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TheAtarianGuy

Possibility of Undiscovered 2600 Games?

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I'm sure I'm not the first person to question this, but I've been wondering about it for a long time. Is there any possibility that there are Atari 2600 games that were officially released, but in such a limited quantity or by a scarcely known company, that no copies have been found, even though the game is verified to exist? I was also wondering if there are games that haven't even been discovered.

Edited by TheAtarianGuy

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Red Sea Crossing was just found last year...there is still hope!

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From a major company? No. From a tiny one or two person company? Sure. We've already found several games like that in the past few years, and it wouldn't surprise me if more were out there.

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I'm not sure what "official" means to the Atari 2600. Third party games weren't exactly Ataris idea. I'm sure there's unlicensed stuff to be had in Asia and Europe.

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A friend of mine used to have a game called Daniel the Adventurer on the 2600, I've yet to see a listing on that not have I heard of it since I last saw him over 10 years ago. :-(

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A friend of mine used to have a game called Daniel the Adventurer on the 2600, I've yet to see a listing on that not have I heard of it since I last saw him over 10 years ago. :-(

Interesting. I find it fascinating how many small companies released their own original games, hacks, and bootlegs.

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Interesting. I find it fascinating how many small companies released their own original games, hacks, and bootlegs.

Don't feed the trolls.

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Possibility of Undiscovered 2600 Games?

Very High, now if they still boot up by the time we find them is another question...

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Interesting. I find it fascinating how many small companies released their own original games, hacks, and bootlegs.

 

April fools Atarian guy ;-)

 

But that is true as far as what you said. There are quite a bit, there is a rumor of a second men a vision game. (I swear if that one is called Daniel the adventurer IM going to be pissed)

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Red Sea Crossing was just found last year...there is still hope!

 

RSC first popped up a few years back. I believe Extra Terrestrials is actually the most recent find.

 

But are those games made by one-or-two people considered releases or just old homebrews? :twisted:

 

I suppose that's subjective. It depends upon what your exact definition of a "homebrew" is. It's true that there were a few games marketed back then that were essentially the product of a one-man operation (Birthday Mania, Gamma-Attack, Red Sea Crossing), but the key word here is "marketed". The difference between those games and modern homebrews is that they were sold (or were intended to be) as a legitimate commercial product by a for-profit business. That is an important difference, and in my mind, only games produced after 1991 can legitimately be considered true "homebrews" by the modern definition.

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But are those games made by one-or-two people considered releases or just old homebrews? :twisted:

 

Yeah, it's bit nutso for the Atari. On consoles like Sega Genesis there's a clear dividing line between legit releases and homebrew. On the VCS, you have multiple examples of one or two folks tossing out a game just to make a buck and only selling a handful in the 80's. Then you have teams of professional designers and programmers crafting really great games and selling far more today. Of course there are games like Adventure, Pitfall, and Okie Dokie that clearly fall to one side of the line.

 

Why the evil smiley? Is this a . . . can of worms?

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Extra Terrestrials was found in Canada last year, so more unknown releases may still be out there.

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RSC first popped up a few years back. I believe Extra Terrestrials is actually the most recent find.

 

I suppose that's subjective. It depends upon what your exact definition of a "homebrew" is. It's true that there were a few games marketed back then that were essentially the product of a one-man operation (Birthday Mania, Gamma-Attack, Red Sea Crossing), but the key word here is "marketed". The difference between those games and modern homebrews is that they were sold (or were intended to be) as a legitimate commercial product by a for-profit business. That is an important difference, and in my mind, only games produced after 1991 can legitimately be considered true "homebrews" by the modern definition.

Extra Terrestrials was found in Canada last year, so more unknown releases may still be out there.

 

Extra Terrestrials was programmed by a single programmer, Herman Quast, who reverse engineered the 2600 by disassembling other games and studying the code. The game was intended to be distributed across North America. The crash occurred and only a few hundred carts were ever distributed to retailers. The company that produced Extra Terrestrials, Skill Screen Games, has confirmed that they had no other games in development.

 

I would not be surprised to learn that there were other games developed by small companies or individuals. These games were likely sold regionally in very small numbers, sold in niche markets (like the religious games) or never released.

 

Don't forget everyone - we collectors are a very small minority. Most people think the 2600 is long gone. If someone finds an old game in their basement they are likely to just throw it in the trash thinking that no one would want something so old. This is the reason that The Personal Computer Museum tried to get as much publicity for Extra Terrestrials as we could. Our hope was that someone would read a news story and remember that strange game still sitting in their basement or attic.

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Do I have the wrong impression about this, or are there not as many serious collectors of VCS gear overseas as in North America? I've kinda developed this impression from the prices on PAL carts.

 

I imagine there are some obscure games that were only released overseas that haven't been catalogged yet.

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RSC first popped up a few years back. I believe Extra Terrestrials is actually the most recent find.

 

 

 

I suppose that's subjective. It depends upon what your exact definition of a "homebrew" is. It's true that there were a few games marketed back then that were essentially the product of a one-man operation (Birthday Mania, Gamma-Attack, Red Sea Crossing), but the key word here is "marketed". The difference between those games and modern homebrews is that they were sold (or were intended to be) as a legitimate commercial product by a for-profit business. That is an important difference, and in my mind, only games produced after 1991 can legitimately be considered true "homebrews" by the modern definition.

 

For the most part I agree with your defention about homebrews, but what about Boulder Daash -- a port of a existing game, licenced by the company, and sold for profit, although for limited ammounts?

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For the most part I agree with your defention about homebrews, but what about Boulder Daash -- a port of a existing game, licenced by the company, and sold for profit, although for limited ammounts?

 

Still a homebrew. Licensed or not, it's not really any different from Pac-Man 4K or any other port. And it was not "sold for profit" in the same way (or for the same reason) that games back in the 80's were. Like any other homebrew today, most of the profits obtained from sales of the game were used to pay for manufacturing costs (catridges, labels, boxes, etc.) or the licensing fees (to First Star Software), not to pay the programmers. I'm sure if you asked Albert, Thomas or Andrew, they would not consider Boulder Dash a "for profit" project. And for that matter, if the intention was really to make money from the game it would be currently for sale in unlimited form, no?

 

Ed Salvo of Apollo fame remembers programming an Atari 2600 flight simulator for a computer dealer in Iowa that was never released. If anyone has a list of the Atari dealers in the early 80's, it may be possible to track this down? Here is a link to the interview that Digital Press did with him.

 

There's quite a few games like that. I think the OP is thinking of games that actually were released, but sold in such small quantities that pretty much no one is aware of their existence. Or are you suggesting that Salvo's flight simulator might actually have been released unbeknownst to him? I suppose it's certainly possible.

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For the most part I agree with your defention about homebrews, but what about Boulder Daash -- a port of a existing game, licenced by the company, and sold for profit, although for limited ammounts?

 

You're about to get laughed at by everyone involved in that game's production. :)

Edited by FujiSkunk

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And for that matter, if the intention was really to make money from the game it would be currently for sale in unlimited form, no?

The limitation to 250 is a result of the licensing. An unlimited license would have been (much) more expensive. 250 was the number we thought we could sell within the limited licensing time without taking a too high risk.

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch

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The limitation to 250 is a result of the licensing. An unlimited license would have been (much) more expensive. 250 was the number we thought we could sell within the limited licensing time without taking a too high risk.

 

I see. Thanks for the clarification.

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Do I have the wrong impression about this, or are there not as many serious collectors of VCS gear overseas as in North America? I've kinda developed this impression from the prices on PAL carts.

 

I imagine there are some obscure games that were only released overseas that haven't been catalogged yet.

I think the issue with obscure PAL carts is there is just sooooo damn many of them. With a NTSC collection you can still have that faint glimmer of hope you will have them all some day. PAL "one offs" are popping up all the time, I concur there are likely hundreds of rare PAL carts that haven't been recovered.

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I think the issue with obscure PAL carts is there is just sooooo damn many of them. With a NTSC collection you can still have that faint glimmer of hope you will have them all some day. PAL "one offs" are popping up all the time, I concur there are likely hundreds of rare PAL carts that haven't been recovered.

 

Not any new games, though.

 

8)

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I can honestly say Crazy Climber has the best Avatar on the whole of Atariage, that's just instant LOL in a bitmap my friend :)

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