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Episode 0 of the Bally Alley Astrocast podcast was published on June 3, 2016. In that episode, we introduced ourselves and discussed what would be covered in future episodes of the podcast. I decided to have a "soft opening:" I didn't want to announce the podcast officially until we released the premier episode. Despite me not saying a word in public, the news still found it's way into the public's eye via the increasingly misnamed "2 worthy video game podcasts" thread: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/153291-2-worthy-video-game-podcasts/page-144?do=findComment&comment=3524435 We've published the first full-length, regular episode of the podcast today. Episode 1 of the Bally Alley Astrocast covers the two built-in games Gunfight and Checkmate. The first two issues of the Arcadians newsletter (from April and May 1978) are covered in detail. Also discussed are the recent additions to the BallyAlley.com website, news and much more Bally Arcade goodness! This first episode is about an hour long and you can listen to it and read the show notes on libsyn: http://ballyalleyastrocast.libsyn.com/rss The show is also available through iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bally-alley-astrocast/id1120803134 Let us know what you think our first official podcast episode-- and please send us some feedback. Adam
It's Halloween... so I figured it was time to upload a few videos for this super-scary holiday. Here's the first one... Halloween Graphics with Flying Witch Demo By David Ibach and Steve Walters ARCADIAN 3, no. 12 (Oct. 05, 1981): 126-127. (BASIC Listing) ARCADIAN 4, no. 1 (Nov. 10, 1981): 3. (Loading Method Explanation) General Video Assembler Package (Flying Witch Sample) You can watch this video on YouTube, here: You can watch or download this video from Archive.org, here: https://archive.org/details/HalloweenGraphicsFlyingWitchDemoDaveIbachSteveWaltersBallyAstrocade Unlike most of my other videos, this program, to get it out in a timely fashion, doesn't have any background or an overview. It doesn't even have opening and closing credits. Maybe I'll make an overview of this program later. This program is for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade, a video game/computer system released by Bally in 1978. Halloween Graphics, written in Bally BASIC, and Flying Witch Demo, written in machine language, are two separate programs running together. Halloween Graphics is called "BOO" in the Arcadian. It runs with "AstroBASIC" and no expansion RAM. It draws a pumpkin, a haunted house, a skull and a witch. It runs for about two minutes and then repeats. The flying witch demo requires at least 4K of expansion RAM. A witch flies around a blank screen. When these two programs are combined, as in this video, then a witch flies around a haunted house. The program runs twice in this video. Enjoy this holiday program. Oh, and what's the deal with the pumpkin being yellow and not orange...? Adam
I just posted this to the BallyAlley Yahoo groups, but I've decided to post this here too. I'm going to continue to post any updates about screenshots that I've added to BallyAlley.com here. Over the last two days, I've added 30 screenshots of "AstroBASIC" games to the Arcadian A-H program download section. It's actually be pretty fun loading some of these BASIC programs, some of which I don't think I've actually played before. It's nice that any "AstroBASIC" game loads in 20 seconds. I've recently been using the Timex/Sinclair and a few games take 10 minutes to load (that's not much fun!). You can see the screenshots of the BASIC programs here: http://www.ballyalley.com/program_downloads/2000_baud_programs/arcadian/programs_a-h/programs_a-h.html I took many more screenshots of these programs (most of which are games). However, I'll probably not add these other full-size screenshots to BallyAlley.com anytime soon. Even though the quality is higher, I have no easy method to add these to the website. The screenshots that I've added so far are just thumbnails, but they will give anyone a much better idea of what to expect before trying a program. I used/played most of the 30 programs while taking these pictures. Here are ten that are worth noting: 1) 2-Letter Music Maker, by Ken Lill - Neat utility that allows you to manipulate AstroBASIC's sound registers via a sort-of graphical user interface. Very neat-- but you do need to understand how the registers work-- else you'll just get easy-to-create screech-like sound effects. 2) 4D2, by Rusty Blommaert and Dale Smith - Colorful and just plain weird. If you've never tried this one out, then give it a go. I think the art demo is a non-random 20-minute loop. If you're wondering why it is called 4D2, it's pronounced "42." The name was inspired by Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series of books. 3) Alien 2000, by Henry Sopko - There are some neat graphics in this program. 4) aMAZEd in SPACE, by Aquila and Richard Houser - This is a neat little maze game where you control a spaceship with inertia. More fun than it looks, and there are many options different sizes of mazes. I'd love a machine language update of this game released on cart. 5) Bagels, by Carl Morimoto - I finally read and understood the rules for this game. This one reminds me of Mastermind. I tried it a few times, but never solved it. I got close though! 6) Bally Christmas Card, by Ed Grobe (Edge Software) - This program very slowly draws a Christmas tree with shimmering lights. This is a pretty good use of colors for an "AstroBASIC" program... or maybe it uses machine language...? 7) Baseball, by Dave Martin - This Baseball game is really more than you should be able to do in BASIC. It is quite a neat idea on how to hit the ball; it's sort of random and sort of not. I'm going to have to try playing this two-player-only game against someone sometime, and that's say a lot, as I never play sports games. 8 ) Blackjack, by Dick Harris - I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the graphics for this one. Plus, it plays quite fast. Impressive! 9) Black Hole, by Ron Picardi - I tried and tried to orbit the black hole, but I could never do it, not even on the "easy" level. I think I remember Paul Thacker saying once that he had problems with this too. However, Ron wrote to the Arcadian and said that the game is meant to be hard. Yeah-- he's right; it's certainly quite difficult! 10) Bots, by Ron McCoy / Bots II, by Ron McCoy and Steve Walters - Bots game inspired the arcade game, Berzerk. Well, not the Astrocade version of the game, but the version in (I think) one of the Creative Computing's book of games. I guess there are some changes between these two "AstroBASIC" versions of the game, but I can't tell what they are, as they both seem to play the same; the changes must be subtle. I took screenshots of many other BASIC programs, too, but these are the programs that interested me the most! Next week I'll add some more screenshots. Adam