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TI-99/4A Atarisoft Ports?


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#26 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:41 PM

In the middle of the summer, Sofmachine was contacted by Atarisoft. Atarisoft had been buying the rights to port the popular full-size arcade games to game consoles and home computers of the day. And Atarisoft wanted us to convert three games: Jungle Hunt, Pole Position, and Vangard. We agreed to do so, at $35,000 for each game — except for Pole Position, which we managed to get $50,000 to do. So we started coding in earnest. We finished both Jungle Hunt and Pole Position at the end of 1983. About midway through the Vangard project, which I was doing, Atarisoft cancelled the project and agreed to pay half of the $35,000.

 
ref.: Game Programming All in One

 

 



#27 LASooner OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:51 PM

 

I was able to find AtariSoft titles in Target and K-Mart for a couple of years afterward. Up until it seemed there was a massive effort to purge all old stuff and you could find TI and VIC-20 cartridges on clearance shelves, after that Triton and Tenex catalogues were the place to find them.  I wonder how many of the AtariSoft carts wound up selling.

 

 

I wonder how many ended up in Alamagordo.



#28 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:33 PM

 

 

I wonder how many ended up in Alamagordo.

 

None.  E.T. filled it up.



#29 LASooner OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:52 PM

There was more there than just E.T., the excavation uncovered a lot of Atari product



#30 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:38 AM

There was more there than just E.T., the excavation uncovered a lot of Atari product

 

It was a bad joke :P



#31 save2600 ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:57 AM

Re: Pac and Ms. Pac on the TI being a bit on the slow side, surprised nobody's mentioned this yet... you can speed them up by pressing the fire button. I believe you can't eat dots while doing so. Also, speeds up the ghosts. Still, pretty nifty if you've never tried it. Just press fire on those stretches you've already eaten dots if you want a faster game. :)

#32 LASooner OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:56 PM

Re: Pac and Ms. Pac on the TI being a bit on the slow side, surprised nobody's mentioned this yet... you can speed them up by pressing the fire button. I believe you can't eat dots while doing so. Also, speeds up the ghosts. Still, pretty nifty if you've never tried it. Just press fire on those stretches you've already eaten dots if you want a faster game. :)

 

I wonder why that wasn't the default speed?



#33 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:57 PM

 

I wonder why that wasn't the default speed?

 

Who will hack it?



#34 Airshack OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:40 PM

This one conflicts a bit with post #7
 
Centipede, Robert Lafore
Dig-Dug, Robert Lafore
Jungle Hunt, Doug Dragin and Paul Urbanus
Robotron: 2084, Bill Parod
Vanguard, Doug Dragin, Paul Urbanus and Garth Dollahite
 
ref.: http://spyhunter007....ammers_list.htm


I’ve always assumed Paul Urbanus was a TI in-house programmer when he worked on PARSEC.

Wondering if the majority of TI-99/4A titles were farmed out?


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#35 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:30 PM

I’ve always assumed Paul Urbanus was a TI in-house programmer when he worked on PARSEC.

 

He took a cooperative education (co-op) job at TI. Then a second co-op stinct. Made the "Lines" demo. Got noticed by Don Bynum who put him together with Jim Dramis (Car Wars and Munchman) and suggested they do a space game, but otherwise they had carte blanche to do what they wanted (Parsec). Later Jim Dramis and Garth Dollahite (TI Invaders) resigned from TI to form Sofmachine and Paul joined. Later Paul got back at TI in Research and was an employee until 1995.

 

 



#36 8_is_enuff OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:33 PM

I love Moon Patrol on the TI--great music, sound, and action.  I can look past the blocky sprites because the game play is fantastic.  When you jump, the hang time feels right. 

 

I always thought the hang time was too short when jumping in Donkey Kong though.  And I was really disappointed with the lack of bouncing springs on the elevator screen.  Having said all that, its still a lot of fun.  I played it quite a bit in my youth.  My copy would lock up somewhere in the 120,000-130,000 range every time.

 

I thought Pac-Man was a decent port.  It really looked good on the TI.



#37 Casey OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:24 PM

I actually think the TI versions of most of the Atarisoft games were among the best they did.  Donkey Kong (aside from maybe some of the sound effects, and the spring in the elevator screen) I think looks about the best.  The only other thing it missed was the fireballs on the barrels screen from the blue barrels.  

 

Moon Patrol was great - and I also didn't mind the blockiness of the sprites as the game itself was quite well done.  The Commodore 64 version is horrid compared to the TI version.  

 

I honestly didn't know Ms. Pac Man was ever available for the 99/4A until just a few years ago.  BITD I had Pac Man (it was a replacement for a buggy Donkey Kong that crashed on the elevator screen), Jungle Hunt, Centipede and Dig Dug.  All very good.



#38 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:13 PM

 

Moon Patrol was great - and I also didn't mind the blockiness of the sprites as the game itself was quite well done.  

 

Agreed!  Moon Patrol is good.  I actually like it better than the Atari 5200 version.



#39 save2600 ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:21 PM

TI Moon Patrol is excellent, save for the shoddy UFO collision detection. Hate it when my bullet or laser goes right through them! :mad: :lol:

#40 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:25 PM

I suck at most games, but back in the day I was able to COMPLETE the game on a regular basis.  Yes, I did say COMPLETE!  :grin: 

If you start out on the first level, it'll graduate you to the second level (which is pink in color).  Once you complete that, it's game over.



#41 JB OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:18 PM

The TI Defender really impresses me. Especially when you compare it to the Colecovision version. Same AV hardware, but the difference is night and day.

#42 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:22 PM

The TI Defender really impresses me.

 

It does me too, but I suck at Defender too!  :woozy:



#43 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 27, 2018 5:11 AM

Not sure if this is any help, but i did ask UK coder, Nick Pelling if he had done any coding for Atari and here's his reply:


"As far as Atari goes, I tried to work with them with Joust on the BBC Micro but it turned out really badly, and the less said the better. Again, others may have kind words to say about Atari, but you won’t find any here."




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