the projects

February 26, 2005
Quote of the Moment
Every human being has a project.
Sartre as paraphrased by Colin, a high-functioning artistic autistic (thanks LAN3) cartoonist who writes a letter to Harvey Pekar of "American Splendor" fame. Google doesn't seem to think that it's an exact quote, but its a neat idea.
It's fun to figure out your project. I think for a lot of people it's their kids. I think that's a new development in some at least some points in history, men got to pick their own projects, and women got assigned the projects of the kids. Now that we lived in a somewhat more symmmetrical society, women have more freedom in their choice of project, and men are expected to make the kids their project as well.

Something like that.

Personal Semi-Triumph of the Moment
So JoustPong lives again! The game was "off the market" at AtariAge after Atari (in its newish, French-owned "Infogrames" form) sent a nastygram claiming the name of "Pong" as their intellectual property. I'd argue that the concept has gone generic ala "Kleenex" -- they certainly haven't been defending their intellectual property very well, Google has pages and pages and pages of links without a hint of Atari around.

But now the game has returned in a new incarnation -- FlapPing (a name suggested by brilliant 2600 coder Thomas Jentzsch on an AtariAge forum...quite clever.) I updated the title screen, switched the "Atari Fuji" symbol for "Computer Controlled Player" to a little 1s and 0s thing, fixed a minor conceptual score display bug, and best of all Atari Age Al and I got Dave LiveInABin Exton to make some nifty new artwork for it. Here's the image he ended up using without the title or Alien Bill or AtariAge logos:

Nice, huh? You can see the evolution of it, including the other video game art that inspired it, at the Flapping Development Journal, though really his first sketch is more-or-less what we ended up going with.

In other news, a recent issue of the UK's Retro Gamer magazine published a brief interview with me. (I heard there's an interview with Pitfall! legend David Crane as well as with Atari Age Al.) Al was kind enough to scan the page with the interview (150K jpeg) for me, but the result was so heavily edited that I've published the original e-mail Q+A between Peter Latimer and me...I worked to give some quality answers to his very good questions. Unfortunately, the article gives the new name of the game as "FlipPing"...ah well.