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D. Scott Williamson (not verified)
Star Castle Atari 2600

[I should know better than to reply to threads like this...]

I was inspired by Howard Scott Warshaw's quotes in Racing the Beam, A Yar Is Born, and in interviews to try to create Star Castle for the 2600 as it could technically have been released in 1981. Yars Revenge was done in a 4K cartridge and was and is awesome, but Asteroids came out first in an 8K cartridge so that's what I decided to use.

I showed the game at the Video Game Summit in 2010 and Crimestopper made the first Atari Age post on the forums. Once I got involved the feedback was great but once they found out that I had no intention of selling or sharing the game I found myself taking a more and more defensive position. Every game I've ever done has been pirated and I wanted to have control over this one very personal piece of work. Right or wrong, I should have stopped responding long before the thread was eventually locked.

In 2011 I had created the new custom cartridge with the flashing lights and had showed it again at the Video Game Summit where I announced the $32k price. I didn't really expect to find a buyer at that price, not at the conference, not on Atari Age, not really anywhere, and frankly don't expect to find one on Kickstarter at $10k. I'd like to keep that cartridge, it's special to me. I wouldn't have put any price on it if the discussion in the forums hadn't gone so bad. In hindsight it was probably a mistake that I can't undo, but what I can do is make the game and source available.

In 2012 a new thread was started and shortly after cd-w (Chris) started his project which is fantastic. We both did it for the challenge but beyond that we did different versions of the same game for different reasons and with different constraints. Working alone, I made a version to prove it could have been done in an 8K cartridge in1981, Chris and a handful of other people worked together to make a fantastic modern version in 28K version using additional RAM in the cartridge. We both used the hardware in different ways and made different compromises. The resulting products play differently and offer interesting perspectives both from a technical and artistic points of view. Personally, I think the products compliment and contrast each other more than compete.

I started preparing for my Kickstarter around the same time Chris started his project, it's just a coincidence. I think he plans to sell his on Atari Age, and if the Kickstarter is successful, I'll sell mine. Now the game and source code are available at a reasonable price which is what everyone wanted in the first place and hopefully we can all go home happy.

It has been quite a soap opera, and I hope that it doesn't detract too much from what I had originally intended to accomplish.

By the way thanks for your support Bill,


D. Scott Williamson
[shameless plug]


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