Anyhow, today was Port Coquitlam's city wide garage sale. As you may recall from past posts, my partner comes from a line of inveterate deal-seekers, spending more weekends than not logging visits to garage sales, yard sales, estate sales, flea markets and thrift stores. I didn't even really collect games (at least, not physical media 8) before meeting her and having to come up with some category of goods of interest to me to seek out on these expeditions. It's been chilling to see the onward march of time throttling what I'm likely to find secondhand -- I remember finding NES carts cheap and in great abundance, while now they are the sole province of collectors who hit up ebay to maximise the return on their investment. My family hit these sales during the golden age of PS2 / Xbox / Gamecube game turnover, and now in town when we find games at sales at all, they are more typically of the following generation -- PS3, Xbox 360, Wii -- none of whose machines I own or can easily emulate (and whose games, consequently, I fail to collect, for that way madness lies.) Anyhow, we are now quite distant from the opening sentence of this paragraph, but if you will hold my hand and nostalgically visit back to it, you can note that I invoked it for two reasons: the first advantage of a city-wide garage sale is a sheer density of sites -- you don't have to look for sales, you can just drive down a single street and stop when you find one that you like: they come geographically pre-optimised, and I think we hit up some 15 of them this morning... the second item of note is that Port Coquitlam is of that species of municipality considered a suburb, and hence its propensity for being hoovered clean by hungry urban dealers and hipsters is lesser. Thus, I ended up with a pretty good haul for my kingly $20 budget:they are inanimate objects, they don't have feelings, am I crazy?)
And then there's the Xbox joystick. Why? Setting up my machine after the move, I found I couldn't get a strong enough signal from any of my existing joysticks to set the date and time on the machine after plugging it back in. This raises a worrying question regarding the health of the unit (and if so, the ultimate fate of my hundreds of Xbox games.) I figure either the joysticks are worn out or the joystick port is, and hopefully a "new" used joystick in good shape can help me get to the bottom of the conundrum.
Why do I care if my Xbox is working? Because I'm having another retro video game party! This time we've unhitched it from my birthday and are getting down to business in May. Retro Video Game Party III: The Legend of Joystickia (pretty terrible name, isn't it?) unfolds Saturday May 10th, from 2 to 11 pm. If you can figure out how to reach me and inquire, you are welcome to attend and play some of my hundreds of old games! I'll probably hit this point another couple of times before the date.
Then again, maybe not! Things might be slow around here for the rest of the month... I've entered several of these contests in the past and have never been able to actually deliver a working finished product by deadline, but I have full intentions of submitting a complete and working game to the ShuffleComp IF competition and I need to come up with more time in order to bring my little prototype to fruition, hence something has to go. (Let's not get too drastic, however!) Time spent designing incomplete games for past competitions still takes time and you get nothing out the other end (except, arguably, practice) and I am sufficiently confident in this one's fit of subject and concept that I want to bring it to the finish line. So if it gets quiet here, don't worry too much. Cheers and play on!