Vintage Games Book Bonus Chapter 2 Released - "Pinball Construction Set: Launching Millions of Creative Possibilities"

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yakumo9275
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Neat guys, a great read. No

Neat guys, a great read. No mention of AMOS/STOS, I thought you'd drop a mention in there for the hobbyist game creation stuff. A metric TONNE of stuff was churned out with those kits.

edit: nevermind, I see clickteam owns amos and you mentioned them.

-- Stu --

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Bill Loguidice
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Thanks, Stu. Yeah, it's

Thanks, Stu. Yeah, it's definitely tough to mention everything in there and that's certainly not the intention of the book. I figured since programs like Activision's Game Maker and the modern GameMaker were in there, among others, that the rest of the various levels of hobby programming/development languages/programs were implied. I might throw something up from AMOS/STOS as one of the online bonus images, though. I'll have to see. Other suggestions were "The Movies" and "World Builder". I'll be curious if there are any others that people have fond memories of that they hoped would be mentioned.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Rowdy Rob
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Other Construction kits
Bill Loguidice wrote:

I'll be curious if there are any others that people have fond memories of that they hoped would be mentioned.

Sorry, I'm posting too much in this thread, so I'll be brief. "Shoot Em Up Construction Kit" was limited, but was another fave of mine, with a fair amount of user-generated content available. "Lode Runner," "Boulderdash Construction Kit," and perhaps "Trackmania" might also qualify.

AMOS/STOS were programming languages, so I'm not sure they fall under the "construction set" category. Visionary and Amigavision are possibly relevant, and perhaps even POWERPOINT could be seen as somewhat related!

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Bill Loguidice
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Glad you liked it, Rob. I

Glad you liked it, Rob. I think your stories really added to it, which it why was included, so thanks again. You're at least the second person to mention Lode Runner, so I guess it makes sense to have that as a bonus image. Level builders/course builders are mentioned in the article so it's certainly implied, but since we have some flexibility with the bonus images, there's no reason not to include a shot and caption for Lode Runner.

I actually have the order of the bonus chapters on the book's main page on this site. The next chapter is "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater", which has the potential to be our first poorly received one, so fingers crossed on that for March. Of the bonus chapters, that received the most post book work on it to try and whip it into shape, and I still feel it's not quite there. Of course a lot of that has to do with neither myself or especially Matt being much into those types of games on a profound level.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Bill Loguidice
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Lode Runner is now accounted

Lode Runner is now accounted for: http://www.armchairarcade.com/neo/node/2329

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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I didn't even mention

I didn't even mention Visionary, an adventure game kit I used on my Amiga back in the day. :)

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Matt Barton
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Amazingly, when I checked

Amazingly, when I checked the book's website on Amazon, the sales in the category were up to #12! Not sure how many sales that represents, but these bonus chapters are definitely resulting in sales. The sales rank overall was #42,481 in books.

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Rowdy Rob
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Another quality chapter

Of course I have to post a comment about this, since I was quoted in the chapter.....

It was another smooth and enjoyable read. Not only did I wax nostalgic reading the chapter, I also regretted not delving into these other construction sets of the time. Also, only now, over 20 years later, did I find out that PCS supported the Koalapad!!!

Although I was a pirate back then, I purchased PCS and (I think) Racing Destruction Set for the Atari. RDS (the Atari Version) was awful. I was a creative "genius" back then, but I was no programmer, and I should have delved into these construction sets more, particularly "Adventure Construction Set." The chapter left me feeling with many thoughts of regret.

I was surprised at how extensively "Rowdy Rob" was quoted, but I hope my thoughts helped to establish the point that PCS was miraculously groundbreaking for its time. A couple of awkward grammatical moments aside, I guess I have to say that my quotes fit in well with the flow of the article (if I may egotistically say so myself). Thankfully, most of my usual superfluous junk was omitted.

I read some of the early comments of your chapter on the Gamasutra site, and I don't think some of them get it, particularly the guy who lamented that "The Movies" wasn't mentioned. I have "The Movies," and while you can argue that it has some "construction set" elements, it is clearly a Tycoon/Sims game, and the ability to create your own "movie" is closer to the ability to create a "mod" than an actual, playable game. (Try it... it's no PCS).

So when is a "Matt" chapter going to be posted on Gamasutra? What's the next "bonus chapter?"

Only a month or so to go until I have the actual book in my hands.... :-)

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Rowdy Rob
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More comments

I got up early this morning, so I went back and reread the chapter, and came away with more thoughts on the quality of the chapter. (My previous post is a bit embarrassing, so I'm trying again).

The flow of the chapter is somewhat reminiscent of the book "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution," which is a classic book. Particularly the way the chapter told of the beginnings of "BudgeCo" and PCS' transition to an EA title was fascinating and informative, and the well-chosen quotes from Bill Budge really gave one the sense of the dawn of an exciting new era in creative gaming possibilities! Rereading that portion chapter, it amazes me that you were able to convey all this in relatively few words, considering the subject!

The photographs and scans were also fascinating. Seeing the original "BudgeCo" PCS cover and the EA cover was really cool, as was the amazing sight of seeing software "baggies."

The chapter then nicely transitions to the modern era, explaining the influence of PCS on modern games, and the difference between construction sets, "Mod making" development tools, and programming languages.

I think the typical reader will come away with a sense of what a groundbreaking program PCS really was. What wasn't explicitly said, but was strongly implied, was that PCS hasn't been topped as a near-perfect game-making tool, even today!

Since the "PCS" chapter appeared on Gamasutra, a well-known site frequented by industry professionals, it might be the catalyst for future "construction set" concepts! It was a great place for such a chapter to be posted!

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Matt Barton
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Slashdotted!

Good news: Slashdot ran with the story, too!

I haven't looked at the comments yet (brace for impact!), but I appreciate the added exposure. Thanks, Soulskill!

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