One of the guard going away MINDSCAPE

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clok1966
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http://www.develop-online.net/news/38424/40-jobs-gone-as-Mindscape-quits...

while I know its not ht ecompany it used to be today, its a bit sad one of the old names is gone.

Nathaniel Tolbert
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Wow, I actually have

Wow, I actually have Brimstone sitting on the shelf behind me and I never realized that was released by Broderbund. I haven't played it, it looks to be sealed still. Kinda neat that I have a copy though.

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Bill Loguidice
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Broderbund - one of the greats up to the early 90s
Nathaniel Tolbert wrote:

Broderbund made text based adventure games? That's something I did not know. Is there any way you could possibly do a review on them at some point in time so I can learn more about them?

Well, "made" is a strong word, but definitely published. I have all of these for various platforms in the Mobygames list: http://www.mobygames.com/game-group/game-engine-btz

I remember from contemporary reviews back in the day that these Synapse games rivaled Infocom's parser for sophistication, though each had their own strengths and weaknesses. For instance, the Synapse stuff had strong conversation engines but was weaker in other aspects. Unfortunately, by the time these text adventures hit, the market was already starting to drift away from the format.

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Nathaniel Tolbert
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Electronic Novels?

Broderbund made text based adventure games? That's something I did not know. Is there any way you could possibly do a review on them at some point in time so I can learn more about them?

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Bill Loguidice
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Trivia
Greg Johnson wrote:
clok1966 wrote:

EPYX- they whre really big in the early days, i had almost forgot them.
Broderbrum- (sorry spelling)
Origin-
Mindscape-
Infocom-

heck .. succes at one point sure dont mean survival. Atari si still alive, but really it was dead in the late 80's early 90's as the ATARI it once was.

I agree with your list, and I'd add Synapse Software (Blue Max, Shamus, and one of my classic favorites, Necromancer).

Many don't know that Epyx created the "Handy Game" machine, which they would later partner with Atari and market it as the "Atari Lynx".

Or that Synapse was bought out by Broderbund, but they kept the label going for a while. That's why we had "Lode Runner's Daughter" published under Synapse and Broderbund got the "Electronic Novels" that were the only true technological competition for Infocom (though too late to make a difference).

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Greg Johnson
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80's Most Influential Developers:
clok1966 wrote:

EPYX- they whre really big in the early days, i had almost forgot them.
Broderbrum- (sorry spelling)
Origin-
Mindscape-
Infocom-

heck .. succes at one point sure dont mean survival. Atari si still alive, but really it was dead in the late 80's early 90's as the ATARI it once was.

I agree with your list, and I'd add Synapse Software (Blue Max, Shamus, and one of my classic favorites, Necromancer).

Many don't know that Epyx created the "Handy Game" machine, which they would later partner with Atari and market it as the "Atari Lynx".

Bill Loguidice
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Time travel
Matt Barton wrote:

Fun thing to think about--what if you got ripped out of time and placed back in 1980, knowing all you know now about videogames. Do you think you'd be able to make a difference, giving them the details of games like Tetris, Myst, The Sims, etc., or would you just encounter skepticism and be unable to do anything with the knowledge?

True. It took Wil Wright something like 5 years to get someone interested in SimCity for goodness sake, so there's no telling what would have happened with other groundbreaking visions if they were released before their time.

I suppose the only safe bet way back when would have been getting Apple stock when it was first available in 1980 (and holding onto it during the lean times in the 90's). If you spent $4400 on 200 shares in 1980, it'd be worth something like $30,000 today (assuming my math is even in the ballpark).

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clok1966
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Video games are really NEW

Video games are really NEW comparativly speaking. Think how much the auto has changed in 100 years! (there is an old joke about how every 3rd post on the net has some comparasion to cars in a "why people who argue on the net are idiots). But some tech hasnt change much at all TV's/ Radios.. still the same really, bigger, louder, but do the same thing ( i guess cars still move us too not much else). In suhc a new industry there is no guide, so many new things (system, game styles, apps) comming out, its hard to judge who would be around and who wouldnt be. Then you add in stuff like formats, differnt brands.. (consoles, PC's) it really fragments stuff.

EPYX- they whre really big in the early days, i had almost forgot them.
Broderbrum- (sorry spelling)
Origin-
Mindscape-
Infocom-

heck .. succes at one point sure dont mean survival. Atari si still alive, but really it was dead in the late 80's early 90's as the ATARI it once was.

Matt Barton
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Epyx
Bill Loguidice wrote:

You know, it's funny what companies seemed like big deals back in the day that really weren't or petered out after the 80s. The one that always struck me was Epyx, and I remember how that marketing guy was talking about the company gambling on the wrong systems when we were filming the documentary. They seemed to be top notch back then, but I guess we never know what goes on behind the scenes or what sales are really like.

I'd be shocked if the companies back then were still around in anything like their present form. From what I gather, a lot of them were new to business, and all of them (obviously) were new to the videogames industry. Even people who gambled correctly, such as Scott Miller on DOS, may have just gotten lucky. Sure, in retrospect that might say that of course the Amiga and Atari ST were terrible platforms to stake your company on, but at least until VGA came along I can easily see how someone might think the opposite.

It's funny how the videogames industry has worked out. You'd think it would be on the cutting edge, but we're just now seeing the beginnings of a true digital distribution system and games taking advantage of the networks. It's just mind-blowing that so much of it still hinges on physical objects (discs) and ridiculous efforts to "guard the bits."

Fun thing to think about--what if you got ripped out of time and placed back in 1980, knowing all you know now about videogames. Do you think you'd be able to make a difference, giving them the details of games like Tetris, Myst, The Sims, etc., or would you just encounter skepticism and be unable to do anything with the knowledge?

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Bill Loguidice
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That is correct, Matt, I have

That is correct, Matt, I have lots of Mindscape stuff, including the Miracle Piano system (though just the Mac version, I still need to track down adapter/cartridge combos for other systems).

You know, it's funny what companies seemed like big deals back in the day that really weren't or petered out after the 80s. The one that always struck me was Epyx, and I remember how that marketing guy was talking about the company gambling on the wrong systems when we were filming the documentary. They seemed to be top notch back then, but I guess we never know what goes on behind the scenes or what sales are really like.

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Matt Barton
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Their name was familiar but I

Their name was familiar but I had to look them up on Wikipedia to be sure. They published a lot of great games, including Balance of POwer, Indiana Jones and the Lost Crusade (eh), and Deja Vu (one of my fave adventures). Looks like they also did the Miracle Piano system (I think Bill actually has it!) and Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing...Geez, lots of stuff.

According to Wikipedia they bought out SSI in 1993 and changed name to Mindscape. I didn't know that!

It says they created Legend (The Four Crystals of Trazere) in 1992. That' be a great game for me to review on Matt Chat, since it's a clear progenitor of Diablo IIRC. At any rate, definitely an obscure game that I think people would be interested to learn more about. Well, CRPG nuts anyway. I never heard of it back in the day even though it was released for Amiga:

http://www.mobygames.com/game/four-crystals-of-trazere

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