Jump to content
SpaceDice2010

Is Laser Gates really Inner Space?

Recommended Posts

You may have to email Albert from the store front page. I wrote to him and he responded quick. However as was said Princess Escape has sold a ton of copies (what 200 maybe) in a few weeks so he is probably stupid busy printing maunuals.

 

My thoughts in no real order-

 

Pre-order, don't like it except here. Here we are often given ROMs to test out so the game is a known and this store is trustworthy. I usually just don't pre-order even modern games with few exceptions like Bioshock 3.

 

Box- I don't buy them but something different would be cool. An opening clamshell for example, Others may hate it though since some collectors like everything to line up on a shelf. 50 versus 30 seems to be the store average on boxed vs loose. I don't collect boxes so I can't really answer the value issue.

 

Manual - that ones different. Manuals are nice but I fear I'll lose them. Printed manuals are good of course but depending on the game may not be necesary.

 

Storefront- I buy from here but I've bought from Packratvg.com also. I like the service both give so I can't pledge loyalty. If you want to self publish or sell from someone else I'd be cool. I think you'd be doing too much work on that. This isn't a dig on Albert but just so you can get more info from another perspective Id check out http://www.packratvg.com/ (store closed while the new owner ramps up printing) or email him at [email protected] I bet if you made two versions of your game with different labels, one at each store, people here would buy both. I probably would. Atari is a sickness, we can't be helped.

 

Music- that's one I don't get. We have more ROM to work with in the carts. I know the console is only capable of so much so can't that extra space be used for better in game music? That's what I'd want, in game on the cart. I don't like music that is in the background because it doesn't respond to level changes and such so it's usually annoying to me. Others however love to crank up a CD. That one I guess is too subjective to really make a call. I would not pay extra for an audio CD. I just really want it in the game instead.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You may have to email Albert from the store front page. I wrote to him and he responded quick. However as was said Princess Escape has sold a ton of copies (what 200 maybe) in a few weeks so he is probably stupid busy printing maunuals.

I just read the thread on ordering Princess Rescue and saw Albert was the person to contact. I have to find the email address, thanks. Checked my PM list and maybe my PM to Albert never happened cause I don't see it. I will email.

 

I also read a 2007 thread by Andrew asking about what price people would paid for BD. There most seem to be players and said a box didn't matter, but for Princess most people wanted boxed. Also read up on Halo 2600.

 

It's starting to sink in. Every game is different which is cool.

 

Box- I don't buy them but something different would be cool. An opening clamshell for example, Others may hate it though since some collectors like everything to line up on a shelf.

I also had concerns about an odd shaped box. I've seen a bunch of pics of collectors' shelves and it does look nice and even.

 

I think maybe better to just go with a VentureVision blue box, maybe same font. Tradition. Make it look like we didn't miss a beat.

 

I've talked myself out of the crazy box...so here's what I'd been thinking.

thn8.jpg

Tin box with a hinged door and a plastic window. Or a solid door and I could etch the "label" on the front with a limited edition number. Came in gold too. I think collectors would prefer traditional.

 

Storefront- I buy from here but I've bought from Packratvg.com also.

I'll check them out thanks.

 

Music- that's one I don't get. We have more ROM to work with in the carts. I know the console is only capable of so much so can't that extra space be used for better in game music? That's what I'd want, in game on the cart. I don't like music that is in the background because it doesn't respond to level changes and such so it's usually annoying to me. Others however love to crank up a CD. That one I guess is too subjective to really make a call. I would not pay extra for an audio CD. I just really want it in the game instead.

For sure I think a CD would be a novelty. And really could just be an MP3.

 

I don't think extra memory helps with the audio quality on the 2600. Pitfall is about as good as it gets, unless I missed something that changed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some ideas I have for VentureVision:

 

a) Re-release Rescue Terra I. AtariAge can create reproductions and sell them through the store on demand.

 

b) Finish Inner Space and release it. You said there where a few bugs, I'm sure someone here would fix them for you.

 

I don't know what the contract with Imagic back then was and what the contract between Imagic and Activision was. Maybe Activision now has the rights for Laser Gates? It should be possible to get the ok from Activision.

 

c) Get in touch with Robert Weatherby and finish Solar Defense and release it.

 

d) Sell a signed collectors edition of the trilogy in a special collectors box.

 

e) Release a new sequel to the trilogy

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some ideas I have for VentureVision:

 

a) Re-release Rescue Terra I. AtariAge can create reproductions and sell them through the store on demand.

 

 

The others are great ideas, but this specifically is kind of a caution thing. I would recommend if anything like that were done, there should be some blatantly clear indication that it was a re-release on the box and/or cart - the last thing anyone needs is more of this Eli's Ladder business.

Edited by Donnicton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The others are great ideas, but this specifically is kind of a caution thing. I would recommend if anything like that were done, there should be some blatantly clear indication that it was a re-release on the box and/or cart - the last thing anyone needs is more of this Eli's Ladder business.

 

Of course the label and box should indicate this is a re-release. Probably a new copyright year. Or something like "30th annyversary special edition".

 

See the steps as a business plan. Each step generates money for the next step.

 

Royalities from a) might not be high, but probably enough to create the box and label art for Inner Space. Dan, do you know who created the box art for Rescue Terra I? Was anything for Inner Space made?

 

A signed trilogy in a collectors big box would generate enough money for Dan to create a sequel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Packrat games had some clear cartridges. The same person made colored ones as well. I have no idea what is left in their inventory but if you want something collectible then that would be the way to go. I think most of the carts are gone though so it would be a very limited run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some ideas I have for VentureVision:

 

a) Re-release Rescue Terra I. AtariAge can create reproductions and sell them through the store on demand.

 

b) Finish Inner Space and release it. You said there where a few bugs, I'm sure someone here would fix them for you.

 

I don't know what the contract with Imagic back then was and what the contract between Imagic and Activision was. Maybe Activision now has the rights for Laser Gates? It should be possible to get the ok from Activision.

 

c) Get in touch with Robert Weatherby and finish Solar Defense and release it.

 

d) Sell a signed collectors edition of the trilogy in a special collectors box.

 

e) Release a new sequel to the trilogy

That's a really interesting plan. The designer part of me would like to do a new company style box,,,the marketing side says kept the 1982 campy style. And I get the impression more people would like the 1982 style. I'm slowly trying to get into sync with the current market. I always tried to do games/products for users.

 

So 'a' would allow me to keep Rescue Terra I in the lineup and still have a new box style. But the rest might not be possible which may make 'a' not desirable. And Rescue Terra I's big claim to fame is being R9. Kind of hate to screw with that at in any way. If I found a big box of 200 Rescue boxed sets in my attic I'd take them to NM and put them in a landfill. Better the game be known for being rare than not known.

 

Innerspace was ready to ship imo. Imagic (I like to think Rob Fulop) said they fixed some bugs, 4 as I remember. But these were small cosmetic type things and they changed the game and company name. I've read people saying some graphics were changed but I don't know anything about that. VentureVision would have shipped Innerspace as is. I assume the screen shots at AtariProtos is the version of Innerspace I gave to Image.

 

Here's the rub...I don't have the rights to Innerspace. I know I could probably get away with releasing Innerspace and I know there are lots of games being released that to me people don't have the rights to and I know it's all pretty harmless...but I earn my living writing software and taking other people's stuff, no matter how harmless, is not something I would ever want to do. Dump their carts and steal their techniques, oh yeah. All day long. I don't think that infringes on rights. So releasing Innerspace would require permission which I wouldn't really want to deal with. But if the time came maybe someone else could do that.

 

Would be cool to find and release Solar Defense. Unless rights were assigned Solar Defense could be in the public domain. I'd have to check that with Robert.

 

Really like 'd' and 'e'. That would get me out of a corner. Keep the trilogy and then I would be more free to do a sequel trilogy or whatever.

 

The money thing...I'm not really trying to raise money to do a game. The cost isn't that high. Time is actually the main issue. Being able to fit games into my current business plan. Actually writing code is not the biggest time cost, it's everything else. I need to be able to reduce time cost, leverage with other products, leverage cost of building tools.

 

I've been reading the Princess Rescue thread and people talking about prices. There were some good points about a $39 game in 1980 being adjusted for inflation to be $107 dollars today. But I've also read a lot of posts of people saying they want a game at $50 but might not be able to afford it. So there's a tug of war...I want as many people as possible to play my games...but the artist in me wants players to share in the pain of producing a game. I want players who would eat PB&J for a week to play my game. I want them as into the process as I am. It's hard to describe. Money is a part of it, but only a part. More of a unit of measure. I am the Soup Nazi.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I'm close to a plan...

 

I discussed two points with my wife today. Could a profit of $1000 per game be a reasonable business plan? I think it could. The concept is that would be a break even point of sorts. To make that work I'd have to do each game in one week. With tools and experience I showed on Telepathy one week is not unreasonable. Game design would be done while I worked on other projects, which is how I always did game design anyways. Doing a game in a week would allow me to do lots of games and other projects that pay better. That would allow me to maybe stumble into a cross over game. Something I could port to a larger market. That's where the profit would be. So you all would basically be supporting game research.

 

The other point I presented was from the Princess Rescue discussion on price. Put a really high price on games, like $75, and just let the crap hit the fan. The biggest benefit is me not having to think about price any more and just let the market decide as it should. The artist in me likes that price too because to sell game after game they would have to be good, really good. That would push me to do better and better games. Doing more crappy 1980 games is not very appealing at any price point. Been there, done that. I want to do games that you'll eat PB&J to play. If I can't do that I shouldn't be making games.

 

I think what will happen is I will do a mix and it will just depend on the game and let you all decide if a game is worth the price by either buying or not buying. Voicing strong opinions in forums is fine, but at some point the rubber has to hit the road.

 

I think I have enough info now. I still need to talk with Albert about the nuts and bolts. If I can fit games in with my other products sometime in the future I'd love to do some games.

 

I'm going to have to go kind of incommunicado for awhile and finish my current project now. Software development eats time and I have to focus.

 

It's been an intense few days. Been fun bring back forgotten memories. Been very interesting to learn about this whole retro game scene. Thank you all very much for all your help learning this stuff.

 

Blog

So I don't lose track I've set up a blog called VVHQ where I will post any news about any 2600 game development in my future. You can follow that blog to get the first word of me starting a game, demos, focus tests, progress, etc.

 

I sure look forward to hopefully being able to do something.

Edited by DanOliver
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The original release of Rescue Terra will always be an R9. You can do a 30th anniversary release with some specials. Maybe a story book how you came up with the idea, some original sketches, signed cartridge etc. I'm sure you have your own ideas for a special edition.

 

Activision released an Anthology, but they've only included the following Imagic titles: Moonsweeper, Atlantis, Demon Attack and Dragonfire. Laser Gates has not been used since 30 years. I consider Laser Gates as being in public domain now. Also Activision took their own prototype "Kabobber" and description from a proto website and didn't ask them to remove it or something like that.

 

Do you have any box art for Inner Space or did you have something in mind? Would be great to be able to get boxed copies.

 

Do you remember the Atari big boxes? Indy 500 with driving controllers or the paks (Back to school pak etc.) with multiple games inside. Would be awesome to have such a big box with 3 boxed games inside.

 

You can see this as finishing what you started 30 years ago and then you can do something new and special that will surprise us. Maybe a sequel, maybe a new trilogy. Totally up to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some more ideas for a special release: old photos from VentureVision (office, building, ...) or from the CES. Source code if you still have it, even if you just have fragments. Information how you came up with and created the sprites, how the development tools/process was back then. Maybe a new contest where the winner gets something special. Contestants need to have the special edition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have any box art for Inner Space or did you have something in mind? Would be great to be able to get boxed copies.

Sorry, forgot to answer that earlier. There was no box or manual or anything for Innerspace. At that time we would have needed to sell some Rescue Terra games to get money to make Innerspace ROMs. Without ROMs on order we wouldn't have put a dollar into any kind of print material. There was like a 6-10 week lead time on ROMs which gave us plenty of time for boxes, manuals and marketing. So a ROM order was a go-no go point.

 

Kept working on Innerspace hoping. But by the time it was done the game market was beyond all hope for the short term and we were almost out of cash. At the most Bob Hesler would have typed a manual into his computer, but I don't remember it.

 

I think there was a question about the artist for the Rescue Terra I box/manual. I remember we interviewed a local artist who painted space art, nebula type stuff, maybe some NASA stuff. I think he was hired for the box/manual art. His paintings were very good, but I don't think he'd ever done packaging. Plus I doubt we could pay much so he wouldn't have been able to put in the time needed to do something really good..

 

Some more ideas for a special release: old photos from VentureVision (office, building, ...) or from the CES. Source code if you still have it, even if you just have fragments. Information how you came up with and created the sprites, how the development tools/process was back then. Maybe a new contest where the winner gets something special. Contestants need to have the special edition.

Unfortunately no source code, no notes, no business cards. I have zip. Pre digital cameras, so taking pics was a bigger deal. I have one B&W of me a local newspaper did which I think I still have. We were pretty much heads down working trying to get it off the ground.

 

Funny, I was thinking today I should put another contest flyer in a new game as a parody. 30th annual non-contest - Grand prize $5.

 

In general I'm not thinking along the lines of doing any kind of collector repack of old stuff. That would more of a marketing thing, not my strength or interest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If I found a big box of 200 Rescue boxed sets in my attic I'd take them to NM and put them in a landfill. Better the game be known for being rare than not known.
:_( :_( :_( Edited by stardust4ever
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting! It's great to read about the development of these games and the industry at the time. I've had Laser Gates since back-in-the-day, so it's very cool to hear some of the behind-the-scenes stories. (It'd be great to hear about your work on Space Cavern, too.)

 

Speaking of Caverns of Mars, one of the homebrewers here (John Champeau) created a 2600 version called Conquest of Mars:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2HyOoKBCkc

My god this game is so hard :mad:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if this adds any value but here are a couple of pictures of Dan, myself and others in the group with Final Legacy and our other Unreleased (Too expensive to manufacture but very early fully rendered 3d) arcade game Last Starfighter. You were right in your other post, we had great ambition but a budget that was being cut right from when you joined.

 

Atari002

Atari 001

 

I hope you are well. Regards Chris.

Edited by Chris Horseman
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Thanks for the pictures, and thanks for stopping by. Can you tell us more about The Last Starfighter? I've heard so many rumors about it that I'm not sure what's true anymore.

 

Also, any stories about your time at Atari would be great. As I said before, I'm a huge fan of Final Legacy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Chris! How are you doing?

 

I was reading A history of Atari Corp by Michael Current which said you didn't leave Atari until December of 1984? My memory is crap, were you at Atari Corp or Atari Games?

 

I'm also very confused on whether our group was in the home computer division or coin op?

 

I've got maybe one photo from back then so thanks for posting. Do you remember who's in the photos? First one is that Brad Fuller?

 

I found some YouTube videos that I think are by Jim Morris, member name "wolfmanjm". He's working on a pretty cool delta printer that I'd never seen before, if that's him.

 

I've been trying to remember the name of the...I think Product Manager...a close friend of your's that hung out with us. A Brit and I think he has the product manager on Mindlink at the end. I keep thinking Peter? Great guy.

 

It would be cool to hear what you saw behind the curtain. I'm guessing I didn't know 99% of what was actually going on. Statute of limitations is probably over for most stuff. Like when we moved to the coin-op warehouse I assume now was some pretty clever saving of our butts. I'll bet you also saved my ass in the Atari Corp take over. I remember having a short interviewed with them, in your office I think, but there had to be more to it.

 

Past few weeks I been researching all this old stuff and slowing some memories have come back. I thought it was pretty cool working for you back then but must say, after experiencing many other companies and bosses, you're at the top of my list of best people to have worked for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's awesome, love the pics and info! Can't wait to see what comes of this as far as the old Venture Vision stuff, I would love to support that.

 

I was just watching The Last Starfighter on bluray a few days ago. I have always wanted to play the actual arcade game in the movie :) I'd love to hear about that proto!

 

Someone else who also wants to play that arcade game :) http://www.roguesynapse.com/games/last_starfighter.php

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...