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Crap Game Competition?


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#1 Willsy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:14 AM

Every year, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum community unites to write the single most worst, crappest game of the year.

Individuals submit their games to a judges panel. The game can be anything you want, however, there is one rule:

It must be completely and utterly, without a shadow of a doubt, un-deniably, un-reservedly and indisputably.... CRAP.

So how about it? When the current competition is over, why don't we have a crap games competition?

Normally, there is some irony or humor in the submissions:

Some examples:

* ZX Sepctrum Emulator - for the ZX Spectrum!!!!!!! (it doesn't do anything! Its ALREADY a ZX Spectrum!)

* Erotic Pinball - "Phwoar! Will you look at the badly digitised nips on that! Well, maybe if you squint you can see them but it's the thought that counts. Behind this dodgy front screen lies a truly awful pinball game with possibly the least realistic ball handling (oo-er!) since, well, any commercially released pinball game on the Speccy."

* Crap Invaders - The panel said ""Waaaaaaaaaay too good. It's fast, the graphics are animated, and it's addictively play-tastic! Actually I've probably *paid* for worse games than that. You're the worst CSSCGC author ever! How can you possibly expect to win with a game of that quality???"

* Advanced Death Simulator

* Advance Illegal parking simulator

* Advanced 10 PRINT simulator - "On this crisp January day, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the first CSSCGC 2008 game of 2009! (Which makes sense only within the tortured logic of CGC compo organisation). Fans of CSSCGC 2008'sAdvanced 10 PRINT Hello 20 GO TO 10 Simulator &Advanced 10 PRINT HELLO; 20 GOTO 10 Simulator 128K Edition are truly being sploit. Surely you are going find it difficult to contain your excitement at Advanced 10 PRINT Simulator. You do need to collect the entrie set, so make sure you have this one saved on your HDD in the same directory as the others and then we'll begin. Now, just take a moment to compose yourselves, for here we have reached something of a pinnacle in the PRINT...Simulator genre. The supplied documentation file is one of the best I've seen. Certainly not overly technical, and with a welcome spot of comic relief. Rodnay Zaks would be impressed I'm sure and is it possibly cheeky for me to suggest it may have even taken longer to put together than the program itself. As for a preliminary investigation of the BASIC code, we see it is fully documented in the source, easing concerns about future maintainability. We also reach the dizzy heights of line 40. But the best thing about this title is probably the limitless customisation. The manual gives some outlandish examples of this, including a warning system for those with a potential gonad persperation problem."

* Advanced Lawn Mower Starting Simulator - The Petrol Edition

* Barcode Hangman - "The barcode revolution of the latter half of the 20th century has undeniably become a cornerstone of our information age. Barcodes are now ubiquitous and found everywhere from tins of mushy peas to cannisters of nuclear waste. But apart from the serious side, you may not know that they have also had a great impact on popular culture too. From songs such as Barcode Bypass by Mull Historical Society, and books such as The Da-Vinci Barcode: A Parody. Now Unsatisfactory Software present this Barcode-themed game, Barcode Hangman!. In this game, ported to the speccy from an original ZX81 version, you must pit your wits against the computer in order to reveal the hidden barcode number. Make too many mistakes, and your number is up (or rather not up), but I'm sure you'll be dying to have another go!"

Ok, I think you get the idea!

Much more information (and links) here: http://en.wikipedia....mes_Competition

To whet your appetites, have a look here: http://www.unsatisfa...scgc.cgi?rank=1

Of course, no reason why it should be limited to the 99/4A - let the Atari folks and MSX guys etc have at it as well. The crappest game for each machine would go into a sudden death "crap off" - the ultimate victory awarded to absolute crappest game. The author wins, safe in the knowledge that he has written the crappiest game of any retro computing platform anywhere in the world.

Warms me heart, it does!

As you were...

Mark.

Edited by Willsy, Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:16 AM.


#2 ti99_forever OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:38 AM

I have a shitload of games I've done that I could put in this crapetition...

#3 TI99Kitty OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:15 AM

I may have to try to reconstruct the "E.T." game I wrote back in the 80's, so I can enter it in this competition! ^_^

#4 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:20 PM

The TI community has an unfair advantage in that, just about every game (save for a few) on the TI were crap. :-) Sorry, I could not resist. All the TI produced games look like something for the 2600, while the Coleco and MSX stuff is absolutely beautiful.

Matthew

#5 InfernalKeith OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:47 PM

Maybe I'll resurrect the crap Logo I wrote in high school in Apple BASIC (actually called "cheap_ripoff_logo" if I remember correctly). It drew a turtle, asked for user input, but then wouldn't do anything but make rude retorts to Logo commands (telling the turtle to go backward would elicit "do I look like I have eyes in my butt?" or some such 13-year-old hilarity). It actually went down a storm with my classmates, and got us out of half a period of class one day while my teacher showed it off to everyone.

It may be almost too good, though, compared to some of those other listed ideas...

#6 Willsy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:46 PM

The TI community has an unfair advantage in that, just about every game (save for a few) on the TI were crap. :-) Sorry, I could not resist. All the TI produced games look like something for the 2600, while the Coleco and MSX stuff is absolutely beautiful.

Matthew


Matthew, you're lucky there is no ZX81 forum here - or we'd all be screwed!! ;)
(actually, I love the ZX81, and own one, but it is crap, in a lovely kind of way!)

#7 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:52 AM

Nice !

So this Crap "Game" Competition takes emulators and simulators too. Would that include crap demos as well ?

So when is the deadline ?

What is the price ? A hike Uzbekistan back and Forth (when released) ?

:cool:

PS. ZX81 thought me assembler.

#8 ti99_forever OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:52 AM

The TI community has an unfair advantage in that, just about every game (save for a few) on the TI were crap. :-) Sorry, I could not resist. All the TI produced games look like something for the 2600, while the Coleco and MSX stuff is absolutely beautiful.

Matthew


Munchman looked like 2600 Pac Man? No. Much better.
TI Invaders looked like 2600 Space Invaders? No. Much better.

I could go down a list if I had one handy. Yes, some were not so great - especially the early ones. But I can't agree with your statement.

#9 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:40 AM

Yeah, that was the "save for a few" part. TI Invaders was a very good port, and MunchMan has a decent twist on the whole PacMan theme that is was unique enough to hold its own. But then you have games like "The Attack" and "Hustle" with nice block graphics that took the designer all of two minutes to enter the character codes. Most of the TI games did not utilize a fraction of the computer, like the "half bitmap mode" to take advantage of the enhanced character color available, or layer sprites to have more than just 1 color for the player's character, etc. And I have never seen a TI game, old or new, that looks like the Konami MSX stuff (same video chip as we all know):

Konami MSX Games

Check out any of these: King's Valley II, Knightmare, Nemesis, Nemesis 2, Parodius, etc.

Matthew

#10 Kurt_Woloch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:45 AM

And I have never seen a TI game, old or new, that looks like the Konami MSX stuff (same video chip as we all know):

Konami MSX Games

Check out any of these: King's Valley II, Knightmare, Nemesis, Nemesis 2, Parodius, etc.


Hmmm... I think this is a bit unfair, since the carreer of MSX computers just started when the TI-99 was already discontinued. Konami had much more memory to work with... I think they used 128 K for some of their games, while most of the TI cartridge games were not more than 16 K ROM, and the disk-based ones, obviously, were limited to 32K of RAM. OK, actually 48K if you also count the VDP RAM - and of course you could divide a disk-based game into multiple loads. And in principle, you can do better games if you use more memory. Keep in mind that a full bitmap mode screen on the TI VDP takes up 12K of RAM (uncompressed).

#11 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:17 PM

Most of the TI games did not utilize a fraction of the computer, like the "half bitmap mode" to take advantage of the enhanced character color available, or layer sprites to have more than just 1 color for the player's character, etc. And I have never seen a TI game, old or new, that looks like the Konami MSX stuff (same video chip as we all know):

Konami MSX Games

Check out any of these: King's Valley II, Knightmare, Nemesis, Nemesis 2, Parodius, etc.

Matthew


Yes, Konami has some very cool games. Only recently an increasing interest in developing homebrew games for the TI-99/4A has emerged.
So I think we can expect to see some cool games in the future.

I'll just forget about the past for a second. But what is limiting the creation of Konami like quality games is the below:

1. Bare TI-99/4A console only has 256 bytes of RAM memory
2. You have to stuff your game in 8K banks
3. There is no assembler available targetting game development, nor is there a decent C compiler available.
4. There are no decent game development tools available at this time
5. Knowledge on advanced VDP tricks is missing

However, most of the topics above are currently being tackled:
1. From a hardware perspective, cartridge PCB development is going forward (64K cartridge PCB's, 128K cartridge PCB's in the works?)
I do hope to see some future cartridge PCB's with some RAM onboard.
2. That will still be an issue in the future, unless you have a cartridge that plugs into the expansion port.
It would allow for a continious 24K address space.
3. Currently still an issue. But winasm99 is quite good and does the job for now. Haven't seen a good C compiler yet.
4. The progress on TommyGun looks promising. I also hope I can make a small contribution with my SPECTRA game library.
5. We are learning... :P

Most importantly, I think we've reached the situation were we have homebrew developers that also look at other systems (MSX, colecovision, Spectrum)...

I think the future looks quite good.
Ofcourse it would be great if some of the MSX or Colecovision gods would give the TI-99/4A a try ;)

retroclouds

#12 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:57 PM

Hmmm... I think this is a bit unfair, since the carreer of MSX computers just started when the TI-99 was already discontinued. Konami had much more memory to work with... I think they used 128 K for some of their games, while most of the TI cartridge games were not more than 16 K ROM, and the disk-based ones, obviously, were limited to 32K of RAM. OK, actually 48K if you also count the VDP RAM - and of course you could divide a disk-based game into multiple loads. And in principle, you can do better games if you use more memory. Keep in mind that a full bitmap mode screen on the TI VDP takes up 12K of RAM (uncompressed).


Yes, the TI was already discontinued, but the VDP in the 99/4A and MSX1 are the same, and TI had the advantage of having the VDP design engineers on staff, so you would expect them to try and really show it off. Also, the size of the bitmap screen on the TI and MSX would be the same, again because they have the same VDP. The TI also could have more RAM in the cartridge by using paging techniques, which some carts like XB did do. The MSX was running a Z80 and had the same 64K limit as the 9900, so anything over 64K in either machine had to employ some sort of paging.

I know that I will use Konami's games as examples and inspiration from now on for my own graphics on the TI. I might even "borrow" some of their graphics every now and then. ;-)

Matthew

#13 Kurt_Woloch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:18 PM

Well, you can get around the 256 Bytes RAM limit a bit by also utilizing the RAM the VDP offers, so you actually have 16K minus what you need for displaying the screen content. Of course, VDP RAM is somewhat more cumbersome and slow to access.

The TMS9900 CPU is also slower than the Z80 in an MSX machine. How much slower, however, depends on where you keep your variables and where your program gets executed from. Fastest would be to have it all in 16-bit CPU ROM, but there's only 256 bytes of that. All other RAM and ROM (except for the built-in system ROM) is either indirectly accessed (VDP / GRAM / GROM) or only 8-bit (RAM expansion / cartridges), or both. At least that's how I think it works.

The CPU also gets slowed down by the fact that it has no accessible internal registers, so all register accesses actually are reads and writes to RAM.

But since the register file can be relocated in RAM, programs could be sped up by applying a different programming technique where your locate your variables in a way that variables that are commonly used in one routine get laid out next to each other, so that they can be accessed faster by relocating the register file there and then treating the variables as being R0 through R15. What comes to mind here would be some kind of control over game objects, where for the processing of each object the workspace pointer points to that object's variable set, so its variables can be accesssed as R0 through R15, which saves a lot of reads and writes during the actual routine. The code resulting from this technique, however, would look a bit different from what you're used to on another machine.

#14 InfernalKeith OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:51 PM

Well, you can get around the 256 Bytes RAM limit a bit by also utilizing the RAM the VDP offers, so you actually have 16K minus what you need for displaying the screen content. Of course, VDP RAM is somewhat more cumbersome and slow to access.

The TMS9900 CPU is also slower than the Z80 in an MSX machine. How much slower, however, depends on where you keep your variables and where your program gets executed from. Fastest would be to have it all in 16-bit CPU ROM, but there's only 256 bytes of that. All other RAM and ROM (except for the built-in system ROM) is either indirectly accessed (VDP / GRAM / GROM) or only 8-bit (RAM expansion / cartridges), or both. At least that's how I think it works.

The CPU also gets slowed down by the fact that it has no accessible internal registers, so all register accesses actually are reads and writes to RAM.

But since the register file can be relocated in RAM, programs could be sped up by applying a different programming technique where your locate your variables in a way that variables that are commonly used in one routine get laid out next to each other, so that they can be accessed faster by relocating the register file there and then treating the variables as being R0 through R15. What comes to mind here would be some kind of control over game objects, where for the processing of each object the workspace pointer points to that object's variable set, so its variables can be accesssed as R0 through R15, which saves a lot of reads and writes during the actual routine. The code resulting from this technique, however, would look a bit different from what you're used to on another machine.





Not saying that the two games you mentioned aren't total crap (I actually kinda like Hustle, but The Attack is a piece of garbage).

But consider that when those were being made, you had clueless TI people who treated all software development, especially games, as an afterthought. In retrospect, it seems pretty obvious you'd want to dazzle people right off the bat with the capabilities of your machine, and that it might make some sense to hire a graphic designer or two to wow the folks with your software, and make the hardware a must-have that way. But in 1979-1980, they were inventing the home computer industry as they went. They had no idea.

By the time the machine's user base got too big to ignore, we started seeing games like Fathom, Microsurgeon, TI's Q*Bert port - hell, Parsec's a nice-looking game. If there'd been one or two more years of active development in the games field, by full-time game coders, we'd have really seen some amazing things, and a lot of great programming knowledge would have been learned.

Also, like mentioned above, much of the energy of the TI community that remained loyal has been focused on hardware, utility software, etc. I think people that were way into gaming over all else probably defected to Spectrum or Commodore pretty quickly once TI went under and the third-party houses dropped what little support they'd started to show.

#15 Toucan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:04 AM


Well, you can get around the 256 Bytes RAM limit a bit by also utilizing the RAM the VDP offers, so you actually have 16K minus what you need for displaying the screen content. Of course, VDP RAM is somewhat more cumbersome and slow to access.

The TMS9900 CPU is also slower than the Z80 in an MSX machine. How much slower, however, depends on where you keep your variables and where your program gets executed from. Fastest would be to have it all in 16-bit CPU ROM, but there's only 256 bytes of that. All other RAM and ROM (except for the built-in system ROM) is either indirectly accessed (VDP / GRAM / GROM) or only 8-bit (RAM expansion / cartridges), or both. At least that's how I think it works.

The CPU also gets slowed down by the fact that it has no accessible internal registers, so all register accesses actually are reads and writes to RAM.

But since the register file can be relocated in RAM, programs could be sped up by applying a different programming technique where your locate your variables in a way that variables that are commonly used in one routine get laid out next to each other, so that they can be accessed faster by relocating the register file there and then treating the variables as being R0 through R15. What comes to mind here would be some kind of control over game objects, where for the processing of each object the workspace pointer points to that object's variable set, so its variables can be accesssed as R0 through R15, which saves a lot of reads and writes during the actual routine. The code resulting from this technique, however, would look a bit different from what you're used to on another machine.





Not saying that the two games you mentioned aren't total crap (I actually kinda like Hustle, but The Attack is a piece of garbage).

But consider that when those were being made, you had clueless TI people who treated all software development, especially games, as an afterthought. In retrospect, it seems pretty obvious you'd want to dazzle people right off the bat with the capabilities of your machine, and that it might make some sense to hire a graphic designer or two to wow the folks with your software, and make the hardware a must-have that way. But in 1979-1980, they were inventing the home computer industry as they went. They had no idea.

By the time the machine's user base got too big to ignore, we started seeing games like Fathom, Microsurgeon, TI's Q*Bert port - hell, Parsec's a nice-looking game. If there'd been one or two more years of active development in the games field, by full-time game coders, we'd have really seen some amazing things, and a lot of great programming knowledge would have been learned.

Also, like mentioned above, much of the energy of the TI community that remained loyal has been focused on hardware, utility software, etc. I think people that were way into gaming over all else probably defected to Spectrum or Commodore pretty quickly once TI went under and the third-party houses dropped what little support they'd started to show.


Also don't forget that Hustle, The Attack, and Blasto were programmed by Milton Bradley for the oringinal TI-99/4 which does not have bitmap capabilities (TI-99/4A did). Therefore, it is a more limited chip than the MSX. In my experience the TI games just got better and better as time went on, as the games got more and more advanced. Almost anything from 1983 from TI looked good, such as Slymoids. All I know is that I enjoy Hustle even with its graphics not being very hot, it kind of gives it a charm since it makes it feel like an early title which it is.

#16 Toucan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:04 AM

[Double Post Removed]

Edited by Toucan, Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:12 AM.


#17 Toucan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:07 AM


The TI community has an unfair advantage in that, just about every game (save for a few) on the TI were crap. :-) Sorry, I could not resist. All the TI produced games look like something for the 2600, while the Coleco and MSX stuff is absolutely beautiful.

Matthew


Munchman looked like 2600 Pac Man? No. Much better.
TI Invaders looked like 2600 Space Invaders? No. Much better.

I could go down a list if I had one handy. Yes, some were not so great - especially the early ones. But I can't agree with your statement.


Well, just check out www.videogamehouse.net. Nothing to be ashamed of there (at least in my opinion) :)

Edited by Toucan, Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:13 AM.


#18 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:21 AM

I'll just forget about the past for a second. But what is limiting the creation of Konami like quality games is the below:

1. Bare TI-99/4A console only has 256 bytes of RAM memory
2. You have to stuff your game in 8K banks
3. There is no assembler available targetting game development, nor is there a decent C compiler available.
4. There are no decent game development tools available at this time
5. Knowledge on advanced VDP tricks is missing

However, most of the topics above are currently being tackled:
1. From a hardware perspective, cartridge PCB development is going forward (64K cartridge PCB's, 128K cartridge PCB's in the works?)
I do hope to see some future cartridge PCB's with some RAM onboard.
2. That will still be an issue in the future, unless you have a cartridge that plugs into the expansion port.
It would allow for a continious 24K address space.
3. Currently still an issue. But winasm99 is quite good and does the job for now. Haven't seen a good C compiler yet.
4. The progress on TommyGun looks promising. I also hope I can make a small contribution with my SPECTRA game library.
5. We are learning... :P


Even though I still use TIAsm (probably somewhat inferior to WinAsm99), I mostly consider time and imagination limiting factors.

I believe that 256 bytes of RAM, 8K of ROM, and non existing tools still leave potential for some great games with great graphics.

;)

#19 Willsy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:48 AM

Even though I still use TIAsm (probably somewhat inferior to WinAsm99), I mostly consider time and imagination limiting factors.

I believe that 256 bytes of RAM, 8K of ROM, and non existing tools still leave potential for some great games with great graphics.

;)


Yep. Remember, thy hallowed Parsec (all hail) was done in 8K and 256 bytes of RAM. Not sure if there's a GROM in Parsec (all hail) for the graphics? :thumbsup:

#20 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:22 AM

Yep. Remember, thy hallowed Parsec (all hail) was done in 8K and 256 bytes of RAM. Not sure if there's a GROM in Parsec (all hail) for the graphics? :thumbsup:


3 GROMs (6K each) there (all hail).

:cool:

#21 InfernalKeith OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:03 AM

> In my experience the TI games just got better and better as time went on, as the games got more and more advanced. Almost anything from 1983 from
> TI looked good, such as Slymoids. All I know is that I enjoy Hustle even with its graphics not being very hot, it kind of gives it a charm since
> it makes it feel like an early title which it is.



Definitely true. I also love finding identical (or similar) games on other platforms and comparing them. I wanna do some YouTube episodes like that at some point, where we look at Hustle on the TI, Collide on the Vic 20, Surround on the 2600, etc, and compare and contrast.

My favorite moment in a recent excavation of some old Vic-20 cassettes was finding not one, but two versions of Car Wars (Dodge 'Em, for you non TI people) in a row. :) The thing is, I STINK at the TI Car Wars, but could kick the computer car's butt on (whatever the car game on the Vic is called... it's late and I'm too tired to go look).

I thought Slymoids looked good, but I don't like the gameplay at all. But Sneggit, Treasure Island, Microsurgeon, Fathom, Moonsweeper... they were definiely just hitting their stride in game making on the 99/4A at the time.

Edited by InfernalKeith, Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:05 AM.


#22 InfernalKeith OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:04 AM

Not to go off on a tangent, but is that prototype of Tutankham on videogamehouse.net playable, and/or downloadable from anywhere? Would love to try that out sometime.

#23 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:25 AM

Not to go off on a tangent, but is that prototype of Tutankham on videogamehouse.net playable, and/or downloadable from anywhere? Would love to try that out sometime.

Yes, I believe it is playable. Also I think the programmer has not yet allowed the TI version to be released.

Interview with the programmer.

:)

#24 Toucan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:44 PM

Not to go off on a tangent, but is that prototype of Tutankham on videogamehouse.net playable, and/or downloadable from anywhere? Would love to try that out sometime.


Fully complete and playable. However, as Sometimes99er pointed out, there is a clause in the contract where it can't be distributed :(

#25 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:25 PM

Someone explain to me why you would write a game knowing you can't distribute it??

Well, if one person could port it to the TI, then someone else can too. If we can't the existing one, just make port that we can play. I liked the arcade game but I don't know the details of all the levels and such. Does anyone have a few links for "all things Tutankham"?

Matthew




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