Video fixation

Wow, I really fell off the face of this blog this month. And I had just started to remember how to blog! How pitiful.

In point of fact, my free time over the past few weeks has been focused on getting my portion of the long-overdue Retronauts Kickstarter DVD complete. My segment is going to be a lengthy (I’d guess 45-50 minutes, probably?) piece on genre evolution on the NES, so I’ve been working to capture video footage from about 30 different games. I’ve finally managed to wrangle my capture settings to look the way I want them, too. No more red-shifted color or excessive dullness. Everything is beautiful.

…even if my playing kind of sucks (don’t watch the end of this video, it’s a heartbreaker). Don’t worry, the magic of editing will be my salvation.

In fairness, this was the first time I’d played SMB2 past World 2-1 in probably 25 years, so I feel like I did a pretty good job considering this was all from muscle memory and half-forgotten summer days wasted in front of a TV. I didn’t consult maps or guides until the very last level, so while I may not be able to remember  important things like family gatherings or where I put my wallet, I have a remarkable capacity for video game level design.

It feels good to finally have the production of the DVD segment underway in earnest. I’ve waiting for the Analogue NT to arrive so I could do it properly, though had I known a year ago when I decided to get an NT just how long it would take for the thing to arrive I would have just sucked it up and bought a modded Famicom off eBay to get the job done. Ah well. It’s here, and the Retronauts video will be of the highest quality possible, so hopefully once it’s done the Working Designs effect will kick in an the lengthy delay will be a distant memory we can all laugh about… yeah. Then again, I’ve thrown out my idea and script twice now to start over from scratch, so maybe it doesn’t matter anyway.

Speaking of Retronauts, both this week’s episode and the video above are, probably somewhat obviously, also doubling as an attempt to lay the groundwork for future Anatomy projects. I can’t decide if I’m being ruthlessly efficient or just disturbingly cynical about this.

6 thoughts on “Video fixation

  1. Most excellent! I’ve been enjoying the NES videos quite a lot (those beautiful scan lines!) . I hope to see much more of them in the future.

  2. Yeah, the last time I played SMB2 I couldn’t really pull it off either. I used to be able to rock Luigi really well; not so much anymore.

    There are games where I’ve still got the muscle memory — I use the first Special Stage of Sonic 3 as a kind of a benchmark to test emulators, ports, and controllers; if I can’t pull off a Perfect on it that’s usually the fault of the hardware or the software, not me.

    And the last time I played Mega Man 2 I made it through Air Man’s stage without taking a single hit until the boss.

    Sometimes I think about how many sunk hours these not-especially-useful skills represent.

    And sometimes I get a chance to see how people who didn’t sink their childhoods into it have trouble with things I take for granted. I try to play games with my wife sometimes but she still hasn’t gotten the hang of holding B to run, so there’s a pretty big barrier between her skill level and mine. We can mostly manage Kirby’s Epic Yarn together.

  3. Sorry to hear you hadn’t returned for a deep dive into SMB2 in that long. It really is a delightful game. Better late than never, though!

  4. I just this week got my final backer reward from a Kickstarter I pledged to 9 months before Retronauts. It happens, these things take time, but happy to hear that the dvd is still in the works!

    • Yeah, there’s never been a question we’ll get the last obligations finished off, but I really didn’t expect them to take nearly this long. Of course, the whole Kickstarter was predicated on the assumption that I wouldn’t be forced to move out of San Francisco a couple of months later…

  5. Thanks for the Retronauts Micro Episode. Super Castlevania IV remains one of my favorites and may have one of the best soundtracks on the SNES.

Comments are closed.