Ancient Technologies accepted into Open World Arcade at Akron Art Museum

My game Ancient Technologies, originally created for Ludum Dare 36, has been selected by a panel of judges into the Open World Arcade at Akron Art Museum.

Open World is an art exhibit of contemporary art influenced by video games. The Open World Arcade is a one-day event, to be held on December 7th, 2019, from 11 AM – 5 PM. Games presented in the arcade are judged by a panel of museum staff and video game professionals based on novelty, professional polish, aesthetics, quality of game experience and “wow factor.” 

My game Ancient Technologies was an homage to the “ancient” technology of videogaming’s past, and re-creates the experience of setting up an Atari 2600 video game system. If you “win” the challenge of setting up the system correctly, your reward is that you get to play a somewhat faithful re-creation of the game Asteroids.

I created the Ancient Technologies in about 25 hours using GameMaker Studio, Stella, and Audacity. The Asteroids game that you play inside of Ancient Technologies is a simulation, not emulated. I used graphic and audio samples generated by Stella to create the simulation. I also sampled pixel art renderings of the Atari 2600 six-switch console and joystick created by pixel artists, and a partner provided the TV image, while I created the background of the living room. The simulation is a reasonably faithful re-creation of Asteroids’ gameplay, and feels pretty authentic in many respects, although it is not completely accurate. Most notably, it is missing the UFO and Satellite enemies, which I ran out of time to implement in the game.

Further reading

  1. Ancient Technologies postmortem
  2. Ludum Dare 36 is at an end

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