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JeffVav

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Everything posted by JeffVav

  1. Long shot, but maybe the backplate is just misaligned to the button? If I understand correctly the "button" on the backplate is just a piece of plastic that indirectly mechanically pushes the real power button on the board. You could try removing the backplate and pushing the button directly.
  2. IMHO, if there's a market for the VCS, it's as "my first tinkering hardware". Yes, people with sufficient experience recognise there are better solutions for particular purposes, but hear me out: Unlike say RPi, it comes with the AtariOS as training wheels, a thin GUI layer with a familiar store (whether it remains sparse or not) for people more comfortable with Netflix (yeah, yeah) than Linux. They know they can move beyond that comfort zone if/when they're ready, but have a comfortable starting point. So, even if they suck at the challenges that require more skill, they'll still have something that does something... that might be enough to allow the casual user to dip their toe into the water. And maybe they'd pay a few more dollars for that security than the more efficient purpose-built devices that might ultimately suit where they eventually end up. So reflecting on what I've seen, perhaps it doesn't fill a niche so much as form a bridge between two niches, part of a larger journey of technical discovery. So, yeah, if you know what you want, there may be more cost-effective optimal solutions, but people also buy guitars with absolutely no clue how to play, because they're curious. Maybe the VCS is for people who want to explore but don't yet know what they actually want? In all seriousness, there could be some merit to that if done right, especially if there develops a community of more experienced tinkerers willing to hold the novices' hands.
  3. Anyone know when the table is closed for betting and we just wait to see where the ball lands?
  4. Without knowing specifics, it seems pretty plain it can't be: the RPi is an ARM-based device while the VCS is an x86-based device. Completely different processors require completely different OS builds.
  5. For the record, whatever this was, it's entirely distinct from Atari Vault. The Atari Vault emulator was integrated with its UI code. They wouldn't have been able to separate it out, nor has it ever run Space Invaders, since that's not part of the Atari IP library. Maybe whatever this was, when Rob Wyatt left the project he took this with him?
  6. I hadn't seen that story. The Atari 2600 emulator in question is an evolution of one I created back in 1993. It was originally written in x86 assembly (and I'm proud to say did full frame rate on my 20MHz 286 laptop back then). I pitched it to Activision (and also Atari) but it was a DOS-based emulator, and Activision, though coincidentally having plans to make Atari 2600 Action Pack at the time, was heart-set on having a Windows-based emulator. Atari 2600 Action Pack was ultimately developed by Mike Livesay (his system requirements were also a modest 486 66MHz, if anyone is interested), though I did get the chance to do the Commodore 64 15-Pack spin-off for them back in 1995. Though I did a lot of other commerical emulations since then (starting with Williams Arcade Classics), I basically sat on that emulator until I had the opportunity to ressurrect it for Atari: 80 Classic Games in One in 2003. We subsequently adapted it for Atari Anthology (Xbox, PS2, after porting it to C), Activision Hits Remixed on PSP, then later Atari Greatest Hits Vol. 1 and 2 on Nintendo DS (ARM assembly at that point), Atari's Greatest Hits for iOS and Android, Activision Anthology for iOS and Android, and later still Atari Vault for Steam, which is what the VCS version derives from. (It also forms the basis of Atari Flashback Classics on Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and Vita. Hopefully I'm not forgetting any.) Anyway, I developed this myself and retain the rights to this particular emulator, but it is fully licensed for these products. Obviously there are Atari arcade emulators in Atari Vault too, but they follow similar lineage, meticuluous reconstructed from studying the schematics and memory maps that Atari helpfully (and inexplicably) included with every arcade game. They're most definitely independently developed; that's why the Arcade1Up Star Wars (also one of ours) has features from the arcade game that no other emulator has yet replicated.
  7. The emulators in Atari Vault? Absolutely not! Code Mystics has never used open source. Our team has been doing emulation from since before there was open source arcade emulation. In fact, the MAME Team just a couple days ago cited us on Twitter as one of their inspirations. Sorry, bit of a touchy subject for me.
  8. I'd argue it's a stretch to call Atari Vault an exclusive. Each deployment to a new platform of that collection had adjustments. Atari Flashback Classics on Nintendo Switch was uniquely altered to take best advantage of the Joy-Cons, has touch-screen trackballs, and a head-to-head mode for handheld mode. But Atari Flashback Classics also exists on PS4, Xbox One, and Vita, so I wouldn't call that a Switch-exclusive title. Would the Steam version also be called a Steam-exclusive because it has online multiplayer and the VCS version does not? The game isn't exclusive, but it does have platform-exclusive features, a subtle but important distinction IMHO.
  9. In Vault, some games use it as an 8-way joystick, others use the spinning function, but generally not both at the same time. (While it doesn't feel like an 8-way joystick as pointed out above, it registers as one.) Vault can be configured to, say, make the stick act as a gear shift in Sprint 2 while the spinning is a steering wheel, and that could result in you accidentally turning as you change gears or vice versa, so it's generally to be avoided. Personally, though, if I'd been designing a joystick-spinner combo controller, I would've made that whole concave dish the spinner (with a ribbed surface for grip). A rotating disk would feel more like, say, Tempest's controller, than pinching a stick between thumb and forefinger. Just IMHO.
  10. For anyone interested, a restoration of the ROMs for a Williams 8-bit era (6809-based) arcade prototype from Larry DeMar and Eugene Jarvis is now playable at codemystics.com/conquest. This began development as a follow-up to Defender, but was never completed. It bears some resemblence to Sinistar, though it looks like it was meant to be more of an offensive shooter whereas Sinistar was a more defensive game.
  11. I've seen this notion mentioned a few times. Hard to tell if it's a joke, so forgive me if I'm being too serious, but this seems unlikely. First, you'd have to leave the thing on. Then the fans would spin up since it would have to run hot, and that'd be a dead giveaway.
  12. Out of curiosity how many of these games are exclusives? (Or at least temporary exclusives? Even Sony lifts the exclusivity on indie games that they support, after a window expires.) Do they have a webpage that enumerates all the games, or is their catalogue only visible in the OS dash itself? Seems like it'd be more useful to have a central list.
  13. Unclear to me what this will mean practically, but seems relevant to this thread: http://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/12/22/2149114/0/en/Successful-completion-of-Atari-s-private-placement-to-accelerate-development-of-the-Atari-VCS-as-well-as-new-video-game-partnerships.html 5.81 million Euros from 3 new investors:
  14. It is coded with the Windows API just like Windows 10, so "no Windows" is inaccurate. If you mean it doesn't have a Windows desktop and command line, well it's the console variant of Windows. You side load by talking to it through your browser. It's not hard. So home brewers theoretically could share their projects for other dev enabled machines to run, but [email protected] is a super friendly and supportive team for people who want to distribute their own creations to non-dev systems, and that'd be how to share your work. Edit to clarify: I just noticed I excised all mention of the fact we were talking about Xbox.
  15. I'll let you in on a secret: that's generally not the developers' choice. That's most likely the publishers. Essentially the publishers insist the game get out the door to meet a marketing deadline, a shareholder report, an ROI window, etc. whether or not it's ready. Almost invariably, if the phrase "we can fix it in a patch" is offered in a meeting, it's coming from publishing/marketing. As to the developer meeting its initial time estimates, it's usually based on a schedule that was intended to start months before the date it actually finally got the green light, but by the time it got through the green light process the publisher locked in the original end date. And/or the developer might be pressured into accepting an earlier end date based on the pressure dates I mentioned above. And then there's the feature creep along the way, which is somehow not expected to take any time. I'm not saying it's all on the publisher, but it's definitely not the developers' preference. Ultimately, Day 1 patches happen because the approval process for patches is much shorter than the process for the initial product, so that gives the developer some extra time, especially if physical disks were involved since there's manufacturing lead time on disks but not digital patches. That said, I'm happy that most of our products tend not to have Day 1 patches. (Though one upcoming one does merely because we didn't use the console's official term in one location in the UI.)
  16. Speaking from experience I'd argue that one of the chief benefits of console gaming is that software for consoles is purpose-built. As a developer you've got the exact same machine as your customer, so your ability to tweak it to your target hardware is much more refined. There's none of the problem you see on PC with performance being suboptimal because you don't have the GPU or clock speed or cores the developer has. This can even be true if you're doing multiple console platforms with a standard engine, but the best titles don't go that route. That's why platform exclusives shine. Although I agree "it's really just a computer" doesn't mean much these days. There are fridges that run Linux.
  17. You'd have to ask whoever wrote the article. I'm just inferring from the fact that no game on the list is not an arcade game and if 2600 games were included there are others that probably deserve to be there more. e.g. any 2600 paddle or driving controller game over Liberator. (Please don't conclude I have something against Liberator. ) I do note with Red Baron they must be speaking strictly of ergonomics not function. That said, the classic stick is closer to the CX-40 so the 2600 games will presumably feel more familiar on it.
  18. Well half of them are arcade only (e.g. Liberator). I'd assumed they were just referring to arcade games since there are 2600 games that definitely benefit more that aren't there.
  19. The odd thing with this list is that the classic controller provides twist but the stick maps directly to the D-pad function. So there's been no specific enhancement for the classic controller input in Centipede, Millipede, Liberator, or Missile Command. They'll behave the same as using the arrow keys on your PC keyboard. Unless they're just talking about the ergonomic feel of the controller itself, but then analogue does give more flexibility in emulating a trackball than D-pad does. Personally I'd have have put the 2600 games on the list as benefitting from the ergonomics more, and Race/Indy 500 and the paddle games (Circus Atari etc.) for benefitting from Twist.
  20. Fire Truck is in the Vault DLC which is know as Vol. 2 on the VCS. (a.k.a. Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3 on PS4 and XB1. And in the 150-game Vita and Switch compilations.)
  21. Point of fact: Atari sold the rights to Math Gran Prix in their bankruptcy auction in 2013, same time they sold Battlezone. Unlikely Battlezone there were no grandfathered rights for prior compilations. (That's a matter of public record, since the docs were made public in the bankruptcy proceedings.) You'll notice Battlezone remained in Atari's Greatest Hits on iOS to the end while Math Gran Prix was replaced with Stunt Cycle immediately after the sale. Of course AGH is gone too now and Battlezone no longer appears in further compilations like Atari Vault and Atari Flashback Classics (i.e. the console version), with Sprint 2 taking its place.
  22. Where have you seen videos discussing the controllers? All I can find is the one guy who received his VCS last weekend where he doesn't get into the controllers much, and then about 30 other videos meta-reviewing the first guy's video. YouTube is strange.
  23. You will find that, in Atari Vault, in the arcade games, the LEDs respond to game events. e.g. in Asteroids: shooting, thrust, orientation of the ship, destruction, as examples.
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