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Marble Madness 2: Marble Man

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7 hours ago, mr_me said:

The guy in posession of the cabinet wouldn't get sued because they wouldn't be the one distributing copies of the rom image, but I could see someone not wanting to be a part of it.

I guess my point was, there is very little likelihood of anyone getting sued for releasing a ROM of an unreleased game.

 

In that case, whether the person with the cabinet was involved or not, they wouldn't be any more a suspect than anyone else.

 

Same thing with the Marble Madness 2 guys, if it were to come out tomorrow on a compilation. There would be no effect.

The cabinets and boards would still be worth the same or more. The people that had them wouldnt be at any more risk

than if they were involved or not.

 

There are no downsides to a unreleased game showing up commercially. The market for those is so miniscule there wouldn't be a point.

 

I don't see a single person here or on any other site, that knows or cares that Akka Arrh is finally available to be commercially playable,

besides me. I guess i'm lucky that I care. But even if i didn't, it would have always been preserved in MAME.

 

later

-1

Edited by negative1
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It's not about getting sued.  It's about not being confortable doing something you have no right to do.  It's similar to people who won't download rom files.  I think the value of these prototypes would go down if copies of their roms were leaked.  And as others have said, it might not just be about money, it's about having a game that nobody else can play.

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Sometimes it's even simpler..  sometimes people act so entitled to having the roms they don't own that it pisses people off that actually paid for them.  Many times it's the very behavior of the community that prevents things being given to it.  That's exactly what happened with a number of very rare roms.

 

But putting that aside, here's something positive.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

HOLY S**T!!!!!!

 

:D X 1,000,000!!!!

 

Check out John's Arcade latest video!! Particularly at 2:12:10 !!

 

 

  

 

 

Edited by Tornadoboy
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4 hours ago, Tornadoboy said:

HOLY S**T!!!!!!

 

:D X 1,000,000!!!!

 

Check out John's Arcade latest video!! Particularly at 2:12:10 !!

 

 

  

 

 

looks good.

 

but not worth playing with a joystick.

 

they did that to crystal castles also.

 

later

-1

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5 hours ago, negative1 said:

looks good.

 

but not worth playing with a joystick.

 

they did that to crystal castles also.

 

later

-1

Crystal Castles with a JOYSTICK?? Yikes, I don't even want to know what it felt like trying to play that version! Fortunately if I understood them right it sounds like they're almost done re-adding trackball support to MMII and just need to tweak it a bit, which just goes to show how smart the people working on this are, to be able to even attempt to do that. 

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47 minutes ago, Tornadoboy said:

Crystal Castles with a JOYSTICK?? Yikes, I don't even want to know what it felt like trying to play that version! Fortunately if I understood them right it sounds like they're almost done re-adding trackball support to MMII and just need to tweak it a bit, which just goes to show how smart the people working on this are, to be able to even attempt to do that. 

its not that hard to do. but since the software needs something to reintrepret the inputs, and convert them to analog values, instead

of just digital ones. there have been programs on the pc that have done this for ages.

 

so, if they were able to get it up an running, its basically hacking the code to divert the inputs to accept that, and yes, assembly would

be good to know in order to do that.

 

at the arcade controls forums, there are plenty of people that hack games to use alternate methods. someone hacked time pilot and gyruss

to use spinners. also recently arcade 1up has added code to super breakout, warlords and avalanche to accept trackball input, instead of spinner

(although those are still analog values).

 

later

-1

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, negative1 said:

its not that hard to do. but since the software needs something to reintrepret the inputs, and convert them to analog values, instead

of just digital ones. there have been programs on the pc that have done this for ages.

 

so, if they were able to get it up an running, its basically hacking the code to divert the inputs to accept that, and yes, assembly would

be good to know in order to do that.

 

at the arcade controls forums, there are plenty of people that hack games to use alternate methods. someone hacked time pilot and gyruss

to use spinners. also recently arcade 1up has added code to super breakout, warlords and avalanche to accept trackball input, instead of spinner

(although those are still analog values).

 

later

-1

Nice! I'm going to have to check that out, I can think of a ton of games that would be interesting to add spinners and trackballs to! Where's the controls forum? Is that on atariage somewhere?

Edited by Tornadoboy

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1 hour ago, Tornadoboy said:

Nice! I'm going to have to check that out, I can think of a ton of games that would be interesting to add spinners and trackballs to! Where's the controls forum? Is that on atariage somewhere?

there's discussion and a diff file to use with mame, to compile it to mamespin:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,81745.0.html

 

however, there aren't any more games. each one would have to be individually hacked to add support.

 

so you would have to do it yourself.

 

later

-1

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On 6/23/2021 at 7:07 PM, Tornadoboy said:

HOLY S**T!!!!!!

 

:D X 1,000,000!!!!

 

Check out John's Arcade latest video!! Particularly at 2:12:10 !!

 

 

  

 

 

Thanks so much for sharing this! Definitely a positive video and makes me excited for the possibility of finally being able to try out MM2 once they are finished with the project. Honestly, I wouldn't mind the joystick gameplay if that would be the only option. Just experiencing the game would a win for me. 

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Actually, the code exists from Atari (back in the day) to support track balls.  I think it was originally programmed for track balls, and Atari made the decision to switch to joysticks for some stupid reason...  I'm pretty sure the guy that brings them to CA Extreme has it, but only in source-code on 8" floppy discs the last time I talked to him about it.  He was in the process of finding a way to read the code of the discs and assemble it into a binary (I think he already has a track ball control panel for it).

 

This was several years ago, so it's likely he's done it already...

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Posted (edited)

in an interview with one of the original developers,

they talked about using a motorized trackball for marble madness.

that would have been interesting.

 

 

interview-michael-albaugh-marble-madness

later

-1

Edited by negative1
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The cool thing is that I believe halfway decent pics of the original artwork are out there so if someone wanted to recreate it for repro cabs it should be possible, if the ROMs get released someone might even be able to talk the owner of the original cab into letting them scan it and do up a blueprint of the cab itself. 

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On 7/8/2021 at 4:54 AM, Rik1138 said:

Actually, the code exists from Atari (back in the day) to support track balls.  I think it was originally programmed for track balls, and Atari made the decision to switch to joysticks for some stupid reason...  I'm pretty sure the guy that brings them to CA Extreme has it, but only in source-code on 8" floppy discs the last time I talked to him about it.  He was in the process of finding a way to read the code of the discs and assemble it into a binary (I think he already has a track ball control panel for it).

Close.  IIRC, Atari initially built trak-ball versions for field testing, but, when the game didn't do well, they figured that it must be down to the controller type and re-tested with joysticks installed.  When the game still didn't reach the earnings they were hoping for, they pulled the plug on it.

 

The version seen at CAX was the joystick version, at least when I played it back in 2000.

On 7/8/2021 at 4:54 AM, Rik1138 said:

This was several years ago, so it's likely he's done it already...

This is total speculation on my behalf, but it may not have been necessary to alter the joystick version to accept trak-ball input if the trak-ball ROMs were licensed.  Again, that is speculation, but it would be easier to just license the trak-ball version and be done with it than to license the joystick version and retrofit it for trak-balls.  Whether or not that's a viable scenario is another matter, however.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Close.  IIRC, Atari initially built trak-ball versions for field testing, but, when the game didn't do well, they figured that it must be down to the controller type and re-tested with joysticks installed.  When the game still didn't reach the earnings they were hoping for, they pulled the plug on it.

 

The version seen at CAX was the joystick version, at least when I played it back in 2000.

That's kind of exactly what I said.  it was originally programmed for track balls, and then they changed their mind to joysticks...

 

The prototypes at CAX were joystick only as they had been converted to joystick for additional testing, then the game was scrapped. But the owner of the games that are brought to CAX has the code for the trackball controller but it's on a floppy disc in assembly language.  An OLD-school 8-inch floppy disc formatted for whatever type of computer Atari was coding these games with back in the day (he told me at the time, but I don't remember what it was.  Some now antique main-frame computer.).

He found a museum or collector that still has one of these old computers running and was going to see of they could read the data off the disc, then it would need to be assembled (which could be done by hand, tediously, if necessary) and burned to a ROM chip.

He has a trackball control panel (or maybe just the overlay) that he was building with trackballs and was going to bring it to CAX once he got it running...  But it never showed up, so not sure of the status of it...  (This conversation was probably in 2016 or 2017..)

 

It's possible the disc turned out to be unreadable, so it might not be an option anymore anyway...

 

1 hour ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Again, that is speculation, but it would be easier to just license the trak-ball version and be done with it than to license the joystick version and retrofit it for trak-balls.

It'll be interesting to see if anyone can actually license the code at all...  Any kind of release will likely result in the ROMs also being released for MAME...  This guy that's making repro arcade boards (that what it sounded like he was doing) won't be able to sell them if he can't provide the ROMs code.  And once people can get it, it'll get spread on the internet, no matter how 'secure' you might make the board...

If you could just license the ROMs from Atari (or whoever owns them), I would have thought someone would have done that and just made a 'plug-and-play' unit to sell.

 

But I guess we'll just have to wait and see... :)

Edited by Rik1138

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Rik1138 said:

The prototypes at CAX were joystick only as they had been converted to joystick for additional testing, then the game was scrapped. But the owner of the games that are brought to CAX has the code for the trackball controller but it's on a floppy disc in assembly language.  An OLD-school 8-inch floppy disc formatted for whatever type of computer Atari was coding these games with back in the day (he told me at the time, but I don't remember what it was.  Some now antique main-frame computer.).

Most likely a DEC of some flavour; Atari used those pretty extensively for development.  They did have other systems, though, so it's possible that it was created on something else.  The 8" floppies make me think it could have been a DEC, but in the late '80s / early '90s when the game would have been being worked on 8" disks would have been fairly obsolete.

Quote

He found a museum or collector that still has one of these old computers running and was going to see of they could read the data off the disc, then it would need to be assembled (which could be done by hand, tediously, if necessary) and burned to a ROM chip.

He has a trackball control panel (or maybe just the overlay) that he was building with trackballs and was going to bring it to CAX once he got it running...  But it never showed up, so not sure of the status of it...  (This conversation was probably in 2016 or 2017..)

Yep, familiar with this part of things.

Quote

It's possible the disc turned out to be unreadable, so it might not be an option anymore anyway...

Or it may no longer be possible to replicate the build environment necessary to get working code.

Quote

It'll be interesting to see if anyone can actually license the code at all...  Any kind of release will likely result in the ROMs also being released for MAME...  This guy that's making repro arcade boards (that what it sounded like he was doing) won't be able to sell them if he can't provide the ROMs code.

That's the thing - no ROMs, no game.  Even if this turns out to be an FPGA-based repro (using the term somewhat loosely), which he does have experience with, the original game code is still going to be necessary.

Quote

And once people can get it, it'll get spread on the internet, no matter how 'secure' you might make the board...

If you could just license the ROMs from Atari (or whoever owns them), I would have thought someone would have done that and just made a 'plug-and-play' unit to sell.

Atari SA doesn't own the rights to Atari's arcade games; Warner Interactive does.  Hard to say what their involvement does or does not consist of in this case at this time, however.

Quote

 

But I guess we'll just have to wait and see... :)

Pretty much!

Edited by x=usr(1536)

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NOW do you guys understand that MM is coming?   Yes, it's the original code modified, yes it's original Atari hardware, yes it will have trackball support at some point in the future. Yes it will have the original art package.  Is it as 'simple' as some here suggest, not at all. 

 

 

Screen Shot 2021-07-23 at 10.02.06 PM.png

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Original code modified = not original code. What sort of changes have been made?

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11 hours ago, prOk said:

NOW do you guys understand that MM is coming?

Absent proof (i.e., a release in some form), no.  Unfortunately, the photo below really doesn't show enough to go by.

 

Not saying that it won't happen at some point, but until it does it's vapourware.

11 hours ago, prOk said:

Yes, it's the original code modified,

Which, in strict terms, makes it not the original code.

11 hours ago, prOk said:

yes it's original Atari hardware,

What does that mean in this context?

11 hours ago, prOk said:

yes it will have trackball support at some point in the future.

So, if I'm understanding correctly, the game is currently joystick-only.  In other words, no different to what it was already.  If that is correct, why are modifications being made to the code?

11 hours ago, prOk said:

Yes it will have the original art package.  Is it as 'simple' as some here suggest, not at all.

There's been a functional MAME driver for the game for years at this point.  I'm not understanding the apparent complexity you're alluding to.

11 hours ago, prOk said:

 

 

Screen Shot 2021-07-23 at 10.02.06 PM.png

 

@prOk: while I am by no means calling you a liar about any of this, what you are saying does not fit with what I've known to be the case for 20-plus years.  Granted, things can change and / or take place that I may be unaware of, but given the history behind this game that would be a pretty seismic shift.  If I sound sceptical, understand that this is the point of view that I'm coming from.

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Posted (edited)

at the rate this is going.

 

i wouldnt be surprised if it does get released.

 

then shortly afterwards, Arcade 1up, or someone will release it commercially, maybe

a trackball mini 3/4 unit, with marble madness, and other trackball games on it.

 

never thought i'd see akka arrh, but i own that on a machine, and its been released on a 3/4 tempest machine.

 

also maze invaders and more showed up on atari legacy 3 compilation. so who knows.

 

later

-1

Edited by negative1
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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, prOk said:

NOW do you guys understand that MM is coming?

When me, myself, and I can actually play the game. In a setting that's available to me - such as a very local arcade or in MAME. Perhaps even as part of a 60-in-one official mini-arcade cab. Then.. yes.. Otherwise it's just internet noise.

 

Traveling hundreds of miles to sample the game is not an option. Paying $400 for a 1-game-per-cab release is also not an option. Key point is "available to me".

Edited by Keatah
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Modified refers to the changes needed to get the game to run on a more commonly available configuration of an original Atari board that is mostly compatible.  Also, fixed a couple bugs in the game to make it more stable. Making from scratch new boards isn't an option, but tweaking the code to work on another variant of the same board is.  

 

Currently, trackball code simply doesn't exist in the codebase.  It's not there, would have to be added which is in the plan.  Beyond showing photos, having already built and brought one machine into the public twice and john's arcade having video of the board running it's clear some people are still going to be Debbie downers.  That's cool, you stay down. I choose to stand up and help the game make it into public play.  Preservation of a game doesn't always mean mame.

 

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Can a good-enough of a job be done to make it available to me in/near my location?

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