My Midines Review: It Never Arrived

Chris Kann, the owner of, sells a device called the Midines. It’s a Nintendo cartridge that plays the Nintendo Entertainment System like a musical instrument, I kid you not. You insert the Midines cartridge into your NES, plug MIDI cables into the Midines, and off you go, into a world of bloops and blips.

The Midines probably looks like this

I paid $99 for a Midines in the year 2008, and… I have still not received it. I have sent Chris Kann at least a dozen emails, and never received a single reply. In 2008, I did track him down on IRC — he mentioned that he was going through some hard times, but now it is 3 years later, and he has been completely silent.

Continue reading

Toaster Bro alpha: 10 days later

Did I mention my new game, “Toaster Bro”? Play Toaster Bro alpha version 1!

(You will need Flash Player 10.)

Ten days have elapsed since I shared this version with friends (who are unwittingly being used as play testers). It’s time for a “wrap-up” meeting, because I want to examine what went wrong/right, and instead of a meeting it’s a blog post:

Continue reading

NES Pixel Art

My tile engine is getting a facelift, I’m scrapping the Atari 2600 palette, and switching to the glorious 56 colors of the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Eventually I want to add NTSC artifacts using Pixel Bender. For now, I have to produce a small miracle of art assets, and use the tiny palette effectively. I never thought I’d study old Nintendo games, but that’s exactly how I spent my evening.

According to Tsugomo, the eye perceives brighter colors as being closer. Most games with decent art have solid blocks brighter than the background.

Mega Man 3 - Needle Man

Continue reading