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About AguyinarRPG

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    Space Invader
  • Birthday 12/06/1988

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    Historian, searching for uncertainties!
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    Chicago, IL
  • Interests
    Old games, current games, future games.
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  1. Long in the making, my interview with Colecovision creator Robert Schenck has been published in Issue #14 of Old School Gamer Magazine! I managed to ask him a good deal of the questions in this thread and he was very insightful in all. I hope you enjoy it and I intend to follow up with him further, as he was very kind in his sharing of information.
  2. Just as to put one of the most asked questions as an updated, here's the answer about the wheel on the early Colecovision controllers: "The serrated wheel was for controlling objects on the screen. we patented it and it is the same fundamental item as in a mouse wheel." I think it was patented later as part of the Super Action controller, which I don't know how it functions. It's probably the same as it would have on the Colecovision.
  3. Funny about the Roto thing, in the footage out there with Jamie back in 1982 she said they retooled the game after a showing at the AOE show in March. It might be that all the versions of the source code were before that point but I don't think anyone's tried to compile that yet.
  4. I don't think TERSE was an arcade game language, though I don't know if Fenton used it on Gorf. Tom McHugh always coded in assembly, up to and including Wizard of Wor. By the 80s I believe that Forth had an adherence in some places and Atari had definitely developed an internal scripting language of some sort. Jamie told me about some of this stuff she had accrued so I'm stoked it's going to a good home. CHM is quickly becoming the technical counterpoint to the sociological bent of the Strong Museum.
  5. It wasn't really consumer damage that left Atari with no chance, it was retailer damage. If you read Brian Bagnall's Commodore on the Edge, you can see that Jack slashed and burned his way to the top with Commodore by offering special deals to mass market retailers, leaving all the specialty retailers in the dust. The deflated market meant that mass market retailers didn't want to deal with video games at all and nobody wanted to deal with Jack because they'd knew he'd screw them if he ever got a decent enough success. Plus, Atari even though it had split still had that stigma as being the company that flooded the market with games. They were still pushing out inventory from 1982 as late as 1986. Therefore, the Atari products generally could not get into the hands into consumers even if there was huge demand, which there wasn't because they didn't have the content. Atari Corp had nothing to do with the Tetris fiasco. If you want to know most of the story you can listen to my good friend Alex Smith's podcast on it, trying to untangle a lot of the webs of the timing and influence. Atari Games was not a division of Atari Corp and will be covered in a separate book, "Last in Fun", so said Marty.
  6. That's correct. Marty and Curt had it set up but he passed away before then. According to his sons, he was going to be open. They truly believe that he was ready to spill the beans on everything precisely because he was old and had never really spoken openly before. Remember, Jack was a primary funder of a Holocaust Museum. He understood the value of history but I think he also realized that some of the things he had personally done were unforgivable in a lot of people's eyes. His stint at Atari wasn't nearly as bad as at Commodore but he still left a lot of bitter people in his wake. I do know that his sons were always a bit distant from him in terms of actually knowing who he was behind the veil, but I look forward to their input in the book if it does eventually come out. Jack could have revealed a lot but you take your dues in history. I've personally missed out on way too many people that I could have got to.
  7. Nope! This man has never given a interview before. His name is findable but I didn't initially know that he was the hardware designer for the Colecovision, I just thought he was one of many engineers.
  8. Do you have said interview so I can check the context of it? This is something I'm interested in more generally even if I don't think the hardware designer can answer the question. A friend of mine has talked to, and plans to again, Arnold Greenberg so it would be good to get some context on that front.
  9. What do you mean by this? As far as I know Nuvatec was just a software developer. Do you have reason to believe they altered parts of the Colecovision design? I am not quite sure what these questions are asking. Do you have any particular sourcing on this? Closest I could find was an admission by Arnold Greenberg that they may become involved in the MSX standard, which of course was based on the Spectravision. What's the reason to suspect that Spectravideo had some sort of deal rather than just ripping Coleco off?
  10. Thanks everybody! I will continue to check the thread for questions but these are all great! I knew I came to the right place.
  11. Hello all. Over the past few months I've been speaking with the original hardware designer of the Colecovision. No, it's not Eric Bromley (nor has he claimed that title) and I will be making the interview public at his request when we finish. What I wanted to ask of the community is if there are any particular mysteries about the Colecovision hardware that may want to be solved. I am not an extremely technical person but I have done the best that I can in coming up with questions about the hardware. I have seen a few proposed theories about certain aspects of the Colecovision's design so I want to open it up to those who may be more knowledgeable about the subject to submit some questions. He was largely a hardware guy (though he wrote the OS) so asking him about the games is not going to yield much in the way of perspective. If the community has any mysteries on a nuts and bolts level that they're dying to know about, please submit them in the thread. At the conclusion of this interview I should hopefully have even more amazing stuff to share with you beyond the story, but again keeping that under wraps for now. Thanks all!
  12. Perhaps there's a misunderstand here. The ROM isn't what we would associate with a cartridge ROM. It doesn't store any program data, it only stores images. Games like Death Race, Tank, and even some Pong clones used ROMs to store their images rather than using diodes. So what we get are the graphics, not the game itself. That can be dumped.
  13. Well you can dump certain parts of a TTL game, like the ROM. Several TTL game ROMs are sitting in MAME, waiting for a team dedicated enough to find and properly emulate the myriad of other components. There are several problems here. Manpower is the main one. MAME is a volunteer project so you can't force people to work on things you think are important and there's not enough people to go around. Availability of original schematics and boards are also difficult. Not even having gameplay footage makes it pretty darn difficult to figure out if everything functions properly, even if you do have a schematic to work from. Last is just the ability to emulate these chips properly. It's hard hard work and I doubt that even of the small pool of people trying to work on accurate emulation, very few actually understand how the early 74xx series chips actually work. I think it's something that should be made a priority, to get all the 1970s TTL games emulated, but there's just not enough interest in that. A damn shame but that's the nature of it.
  14. Are you talking about earnings or are you talking about units? Unit sales are something I have some specific information on from various sources. Earnings are hard to measure except when you have something extraordinary like "NBA Jam taking in a billion dollars in quarters".
  15. Hey folks. I remember seeing a while ago on Youtube some footage of Destruction Derby by Exidy. I definitely remember it because it showcased some differences from Death Race which was based on a modified version. Specifically: -DD had cars instead of "gremlins" which would disappear when hit, with a different sound -DD had a wrap around effect on the top and bottom of the screen that the enemy cars would utilize -DR has curbs on both horizontal planes which slow down any players trying to cross over them Does anybody know where this footage may have gone or have it downloaded? Unfortunately I was not foresighted enough to get it before it disappeared. I know the game is pretty darn rare but I am looking to showcase it and would hate to have no ability to show the game in it's original form. Thanks!
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