Cyberganked Photo Finale
March 13th, 2013 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Hey, everybody. It’s been weeks since I updated this silly website, and almost months since anybody cared. I haven’t been idle, however, I’ve been hard at work trying to make the best cyberpunk character role playing game I possibly can.

And I did it with your help! (With how little traffic this site gets these days, I am just going to assume that anyone reading at this point was directly involved in the contest.)

Flack announced the winner right here on his site. Flack filmed himself using a random number generator on his iPad, so you know it’s legit. Nobody going through that much trouble is going to fake the results. Although my background in statistics tells me that the position Flack rolled should have started with a “1”, which it did not. So perhaps the whole thing is as crooked as a Grimoire Indiegogo.

Here’s the album on of all the people I have placed in the game so far:

You can browse that album at your leisure, but since it’s imgur I am pretty sure that using that site without Jennifer Lawrence making an appearance every third picture is completely unauthorized. Browse safely, and I’ll inline a few after the jump.

Here are some quick questions:

I submitted a photo and I don’t see myself in the album yet!

I *think* I have everyone who is on the Internet included so far. If not, just leave me a comment at the end of this post and I’ll see where I was mistaken (and fast-track you!).

What’s going on with these pictures? Are they enemies? The player’s enemies?

For the most part, yeah, these are some of the enemies you’re going to face in the game. In the games that Cyberganked takes inspiration from, you typically see one picture depicting the enemy. In The Bard’s Tale, you’d usually get a few frames of animation. It’s technically possible for me to do animation in this game, sort of, but I am going to just use still graphics.

There’s all manner of creatures roaming around once things go haywire in the game. For instance, my friend Sam plays a “JDKv7u10 Rooted Bot.” That stands for a Java version 7 update 10 Rooted Bot. Er, that stands for a robot that was compromised thanks to an exploit in Java 7. (I may just change the text to say, “Java-rooted bot” assuming people keep finding exploits.) To me, we are headed to a future where computer security is worse, the responsibility taken is less and the consequences more dire.

For instance, I bought a Raspberry Pi because it was Christmas, I live alone, and I can’t get any human to pretend to friend me or let me touch their bits for $35. But that sure as shit buys you a Raspberry Pi. I played around with it, installed MAME and an IRC client, uninstalled MAME and then realized that I need a second LCD monitor if I am going to use it full-time. So it is “abandoned” at the moment. Well, what if instead of a printed circuit board, it was years in the future and I ordered a robot? And then got sick of it as well and just asked it to get my mail and never let it back in my house? When the price is low enough, I don’t see any reason why that wouldn’t happen.

Some of the other enemies in the album have names like “mode40 malware” or “HDMI malware.” Right now, when someone buys space on a billboard on a dusty road out here in Colorado, a dude gets on a ladder and pastes some wallpaper about how much the purchaser hates Obama. It won’t be like that forever — instead (even in cow towns) large LCD screens will replace the static billboards, and people will just upload their images. I see those systems being hacked, just broadcasting malware, viruses and other nasty computer programs to anyone who happens to walk by with an insecure device. So you might get in a fight with a billboard or flat screen TV in the game. Which isn’t too far off, because sometimes what is ON a computer screen can hurt people in real life.

Lastly, the colors. What’s going on with the colors?

The Colors Graphics Adapter for my IBM PCjr (really, the IBM PC) could do three palettes at 320×200. On each palette you were locked into three colors. You could pick the last one, but most games picked black for the final color. The specific palette that most games chose was palette 1 (cyan, magenta, white and then black as the selectable color). Seeing these shitty-looking games in the 80s when everyone I knew had a beautiful Commodore 64 or Atari 8-bit computer wasn’t lost on me. The games we had looked terrible, but nostalgia has a way of coloring things …. sometimes even with something other than four garish shades! I’m using the same palette that was available in CGA for Cyberganked, palette 1 in high intensity. Nothing else is used, except for a little bit of the UI at the top of the screen. Like you, I am on Free Indie Games and Newgrounds all the time seeing the retro 8-bit and 16-bit explosion. Using CGA graphics as your inspiration is retro on difficult mode, in my opinion.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who entered the contest, thanks to Rob “Flack” O’Hara for sponsoring it, and thanks for your interest in my next game. I’ll post occasional updates for as long as all Google Glass articles exclusively focus on the article’s author saying anyone who wears as a pair is an asshole, or until the year is up (whichever comes first, but come on).

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