houston, we have a party

July 17, 2005
So Ksenia and I went to a pretty big housewarming party last night. Not that's it's saying much but it's probably the biggest one I'd gone to in years, maybe ever. And they really went all out with the theme, "Apollo '69" -- lots of tinfoil around, people dressing up in odd mishmashes of camp scifi and 60s-wear, all rooms labeled with faux-Nasa placards, even a 2 story rocket in the back. There was a lot of lights, a pro or semi-pro DJ, a tended bar, pretty impressive. We only knew like two other people there, but still it was a decent time and we got some dancing in.

Online Toys of the Moment
I've struck up a bit of a friendship with "VL-Tone" (at least that's one of his online handles), the guy who made that Metroid Cubed demo back in the day. The relationship was possibly cemented when I sent him a Casio SK-8 keyboard from my youth that I hardly ever brought out of retirement (even though it was really fun to mess with its ability to sample 4 sounds at once, and was very good about "looping" patterns so they could become basslines) that he plans to use for circuit bending

He's been up to more cool stuff. Most recently his Super Mario 64 Peach's Castle demo has been making the rounds (Thanks, Nick). He's managed to extract the polygon and textures data from the old N64 game and built an engine to display it. You can fly around anywhere the castle grounds, and there are a few other levels extracted as well. It has a few clipping problems but still it's cool to be able to fly straight up and look straight down, as well as duck under bridges and whatnot.

One his more obscure but very pleasant little creations is ElektroAqua--check it out! It is a copy/spinoff of one of the modes in the upcoming Nintendo DS game ElectroPlankton. I was mentioning SimTunes the other day...turns out ElectroPlankton is by Toshio Iwai, the same guy who did SimTunes. VL-Tone also mentioned a lost SNES title "Sound Fantasy".

Its surprisingly tough to find recent information on Toshio Iwai online but I did find this article on his work with Nintendo, including the lost SNES title "Sound Fantasy". It also some pictures with him onstage with Nintendo legend Miyamoto, and video of a violinist / ElectroPlankton duet of sorts. Nifty! Maybe I'll have to get one of those DSes, now that they're finally really taking advantage of the touch screen.