This feature will soon be available
My arcade PCB collection -
Arcade Worship Pages! -
Caz' Arcade Maps
A list of existing arcade games -
Misc info -
> > Friday, January 18th, 2008 - Happy new year *m ^_^ m*
Also published in : Robots Pocket computers Computers Video games and in the main page
Happy new year everyone!
The year 2008 will see will be many important events all around the world : elections in many countries, olympics in China, crucial economic evolution all over the planet, increasing technological progress reinforced with newcoming companies from emerging countries... But if i may, for today i'll just focus on two events at my own personal scale :)
First of all, i should leave Paris and move to the south of France. This is a significant change...
i still allow me a few days before i switch to "project management" mode and start getting involved in the moving. There will be a lot to do.
I also think this should not mean much of a change regarding my site. Maybe (i said *maybe*!) the change of life will leave me with enough free time to update the site more often, but i doubt it for now. Time will tell!
Now, second event : my site will "officially" turn 10 year old this year!!
It is actually a little older (since 1996 i would say), but i can't find any trace of it prior to 1998, that's why i consider it "officially" open in 1998. I may change my mind some day, tho :)
Since it was created, the site has been hosted at 3 different places, starting as a sub-section of a friend's personal site.
It had 4 different graphic designs, including a few years when every section had a completely different design each, while the current design and unified layout dates back 2003.
Wanna see what it was like since 2001? check this link Only the versions hosted at the current address are available there, and i can't find the ealier designs on any of my computers, so i think it is still somewhere on one of my old computers; i'll try and find it whenever i can.
The contents also evolved : while the first version was already a mix between my graphic work and other topics i was interested in, my collections only appeared in version 2, at first as pure HTML pages, next as PHP, yet i still don't use a database.
PHP allowed my to make the site management a little simpler, as i've also developped a few very simple tools for that purposer (like the very basic weblog function i'm using right now to type this update!).
Now there are still a lot of things i'd love to add/change/update. I have already begun working on new contents, mostly in french but i also have ideas for new contents or sections in english.
There has already been a lot of work involved since 1998 : contents management, web design, php development...
From the site, i also for a few commissionned works, as well as some new friends all around the world!
I cannot say right now what i will actually be able to work on this year...
Anyway, for this 10 year anniversary, my thanks go to everyone that visited the site, found information there, contacted me to discuss the topics i present. These are the very reason why this site exists! Thank you everyone, and a happy new year 2008!
> > Friday, june 9th, 2006 : building my own arcade!
I have been collecting arcade games boards for quite some time now; but as of today i only had converters to play them on TV screens. Yesterday, i've won an auction for a cabinet! ^_^
It's the one pictured right, it has a rotating screen to play both horizontal and vertical games, and it was sold with two boards!
I still have to find a way to take it from the seller's place, and i will actually not be able to host it at home; but i've found a home for it; where it will be treated well until i'm able to host it!
A few more arcade news : i've update my collection page with Flying Shark (bootleg) that i've recently bought, Legendary Wings, that was not listed for some reason (can't remember when i've bought it), and V-Five!
I'm also very happy to have found an original Outzone board (set2). I was thinking or selling my bootleg set 1 after i got the new board, but at second thought, the two make an interesting set as i have both existing versions.
And to think i was thinking my arcade collection would not grow significantly anymore... :)
> > Wednesday, September 14th, 2005 - Arcade and console gaming collide...
Well the news was widely conveyed by the major news sites on August 22, but obviously, i was more interested in my soon-to-come holidays at the time, so i missed it back then.
So Square-Enix, born from the merging or Square and Enix (would could have thought?!), two major RPG editors, is ranked 2nd biggest japanese videogames maker in this news from Reuters, and it's the perfect example of how domestic game systems took over the video game market. It is now planning to absorb Taito, once a giant in arcade video games, and creator of such video games myths as Space Invaders, Bubble Bobble and Puzzle Bobble. In the same Reuters article, i've also learned that one of Taito major shareholders (36.02%) was Kyocera, an electronics and semi-conductors company that also made several attempts in the pocket computers business.
As the buying operation takes place on the stock exchange market, Squre-Enix has announced it would dropped the plan if it failed to buy at least 67% of Taito's shares.
Square Enix is thus acquiring it's entry ticket to the world of arcade, slot machines and "amusement parks*".
Square already approached the arcade world in the 90's actually, as they developped the Ehrgeiz fighting game, that was distributed by Namco.
Namco, by the way, is now property of Bandai, as i've also learned in the Reuters news.
So, what will happen of the TAITO name if the deal is completed, i guess it's too early to tell. Also, both companies have their own cute-mascot, namely Chocobo for Square-Enix and Bubblun for Taito. I wonder what will come out of breeding those two...
The news on IGN
* As most major arcade editors, Taito owns several amusement centers in Japan. Not exactly amusement parks indeed, some are mostly giant themed arcades as far as i know, but considering that Square-Enix is famous for the very rich fantasy universes they create, and that they already tried to market their trademark universe into other medias, like in the Final Fantasy movie, it would not be that surprising to see the new Square-Enix-Taito entity develop the Square-Enix catalog in other markets that Taito already knows.
Also, Square-Enix already teamed-up with Disney to create a video-game series using Disney licences, which as see as another clue that Square-Enix is willing to capitalize on well-known characters and universes.
> > Tuesday, August 30th 2005 : weblog app ready!
It's been a long time since i've updated my site. One of the reasons was that i was building a small PHP tool to handle all HTML updating. There are many tools out there that i could have used to enable instant weblog features in my site, but i did want something very specific. Mostly, i didn't want to use a database, and i also wanted to keep my HTML pages and not spend time adapting my pages to a templating tool needs.
The first version of this small app is now ready, so hopefully i should be able to update my site more often. Using this application, i'll also gather all the updates from my different sections in my home page.
There's still lots to do on the PHP application, though. As of today, the main application is able to create new entries and edit existing entries. I've also developped basis for an online links manager, aiming both at gathering my bookmarks all in a single, online space, and at generating links pages automatically.
Then again, i'll have to improve HTML handling in the editing tool, add image management functions, work on an unified user interface...
Anyway, should this entry publish alright on the different topics i'll send it to, then it would be a great first step!
It will also be a good thing done before taking a week off on holiday! :)
[Edit] Well, turned out that there was some fixing needed. Work is done, beta testing is done, so now i think i have something stable enough! I'll focus on updating AND continue improving this application when i'm back from holidays.
> > Wednesday, february 25th, 2004 update : arcadology!
I'm introducing today the weblog-home page on my arcade pages. I've also added a new map to my arcade games maps : the first level of Valtric. Valtric is a good example of what a like in the 20th arcade world. Dated 1986, the same year as other arcade oddities like Darwin 4078, Victory Road, Legendary Wings, Arkanoid, Slap Fight, Bubble Bobble, Tokio, Trojan and many other wonders, this Jaleco shooter has a personnality of it's own, and enough gameplay tricks to make it stand apart any other shooters. As a matter of fact, the 80's were the golden era of shoot'em'ups, so many of them were released, and most of them remained obscure in the crowd, as innovative or playable they would be. Valtric is certainly one of them, although it had it's fans, like a few tributes seem to indicate. I'm planning on building a worship page for this game where i'll explain how the "Xenon" series (Atari ST/Amiga) was certainly initially inspired by the quite unknown Valtric.
I really think 1986 is a "soft" turning point in arcade history. No revolution at the time, but a flow of evolutions that changed the face of arcade gaming. The technology became powerful enough to progressively make rich background graphics the standard in many games ("Xain'd Sleen A", from technos, being at the time a jewel of graphic beauty), while manufacturers still had to focus on gameplay to make their game stand out of the crowd. That was before special effects would be in charge of making the difference.
As graphics allowed for more invention, designers used them to create strong graphic identities to differentiate each game. I think Valtric illustrate this, and i could also mention Darwin 4078 and many other "weird" games in the number. To me, it looks like the 80's videogames allowed game designer to express what they had left of their 70's psychedelic feelings, sometimes.
Another interesting illustration of what 1986 brought to the arcade gaming world is Bubble Bobble. When this game was released, multiplayer games were no news, neither were platform games nor cute japanese game characters. But, using the available technology and combining all these elements into a simple, highly addictive gameplay with crisp enough graphic to make the game universe living; Taito brought the genre to a whole new level and inaugurated the new "cute game" genre.
In his time, Bubble Bobble was seen as a revolution just like Tetris would be 2 years later, and it was followed by many ripoffs, copies and sequels. Quiet revolution based on simple technology, and innovative gameplay, supported by graphics to match.
I'm particularly fond of this kind of games, those which have a weird, strong and really distinctive touch. This is what i'd like to show in my Arcade part, so i hope you'll enjoy visiting it just as much as i enjoy updating it!