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About mstulir

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    Chopper Commander
  • Birthday 04/22/1968

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  1. Holy dead thread revival Batman! Through the generosity of a donor who has not given their permission to be identified yet, the American Classic Arcade Museum has acquired another piece of video game history....the same test cabinet for Gauntlet that started this thread. Atari Games put this cabinet on-site in a Cupertino, CA arcade prior to the official release of the game. This cabinet was previously owned by former Atari/Atari Games graphic artist Alan Murphy and has been authenticated by him. It will be available for play soon at the American Classic Arcade Museum.
  2. mstulir

    Replay FX is over

    We did all of the promos we could from our end via e-mail blasts, social media, etc. We even bought a full page ad on the inside cover of the event program. I am not sure where the ball got dropped. As for the recordings.... The speaker sessions were recorded for use with the ACAM Education Program. We routinely work with groups of college students around New England that are studying video game design/creation as a career. We try to educate them on the history of arcade video games. At this time, we are not planning on making the videos available to the public. We will probably premiere those recordings with our first group of 170 students in early October.
  3. mstulir

    Replay FX is over

    Thank you for attending our sessions on Saturday night & I am pleased to hear you enjoyed them. I am not exactly sure what happened with seminar attendance. It seemed light across the board as I made a point to check in with quite a few other sessions to check attendance levels. Needless to say, I am a little let down that I brought in three big-name people from the gaming industry that are supporters of ACAM and turnout was so light. On the whole, the event was fantastic and we are big believers in many of the objectives the ReplayFX people are trying to achieve.
  4. While I did not make it crystal clear in my comments above regarding modifying 3DS or Wii hardware for this purpose, I would have to assume we would be looking at 720p as the output resolution. Austin, you are correct about upscaling & the minimal re-engineering of existing technology to make it work. There would be very little here to be changed. In the case of the 3DS, the core software already supports almost all of the included games. Also, the core hardware supports what is needed for HD.....it is just not being used. Many consider the Virtual Console emulation to be adequate. Reinventing the wheel to make this new device would not just be silly, but economically impractical.
  5. Again, you do not understand the hardware. No, the hardware is not just designed for low-resolution screens. Yes, that PICA200 GPU at the heart of the 3DS is 9 years old, but it supports HDMI along with full HD video encoding/decoding. That GPU is capable of so much more than it is being used for currently. Your argument about the latest & greatest ARM tech does not hold water. Nintendo is a company that has a long history of building under-powered less-expensive hardware and focusing on gameplay experience. They are also masters at being fiscally conservative. They are not going to throw money at the latest ARM hardware when the tech that they already have access to is less expensive and does the job just fine for the majority of possible consumers of this device. Nintendo is out to sell games and make profit. At least they elected to splurge in the correct area by re-licensing as many 3rd party titles as they did. Yes, that makes the unit much more attractive, but kills your profit fast. If they invest in newer/more powerful/more costly hardware than they really need, then throw in the game re-licensing costs, development/prototyping costs, overall engineering costs, tool/die costs, manufacturing costs, packaging costs, transportation/shipping costs & marketing costs, where is your profit? Once all of these costs are estimated, I have to assume (based on my own experience in this area) that their CTM per unit will be somewhere around $22-$25, and they will expect to sell it to the retailers for somewhere in the $32-$36 range....depending on the size of the order. (Note that I could see the CTM being closer to $12-17 per unit without the licensing costs.) You sell higher than that to the retailers & the MSRP will need to go up as well....which means you kill your impulse buyers. Your argument makes ZERO economic sense. The advantage of my theory is leveraging their existing investment in tech to lower cost of a new product. Alter your VC code to support the HD features you currently are not utilizing. Add the HDMI output your graphics chip already supports. Add appropriate input interfaces...which is the easiest part, and you have the makings of a big seller this holiday. In the end, though, I would never buy one of these for the same reason I would never buy anything from AtGames.....you will never get full nostalgia feelings from a device that is utterly incapable of creating the original magic exactly as it was. If Nintendo went SoC on this device, then count me in. Clearly, they have not, so my money stays in my wallet.
  6. I don't understand your skepticism since the 3DS is based on ARM technology. Modifying the 3DS hardware is not a stretch, but if you are not aware of the core hardware, I can see where you would be confused. If you already have a software component (Virtual Console) on existing hardware (3DS) that works to a degree that many (not me) consider to be satisfactory, leveraging your investment in what you already have makes much more economic sense than starting over with new hardware and new software.
  7. I'd be curious to compare the game list of this new device to the Virtual Console game list on the 3DS. Considering the form factor of the new unit, it would not shock me if they made some engineering changes to the 3DS hardware rather than a shrink of the Wii hardware.
  8. The same thought ran through my mind as well. It would explain a great many things. It will be interesting to see what exactly is inside it as soon as someone buys one & tears it down. I wouldn't say the Virtual Console emulation in the Wii is bad, bit I certainly would not call it great. Regardless, all indications point to emulation, and there will be baggage to go along with it.
  9. While I had some initial excitement, reading the whole announcement destroyed any intention I may have had of buying one of these units. Purists see this for exactly what it is. However, the average person who grew up on this stuff & does not know better will buy them until they are completely sold out. For us here, we have been fortunate to have a Flashback unit that did not use emulation, so I am sure we are all smart enough to see through the smokescreen: save states means emulation. Emulation in these units has, historically, been pretty crappy. About the only real positive I see here is that the powers-that-be did a masterful job re-licensing some non-Nintendo titles for inclusion. Just a quick glance revealed Konami, Namco & Taito titles. People will always complain about "Why isn't GAME X included?" in these packages, but I would have to think most people will agree that Nintendo has assembled a varied and strong mix in this collection. The community does not need anymore AtGames-like emulated garbage thrown our way. Buying crap does nothing but send send a message that people will buy crap. I'll pass.
  10. Just happened to find this old thread. I can shed some light on the transparent unit at The American Classic Arcade Museum @ Funspot. It is not a prototype and it was not donated by Curt. As you guys may remember, I was one of two other people that worked for Curt on the FB1 and the FB2. Curt arranged for a run of 50 transparent FB1 consoles that were supposed to go to the people involved with the project. Curt got his. I got mine. I am not sure if Marty got his, but I doubt it. The remaining units were to go to Atari HQ and be given to the other people involved with the project, executives, etc. Well, those remaining units vanished into thin air upon reaching Atari. No one seems to know where they went. The unit on display at ACAM is mine. It has transparent controllers along with the transparent console. On display as well is the packaging for the USA market and the French market. We also have a Flashback 2 there (autographed by Curt & I) with a mockup of the original packaging concept....a black & blue "Flashback 2.0" box that was more square. That concept was abandoned and the final product package was a more rectangular and flatter red "Flashback 2" box. When it comes time to remove the Coleco games in that cabinet, I will be sure to build up a much better Atari FB1 & FB2 display. I still have my FB1 dev unit laying around somewhere, so that will eventually be part of the display. Mike Stulir, Vice President @ ACAM
  11. The American Classic Arcade Museum is pleased to announce that we will be conducting some speaker sessions at ReplayFX in Pittsburgh, PA on Saturday, July 30th that should be of interest to most everyone here. Ed Fries, Former Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft Saturday, July 30th • 6:30pm Ed Fries created his first video games for the Atari 800 in the early 1980s. He joined Microsoft in 1986, and spent the next ten years as one of the early developers of Excel and Word. He left the Office team to pursue his passion for interactive entertainment and created Microsoft Game Studios. Over the next eight years he grew the team from 50 people to over 1200, published more than 100 games including more than a dozen million+ sellers, co-founded the Xbox project, and made Microsoft one of the leaders in the video game business. In 2004, Ed retired from his Microsoft Vice President job to continue his work in the video game business as board member, advisor and consultant to a broad range of publishers, independent game developers, and media companies. In 2007 Ed launched his own startup, FigurePrints, an innovative company that uses color 3D printing technology to bring video game characters to life. In the summer of 2010 Ed released “Halo 2600”, a “demake” of the Halo video game series for the Atari 2600. In 2013 “Halo 2600” became one of the first two video games to be added to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Steve Golson, Co-creator of the Atari 7800 ProSystem Console Saturday, July 30th • 7:45pm The Atari 7800 ProSystem console was not designed by Atari. The people of General Computer Corporation (GCC) of Massachusetts created this console for Atari with an intended release in 1984, but it did not officially hit the market until 1986. Steve Golson, one of the original developers of Ms. Pac-Man at GCC, also worked on the Maria graphics chip for the Atari 7800. Join Steve as he discusses the creation, history & legacy of this amazing backwards-compatible gaming device. Steve worked for General Computer of Cambridge, MA. from 1981 through 1985. He created the hardware design for GCC’s arcade enhancement kits Super Missile Attack and Ms. Pac-Man. Steve also contributed to various other arcade game projects at GCC such as Atari’s Charley Chuck’s Food Fight. Steve is a frequent contributor to ACAM’s education projects, and participates with ACAM at gaming events on a regular basis. Warren Davis Creator, Q*bert Saturday, July 30th • 9:00pm From Q*Bert to Us Vs. Them to Exterminator, Warren Davis has created some of the most fun & unusual games found in the arcades during the “classic” era. Join Warren as he discusses his career in game development with inside stories about his popular games, info about some unreleased games & a look at video digitizing technology used in arcade gaming. Warren Davis is a former arcade video game developer who worked at such manufacturers as Gottlieb & Midway. Warren’s most popular game was Q*Bert, a quirky & amusing game released by Gottlieb late in 1982. Warren helped develop other popular arcade games as well including Joust 2, Revolution X featuring Aerosmith, Terminator 2 & Exterminator. Warren also developed the video digitizing technology used in such arcade games as the NBA Jam series and the Mortal Kombat series. Warren’s laserdisc game, Us Vs. Them, is a popular attraction at ACAM, and attracts huge crowds when ACAM has presented it at game conventions. Combining computer-generated graphics with live-action filmed sequences, the alien invasion-themed Us. Vs. Them is a fantastic example of technology & fun gameplay during the short-lived laserdisc arcade game fad of the mid-1980s. Gamers behind the Replay Foundation & PAPA are taking over the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA and filling it with more than 750 arcade and pinball machines, over 2,000 retro console games, tabletop games, a showcase of new products by game developers, magicians, live musicians, balloon artists, face-painters, competitions offering over $110,000 in prize money, and more! The ReplayFX Arcade & Video Game Festival will feature the largest public collection of working pinball, arcade, tabletop, and console games anywhere in the solar system, and all games are free to play with the price of admission! Attendees are also invited to attend a series of seminars dedicated to gaming and its associated tech-culture, browse merchandise in the marketplace, watch the world’s greatest pinball wizards compete in the Pinburgh Match-Play Championship. For information about the convention, please visit: http://www.replayfx.org For more information about the ACAM speaker sessions, visit http://www.classicarcademuseum.org
  12. The American Classic Arcade Museum (ACAM) is pleased to announce that ACAM contributor Steve Golson (co-creator of Ms. Pac-Man) and ACAM Vice President Mike Stulir will be presenting discussion sessions at the ReplayFX Festival this summer. Steve will talk about Crazy Otto, the game that eventually evolved into Ms. Pac-Man. Mike will be speaking about our departed friend Ralph Baer & his impact on the birth of the videogame industry. This is shaping up to be an incredible event, and ACAM hopes to see you there! More Info What: ReplayFX Arcade & Gaming Festival Where: David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA When: July 30th - August 2nd, 2015 Info: RePlayFX.orgSteve Golson Session: Friday, July 31st, 4:30pm in room 407 Mike Stulir Session: Friday, July 31st, 6:00pm in room 407 Hailed as “The Mecca of Classic Gaming” by multiple news outlets such as MSNBC and "One of the shrines every sports fan should visit" by ESPN: The Magazine, The American Classic Arcade Museum at Funspot is the first 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to preservation & play of vintage coin-operated amusements. Located on the third floor of the immense Funspot Family Entertainment Center in Weirs Beach, NH, the museum celebrates the origins of the arcade industry with popular games from the past. Asteroids, Pac-Man, Centipede and Gorgar are just a few of the 300 games currently on display & available for play in the museum. The museum has gained national and international recognition being highlighted in ESPN: The Magazine, MSNBC, EDGE Magazine, Retro Gamer UK, The Escapist, Yankee Magazine, in-flight airline publications and locally in NH to DO magazine & The Boston Globe. ACAM has also been the backdrop for several feature films and is utilized by collegiate educational institutions as a learning & research facility for their students. For more information, visit http://www.classicarcademuseum.org
  13. Tournament press release can be found here: http://www.classicarcademuseum.org/tournament.htm Suggestions for lodging & food in the area can be found here: http://www.funspotnh.com/area-attractions.htm Mike Stulir Vice President, The American Classic Arcade Museum
  14. Here is the video from ACAM's Classic Video Game Developer panel at PAX-East 2013. More videos to come. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBUeqwAd0u4
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