Jump to content
carmel_andrews

AtariAge welcomes Philip Price, creator/coder of 'Alternate reality'

Recommended Posts

I would buy a reissue of Alternate Reality too!

 

But such a game would deserve a beautiful package so I suggest rather GR8 Software:

post-12528-0-37940600-1374876583_thumb.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK all admiration aside now... Let's talk about those one way wall death traps that put you in a room you couldn't get out of so you just starved to death. I may have uttered a few curse words when I found those while trying to map the city. I think there were 2 of them. I believe I read somewhere that they weren't intentional.

 

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK all admiration aside now... Let's talk about those one way wall death traps that put you in a room you couldn't get out of so you just starved to death. I may have uttered a few curse words when I found those while trying to map the city. I think there were 2 of them. I believe I read somewhere that they weren't intentional.

 

Bob

 

Not intentional (and never ran into myself, of course I had a map), and probably not in all of my dev copies. But I had a city editor (as well as a city over print program that would bellow out sheets so I could see the city as a map. Somehow I didn't see the missing wall on that square(or squares) I assume. (since the missing wall would still have a wall, just a little less wide i.e. | instead of ||(and there was not blank space between the lines unlike in the font here).

 

Then again, it could of been caused by an evil sadistic wizard or alien. (Evil Wizard or Alien: As in I am bored how will I use my great powers today?)

 

 

Phil

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Phil, just wanted to chime in here with my appreciation for what you created with The City--I had lots of fun with it, including making maps of The City and Dungeon in Envision.

 

I seem to remember reading something somewhere (vague, I know, but Google has failed me) about how you put subliminal messages into the game, and I have a vague recollection of seeing a flash of something every once in a while before encounters, but always thought it was just an artifact of the limitations of the machine. Did you put subliminals in the game, and if so, why? :)

 

Also thought I'd let you know that I sat through and read your scrolltext that you had on The City (I think it was on disk 2?) and thought that it was tres cool to see something personal from the author.

 

Shamus,

 

Yes there was a few subtle things. One of which is in the 'random' characters that show up when one dies[i probably talked about that one years ago]

 

Phil

 

p.s.

The best subliminal that we had happened not in a game. it was when I was talking about them with Gary about subliminal messages. We talked back and forth about the concept(and was is perceived and not recognized as perceived). Then he decided to write a music demo using AMP for Antic magazine (I think it was them), I loved the demo.. it starts out with sounds/music that sound like some of the more simple Atari music out there, then he goes full force with what he could do with AMP (well I never knew if he used my specific voice probability commands). At some point he adds some subliminals (since everything text and music) can update at 60 times a second in amp, He flashes for (1/60? or perhaps he let it stay longer, I think longer because he wanted it to be consciously perceived [okay this then isn't a true subliminal]) message, something like "This is mom," flash. "buy Antic magazine" flash. I thought it was hilarious. Gary has a interesting twist at times in his humor.

 

We also had an eight voice version of amp, I just hotwired a joystick to two cords and had two Atari 800 , one on each cord. pressing the button would start Advanced Music Processor on both.

Edited by Philip Price
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course us limeys already knew how to avoid such things :) But seriously though you deserve all the credit bestowed upon you for AR and it's ingenious copy protection. We all very much appreciate your work to this day.

 

Personally on the note of piracy I always bought every piece of software back in the day to support the A8 and the software houses despite pirate copies being readily available. It was sad that so many saw copying games and programs as acceptable rather than the industry damaging theft that it is.

 

Even though I never profited from the game, I do appreciate when people had bought the software in an attempt to support the industry back then.

 

The scroll text was something I decided to do since it was harmless because no one normally should boot side of that disc, and it was the equivalent of what an author of a book would do, but even less noticeable[since you had to boot the wrong side of the disc to see it). The president of Datasoft did ask me to remove the thank-you, and I said no and it stayed.

 

-Phil

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember that issue of Antic (the one with AMP in it) and was elated to see it finally released to the public but I was also somewhat deflated when I learned that you couldn't input lyrics with it. :) I remember the editors of Antic promising that a version that would let you input lyrics would be forthcoming, but I always had to wonder why they didn't just tell you the format for the lyrics and give you a text editor window to enter them with as most people motivated enough to enter music into their Ataris would probably have been motivated to figure out the lyric format, even if it was somewhat strange or counterintuitive.

 

Fun times, regardless. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember that issue of Antic (the one with AMP in it) and was elated to see it finally released to the public but I was also somewhat deflated when I learned that you couldn't input lyrics with it. :) I remember the editors of Antic promising that a version that would let you input lyrics would be forthcoming, but I always had to wonder why they didn't just tell you the format for the lyrics and give you a text editor window to enter them with as most people motivated enough to enter music into their Ataris would probably have been motivated to figure out the lyric format, even if it was somewhat strange or counterintuitive.

 

Fun times, regardless. :)

 

You may be speaking of a different AMP, Antic later got Steven Lashower to create 'Antic Music Processor' which he also called AMP, and it also had a outward GUI like mine, but the inward music engine was not.

 

See his history here : http://www.oocities..../1354/atari.htm

Remember that is not my AMP, even though it outwardly looks like it, (I think he wrote it 4 years or so after my first release)

as he said...

Steven Lashower wrote :

"

Having used Lee Actor's Advanced Music System (AMS) for years, I felt that the Antic Music Processor was the next level in step entry music sequencing for the Atari 8-bit computers. I loved Philip Price's Advanced Music Processor, and had spoken with Gary Gilbertson on a number of occasions. I liked the acronym AMP which I adapted to a title that would make Antic Magazine happy. I also liked Phil's rhythm bar motif so I wrote my own version of it.

....

I changed the title to "Advanced Music Processor" in version 4.0, because what would Sega say if it was called the "Antic Music Processor"? I wanted to stay with the AMP acronym, and really didn't like "A Music Program", so I borrowed Phil's title - my homage to one of the best 8-bit Atari programmers ever. If you have any doubts, check out Alternate Reality - The City or Tail of Beta Lyrae. Phil was one of the first programmers I knew of who realized that music should be an integral part of a game."

 

or as Stephen Lashower said here:

http://www.atarimaga...cprocessor.html

"Hopefully, you'll find some use for all of this...or learn something from it. AMP was definitely a labor of love, and next to Mortal Kombat Trilogy Saturn, is probably the project I'm most proud of. Apologies go to Philip Price from whom I stole his acronym (AMP - Advanced Music Processor) and his player GUI. Phil was a true genius, so at least I stole from the best. Feel free to use the code however you see fit, but do be a sport and give me a line of credit...also, I'd really love to see how it was put to use! :)"

 

 

 

 

So he was 'honest' about how it inspired him and how he 'borrowed' the outward look and feel.

 

The name may be the same, the look may be the same, but the engine is not the same.

 

-Phil

Edited by Philip Price
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"For the 10 years I worked on the B2 Stealth Bomber".....Jaw drops and smashes off floor

 

Seriously?

 

I've just woken up and easily confused at my age..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"For the 10 years I worked on the B2 Stealth Bomber".....Jaw drops and smashes off floor

 

Seriously?

 

I've just woken up and easily confused at my age..

 

He not only worked on the B2, like polished the brass or inflated the tire. Dude worked on the command console! Wowsers! I guess whatever skills and interest you developed working on the Atari and video games really paid off! Not just for you, but for freedom! Atari saved the planet! =)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, that's some great party story to drop in...

 

Wonder if he left a back door in it :)

 

Maybe a built in Scramble game :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil - by any chance did you write in Ada for your DoD work? I'd be interested in what you thought about that language if so. I wrote quite a bit for the Strategic Air Command planning systems back in the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You mean it gives the freedom to bomb someone down?

 

Strength deters violence, but I see you're a big fan of Neville Chamberlain.

 

Now can we stay on topic and stop insulting our guest?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr. Price, I hope you realize what an icon you are to the computer role-playing community. To this day everyone I know who's ever played 8-bit RPG's speaks of Alternate Reality with reverence and awe. It goes far beyond the "hardcore" vintage gamers you'll find in this forum.

 

A well-crafted collectors edition (or even not so well crafted) of AR would sell quite a few copies I think. I would certainly pony up $100 for a copy with your signature.

Edited by GlowingGhoul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr. Price, I hope you realize what an icon you are to the computer role-playing community. To this day everyone I know who's ever played 8-bit RPG's speaks of Alternate Reality with reverence and awe. It goes far beyond the "hardcore" vintage gamers you'll find in this forum.

 

A well-crafted collectors edition (or even not so well crafted) of AR would sell quite a few copies I think. I would certainly pony up $100 for a copy with your signature.

 

It's impossible to find the old versions on E-Bay or anywhere, someone on E-bay wants $249 for just the disks..

Hopefully I'm not oversimplifying things but all that would be required is the same atari 8 bit disks image plus slightly tweaked packaging?

Edited by IndusGT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's impossible to find the old versions on E-Bay or anywhere, someone on E-bay wants $249 for just the disks..

Hopefully I'm not oversimplifying things but all that would be required is the same atari 8 bit disks image plus slightly tweaked packaging?

 

You're right. I've paid over $200 for a complete copy of the game on Ebay, and that was years ago.

 

Given that despite thousands of copies of the game in the wild, it still commands a tremendous price, I would think an edition limited to 500 or even a 1000 copies would be quickly snapped up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil... Still not get it... You seem very talented in terms of IT but how the hell did you figure out a custom sio loader???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You may be speaking of a different AMP, Antic later got Steven Lashower to create 'Antic Music Processor' which he also called AMP, and it also had a outward GUI like mine, but the inward music engine was not.

 

Ah, you're right! It was indeed Mr. Lashower's Antic Music Processor that I was thinking of. I was probably confused because what you did release through Antic was your picture painter software. I don't believe they ever released anything that had your Advanced Music Processor in it--a quick search on Gary Gilbertson's name in the Antic archive only turns up an article by Nat Friedland about an upcoming adventure title from Marsten Systems called "Alternate Reality". :)

 

Indeed, a Google search on Advanced Music Processor turns up very little, except for you and Gary's AMP song demo disk on Atarimania. So it would seem that you never released your Advanced Music Processor after all. ;)

 

As an aside: In this old review from Compuserve the reviewer swears that he's hearing as many as 6 voices in the music in The City.

Somehow, through the use of his "Advanced Music Processor", Philip Price has found a method of having more than four voices to sound simultaneously. Those of you who are familiar with music theory and harmony: listen closely, and count the voices. (I've counted at least six concurrent voices in a few of the AR City songs.

Was that wishful thinking on the part of the reviewer? ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After consulting with Acrin (the owner of the mentioned crpgdev.com project), I started an Alternate Reality 3D modern remake project. It's just started very recently:

 

http://parallelrealm.byethost4.com/

 

Also, I was quite shocked and surprised to read the posts by Philip Price, who spoke on AtariAge. It's an honor to see the author of the legendary AR!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,

 

Just wanted to add my thanks and greetings to those from everyone else here. Even today playing AR with an emulator it still manages to surprise me occasionally with some new nuance or detail that I've not come across before. I would have loved to play through the full series.

 

I'm the author of the project mentioned at www.crpgdev.com. When I first got access to the internet around 1995 one of the first things I looked for was information on AR and what had happened to the rest of the series. Later I began playing around with AR in a bit more detail using some map data and files which Ken Jordan posted, initially creating a little overhead map explorer using the TADS3 adventure system, then SDL and eventually SFML, OpenGL and C++ (for easier porting to Linux, Mac etc). I've now been working on the project on and off in its current form for about 4 years! It's a long time but I'm an amateur programmer so I've had to learn a lot on the way and made lots of mistakes which I later went back to fix.

 

My original aim was to merge the City and Dungeon into a seamless, single game without the need for emulators so the player could move backwards and forwards between the City and the Dungeon. I also wanted to provide an option to allow the use of alternative media or the original Atari 8bit art and music. I've gone off on tangents a couple of times but feel the project is now back on track to its original roots and will possibly be finished by the end of this year. It's available for download from the site above and includes my source code. There are still lots of rough edges and features which are not implemented yet.

 

I managed to contact Gary who kindly sent me a nice email. He seemed to be ok with the project (although that was a couple of years back and its changed a bit since then).

 

Hopefully you are ok with the project but my contact address is acrin1 @ gmail. com if you would like to contact me or discuss anything further.

 

Thanks.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not been on the AtariAge site in a very long time. But I originally joined back in 2005. I heard that Philip Price was posting on the forums and just had to visit.

I have been a huge Atari nut for 30+ years. Still have a 1200XL, 800XL and 130XE in the basement along with all of my modded floppy drives, MIO, blah, blah, blah, the list goes on and on with me. :) Also have original Alternate Reality disks for the dungeon (but alas, I recently discovered that I seem to have lost my City disks somehow unless they are buried somewhere in a box.) I also purchased my copies of AR legitimately at the store. My brother-in-law and I spent months playing the city and mapping it out (and we also encountered the accursed death squares). Also, he had the C64 at the time and bought AR for that, but he would be coming to play on the Atari at my house all the time because the music was simply breathtaking at the time (and still is wonderful). Gary Gilbertson is a musical genius! Does everybody remember 'Passionately'? ;) I bought the dungeon when it came out and we spent months playing all over again! Definitely my favorite game of all.

I would purchase a special edition City/Dungeon from you Philip!

Also, I am a fan of Acrin1 and have supported his endeavors with ARX. I hope that he will be allowed to continue. His project is really a labor of love and a true fan tribute to the best RPG of all time.

I love AR so much I even replicated the City and Dungeon in full 3D in Minecraft recently. :grin: I borrowed a lot of the original 8bit art (Atari) as well as music and sounds. I hope you don't mind!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems that AR had this effect on many people in the past. Yes, I remember playing the game passionately in the old days, mapping out the city, knowing every corner of the map by heart. I could tell you how to go from square A to square B by heart without looking at the screen. :) The music was (still is) gorgious and I would sing the songs along on the bus, in my spare time etc. It's an unforgettable game. And besides, look all the concept of the current MMO was there. The game pioneered the concept, which developed and got so popular these days. I'm talking MMO and player interaction (e.g. Facebook).

 

Yes, I also admire Acrin's project and hope he will be able to continue. I hope I will be able to start with my project at http://parallelrealm.byethost4.com/ I was tossing with the idea to re-create/create AR in a form of a modern 3D game for years. The two projects can be complementary, as they have a different purpose, yet are based on the same concept and game. If you are a purist, you will launch ARX. If you want AR as a modern 3D game, you will play my remake. Not to mention that Acrin is there for over 4 years and close to finalizing, while I have barely just started. It means a lot to me that Acrin basically OK'ed my initiative (I think he had/has some plans regarding Unity). It would mean even more if Philip would, too.

 

Either way, it would be fantasic if Philip could comment on that. I wish to state that the goal here is not commercial (I can of course speak for myself only). We're fans, enthusiasts. The game was never finished and someone needs to tell out the story in full. The best person is of course Philip, but as he is tied up with his daily job... well, someone else needs to step forth, if you agree.

 

Philip, if you or anyone else would like to contact me or send any comments, my email is silvereed7 @ gmail . com. That would be grand!

Edited by SilverAR

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...