Huh. The mystery deepens I guess.
Given the level of sophistication of the proto, I'm guessing it has to be a well known programmer. If someone really wants to take a look at the code of the dumped version maybe they can see some similarities with another game and we can go from there. Programmers tended to reuse their code where possible.
I´ve read an interview with Mr. Van Ryzin on Digital Press recently. He said that his first game for Activision was "Cosmic Commuter" but it wasn´t published because it didn´t was good enough (his words). Only then he made H.E.R.O.
Only when the US market collapsed Activision released Cosmic Commuter to grab some quick cash.
My point is: Maybe A LOT of above-average games were ditched back in the day because even been great they were not "Activision Quality". So HH might even be a very nice first attempt from someone who got axed later on.
I´ve asked him for an interview two weeks ago. He never answered.
Here´s the interview: http://www.digitpres..._van_ryzin.html
Here´s a very interesting quote from it:
DP: Where there any other 2600 games that you did that were never released? There was talk about some unreleased games by Activision, and little is known about them. I’ve talked to some other Activision programmers… supposedly Zenji was going to be released. Do you know of any games that were close to completion, but where never released?
John Van Ryzin: Yes, there was a lot of that. You’d be amazed by how much of that happened. In the peak of the Atari 2600 days, Activision was very concerned about their image. They would only release games that were really good. If a game didn’t live up to their reputation, Activision had no desire to release it. Cosmic Commuter is a perfect example. I finished that game in the peak of the industry, when the 2600 was really hot stuff. Activision felt that it didn’t measure up. They decided not to release it then. That was really disappointing for me – I finally got a job with this big, successful company. I write a game, work like crazy to do it, get to the end, and then they decide that they don’t want to publish it! It probably took me nine months to write that game. So then I wrote HERO. They thought HERO did measure up and they released it. Six months to a year later, they decide to release Cosmic Commuter.
There were lots of games that the company was not thrilled with. Activision opened up a number of design centers where all the people who worked there wrote games. Then Activision would say that they didn’t like any of the games. Those games were not released, and then the design center would be shut down. There were some guys from the Boston design center that wrote a couple of games that were pretty good, and Activision never released them. I only wrote two for the 2600.
Edited by lazzeri, Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:46 PM.