park - 02 - Entrance sign

The ladies in the ticket office didn't speak English, but told me that a ticket was 20 RMB.

2011-08-21 - Gucun Park - 03 - Ticket office

You hand your ticket to another lady at the gates. It looks like they're set up for reasonable sized crowds, but maybe that's forward looking given the circumstances.

2011-08-21 - Gucun Park - 04 - Entrance

This sign made it clear that apart from snack shops, there wasn't anything worth seeing here for me. So I headed right to the nearest snack shop. Actually, the park is still under construction and the right-hand side of it is the least constructed part of it. I would have found the biggest snack shop almost immediately if I had headed left instead.

2011-08-21 - Gucun Park - 05 - Sign

The park is mostly full of grass, trees, lakes, gardens and water features.

2011-08-21 - Gucun Park - 06 - Lake

Bridges lead between the different "islands" the park is separated into.

2011-08-21 - Gucun Park - 07 - Bridge

Walking around the dead and unpopulated part of the park it felt wrong. It took me a while to realise why. It is because every single tree in the park has these supporting struts, if not more. They stand out and overly obscure the view.

2011-08-21 - Gucun Park - 08 - Trees

There was no snack shop at the first location so I headed on to the second. I completely passed that by without being able to find it and then found this sign which told me I had passed it too.

2011-08-21 - Gucun Park - 09 - Directions

Backtracking 100 meters, this was it. One of many empty buildings.

2011-08-21 - Gucun Park - 10 - Unfinished snack shack

You can hire bicycle carts which set up to four people. I think this means that if you're driving one of those you shouldn't loiter on the bridge.

2011-08-21 - Gucun Park - 11 - Another bridge

An indication of how much construction there is in the area.

2011-08-21 - Gucun Park - 12 - Construction skyline

There are plenty of these seats around the park. I went up to one and knocked on it and got a solid metal clunk back. I think they're cast out of steel.

2011-08-21 - Gucun Park - 13 - Metallic faux-wood seat

I eventually after walking right around the park found this snack place. The foliage prevents me from getting a direct shot. You can rent boats there and.. boat your way around the greenish waters. If I recall my own childhood, we could also swim in lakes at parks like this. But I don't think you could do that here.

2011-08-21 - Gucun Park - 14 - Obscured snack shack and boat rental place

After that was a carnival area and lots of different kinds of gardens. There was a large barbeque area in front of the large snack shop near the exit which was mostly empty, instead all the families were cluttered under the large shop veranda out of the grey sky "sun". The pictures actually make the sky look blue, but that's misleading.

I bailed and cut across the park using one of the many paths. Like most experiences in China I got the "Hello! Hello!" and so for forth yelled at me after I passed, as some Chinese people tried out the only English they knew. Eventually I passed this river where several men were fishing.

2011-08-21 - Gucun Park - 15 - Fishing near exit

Seems like a nice enough place to go to if you have a family and want to go somewhere spacious (at least at this time when it is still in development), green and in the city. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone else though.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Amiga cracktro remakes

In the local city newspaper, there used to be pirated games advertised for sale. Send a disk with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and you'd receive a catalogue back on disk. Or so I heard, there was a guy in town who I knew who had started up his own business like this and gotten a call warning him from the piracy police. One of the things on these pirated games disks were these cracktro things.

There's a community now, Retro Remakes, where people recreate these with versions that run on Windows. The forum hosts competitions with demo effect related challenges, and people discuss how to recreate the various effects.