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How many Apple II games were made?


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#26 Bragi OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 3, 2014 6:34 PM

Nice list. I played a lot of these games on my Apple II+ when I was a kid. I also remember ordering a lot of discs through the Scholastic book magazines that were distributed in primary school. I don't know if they were ever available in a retail environment. I remember that the discs has games along with other educational utilities. That's how I first learned about databases and spreadsheets. Aside from the Scholastic discs one of my first games was Choplifter. I also remember playing 007 A View to a Kill. It was a text based adventure that came in a slick looking case. The Bard's Tale series was one of my favorites. Load Runner was another good one. 

 

 

Just a heads up.  I've made the spreadsheet available to be updated by anyone who would like to contribute.  You can access it from the database page I listed earlier or directly from here: https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing



#27 high voltage ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 1:30 AM

This is EG from 1985:

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#28 high voltage ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 1:36 AM

Here's CGW from 1984

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#29 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 5:06 AM

Still no sign of those 16,000 titles though...

#30 Tanrunomad OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 8:53 AM

Still no sign of those 16,000 titles though...

Closing in on 2,000, but that's a long way off from 16,000.  How many do you estimate there are TMR?  I'm thinking after type-ins and disk magazine publications, it's somewhere around 5,000.



#31 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 9:12 AM

Closing in on 2,000, but that's a long way off from 16,000.


Yeah, those figures that high voltage keeps trotting out are just magazine hyperbole and if it were anywhere near true we'd be seeing far larger online archives now; magazines back then just didn't have the resources to keep that close an eye on the market.

i love what you're doing with the list by the way, my interest in the Apple II is fairly... erm, esoteric but none of these machines should be without something we can point at and say "look, that's what it had".

How many do you estimate there are TMR?  I'm thinking after type-ins and disk magazine publications, it's somewhere around 5,000.


That's something you're far better positioned than me to answer, over here in the UK we saw close to bugger all of the Apple II. If i were to hazard a complete and utter guess from this end i'd be assuming a thousand or two more games with the difference being very regional one-man-band publishing through mail order or local shops for local people?

#32 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 9:42 AM

Just a heads up.  I've made the spreadsheet available to be updated by anyone who would like to contribute.  You can access it from the database page I listed earlier or directly from here: https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing

 

While I don't have the time or interest to add to the spreadsheet, if it's of any help, I separated out from my master boxed software list all of my Apple II-related stuff, which you can find here: https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing . If anyone wants to do a diff to see what differences there are, etc., help yourself. Sorry I can't be of more help.



#33 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 10:35 AM

It's important to set criteria.

 

For example, you can safely say the Apple II had perhaps 20-25 flight simulators. They can be listed exactly and precisely. Most (if not all) were commercially sold and programmed in assembly (or used pro-level 3d libraries). Doing a flight simulator was a big project on 8-bit machines back then and therefore

 

Now how many record keeping programs were there? Commercial, homebrew experiments, type-ins, public domain, educational, coursework.. Let us start with Appleworks and PFS. Do we include the add-on modules and disks as part of the package? Do we include different version numbers? 5.25 vs 3.5 issuances? What about graphing packages to digest data? Or sorting or printing add-ons?

 

What about art and paint stuff? Blazing Paddles, Deluxe Paint.. But what about the experiment where sumguy just polled the joystick for an etch-a-sketch like line drawing program? What about utilities that came with the Graphics Tablet?

 

And how about them Beagle Bros. Applesoft games? TextTrain for example? Is that a railroad game? A text demo? Is it an individual game or part of a compilation disk?

 

It's been years since I looked at the Bluebook, but didn't they list 10,000 titles in all? Not just games..



#34 high voltage ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 11:19 AM

Yeah, those figures that high voltage keeps trotting out are just magazine hyperbole and if it were anywhere near true we'd be seeing far larger online archives now; magazines back then just didn't have the resources to keep that close an eye on the market.

 

See that's where you're wrong, magazines from way back had the best resources, especially EG, with the most knowledgeable people Katz and Kunkel. Those guys knew their stuff, and the market worked with them.

Better than GB64 which lists Boulder Dash screens from BDCK  as entries.

 

But you're right, there should be an Apple ][ resource online like Atarimania or GB64, shame nobody bothered. Maybe it's to late now, a lot of software is probably lost.


Edited by high voltage, Wed Jun 4, 2014 11:36 AM.


#35 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 12:28 PM

See that's where you're wrong, magazines from way back had the best resources, especially EG, with the most knowledgeable people Katz and Kunkel. Those guys knew their stuff, and the market worked with them.

Better than GB64 which lists Boulder Dash screens from BDCK  as entries.

 

But you're right, there should be an Apple ][ resource online like Atarimania or GB64, shame nobody bothered. Maybe it's to late now, a lot of software is probably lost.

 

I think you're giving them too much credit, and this is coming from a guy who was heavily influenced by EG. They were stand up individuals and a fine publication, but they were just as limited as anyone else in parsing through what was good info and what wasn't. Some things they got right, some things they didn't. Also, to be similarly fair, they weren't necessarily above doing the occasional advertorial/synergistic relationship, so we can't always say their stuff wasn't tainted a bit by dollars.

 

The Apple II absolutely needs a gaming-centric site like the ones you mentioned, but as I've stated (and others have stated) before, it's no secret that despite being a premiere game platform of the 1980s, modern homebrew and related efforts are focused on anything but. There's a palpable bias against gaming, intentional or not, in the modern Apple II community.



#36 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 1:59 PM

Biased against? No..

Lack of interest and capability? Definitely.

 

Right now the Apple II community is like classic car collecting. Period correct hardware and all the tedium that it entails.


Edited by Keatah, Wed Jun 4, 2014 1:59 PM.


#37 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 2:15 PM

Biased against? No..

Lack of interest and capability? Definitely.

 

Right now the Apple II community is like classic car collecting. Period correct hardware and all the tedium that it entails.

 

Period correct hardware? New add-ons are being developed all of the time, and hardware is being tricked out regularly. Hardware is not an issue in the Apple II community, it's software, and specifically game software.



#38 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 5:21 PM

See that's where you're wrong, magazines from way back had the best resources, especially EG, with the most knowledgeable people Katz and Kunkel.


Sorry no, they might be knowledgeable but that doesn't magically give them the kind of resources required to keep an eye on everything being released even in just the USA. i'm still calling it as hyperbole because that figure can't be anywhere near proven.
 

But you're right, there should be an Apple ][ resource online like Atarimania or GB64, shame nobody bothered. Maybe it's to late now, a lot of software is probably lost.


Look at Games That Weren't, that pulls some far more obscure programs back from the "dead" on a regular basis so there's always hope. It just needs a group of people dedicated enough to the Apple II to actually do it.

#39 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 5:29 PM

Period correct hardware? New add-ons are being developed all of the time, and hardware is being tricked out regularly. Hardware is not an issue in the Apple II community, it's software, and specifically game software.


i've had a go at programming the Apple II and want to do a game at some point, but one thing i found off-putting is the documentation, or more to the point the lack thereof. There's no definitive information about how to do even simple things like syncing to the vertical blank (i know a lot of Apple II games don't, but i wouldn't be happy with that personally and since i rely on emulation i can't be sure that what i code actually works on the real deal) and the Mockingboard docs i found... the bloody code examples are in hex and, whilst i can sight read simple 6502 like that, i'd bet that most people who might find that information handy can't.

Speaking of the Mockingboard... here's one i prepared earlier... but no idea if it works on real hardware because it relies on a sync technique that either does or doesn't work depending on which docs you read!

#40 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 6:05 PM

 

Period correct hardware? New add-ons are being developed all of the time, and hardware is being tricked out regularly. Hardware is not an issue in the Apple II community, it's software, and specifically game software.

 

 

I don't see anybody specifically being against Apple II gaming software, new or old. It just doesn't happen nearly as much as in other platforms.. Consider the C-64 and 400/800 and many consoles all have custom sound and graphics chips. Blitters, blobbers, bloobers, and blabbers. Co-processors and memory management silicon.. These chips make it fun and interesting (to programmers) to find tricks and shortcuts and undocumented features. The Apple II series has none of that.

 

As a side note regarding hardware. There is a "Theory of Operation) and code examples for the sync-wire mod. It's in a book whose title I don't remember at the moment. Anyone??



#41 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 7:21 PM

 

 

I don't see anybody specifically being against Apple II gaming software, new or old. It just doesn't happen nearly as much as in other platforms.. Consider the C-64 and 400/800 and many consoles all have custom sound and graphics chips. Blitters, blobbers, bloobers, and blabbers. Co-processors and memory management silicon.. These chips make it fun and interesting (to programmers) to find tricks and shortcuts and undocumented features. The Apple II series has none of that.

 

As a side note regarding hardware. There is a "Theory of Operation) and code examples for the sync-wire mod. It's in a book whose title I don't remember at the moment. Anyone??

 

The hardware is irrelevant when it comes to making new games. Inferior platforms get new games on a more regular basis, and for that matter the Apple II only had a small window of a few years after release where it was the best gaming hardware on the market, yet it was still a primary development platform that other systems - including the Atari 8-bit and C-64 - received ports from. Today, all vintage hardware is obsolete. Again, it's a peculiarity of the present day Apple II market that so few new games are made for it (and yes, new games are made, just at a much lower rate than they should be). A similar situation is in the Color Computer (CoCo) community, though that makes a bit more sense since that was never a premiere gaming platform. 



#42 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 8:40 PM

Well maybe it's like I said a while back, the Old Guard is really getting old. They're not into "games" because games are dumb and time wasting. At least that's what my parents and grandparents used to say before they went 2 meters under. And today's youngsters aren't interested in primitive computers. Be damned lucky if they get into old consoles.

 

So who is gonna write new games?



#43 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 9:12 PM

Sounds about right.  But in their heyday I was a little rugrat.



#44 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014 9:32 PM

Well maybe it's like I said a while back, the Old Guard is really getting old. They're not into "games" because games are dumb and time wasting. At least that's what my parents and grandparents used to say before they went 2 meters under. And today's youngsters aren't interested in primitive computers. Be damned lucky if they get into old consoles.

 

So who is gonna write new games?

 

That would only make sense if we weren't getting new games practically daily on some other platforms. We are. One factor in the sluggish Apple II homebrew game market could be that there are fewer European developers cranking away on games. Certainly that helps with the respective C-64 and Atari 8-bit homebrew game scenes. Again, for whatever reason, the Apple II community is more into creating new hardware rather than creating new software. Other communities are a bit more balanced, though some, like the CoCo community, mirrors what is going on in the Apple II community.



#45 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 12:08 AM

Period correct hardware? New add-ons are being developed all of the time, and hardware is being tricked out regularly. Hardware is not an issue in the Apple II community, it's software, and specifically game software.

 
What Keatah means is that the Hard Core Apple Enthusiasts are looking for and collecting Original Hardware, where the Serial Numbers all "Match Up".
 
Apple Computer was notorious for "repairing computers", under warranty, by swapping your Computers Motherboard with a Fixed one..  I am sure that is why the Apple ][+ I own, has a Rev-01 Motherboard, while the Apple ][ I own with the Rev-03 Motherboard that appears to be ALL Original with Case Serial Number and Power Supply Serial Number.. 
 
There are Apple Collectors that bought Apple I reproduction Boards, ( e.g. Mimeo 1 ), and then spent Months and Months to get Ceramic 6502's and 4K RAM and TTL Logic with Manufacture Dates in 1976..
 
And Yes, there is a large amount of Brand New Hardware, like the CFFA 3000, the Uthernet , and more than one Mockingboard Copy.
 

i've had a go at programming the Apple II and want to do a game at some point, but one thing i found off-putting is the documentation, or more to the point the lack thereof. There's no definitive information about how to do even simple things like syncing to the vertical blank (i know a lot of Apple II games don't, but i wouldn't be happy with that personally and since i rely on emulation i can't be sure that what i code actually works on the real deal) and the Mockingboard docs i found... the bloody code examples are in hex and, whilst i can sight read simple 6502 like that, i'd bet that most people who might find that information handy can't.

Speaking of the Mockingboard... here's one i prepared earlier... but no idea if it works on real hardware because it relies on a sync technique that either does or doesn't work depending on which docs you read!

 
I haven't found much Low Level stuff on the Apple ][ either... Here are a couple that were interesting, from Rich12345:
Have an Apple Split, by Bob Bishop [Softalk, October 1982]
 
Memory switch Softswitches
 
Apple II peripheral slot pinout

Video timing

SPLIT for Prodos and  MTOS



 

The hardware is irrelevant when it comes to making new games. Inferior platforms get new games on a more regular basis, and for that matter the Apple II only had a small window of a few years after release where it was the best gaming hardware on the market, yet it was still a primary development platform that other systems - including the Atari 8-bit and C-64 - received ports from. Today, all vintage hardware is obsolete. Again, it's a peculiarity of the present day Apple II market that so few new games are made for it (and yes, new games are made, just at a much lower rate than they should be). A similar situation is in the Color Computer (CoCo) community, though that makes a bit more sense since that was never a premiere gaming platform.


The Apple ][ is very Bare Metal, verses the C64/C128, or Atari 400/800/1200 or CoCo. There is definitely a bigger challenge to make decent "graphic" games.

As a "new owner" of a CoCo 3, I can see it has a whole lot going on for it... I can see the Capabilities of the CoCo (especially the CoCo 3, that can be upgraded to the Hitachi 6309 ), combined with new hardware, like the Drive Pack and Cloud 9 hardware.
 

Well maybe it's like I said a while back, the Old Guard is really getting old. They're not into "games" because games are dumb and time wasting. At least that's what my parents and grandparents used to say before they went 2 meters under. And today's youngsters aren't interested in primitive computers. Be damned lucky if they get into old consoles.
 
So who is gonna write new games?

 
Former Grade Schoolers that used the Apple ][... Creating something like Lawless Legends.

Maybe their Open Source Development Platform will create some additional interest..
 

That would only make sense if we weren't getting new games practically daily on some other platforms. We are. One factor in the sluggish Apple II homebrew game market could be that there are fewer European developers cranking away on games. Certainly that helps with the respective C-64 and Atari 8-bit homebrew game scenes. Again, for whatever reason, the Apple II community is more into creating new hardware rather than creating new software. Other communities are a bit more balanced, though some, like the CoCo community, mirrors what is going on in the Apple II community.


The trend with the Apple ][ crowd seems to be New Hardware, like the CFFA 3000, to run their Old Games and Applications. ( It kind of looks like the CoCo crowd is the same way.. ), where as the C64/C128 and Atari 400/800/1200 crowd has some Hardware ( Cables to transfer Disk Images from Windows/Mac/Linux to your original Hardware ) and try "New Demos" and some new games..

It's kind of the difference between Reliving the Past, and seeing what new can be done on Old Hardware... I guess it reflects the Personalities of the People that chose a given Computer Platform..

Edited by MarkO, Thu Jun 5, 2014 12:12 AM.


#46 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 1:28 AM

I haven't found much Low Level stuff on the Apple ][ either...


i've found most of that already but folks on this board have said they're not entirely accurate; the piece about video timing talks about using $C019 and have told me that's not reliable across all models of Apple II. Reading the contents of video RAM as it "goes past" is, apparently, more likely to work but how that appears to function under emulation is "quirky" and i don't (and due to cost, won't for the foreseeable future) have real hardware here to test stuff.
 

The Apple ][ is very Bare Metal, verses the C64/C128, or Atari 400/800/1200 or CoCo. There is definitely a bigger challenge to make decent "graphic" games.


Only in the same way the Sinclair Spectrum is and that's one of the more prolific 8-bits for homebrew.

So who is gonna write new games?


A combination of the old guard, people with an interest who aren't directly part of that group (presumably including people like yourself and high voltage with an interest in the machine who haven't learnt to program) and, if they can be enticed over, sometimes people like me.

#47 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 12:43 PM

I suck as a programmer, but would offer what little resources I could offer to anyone who would be up to making new games and new ports.



#48 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 12:50 PM

I suck as a programmer, but would offer what little resources I could offer to anyone who would be up to making new games and new ports.

 

If you want to see a sampling of what is presently being done on the Apple II, I recommend you check out Brian Picchi's work: http://tanrunomad.com/official-games/ . I actually review two of his latest Apple II games in the next issue of Retro Gamer Magazine. Another great new Apple II project (being worked on at the same time as a C-64 version) is "Lawless Legends," a classic-style RPG set in the wild west. I'm not aware of other active (or recent) projects on the platform at the moment.



#49 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 12:57 PM

 
The Apple ][ is very Bare Metal, verses the C64/C128, or Atari 400/800/1200 or CoCo. There is definitely a bigger challenge to make decent "graphic" games.

As a "new owner" of a CoCo 3, I can see it has a whole lot going on for it... I can see the Capabilities of the CoCo (especially the CoCo 3, that can be upgraded to the Hitachi 6309 ), combined with new hardware, like the Drive Pack and Cloud 9 hardware.
 

 
Actually, the CoCo and the Apple II are rather similar in that regard as well. The CoCo doesn't have dedicated sound hardware either and the graphics at their most basic level, especially outside of the CoCo 3, are similarly restricted. As with the Apple II, as was stated, there are efforts to create more games on the platform, including the recent port of Lode Runner from the Apple II (in progress) and John Linville's work on FAHRFALL. Modest efforts compared to other platforms to be sure, but at least some progress, much like on the Apple II side.
 
Anyway, again, the capabilities of a platform are irrelevant. There are weaker platforms than the Apple II and CoCo that receive more regular game releases.

 

By the way, shameless plug, if you'd like to know more about the history of the CoCo, check out this book: http://www.amazon.co...arcade.com/neo/ and this book: http://www.amazon.co...arcade.com/neo/ and its predecessor have a lot on the Apple II, among several other platforms.



#50 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 1:40 PM

I actually review two of his latest Apple II games in the next issue of Retro Gamer Magazine.


Well, that's a tad confusing... either someone isn't telling me something or you're not talking about Imagine Publishing's Retro Gamer?



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