Interview: Edge’s Pixel Perfectionist… Gary “Army of Trolls” Lucken

June 26, 2009

More & more people are getting interested in pixel graphics, especially since the recent release of Gary J Lucken’s poster for Edge magazine subscribers.

So… it’s about time we invited Mr “Army of Trolls” over for a virtua cuppa, to talk pixelling, games, folk music & zombies. (Amongst other things)

I’ve got some pieces of Gary’s work that you may not have seen before… and you’ll FINALLY find out where the name “Army of Trolls” came from…

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Quick update

June 25, 2009

Please excuse the lack updates in recent weeks – this has been due to 3 simultaneous things:

  1. Our 1st baby (aka “Player 3” aka “baby latte”) is likely to be born this Friday.
  2. My “real” work has been very busy.
  3. I suddenly had a Retro Gamer commission (article to write).

So here’s the latest from J-OMG headquarters…

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Edge pixel poster crowd-solving results

June 15, 2009

Following up from our earlier post last week, it’s time to combine all the “game spotting” solutions that were made, on forums around the net.

I’ve listed the results twice – firstly sorted by Game Title, then by Grid Reference.

So far, there are 64 make that 89 games/systems/references listed … do you think we’ve got them all?

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Lego Battles – not indie/retro – but I’ll bend the rules

June 12, 2009

If a game somehow involves Lego or Ghostbusters, it can always get a bit of lovin’ from me. (Well, if you can’t break your own guidelines… )

Lego Battles had previously escaped my attention. Probably because it’s a Nintendo DS title, and I don’t have one of those. But I’ve just seen the trailer, and the idea certainly grabs me.

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Edge pixel poster challenge – now with added grid!

June 11, 2009

Edge magazine has sent out an amazing bonus to current subscribers – a specially-commissioned pixel art poster crammed with videogame references.

The artist was Gary “armyoftrolls” Lucken. And boy does he do great work.

I’ve just spent my lunchtime creating a “grid reference” version, so we can solve the mysteries together. Download link appears below.

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Awesome arcade brought down by bad luck

June 7, 2009

Over the years, more & more arcades have closed their doors. The most common contributing factors have been technology changes (improvements in home consoles & PCs), and social changes (kids/teens being encouraged to “have friends over” rather than “go out”).

But coin-op gaming throughout the world varies greatly.

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June 3, 2009

Steve Wiebe’s third attempt to beat the Donkey Kong world record ended just minutes ago. His final score was 989,400 – short of the 1,050,200 pts required. His game ended in the famous “Kill Screen”.

There was high drama just a few hours earlier, when a power failure cut short his previous 3rd (& final) attempt for the day.

Many arcade fans watched the proceedings online via G4TV. Sadly, J-OMG’s feed lacked video, so I had to rely on the text descriptions in the final moments. As Steve’s last life was lost, the Twitterverse echoed with one voice… “Nooooooooooooooooooooo!”.

In the meantime, I’ll keep my “Go Steve Go” wallpaper on the PC…
and look forward to his next attempt.


June 2, 2009

In less than 5 hours, Steve Wiebe will take the stage at E3, and attempt to set a new world record on Donkey Kong.

If you haven’t seen King of Kong, it’s the story of Steve, a quiet science teacher who dreams of becoming the world’s best Donkey Kong player.

The one man standing in his way… is Billy Mitchell. A shiny-mulletted loudmouth who loves setting (many) retro arcade game records, selling his brand of hot sauce & talking himself up.

Just One More Game is firmly on Steve’s side, and that’s why I’ve created a completely unofficial “Go STEVE Go” wallpaper for your computer.

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Gradius-esque Game remake Glows with Greatness

June 1, 2009


Double wow.

Storm Assault is a freeware remake/tribute to Gradius, for Windows. The screenshots look amazing. The video looks better than amazing.

Have a look for yourself…

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A shmup of cuteness: A Diary of Little Aviator

June 1, 2009

Just discovered this one via Youtube.

(Deep breath) Flying Red Wine Barrel: A Diary of Little Aviator is a very cute shoot ’em up with graphics similar to the Todd Parr children’s books. (Which I’ve been reading to “Player 3” in utereo.. 3 weeks till baby’s due!)

Several online writeups compare the gameplay to the arcade/dreamcast game Radirgy. I think the graphics also remind me a little of the horizontal shmup Platypus, by Anthony Flack.

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