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Klove

DATA AGE

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Guys.. I'm in the early stages of ramping up an all-new Anthology project. Tentatively named "Another Anthology". In doing so, I'm going after the "other" publishers that released 2600 titles during that period. Fox, US Games, Data Age, Etc.

 

I know what yer' thinking.. "Impossible, because of the licenses." Well, that's one of the pieces that I'm working on right now.

 

The dev team for this project is comprised of some of the original Anthology team members as well as some new one's. All retro gaming geeks like me.

 

I have a call scheduled with a couple of Data Age alumni this afternoon after lunch. It ought to be interesting to say the least.

 

I'm curious to know if anyone else out there has ever dealt with or done business with any of the Data Age people from the past. Who they were, names, etc.

 

Anything you can tell me would greatly be appreciated.

 

I will keep you all informed as to the progress we make as we move forward. I imagine I'll learn quite a bit after my call this afternoon.

 

Thanks,

 

Ken

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Some interesting info on the Data Age titles. All were programmed by Three (3) Chinese programmers. Am waiting for the names. Will provide them once I have them.

 

- Ken

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Very interesting thread and a GREAT idea. I've thought of a product like this in the past and think it would just be GREAT! Hoping this can all pan out.

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I would love to know the backstory on Secret Agent. I found a prototype of that one long ago and wanted to see if anyone from Data Age has backstory on that one.

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RT,

Am already in cahoots with Bob. I spoke with hime sometime back when I was working at Activision. He's a pretty nice fella.

 

- Ken

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Some interesting info on the Data Age titles. All were programmed by Three (3) Chinese programmers. Am waiting for the names. Will provide them once I have them.

 

- Ken

 

Finally then the names of these programmers.

 

Always wondered about that.

 

Thanks, Klove!

 

If you can, please find out which programmer did what game.

 

8)

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Secret Agent and Survival Run were killed because of the crash. By this time, the company had lost interest in supporting the 2600 and was hemorrhaging money badly. They just wanted to cut their losses and get out of business asap. The company itself, was formed by 12 Venture Capitalists. Some of which are now dead and the others being in their late 70's / early 80's.

 

OK.. All engineers were Asian. Not actually in China as I had mentioned earlier, but.. rather here in the U.S. At the very best of their times, the company was comprised of about 100 people.

 

Will chase down my next DA lead who worked directly with and oversaw the team of programmers. Wish me luck.

 

I've also been told, to go-ahead and include the games (catalog) w/ no issues what-so-ever.

 

- Ken

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So was Survival Run one of their last games then (later than Secret Agent)? I always thought it was an early one they abandoned for one reason or another. I think a flyer turned up with some info about it (a basic story premise) so I need to update my page.

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Sounds like an awesome project! Can't wait to see what you guys come up with.

 

If you get the chance, could you the ask Data Age people about this big lot of EPROMs that contained Survival Run and Air Lock WIPs? Most of the EPROMs are games from other companies. I'm curious if they remember dealing with them, if they actually came from Data Age. This is the only way Survival Run prototypes have been found.

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/159401-whole-bunch-o-proto-chips/

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/159769-huge-lot-of-data-age-eproms/

 

I can provide better pictures of the entire lot, there are hundreads of EPROMs and several PCBs.

 

Here's the original post from when the game was first discovered in 2004:

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/42011-proto-or/

Edited by Wickeycolumbus

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Were those Air Lock WIP games ever dumped?

 

Yeah, the ROM is in a post in one of the threads I linked to:

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/159769-huge-lot-of-data-age-eproms/?p=1964923

 

There is only one WIP, but more than one copy. I still haven't gone through all the EPROMs, but I doubt there is anything else interesting in there. The vast majority are just final versions of games from other companies.

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I've also been told, to go-ahead and include the games (catalog) w/ no issues what-so-ever.

 

- Ken

This sounds like VERY good news!

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I've not ever started researching them yet. It does seem like I chase down one of the programmers for one of the games, back when I was at Activision. I seem to recall the guy telling me that the owners of the company were VERY greasy. :-/

 

Interesting fact..

 

Probably not, BUT.. "Did you know that in the very early stages of the Activision Anthology project, I was told by a certain Activision lawyer, that not only should I include our games, but... that I should go out and pursue the "other" guys' games as well. Naturally, this DID NOT include the Atari catalog.

 

That said, that's when I started digging deep and doing research to try and trace down as many programmers / IP owners as I could.

 

I remember talking to one guy ("... and I would have to go through my Activision retro emails to find this"), who had pitched a game called "Fish" to Activision. Activision WAS interested in the project, but they couldn't come to an agreement and it wasn't too long after that all heck broke loose in the industry and killed everything 2600-wise. :-(

 

Anyway, long story short, the guy no longer had a copy of the game. "I DID ask him though. :-)

 

- Ken

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I've not ever started researching them yet. It does seem like I chase down one of the programmers for one of the games, back when I was at Activision. I seem to recall the guy telling me that the owners of the company were VERY greasy. :-/

 

Interesting fact..

 

Probably not, BUT.. "Did you know that in the very early stages of the Activision Anthology project, I was told by a certain Activision lawyer, that not only should I include our games, but... that I should go out and pursue the "other" guys' games as well. Naturally, this DID NOT include the Atari catalog.

 

That said, that's when I started digging deep and doing research to try and trace down as many programmers / IP owners as I could.

 

I remember talking to one guy ("... and I would have to go through my Activision retro emails to find this"), who had pitched a game called "Fish" to Activision. Activision WAS interested in the project, but they couldn't come to an agreement and it wasn't too long after that all heck broke loose in the industry and killed everything 2600-wise. :-(

 

Anyway, long story short, the guy no longer had a copy of the game. "I DID ask him though. :-)

 

- Ken

YOU HAVE THE COOLEST JOB EVER!

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No. None of the original alumni were able to ID those pieces.

 

Dave Crane did mention something interesting to me, though. Typically, the engineers would include their initials on the actual ROMS during the build process. So... that sorta' seems easy enough.

 

Problem is.. the M.M. initials that appear on the ROM? "Who's that?"

 

Again.. "Nobody was aware of these initials or a possible name." :-(

 

- Ken

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All I can guess at this point is that these were games submitted by outside people in the hopes that Activision would publish them. Either that or they were done by non-programmer people inside Acitivision as side projects.

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