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More rumored 2600 titles

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Ive only documented games that we have proof existed at one point and were not just planned titles.

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Yep, a lot of vaporware.

BTW: some of these titles were released under a different name and a lot of these were in development, but never finished.

Noah & The Ark from Sunrise is a new title for me. This one had not anything to do with Enter-Tech´s Arkyology, right?

 

8)

Edited by Rom Hunter

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Yep, a lot of vaporware.

 

BTW: some of these titles were released under a different name and a lot of these were in development, but never finished.

 

Noah & The Ark from Sunrise is a new title for me. This one had not anything to do with Enter-Tech´s Arkyology, right?

 

8)

 

Yes a lot of vaporware but once upon a time it was all vaporware and now several of them have surfaced in some form or another. I still cling to the belief that one day the majority will surface with only a handful on that list remaining as non starters.

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I would like to know what folks think are the most entertaining prototypes that haven't been dumped yet.

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It's always diffucult to know & hard to say. We tend to have an extra amount of wonderment for the games that never saw the light of day. But the very fact that we never got them is what makes them ubiquitous to us in the first place.

 

Just as the released games came in the varieties of the good, the bad, & the ugly; so did the unreleased ones. Outstanding games we're not very common among the released titles, so it makes logical sense they were also uncommon, if not even far more obscure, among the unreleased titles. Suffice it to say, if someone felt they had a 10 on their hands, they most likely would have pushed it through.

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I didn't know Atari was planning on a Robotron on the 2600. I wonder how that would have looked. Also an official Cavern of Mars. Interesting that Sega was planning two more Star Trek games based on the Wrath of Khan and Search for Spock.

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I didn't know Atari was planning on a Robotron on the 2600. I wonder how that would have looked.

The way I understand it, there is a prototype for the Atari Graduate computer add-on, and even with the added memory, I understand it was flickery as hell.

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The way I understand it, there is a prototype for the Atari Graduate computer add-on, and even with the added memory, I understand it was flickery as hell.

 

I would imagine. I know there are some homebrew programmers today who could tackle it though. I'm damn impressed with the work being done on our beloved 2600

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That page is from the 2600 Connection newsletter. I thought it as a fascinating glimpse of Atari protoography from the early ‘90s rather than an accurate list of potential finds. Still, the author knew a lot about the subject and some of the titles on the list surprised me.

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I would like to know what folks think are the most entertaining prototypes that haven't been dumped yet.

 

Flesh Gordon

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Flesh Gordon

 

I don't think that one exists anymore. It's really hard to get concrete info on it as many of the people involved with it don't want to talk about it for various reasons.

 

I'd like to know what the heck happened to Foxbat. Its part number was later reassigned to Raiders of the Lost Ark, but was any work done on Foxbat?

 

Also, what happened to Snark? That was done by Superman programmer John Dunn and not released. A prototype should be floating around somewhere.

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I'd like to know what the heck happened to Foxbat. Its part number was later reassigned to Raiders of the Lost Ark, but was any work done on Foxbat?

 

 

Scott Stilphen provided me info about that.

 

According to Keithen Hayenga (who was involved with 5200 Foxbat):

 

"Yes the producers of Foxbat originally wanted a 2600 game because that was

where the money was at. I'm not for sure who was ever assigned the title

because I think almost all of the 2600 programmers just said they weren't

interested. When they asked me, I said yes, but I was only interested in doing

5200 stuff. One of the managers suggested we do something like Eastern Front on

the 800 and we got permission from Chris Crawford to use his code. When we

showed the Hollywood guys the difference in the graphics that were possible

they went right along with it. I forget how atomic bombs were mentioned in the

story, but there was supposed to be something about them in the game. (It seems

to me that when there is a good idea in Hollywood, there seems to always be

another studio that comes out with another movie with a similar topic. So I

wonder if Dark Horse Productions knew about Wargames having the line, "Shall we

play Global Thermonuclear War?" in it and

were influenced to do something similar.) It wasn't my favorite feature so I

worried about how to put it into the game. I came up with a number of neutral

countries having stashes of atomic weapons and if you were the first one to

push the button, they all fired on you for breaking the taboo. The producers

seemed to like the idea.

 

It seemed like if there was one spy movie, there would soon be another spy

movie. There were 2 movies made at the same time about Tombstone for crying out

loud. But when it came to movies about war games, only one got made and it

wasn't Foxbat. The only thing I got out of it is that someplace I have a

treatment for Foxbat lying around. A treatment is sort of a plot outline with

some chapters fleshed out to give the feeling of the dialog or characters so

that movie investors can get an idea of what the movie they are about to invest

in will be like. In the treatment there is a scene where the people putting on

the game are showing it to the general who is one of the central characters.

The general asks who designed the game and they answer that they had the best

designers like Keithen. So I was almost mentioned in a movie.

 

I think most of what you mention is based on the Russian Foxbat fighter. Clint

Eastwood's Foxbat movie was about stealing one. If someone heard the name of

Dark Horse Production's Foxbat as a basis for a game, I could see how the first

thought would be about air war. But I don't know how the producers came up with

the name of Foxbat. There was no flying involved in the movie by the time I was

involved and I knew of no game design that had that as part of a design. There

sure were enough different groups inside Atari coming up with ideas that

someone could have been speculating about just such a project, but I didn't

know about it. To give you some idea of where I was going with the project, let

me give you the plot of the movie:

 

The main character of the movie is an exceptionally good war game player who

lives in a warehouse on the wrong side of town. He falls in love with the

sister of a gang leader. This leads him to give the gang leader tactical advice

that lets his gang win a number of gang fights. Meanwhile, a prominent game

company is putting on a national contest for their latest war game. A prominent

West Point general gets involved and becomes one of the favorites to win the

contest. Our war gamer hacks into the game and is winning. Since he has hacked

in, nobody knows who he is and there is suspicion that it might be a KGB plot.

The general has his intelligence officers trace the tap back to the warehouse

and they organize a helicopter assault to capture the gamer. The climax has the

rival gang having figured out why they were loosing and are attacking the

warehouse themselves and it is on fire as the helicopters come swooping in.

Instead of capturing the gamer, the

general winds up rescuing him and the girlfriend.

 

So the game we were creating was to be that game that they were playing in the

movie. We hoped to have game graphics in the movie that would be the actual

game shots. What we showed them was Chris Crawford's 800 game, Eastern Front,

and they quickly saw that the 5200 had much better graphics than the 2600 and

had no objection of me moving the target game machine to the 5200. I never

really got any code of my own going before the project was cancelled. I was

mainly studying Chris's code. (He created many more Russian units that appeared

in the game. He then play tested it to come up with a number of units that

counterattacked the Germans, which was the human player, to make the game very

challenging, but with just enough success that there was the hint that you

might be able to win.) So other than playing Eastern Front on the Atari

computer to get a feel for the game, I don't think I even moved the code from

the 800 over to our 5200 development stations.

There was one thing that I was experimenting with on paper. Crawford's map

elements and army units were square because that was the shape you got with

character graphics. I had played enough board games to know that hex grids gave

a better feel for movement on the board. The graphics mode would still be the

character based squares, but I would have the graphics of one square include

diagonal lines that would blend with the square next to it to be a hex shape

overall. But then if I had a character that was an army unit, I had to create a

number of stamps for that one army unit that included an edge that was a river,

and one that was a forest, and another for snow. So to be able to build any

arbitrary map it was going to just take too many combinations of stamps.

You’d think this would be a great task to have an artist helping me with, but

I don't think we ever had one assigned. I did work with Jerome Dumurat on 5200

Real Sports Baseball and Michael Kosaka for Tempest, but I didn't work with Alan Murphy.

Hanging around the graphics area I did know Alan and Mimi Doggett.

I thought they were a great group of people. Just as none of the other programmers were eager to program

that game, I’m not sure any of the artists were enthusiastic either. So I was

the only one that I knew of to waste any time on 5200 Foxbat."

 

8)

Edited by Rom Hunter
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Ok so the 2600 version never was started nor was the 5200 version (which I had never heard about)? Interesting. Thanks for the info.

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