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About kisrael

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    HMBL 2600 coder
  • Birthday March 31

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    Boston Burbs, MA

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  1. kisrael


  2. I'm sure it was an atari 8-bit computer (if not some forgotten machine at school like a TRS-80) but "Etch-a-Sketch animator" is a darkhorse candidate - you could making long 96 frame sequences from 12 40x30 pixel images
  3. FWIW the most oddest thing to get right is the per-scanline colors - "johnnystarr"'s did a good job of it, some of the others don't have a utility to make it easy to say "you're probably stuck with one color per line"
  4. http://www.it8bit.com/post/182035906858/asteroids-box-art-for-the-atari-vcs-2600-scan- man, look at that beauty, a retro blog just reposted the Asteroids box. And it's "66 Video Games" - not just "variations", they were really trying to sell the idea that each was sort of a standalone game...
  5. I guess I'm more forgiving. There's DLC that finishes a game, and DLC that does add more, but you still have a good experience without it. In part I see it as economics. In the 80s one coder, maybe with an optional art person and/or sound artist, could make a game you could sell for $30. Nowadays, to make a game people won't gripe to pay $60 for, you need a staff of hundreds. Or you can make a small game for like mobile or Indie something, but then people don't want to even pay as much as they would for a cup of coffee, no matter how much work you put into it. (Though I'm a bit annoyed by "ship out whatever boots on the system, we'll patch everything over the 'net")
  6. I think the coin/console split really grew in the NES era, when there was enough ROM-space to make worlds worth exploring for a longer time. Few early Atari games outside Adventure and Superman really provided that much world content. It IS a very interesting philosophical design difference, but I think Berzerk was way early days, and Atari was mostly trying to "bring the arcade home" but still justify why one cartridge was worth 120 quarters
  7. Cool book - i sccanned in the same company's guide to arcade games - i write about it here: https://kirk.is/2013/10/08 (that page a link to annarchive that has a .cbz version of the stuff)
  8. Well, "best" is subjective. I think variations were important to the early Atari days, especially when there was a gap between what the Atari could do and the arcade version - it made it feel like more value for the money, and was usually displayed pretty prominently. Comparing high scores is an important part of these games, but only a part. (Heh, in modern Smash Bros there's the "No Items, Fox Only, Final Destination"! style that kind of matches your preferences for thinking about classic games) I know for myself, doing better against the challenge is part of it, though my default is to always go for "how many levels in can I get" vs "what score can I achieve".
  9. How old were you when you realized that you start a Berzerk level opposite of where you exited the last room? I was today years old! (Thanks StanJr) I've been trying to get more into actually playing my dear old Atari, and Berzerk is a good one. It's kind of amazing the things I didn't notice as a kid- back then I hardly ever mustered up the courage to switch to an Evil Otto version, and that really changes things - like the strategy of the way the robots "share" a single bullet, so you should try to provoke a long shot and then you have time to run. I guess the way the room draws in place and the door you "entered" is always a wall meant I didn't catch the connection.
  10. I'm trying to get back into playing my old school Atari more - thinking about fun pick up and play games. Anyway, it reminded me, why the heck isn't Evil Otto there in the default setting of Berzerk? That really changed how the game felt for me as a kid - Evil Otto seemed just too scary, and something for bigger kids. (On the other hand, the "kids version" without shooting robots seemed too easy) Is it the scariness factor that left him out? It's almost too obvious to say, but Evil Otto really changes the feel of the game, from a slowpaced tactical "clear the whole room as you can line up a shot" game to "man I really gotta stay on the run and figure this out on the fly". Also: the art in the Berzerk manual is probably my favorite in all Atari land
  11. Been thinking about "Car Polo" lately and what a clear descendent it has in "Rocket League" Conceptually it is so much fun! I'm trying to figure out how it dealt with fewer than 4 players.... unlike Indy / racer games it seems like it really needs an even number of players... but I feel like it's way too early to have any form of AI. Was it one quarter per player, and did unplayed player just get left out, or could you not start the game, or did the CPU have rudimentary smarts?
  12. That a machine designed to play Atari Tank and Outlaw had so much flexibility to do what we've seen over the years
  13. Great work reproducing this gsampspon! Wonder if anyone (thinking Thomas Jentzsch) could track down the triggering cause
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