Game companies doing game company things | Updates currently irregular

Comic 82: It's not a glitch, it's a feature

Finally, Taito gets to appear in her own comic :D
Anyway, in Space Invaders, the aliens start going faster and faster every time you shoot one - however, this wasn't the original intention. The hardware wasn't powerful enough to run it properly, and the aliens ran much slower than intended. However, as more and more of them disappeared, the processor would speed up more and more, and the developer, Tomohiro Nishikado, thought this worked better than the original idea of them moving at the same speed all the time, so he kept it. This would be the first game to gradually increase the difficulty as it went on, something that's now a standard feature of most games... and to think, it started out as an unintended glitch.

(I also realized during drawing Taito that the company used an older logo (the one at the door) back then and didn't change this before 1988... oh well, she also wears a hoodie referencing a game that wouldn't be released for 8 years)


by melaredblu at 23rd Jan 2016, 9:27 AM

Ah, the serendipity of pioneering.

by Zanreo at 23rd Jan 2016, 9:44 AM

It's always cool to be able to say you were the first...

by ProfEtheric at 23rd Jan 2016, 10:28 AM

Yay! The invention of the greatest blessing (and occasionally greatest curse) in gaming! (I think it would have pretty much died if not for the difficulty curve.)

by Zanreo at 23rd Jan 2016, 10:44 AM

Yeah, the difficulty curve was definitely one of the things that made people hooked...

by MadJak91 at 23rd Jan 2016, 2:00 PM

Thanks :D

Ah yes, back in the day when a problem turned out to be the solution or a feature.
Reminds me of the first Metroid. They could not animate crouching sprites properly so they invented the Morph Ball. There! Iconic ability!

by Zanreo at 23rd Jan 2016, 4:31 PM

Yup, this stuff is pretty interesting :D
And similarly, combos in fighting games originated from (or rather, got popularized by) a Street Fighter glitch where the opponenet couldn't block attacks, which the devs left in as a hidden feature that was quickly found.

by MadJak91 at 23rd Jan 2016, 4:47 PM

Oh! Cool!
Yeah. I guess when you have "primitive" tools to work with, you need to be that much inventive plus it trains your brain for clever game design and interesting workarounds. Not saying it is bad, but nowadays everything is pretty much corrected (on the base level) and you work with engines/editors instead of programming directly for the hardware. Less room for error == good but you do not have to think as much sometimes :D
(not only game development, I know from experience)

by Zanreo at 23rd Jan 2016, 5:03 PM

Yeah, it's easier to make games now and get all the features you need, but there's also less limitations that can cause stuff like this.

by NeilKapit at 25th Jan 2016, 4:30 AM

And for this pioneering innovation, where is Taito now? Devoured by Square Enix, it seems, its own brand choked out by all those belts and zippers.

by Zanreo at 25th Jan 2016, 6:03 AM

Yeah, and what's now called Taito is stuck making mobile games... sad to see what happened

by NeilKapit at 26th Jan 2016, 4:12 AM

Those touch-screened bastards strike again

by azureXtwilight at 27th Jan 2016, 4:41 PM

Too bad, considering that Taito is not famous anymore in terms of console-gaming era :(

by Zanreo at 27th Jan 2016, 5:14 PM


Mel Cormac
by Mel Cormac at 26th Mar 2016, 5:23 PM

I had no idea that was a glitch! Makes a lot of sense though, now you mention it. This comic is funny AND educational.

by Zanreo at 26th Mar 2016, 5:31 PM

Thanks :D And yeah, sure is a lot of interesting stuff to learn :D

by DAgillity at 6th Apr 2016, 11:28 PM

last panel. namco's face :3

by Zanreo at 25th May 2017, 6:27 AM

Taiko face :3

by Koshi at 15th May 2017, 9:46 AM

Hey look it's a young Nintendo!

by Zanreo at 25th May 2017, 6:27 AM

Yeah :D

by Ajax at 27th Dec 2017, 2:42 AM

To be fair though, Nintendo would have been pushing 90 by that point. Still looks good for her age though.

by Zanreo at 27th Dec 2017, 4:20 AM

Yeah, turns out personified companies age pretty well x3

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