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List of CGE Homebrews in RETRO (magazine)

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I emailed Greg the link to this thread and this is what he had to say:

Greg Aug 2015:

I had not even heard of the Assault variant, but when I researched it, as the trolls should have, they would know:
"Assault is a Bomb title, a clone, indicative of the lack of talent, passion and imagination that Bomb possessed. As if we weren't tired of Galaxian knock-offs by 1984 already, Bomb served us a clone with worse graphics and gameplay than the game it obviously ripped off. A mother ship flies across the screen. pumping out three alien ships that you must destroy. The object is to shoot and destroy them while dodging the enemy fire. That's it! With drab visuals, repetitive and boring gameplay, and not a hint of originality whatsoever, Assault is a game best left for collectors to seek out.
In addition, in 1985 Centuri sued Bomb for Copyright violation as its code is taken from Phoenix. They lost the case however because the game's developer is unknown, according to Centuri's Joel Hochberg, the game was licensed from "a smaller Japanese developer." The code for Phoenix it turned out was itself taken from the Taito version of Space Invaders, released in 1980."
[Looks like a whole lot of plagiarism going on all the way down to poor old Space Invaders]

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I'm not sure why you quoted Thomas. Thomas making a mistake on the game Greg hacked isn't material. Greg hacked a game, and insisted that he didn't, with great bluster and moral indignation. The fact that Greg successfully hid the actual ROM source for some years doesn't make him less of a plagarist.

 

The bytes don't lie. Anyone reading can do the binary diff check I suggested, or SpiceWare's more detailed comparisons. In the end, that's the final word on this whole thing.

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Thanks for checking again. I wonder why Demon Attack from CCE is not related to the other versions. There seems to be a bug hiding in my old code. Can you post the clones.txt file? That should help fixing it.

 

Anyway, judging from your screen shot you are right and I stand corrected: The Shaman is not a hack of Demon Attack.

 

Sorry, that my wrong assumption made you upset.

 

It's ironic that you accuse others of not reading the full thread.

 

We all know that the game is not an hack of Demon Attack. Thomas had no access to the rom at the time and he guessed that it was because it's very similar visually. In reality the original game is Assault/Sky Alien/Fire Birds. Now the rom is available, anyone can check it.

It's been explained very clearly. Please read before posting as you're making fool of yourself. If you don't understand something just ask and someone will surely help you.

 

 

Regarding the "research" that the "programmer" did on the game, well most of it is total nonsense. Assault doesn't share code with Demon Attack (even if they're similar visually) which in turn doesn't with Phoenix. (I also doubt that the 2600 version of Phoenix shares any code with the arcade Space Invaders from Taito....)

Again, the roms are available, so anyone can check. (Apart from the "programmer" who thinks he could compare binary files with text-comparing softwares and find differences in "lines of codes" in that way :roll: )

 

 

 

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Regarding the "research" that the "programmer" did on the game, well most of it is total nonsense. Assault doesn't share code with Demon Attack (even if they're similar visually) which in turn doesn't with Phoenix. (I also doubt that the 2600 version of Phoenix shares any code with the arcade Space Invaders from Taito....)

 

 

I've been searching around for some other discussion or proof of those statements. Demon Attack was Rob Fulop / Imagic, and it was released much earlier than Atari Phoenix. I don't see much similarity between the feel of these games anyway. Or was it being stated that coin-op Phoenix (Centuri) stole code from Taito Space Invaders... huh?

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What is Greg and Atari Charles' relationship with Good Deal Games? (I'm trying to figure out how far up this mess goes, and who to avoid buying from in the future)

 

Greg wrote tons of awesome games in the 80's, he's the real Slim Shady.

 

Did you notice no 80's programmers ever join this brigage?

 

Those programmers slinging mud are just imitators, they'll form a circle but can never get Solid Corp, Andrew Davie, Dan Oliver, JamesD or myself to help sling mud at Greg or any other 80's programmers :lol:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7KEuKKuuas

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Regarding the "research" that the "programmer" did on the game, well most of it is total nonsense. Assault doesn't share code with Demon Attack (even if they're similar visually) which in turn doesn't with Phoenix. (I also doubt that the 2600 version of Phoenix shares any code with the arcade Space Invaders from Taito....)

It seems like his parents never taught him that "but everybody else is doing it" is not a valid excuse.

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I can't stay silent here. As someone who's done quite a few hacks, I have no problem or issue with them whatsoever. However, the issue here keeps getting deflected. What Greg did is a graphics hack. Nothing more, nothing less. Whether he did it by using BitHacker, hex editing, or disassembling the ROM, making the graphics changes, then reassembling the ROM, the fact is that it's a graphics hack. Again, I (and no one else posting here) has any problem with that. Arguments about "code" or borrowing code are irrelevant because the code was not changed, only the graphics portion. Some hacks are very extensive and involve re-coding some or much of a game. However, this hack can be done by someone with no knowledge of coding whatsoever. Again, nothing wrong with that. The problem was that Greg should have given credit where credit was due and simply said "this is a hack of" "Fire Birds", "Sky Alien", "Assault", or whatever version of the ROM it was that he used because the fact is, he used an existing game ROM and made some graphics changes. He did not re-code anything. And, I'm not counting an argument that might say "well, changing sprites is changing code, so it's coding." No. As someone who likes to change graphics of games, I do not count what I do as coding... not unless I disassemble, actually re-write sections of code (other than graphics/colors), and reassemble/recompile. Even then, it's not "my" game and I make sure to let it be known that it's a hack.

 

 

Greg wrote tons of awesome games in the 80's, he's the real Slim Shady.

 

Did you notice no 80's programmers ever join this brigage?

 

Those programmers slinging mud are just imitators, they'll form a circle but can never get Solid Corp, Andrew Davie, Dan Oliver, JamesD or myself to help sling mud at Greg or any other 80's programmers icon_lol.gif

 

That's awesome that he wrote tons of games in the 80's. I have enormous respect for that. However, it's NOT RELEVANT whatsoever to this instance. THIS game was not coded by him, and in case anyone still reading has forgotten... NO ONE has any problem with him hacking a game. Frankly, I like his sprite edits... except I would have left in the mother ship.

 

Now, I DO take issue with anyone saying that Thomas and Darrell are imitators. Regardless of whether that was meant as an insult, or just literally that they are imitating the techniques of former 2600 coders, both Thomas and Darrell are incredibly talented programmers who have made (and are making) some of the best games ever made for the 2600. Yes, they have the benefit of learning from those who developed techniques in the 80's and using modern tools and enhanced carts, but they've also developed their own NEW techniques that have never been used before. They are massively skilled and deserve every bit of respect from those who were doing it decades ago. And yes, they do show respect for those who came before. I've never seen Thomas or Darrell show any disrespect for other programmers. Have you not noticed that they've worked quite closely with some of them on projects in recent years? (Andrew and Thomas on Boulder Dash, just to name one).

 

 

So what do you see when you compare code?

http://i.imgur.com/cGvn7gx.gifv

 

Please don't confuse the issue here. The code is 100% identical, byte for byte. It's not the same as interpreting ink blots. That's a false argument.

 

--

 

I was curious, so I took a look at a few different binaries. Here's what I noticed:

Assault - All game code is identical to The Shaman. Only sprites, colors, and a few sound values are different.

Fire Birds (PAL) - All colors are identical. All game code other than PAL/NTSC is identical. Only some sprites were changed.

 

So, I did a little hacking of my own. What if we take Fire Birds and make it NTSC? If we just edit those handful of sprites, we get 100% match. So, as previously stated, the only thing changed was the sprites. The only question is what version of the ROM was used... Fire Birds, Sky Alien, Space Raider, Scorpion, Assault, etc.

Fire Birds (NTSC).bin

Fire Birds (Sprite NTSC Hack).bin

the_shaman_qtm__2014__greg_zumwalt_.bin

 

Fire Birds and Shaman Hex Compare (Green is matching):

post-9364-0-08711300-1472181985_thumb.png

 

Fire Birds (Sprite Hack) and Shaman Hex Compare:

post-9364-0-98060200-1472182039_thumb.png

 

Here's a screenshot of the two ROMs side-by-side in BitHacker. Pick any spot in the ROM other than sprites and you'll see they're identical:

post-9364-0-03993500-1472182447_thumb.png

 

I was curious to see if the ship at the top of the screen had been removed or if the colors were changed to black. I looked at it with BitHacker and you can see that it has just been deleted. I find this a little amusing since Greg denigrated Assault (a variant of the same game his hack is from). Well, guys... it may or may not have been Assault that he used. It may have been another variant such as Fire Birds, but the fact still remains that it's a simple graphics hack. This is like trying to pin down the Clintons on a lie. Deflect, deflect, accuse, and deflect, instead of just saying, "yes, I used x version of ROM to edit the sprites of." AGAIN, in case anyone has forgotten... NO ONE HAS A PROBLEM WITH HACKS. It's just the lack of credit and indignation expressed by Greg when he was called out for it that anyone took issue with.

 

A shot of the deleted mother ship:

post-9364-0-50065900-1472182458_thumb.png

 

In case anyone thinks I wasted my time with this, don't worry... I enjoy editing graphics. icon_winking.gif

Edited by KevinMos3
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Arguments about "code" or borrowing code are irrelevant because the code was not changed, only the graphics portion. Some hacks are very extensive and involve re-coding some or much of a game. However, this hack can be done by someone with no knowledge of coding whatsoever. Again, nothing wrong with that. The problem was that Greg should have given credit where credit was due and simply said "this is a hack of" "Fire Birds", "Sky Alien", "Assault", or whatever version of the ROM it was that he used because the fact is, he used an existing game ROM and made some graphics changes. He did not re-code anything. And, I'm not counting an argument that might say "well, changing sprites is changing code, so it's coding." No. As someone who likes to change graphics of games, I do not count what I do as coding... not unless I disassemble, actually re-write sections of code (other than graphics/colors), and reassemble/recompile.

:thumbsup:

 

 

Nothing wrong with being a bit-clicker, and yes it is far from doing actual, knowledgeable, coding changes.

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Greg wrote tons of awesome games in the 80's, he's the real Slim Shady.

 

Did you notice no 80's programmers ever join this brigage?

 

Those programmers slinging mud are just imitators, they'll form a circle but can never get Solid Corp, Andrew Davie, Dan Oliver, JamesD or myself to help sling mud at Greg or any other 80's programmers icon_lol.gif

That's awesome that he wrote tons of games in the 80's. I have enormous respect for that. However, it's NOT RELEVANT whatsoever to this instance.

 

Whatever he did in the past doesn't change the fact that he didn't coded a single instruction in this game while trying to take credit for it. The behaviour he showed in this thread was deplorable. Trying to use supposed past merits to legitimate it, only makes it more blameworthy.

The few posts he made here are enough for not caring to look for his previous works. He was dishonest and pointlessy arrogant and for that doesn't deserves my respect as a person, regardless his professional achievements.

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I can't stay silent here. As someone who's done quite a few hacks, I have no problem or issue with them whatsoever. However, the issue here keeps getting deflected. What Greg did is a graphics hack. Nothing more, nothing less. Whether he did it by using BitHacker, hex editing, or disassembling the ROM, making the graphics changes, then reassembling the ROM, the fact is that it's a graphics hack. Again, I (and no one else posting here) has any problem with that. Arguments about "code" or borrowing code are irrelevant because the code was not changed, only the graphics portion. Some hacks are very extensive and involve re-coding some or much of a game. However, this hack can be done by someone with no knowledge of coding whatsoever. Again, nothing wrong with that. The problem was that Greg should have given credit where credit was due and simply said "this is a hack of" "Fire Birds", "Sky Alien", "Assault", or whatever version of the ROM it was that he used because the fact is, he used an existing game ROM and made some graphics changes. He did not re-code anything. And, I'm not counting an argument that might say "well, changing sprites is changing code, so it's coding." No. As someone who likes to change graphics of games, I do not count what I do as coding... not unless I disassemble, actually re-write sections of code (other than graphics/colors), and reassemble/recompile. Even then, it's not "my" game and I make sure to let it be known that it's a hack.

 

 

That's awesome that he wrote tons of games in the 80's. I have enormous respect for that. However, it's NOT RELEVANT whatsoever to this instance. THIS game was not coded by him, and in case anyone still reading has forgotten... NO ONE has any problem with him hacking a game. Frankly, I like his sprite edits... except I would have left in the mother ship.

 

Now, I DO take issue with anyone saying that Thomas and Darrell are imitators. Regardless of whether that was meant as an insult, or just literally that they are imitating the techniques of former 2600 coders, both Thomas and Darrell are incredibly talented programmers who have made (and are making) some of the best games ever made for the 2600. Yes, they have the benefit of learning from those who developed techniques in the 80's and using modern tools and enhanced carts, but they've also developed their own NEW techniques that have never been used before. They are massively skilled and deserve every bit of respect from those who were doing it decades ago. And yes, they do show respect for those who came before. I've never seen Thomas or Darrell show any disrespect for other programmers. Have you not noticed that they've worked quite closely with some of them on projects in recent years? (Andrew and Thomas on Boulder Dash, just to name one).

 

 

KevinMos3,

Tom and Spice have great talent but they should definitely be more respectful of the programmers they admired in the 80's.

 

There was no reason to rain on my StarBlitz thread or post fake StarBlitz demos that didn't contain a single line of my code. The flame thread with the follow up "review" was intentionally disrespectful and there wasn't even an apology when I added a genuine 60 HZ mode to StarBlitz where every object is displayed at a uniform 60 HZ because the conserative flicker at 30 HZ wasn' really what the programmers were compaining about - they saw technology that had never been achieved on the VCS before and got jealous of it. Being jealous of what 80's programmers can do today is silly, particularly when they're simultaneously foraging through our old code bases looking to grok the code which ironically, is what they both explained that they do on the programming thread before resurrecting this old thread to level the same tired acusations again.

 

Modern Atari programmers should be nicer to programmers from the 80's, I prefer when they are constructive or work together with an 80's programmer, like Tom did working with Andrew on BoulderDash to produce a very awesome game.

 

I agree with you about the hacks - it's all good and no one should put on aires. Lot's of programmers tend to have a chip on their shoulder.

post-30777-0-11170700-1472221818_thumb.jpg

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Now, I DO take issue with anyone saying that Thomas and Darrell are imitators. Regardless of whether that was meant as an insult, or just literally that they are imitating the techniques of former 2600 coders, both Thomas and Darrell are incredibly talented programmers who have made (and are making) some of the best games ever made for the 2600. Yes, they have the benefit of learning from those who developed techniques in the 80's and using modern tools and enhanced carts, but they've also developed their own NEW techniques that have never been used before. They are massively skilled and deserve every bit of respect from those who were doing it decades ago. And yes, they do show respect for those who came before. I've never seen Thomas or Darrell show any disrespect for other programmers. Have you not noticed that they've worked quite closely with some of them on projects in recent years? (Andrew and Thomas on Boulder Dash, just to name one).

Thanks, I appreciate it!

 

I'm sure I've forgotten some of it, but I do recall a couple things that set him against us.

 

 

1) The Video Game Critic (Dave Mrozek) wouldn't review one of his games. Dave referenced my game Space Rocks as an example of what he was looking for in games to review, Mr SQL took that to mean he was requiring the use of ARM:

When I sent him KC Monster Maze to review - Dave liked the gameplay action but wanted me to add option menus and bells and whistle polish like SpaceRocks, and explained SpaceRocks had set the bar for what kind of games could be achieved on the Atari and going forward he would only review games like that or just give bad reviews.

...

these viewpoints are as equally arbitrary as the VGC's view that new Atari games must have big memory and run on the ARM.

Many of us pointed out that Dave was using Space Rocks as an example of polish, and that the use of ARM was not a requirement. I even listed the 24 Atari games Dave reviewed after Space Rocks, of which only Stay Frosty 2 used the ARM.

 

 

2) About a month after that he was having a problem with his game and Stella. Thomas, I and others I helped him out with it. During the course of that (in that and other topics) is was brought up that the use of 30 Hz flicker for the entire playfield was distracting and/or painful for some of us. Flicker of small objects is OK, but not something that spans the entire screen. We pointed out that some people are more susceptible to flicker, and that some modern displays will hide it as part of their upscaling process. RevEng created a demo to show the effects of different types of flicker so people could report back what they saw on different types of displays. Mr SQL didn't take that very well for some reason.

 

 

 

Eventually I decided it wasn't worth my time to deal with him, so updated my ignore list like I recently did for Atari Charles:

post-3056-0-20229100-1472222237_thumb.png

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I encourage you guys to all read the thread linked from Mr SQL and Darrell, and decide for yourselves if thinking it's a thread about any one game, rather than an investigation of flicker, is the product of a rational mind.

 

Mr SQL was actually asked to stop discussing his game in the very same thread, as it was off-topic.

 

Of course they continue to spin, hoping it might somehow distract from the evidence of Greg's plagarism.

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Oh, and in regards to "Did you notice no 80's programmers ever join this brigage?"

 

I started coding in 1980 on a Commodore PET. I was mostly known for a series of BBS and Terminal software for the Vic 20, C= 64 and C= 128. That software supported some revolutionary features for the time, such as playing back music in real time at 300 baud, on the fly redefinitions of character shapes (with or without animation), sprites, ability to play games online with your joystick, etc. Sales of that software helped put me through college.

 

Though I was known for some games:

post-3056-0-47517200-1472224856_thumb.jpg

 

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Although SpiceWare probably won't see this, I do have a few things to say. First he resurrected an old thread in the very rude and disrespectful way to throw mud knowing full well it would start some form of flamewar. Instead of coming to me directly about him thinking The Shaman was a hack, he posted it is a rude way. I would have looked into it as would have Greg. I can only wonder the hours if not days he put in being Sherlock Holmes to show what a hero he is so he can gain the adoration of his crew and his followers(groupies). So instead of coming to me like a man, he took the mangina route. Lets get real here. He programs games for Atari Age and sadly like some Atari Age formites, he has a hate on for anything not released by Atari Age, especially if Hozer has anything to do with the release. So he rattles the cage and then like a coward puts me on his ignore list because what I have to say bothers him. Yes, I think is the type of guy to talk crap about others behind their back to look good to his fellow friends/associates/coworkers or to be the white knight for whatever damsel in distress he is trying to save. All of this is my humble opinion. So how many hours did he put in to his amazing Sherlock Holmes level discovery? And what was his motivation?

The way KevinMos3 presents his argument is a much more mature way of presenting the facts. So thank you for taking the high road, not the low road.

As for RevEng, I did feel he was being a bit preachy. But sorry there is no cover up. Spiceware came in full guns blazing publicly and then wonders why Greg doesn't does want to deal with more AA Forum Hate. And then I come in trying to explain my position and what I have been told, and back and forth and back and forth we go.

 

As for Mr. SQL. Thanks for your posts. You made some excellent posts and referred to relevant past threads and disrespectful behavior.

In the end of the day, all of the flamers(haters) and their groupies would never buy anything that is not published by Atari Age. I have seen it time and time again. And they would spit on anything Hozer even touched. This hate or Hozer Hate as I call it has been going on since 2004 if not earlier. Most Atari Age releases are praised, whereas most non Atari Age releases are either completely ignored or bashed. The Hozer 1MB working board with working test software had it been released by Atari Age would have the Hozer Haters in awe as they bowed to it through out the internet roadways and highways of Atari Age Forums and elsewhere. But because it was designed by Randy and it is a Hozer board, it was pretty much ignored on these forums.

So hate The Shaman, love the The Shaman, buy The Shaman, don't buy The Shaman. This is entirely your choice. It is being sold online and at Video Game Conventions as a game, not as a homebrew, not as a hack.

And for the haters, their followers, their groupies, please don't buy anything I or Greg have had anything to do with. You'll be able to avoid my games easily, but as for Greg's ah, well good luck as some of his work might very well be in your backward.

Edited by Atari Charles
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Oh, and in regards to "Did you notice no 80's programmers ever join this brigage?"

 

I started coding in 1980 on a Commodore PET. I was mostly known for a series of BBS and Terminal software for the Vic 20, C= 64 and C= 128. That software supported some revolutionary features for the time, such as playing back music in real time at 300 baud, on the fly redefinitions of character shapes (with or without animation), sprites, ability to play games online with your joystick, etc. Sales of that software helped put me through college.

 

Though I was known for some games:

attachicon.gifIMG_7520.jpg

 

 

This post is cool - I like your BBS software and the assembly program you wrote to hook the BASIC input output vectors! :) I like your early work with the VIC you've described and I like this C128 game too - can you share some more info on it?

 

I disagree with your interpretation of what went on the other thread - the demo's looked nothing like my game (the 60 hz mode makes it clear) and they were accompanied by insults which reminded me of this thread. From the results of our red shift experiments I also think you adjusted your monitor to play both PAL and NTSC games (sweetspot) and that it wouldn't roll on red if you tune it precisely for StarBlitz (NTSC spec), but you would no longer be able to play PAL games without rolling for not being in that sweet spot. I was able to replicate that on a set with a vertical hold.

 

There is no reason for anyone to hate on the Shaman; if Greg wrote it or was involved with coding a compilation that's all the more reason for anyone to go out and get the game, he's one of the programming greats of the past and today and the double standard on OPP from more modern devs just comes off as mud slinging to me.

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Although SpiceWare probably won't see this

You're in luck! I was informed by others that I really needed to click on "View it anyway".

I do have a few things to say. First he resurrected an old thread in the very rude and disrespectful way to throw mud knowing full well it would start some form of flamewar. Instead of coming to me directly about him thinking The Shaman was a hack, he posted it is a rude way. I would have looked into it as would have Greg. I can only wonder the hours if not days he put in being Sherlock Holmes to show what a hero he is so he can gain the adoration of his crew and his followers(groupies). So instead of coming to me like a man, he took the mangina route. Lets get real here. He programs games for Atari Age and sadly like some Atari Age formites, he has a hate on for anything not released by Atari Age, especially if Hozer has anything to do with the release. So he rattles the cage and then like a coward puts me on his ignore list because what I have to say bothers him. Yes, I think is the type of guy to talk crap about others behind their back to look good to his fellow friends/associates/coworkers or to be the white knight for whatever damsel in distress he is trying to save. All of this is my humble opinion. So how many hours did he put in to his amazing Sherlock Holmes level discovery? And what was his motivation?

1) you publicly claimed, multiple times, that The Shaman was a homebrew.

2) Greg publicly claimed, multiple times, that The Shaman was his own original work (though inspired by other games).

3) Greg publicly berated Thomas for thinking it was a hack of Demon Attack, for which Thomas graciously apologized.

 

And yet I'm supposed to privately contact you when I had proof that the game was, in fact, just graphic hack? :lol:

 

Sorry dude, but catching y'all in a lie is neither rude, nor disrespectful. Your continual deflection of that comes across like the little kid caught red handed, who then proceeds to blame everybody else for what they did.

 

I've purchased numerous homebrews from places other than AtariAge. While Hozer isn't one of them, that's only because they don't have anything available that interests me. I'm vaguely aware of an "AtariAge vs. Hozer" issue, but don't know anything specific about it.

 

How many hours? None, it took 10 minutes tops.

 

Motive? the truth is out there, sorry if being caught in a lie has inconvenienced y'all - not.

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