Packaging things up in a nice box

13 Mar

So, recently I had the thought that I could trigger my game being played in a neat little way. By popping in a NES cartridge.

It’s an odd thought I know, but, after seeing a few things, namely these:

It all just seemed so stupidly silly and kind of magical that you can take some old tech and use it seemlessly with modern tech. And I thought it would be a fun idea if, when you plug in the NES Cartridge, the game loaded up and started playing, just as if you were playing it at home on an old NES.

So, I started making the cartridge. The idea was to get an old USB stick and plant it inside a NES cartridge and replace the label on it. Thus creating the illusion.

As you can see, i’ve just taken out the circuitry of the NES cartridge and replaced it with a flash drive and then added my own label. Simple stuff but it looks pretty.

As far as the graphics go, I got a vague idea of what the old NES labels looked like by looking around on google.

This was a challenge for me as I don’t really have any first hand knowledge of NES games. I’ve never played a single one and I don’t have much of an interest in playing the old games. I just think they are packaged nicely. I like the fact that they come in huge, oversized cartridges and big boxes. Gives it some nice feel to it.

So, I went ahead and made my label. I showed this to my flat mate who is a big fan of NES games and has a large interest in them. He could believe it was a real game. It passed the test.

It all boiled down to some key notable features really. The logo goes up top in big letters, followed by artwork in the middle and then some seals of approval at the bottom. I just replicated this layout in my own fashion and the rest writes itself. The layout seems to be used by all NES games, so it seems odd to break that trend.

Next, I thought it would be fitting to create the box that it comes in. Why not? it just adds to the fun for me. I like creating details like this.

I looked around for NES box art, and again it came down to an overly similar formula. Especially with the “newer” NES games that used artwork rather than in game art.

These to me remind me of the old PC games from my childhood. Big fantasy art that made the game seem so magical and impressive when all it was was some poorly rendered pixels.

It’s all about the illusion really.

Once again, this used big title, artwork then seals of approval combo as seen on the label. I reproduced this, put my project about text on the back and printed it off.

In real life its just wonderful to hold. Looks proper professional like.

Also, I’ve been putting all the features into my game together. And here’s a nice little video demo of what I’ve done so far.

Spaced Out Trailer from jon reid on Vimeo.

I need to come up with a better way of loading the NES cartridge, fix the sound effects, iron out bugs in the eye track calibrating, handling of winning and losing and restarting. Oh, and make the head gear look pretty. And make the booth to sit in.

Only a few things then.


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