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Everything posted by Shaun.Bebbington

  1. I have really fond memories of reviewing the game Thrust by Xype. If this could be patched to work with the Atari Flashback Portable then I would be extremely delighted. Many thanks, Shaun.
  2. Thanks chaps. I'm rather curious about the Atari XE/XL simply because it didn't get much commercial support much after 1986 from what I recall, at least here in the UK, whereas the big publishers did support other 8-bits such as the Amstrad CPC, C64 and ZX Spectrum. And yet the Atari scene seems much more active than the Amstrad - unless I'm missing something. I'll be using some of the points here for an article I'm writing for a UK-published magazine, so if you don't want your comments to be used or referenced then please contact me or edit your posts appropriately. I will contact anyone if I plan to quote them directly to make sure that it's okay for me to do so. Many thanks, Shaun.
  3. The question should work in any part of the world, and it is simply this: "What is the appeal of new 8-bit games?" - to clarify what I'm getting at, what I mean is, if you like new 8-bit games, why do you like new 8-bit games? Regards, Shaun.
  4. That's very anecdotal. I've been writing about new games on old systems for a decade now - just because you have a drawer full of new 8-bit games does not mean that's the norm. Most people just like the nostalgia, reliving age-old arguments of this format is better than that, or playing the classics on a particular system. What I'm asking is what is the appeal of 8-bit games. I'm not interested in anything else other than this. So, why do you have a drawer full of newly published 8-bit games then? Do you collect them, or play them? To do worry about how good those games are? Or would you buy them anyway because it's something new on your favourite old system(s)? Regards, Shaun.
  5. Yes, I see. For a colleague of mine, who wouldn't be working in IT today without owning a Sinclair ZX Spectrum all of those years ago, is somewhat bemused by new software - games or otherwise - for it. The Spectrum is extremely relevant to his career choice and his life, but he's not interested. It's too 1983 for him, and he wants the here and now. This is true. So, if a computer system is relevant to you and your life, you either want to own the original hardware as a collector, to look at, to preserve, but not to use, or you want to use the original hardware, but only 'play the classics', or use the hardware and see what new developments are out there, and how programmers are pushing the boundaries, or emulate for any of the reasons mentioned. Or, it's just old hat to you and regardless of how relevant the system might be, it's in the past where it's staying. Indeed, new games can only exist on new hardware for most gamers. Exactly my point. And yours was that if a system is relevant to someone, they'd automatically want to see the latest games or demos. This is clearly not the case. Retro computing and gaming comes in many guises. Err... okay. I'm not sure if I quite understand you on that point. Many thanks, Shaun.
  6. No, apparently not. Most people just like the nostalgia, and only a minority like actual new games on old systems. Check out Retro Gamer's forums, amongst other places for evidence of this. Also consider that, if this was the case, the real-media games would sell more units than, say, 100 on a Commodore 64 - apparently the world's best selling single-spec personal computer. There must be more than 100 working C64s in the world? Regards, Shaun.
  7. Something like "What is the appeal of new 8-bit software?" - so discuss. Thanks.
  8. Hi All, What is the appeal of new games on old systems, like the Atari XE/XL and 2600? Discuss here or answer this question: http://www.facebook....51278334226747/. Thanks in advance! Shaun.
  9. The PET was launched around the same time as the Apple ][, I'm affraid. Whereas Microsoft BASIC on the PET was by far away superior, and the 'all-in-one' PET is said to have influenced some later Apple machines, comparing the Apple 1 with the PET is a little unfair. A better comparison is between the KIM-1 and Apple 1, and the PET and Apple ][. It's very telling that they both ended up with the same BASIC anyway (more or less). The VIC-20 was launched in Japan first, as the VIC-1001. A true masterstroke on Tramiel's part. The Ultimax is basically a cost reduced C64. It was probably dropped because the VIC-20 was doing so well as an entry level machine, and, well, it had less RAM than the VIC. Plenty of machines were canned. The P500, and the P600/700 range and TOI, to name but a few. The C16 was only commercially available for a year, and was made to replace the VIC-20 as an entry level computer. Commodore soon realised that the C64 made an ideal entry level machine. Lets face it, 16K just wasn't enough memory by its' launch. From Bil Herd's FB page: " Yes I am from a relatively small group in Engineering that knows what it's like to work for Jack and then work at CBM without him. I was lead engineer on the last computer "ordained" by JT, see www.c128.com/C116 for details on the last JT machine." So, was the C16/116/+4/264 really post-Tramiel or not? The C128 sold around 5,000,000 units world-wide. Hardly a distaster. The C64 compatibility was useful too. Okay, so Commodore's marketting department were useless. The A500 rocks! Its' appearance is entirely subjective. And didn't the A500 have 512K as standard, whereas the A1000 had just 256K? My memory is a bit hazy here. The A600 was supposed to be the new entry level machine, and was therefore cost-reduced. It was between this and the C65, from what I understand. Yes, okay... but also the first computer system to have a CD-ROM drive *as standard*, and indeed set the standard in that respect. Err... I don't think anyone knew what to do with 16-bit computers in 1985. Bill Gates said - in 1989 - that Microsoft will not create a 32-bit operating system. But the Amiga in the UK and Germany (mostly) urinated all over the ST from a great height. This seems like your opinion rather than fact. Regards, Shaun.
  10. $100,000 for MicroSoft BASIC was certainly cheap considering it was recycled for all of Commodore's 8-bits, of which around 30,000,000 units were sold. That depends when you consider the 30th anniversary to be. It was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 1982; you may not have been able to buy it yet, but neither could you buy a Sinclair ZX Spectrum on 23rd of April 1982, when Sir Clive announced that 8-bit... but Speccy fans consider this date to be its' 30th anniversary. I personally consider the anniversary of the C64 and CBM/PET to be January. Regards, Shaun.
  11. Yes it is, so we are still trying to make it much harder! Much harder? I was much rubbish at the first game :-| I can't imagine it being more difficult. Regards, Shaun.
  12. Looking forward to an English tutorials please. Regards, Shaun.
  13. This looks pretty damn impressive - what a find :-) I might chuck it onto the list for stuff to review. Regards, Shaun.
  14. Most UK home-brew is Speccy stuff (generally speaking), though some folks in the UK do program other machines too. There was something mentioned by a group called... err... Cosine Designs or something for the Commodore 64. Remember where this 'home-brew in news-stand mags' all started - in the UK, and since 2002 by my reckoning. Regards, Shaun.
  15. I can't get PETAri to work :-( Any help? Regards, Shaun.
  16. You really believe that? Yes i do, because that's exactly what is happening; if it wasn't the case, with VICE at 200% speed there would be 126 cycles on most scanlines instead of the usual 63 and every single loop-timed event wouldn't work correctly, a doubling of speed on each scanline would break them badly because there's no WSYNC to catch and fix that on the C64. We're talking about simple things like raster bars on crack intros to far more complex timings such as the cycle precise ones used in demos for sideborder work. I think TMR has a point here. I own a SuperCPU, which has a 20Mhz 65816 chip inside, and runs the C64 (or C64 mode on the 128) at either 20Mhz or 1Mhz depending on the selection switch (you can switch between the two modes in BASIC or ML too by writing to a certain register). Many demo effects screw up at 20Mhz becuase the computer now has around 20x more cycles per scan-line than in 1Mhz mode, so any code that requires cycle-exact timing doesn't work, or at least it doesn't have the desired effect. Yet this doesn't happen in VICE when speeded up. Regards, Shaun.
  17. Only 451 pages so far? I am disappointed. You Atari guys should try harder BTW: I hope that you are having fun TMR, being a 65xx coder and all :-P Regards, Shaun.
  18. Shaun knows i read his column (mainly by standing in the local Asda, the rest of the mag just doesn't interest me) and i still want a word about that news item regarding some prototyle Plus/4 code of mine! =-) You ain't seen me, right!
  19. Good to be of assistance, and it's great to see that someone actually reads the page to be honest. Almost zero feedback in getting on for nearly seven and a half years has, to put it mildly, not been what I had hoped for when I started writing back in early 2002, but never mind. Life continues, as does Atari :-) Regards, Shaun.
  20. I don't want to drag this on for much longer, but here's something I noticed from the Atlantis Games Group website (with reference to their Outrun project): "Due to the mismanagment of Atari back in the 80's several of the best games ever made missed comming out on the Atari 8-bit line of computers. So We're here to set things right." Now I assume from that statement, Atlantis Games Group are implying that Atari had many faillings, like not being able to court the press (a good sign of a bad company is bad marketting in my opinion - some of the garbage posted on GamesPress proves this). Is it not be a mistake to ignore the requests of journalists who are genuinely interested in your product? I think so. Imagine these two scenarios: (1) Tempest Xtreem gets a full page in Micro Mart and half or full page in Retro Gamer, with nice spanking screen shots. Press coverage of a new Atari game in 2009 - three decades after the original Atari 8-bit prototypes! (2) Tempest Xtreem might have a paragraph in Micro Mart simply mentioning that it has been released and little or no press coverage in Retro Gamer. I know which of the two above I'd rather see. Okay, so both magazines are UK-based, but I'm happy for scans of my reviews to be included on websites such as this as long as the magazine is no longer on the shelves. And as I write for a weekly publication, people won't be waiting long to be able to see the reviews for themselves if they missed or were unable to buy Micro Mart. See www.psytronik.com (go to the bottom of the page) for instance. As long as people still buy and read magazines and newspapers, printed matter will continue to have a hold over people's opinions. Okay, rant over. Regards, Shaun.
  21. I don't have as much problem reviewing the demo as TMR does (he actually has morals and stuff), but I would automatically down-mark the overall score to protect myself as I wouldn't have played the full game yet. Also, what code is the demo from? An earlier release candidate? I wouldn't know that either. Best not to review and protect myself as reviewing 'demos' and earlier release candidates has gotten me into trouble in the past. But of course, there's always the dreaded dead-line so sometimes it's a case of I need to fill a page Regards, Shaun.
  22. So, you could have me sign a legally binding NDA? But this isn't Sony, MicroSoft or Nintendo, is it? What would really honestly be the risk? Not that I give out any files to anyone anyway unless I have permission to. And then they only go to other people to review the product anyway, like TMR who writes for Retro Gamer. Regards, Shaun.
  23. From my own point of view, I write a weekly retro column for a professionally printed computer magazine called Micro Mart, available from all good newsagents here in the UK (plug plug...!). I concentrate my efforts on covering new developments on old machines, like new games and the occasional hardware hack, mod and other bits and pieces of hardware. As this is 'general' retro, rather than only concentrating on a specific format (like the C64, for instance, which would be a whole lot easier), I cover a lot of different machines, some of which I either don't own, or I do own but don't have the space for. I know you're probably thinking 'Atari and Commodore', but I've covered formats as diverse as the ZX81, Texas TI99/4a, Amstrad CPC, Dragon 32, CBM/PET, Sinclair QL and Oric/Atmos, as well as the more popular machines. So, I rely on emulation a lot of the time. It also makes it a whole lot easier for screen grabs and so on, so even if I had the hardware to play the cartridge on, I would still require something that would run in an emulator as well to get the screen shots (some screens from the web aren't good enough quality for a printed magazine, so it's easier and quicker the grab my own). As for wanting it for free, well I'm not paid enough to buy everything, and as there is publicity from my news and reviews which should benefit the projects that I write about, it's not like giving away a cartridge image for review will lose a sale; indeed, it might even pay for itself. Regards, Shaun.
  24. I assume also that it is not necessary to advertise this release to more casual 'retro' gamers, and just to the Atari community? That makes sense to me, as you seem to want as many people as possible to see the work and skill that has gone into this production. Regards, Shaun.
  25. Hi, and a Merry Christmas :-) Regards, Shaun.
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