Joined 01/23/2012

Partner to Francesca and father to Finley. I'm an Engineer and built the video game site Cheerful Ghost.

2408 Posts

Travis and I have been working over the last two months and finally happy to announce that Cheerful Ghost is in development of it's first game! In 2018 we launched our games BBS featuring the best open source web games you can play as the first step in us getting to the point of creating our own games. Each of the games we launched on our BBS so far are single player games and we think that what makes Cheerful Ghost great is hanging out with other users so each game we create ourselves will be multiplayer at their core.

What Are You Making?

We're not quite ready to drop the full details of our upcoming game yet, but I do want to talk about a few things. Firstly, as I mentioned already each Cheerful Ghost created game will feature interacting with the community as an essential component. I love playing games with friends and some of the most fun experiences I have were playing with them. We're also going to make sure each game we make will be playable entirely from your phone, tablet or desktop browser. I think it makes sense for Cheerful Ghost games to be entirely playable in your browser and means that the way you come to the site is the way you should play our games.

When I think about the most fun games from the BBS era, the ones I want to play the most are games that create a vast world deep in lore but simple enough to pickup and play a couple times over the course of your day.

When Will The Game Launch?

The goal is to have our first game out by the end of 2019 but as with any game development timeline, it's possibly entirely wrong. One helpful piece to hitting the end of the year goal is that our first game is fairly simple as it's a fun homage to the BBS/DOS text game era. That said, things come up and we might not hit that date but we'll do our best.

**update** We've used the "Link holding a Ghost" graphic a couple times and it's _NOT_ foreshadowing the kind of game we are making. Our game will be VERY focused on the BBS/DOS era graphically.

Nvidia focused heavily on its new ray tracing technology during its RTX showcase. When the technology is ubiquitous enough ray tracing will allow some incredibly impressive lighting that until now was limited to show floor demos and a render farm but recently someone modified Quake 2 to support ray tracing and the results are impressive and you can try right now(assuming you have an RTX video card). Since iD Software released the source for Quake, Quake 2, Quake 3, Doom, Doom 2, Doom 3, etc anyone can take that source and modify it and someone did to retrofit it to support Nvidia's new RTX tech. As always, Digital Foundry has an analysis video and if you are interested in the future of 3D graphics technology, you should check it out.

I think we were all very excited about the prospect of a Nintendo Classic styled Playstation that contained the best games of that era. When Sony dropped word that one was coming and that one launch title would be Final Fantasy VII the excitement was very palpable. As someone that missed the Playstation era of gaming I was excited to get one and learn what some of the best games from that system were. That said, when the final list of titles was released it was as if the air was let out of the fan excitement balloon and when the Playstation Classic dropped it didn't land well.

I've decided to not write about the Playstation Classic launch until now because I haven't had a lot to say as someone that didn't buy one. Franky none of the reviews game me a reason to pick one up but with the recent release of Cygnus Destroyers Innocent Until Proven Guilty episode, I might. Cygnus gives the unit a fair shake and he notes that at a reduced price point getting one makes quite a bit of sense.

Nintendo is partnering up with mobile developer LINE to make a new entry in the Dr. Mario series for mobile called Dr. Mario World. We do know that the game will support iOS and Android and be free to play with in-app purchases. As a long-time fan of Dr. Mario this is great news and if LINE can translate the awesome puzzler elements to phones Dr. Mario World could be a perfect fit. I'm still very curious how the Mario Kart free to play smartphone game will turn out that's coming out this year and am optimistic about that but if i'm being honest, Dr. Mario seems like a better fit to me. After the amazing success of Mario Kart 8 and then 8 Deluxe on the Switch a smartphone offering is going to have some stiff competition.

Do you think Dr. Mario World on smartphones is something you'd play?


The Humble Bundle has released a lot of great game bundles and the latest Playstation Indie Games bundle is a must buy if you own a PS4 and wanted a few more games to play. It's a pretty wide mix of titles such as Grim Fandango Remastered, The Bards Tale remastered, Inner Space, Broken Age, The Talos Principle, Wasteland 2, Layers of Fear, Shadow Warrior 2 and Killing Floor 2 and is $15 to get them all. $15 is a great price for just one of these games and considering some of the proceeds go to charity, even better.

I've only recently discovered The Gaming Historians channel and wanted to share one of his new videos covering the Super Mario Land trilogy on Gameboy. Starting with the offbeat Super Mario Land the Mario Land trilogy is unique and nothing Nintendo has quite replicated recently. I'd love a new take on these old games with the strange mechanics and new characters as Wario was first introduced in Mario Land Six Golden Coins and later featured as the protagonist in his own game.

"The Super Mario Land series was Nintendo's attempt at bringing the Super Mario franchise to the Game Boy. But it was also the first time Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto would not be involved. Learn all about the history of this series and the impact it has left on the Mario franchise!"

In Oregon we are all lucky to have the Portland Retro Game Expo which is a fun event in the later summer for everything awesome in retro games and trading. Cheerful Ghost has a booth each year, which is something you should check out if you haven't yet. In the new year the Video Game Swap Meet is held at the Portland Double Tree and put on by the Portland Retro Game Expo and The GameFather and I wanted to write a bit about the event and some of my pickups. Spoiler alert, Will got quite a few more games than I did.

The Portland Retro Game Expo is a very large event with a wide reach including a huge free to play arcade, game tournaments, retro game vendors, toy collectables, geek swag (think Yeti style shirts) and various game creators and game sites and podcasts like Cheerful Ghost. The Video Game Swap Meet is more focused around vendors selling and trading games and it's a really focused one day event. I really enjoy it because it's easy to take in and go through each booth a few times to make sure you've picked up anything you want. The swap meet had a lot of people there but less folks than PRGE which is a nice change of pace.

I wasn't coming to the Swap Meet with anything in mind to get, I really just like hanging out with the Retro community and I also wanted to handout some of our new Cheerful Ghost branded 1UP cards. If you don't know, 1UP cards are a great way to clean your old retro NES, SNES, Genesis, 64, etc carts without blowing into them. Think a simple two sided cleaning card that has no downside of spitting into your carts, which you should never do to clean them. I've seen branded 1UP cards in the wild and have wanted some Cheerful Ghost cards printed so I contacted 1UP and had some made up. If you want to see what they look like hit the image link below.


Will and I were one of the first people in line and as such I was able to hand out the cards, some stickers and a podcast handout to the first 10 or so people easily. People seemed to dig the new 1UP cards so I'm going to do a similar giveaway at Portland Retro Game Expo this year as well as sell them at our booth. I'd like to get some Cheerful Ghost shirts printed this year too, but we'll see how it goes.

As to the stuff I picked up this year I finally was able to round out my collection of Just Dance games on the Wii with the original Just Dance 2009 game. I've got the others and it's a fun series and one reason I still have my Wii hooked up to my TV. I also picked up two DS games in Plants VS Zombies and Zoo Tycoon. Both are PC ports that landed in various forms and I've only played a bit of Plants VS Zombies DS so far. I want to do a more formal review of Plants VS Zombies DS but i'd say if you were a fan of the game and wanted to collect a version of it on DS, get it. I aim to collect all the Zelda games and finally added Oracle of Ages and Seasons on Gameboy Color to my collection after finding them both for a good price. I also saw Link to the Past in box and in great shape but I think i'm going to save that pickup for this years Portland Retro Game Expo.

The official teaser for Spider-Man: Far From Home dropped today spoiling Avengers Endgame... a bit. But then again did anyone think all of the snap was permanent? Looks like Spider-Man is back and this time IN EUROPE! Originally I thought Far From Home would be a story where Spider-Man was out there in space somewhere trying to get home. You know, a cosmic "road trip" movie but apparently it's Spider-Man in Europe. Which is... kind of neat but if you consider where he goes in Infinity War, Europe isn't really that far from his home. More like Spider-Man: At Least We're On Earth This Time So It's Cool.

All that said, trailer looks fun, same tone as Homecoming which is a treat, Jake Gyllenhaal looks great as Mysterio and should probably never shave that beard.


The classic Don Bluth animated video game Dragon's Lair Trilogy is coming to the Switch eShop January 17th! I had a love hate relationship with Dragon's Lair as I really enjoyed playing it but found it was of the more punishing arcade games I've played. Playing on the Switch without having to pump in quarters sounds like the best way to play it and I hope the Dragon's Lair Trilogy does well and gets a physical cart release (it got a Wii physical release).

"In Dragon's Lair, you play the heroic Dirk the Daring, a valiant knight on a quest to rescue the fair princess from the clutches of an evil dragon!

Space Ace will have you take control of Ace - Defender of justice, truth, and the planet Earth! Ace is being attacked by the evil Commander Borf. Struggle with Dexter to regain his manhood. Destroy the Infanto-Ray. Defeat the evil Borf! Be valiant space warrior, the fate of Earth is in your hands!

Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp once again has you leading Dirk on a perilous quest! Spirited away to a wrinkle in time by the evil wizard Mordroc, Princess Daphne will be forced to marry the wicked Mordroc unless Dirk can save her. Once the casket of doom has opened, Mordroc will place the death ring upon Daphne’s finger in marriage, and she will be lost forever in the Time Warp.

New Super Mario Bros Wii U Deluxe is out on Switch and the reviews are coming in that seem to indicate its another great Wii U release. I love the New Super Mario Bros games and plan on picking this up as soon as it makes sense (not at the moment as I'm playing a few other Switch games). New Super Mario Bros Wii U Deluxe comes with the original game PLUS New Super Luigi U and allows you to play as Toadette and Nabbit in both games. There has been some controversy that Nintendo wouldn't include blue Toad but it seems Nintendo did include him. The problem is that Blue toad is a color option and you HAVE to select one of the easy characters (Toadette and Nabbit) if you play 4 player mode. I can see why this may upset some but I have a few thoughts on it.

Firstly, everyone with the Wii U version still has it and you can play 4 player without the easy characters. Secondly, how often to people play four player? It's possible some people play this mode all the time, but even so if I did I wouldn't mind playing as Toadette. If you play 4 player all the time, again, you still have the original game.

It's also possible Nintendo might patch in four player with blue toad.

All that said, New Super Mario Bros Wii U Deluxe looks great from the reviews I've read (including the Digital Foundry video review above) and the addition of Toadette and Nabbit makes the game more accessible to people that might not mind playing with you but would get frustrated dying a lot if they aren't hardcore gamers. For instance I could see my young son playing as Nabbit as he gets better over time and can play as the more traditional characters.

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