History of video games/Fantasy Computers
Introduction to Fantasy ComputersEdit
Portability of software has long been an issue for programmers, and video game programmers are no exception. Over time various technologies would alive these concerns, but some of the technologies developed to aid portability would lead to a new class of gaming platform: the Fantasy Computer. Conceived entirely in software, rather than in hardware, these programs offered a standardized software environment with fixed capabilities, much like the typical low end home computers and consoles of the 1980's.
Notable Fantasy ComputersEdit
Proto Fantasy Computers: Chip-8 & SCUMM VMEdit
Fantasy consoles have their roots in CHIP-8 in the 1970s. Similar environments designed specifically for interactive fiction would be seen with SCUMM and other software layers.
PICO-8 became perhaps the best known fantasy console in the 2010s. PICO-8 is noted for the forethought given to system limitations as a way of inspiring developmental creativity. The system notably has its own "cartridge" format, which are actually images containing the game code through stenography.
Among the most notable games for the PICO-8 is the original version of the award-winning 2D platformer Celeste, which was developed by Maddy Thorson and Noel Berry for a game jam. This was followed by Celeste 2 for the PICO-8 on January 26th, 2021.
TIC-80 is a Free and Open Source fantasy console that has similar restrictions to PICO-8. Its one of the most popular fantasy consoles due to its compatibility with a wide range of platforms and accessibility per gratis. Just like PICO-8, TIC-80 supports extraction of programs as cartridges in png and other formats.
By September 18th, 2016 version 1.0.0 of the open source LIKO-12 was released.
TEC Redshift PlayerEdit
An interesting example of a fantasy console is the TEC Redshift Player. Released as freeware by Zachtronics on September 25th, 2018, this companion console to the programming game Exapunks resembled a Game Boy with an additional button and red blue anaglyph stereoscopic support. Uniquely the console included a fictitious history, with parallels to real life Game Boy and Virtual Boy lines of consoles. The system used the same fictional programming language as the rest of Exapunks.
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- Pale, Patrick (10 November 2018). "Creativity Within Constraints: Having Fun with PICO-8". https://spin.atomicobject.com/2018/11/10/pico-8-review/.
- "P8PNGFileFormat" (in en). https://pico-8.fandom.com/wiki/P8PNGFileFormat.
- Byford, Sam (26 January 2021). "The original Celeste now has a sequel you can play in your browser" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2021/1/26/22249987/celeste-2-pico-8-sequel-available-now.
- Cryer, Hirun (January 26 2021). "Celeste Classic 2 is a challenging sequel to the PICO-8 original" (in en). gamesradar. https://www.gamesradar.com/celeste-anniversary-game/.
- Pistorio, Marco (September 2018). "Fantasy Console: TIC 80" (in Italian). Retro Magazine 2 (9): 20. https://archive.org/details/retro-magazine/RetroMagazine_09/page/20/mode/2up.
- "[LIKO-12 V1.0.0 An open-source fantasy computer made in LÖVE - LÖVE"]. love2d.org. https://love2d.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=82913.
- "We can now all play Exapunks players' in-game games for free" (in en). Rock Paper Shotgun. 26 September 2018. https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/exapunks-free-redshift-player-released.
- "EXAPUNKS: TEC Redshift Player on Steam" (in en). https://store.steampowered.com/app/948420/EXAPUNKS_TEC_Redshift_Player/.
- "Zachtronics's alternate 90s hacking sim Exapunks is out in early access" (in en). Rock Paper Shotgun. 9 August 2018. https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/exapunks-hacking-early-access-launch#more-577863.
- "'Exapunks' Is a Cyberpunk Hacking Game That Asks You to Print Your Own Zines" (in en). www.vice.com. https://www.vice.com/en/article/mb44dn/exapunks-pc-steam-game-review.
- "https://twitter.com/dhof/status/1428093313412915203" (in en). Twitter. https://twitter.com/dhof/status/1428093313412915203.
- Clark, Mitchell (19 August 2021). "Vine’s creator is now working on NFT blockchain video games" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2021/8/19/22632765/vine-creator-dom-hofmann-blockchain-video-game-nft-supdrive.
- "Vine's Founder Is Now Creating Blockchain-Backed Video Games". HYPEBEAST. 20 August 2021. https://hypebeast.com/2021/8/vine-founder-nft-blockchain-video-games-supdrive-dom-hofmann.