Lady Bug and A-VCS-tec Challenge now available for the Atari 2600 VCS!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Lady Bug screenshot: for the Atari 2600 VCSLady Bug screenshot: for the Atari 2600 VCSThanks to our friends at AtariAge, two new homebrew games for the Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS) are now widely available. While "A-VCS-tec Challenge" has been made previously available in a limited run (my original blog about it here) - though sourced from Europe - this is the first time I'm aware that this new, original arcade conversion of "Lady Bug" is available for sale.

As usual, it looks like a tremendous job was done all the way around and both games certainly showcase the amazing amount of power - through careful programming and talent - that can be tapped from the humble VCS. Both games are only $25 each, plus shipping, which to me is a perfect pricepoint for high quality homebrew offerings such as these.A-VCS-tec Challenge screenshot: for the Atari 2600 VCSA-VCS-tec Challenge screenshot: for the Atari 2600 VCS

Check out "Lady Bug" here: http://www.atariage.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_...

Check out "A-VCS-tec Challenge" here: http://www.atariage.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_...

Comments

Mark Vergeer
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Wow those screens look amazing....

Wow, this truly makes me convinced that the 2600's full potential was never reached during it's commercially viable period!
-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-

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Bill Loguidice
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Mass Market versus Homebrew Market

I don't know if I agree with that statement in its entirety, as I do think we saw amazing things done on the Atari VCS/2600 hardware during its initial run, which in fairness was roughly from 1977 - 1989, but there's certainly no question that modern homebrew on the system has reached all but an art form. I think the biggest difference between now and then is that back then there was a sea of garbage mixed in with the good stuff (as is the case with most platforms, but is certainly notable on the VCS/2600). Today, it seems, the only homebrews that actually get released on cartridge (there are plenty of ROMs that never see cartridge, including hacks) meet a minimum quality level. We could say that in the past, A - B - C - D - E games were regularly released, today, by my estimation, it's mostly A - B - C, with very few D's and no known E's.

I think homebrew authors have a wonderful luxury of not only amazing support groups and tools courtesy of the Internet, but also countless hundreds of old software to pore over its code (and techniques shown to work, be it scrolling or color or bank-switching or whatever - sometimes knowing something is possible is more empowering than trying to figure out if something is possible). There are also no target release dates to meet, publisher demands or marketing people nonsense. In other words, what one is left with today is the essence of coding. While games no longer have the ability to sell a few million copies, perhaps there's a greater good achieved in the current market state, even with, at best, a few hundred cartridges sold. It's like art for art's sake, not art for money's sake.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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Mark Vergeer
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indeed today's 2600 homebrew authors do have an advantage....

Well okay, Today's 2600 homebrew authors do have an advantage over the developers from the past. A lot of new games and techniques have been introduced and there's a lot of new stuff to incorporate. But it does help the devvers to get more out of the machine than was possible in the past.
I must say that in my opinion a lot of 2600 games that were released were just plain horrible - polluting the games industry. Of course there were gems that should be in everybody's 2600 collection too, but back in those days there was a helluva lot of crap games too. The games were more diverse in gameplay, looks and appearances though. Today every genre has many games that actually look, sound, feel and play the same.....

-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-

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Bill Loguidice
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Cartridge capacities

It's also interesting to note that in the past, K sizes were often limited to between 2K - 16K, tops, with most falling between the 4K - 8K ranges. With cheap memory and well understood bank-switching techniques, we regularly see homebrews in the 16K - 32K range and beyond. That certainly has to count for something too as a modern benefit...

=================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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