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Adventure release date? (Racing the Beam)

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I just started reading Racing the Beam. The 'timeline' at the beginning indicates Adventure being released in 1978. Space Invaders being released in 1980. This has me in a state of confusion.

 

From my own childhood memories.... I wanted an Atari in 1979, but my parents wouldn't get me one. When Space Invaders was released in (late spring?) of 1980 (9th grade for me), I just **HAD** to have an Atari and was unrelenting. They finally caved in and got me an Atari and Space Invaders for my July 1st birthday. Got a few other games that summer also (Breakout, Canyon Bomber, etc). Saw a game called Adventure listed in the cartoony "Atari Catalogs" that came boxed with each game. Sounded way cool. I wanted it. It wasn't released yet. 'Coming Soon'. Came out a few months later....my grandparents bought it for me one weekend. I'd *guess* fall of 1980.

 

BUT.....

 

I just checked Warren Robinett's own website. He himself said it was programmed in 1978.

 

Can anyone restore my sanity on this? Was it programmed in '78, but not released until 2 years later? Was it, somehow, released and then pulled and then re-released at a later date? My aging memory distinctly recalls Adventure coming out AFTER Space Invaders. ?!?!?!???!?!

 

 

While on the topic...... this site is an AMAZING wealth of Atari info and I love it. But is there anywhere that has the official release/ship dates for all of Atari's games? Surely that info has to exist somewhere. Not necessarily for obscure 3rd party stuff, but for Atari's own-brand games, there must be shipping records either from Atari or distributors, etc.....

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If anyone ever finds a list of official release dates for Atari 2600 games, please let me know as I'd love to add that information to the database. :)

 

..Al

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yes, and i was just looking at the box and cart for adventure that i have. the cart itself says copyright 1978 on it. the box and instruction booklet both say copyright 1980. so i guess warren did write the game in '78, but for whatever reason, atari sat on it a while before actually releasing it.

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He does mention that it was being worked on here and there for more than a year. In the meantime, the game engine was utilized in Superman. It's additionally possible that the game was non-confirmed when the catalog proofs were finalized for print. My guess it's a case of Pac-Man and Blinky swapping tiles ;) A finished beta that didn't have production funds. Atari banking on the success of Space Invaders may have added to the latter...that license probably wasn't cheap.

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He started on it in 1978 and handed it to Atari in early 1979. It was released sometime halfway through that year but sometime before the Christmas season. Warren mentioned this in an interview. I did some research into it because I wanted to release my Adventure hack in observance of the 30th anniversary of Adventure, and this seems to be what had went down. I'm not really sure about the catalogs and box/manual dates though. Perhaps that was the planned release date?

 

I can't find the interview though, as all my links to it are broken. :(

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According to an email I received from Mr. Robinett, Atari wanted a Superman game, but WR wasn't particularly interested in doing one, so Atari gave the code to someone else to turn it into Superman. I don't remember getting a sense of whether Mr. Robinett felt or expressed any gladness that he was off the hook for Superman, or unhappiness that the first release of his kernel would be in someone else's game.

 

BTW, was Warren Robinett's "Basic Programming" cartridge the first release with David Crane's text kernel, or did Stellar Track come first? None of David Crane's own released games used the text kernel, though it appears in a Boggle prototype.

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