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Tommy Tallarico - Fun Amico Conversations

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9 hours ago, jaybird3rd said:

I've noticed this, too.  The term "video games" has been stretched to include a multitude of different entertainment products, whose only common trait is that they offer some degree of interactivity.  I'm reminded of the taxonomy suggested by Chris Crawford in his book "Chris Crawford on Game Design" (which I'd highly recommend):

 

ccogd.png.c11db061abe3906aef983c35629f885f.png

 

By his definition, many of these interactive video experiences aren't really video games in the sense that we have always understood the term; they would be better classified as "toys" or "puzzles."  That's not to say that they're "bad" or that there isn't a market for them; it just makes it difficult to discuss video games qua video games, because so many other forms of entertainment are being lumped into the same category.

 

a while back i remember you posted a quote from jean renoir about how art should never perfectly mirror reality, but should remain separate and distinct within its own abstract parameters in order to fully retain its aesthetic properties... or something to that effect. if you could repost that quote i'd greatly appreciate it. thanks.

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On 6/24/2020 at 12:51 PM, martianman2012 said:

Great article. This reminds me of Heavenly Sword on PS3. Anyone play it? Fantastic game that plays through in 4-5 hours. I loved it. I finished it with one friend then took it to another friends place to finish it with them. Lot of play.

Yes, having a nice game that is not terribly long is perfectly acceptable as long as it's fun to replay infinite times, like Super Metroid, Sonic 1-3&K, Sonic CD, Earthworm Jim, etc.. I think I had 2:33 for my first time playing Super Metroid (which was in 2005, so I kind of forgot), but the clock in that game actually lies and I think it counts more slowly than real time.

 

Having a game that takes a long time to do everything, like Peace Walker or Metal Gear Solid V is fine, but creating that stuff takes time, which costs money and contributes to the rising cost of development. 30 years ago, dev teams were way smaller than they are now, but now lots of large developers are continuing to make their own iterations of what Kojima popularized when Metal Gear Solid was released.

 

That takes people, time, and money, and the general video game consuming market has always wanted the best graphics possible, which, on modern hardware, also takes a lot of time to program, and, importantly, optimise to run on specific hardware... unless you're DICE and don't bother to optimise the PC version of Battlefield V properly. As such, the break-even point for copies sold, physical or digital, will continue to rise. We are increasingly seeing the effects of diminishing returns on graphics, though, so it will be interesting to see what happens in the future.

 

Lower-budget games with smaller break-even points, and, potentially and hopefully for the devs/publishers, greater profit margins, logically make more sense in such a situation. Scaling back development, both in terms of team size as well as the scopes of the games themselves, would be the most logical choice provided the consumers are still satisfied with the results. Given the current trend, at some point, games will have to sell millions of copies just to break even. I think Metal Gear Solid V already had this problem, which may have been what lead to the thing with Kojima leaving Konami.

14 hours ago, Tommy Tallarico said:


Totally agree and have been saying the same thing for about 5 years now.  I'll also say the same thing about subscription services for AAA games.  Google thought they could figure it out... they haven't just yet.  The financial models just don't work.  AntStream... sure!  Makes sense.  Triple A titles in the future.  VERY difficult.  Maybe not impossible.  Interesting to see how "digital" vs. "subscription" vs. "physical" plays out over the next decade. 

 

I don't pretend like I have all the answers, but I think what we're doing and the way we are doing it gives us a good chance of survival and easy to pivot in any of those future directions.

 

Mostly see above. For subscription services, I hope it never becomes popular, and I'm honestly glad that Stadia is failing because of this. I imagine that the large companies would want an all-streaming environment eventually where all games are streamed, but I'm quite glad that it hasn't happened yet. Honestly, I don't think it would be feasible in the USA with the current internet infrastructure in the USA, what with data caps and things of that nature.

 

I am certain that mentioned it here before, but I bought my sister a game on Steam once. I forgot what it was, but it doesn't really matter. What matters is what she told me: "Yay, thanks, but I can't download it until next month because I downloaded Skyrim 2 days ago and it killed almost all of my bandwidth for the month".

 

Question for you, though: what do you think of Sega's announcement about the fog gaming thing? Obviously it doesn't affect the vast majority of the world, so I mean just the general concept of it. I don't go to arcades here (they are very expensive. You think 25 cents for a credit is expensive? It's 100 yen per player per credit here for the majority of arcade games), but I do find the idea to be interesting. Too bad I don't have much interest in modern arcade games at all outside of the light gun games, though I doubt you'd really be able stream those to your house since the average consumer doesn't have a CRT or a light gun.

 

I think there was some other stuff that I wanted to say, but I kind of forgot while I was typing all of this.

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1 hour ago, sanguinesonata said:

a while back i remember you posted a quote from jean renoir about how art should never perfectly mirror reality, but should remain separate and distinct within its own abstract parameters in order to fully retain its aesthetic properties... or something to that effect. if you could repost that quote i'd greatly appreciate it. thanks.

I believe it was someone else who originally brought it up, but yes, it was a quote from an interview that Renoir gave to Jaques Rivette in 1966.  Here is the quote:

 

Quote

"We know that in the history of all arts, the arrival of perfect realism coincided with perfect decadence [...] Why is it that when technique is primitive, everything is beautiful, and when technique is perfected, almost everything is ugly except things created by an artist talented enough to overcome technique? [...] Technical perfection can only create boredom, because it only reproduces nature [...] Why the hell would anyone go to a movie when they can have the real thing? So imitating nature can only lead to the death of an art form."

 

I'm also reminded of a related observation that Steven Lisberger made during his audio commentary on TRON (it's at about 54:28 on the Blu-ray, for those who are curious):

 

Quote

"One of the things that was a creative philosophy—that we enjoyed, and were proud of—was that we were taking computer animation and letting it stand on its own.  We weren't trying to make computer animation mimic reality.  The job, then, was to make reality—the actors, the sets—look like the computer animation [...] Everybody else, certainly since this point, has been going nuts trying to make computer animation mimic reality perfectly, [but] I found that the limitations of computer graphics at the time were the most exciting thing.  If computer graphics [and] computer animation is no longer different from reality, maybe we've lost something in that.  Certainly, you gain special effects technology and you can do certain things [with it], but it's the limitations that I find to be the creative challenge."

 

To tie all this back to video games ... ever since the Atari 2600, I've been taken with the idea that severely technically constrained environments can be used to create more immersive gaming experiences than environments where those constraints do not exist.  Many of the games that I found most absorbing as a kid (which would have included Intellivision games if I'd had one at the time!) seem highly abstract and primitive today when viewed in isolation—in a YouTube video, for instance, or even sandboxed in an emulator—but when experienced in their "native environment," with the original hardware and controllers, and with beautiful box art and the snippets of backstory in the manual providing just enough extra input to prime the imagination, I still find them to be totally immersive.  This is one of the things that struck me about the approach that was taken with the Amico's architecture and design: instead of getting stuck in the same rut as its contemporaries, trying to one-up the competition with beefier specs and a longer list of bullet points, the Amico seems to have rejected that approach, embracing instead that same philosophy of creative limitations.

 

(Incidentally, that's why I think it's a mistake to judge the Amico game library too hastily based on the video samples we've seen so far.  Those videos are works in progress, yes, but out of necessity, they can also convey only part of the experience.  They can't capture the player's interactions with the controller or with the other players, nor can they convey the participation of the players' own imagination "in the moment" during gameplay.  I also think it's a mistake to belittle the "retro games" which will comprise about 20% of the Amico library.  Those games had to be honed and tuned to perfection within the stringent limitations of their original platforms, so the best of them represent a time-tested formula which should work just as well on the Amico.  Like a good restaurant, the Amico will have its "staples" based on its own proven recipes, augmented by a steady stream of new items to keep the menu fresh and varied.  I think it's exactly the correct approach.)

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19 hours ago, Tommy Tallarico said:


How is that possible?  This thread only has around 20,000 replies!

 

:D

 

😇

I have no explanation. I might be gone for a while rereading the previous pages... 🙃

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On 6/24/2020 at 1:56 AM, oelli said:

 

This Nissan 126X concept car from 1970 is my all time favorite. At least it became a popular matchbox model.

A racing game "CONCEPT RACING" with a lot of strange and futuristic concept cars would be funny as an Amico game. 

 

1971_126x.thumb.jpeg.91800d1961f52088b1a8455308a63855.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

It's Centauri's ride from The Last Starfighter 

 

EJ_5gFnVAAA00GM.png

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23 minutes ago, RREDDWARFF said:

It's Centauri's ride from The Last Starfighter 

 

EJ_5gFnVAAA00GM.png

It looks like a Maserati station wagon. 😆

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1 minute ago, Swami said:

It looks like a Maserati station wagon. 😆

It is a funny looking car. I thought it was awesome as a kid. 

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5 hours ago, jaybird3rd said:

To tie all this back to video games ... ever since the Atari 2600, I've been taken with the idea that severely technically constrained environments can be used to create more immersive gaming experiences than environments where those constraints do not exist.  Many of the games that I found most absorbing as a kid (which would have included Intellivision games if I'd had one at the time!) seem highly abstract and primitive today when viewed in isolation—in a YouTube video, for instance, or even sandboxed in an emulator—but when experienced in their "native environment," with the original hardware and controllers, and with beautiful box art and the snippets of backstory in the manual providing just enough extra input to prime the imagination, I still find them to be totally immersive.  This is one of the things that struck me about the approach that was taken with the Amico's architecture and design: instead of getting stuck in the same rut as its contemporaries, trying to one-up the competition with beefier specs and a longer list of bullet points, the Amico seems to have rejected that approach, embracing instead that same philosophy of creative limitations.

 

 

I think constraints and limitations are helpful in pushing creative people to do more with less. There are so many examples where constrained resources ended up helping to make the end product better.

Some of my favorite examples:

Jaws.  Thanks to a malfunctioning mechanical shark, Spielberg had to use techniques that hinted at the shark being there, without actually showing the shark. The end result made the whole movie a lot more suspenseful. 

 

Raiders of the Lost Ark: The day they were going to film a big chase scene through the streets of Cairo, Harrison Ford had come down with the flu. Instead of filming the chase scene, they just had Indy shoot the swordsman and be done with it. The end result was one of the most memorable scenes in any movie.

 

Journey (the game): Originally to be set in the jungle, the developers quickly realized it would be too expensive to make. They changed it to desert setting, and today I couldn't imagine that game being set anywhere else.

 

Star Wars: When George Lucas had all the resources in the world, he made the prequels. When he didn't, he made good Star Wars movies.

 

Some people think, "Well if they just had more money they could have made it better" and while sometimes that is true, quite a few times it's the opposite.  

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On 6/24/2020 at 12:18 AM, Craig Parker said:

I saw They Might Be Giants in concert back in 1990. Really enjoyed it.

Just saw them a little while ago. They are still going strong! Sounded fantastic. It was a much more civilized age. Before the Dark Times. Before the Empire... Wait. Sorry. went astray there. Thinking of something else. You remember a time Pre-lockdown times? When there was not even a question about the Amico showing up at our doorsteps on 10/10/2020. We could all talk about and speculate on all the fun games. Tommy would reply.. Wouldn't that be something? Ahh  the simpler days... Now we have pages of people parsing words and sentences, extracting things out of them that clearly were never meant that way. With fun stuff strewn in between.

 

Hopefully all will return to normal. Honest criticism. Met with honest feedback. And loads of passion as we all want to see a good system and games! If we all get good games, we all win!

 

 

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2 hours ago, RREDDWARFF said:

It's Centauri's ride from The Last Starfighter 

 

EJ_5gFnVAAA00GM.png

That nose is definable a SciFi thing - here is the LandMaster from Damnation Alley (or as I like to call it, the WasteLand Winnebago) 

558cee6f926d3a4a976c6b2abc3b079d.jpg

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1 minute ago, GrudgeQ said:

That nose is definable a SciFi thing - here is the LandMaster from Damnation Alley (or as I like to call it, the WasteLand Winnebago) 

558cee6f926d3a4a976c6b2abc3b079d.jpg

I totally remember when I watching that lol

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21 minutes ago, Relicgamer said:

If you haven't seen the interview Jeremy did with Tommy yet I suggest you do it was really good. 

https://youtu.be/uXgiF4lh_GM

I 3rd that - Jeremy asked a bunch of interesting stuff like what got changed from playtesting feedback, how many players will a bunch of games have (some interesting answer on EWJ 4 & baseball), a mini discussion on where Tommy should sign the Founder edition and a some cool stuff about bi-planes got talked about - plus a ton of other stuff.

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25 minutes ago, Relicgamer said:

I totally remember when I watching that lol

Although not sexy, it is one of the coolest vehicles I remember as a kid too - way more than the movie itself. It is actually 2 sections & the middle part flexes to go around corners and I thought those wheels which can rotate to climb over rocks was such a good idea for an all terrain vehicle. Man I love practical vehicle props, mostly gone now but Fury Road brought them back.

 

EDIT: here is some LandMaster video from the movie - forgot about the 'swimming' feature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZYT2nYd46o

 

This is a model someone built from the real vehicle in the movie but it shows what the LandMaster was supposed to be:

c7f69d2de2abea1e99a8a113a4388d59.gif

 

 

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I know Tommy has mentioned that they are starting on the next round of game development soon. And we have a good idea about what is coming on Launch Day* and soon thereafter. I'm hoping that there will be a few of these kind of moments: "Wait.. He never told us that"!  I say we start hinting at what we'd like to see. Then count the WTBS's we get from Tommy.

 

I'll start and get these out of the way first: More of the Atari licenses. Tempest, Adventure, etc.

 

 *Whenever Launch day happens. We'll be here.

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Tommy,

 

You mentioned in Jeremy's interview last night about where your signature would go on the FE.  Most people wanted it on the front.  I was fine with it being on the bottom of the console.  But I'd prefer it on the front with the number on the bottom.

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Hey all, the live comment replay from last night just finished processing, so here's the link if you care to watch. *Now with embedding* 😂 

I have gotten so much great feedback on this. Thank you to all who tuned in or submitted questions. It was awesome!

 

 

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19 minutes ago, woobman said:

I know Tommy has mentioned that they are starting on the next round of game development soon. And we have a good idea about what is coming on Launch Day* and soon thereafter. I'm hoping that there will be a few of these kind of moments: "Wait.. He never told us that"!  I say we start hinting at what we'd like to see. Then count the WTBS's we get from Tommy.

 

I'll start and get these out of the way first: More of the Atari licenses. Tempest, Adventure, etc.

 

 *Whenever Launch day happens. We'll be here.

I think we are going to get at least one more iconic retro franchise like a Sonic or TMNT or maybe even Rayman. Also Tommy has hinted at Sesame Street as a big name tie-in for the educational line but he could be punking us - however I am expecting something like that: Barney, Blues Clues, Magic School Bus, etc. a children's franchise that people know. Final out of my rear-end guess: some sort of use of Houdini, Tommy's dog, as a character.

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43 minutes ago, Intellivision Master said:

Super Jeremy World,

 

That was an awesome interview you did last night with Tommy.  A lot of good questions.  Great job!  😃 👍

 

42 minutes ago, Relicgamer said:

If you haven't seen the interview Jeremy did with Tommy yet I suggest you do it was really good. 

https://youtu.be/uXgiF4lh_GM

 

39 minutes ago, GrudgeQ said:

I 3rd that - Jeremy asked a bunch of interesting stuff like what got changed from playtesting feedback, how many players will a bunch of games have (some interesting answer on EWJ 4 & baseball), a mini discussion on where Tommy should sign the Founder edition and a some cool stuff about bi-planes got talked about - plus a ton of other stuff.

Thank you all! Really appreciated the chat - it was interactive and lively! It's quite the feat to watch every interview Tommy does AND keep up on AtariAge but I tried to go new directions and we had a great show. 

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41 minutes ago, Relicgamer said:
43 minutes ago, GrudgeQ said:

558cee6f926d3a4a976c6b2abc3b079d.jpg

I totally remember when I watching that lol

I see your space RV and give you Arc II, Complete with a Jetpack and a talking monkey.. Enjoy.

 

 

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36 minutes ago, GrudgeQ said:

and I thought those wheels which can rotate to climb over rocks was such a good idea for an all terrain vehicle. Man I love practical vehicle props, mostly gone now but Fury Road brought them back.

 

Never seen the movie, so I was wondering what that 3rd wheel was for.  I was imagining it was a convenient spare.  Get a flat, rotate the whole damn assembly and keep on moving.

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7 hours ago, jaybird3rd said:

I believe it was someone else who originally brought it up, but yes, it was a quote from an interview that Renoir gave to Jaques Rivette in 1966.  Here is the quote:

 

 

I'm also reminded of a related observation that Steven Lisberger made during his audio commentary on TRON (it's at about 54:28 on the Blu-ray, for those who are curious):

 

 

To tie all this back to video games ... ever since the Atari 2600, I've been taken with the idea that severely technically constrained environments can be used to create more immersive gaming experiences than environments where those constraints do not exist.  Many of the games that I found most absorbing as a kid (which would have included Intellivision games if I'd had one at the time!) seem highly abstract and primitive today when viewed in isolation—in a YouTube video, for instance, or even sandboxed in an emulator—but when experienced in their "native environment," with the original hardware and controllers, and with beautiful box art and the snippets of backstory in the manual providing just enough extra input to prime the imagination, I still find them to be totally immersive.  This is one of the things that struck me about the approach that was taken with the Amico's architecture and design: instead of getting stuck in the same rut as its contemporaries, trying to one-up the competition with beefier specs and a longer list of bullet points, the Amico seems to have rejected that approach, embracing instead that same philosophy of creative limitations.

 

(Incidentally, that's why I think it's a mistake to judge the Amico game library too hastily based on the video samples we've seen so far.  Those videos are works in progress, yes, but out of necessity, they can also convey only part of the experience.  They can't capture the player's interactions with the controller or with the other players, nor can they convey the participation of the players' own imagination "in the moment" during gameplay.  I also think it's a mistake to belittle the "retro games" which will comprise about 20% of the Amico library.  Those games had to be honed and tuned to perfection within the stringent limitations of their original platforms, so the best of them represent a time-tested formula which should work just as well on the Amico.  Like a good restaurant, the Amico will have its "staples" based on its own proven recipes, augmented by a steady stream of new items to keep the menu fresh and varied.  I think it's exactly the correct approach.)

 

Lots of great insight and info here.

 

This post needed more than just a LIKE from me.

Really great stuff.

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