Tiny Cartridge 3DS

My WarioWare Life: Four years of video game snapshots ⊟
Duncan Robson’s journal documents the most interesting events in his life (attending conferences, moving across the Atlantic Ocean) as well as his day-to-day existence (going to the dentist, walking a dog). Here’s an entry from January 2013, about finding money on the street, for example.
Robson’s diary is Microcartridge, a project in which he attempted to document his life in five-second games made in WarioWare DIY, the Nintendo DS microgame creation utility. It’s a pretty unusual journal.
[[MORE]]
Events in his life are rendered as interactive microgames, in which the player actively takes part in a representation of Robson’s own life events – or part of a movie he saw, a game he played, etc. Each microgame is then recorded and archived on the site as a video. “I think it’s a good supplement to a diary,” Robson mused. “Not that I keep a diary. I kind of wanted it to be like a diary comic, but I would have had to be more prolific for that to work (and more comfortable sharing personal stuff).”
Four years after starting the effort, Microcartridge has concluded, with no grand finale but no lack of finality: “A few weeks ago I lost my DS somewhere in North Berkeley,” he said on the site’s final update. “I think it slipped out of my broken coat pocket while I was running for a bus. I was probably listening to a podcast and didn’t hear it hit the ground.” 
Sofa Surfer
Having already replaced his DS and game once, and already remade undocumented games on the replacements, Robson opted not to go through that again and ended the project, stopping before his goal of a totally full cartridge.
"I’m still sad about losing the DS and the unfinished games," Robson told me in an interview. "I wish I could have filled all the space on the cartridge, but on the whole I’m glad I stuck with it for four years." 
Robson was originally inspired by an article from researcher Ian Bogost, about personal video game “snapshots” – and further inspired by a Tiny Cartridge article tying that concept to the simplistic game creation potential of WarioWare DIY. The name “Microcartridge” is a deliberate play on our own site’s name. Full disclosure, I guess?

The project began a year after Robson’s move from the UK, where he worked on motion capture, to the U.S. (documented in the Pond Crosser series, a group of two games Robson names as favorites.). He saw WarioWare DIY at GDC that year. Since then:
“I went back to London for a while to work on a movie, started making supercut videos, moved back to San Francisco, got married, and finished an online animation course,” Robson said. “I recently started getting involved in local volunteer stuff, like artwork for this little video game museum in Oakland.”
By the way, with the exception of the last, all the links in that paragraph are Microcartridge games corresponding to the linked word. “I look back on them sometimes,” he noted. “It’s a pretty weird record of my first four years in the US.”
iPad Resistance
In turning his life into games, Robson has gained a micro-education in designing them. “I’m not sure any of them would be fun to play for more than six seconds, but I definitely want to keep making games,” Robson said. “My pixel art skills have improved, and I’ve maybe learnt some tricks for squeezing more out of limited resources. I’ve learnt that the idea for a game often comes after you start working on it.
"Also, make regular backups and don’t leave your DS on a plane."
Nothing on a handheld game platform has matched the ease of use of WarioWare DIY, as far as Robson knows. “Most people tell me to just learn Gamemaker or Unity. I find they get overwhelming very quickly. I can use Maya and other complex 3d software but I chose WarioWare DIY because the restrictions make it fun and possible to finish 50+ games.” 
A new version for 3DS or Wii U would be welcome, “but I wonder if what happened with Swapnote makes a newer version of DIY even less likely.” Swapnote, Nintendo’s animated messaging software, was recently taken offline purportedly after Nintendo discovered young users were being sent inappropriate messages.
“I feel like there is huge potential for more short expressive games. Dys4ia is a good example. There should be more games like that and more accessible, fun, handheld ways to make them.”


BUY WarioWare DIY, upcoming games

My WarioWare Life: Four years of video game snapshots ⊟

Duncan Robson’s journal documents the most interesting events in his life (attending conferences, moving across the Atlantic Ocean) as well as his day-to-day existence (going to the dentist, walking a dog). Here’s an entry from January 2013, about finding money on the street, for example.

Robson’s diary is Microcartridge, a project in which he attempted to document his life in five-second games made in WarioWare DIY, the Nintendo DS microgame creation utility. It’s a pretty unusual journal.

Read more

Stay up past your bedtime to play video games

Wii U’s upcoming Game & Wario has an ingenious mode that lets you relive that childhood feeling of sneaking a late night video game session on your handheld (or in this case, classic WarioWare microgames on the GamePad), while keeping an ear out for parents who might storm in and ground you. What a crazy idea for a game! I love it.

And if you let this video play, you’ll also see another fun mode that has the GamePad holder trying to steal fruit in a crowded area, as other players watch closely trying to identify the thief. There’s a lot more footage of upcoming Wii U games from Japan’s Nintendo Direct stream this morning — watch it in full here.

BUY WarioWare games

Game & Wario, another Wii U launch title that Nintendo neglected to show during its E3 press conference (click for larger images). Details about the minigame shown in the above screenshots are available on this page.

Buy: WarioWare: D.I.Y.
See also: More of Tiny Cartridge's E3 coverage

Making microgames is even cheaper now, as Amazon has discounted WarioWare D.I.Y. to $19.99 — extra motivation to join the "video game snapshots" revolution!

And don’t forget that the system price cuts hit today, so if you’ve been waiting on those, you can now pick up a Nintendo DSi for $149 (Black, Pink, White, Metallic Blue, Blue), and a DSi XL for $169 (Bronze, Burgundy, Midnight Blue). Amazon hooks you up with free shipping.

See also: More WarioWare D.I.Y. microgames

[The rad Tiny microgame above comes from Christian M.’s entry to our Birthday Contest of Forever — we’re accepting submissions until the end of tonight, so send yours in!]

WarioWare DIY microgame based on CTA Digital’s Wings for Wii. Inspired by our post about the absurd Wii Fit Plus accessory, Duncan Robson put together this microgame with nice, detailed art (check out the game on the TV screen!) and even a shoutout to a certain website.

Speaking of shouting out to websites, you should check Duncan’s site Microcartridge for more DIYsnapshots.” Reader Shawn Bradford also started a Tumblr microgame archive about other people’s works. I’m glad that people picked up Eric’s lazyweb idea

See also: More WarioWare D.I.Y. posts

Buy: WarioWare: D.I.Y. ($34.65)

Wario Nike Dunks concept by ghettoburger. They’re pretty weird looking, but then they’re patterned after a character whose defining trait is that he’s kind of a dick. Weirdness all around, is what I’m saying.
Speaking of Wario wardrobes, I never understood why he adopted this biker-on-Easter thing for the WarioWare games, instead of the classic yellow/purple Mario suit. Was it to distance the experimental WarioWare from the Mario series? Was it because they wanted him to look more appropriate on a motorcycle? Was it because goggles are neat?
See also: Reader-created WarioWare D.I.Y. microgames you might enjoy
Buy: WarioWare: D.I.Y. ($33.99)

Wario Nike Dunks concept by ghettoburger. They’re pretty weird looking, but then they’re patterned after a character whose defining trait is that he’s kind of a dick. Weirdness all around, is what I’m saying.

Speaking of Wario wardrobes, I never understood why he adopted this biker-on-Easter thing for the WarioWare games, instead of the classic yellow/purple Mario suit. Was it to distance the experimental WarioWare from the Mario series? Was it because they wanted him to look more appropriate on a motorcycle? Was it because goggles are neat?

See also: Reader-created WarioWare D.I.Y. microgames you might enjoy

Buy: WarioWare: D.I.Y. ($33.99)

Reader-created WarioWare D.I.Y. microgames you might enjoy

"D.I.Y. Miami" microgame by reader Jesse T.G. This microgame made in WarioWare D.I.Y. is amusing enough to elicit laughter from its own creator. It even uses one of the stock sound effects for the “YEAAAHHHH!” I just wish I had thought of the Horatio sunglasses meme first. I would have done this… myself.

YEAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Here’s another of his works, “Retro Gamer,” in which you have to rush to find the good game among crappy ones. If you’d like to see more of Jesse’s inventive work, he’s uploaded several games to his YouTube channel.

"Obama’s Shocking Reveal" by thesimplicity. This pair of games is great not because it dares to tell the truth that our government is overrun with reptilian agents enacting a longterm plan to subjugate humanity — because, come on, obviously — but because there’s so much style to it! The weird pointillist style, the camera flash and news channel graphics… a lot of work went into that! A suspiciously… superhuman amount of work.

Buy: WarioWare: D.I.Y. ($33.99)

See also: WarioWare DIY: Personal microgames and video game snapshots

Knytt microgame in WarioWare D.I.Y. Creator BooJoh used one game’s editor to make a microgame patterned after another editable game! Well, technically it’s Knytt Stories that has the editor. I wonder if there are any five-second-long Knytt Stories?

With WarioWare D.I.Y. out in North America, we’re going to see a resurgence of user-created microgames. Which is good for those of us constantly searching YouTube for these things. Now, we’ll even be able to play some of them! 

Buy: WarioWare: D.I.Y. ($33.99)

See also: WarioWare DIY: Personal microgames and video game snapshots

WarioWare DIY papercraft. Nintendo included these Wario templates with the materials handed out to GDC attendees. But now you can make a boxy, formally-dressed Wario even if you didn’t attend GDC (or if you didn’t have Joystiq coworkers there), thanks to this scanned template. 
It doesn’t really translate to the tasks in the game in any capacity other than that it involves Wario and making stuff, but anything to get people to pay attention to this rad game is a good thing. And since the game is about making stuff, it translates much more than the usual game papercraft. Plus, you know, yay papercraft.
See it yourself: More WarioWare DIY stuff

WarioWare DIY papercraft. Nintendo included these Wario templates with the materials handed out to GDC attendees. But now you can make a boxy, formally-dressed Wario even if you didn’t attend GDC (or if you didn’t have Joystiq coworkers there), thanks to this scanned template. 

It doesn’t really translate to the tasks in the game in any capacity other than that it involves Wario and making stuff, but anything to get people to pay attention to this rad game is a good thing. And since the game is about making stuff, it translates much more than the usual game papercraft. Plus, you know, yay papercraft.

See it yourself: More WarioWare DIY stuff

NSFW: Collection of ultra violent WarioWare D.I.Y. microgames. This likely isn’t what Nintendo and Intelligent Systems had in mind when they decided to give players the power to create their own WarioWare-style games, but if you’re inclined to, you can create experiences just as bloody and tasteless as the Saw films.

Will we see a microgame speaking out against violence soon, similar to the anti-pervy WarioWare D.I.Y. video we posted months ago? Also, I promise to share a post with more family-friendly ideas for microgames soon.

Preorder: WarioWare: D.I.Y.

See also: Microgame: Dragon Punch Ken’s wife

Metal Gear made using Made in Ore. With a North American release date announced for WarioWare DIY (March 28!), we can resume the business of posting random microgames, like this really clever one in which a lot of the gameplay occurs while Snake’s offscreen!

Here’s one based on Metal Gear Solid’s Codec screen:

The goal is to call the Colonel, who responds with “La-li-lu-le-lo! La-li-lu-le-lo!”

Preorder: WarioWare: D.I.Y.

WarioWare: D.I.Y. coming March 28th

WarioWare D.I.Y., the WarioWare DS title that empowers you to create your own microgames about Golgo 13 and dragon punching Ken’s wife, finally has a North American release date: March 28th, 2010, almost a full year after its Japanese debut. Its complimentary WiiWare game for playing the microgames on a big screen, WarioWare D.I.Y. Showcase, is also slated to hit in the first quarter of 2010.

A quick game recap for newer Tiny Cartridge readers: WarioWare D.I.Y. gives you the tools to create graphics, music, rules, and even comics for microgames. It’s a neat app that’s already been abused to create dozens, if not hundreds, of perverted mini games in which you grope and poke anime girls in vulnerable positions (there’s even one for Hachi Koi's Kurumi floating around somewhere!).

Read more