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Games for your Atari 600XL by a certain Mr Rybags

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Going to be starting typing in these games over the next few nights (lots of DATA statements...) as I don't believe they're anywhere online. I've not got the book to hand at the minute, but in the foreword by Gary and Cliff (the other author) there's an interesting paragraph comparing the games in the book to other type-in books a little more than favourably, basically saying other type-in games are crap :) I'll post the full quote later, but having typed in probably about 50mb of code in the past few years from various books/mags, it'll be interesting to see if the games do live up to the hype ;)

 

I'll also be posting up an ATR of the games when they're done. Not sure how long that will be as I've RL stuff going on at the minute as well.

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Going to be starting typing in these games over the next few nights (lots of DATA statements...) as I don't believe they're anywhere online. I've not got the book to hand at the minute, but in the foreword by Gary and Cliff (the other author) there's an interesting paragraph comparing the games in the book to other type-in books a little more than favourably, basically saying other type-in games are crap icon_smile.gif I'll post the full quote later, but having typed in probably about 50mb of code in the past few years from various books/mags, it'll be interesting to see if the games do live up to the hype icon_wink.gif

 

I'll also be posting up an ATR of the games when they're done. Not sure how long that will be as I've RL stuff going on at the minute as well.

Perhaps Gary has those programs.

If not, I have typed some of them 25 years ago from Italian version of the book.

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As promised, here is the authors' introduction in full:

 

After many months of planning, designing and hard programming, we bring you the book you have been waiting for. Everybody prefers a particular type of game, and we have tried to cater to all interests. There are board games, card games, strategy games and, best of all, fast-paced arcade games. And unlike other program listings, all of our games are efficiently programmed, fast, colourful, and fun to play.

 

So power up your system, type in these games, and let the fun begin!

 

Gary Ryan and Cliff McConnell

Canberra, Australia

March 1984

 

Interesting stuff. Going to try and do the first one, Traffic Panic, tonight.

 

Would be interesting to hear from you Gary about how this book came about - one wouldn't have thought Virgin Books would have a big presence in Australia, and I have no idea how large the Atari market was down under at that time either.

 

If Gary's talents now are anything to go by however, I think that some (all?) of these games should live up to the promise made though :)

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It's a mixed bag, there's a few not so great ones in there. Also IIRC one or two were culled due to size.

 

Space Attack is the first game I ever did on the Atari.

 

Here, save some typing, some of them have been on Atarimania for a long time:

 

http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-asteroid-storm_14377.html

http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-chopper-mission_14376.html

http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-escape_14375.html - this one I also did a C64 version, then ported back over to Atari. Then last year I spruced it up a little for VBXE.

http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-shootout_14374.html

http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-time-typist_14373.html

 

http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-lunar-lander_13848.html - this one I did afterwards, never published until I put it on the 'net a few years ago.

http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-millipedes_13847.html - Millipedes. Concept by me, Cliff programmed it. Again, not released until a few years ago.

 

RIP Cliff - he died back in 1992. If he was still around, you can bet I'd have dragged him back into the 8-bit scene.

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I am checking my disks and making a disk with all the programs I have.

So far I can add to the list Grand Prix and Mars Lander.

 

I am very sad for what happened to Cliff. It was too young to leave us.

 

EDIT

Found Tower of Flames

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Here is what I've found (I attach a disk):

Asteroid Storm

Chopper Mission

Escape

Grand Prix

Mars Lander

Shootout

Tower of Flames

Time Typist

 

Missing so far:

Blockout

Breakthrough

Galax Attack

Gobbler

Reversi

Space Attack

Traffic Panic

More games for your Atari 600XL.atr

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There was only the one book on Atari that I took part in (this one).

 

The year after, I had one released for the C64 - kind of by accident, I sent 3 games in and they decided to give them their own book.

 

I've got Blockout on disk - but appears I've typed it in only partially, it gets an error.

 

There's also Blackjack (never published), but again I've only got partial listing. It was trimmed from the book due to space reasons.

Cliff also did a Draw Poker game, but I'm not sure if a copy exists any more (it's not online anywhere and was never published).

 

Full list of the games - note the Italian version (which we never got any money for) should be exactly the same other than the language of the non-program portions.

 

Traffic Panic

Breakthru

Shootout

Tower of Flames

Asteroid Storm

Blockout

Space Attack

Gobbler

Grand Prix

Escape

Time Typist

Galax Attack

Chopper Mission

Reversi

Mars Lander

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I'd guess whoever typed it in just decided to credit themselves.

 

I remember years ago finding one of my games on a German site with someone else taking author's credit.

 

At first I was a bit pissed off, but then thought - well, at least someone's taken the trouble to put the thing online.

 

As for the "missing games" I'll have to look into it once I'm not so busy... fairly sure there's a couple of things that have never been seen before but can't guarantee I can find a non-corrupted copy.

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Didn't get round to starting this last night unfortunately, got home from work and pretty much fell asleep straight after my last post!

 

I'll admit, I didn't do too much digging to find the games already online, but to be fair I like the whole typing thing anyway even if they are available elsewhere. I'm not the world's greatest programmer, and I learn some stuff by typing all this stuff in. Hell, I'm even on a project to type in every single program from Analog magazine at the minute (followed by Antic, Compute, Softside, Page 6...). I liken it to building plastic model kits - yeah, I can go and buy a pre-built model of a Spitfire or whatever, and I know the final product will look the same, but it's the making of it that one takes pleasure in. The only exception to this is listings that only have DATA statements or hex code - no point in typing these in for obvious reasons, but if an assembler listing is published, that will still get typed.

 

Must resist the temptation to download some of these from Atarimania...

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Didn't get round to starting this last night unfortunately, got home from work and pretty much fell asleep straight after my last post!

 

I'll admit, I didn't do too much digging to find the games already online, but to be fair I like the whole typing thing anyway even if they are available elsewhere. I'm not the world's greatest programmer, and I learn some stuff by typing all this stuff in. Hell, I'm even on a project to type in every single program from Analog magazine at the minute (followed by Antic, Compute, Softside, Page 6...). I liken it to building plastic model kits - yeah, I can go and buy a pre-built model of a Spitfire or whatever, and I know the final product will look the same, but it's the making of it that one takes pleasure in. The only exception to this is listings that only have DATA statements or hex code - no point in typing these in for obvious reasons, but if an assembler listing is published, that will still get typed.

 

Must resist the temptation to download some of these from Atarimania...

Where were you 20 years ago?! I used to rope in my sister to help type in stuff... took about a month to get each game from Atari User Mag working (in the days before the checksum/get it right/typo program spoiled all the heartache :D

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I used to have this great little book, really liked some of the games. "Blockout" must have been the game with our all-time "most hours played per byte". I believe it was just a few KB's, but it was a favorite among many (young) family members. We must have played it for hundreds of hours...

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I still have my book as well as other books but unfortnately no scanner...unless some one else here in the big smoke has a scanner and can scan and email the book to me

 

So I canb upload it to AA

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You could do that... but then I'd have to give the boys at Scotland Yard a call.

 

The issue isn't getting a copy of any given page/s, it's the fact that there's not necessarily online files of all the games.

Edited by Rybags

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Cool Rybags!, didn't know you were one of the authors. I believe I have that book somewhere...

 

How was the process to become an author in those days ?

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I think what happened:

 

One of my mates knocked together a few little ZX-81 games and must have read a magazine ad or somehow got the contact of them asking for games to put in books.

 

So, he made some money out of that and tells us about it... probably mid/late 1982 or so.

 

I sent in a C64 game, probably the first program I ever did on it, Blockout (Surround clone) and got something like $120 for it. Not bad in those days for what was probably several hours work.

 

Then I pitched the idea of an Atari book, probably early 1983. Got the OK around mid-year and made a start. Got serious once the school year finished, deadline I think was something like Feb 1984.

 

3 weeks in 1984 I swapped a mate's C64 on loan for my 600XL (I had an 800XL by then). Did 3 games for the C64 and sent them in and they decided to make those into their own book (Astounding arcade games for the C64).

 

All up, I think I made something like $3,000 or so. Pretty good money going by hours effort, but pretty poor compared to potential sales.

 

Their marketing was pretty poor, the C64 book had something like 2/3rds returned/destroyed. The fact that the C64 book looked more like a cheap comic than a computer games book probably didn't help at all.

 

I also pitched the idea of a second Atari book being a tutorial of advanced programming techniques, it was considered but not taken up.

 

By 1986 I was in the fulltime workforce and it was pretty clear that doing books was for chumps so I pretty much lost interest in such work.

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At the moment I don't recall exactly but reading post #9 it seems I never posted a disk image with all the games.

 

I attach it.

 

Blockout seems not to work properly (EDIT author corrected it and now it works).

 

Has someone scanned Games for your Atari 600XL book?

With the help of a friend I scanned Italian version but I don't find original English version.

 

Games for your Atari 600XL (1984) (basic).atr

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I'll try and have a look at Blockout a bit later. I've got both variants of the book - never got paid a thing for the Italian version.

If I can find what's wrong I'll upload it.

 

From memory Blockout is fairly short and doesn't use any asm - possibly there's a bit of DList modding going on.

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OK, I found a typing error in a line that detects Start or fire button but the way it is never allows continuation.

 

Change this line from

 

690 SOUND N,N,N,N:SOUND N1,N,N,N:IF STRIG(N)=N OR PEEK(CSL=6) THEN 690

to

 

690 SOUND N,N,N,N:SOUND N1,N,N,N:IF STRIG(N)=N OR PEEK(CSL)=6 THEN 690

 

From limited testing (1P only) it seems to work properly now.

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Rybags.... you did C64? Evil you are :P.

 

Never forget that I got 240,- DM for my first (and only...) VIC-20 game which was published in a type in magazine. A lot money back 80s for school guy.

 

My father told me to go into that as professional but I denied to make my hobbie as pro... now after 35 years I must admit he might be right and me wrong ;)

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