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About zhorton

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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    My name is Zach Horton. I'm a professor of English and Media Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. I research and teach media history, including early video games. At Pitt I direct the Vibrant Media Lab, an interdisciplinary media research lab. One of our ongoing projects is OdysseyNow, which has focused on making the experience of the first video game console, the Odyssey, available to players today.

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  1. These shipped out today! Thanks to everyone who ordered one! If you didn't get one and want to get advance notice for future releases, you may wish to join our new Facebook group (also a great place to discuss Odyssey games and systems): https://www.facebook.com/groups/odysseynow/ Please post any feed back on these games here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/289945-new-game-card-special-controller-and-3-games-for-magnavox-odyssey-1/
  2. Thanks again, everyone! I didn't realize that these would go so quickly. For those of you who managed to snag one of these, we expect to ship in about a week, so within two weeks you should receive your game pack. When you do, we'd love to hear your feedback at the thread about this pack! For news about future developments, please join our new Facebook group! You may also want to follow this thread.
  3. I'm closing new orders for now. Significantly more than 10 people have contacted me, but as of now, only 8 kits have been paid for. So there are two up for grabs among the folks I've contacted. I'll accept payment until midnight tonight (that's 6 hours from now) from anyone who has already contacted me. After that I'll cancel any outstanding invoices. If you contacted me and didn't receive an invoice, please let me know right away. If we end up with more than 10 payments and have to make an extra kit or two, no problem. If we end up under 10, I'll post here and open it up for others. Thank you for all of your enthusiastic interest! It's fun to hear from you all.
  4. 6 out of 10 are spoken for already! You don't waste any time...
  5. Thanks for updating this important thread! Our three announced games have now been officially released (at least in a limited set of 10 copies). See this thread.
  6. Thank you all for your comments and feedback! We're very proud to be pushing the Odyssey platform further than it has been in 47 years. We're making 10 copies of this game and hardware pack available. For details, see this thread. Please keep this current thread focused on the games or their development.
  7. To the Odyssey 1 (1972) community: I'm excited to be able to be able to release 10 copies of our new game pack for the Odyssey. It includes three brand new games, a newly designed game card with an attached controller, and the first ACC controller besides the original light gun. These kits are 100% hand-assembled. The overlays are full laser prints on translucent film; no transparencies (which do not display properly), no ink (which can smear), and no undersized or partial overlays. These are all the full, original Magnavox size for 19in screens. Note that we do not have the ability to manufacture 26in overlays. The Tannhauser Gate overlay includes a fully opaque element (the black hole), which is applied as a separate, opaque layer of special material to the back of the overlay. To learn more about the games and hardware, see this thread. To learn more about the OdysseyNow project, see this thread. The entire set of hardware and games comes in the following cylindrical case: Complete list of contents: OdysseyNow Game Pack cylindrical case Card 13 Card 13 Switch Controller Damocles Controller Damocles Controller power supply Tannhauser Gate overlay Tannhauser Gate instructions Tannhauser Gate cards (3 decks) Fukushima overlay Fukushima Meltdown Cycle card Fukushima instructions Super Cat and Mouse: Cheesy Castle overlay Super Cat and Mouse instructions Bonus Game: Trumpocalypse instructions Needless to say, nothing like this has ever been released for Odyssey before, and we are proud to push the platform forward, 47 years after the console's release! The price is $150 for the set, plus shipping. At only $50 per game, plus substantial new hardware, this is less than the other significant homebrews of the past. However, I am only releasing 10 copies, so this is an extremely limited release. I just want to get a few copies of our work out there for people to enjoy; we don't have the capacity or interest to manufacture large numbers. Any money we bring in from this release will go straight into further game and hardware development; we are not doing this for profit. All items have been manufactured and will ship within one week of your purchase. To purchase, PM me with your Paypal email address and shipping address and I'll send you a Paypal invoice. The first 10 payments received will get the set. Any others will be canceled/refunded. I'll update this post when all 10 copies have been sold. Thanks for your interest and support of the Odyssey!
  8. Yes, @Flowmojo, that is exactly it! The putting controller was developed in 1967 during the prototyping of what was to later become the Odyssey, and the development team liked it enough to keep it around through all of the prototypes. They delivered it to Magnavox, but the Magnavox team decided not to produce it. The controller sat on the floor and basically had a golf ball on a short stick. Players would use a real putting iron to tap the ball, which would direct it around the screen. 1967 Wii Sports, indeed! We are exploring ways to bring this to life now.
  9. Actually, you were correct originally: we are re-creating the Odyssey from scratch! We're just doing a lot of other things as well. I'm not sure if the rebuild will actually be cheaper, though we will release the plans for folks to build it if they like. There are so many components in an Odyssey--it is much more expensive to build today than it was in 1972! The cool think about our rebuild, however, is that it will incorporate all of our Odyssey upgrades. More on those soon... Active and multi game cards: We have been working on several new card designs, and some of them have onboard switches to change certain features. However, we've found that in most cases, switching a bunch of switches is a lot more tedious and slow than actually swapping cards. I think the Magnavox engineers got this one perfect: it's better to have multiple cards than a bunch of switches. I'm aware of the active cards Ralph Baer created, and maybe at some point someone in my lab, or someone elsewhere, will go ahead and re-create those or create new ones-- you should do it! We've been focusing on direct modifications to the daughter cards inside the console, because it can lead to more radical upgrades. There are only so many functions you can control from the card. But I definitely think that making a card that moves the line around would be a cool project! It's interesting that you mention the putting controller, because we are experimenting with exactly that! You must have read my mind! (Actually, you are full of ideas. Let me know if you'd like to collaborate with us.) The website hasn't launched yet. We are still working on a number of the gameplay videos for it. I'll definitely post here when it goes live, though!
  10. Sylvan, good to hear from you! That's very interesting about the jumper. It makes sense: that would slave the vertical value (voltage) of P2 to the vertical value of the ball. I suppose that would be a good way to practice one's Tennis skills! Shawn, thanks for the suggestion. I may post something over there at some point. I just don't want to spam these forums! Anyone else is also free to share this wherever they wish, of course. I'm not much of a promoter--I'm just excited to be able to expand the world of Odyssey gaming. Quite a few people on the OdysseyNow team have worked for a couple of years to develop something really special for the Odyssey platform. It's a big moment for us to give the outside world a peek at what we've been up to! Thank you to those of you who have shown interest so far!
  11. This is a fantastic thread for folks interested in Odyssey homebrews! @Dastari Creel, if you're willing to update your original post, I have a big announcement: the project I run is releasing a pack of three new games for the Odyssey that include two new accessory controllers and a new game card (#13!). These are elaborate productions that have been in development for about two years. You can read about them in this thread. For the purposes of this thread, the names of the games are: Tannhauser Gate, Fukushima, and Super Cat and Mouse: Cheesy Castle. If updating the list, you also might want to note that Captain Bruce was released, and the others were never completed, so can probably be safely removed from the list.
  12. Hi folks, I should have linked it here sooner, but I've now started a thread in the Homebrew section about our first public release, a game pack including three new games for the Odyssey, as well as a new game card (the first one designed from the scratch) and new accessory controllers. You can read about it here!
  13. We're working on a very limited release for this community. The challenge is reaching the currently very small Odyssey community! No dedicated forum on AtariAge, or anywhere else that I know of. Let me know if you have any suggestions about how to get the word out!
  14. Indeed, I have both of your games. :-) Odball, however, used card #11, designed by Magnavox. They never deemed the card useful for any games, and therefore never released it. They did, however, release the schematic for it, which RevRob used to produce the physical card for Odball--a very cool project. Our card #13, on the other hand, is a completely new design.
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