Posted Thu Oct 30, 2003 9:41 AM
from time to time i like to play desktop detective, attempting to find some missing history from the classic gaming era. a lot of dead ends and some nice discoveries along the way, now in the interest of making room in my email box i'm posting these here. earth shattering no, but i had fun and maybe you will as well. if anybody cares to contact the programmers mentioned in these emails i can help but having a healthy fear of spam i'm not posting that info here.
all of these are from actual emails, in some cases i have edited for clarity and legnth
former imagic programmer michael greene (no escape) on 2600 wing war and other lost titles from imagic, these emails have been partialy posted here before in the thread greene mentions
It's news to me that Wing War was released on the European market. I had
been told that the program wasn't going to be released.
To be honest, I don't remember much about the game. It was an attempt to
emulate Joust's flight characteristics which to me, felt really good. The
wandering around the maze looking for goodies bit was more a reason to fly
around than much else.
There was some discussion about turning it into a helicopter game, very
similar to the Copter flash game that's making the rounds these days. Given
how well Copter plays, it probably would have been a good idea.
Glad you like it.
I read the forum comments. It's not true that Wing War was the only game
not released by Imagic. Brad Smith who did Asteroids for Atari, had a game
revolving around fire that never made it out of the lab.
Rob Fulop had a really nice little game involving moving colored tiles
around on a screen. It was something like the 15 tile game except you were
moving colored tiles. The difference was it was easier to play, was fast
paced and had a two player mode. It was one of the best games for the 2600
but as it was a puzzle and not action game, it died. If you know how to
reach Rob, he might still have a copy.
Mark Klein had a porno game he wrote before coming to Imagic. As you might
expect, Imagic wasn't too keen on publishing it but they hired Mark as he
demonstrated he could code for the machine.
Somebody made a comment about a marketing droid dictating the game's
release. It wasn't like that at all - marketing never told us what to do.
Imagic was definitely an engineer's company, not a marketing company. The
reason Imagic went under was the marketing vp made some pretty amazing
forecasts based more on fantasy than facts as to where the market was
going. Imagic borrowed boatloads of money to fund the necessary expansion
and when the market crunched, couldn't handle the debt burden. Wing War
was finished after the market crunched and there just wasn't a sense it
would sell in a dead market.
I don't recall any other versions being worked on while I was working on
the VCS version. The Mattel side worked in a separate area than we did and
about the only time we got together en masse was for brainstorming. The
VCS team and Mattel teams had two distinctly different cultures. As to an
Atari 800 version, it would have been done by Activision, not Imagic.
Imagic was almost 100% console oriented.
former milton bradley programmer N.F. describes a title that was very far along, AFAIK his work predates and is seperate from the later MB 2600 titles, i'd really love to see this game turn up!
I worked on two VCS games when I was at Milton Bradley in 1981 that were
never released. One was a design I gave to another programmer, and I've
forgotten the name. The one I programmed was called "King of the
Mountain". It used the two twin paddle controllers (like Warlords which
was one of my favorite VCS games) for up to four people to play at
once. The playfield was a mountain that looked sort of like a wedding cake
with four layers. The paddles let you control a blob that represented a
kid and move him left and right on your level of the mountain. Pressing
the button threw a snowball - the kid at the top threw straight down, and
the three below him threw straight up. If you hit someone higher up you
changed places with him, and if the person at the top hit someone below
him, that person froze for a second. The higher on the hill you were, the
faster you accumulated points, with bonuses for hitting other players. The
winner was the first to reach some total, probably 99, I've forgotten. I
got about half of the way through the game, with all the players moving on
the field and some of the rest of it before they cancelled the four VCS
projects we had in development. Milton Bradley reverse-engineered the VCS
and would have been the fourth company on the market in 1981 after Atari,
Activision, and some third group that debuted with a game called Lost
Luggage, but the management decided to do a home computer instead - and
that was in turn cancelled when Coleco's Adam computer came out six months
before ours was ready.
questing for a lost IBM PC title i learned this-
You've got an interesting hobby and you're the only one who has ever asked
me about Genesis.
I don't know whether Genesis was ever published but I don't think it was.
(he wrote the PC port)
Genesis was a coin-op arcade game very much like Tempest in that the game
revolved around shooting down a tunnel while spiders climbed upward to
attack you. I've never seen it in the arcades but we had one at
I got to read the source code. I remember being very impressed with how well
the code was written, it was very professional.
All the best to you in your quest for treasures from the past
Tony a former roxlan programmer describes his eight bit titles which never made it to the public-
The one that I worked on for the Atari never got released... Rockball, a
clone of an arcade game by the same name. I also worked on Gyruss, but the
version that Parker Bros. eventually released wasn't mine.
unfortunately, I don’t know where to find those images. I have copies of my originals, but I really can’t release them because they never became ‘official’. I do know that my ‘laser strike’, ‘galactic chase’, and ‘star island’ games have shown up on the internet (these are the ones I did before joining Roklan), but none of the Roklan stuff ever did.
ahh crap its looks like i deleted a few by mistake but there you go.