If a remake is bringing an old favourite up to date on a modern platform, ‘demaking’ is the act of taking a contemporary form and representing it in a nostalgic or long-lost one.
That’s what Dan Fornace, a digital media major of Drexel University, has pulled off in his demake of Super Smash Brothers (originally released on Nintendo consoles N64, Gamecube and Wii).
He’s taken sprites from much loved characters Mario, Pikachu, Link and Kirby, rebuilt famous environments from their classic handheld games, and created Super Smash Land, a game that looks and feels like it was intended for play on an original Game Boy: in all it’s greyscale, green-tinted, and pixellated glory. Take a look:
Dan has collaborated with chiptune musicians Inversephase and flashygoodness, lending an authentic, 8-bit feel to the game’s action.
What a perfect act of creation: simple, thoughtful and fun. It works better for it’s low-res format, allowing the content to ooze nostalgia of the kind only a fanboy could hope to infuse.
Super Smash Land is available as a free download here.
Coming Soon: 3D computing. Well, it makes sense, doesn’t it?
My claim is that 3D is the next step in object-oriented user interface (OOUI), which is the way most of us interact with computers after someone (at Apple, I think) had idea that we’d store ‘documents’ in ‘folders’ rather than access them via a command line. Ever since, we’ve been using ‘object-oriented’ analogies to interact with our machines.
Now is the age of 3D screen technologies, with Hollywood fighting back from piracy with a new golden age for cinema, Samsung outperforming Sony to becoming the number one manufacturer of 3D TVs, and the Nintendo 3DS making use of prismatic 3D in it’s menus, and of course in-game (think I might be buying Ocarina again soon). Not to mention Microsoft’s Kinect, which changes the way we interact in the three dimensions of physical, as opposed to virtual space.
But before all of this, there were innovators trying to make 3D compliant with everyday use, such as TATMobile who, without the power to print prismatic screens, force a behaviour change through the use of 3D glasses, or sell expensive stereoscopic 3D projectors, had come up with a pretty cool lo-fi solution:
The video above demonstrates the use of a front-facing camera on one’s mobile phone to track the location of your eyes, augmenting what’s onscreen, allowing you to see ‘behind’ icons or onto different screens by peering around. Hopefully you can imagine how a 3D screen might alter the way you interact with your device, so it’s no wonder they were bought by RIM and are now developing UI for BlackBerry.
While we’re at it, also check out the work of Bumptop (sadly now defunct), Johnny Lee‘s Wii hacks, and even YouTube‘s foray into 3D video.
Another lo-fi solution to making 3D useful comes from Mozilla, outlined in this fascinating article. Their technology, called Tilt, is not a way to physically see in 3D (it’s just software at this point), but certainly nods towards the future 3D stereoscopy web content. You can test Mozilla’s Tilt plugin in Firefox with their beta plugin at that link, but here’s a demo:
All we need now is for computer, laptop, tablet & mobile screens to become 3D-enabled, and for vast swathes of web designers to optimise their sites for WebGL, and suddenly those social buttons become a bit more clickable.
You know how I love my phone like it was a sexy robot from the future? Well check this shit out. It’s also a full-blown GBA emulator, which with its massive AMOLED screen, and dual core processing, makes my Samsung way more awesome than I could possibly have conceived.
This is a screenshot from Tiger GBA running Advance Wars 2, on it’s original resolution (you can upscale but I like to kick it oldshool). The app integrates with a ROM downloader, where one can select ‘backups’ of the games they already own in order to play.
Legal note: it is against the law to download and play ROM backups of games you do not own. So play safe!