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As I understand it, the AA store uses re-purposed shells.

 

Not anymore. AtariAge has been using brand new injection molded 2600 shells for the last while. Perhaps doing both but I know for sure Al has brand new shells now.

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Regarding those unknown Activision games, they look to me like ones that were done by the Boston Design Center which was opened about a year after we started the Activision's Eastern Design Center. That group worked on a number of games that didn't make the "Activision" quality cut. I'll try to dig up the names of the programmer who were part of that center.

I believe the "Gang of Five" programmers who left Parker Brothers for Activision (Rex Bradford, Mike Brodie, Charlie Heath, Dave Lamkins & Jim McGinnis) all worked there. I talked to Rex Bradford several years back and think I showed him some screenshots of the two unknown Activision protos, but I can't be certain. If you're in contact with those guys, hopefully one of them knows something. It would not surprise me if both of those games were done in Boston. It's my understanding that nothing being developed there was ever published (much like the Western Technologies satellite office in Florida).

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INTERVIEW WITH DAN KITCHEN!
 

Just in time for PRGE 2019, here's ZeroPage Homebrew's interview with Dan Kitchen (@TikiDan) from last year's Portland Retro Gaming Expo! Dan is the designer of such classic Atari 2600 Activision games as Crackpots (1983), Ghostbusters (1985), Kung-Fu Master (1987), F-14 Tomcat (1988), Crossbow (1988), River Raid 2 (1989), Double Dragon (1989) and Ikari Warriors (1989)!


We talk with Dan about his upcoming Atari 2600 homebrew games Gold Rush, Bon Voyage and more!

 

 

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Great interview. That Bon Voyage game sounds great too. One thing that confuses me, why doesn't he work with Al to sell the game through the Atariage store instead of setting up his own kickstarter and online store?

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I really hope the original prototype gets released eventually.  Although I'm not sure if that's possible with Activision still being around.  It's not like he can really do it anonymously. 

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Well, then maybe this is the one instance where it may actually be a good thing that the cartridge was donated to a museum. Because what they do/did with it after the fact is/was out of Dan’s control. So he has plausible deniability.

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I wonder why he hasn’t put those games up on Kickstarter yet? Maybe he is in talks with AL? Either way I hope to see these games become a reality soon.

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22 hours ago, Tempest said:

I really hope the original prototype gets released eventually.  Although I'm not sure if that's possible with Activision still being around.  It's not like he can really do it anonymously. 

Thing is though once he has finished the game wont it then have the original prototype code within it?

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On 10/15/2019 at 4:56 AM, AtariLeaf said:

Great interview. That Bon Voyage game sounds great too. One thing that confuses me, why doesn't he work with Al to sell the game through the Atariage store instead of setting up his own kickstarter and online store?

Hey Epic Godlike Canadian!  I'm choose not to work with Al because I want to create a company that captures the essence of Activision in the early 1980's with the kind of games, patches, merch, etc. that was done when I was at Activision.

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On 10/15/2019 at 5:07 PM, sramirez2008 said:

That was a great interview.  Can't wait for the new games and can't wait to meet Dan at PRGE.  Bon Voyage everyone! 😉

Hi River Patroller!  Please be sure to see me at PRGE.  I'll be on the 12:00pm Activision panel on Sunday with my brother Garry and Dave Crane.

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On 10/15/2019 at 5:08 PM, Tempest said:

I really hope the original prototype gets released eventually.  Although I'm not sure if that's possible with Activision still being around.  It's not like he can really do it anonymously. 

Hi Fallen Moderator!  I will release the original prototype when GOLD RUSH™ is released.

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23 hours ago, Supergun said:

Well, then maybe this is the one instance where it may actually be a good thing that the cartridge was donated to a museum. Because what they do/did with it after the fact is/was out of Dan’s control. So he has plausible deniability.

Hi Stargunner!  I have no problem releasing the code.  I donated the cartridge to the National Video Game Museum because of their passion to preserve video game history.

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19 hours ago, adamchevy said:

I wonder why he hasn’t put those games up on Kickstarter yet? Maybe he is in talks with AL? Either way I hope to see these games become a reality soon.

Hey Stargunner,

 

The reason I haven't put the games up on Kickstarter yet is simply due to juggling my time to complete the game vs. meeting the responsibilities to my interactive industry clients.  I'll be posting an update on my blog shortly. 

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4 hours ago, Foxsolo2000 said:

Thing is though once he has finished the game wont it then have the original prototype code within it?

Hi River Patroller,

 

GOLD RUSH™ has been written entirely from scratch because I don't want to infringe upon any rights Activision has to the original code.  The original prototype code can be viewed once the original prototype .BIN is released.

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2 hours ago, TikiDan said:

Please be sure to see me at PRGE.  I'll be on the 12:00pm Activision panel on Sunday with my brother Garry and Dave Crane.

That panel is on my calendar already. 

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19 hours ago, TikiDan said:

Hi River Patroller,

 

GOLD RUSH™ has been written entirely from scratch because I don't want to infringe upon any rights Activision has to the original code.  The original prototype code can be viewed once the original prototype .BIN is released.

Ah I was not aware of that, thank you for clarifying.

 

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I really enjoyed the interview - thanks to James for posting it, and to Dan for being so generous with your time!

 

I'm really looking forward to Gold Rush and Bon Voyage! They sound like terrific concepts.

 

So the big question... if you get to the end of Gold Rush, does the train drop you off at the ship for Bon Voyage? ;) 

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Oh I absolutely agree. I listened to the entire interview with Dan & I enjoyed it thoroughly. Dan’s years of experience, combined with his vivid imagination and whole hearted dedication, are what makes his games so good. His programming talents & attention to detail are what makes the difference between an average game & an excellent game.

 

As a child, when looking to get my next 2600 game, I specifically looked for Activision games. In much the same way as in when I was a teenager, I would purchase Konami games for my NES. They were the best of the best.

 

Activision’s use of colors, and details, and sound effects were always the best. Also the game concepts were always original too. And the gameplay was always fun & engaging as well as simple to control.

 

And I had never really thought about the “clean” concept of Activision’s 2600 games until I heard him describe & explain it; although even as a young kid I must have  subconsciously realized it because it was somewhat evident to me, I just couldn’t put it to words.

 

I still remember the day I bought 2600 Reactor (Parker Bros.) and thinking that my cart might be defective because of all the “interference” it had on screen!

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47 minutes ago, Nathan Strum said:

So the big question... if you get to the end of Gold Rush, does the train drop you off at the ship for Bon Voyage? ;)

This would be so cool!

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1 hour ago, Nathan Strum said:

I really enjoyed the interview - thanks to James for posting it, and to Dan for being so generous with your time!

 

I'm really looking forward to Gold Rush and Bon Voyage! They sound like terrific concepts.

 

So the big question... if you get to the end of Gold Rush, does the train drop you off at the ship for Bon Voyage? ;) 

Hi Quadrunner!  You'll have to wait and see! :)

 

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Hey Stargunner,
 
The reason I haven't put the games up on Kickstarter yet is simply due to juggling my time to complete the game vs. meeting the responsibilities to my interactive industry clients.  I'll be posting an update on my blog shortly. 


Thanks for your response. I’m glad that these games are being worked on! It’s great to see an original Atari 2600 programmer come back and make games! I look forward to following your blog. Thanks for making new games for the 2600!

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