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Reliving Arcade Glory… on GalaChain!

Reliving Arcade Glory… on GalaChain!

Flashing lights and loud noises dominate your senses. Last quarter. This time you’ll get it for sure.

You pop it in and the screen comes to life. Dirk the Daring fearlessly gets to his heroic work. You use what you’ve learned all afternoon to navigate the treacherous path. It’s a perfect run so far. Just as you’re starting to get cocky, the Lizard King creeps out of nowhere. Game over. 

Just one of many horrible fates that befell Dirk the Daring.

Totally defeated and having lost your last quarter, you start to slink away from the machine. Almost automatically you sweep the coin return with two fingers – A quarter! Maybe one last game of Ninja Gaiden instead of trying your luck at this one again.

The Golden Age of the Arcade

If you were born before the 90s, chances are this sounded pretty familiar to you. All those of us who grew up in the time when the arcade was king distinctly remember those last quarter feels, or the sensation of poking at the coin return in the hopes that some other kid forgot their last coin in it.

Yes, arcades are still a thing. My daughter is quite fond of them. It’s hard to take her to a half abandoned and dilapidated arcade though and not have my mind drift to those days where games meant more than just tickets. When the arcade was the spot to be all summer long. 

Back then, the video games we could play at home were limited. Sure, depending on what decade we’re talking about there were Ataris, Commodores, NES and eventually even those late 90s persistent 300+ game shareware discs. The quality and quantity of games you could play from your couch, however, paled in comparison to wall to wall arcade cabinets and the sure chance of finding at least some of your friends at the arcade.

These were the days of no internet. The days of very limited multiplayer outside multi-joystick arcade games. The days when gaming culture was born… and that culture lived full-time at the arcade.

Dragon’s Lair, which I was referencing above, came out in 1983. Dragon’s Lair BLEW OUR MINDS! This was a time when most games were lines and dots on a screen, or at best they were made up of moving static images. Some of the highest tech out there had sprites for characters that had 2-3 poses at most.

Dragon’s Lair showed up with a Disney-quality, rotoscoped movie as its gameplay. They used the entirely new LaserDisc data format to encode a movie with multiple branching paths… one of the first examples of interactive media at this quality! It was impressive… so impressive, in fact, that sometimes you’d keep draining quarters into it even after you realized how punishing and impossible it was.

Not So Distant Beginnings

We’ve come a long way in a very short time with video game tech. The glory days of the arcade weren’t that long ago. Looking back, however, it’s really no wonder why we moved so fast. At the arcade, you could play 40+ new games in one day, talk about them with your friends, and watch hundreds of other kids playing (who were probably better than you) over their shoulder. We learned quick, which is why gaming learned quick.

Simple shapes and basic mechanics of games like Breakout gave way to slightly less simple shapes of games like Arkanoid. One by one, the kids pumping quarters in the games started to recognize genres and core mechanics. At first it was “Oh! It’s like Double Dragon”, but as our knowledge grew it quickly became “Oh! It’s a beat ’em up, co-op platformer”. 

Arcades were education. In those early days of the 70s and 80s, there were great game designers and programmers working on games. That was nothing compared to the kids they were training up though. No one had ever absorbed so much of the previously non-existent media of video games. 

Spoiler, some of us who put our time in at the local arcade ‘studying’ would go on to push gaming forward with this education. Soon the kids recognizing patterns in the games they pumped their quarters into grew into the young professionals propelling gaming into the next generation.

The Legacy of Arcades

Arcades may still exist, but they’re not always the bastion of culture they once were. That having been said, that culture is still very much alive. When my daughter used to lure three friends into her Minecraft world so they could run her newly created obstacle course, that felt very arcade. When I watch a Twitch stream and think my commentary actually adds to the group conversation, that feels a lot like crowding around the arcade champ’s shoulder while they’re taking challengers on in Killer Instinct.

I think you’d be hard pressed to find many who work in game dev today that don’t have fond memories of the arcade. This was the shared experience that helped raise us and led to the rapid progression of games through the past few decades. Whether you were setting your coins on deck for Space Invaders in the late 70s or trying to solo run The Simpsons Arcade Game in the early 90s, you helped create this industry.

There are cultures throughout the world where arcades still hold some of their former glory. Japan, notably, has sprawlingly huge arcades with an often ridiculous assortment of all kinds of games. Even those, however, are on the decline compared to their heights in previous decades.

Pictured: The Kabukicho pedestrian crossing in Tokyo, at the corner of Shinjuku Moa 2 Avenue and the Godzilla Road.
Though arcades are statistically on the decline in Japan, there are still whole districts with entire buildings devoted to nothing but arcade games.

Luckily, one thing out there is preserving the classic arcade feel… And I’m not talking about a room full of machines that dispense tickets so you can buy worthless prizes. That great force working to save some piece of this culture is probably the same thing that made you read this far – nostalgia. Adults love games too, and over the past decades we’re seeing far more arcades formatted for grownups.

It’s really no surprise that these ‘barcades’ have risen so quickly. Adults do love to play just as much as everyone else. Billions of people out there all have this shared experience of the arcade… is it any wonder we’d want to relive a little of that? Also, compared to the price of some leisure activities out there… my wallet and wife would much prefer I play some Ms. PacMan with a cheap beer in my hand for an hour or two rather than some of the alternatives.

Fun is fun, and arcades are fun that everyone can enjoy together.

Arcade Culture Comes to GalaChain

This long, nostalgic ramble has finally brought me to the point.  Those of you who have been around the Gala Community for a while may be aware of the Happy Valley Arcade Bar in Beacon, NY. The owners of this establishment have long been incredibly supportive and involved community icons across all things Gala… and they’re working on something absolutely amazing for all arcade fans.

https://www.happyvalleybeacon.com

They are currently building some of the world’s first web3 gaming cabinets. These arcade machines will connect to GalaChain and reward high scorers with $VALLEY. Eventually, these games may be playable on the PC, but the arcade cabinets is where the bulk of these tokens will come from.

Early footage from one of Happy Valley’s arcade games!

We here at a Gala are a bit on the outside looking in on this one, but I personally am VERY excited. Not only is it amazing to see people doing new and innovative things with GalaChain, but I really like the idea of a worldwide arcade high score battle. 

Information will be coming out soon from the Happy Valley team. I hear they are planning to sell arcade cabinets with $VALLEY potential among other things.

You don’t have to take my word for it though… head on over to https://discord.gg/7hjHCnsP to join their Discord server today!

See you at the arcade!!!

Gala Makes Waves at GameDev Summit 2024

Gala Makes Waves at GameDev Summit 2024

Editor’s Note – The following article was written by Jared Dillenger, the Head of Influencer Marketing and KOLs here at Gala. Reporting back after his highly urgent mission to the Philippines, he details the insights and intel gained while immersed in the thick of innovation at GameDev Summit 2024 – the industry-exclusive main event for the gaming world of the Asian Pacific.

As the head of influencer marketing and KOLs at Gala, I recently had the privilege of attending the GameDev Summit 2024 at Boracay Island. Organized with the support of the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry, this landmark event proved to be a pivotal moment for Gala and the global gaming industry at large.

The GameDev Summit 2024

The GameDev Summit is a professionals-only B2B event that serves as a platform for strengthening the Asia Pacific industry’s position and partnerships within the global video game development community. This year’s summit featured the External Development Summit (XDS) Main Stage, boasting prominent speakers and panelists in collaboration with the Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP).

Focus on Industry Diversity

One of the key highlights of the summit was its acknowledgment of the two sides of the industry – external development and indie game development. This approach was reflected in the two tracks offered, addressing the distinct requirements and solutions for each space. The summit provided a comprehensive perspective on the possibilities available to studios, professionals, and advocates in the dynamic world of game development.

Showcasing the Philippines’ Gaming Industry

During my five-day stay at the summit, I had the opportunity to engage with a diverse array of Web 2 studios and companies connected to the gaming industry. The main purpose of the summit was to showcase the significant user base and the abundance of talented game developers in the Philippines. It effectively highlighted the potential for outsourced high-skilled game development in the country, from small gaming studios to multinational companies from across the globe.

Gala’s Presence and Impact

At the summit, I had the honor of representing Gala and promoting the adoption of GalaChain within the gaming industry. I engaged with numerous international gaming studios, introducing them to the funding opportunities available within the Gala ecosystem. This endeavor resulted in establishing 40-50 valuable contacts, significantly raising awareness of Gala and its diverse offerings, including entertainment, gaming, film, music, and GalaChain.

Mentorship and Learning Experience

Furthermore, I had the privilege of being mentored by Jeff Espejo, the Vice President of Blockchain at Gala. His wealth of experience and guidance has provided me with invaluable insights into the intricacies of the crypto business world. Being around such an experienced person has been instrumental in my professional growth and understanding of the blockchain industry.

Content Creation and Future Endeavors

Throughout the summit, I actively documented my experiences and interactions, creating engaging content to share Gala’s mission and vision. The overwhelmingly positive reception further solidified my commitment to continue attending similar events worldwide, fostering valuable connections and amplifying the presence of Gala on a global scale.

My experience at the GameDev Summit 2024 was not only enriching but also instrumental in advancing Gala’s presence within the gaming industry. I look forward to leveraging the momentum gained at the summit to further the reach and impact of Gala in the dynamic world of gaming and entertainment.

As an editorial, the thoughts and opinions expressed in this article, awesome as they are, are those of Jared Dillenger and not of Gala.

Letters From the Editor: The Gift of Gaming

Letters From the Editor: The Gift of Gaming


Long after the excitement of Christmas day, the memory of holiday games never fade away.

If you’d have told 7-year old me that I’d eventually land in the gaming industry after my share of trials and tribulations in other “more serious” work, I’d have considered that knowledge better than any present that could be bought in a store.

This is the time of year for reflection. Thinking back on all those holidays that came before, I clearly remember all the food, travel and traditions… but what really stands out is the fun and games with family and friends.

Gaming Life

I was always a gamer. From the first time I put the thimble on the board in Monopoly, I was hooked. It wasn’t long after that I tagged along behind my older brothers as they rented videos from the library (Yes! We used to do that!) to learn to play chess. Five or Six years old was probably a little young for chess, but that didn’t stop me from having the board setup every day ready when my dad came home from work.

I thought about chess a lot at that time. The idea of weighing decisions and thinking about the next steps came naturally to me, and it changed the way I thought about life for the better. Not long after that came Mario and Link, and games would occupy most of the real estate in my mind for much of my childhood.

The Digital Frontier

One holiday from my early school years stands out in my memory. With the SNES, everything changed overnight. So many of the foundational classics that were essential in constructing my adult brain: Super Ghouls and Ghosts, A Link to the Past, Maximum Carnage… the list goes on.

I also ascribe my love of writing, reading and language in general with this system. Amazing, epic RPGs like Final Fantasy VI (or III depending on which international version you had), EarthBound and Chrono Trigger showed me multimedia experiences where storytelling and compelling game mechanics occupied the same space. This was my future.

It’s all a blur after that. Games evolved so fast, and I with them. Before long it was Playstation… trading the FFVI for FFVII. I’m not afraid to admit I cried (you know the part I’m talking about). My brother and I became godly good at SSX Tricky at the cost of thousands of hours. I diligently farmed every achievement on Gran Turisimo. These actually were things that I thought about when work or life got hard in the future — this is where I learned persistence and patience.

The Gift Goes On

As I grew into an adult, gaming wasn’t a lifestyle so much as it was just life. TFC LAN parties with friends on the weekend were a normal thing, what else would we do? Every activity got gamified… I learned to roll with the punches of life because I learned to think of it as a game… and you’re never out of a good game until you’re all the way out. Side note, any time anyone says “roll with the punches” I think about the mechanic in Heroes: Unlimited that let you ‘roll with a punch’, casting a d20 to see if you could take half damage by positioning your body better. 🤣

I’d known about tabletop RPGs since I was a kid and feel it was incredibly advantageous for my communication and mental organization skills to play the heck out of those games at (probably) too young of an age. As I grew into an adult though, tabletop became a way of making new friends, growing interpersonal relationships and filtering out the people I wanted in my life from those I didn’t.

D&D and MTG nights were how I met some of my best friends to this day. Settlers of Catan just became a thing that was always waiting on the coffee table with a fresh board randomized and ready to go.

Family Gaming

As a father, the first instinct I had was to play games with my children. Peekaboo, Eat the Toes, Got Your Nose… from day one, every human has a need to play and we naturally understand that. As that play grew up fast, Chase the Ticklemonster gave way to Chutes and Ladders… then eventually lots and lots of Pokemon.

Last year my daughter got her first dice set at seven. She made her first D&D character… a Dragonborn Shaman named BoomBoom. These days, sneaking my wife and I’s various Monster Manuals off our shelf is right up there with catching shinies on her priority list, and she may just find her own brand new MM under the tree this year!

It’s not just my kids though. My wife got a set of sculpted pewter dice from me as well. She’s a markedly different type of gamer, but we find our common ground. About 11 years ago, I moved into a house and thought my roommate was cute. I had an extra PC, so talked her into playing the beta of Path of Exile with me. Here we are all these years later, and we spent an hour playing that same game together last night (New league is pretty epic btw!).

Thank You

When I was a kid, I think my parents regretted getting us into games… video games most of all. In the 90s, people seemed to think that video games were inherently anti-social and would ruin a child’s life and lead to a generation of damaged and desensitized people.

As I sit here and tear up reminiscing, I’m pretty sure that I’m not desensitized. I look back on my life, and gaming didn’t ruin it… it led me to all the places I was supposed to go. Even if my parents thought games rotted my brain, the truth was every game I played was a new perspective and experience that formed my approach to life. It enriched it all. I’ll try not to make that perspective mistake with my own children, as they find all new ways to grow into a better person.

So thank you mom and dad. Thank you to my brothers for being there to explore gaming with me and challenge me. Thanks for still being there to play a game of pitch or a board game at the holidays.

I’ll make sure to pass this gift on. My son and daughter have the ability to experience more than any generation before them through the magic of gaming. How else could they feel what it’s like to be the last orc standing in the legion, or to be racing against an impending supernova to solve progressively difficult puzzles?

Presents are cool. We all love some gift cards and socks. Heck, I just asked my wife for only sweaters without the holes I’ve worn in mine this year. In my memory though, it all eventually blurs into the games.

I want my kids’ memories of the holidays to be like mine… exploring the unknown in a shiny new adventure and lazy holiday afternoons around the table playing board games and laughing. Waiting for that one day that my daughter can beat me fair and square in Scrabble.

Gaming is the best gift I’ve ever received, and giving that gift to others is just as much a way of life as playing myself.

Happy holidays everyone, and I hope you make time to play!

With love and cheer,
Jordan Roberts, Gala