I wasn't necessarily planning on doing Star Raiders next, but since we were discussing it here, I figured why fight the momentum? While I have the Atari 8-bit and Atari 2600 version (the latter of course with the Star Raiders controller), I must say that my experience with the game is limited. I'd love to hear what you like about it, about any other versions you're aware of (the Atari ST version is notable, but it's my understanding that it's missing some of the magic), including any clones. Obviously it influenced Elite and Wing Commander and maybe even the Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back arcade games, and was itself inspired most likely by Exidy's 1979 arcade game, Star Fire (is that correct? In any case, it was a knock-off of Star Wars the movie), or was it something even a bit earlier? Star Fire was even cloned on the Commodore PET that same year. See the video here. Thanks!
Well, it's beyond crunch time now and we're in danger of having to drop some chapters if we don't pick up the pace, so we need your help now more than ever. I've been jumping around a bit in the book and just threw a bunch of notes in the Robotron: 2084 chapter. I would love to hear about all your favorite games with Robotron-like 360 degree independent movement and firing, be it in the arcade or at home, to ensure that I don't miss any. It would also be a big help if I could hear a good listing of Xbox 360 and PS3 downloadable games that make use of the Robotron-style control scheme, as there are legion. It would really save me a ton of research. Thanks so much, guys!
Here's a log transcript of the fateful visit to the Great Horns Tavern of Magincia of the Pacific shard (server), documented and screenshoted by yours truly. Oh, and Matt, full permission extended to use what you want in your writings.
Please note there's a lot of noise because of the various players chatting in the background.
Ben Kahns: *rolls eyes*
Hey guys! I'll be working on the Pong chapter while I'm working on the Spacewar! chapter, as their historical lead-ups kind of run in parallel. In any case, Pong needs no introduction, from its first conceptual appearance on Ralph Baer's Brown Box that "inspired" Nolan Bushnell to ask Al Alcorn to create the original arcade game, to the precursor to it all from 1958, William Higginbotham's "Tennis for Two". Of course I'll also be discussing the various home Pong systems and clones and a few ways that the game influenced future games. As always, your thoughts are much appreciated for this truly iconic game.
So I got my Good old Games http://gog.com invite today, created my account and checked it out.
I'm guessing its going to replace current game download sites (that I could never get to work with its funky client etc)...
DRM free game downloads seem pretty cool, they have Fallout 1 + 2, apart from that its a really small catalogue right now..
Well, the next chapter is on the wonderfully early Spacewar! from 1961 for the DEC PDP-1 mainframe. While there were other games before it that I'll be sure to mention, I would love your thoughts on the games, its home versions, its implementation in the first arcade game, Computer Space, etc. I would also love to hear your thoughts on its ties to Asteroids, as I believe there is a significant connection that must be discussed heavily in the chapter. So not only Spacewar!-like games, but also Asteroids-like games (and any other connections you'd like to suggest). I also read just yesterday that a version of Spacewar! is included in Microsoft's XNA framework as a sample game, so if anyone has any particular info on that I'd love to hear it! Thanks guys!
Play Spacewar! emulated in your browser: http://spacewar.oversigma.com/
Just a heads-up that our upcoming book, Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time, the one we've been discussing with you guys lately, is now available for pre-order from Amazon and many other locations you'd expect. We'll post about it again when the entries are updated (they're all essentially placeholders right now), but thought you might like to see that yeah, it's for real:
Keep in mind that the expected release date is roughly February 2009, so there's still a lot of work to be done, particularly on the publisher's end. Thanks for all your support and we'll continue to keep everyone updated. I'll be especially excited when the publisher finalizes the cover design, which should feature artwork from our own Mark Vergeer!
The author of a Tandy Coco RPG, Paladin's Legacy has made it available.
Check out http://paladinslegacy.spaces.live.com/
Check it out;
I've been doing some work now on the Pinball Construction Set chapter for the book and would love to hear some of your thoughts on this "software toy" construction set. Bill Budge's title, first published through his own BudgeCo company in 1982, was of course later picked up and published by Electronic Arts (one of their earliest titles that helped put the company on the map), starting in 1983, for Apple II, Apple Macintosh, Atari 8-bit, Coleco Adam (this release is overlooked by nearly every online source, by the way), Commodore 64 and PC. While I'd love to hear about your experiences with Budge's title and titles like it, I'd also like to hear about even some of the more hardcore construction sets or mainstream development tools, like, for instance, Penguin's The Graphics Magician. Every thought and tangent is appreciated. Thanks!
The next chapter I'm working on is John Madden Football, starting with the Apple II version right through today. Of course this chapter will be used to cover all non-racing sports games, so there will be discussions of games both before and during Madden's reign. The basic premise is that prior to Madden's rise, there was minimal emphasis on real teams and players, while post Madden it's become all but a requirement. Obviously these sports games have grown increasingly sophisticated over the years, becoming full blown simulations for those who choose to go into the nitty gritty details. Why Madden? Well, that's by far the biggest selling sports franchise in the US and I think really indicative of how the sports videogame industry has evolved over the years.
In any case, as always, I'd love to hear your thoughts about sports videogames in general, be it soccer, cricket, baseball, etc. I would leave out boxing and racing, only because boxing will be discussed in the Street Fighter II chapter and racing in the Pole Position chapter. Thanks!