Category: Video Game Events

AGDQ2018 or How I stopped worrying and learned to love Speedrunning

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Zerst going for that high score

After not getting tickets to SGDQ in 2017 I made a point of doing my best to give it all I got and put my bid in to get a ticket to the January event. When I actually got tickets, I kind of sat there in my chair and thought, “OK, I got in. Now what?” I thought that because I had no real idea what games were going to be played or if any of my friends’ runs would be accepted. I had to give it time and wait. I waited too long and missed out on a chance to get a hotel room on site so I was forced to book an Air BnB a bit off-site just to sleep.

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The Cool Club at AGDQ 2018

I keep hearing people say “GDQ’s were better before 2013” or something to the effect. I can’t speak to that as I was only watching those at home and not at the event itself. I would safely say being there has its own set of advantages as well as negatives. However, GDQ’s are events that are designed to celebrate Speedrunning and working towards raising money for a selected charity. They really don’t have anything else behind the scenes that you would find at a regular convention because the event is the main draw. So there were really no artist alley or merch booths that you would expect at other cons. There was a booth set up that focused on the charity itself so you could learn more about where your donations were going and if you wanted to keep supporting the charity they could give you more information. Nice.

A wild Omnigamer and PJ appeared!

Pho time with Omnigamer and PJ

I checked into the event on early Sunday morning and since I was travelling alone I asked PJ very nicely to meet up with me at the event so I wouldn’t feel as awkward waiting for my Air BnB to be ready later on in the afternoon. He totally didn’t have to, but he said yes and because he & Omnigamer were kind enough to let me tag along with them for a few hours I gave out a bunch of PJ stickers I had lying around from when I made him the Feature Streamer in my Dank Zine. I had no run in for this event and besides seeing a few choice runs I was mainly there to find people to write about. I had my own agenda and it involved Zines, burgers, beer and watching a lot of games.

One of the important things I wanted to do that week was to catch Aquas’ run as I always try to watch his stuff when I am at home watching this event and seeing it in person would be a great kick. His run was around 8 am on Monday and Mr B & I both woke up early to go to the event with him. We met up with one of Aquas’ streaming friends Figbird and to our excitement Aquas said it was alright for all of us to sit on the couch for his run. First GDQ & already on the couch. I was glad I was as Aquas made a very touching speech before his run about his dad who passed away because of Cancer and he wanted to dedicate his run to him. I kept getting so many alerts on my Apple Watch during this that I just switched it to Do Not Disturb for an hour so I could focus better on his Contra III run. Lots of you were all tweeting “I see you on the couch!” Which was very nice, but since I had one of the best views in the house I didn’t want to comment till it was over. Aquas had a very good run, it wasn’t deathless, but it was still something to watch as this guy plays like a beast when he needs to bring it. Check out the video from the event:

My time was spent hanging with people, being social, and playing games in the set up arcade that was on site. There was no pinball this year which was kind of depressing, but there was a Neo Geo multi-cart in the room which I sat on most of the time with my pal Zerst and together we clocked in a lot of hours on Money Exchanger. Zerst also got the Donkey Kong 3 machine to its max score which was fun to watch as I love that game myself and it is always exciting to see someone master a game you like. I also met up with a few of my friends from Macaw45’s chat to play a bunch of dank games in the practice room and this C64 that my buddy Dana had going with an everdrive. Let’s say that when we had the C64 going we put a few good hours playing around with the games on that.

It was really exciting to see my friends up on stage playing games when it came too their runs. PJ managed to break an arcade button in the middle of his Battletoads run which could only be described as “PJ’s dumb luck”. He had a backup planned and it only took him a few moments to switch over to a backup (what a backup? Yes if you know PJ….). It was also really fun to watch The Mexican Runner play the rocket ship part in Battletoads for NES blindfolded. There’s always going to be a few blindfolded donation incentives and I didn’t want to miss this one as it’s known for being extremely frustrating even without a blindfold. I have huge respect for TMR as he played every NES game as part of a challenge and that meant playing all the Powerpad games. If you know me I love the powerpad and try to stream it as often as I can and knowing someone else actually beat Street Cop gives me hope that I can do it too. I also saw Zallard1 do his amazing Two-Punchout One Controller challenge. Fellow streamer Omnigamer helped out and rigged up this splitter that would help him use one controller to beat both games at once.

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Zallard1 who played Starfox2 and Punch Out & Super Punch Out at the same time

Please when you share these runs don’t use click-bait tactics like “Some Dude just killed Contra” but share links properly as in “Watch The Mexican Runner play Battletoads blindfolded” as its more about the player and less about the game itself at these events. I was also reading a lot of game devs upset with people who were using words such as “this game is broken” to describe certain manipulations and taking offence to it. I can’t say that for all games, but having see some of the codes from some of my most favourite games I would be safe in saying that not all games are broken, but having broken mechanics and code in a game does make the game more easy to be manipulated hence why they can use glitches to a speedrun advantage. I can think of many fan translations projects my friends worked on where they had to clean up the original source code and fix game ending bugs left in the code itself simply because a game was rushed into development to make a sales date. I’m not saying all games are like that, but I also don’t put any game up on a pedestal of perfect coding either. Even great paintings have mistakes in them and it is those mistakes that we as players love/hate to our advantage.

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The Dank Zine core staff: Aquas, AnnK, Lady Te and trap15 (as JJ Squawkers)

The BEST thing about the entire trip was finally meeting up again with Lady Te who I hired to edit my Dank Zine. We’ve known each other before the Dankness set in, but this was the first time we have met up face to face since she’s been staff. I was able to get a very rare staff photo of Aquas, myself and Lady Te and hopefully one day we will be able to get trap15 in there as well. That’s pretty much the core Dank Zine staff right there and I am lucky to have these wonderful people in my life. My little zine has really grown in just under a year and now I have people who contribute to it all over the globe so it makes me getting a photo with everyone harder. I hope that in the future when my zine gets bigger I can start actually traveling to these places and meet everyone.

Overall it was a great time and I was happy to meet up with a bunch of people I have only known thru Twitch, chats and over the internet. Maybe when I get things figured out I’ll work on my fishing game and see if it’s something I want to submit and if its something people would like to see at an event such as this. In the meantime I’ll be hard at work making Dank Art, Dank Zines and trying to give back as much as I can to the retro gaming community.

Updates & AGDQ Fun

I am at AGDQ this week to help support Aquas and all my other friends as they raise money for Cancer Prevention! Stay tuned for a HUGE post about what I have been up to at the event and also what I have planed for my Dank Zine in 2018. I have been very busy here on my trip to America and one of the best part of this event is finally meeting friend from streams & chats face to face. Stay tuned for a HUGE AGDQ Dank Art dump and few other surprises :3

1CC Marathon this Weekend

This weekend make sure you tune in to catch some of the action with the 1CC Marathon where a selected group of top players will challenge themselves to get 1 credit clears in their selected arcade game. I’ve been tuning into this event for the past 3 years and discovered a lot of my favourite Twitch streamers from it.

The posted schedule is here

 

B3556D6F-DAD4-4263-8D5D-03D561A53E0DI sat down with players Pasky, zuq_, Neo_Antwon, and Chuboh who are participating in the event this weekend for an article in my Eighth Issue of my Dank Zine. You can check it out here:

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AnnK: How long have you been running the 1CCMarathon?

Pasky: I’ve been running the ‘1CCMarathon’ for roughly two years now. The first one took place in November 2015 and the second event occurred in October 2016. The upcoming event will be happening on November 10th through the 12th of this year.

AnnK: Do you organize this event on your own or do get help from other people? If yes, who else makes up your 1CC crew?

Pasky: I handle the administration of the entire event myself. This includes creating the game submission form, processing the submissions, scheduling the event, communicating with the participants to get them set up, preparing the format of the stream (stream layout, wait screens, etc…), and, of course, streaming the event itself. I’ve always been a believer in the saying, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”

AnnK: Why do you put on a big event like this?

Pasky: Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it big, but it’s truly a labour of love for me. There’s no monetization involved, it’s not advertised everywhere I go, and I’m not looking to get any sort of recognition out of it. I enjoy holding this event because I’m a huge fan of watching high-level gameplay and it’s extremely exciting to me to see top players complete their respective games in a live setting.

When you watch the completion of a difficult game on Youtube, for example, it’s pretty cool but that player basically has an infinite amount of chances to get it correct; he can simply reset the game and restart the recording. Now give that player a live audience, put a spotlight on them, increase the pressure, and allow them to show off all the skill they have accumulated, giving them only one chance to complete the game to receive that recognition and you have a recipe for excitement.

There are a lot of players that are relatively unknown on Twitch but are extremely good at the games they play, or perhaps they don’t normally do them in live settings. This event allows these players to exhibit their skill to a broader audience, so more people can appreciate it. It is for these reasons that I enjoy putting this event on.

AnnK: What are some of the challenges you face when planning an event like this?

Pasky: Where do I begin? I’d say the first challenge is to determine what games to accept in the marathon. There are many factors when considering this, such as if a game was played in a prior year, if it is entertaining, and things of that nature. Another challenge is scheduling players, as there are so many time zones and scheduling constraints to work with and there are people on entirely different continents that I need to work around. There’s also the issue of streaming the marathon itself, making sure everything is properly functioning while making sure the next player is set up while keeping tabs on the current run. You’d think an online event would be an easy gig, but it can be quite stressful ensuring everything runs smoothly for the players and the audience, especially when you’re dealing with factors out of your own control such as Twitch server errors and things of that nature.

AnnK: Why focus on 1CCs?

Pasky: Well, arcade games in particular are known for being much more difficult on average than your home console released games. The odds are usually against the player and unfair situations are placed upon them because these games were designed to make money for arcade operators, so to generate revenue, ending credits forced players to pay if they wanted to play again. Particularly in the United States, arcade companies usually pushed regional differences to make the game even more difficult than the original Japanese release to encourage credit feeding, and for that reason, a lot of the United States arcade culture was akin to credit feeding through games. This leads many people to be surprised that these games can be beaten in a single credit, and opening their eyes to this sort of high–level play is always refreshing. It’s extremely impressive watching someone show off all the content of a game by completing it without continuing.

AnnK: Who do you look for when selecting someone to be in the event?

Pasky: All of my scrutiny goes towards the game being played. Is it entertaining? How impressive is the run? Has it been played in the marathon before? There are other factors such as character choice because using some characters over others can be far more impressive and difficult. With that being said, I sometimes put my own personal taste aside when selecting games to accept. There have been plenty of games I don’t personally like that have been in the event because there is a community that enjoys them or someone is passionate about it and wants to share their fondness for it.

AnnK: Can you describe in your own words what the best thing about 1CC’ing a game is?

Pasky: I’d have to say the best thing about 1CC’ing an arcade game is triumphing over a game designed to be outright difficult and unfair to complete and mitigating these obstacles with your own skill.

AnnK: Can you tell me what game you first 1CC’d and what that feeling was like?

Pasky: The first game I ever learned to clear on one credit was Double Dragon. I believe I was 11 years old. It was pretty cool, but at the same time, I didn’t feel that accomplished because I just back elbowed everything, haha. It’s an extremely easy arcade game because of that exploit.

AnnK: What do you hope to share with the people in your community with this event?

Pasky: All of the great games and players exhibiting them. This year there’s going to be a mix of relatively unknown games, popular games, and a lot of difficult games. With such a huge variety of games this year, it’s going to be really exciting. I’m happy to be able to put this on and share this with a broad audience, while at the same time giving the players an audience and a moment to shine themselves.

AnnK: Can you tell me which runs you are most excited about?

Pasky: This is such a difficult question for me to answer because I’m actually excited for everything, but if I had to narrow it down I would say P.O.W. which I have fond memories of playing as a kid.  Scoop will be playing it and he normally cannot stream his playthroughs, but he will be at Zuq’s home for the marathon so I’m super excited to watch him in action, live! I’m also looking forward to both Dodonpachi games, as they are incredibly difficult games in my opinion. Really exciting to see these done in a live setting.

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AnnK: Tell me who you are, where you are from and what sort of games do you play

Zuq_: I’m just some dude from a small town in Poland. My nickname is basically unpronounceable to English speaking folk, so everyone calls me zook or zuck but I got used to it to such an extent that the original pronunciation sounds foreign to me now.  I enjoy playing arcade beat ‘em ups the most but I do play some run ‘n guns (Metal Slug series) and traditional shmups (Toaplan, NMK and early Raizing) from time to time.

Neo_Antwon …I primarily play arcade shooting games such as Mahou Daisakusen and Game Tengoku. I also play a lot of older 2d fighting games, my favourite is Project Justice, that game is super fun.  I’ve always gravitated towards faster paced arcadey type games, long RPGs and stuff tend to put me to sleep.

Chuboh: My name is Michael Gilroy, and live in a small town in northern Michigan. I play classic games of all kinds, ranging from arcade games to computer games and console games, with a special focus on games that could be considered “hidden gems” and, of course, everyone’s favourite, jank.

AnnK: What is the most challenging thing about the game you are playing in the 1CC Marathon?

Zuq_: The most challenging part of “Knights of the Round” is the boss of stage 6 – Muramasa. You need to be on top of your block game, not over-commit to heavy attacks and be patient enough not to go all in when he keeps juking you once low on health. Though, the entire run is pretty demanding as you can die in 2-3 hits from certain enemy types.

Cadillacs & Dinosaurs is mostly about sticking to tried and tested strategies and not trying to be overly creative but it does have a gatekeeper, Slicesaurs. It’s a duo-boss fight which is a Capcom staple and personally, I think that this one is one of the most frustrating beat ‘em up bosses to deal with; they’re fast, aggressive and will try to stay on opposite sides of the player character but the frustration stems from their random wake-up timers, due to which you’re unable to crowd-control them with throws.

Thankfully, The Punisher co-op run I’ll be doing with Scoop is rather tame in comparison to the other two games I’ll be running in the marathon, even on hardest difficulty. Unfortunately, due to other obligations, we won’t have much time to practice prior and that fact alone can pose a challenge as our play styles vary a lot.

Neo_Antwon: For this 1CC Marathon I will be playing a trio of games. Labyrinth Runner by Konami, Kiki KaiKai by Taito and Plus Alpha by Jaleco. I feel that Kiki KaiKai may be the hardest. when you die, getting the power-ups you want again is really hard to do in some stages. Sometimes enemies just spawn so fast it’s hard to keep up and they will overwhelm you. Plus Alpha can be a blow up on the last 3 stages if you’re not careful.

Chuboh: Out of the three games I’m playing for the 1CCMarathon (Spelunker, Big Karnak and Bonanza Bros.), I would have to say Bonanza Bros. is by far the most challenging. For those who may not be familiar with it, Bonanza Bros. is a stealth-action game released by Sega in 1990. The Bonanza Bros., Mobo and Robo, have been hired to sneak into various buildings in the town of Badville to steal evidence that will allow some nebulous, undefined force of justice to clean up the town. It has a really neat graphical style that almost looks like early 80s CGI, kind of like the old Money For Nothing music video, where everything is made up of low-poly geometric shapes. The way the game is structured, the levels are almost like puzzles, where you have to figure out the best routes and tactics to collect all the loot and escape without getting clobbered or shot by the guards. You don’t get any 1-ups at all during the game, and the guards become faster and more aggressive as the game goes on, plus each level has a 3-minute time limit, so clearing all 12 levels on the three lives the game gives you by default is pretty tricky. Things can go terribly wrong very quickly!

AnnK: How long have you been playing the game you are playing in the 1CC Marathon?

Zuq_: Too long. Cadillacs & Dinosaurs used to be my favourite arcade game as a kid (why play anything else when you can get ~40 minutes out of a single token) and to be frank, I’ve been playing it on and off for about 20 years. I’m still working on getting No-Miss (deathless) runs on the hardest difficulty setting with characters other than Mustapha. I’ve played both, Knights of the Round and The Punisher for the first time around the same period as Cadillacs &  Dinosaurs, but my history with those two is rather different. The Punisher is one of the first games I cleared back in my arcade-going days, and despite it being a great one, I’ve grown a bit bored of it – Scoop, my co-op partner, simply loves The Punisher so fun will be had. Knights of the Round is probably my favourite beat ‘em up at this point, it plays vastly different than other Capcom developed brawlers and despite having played it in the arcade, most of my experience came from a half-year grind – when I was still aiming for deathless clears with all characters on the hardest difficulty. What captivates me the most about this one is the combat system, which has blocking, heavy attacks and other options which are just fun to execute. Plus, all characters are rather balanced so you never feel confined to a single, top-tier choice.

Neo_Antwon: I’ve had prior experience with Kiki Kaikai and Labyrinth Runner before, but I recently started Plus Alpha like maybe a month ago. Plus Alpha is a lot of fun, it has really good music and is easy to pick up and play.

Chuboh: I first encountered Bonanza Bros. when I rented the Sega Genesis version as a teenager around 1992 or so. The idea of a game where the object was to sneak around stealing things rather than shoot everything in sight was pretty unique, and the art style in the game really stuck in my mind. Then, about a year ago, on a whim, I started playing arcade games in MAME again, and one of the games I picked up was the arcade version of Bonanza Bros. Memories of the Genesis version came flooding back, and I’ve been fascinated with the game ever since.

AnnK: What sort of practice schedule or planning goes into a 1CC attempt?

Zuq_: I do not really have a schedule and I’m more of an ad-hoc guy so planning is not my thing. Once I focus on a game I’ll just keep playing it over, and over, and over again – credit feeding at first. I do, however,  make save states for stages and boss fights as the ability to practice bosses and route stages (especially later ones) is invaluable and speeds up the learning process immensely. Unfortunately, the scarcity of my leisure time forces me to chose between practice or streaming attempts, and I’ll opt for the latter any day of the week as I feel the former to be rather boring/mundane. I do admit I love loading boss save states and looking for new loops or strategies as it feels rewarding to turn an otherwise difficult boss fight into a punching bag through manipulation and AI abuse.

Neo_Antwon: A lot of stage routing goes into learning a game for 1CC.  I really like to have a planned route to get me through a stage if possible, it reduces the chance of running into a situation you can’t get out of or waste resources on you could use later in the game. I also watch a lot of super plays, high-level replays, for the games I play to pick up new strategies.

Chuboh: The first thing I do when I pick up a new game is just mess around with it, familiarizing myself with the controls, figuring out what the game will and won’t let me get away with, working on potential tricks and techniques that might help with tough situations, stuff like that. So, my first several times playing the game are more exploratory rather than trying to actually make progress. Then, I start working my way through the levels, planning out routes and making note of tricky spots I need to work on. Around this time, I try to string things together into a full 1CC attempt, and then just hit the grind, trying to improve and refine my routes, making things as safe and idiot-proof as possible. I try to practice a game at least two to three times a week when going for a new 1CC, or if a game is really demanding.

AnnK: Why do you enjoy playing arcade games?

Zuq_: Arcade games, when played with a one-credit clear mindset feel satisfying, there’s no hand-holding and the variety when compared to current releases is off the charts. But the steep learning curve is what truly turns it into a rewarding experience as in order to beat the game (credit feeding doesn’t count) you need to master its mechanics and familiarise yourself with patterns etc. You take baby steps, but once it all clicks, and each subsequent credit ends up lasting longer/you get further, you realise that “winning” is possible even when facing a game essentially rigged against the player.

Nostalgia also plays a big part as I’m quite susceptible to it myself and clearing games which made me fumble constantly back in my arcade days feels great.

Neo_Antwon: I really enjoy arcade games, STGs in particular, because you can continuously get better at them. Like I can clear a game but I always know I could do it better. Seeing the progression in my game play is very satisfying.

Chuboh: I enjoy difficult games in general, and classic arcade games are among the most difficult games out there. There’s something very satisfying about playing a game that was purposely designed to take as much money from you as possible, and beating it on a single credit. Also, and this is the real reason now that I think about it, I was REALLY BAD at video games as a kid. I loved playing them, but I rarely beat them, and I would get frustrated and ragequit all the time. So, playing and beating these hard old games is like conquering a childhood hobgoblin.

AnnK: What’s the best thing about participating in events such as the 1CC Marathon?

Zuq_:  It’s the showcase aspect of it; exposing people to my favourite games, whilst simultaneously sharing all my knowledge and applying it during a live play demonstration. Thus, dismissing the misguided claims of arcade games being just “coin munchers” as it just takes passion and practice to overcome the odds. Even if they’re stacked against the player.

Neo_Antwon: Participating in events such as the 1CC marathon and  Nintendon’t gives you an opportunity to show off games others may have never seen before. Its fun to show off the game and get people hype for them. Everyone should take a break from reading this and play some Battle Mania Daiginjou 😛

Chuboh: To me, the best thing is being able to show off games that some people may have never seen before. There are a TON of really great games out there that don’t get the recognition they deserve

AnnK: Do you think events like the 1CC Marathon encourage other players to get up and go for 1CC on their favourite games?

Zuq_: Absolutely, we’ve got a couple runners (Goati, CoolJay, perhaps others?) in this 1CC Marathon who were encouraged by the previous editions. Events such as Pasky’s show that arcade games (the Japanese developed ones at least) are fair, balanced and designed with one-credit play in mind. Furthermore, it’s especially beneficial to those viewers who are intimidated by arcade games, to the point of not following through with the 1CC attempts of their own as they see for themselves that success is not guaranteed and failure is a given, even if you mastered a game. This uncertainty is mesmerising as it creates this aura of excitement, which further encourages viewers to give it a go and maybe, participate the next time the 1CC marathon comes around.

Neo_Antwon:  I feel like events like these inspire other players to learn a game or two. They get a chance to see what’s possible in a type of game that was thought to be designed to completely stomp you and steal your coins.

Chuboh: I sure hope so! That’s how I got interested in streaming these old games in the first place. You don’t even have to go for the 1CC; just picking up a classic game you’ve never played before or going back to an old favourite you haven’t touched in years is great!

 

Summer months never slow down

Dank Art

I spoke to LordBBH this morning about last nights Monday Roulette stream and he told me it was possibly the worst stream he’s ever done. I don’t think so as I was highly entertained and popped off a few fun Dank Arts. That’s the luck of the draw with a Mame roulette, you are never sure what’s going to come up.

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REGGIE GIVE US MOTHER 3!

Oh yeah, Reggie. Heh.

Chuboh actually enjoys pulling out those rotten game from the trash that BBH tosses and features them in a “Jank” game night. The best of the trash pile, though I have seen Chuboh play Amiga games and awesome old PC stuff I enjoyed as a child.

SGDQ 2017 took place last week and I did some Dank Art for a few runs that I did catch. I was lucky to get Wednesday off so I stuck around for the Star Tropics & Kirby Dreamland 2 stuff on that day. I won’t get into all the details of SGDQ as I know Aquas is working on a big article for my Zine about it, so I’ll just post up my art so you can enjoy it if you missed it.

Macaw45 picked up a few PC 98 games after what seemed like a whole month of just builders and PS1 games. I’ve been trying to emulate PC 98 games myself yet because I’m on a Mac set up is more than just running an emulator and loading the game. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to get one working on my set up or else I’ll be stuck working out a PC system to play games such as EVO.

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In amazing news I finally saved up enough money to get my new iPad Pro 10″ and I am quite happy with it. A few years back I threw out all the sketch books I has since high school. Yes! I kept all of them under the guidance by teachers to never throw my old work out. That’s a load of hogwash by the way. If you like a great idea in your sketch book, tear it out & save the sketch but get rid of that old stuff. I now have an expensive sketching machine but it also helps me blog on the go as I am doing right now as well to help me out at work when I am posting things for social media. Really I just wanted a laptop I could sketch on and this was it. Expect more iPad sketches to happen!

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The 4th issue finally arrived! This issue marks a new start for my Dank Zine as now I am featuring work by not only myself, but work from other people within the gaming community. The amazing cover this month is done by CyRaptor and he streamed the creation of it over a few days on his stream. Aquas also contributed an article about the fan game Ghosts ‘n Demons which he speed ran at SGDQ wich is really amusing and a must if you’re a fan of the series. This months featured streamer is Goati_ all the way from Rome Italy and his endeavours playing Sega games and pulling together the upcoming Nintendont marathon happening soon.

My little Dank Zine has been slowly growing and it’s getting bigger and better each month as I keep adding in more artists, more content and more articles for your enjoyment. If you want to get a subscription make sure you back my Patreon and you won’t miss an issue! Also, backing the Patreon means shipping is included as well as giveaways and other pieces if Dank Art. If you don’t back, you can still buy back issues Zine thru my Dank Shop but you won’t get any of the freebies and included shipping.

 

Making up for lost time- June & up to now

Life update

IMG_3205.JPGMost of you know by now I have two incredible cats as well as an incredible bunny. My one cat, Scoot, has been with me since 2003 and has been showing signs of age, but still holds her spot in my place as queen. She hasn’t been in the best of health the last few weeks and the vet is advising me not to go with forwards with surgery as she’s so old. I’ve been keeping her comfortable and giving her medicine to help her deal. Between getting my Zine together, demands at work and everything else I have slightly neglected my blog. However, Scoot is a fighter & is showing positive signs of improvement. Sometimes you just need to get your life in check first and that’s what I have been doing for the last few weeks.

In saying that, there is a HUGE backlog of Dank Art to upload to the site, so please bear with me. If you can’t bear, maybe possum it.

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Macaw45 always plays thru a wild selection of games and over the past few weeks it was nothing but weird games from ancient systems to crazy PS1 games. For a while, he was on a huge builder game streak where he focused on a bunch of games that had something to do with building. One of the more delightful moments from those streams was when Macaw was playing the Sims and had a John Romero character muddling around the house. Things were alright until a fire broke out in the kitchen and John wanted to eat a pizza more then to call the fire department. This was one of my more fave moments from the building segments of his streams.

There were a lot of mech games, a Workout game, even a silly hamster sim  so you never know what you’re going to get until you tune in.

MURPHAGATOR Finally has his arcades hooked up and capturing the right way so he’s back with his regular runs of Beat-em’ups. He’s been playing a lot of Final Fight & Vigalante which I am super embarrassed to stream as I am crazy terrible at the PC Engine port of Vigalantie. Murph has told me it’s not a big deal as it’s a really tough game but you don’t even comprehend how difficult some of these game are if you’re always sitting there watching someone who can just cut thru the game like butter.

LordBBH has been getting a bunch of very good spins with his Mame Roullete Mondays as well as getting a few breaks with his request raffles when he holds them. I think the streams I am starting to enjoy the most of his are when it’s a raffle because the chance of a good game coming up is higher which means my chances of making some memeorable Dank Art is higher. Really it comes down to a combo of what game, BBH’s reaction playing it and how the chat is responding to the stream for me to really make stand out Dank Art otherwise I might as well just google games & draw things at random. BBH has a good community as well so it’s nice to come into the chat and be welcomed and see other people drawing art to the games as well. If you draw your own art I would LOVE  to share it on my blog so please post it and I’ll find you :3

Adventures in Collecting

Greg and I drove out to cambridge just after my birthday for one of these game swap shows. I just got my Turbo Duo so I was hoping there would be someone there selling Hu cards. Boy did I hit the jackpot and one of the sellers who I met at a previous show brough ALL his Hu cards hoping that I would be there. Heh, I kinda made a sad face when he told me he usually has a bunch but didn’t bring them last time.

Greg picked up a bunch of games as well but really was after an Xbox 360 controller on the cheap but there were none to be found at this thing surprisingly. This event was a lot smaller then the shows we normally attend and I think I liked that. They didn’t have any game tournaments going on, just straight up collectors selling off their stuff. There were a few artists who were there as well doing nerdy cross-stitch which I really liked as I used to do that kind of stuff when I has a little kid. I used to stitch out entire covers of X-Men comics for my Home Economics class.

Dank Zine

img_2636I have wrapped up my fourth issue of my Dank Zine and for this month I am happy to announce I have branched out and found more content to help diversify the entire magazine. I called up on the help of artist Cyraptor to help put together a beautiful cover for this month and you can check out his stuff by clicking here and here. I also have gotten Aquas to write an article on Ghosts n Demons, a fan game on PC that pays homage to the Ghouls n Ghosts series. Aquas has already been helping me out behind the scenes with interviews, but I’ve been bugging him to write this article for a month so make sure you check it out. I’m also super happy that I have friends like Trap0xf who can double check all the game info so that I’m crediting the proper developers and creators for each game listed in the Zine. We are making a really fun community with this project and I am very happy with the direction we’re heading in. I never expected I’d be at this point already, but there’s no stopping me now.

Amazingly Dead Flip had a little give away because I sent him a pile of Zines with his feature interview inside last month. Check out this mug’s mug mugging these books!

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Owlnonymous with buddy Cathoderaze were seen in the arcade with an issue as well! This is possibly one of my most fave “In the Wild” photos to date of people with their Zine. If you get a photo of you with your Zine, PLEASE send it to me as I LOVE seeing you enjoy my Dankness.

Be part of my project and back my Patreon so you can get your issue of Dank Zine every month in the mail! It’s the best way to collect my work as it stays clean and cosy on your bookshelf or it’s ready to read if you leave it in the bathroom! Keep me making Dank Art by backing my Patreon today!

 

I got so busy this week I thought I’d never make it back

All last week I was knee-deep in my history textbooks and clippings to get a large history project ready for one of my jobs. This year is Canada’s 150th birthday and it’s my home town’s 160th birthday. All the dates fall around a few days shy of each other so we’re planning a bunch of stuff for the occasion. I’ve had a good past with my local Historical Society and I used to sit on their board a few years back. Preserving history and educating people about this sort of thing is a passion of mine and in 2012 I wrote an interactive eBook that was featured in a huge exhibit for national Culture Day week.

I am happy I am done this huge project as it took so much time away from all my regular work and from updating my blog. I am thankful I did manage to get a lot of my other projects finished and off my plate before this week started as I don’t think I would have been able to manage if I didn’t.

DANK ZINE

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Issue No 1 of my Dank Zine

I had more copies printed of the first issue of the Dank Zine as a bunch of people started asking me after I placed the order if they could get issues. If you’d like a back issue you can email me. I’m trying to set up a shop area to my blog so I can start selling the Zine quicker and easier to those who are not part of the Patreon. Speaking of new issues….

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Issue No 2 of my Dank Zine 

The second issue is already printed and I’m starting to get each order packaged and shipped to all my backers! I’m now up to 32 colour pages and sticking with the better printing as everyone loved the quality of the first issue. This issue features player interviews with LordBBH, artist and WWF Super fan Anthony Brennan from Qooplo paper toys and all the best Dank Art from the month of April. If you like my work and want to keep me making Dank Art, please back my Patreon! 

DANK ART

LordBBH had a decent Monday Roulette stream featuring the random choices made thru the random game picker. A lot more classic games came up this time which is a good thing for me cause I love them. The really dank Noah’s Arc game came up where you had to fetch two of every animal and bring it back onto the arc. I was unaware that there were Bible themed arcade games out there but hey, you hang around long enough during a BBH stream you’re going to learn something about arcade games. My other favourite dank art from BBH’s streams was the Pinball one I made on Thursday for the BBH raffle. At first I was shocked that someone actually requested this game, but soon after drawing the dank art for it I found myself playing pinball on my computer. What can I say? I like pinball :3

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Alfred Chicken on Amiga @chuboh

Chuboh was playing some classic Amiga games this week which is always a rare treat as I don’t see many people streaming Amiga stuff. I just started following Chuboh recently as I saw he not only was into arcade games, but DOS and Amiga games as well. When I first started this blog I wanted not only to have a home for all the Dank Art that I make for people’s streams but also to highlight those people who I do art for and have a list of some of the best retro players out streaming today. It can get a bit hard if you’re looking for games and players and don’t know where to start, so in part of making a bunch of Dank Art I’m helping to connect people to players to get them some exposure as well. Speaking about dank old games…

Macaw45 was playing German DOS games and I don’t think anyone is streaming that stuff (unless there is a German guy who’s totally streaming dank DOS stuff from his basement but I have yet to find him). I made a lot of the Doman Dank Art from the chat’s suggestions as I was having a great morning & took suggestions from those participating in chat. I also love drawing ridiculously huge warriors that look awkward and hilarious with their added muscle bulk.

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Elvira has video games? Elvira II the Jaws of Cerberus on Amiga @bouphe 

Have you seen Bouphe yet? Bouphe is AWESOME. She’s from the UK and plays old DOS and Amiga games, usually more on the sexier side of things. It’s always great to see girls streaming on twitch but even better when they are playing old dank retro games that no one else is. Bouphe is mega cute and very charming and I caught her last week playing this ridiculous Elvira game for the Amiga. Check her out if you’re not following her already!

In the Studio

I wanted to try out new techniques in the studio this weekend, so I got out my desk easel and experimented with tilting my canvas. It’s necessary to move your space around when you work with it and with watercolour using gravity to help pull the pigment into the water and across the paper. Though I draw every day and I have been painting and selling my work for a while I always try to revisit training techniques as often as I can. Even though I know all this stuff from years of trial and error revisiting lessons and challenging myself to show improvement is the smart way to get better. I would say on any given day I am putting at minimum 3 hours of drawing time in but once a week I will challenge myself and just do “study work” so that I can make mistakes and learn from them.

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Something cool arrived in the mail. This is a Zine by Simon Hanselmann who is well known for his Megg Mog & Owl comics. I follow him on Twitter and he’s one of my favourite cartoonists right now. He’s also really into self printing Zines and I try to collect each one that he comes out with. Each zine is from a limited run and in the case of this one it’s been embellished by Simon himself so I have something unique. I always try to support those who inspire me, so if you haven’t seen his work I recommend you check it out.

GTA Game Expo

my buddy Greg & I took a drive over to Mississauga to check out the GTA Game Expo which was a retro game collectors sell/swap meet I talked about earlier in the year. This was a crazy fun event and I always love going to shows like these as it’s a fun way to find games. Often the titles and things I am looking for that I can’t find or see anywhere else pop up at shows like these, but my biggest problem going now is that it takes me longer to find what I want to buy as I own almost everything :p

I am always looking for imports and cheaper PC Engine stuff and I was happy to say I got in connection with someone local who has a LOT of PC Engine stuff for sale. He was quite impressed that I went for War of the Dead- he tried to sell it to me as “Top down Zelda adventures style game” but I said “omg honey no- thats the worst way to describe this game- it’s an action adventure RPG where you fight as a sexy girl with a shotgun on an island where zombie guts monsters are eating everyone and you save at the church.”

Sure, the prices are not what they used to be, but if you do your leg work and know your stuff then these events are more of a fun thing to do in the afternoon. We sure had fun and I can’t wait for the next show to go to.

PAX Weekend & Pile of Dank Art

PAX EAST

I won’t be going to PAX East this year, but if you are going make sure you stop by my friend’s over at Fangamer and their booth and say hi! You’ll be able to find them if you follow the sweet sounds of the Super Soul Bros. who are performing live at the Fangamer booth.

I’ve been mulling around following Fangamer shenanigans for a long time now. I’m so happy to see my friends grow with their dreams and designs as a company and as people. You want to know amazing people then get to know Fangamer. They make incredible stuff and always try to bring a little extra to the table when they do an event or roll out a new product.

It’s also been six years of PAX with Fangamer! Look at these damn kids in these photos from the first booth build back in those early PAX days. Wishing you guys all the love and success this year!

 

DANK ART

When LordBBH isn’t torturing himself playing MAME Roulette, Thursday nights are more about the games he wants to play. I love the randomness of the roulette streams, but often I just prefer a good game over a hilariously terrible one. What separates a good game from a bad one? If it’s not fun to play it’s a bad game. I’ve seen BBH find hidden gems in games like Time Tunnel because despite the game looking a certain way or acting up, there’s some element of fun to it. You never know what is going to happen with a roulette which is the most appealing thing about doing one, but it’s also nice the BBH will play things he’s really good at as well as he’s pretty good at what he does.

 

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This really busts my barrels! Ultimate Ghouls n Ghosts @Aqy

Aquas is the Ghouls n Ghosts go to guy in my opinion. I’ve known how incredibly punishing the Ghouls n Ghosts/Ghosts n Goblins series can be first hand as one of the first games I ever played was Ghosts on the NES. Finishing any one of these games is a tremendous feat of concentration, skill and just knowing the game. Currently, he’s streaming a lot of Ultimate Ghouls n Ghosts on his PSTV  which is an amazing game to play and watch. Aquas has a video list on his youtube that has all his World Record attempts in one place.

 

There was a break in the TMNT Gauntlet and instead Macaw was going to play hot and steamy romance novels for the Sega Genesis. Actually no, it was a game called “Generation Lost” which came out in 1994 when Sega was self-rating it’s games in an attempt to address to the US Senate. It’s like a futuristic post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi adventure game with the art design was done by Bruce Straley who around that time was already known for his artwork in the Genesis X-Men game (which I played hours as a kid) and currently is known for his work on “The Last of Us” and Uncharted. The game has a close feel to Flashback

Last year around this time Macaw45 broke his arcade stick& pulled it apart live on stream. Every now and then it’s eery ghost will come back to haunt him & hand down several stream-killing technical issues. I just made the ghost part up though so I could make the Ghost of Old Stick Dank Art.