atari

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Related to Atari game consoles, games, or computers.
Matt Barton's picture

Matt Chat 166: Sandy Petersen on why paper game designers make better videogames

I'm back this week with part 2 of my interview with Sandy Petersen. In this episode, the maestro of pen & paper games talks about how people like him are better qualified to make videogames than those who jump straight to pixels. In short, the answer is diversity--paper games have it, videogames don't. Sandy also talks about Elf Quest, which he considers a failure, and Ghostbusters, whose innovative system inspired the Star Wars RPG (though unacknowledged). We also chat about his early computer games for Microprose, including Lightspeed and Hyperspeed, and why Sandy turned to the dark side.

Download the MP4 here.
What do you think about Sandy's argument? Would you like to see as much variety in the videogame market as we see in pen & paper games? Sound off below!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Making My Collection Usable - Part II - The Commodore Amiga (photos)

As mentioned previously, I've been going great guns in an attempt to make my overly large collection of 400+ videogame and computer systems more accessible and immediately usable. In other words, figuring out how to waste less of my precious time setting up this stuff and use more of that time actually using what I want to use. Part of that initiative is to take the most "important" computer and videogame systems and put them front and center - and ready to go - in various rooms. I'll discuss the classic videogame consoles in more detail in another post, but basically I've set up a 32" Sony Trinitron CRT to supplement the other basement TV and can now plug in various consoles in that area quickly and easily, though I've changed up where (and how) I'll be making the actual systems themselves accessible. Anyway, where last we left off, I couldn't get my Amiga 600 or 1200 to work, which left me to choose between my Amiga 500, 1000, or 2500HD (with 8088 Bridgeboard). I chose the latter.

With the above in mind, it was of course bugging me that neither the 600 or 1200 were working, so I resolved to address the issue within my limited skillset, and of course when time permitted. Long story short, the 600 is dead, but the culprit in the 1200 was a deceased 40MB hard drive, which was easy enough to remove and replace with a Compact Flash adapter and card with the OS and additional software. In the mean-time, I also got a PAL Amiga 1200, stock, with its own Compact Flash adapter and card with the OS and additional software.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Sega Arcade Classic and Arcade Ultimate Portable Review - Part 2: An Armchair Arcade Exclusive Video Review

In this video, I continue (part 1) my exclusive early look at the Sega Arcade Classic wireless game console and Sega Arcade Ultimate Portable handheld player from AtGames, both of which will be released in the US in time for the holidays. The new wired six button controller is also discussed.

Download the video here (has center watermark due to needing to compress file for download).

Bill Loguidice's picture

Atari Flashback 4 Review - Part 2: An Armchair Arcade Exclusive Video Review

In this video, I continue (part one) my exclusive early look at the Atari Flashback 4 from AtGames, which will be released in the US in time for the holidays. Look for part 2 of Armchair Arcade's other exclusive video review, coming soon, on several new Sega-related products from AtGames, which will also be released in time for the US holiday season.

EDIT: I mistakenly said 80 games with the Flashback 4. It's 75 games. The YouTube video has been updated with an annotation.

Download the video here (no annotation).

Bill Loguidice's picture

Atari-themed CHRISTMAS BYTES Kickstarter Campaign Launched! (can you spot Barton and Loguidice and Vintage Games?)

A new Atari-themed CHRISTMAS BYTES Kickstarter has been launched, and one of the reward tiers features a special bundle with a copy of our hit book Vintage Games. There are four such rewards available. When you're on their Kickstarter page, be sure to click on their YouTube link to watch some reminiscing from yours truly and some of the other partners and fans. Oh, and don't forget to pledge your support!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Sega Arcade Classic and Arcade Ultimate Portable Review: An Armchair Arcade Exclusive Video Review

In this video, I take an exclusive early look at the Sega Arcade Classic wireless game console and Sega Arcade Ultimate Portable handheld player from AtGames, both of which will be released in the US in time for the holidays. This is part 1. Part 2, which will be released a week or so after, will feature more live footage to get an even better sense of the quality of the systems and their capabilities.

Download the video here.

Matt Barton's picture

Matt Chat 161: Graeme Devine's Early Days

I'm back this week with a new interview series with Graeme Devine, the coding wizard best known for The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour. However, Graeme also did important work for id and goes back much earlier, developing some very impressive games for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, and PC Jr./Tandy 1000. In this segment, we chat about his early days on those systems, wrapping up with his games Silver Surfer and Spot for the NES. Lots of good stuff here, particularly for fans of the UK's game development scene of the 80s.

Download the video here.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Atari Flashback 4 Review: An Armchair Arcade Exclusive Video Review

In this video, I take an exclusive early look at the Atari Flashback 4 from AtGames, which will be released in the US in time for the holidays. This is part 1. Part 2, which will be released a week or so after, will feature more live footage to get an even better sense of the quality of the system and its capabilities. Look for part 1 of 2 of Armchair Arcade's next exclusive video review, coming soon, on several new Sega-related products from AtGames, which will also be released in time for the US holiday season.

Download the video here.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Making My Collection Usable - Part I - The Classic Computers (photos)

As mentioned previously, I've been re-thinking my collecting activities, including selling off the non-working and duplicate portions of my collection, which presently consists of over 430 videogame and computer systems and countless thousands of related software, accessories, and literature. Naturally, part of that reasoning was "thinning the herd" after all these years, because - even though I am thankful to have a relatively generous amount of space for these types of activities - it has long since reached the point where I well and truly have too much to handle. Why has this become an issue? There's simply too much stuff, there's no time to use it (that would need to be my full-time job), and, when I do want to use it, it takes up most of my available time just setting something up, only to have to break it down and put it back on the shelf again. It's innefficient, and frankly, no fun anymore.

With that in mind, in addition to the thinning - which will take a very, very long time of course in a collection I've been cultivating for over 30 years now - I've been plotting how I can make better use of what I have. Like I said, I am thankful to have a relatively generous amount of space. I have a large basement area, with about half unfinished, which is used for storage, and the other, finished half, consisting of an office room, hallway, workout area, and den area. The main floors of our house contain our active systems, including the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Co-Star, various computers and handhelds, etc., but they are not an option for me to make use of for classic items, other than on an occasional basis. That just leaves the basement, which is, of course, fine, but also limits my flexibility.

Anyway, even though each area of the basement is brimming with stuff and each section serves a specific purpose, either on a permanent or temporary basis, I decided that my best course of action is to pull out the truly must-have-accessible systems from the hundreds available and make them accessible at a moment's notice. This was not easy to do, as I have a genuine passion for each and every system I own, but the bottom line is is that some systems are more interesting, more "useful," or I simply have a critical mass of items for them that they can't be ignored. I decided I'd tackle that task with my classic computers first, followed by my classic videogame systems at a later date. I cleared space on my big L-shaped computer desk in the office area and proceeded to select the systems that met my criteria and would fit on the desk (I'll have some flexibility when I set up the classic videogame consoles to make a little use of the den area as well).

While I have many different models in most of the specific computer series I selected, I tried to choose the one model in my collection that would give me the most bang-for-the-buck. This in and of itself was not easy, as there's rarely a "most perfect" choice when it comes to choosing the ideal model in a series, which in this case also involved being a good fit for the available space. The systems I chose were as follows: TI-99/4a, Apple IIgs, Atari 600XL, Atari Falcon, Commodore Amiga 2000HD, and Commodore 128DCR, with a special appearance by the Radio Shack Color Computer series, which I'll explain at the end. So yeah, as hard as it was, no Sinclair Spectrum, BBC, IBM PCjr, Coleco Adam, Imagination Machine, MSX, Interact, Exidy, etc., etc., items, even though I'd love to have those out and ready to go as much as the others.

My initial goal - which I was able to accomplish - was to set up a basic system configuration for each and make sure it was working properly. I actually had a slightly different mix of specific systems, but, after testing, found some things didn't function as expected or didn't work at all. Over time, I'll add to each system I've set up (and address the other stuff that's not working) until each and every one is set up properly with their respective disk drives, flash cards, transfer cables, etc., to be fully usable with all of the stuff I have available. At the very least, with these minimum configurations, they're ready to go for most quick usage scenarios. I also decided it was important not to have any of them plugged in full-time, so everything gets hooked up and powered up on demand. This is actually simple and will not delay my usage in any way. In fact, the way I have the various monitors and TV's set up, I can hook up other systems as needed without too much fuss, which is another bonus. Anyway, here are the photos and additional explanation:

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Zaxxon (Arcade)

A link to a great comparison video by http://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHistorySource
http://youtu.be/a9FDaHxVrCE

Zaxxon, I believe this is one of the first isometric arcade games out there. It was developed and published by Sega in 1982 and one could call it a so called 'isometric shoot'm up'.

Many ports were created on various platforms like: Apple II, Atari 8bit home computers, MS-DOS (CGA), Atari 2600, MSX, Commodore 64, Dragon32, Colecovision, Intellivision, Sega SG-1000, TRS 80 Coco.

The 2600 and Intellivision versions didn't use the isometric viewpoint and are much unlike the others.

The Amstrad CPC, BBC micro computer and Ti/99 reveived well done but unliscensed ports.

Soundtrack intro created by
http://www.youtube.com/user/ZombieAndy1979

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