Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas (Musical Tribute)

I am addicted to Rocksmith. It fully explains my lack of posts lately. It also explains a few calluses on my fingertips, lol.

Since I wasn't that clear in my last post, you actually use a *real* electric guitar to play this game. It comes with a cable to hook your own electric guitar directly into the Playstation 3. How cool is that?

I'm not as good as the person playing in this video but I'm getting better every day. Baby steps!

Technology is a wonderful thing and this game is nothing short of miraculous. In my opinion, this is what real prosperity looks like. It has made learning the guitar very enjoyable.

Merry Christmas everyone. May you all find real prosperity this season and well into the future.


Troy said...

not sure how much the fancy view and fx are helping things.

looks too much like Tempest IMO. I couldn't get into that game, either.

Stagflationary Mark said...


For what it is worth, I played a lot of Tempest. You're right. It does have a similar feel.

Robotron and Missile Command were my games of choice back then. Could play for hours on a single quarter. Perhaps Roboguitar and Gibson Command will be created!

Joust was similar but was not a favorite, although it may have fully paid for itself. I won $25 in a tournament playing that one.

And then there was pinball. Very addicted to High Speed and Black Knight (were very cost effective to play).

I think my most memorable moment was playing a pinball game in Seattle shortly after moving here after college. I'd never seen it before but my first (and only quarter spent on it) got one of the locals to exclaim, "Jesus Christ! Holy Mother of God!" That cracked me up and I lost concentration. My friend had just explained to him how I'd racked up so many free games (the machine kept awarding them and the local wandered over to see what was going on). They put the loop ramp right in front of the flippers! I think 4 in a row got you a free ball. I was at 17 in a row at the time, lol.

Good times. :)

Fritz_O said...

"In my opinion, this is what real prosperity looks like."

Eggnog is good but I find that moderation is the key.

Troy said...

I lucked into the best job on campus in 1986 -- attendant and service for the on-campus arcade.

Worked 6000 hours there over 6 years, LOL.

All the 1980s pinball stuff is coming off patent now, so anyone can make pinball games.

It'd be fun to put in a 50" HD plasma and have the ball slide on that as the playfield.

People are using 50" plasmas for full-size pinball sims, but ball physics is tough . . .

My hometown got the first RaceRoom in the nation last . . . I've been an immense fan of LBE since the 1980s when the first Battletech centers opened.

My dream is to spend $100,000 and create basically a 32-station LAN shooter experience.

Something about a dual Xeon box with 4 Radeon Eyefinity cards each driving 6 displays (each player gets 3 displays) catches my fancy.

The economics of this are impossible, compared to just selling $1 apps on the App Store, LOL.

tj and the bear said...


Based upon your experience I got RockSmith and a guitar for my birthday (12/21). Perhaps we'll jam someday? ;-)

Stagflationary Mark said...


Eggnog is definitely on the bell curve.

It's best not to drink too little, nor too much.

The real prosperity of eggnog can be seen in the following.

1. Drink the contents of the glass.
2. Set the glass down and wait a minute.
3. Drink the contents of the glass again! (As the eggnog slides down the inside of the glass and pools at the bottom.)

That's like two drinks for the price of one. Prosperity! Hahaha! :)

Stagflationary Mark said...


Born lucky you were!!

Stagflationary Mark said...

tj and the bear,

Oh oh! The pressure is on me now. I hope you enjoy the game.

Be sure to unlock the guitarcade games "Super Ducks" and "Scale Runner" soon. I find them quite useful as a beginner (and I waited way too long to unlock them).

You can do this by qualifying for songs in the Event Manager.

Unlocking Super Ducks and Scale Runner...

Stagflationary Mark said...

One more thought.

I also play "Ducks" a lot. It is also helping my speed immensely.

Who Struck John said...

I was more into Robotron and Discs of Tron back in the day.

Mr Slippery said...

Robotron and Missile Command were my games of choice back then.

Missile Command was my one and only. When you hit 810,000 you got a large number of free cities, something close to 100, and you could in general play forever on a single quarter. I used to nail smart bombs on the far side of the screen with the opposite side base just for fun.

I had friends that mastered Defender and Stargate but those games were too hard for me. Ahh, memories.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Mr Slippery,

I too could play Missile Command for hours on a quarter. It wasn't infinite though. If memory serves you got about 100 free cities but that was it. When they were gone, they were gone. I thought that was pretty cool. It was like the game admitted defeat. Playing out 100 free cities takes some time (especially if you are good enough to earn them).

Robotron was a true play forever game. A friend and I had both mastered it individually and we also mastered it as a team. He'd play one control with one hand and I'd play the other control with one hand, lol.

Here's the amusing "muscle memory" part. It always had to be the correct hand. I could not play the left controller with my right hand or the right controller with my left hand. That would require even more practice to master.

And as for Defender, I never mastered that one either. Same with Centipede. And yet I'd see people master Centipede who couldn't master any other game. Perhaps they never tried, or perhaps it uses a different part of the brain. Who knows?

Stagflationary Mark said...

Who Struck John,

If I was stuck on a desert island and could only have one game, even today I might choose Robotron.

A coworker actually owned a Robotron arcade game.

Troy said...

The 80s were a brilliant time -- the whole endeavor of tinkering on video games for public vending of entertainment was a high -- and curious -- form of capitalism.

Video games entered the decade very rudimentary but left it somewhat polished. Unfortunately, things were moving towards the least common denominator, which was jump-punch-kick games -- 1989's Final Fight, Strider, even Atari's Batman -- indicated the direction the industry would be going. Capcom would find the winning formula with Street Figher II in 1990, and that's all she wrote.

I was too close to the ground then to see the big picture, or how the SNES and PS would kill the industry in the end.

I basically majored in Arcade Video Games (CS + Japanese) but then found by my graduation that the industry I had grown up with was going to the grave.

I interviewed at Microsoft and Atari Games in 1992, and decided to go off to Japan when those didn't pan out.

Good thing I didn't get the Atari job, they were about to enter a world of pain in the 1990s.

Stagflationary Mark said...


From a career standpoint, I rode the gaming wave from about 1991 to 1999. For me, it peaked in 1995. Our team won a CODIE in 1996 for the game we made that year.

It was all downhill from there though.

Sierra Entertainment

In 1996, CUC International, a membership-based consumer services conglomerate, aggressively sought to expand into interactive entertainment and, in February 1996, offered to buy Sierra at a price of approximately $1.5 billion. The deal with CUC closed on July 24, 1996. Immediately after the sale, Ken Williams stepped down as CEO of Sierra. He stayed with the software division as a Vice President of CUC so that he could provide strategic guidance to Sierra and began to work on CUC's online product distributor, NetMarket. One year later, Ken and Roberta left CUC.

Fantastic timing. I would have left then too but I had stock options (that turned worthless due to the 1998 accounting scandal). Fortunately, I made an investment in an old-school card game company. Gaming retired me early, but not in a way I would have predicted when I graduated college!

Gabriel Knight 3 was released on November 3, 1999. It was announced this would be the last game of the series.

Oh the stories I could tell about that project. I was not on it. Mine was actually cancelled after 18 months of work (and for good reason, since we never did have an actual game design... long story!).

Gabriel Knight 3 was the closest thing to a living hell on earth that I've ever seen though. It could have been called "lead programmer of the month club" in theory, since virtually every programmer on the team got a stab at it. One day I walked into the bathroom and the current lead was in there. I asked how it was going. He said, "Great!" I was amazed. I replied, "Really?" He laughed and said, "I just quit!" I laughed nervously with him. Sigh.

In another story, one day the general manager came into my office and told me that he just gave the Gabriel Knight 3 team a "coming to Jesus" speech. Nobody came! It did not surprise me, lol.

Stagflationary Mark said...

As a side note, the "coming to Jesus" speech was something like this.

Anyone who doesn't want to stay on the team and get this product shipped in time for Christmas needs to tell me now and I'll do what I can to put you on another team.

I could have told him from the people I had met that few would be willing to stay on that team if given any choice at all, up to and including gnawing one's own leg off, lol.