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JeffVav

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About JeffVav

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    Vancouver, BC, Canada

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  1. The story I heard in informal circles back during the Midway sale was the reason WB bought Midway was for the Mortal Kombat franchise. The rest just came along for the ride. As @boog noted we did do the Midway Arcade expansion pack for Lego Dimensions. And there was that browser based tie in for Ready Player One we did in 2018, but generally (aside from licensing via Arcade1Up) it's looked just as quiet to us as it has to you. Aside from MK it looks from our spectator's position like the classic Midway library has been used by them as more of a value-add than a product in its own right. Even then the MK products are modern evolutions, not retro. Perhaps retro is just not on their radar? But yeah we'd love a stab at something if someone were willing. Williams Arcade Classics was my first commercial game release and we were the keepers of that legacy from that point right up until Midway's demise.
  2. No, it's not the same emulation used in Atari Arcade Hits. That was written in assembly. But I really don't understand your "sheer incompetence" comment. Hypothetically, if the emulation code works, why change it? I'm actually confused about this comment. On the one hand you don't want us to use 20-year-old code (not that we are), but you still want it run on 20-year-old operating systems (low-end laptops with Windows 98)? Anyway, Atari Vault's UI is 3D and written in Unity. That's the only reason it has higher system requirements. It's nothing to do with the emulation. It's going to perform as well as any Unity 3D program.
  3. Atari Vault uses the exact same emulators, and the same audio files.
  4. It's whatever you want it to be. We've always put it under user control because there are different opinions on what's best. So there's a relative/absolute setting and a sensitivity adjustment.
  5. The original claim "3 billion prefer touchscreens" (for gaming) isn't technically fact. They find it sufficient, particularly for the genres they might play. I'd suggest those who are exclusively mobile gamers are not so because they prefer touchscreens, but because they are casual gamers who didn't feel motivated to buy a dedicated gaming device, and so playing games on the smartphone they already have is sufficient to sate their gaming impulses. Plus it allows them to fill time on the bus, in waiting rooms, etc. To illustrate my point: I'm not currently responding to this post on my phone because I prefer a touchscreen over my keyboard. It's just sufficient and the timing is more convenient at the moment. Anyway, the genre is relevant, particularly because the Amico games shown so far are twitch games, whereas the 3 billion cited are less likely to be playing twitch games (statistically, based on what most mobile games are). But you don't need to get your claws out at this opinion because... If Amico only had touch controls I'd be sceptical, but I'd wager most twitch games on Amico are going to use the physical buttons and d-pad as the primary control. So I don't really see the issue. And yes you can use touch screens for some twitch games of course, probably most commonly in a trackpad fashion. I could see a skiing game using slides and gestures. The problem with mobile is you basically have no choice but to use a touchscreen no matter what game you're trying to make. Amico has options, so I don't see the issue. The physical D-pad and four (was it?) side buttons are still more than the Atari 2600 had and no one is saying it wasn't good for twitch games. And yeah Tommy has been implying some sort of "patent pending" tactile feedback system for touch screen, which would be interesting. BTW am I imagining things or do I recall the D-pad can effectively be used as a spinner? Maybe it was just that it had 36 (?) contact points and you could run your finger around the disk to simulate a spinner like behaviour. My only concern about the touchscreen is one that's already been raised: if I switch between the TV and my phone during a commercial, I don't have progressive lenses so have to take off my glasses. It's not something I'd enjoy being forced to do a lot. Edit: maybe Tommy needs to look into another patent for a lensing system that projects the touchscreen content at a further focal distance.
  6. ...I think the conclusion I have to draw here is that Tommy's got to know all this, so there's likely a major kid-demographic licence that hasn't been announced yet. Wouldn't be at all surprising if, say, they had some major Disney brand, but they wouldn't be allowed to talk about it publicly until Disney got to see a near-final product and were satisfied with it. And that wouldn't come until late in the game, much much closer to launch. Hypothetically. Edit: in other words, look for Baby Yoda: The Game coming to Amico in October 2020.
  7. Sorry, unclear what you're referring to there... What the potential market of the OLPC was? It's called One Laptop Per Child, not One Laptop Per Impoverished Child. The purpose of the machine was to equalise education and accessibility to computers, not contribute to a multi-tier Class System. The last thing they wanted was kids in poorer areas being "behind" their more fortunate peers. The whole point was to combat that. But at any rate the analogy breaks down here, so this is perhaps a useless tangent. I don't think Amico is being positioned as the console for people who aren't fortunate enough to have an Xbox, PS4, or Switch. Edit to add: debating what the OLPC was really for takes us down a tangent that wasn't really the point I was making. Regardless of what you think it was meant for, I thought it was a good idea for my son some 13 years ago. He had a different perspective. That's all I'm really saying.
  8. Pokémon gained widespread traction over an extended period of time, and leveraged an existing platform. The point I was making is if, by analogy, Nintendo introduced the Game Boy and Pokémon at the same time, and the world at large had never heard of either (or Nintendo) before, they'd have a larger uphill challenge ahead of them. But the process was incremental. Tetris was popular. Game Boy was positioned (in part) as a way to play Tetris easily, on the go (launch title). Then Pokémon leveraged the established Game Boy user base. They weren't trying to invent the platform and the content at the same time. The brands we've heard about for Amico so far aren't familiar to children, so basically equivalent to new IP. That's really easy to answer: what it lacked was access to the content all his friends were into. "It was designed for the impoverished" is, I think, mischaracterising the platform. You could say it was designed to be affordable/accessible to the impoverished. But it was designed for kids; their financial status has no bearing on what they could do with it. To that end, he was the target market. (Jobs offered OS X sans licensing fees and they turned it down. It could've been basically an uber-affordable Mac+. What, functionally, about the machine limited it to targeting "the impoverished"?)
  9. Not to dis my grandmother's tech acumen above BTW. I made the same mistake of second guessing what my oldest would want when he was 7... He wanted a computer of his own. I bought him a 1st gen OLPC. (There was a buy one/donate one programme I participated in.) I thought they were the future for kids and computers. Cute fluffy UI but rugged hardware and Linux underneath for when he might be able to get serious one day. Barely got any use at all. Bought him an entry level Windows machine (all-in-one Compaq desktop) instead within a little over a year. To the OLPC's credit I'm sure the R&D that went into it is why netbooks came into being and I still prefer netbooks as my travel PC, so there were some solid ideas there. For those that don't know about the OLPC, it's an interesting story: https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/16/17233946/olpcs-100-laptop-education-where-is-it-now
  10. First, I hope it succeeds. I would get no thrill in seeing it fail, so whatever comments I make are largely from a place of "what are the hurdles, what can improve its chances?" not "it's going to fail because..." I actually think a lot (not all) of the so-called negativity might be coming from a similar place. There's a difference between critique and negativity. With that in mind, I was talking to my kids about Amico. My youngest is 16 so maybe older than the "parental control" demo, but young enough to remember what motivated them when they were 10 and 7. The first comment I got was that kids want what their friends have, no matter the age. And their friends/classmates (perhaps by way of older siblings) are going to be more familiar with the pre-existing brands. So it's a bit of a chicken and egg. Not a reason to fail, but a hurdle to overcome. They suggested that having a high profile IP for their demographic (not their words) would be key. At the time they were 10 and 7, that might've been Club Penguin. Trying to get market penetration with a new hardware simultaneous with a new (to their age set) software is a more steeply uphill battle. I remember when I was a teen and my grandmother tried to buy me an Atari 2600 game once. The game she got was way off the mark from what actually interested me. Never heard of it, didn't understand it, played it for 10 minutes and never again. There's been a lot of talk about how it's going to appeal to parents. We've heard how Amico will make parental controls a non-issue, how it will have more to offer in co-op for parents that do want to play with their kids, but e.g. when those Switch comparisons come up, I think it would benefit to think like the kid too, not just the parent. From a kids' perspective it has the potential to be more like (but not to the extreme of) saying "I want an Atari 2600 game for Christmas" and unwrapping Fun With Numbers. (Or getting a Windows Phone when you wanted an iPhone like everyone else in your class, to pick a less extreme example.) i.e. kid gets parent's idea of what they want the kid to play rather than what they actually want to play. So once they get an Amico, they need to be pleasantly surprised. If by chance Kid A gets Amico, you want to be sure they tell Kid B "go for it" when Kid B says their parent is wondering if they should get one. There needs to be selling points for word of mouth to work amongst the kids too, not just the parents. Again not saying they haven't thought of this. Just that it's a missing part of the picture that hasn't been highlighted so much in these discussions. And I'm not saying Tommy owes us answers either. The eventual marketing campaign will presumably reveal all. But in the meantime I wonder aloud about it in a group where we're invited to discuss such things.
  11. The prevalence of these persistent comments is not something to be ignored. If one has to diligently read most every post on a message board thread to "get it" then the marketing won't have done its job. Now, there's been no major mainstream marketing yet, so that's not a knock on an effort that hasn't even started yet. But what these comments suggest is there is a frequent preconception that the marketing, once it starts in force, is going to have overcome, and in people that won't have the benefit of a 1-on-1 exchange with the CEO to clear up.
  12. Can I just say that my wife, currently in the middle of replaying Witcher 3, was quite offended to learn that "moms" was being used as the placeholder term for the archetype of tech/game-illiterate parent?
  13. I still feel the parental control concern is a red herring. Parental controls restrict mature content once it's found its way on the machine. A credit card restricts it from getting onto the machine. The only people who'd need to worry about parental controls are mature gamers who share the machine, not game-illiterate parents buying a machine solely to entertain the kids.
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