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Anyone else going out to Classic Game Fest 2019 in Austin next week (July 27 & 28)?

 

https://classicgamefest.com/

 

Rob and I will be there.  In fact, we are going to have a booth this year as an indy game developer.   We aren't selling anything, just showing our existing homebrew games to let people play them on real Atari 8-bit computer hardware and proper CRT monitors.  We'll be demo'ing a few sneak peeks of things we've been working on too.  Pretty cool stuff I think.

 

And of course, more than anything else we'll be spreading the word about the amazingly active Atari 8-bit computer community and sharing info like how/where to get emulators, ROMs, classic games, new homebrews, and where to chat with others interested in this great hobby (like AtariAge.com of course !).

 

Anyway, if you come out to Classic Game Fest next weekend, be sure to look for us...   

 

bitgod - "back in the good old days"

bitgodtny.JPG.ee1e72f50e7a33517a65c5fdd8801dd4.JPG

 

 

-Eric

 

Edited by erichenneke

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I'm going on Saturday for the panels.  I'm getting disappointed with the show's inability to attract many speakers; maybe next year, if it happens, I'll apply to do a talk about Atari 2600 homebrew.

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Classic Game Fest 2019 is in full swing and hoppin in Austin!  A constant stream of people dropping by our booth to play on Atari 8-bit hardware.  Great to see!!

DSC_1222.JPG

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Posted (edited)

We were there for the weekend, and it was nice to see a developer's booth there for a change instead of all the other vendors selling "pixel art" and other pop culture crap that had no relevance to anything "retro gaming" related (there was a lasik booth there FFS).

 

Sadly, it seems like the quality of CGF has been steadily going downhill year after year, as it seems the focus of the event is now mostly on people shifting junk rather than on games on old systems.  Some of the things we noticed this year compared to last year:

 

  • Only two panels this year, and one was the same guy from last year (the This Controller Sucks! guy), the other being a couple of authors of retro-themed books (to be fair, I thought they were interesting, but I seriously doubt they'll be back)
  • Fewer arcade machines than last year, and most of the machines had their sound either muted or turned down very low
  • Fewer bands than last year
  • More vendors selling things only tangentially related to retro gaming, if at all related

 

We all agreed that the best thing at the show was the Spiderman pinball (at least this year, they had the pinballs on free play, last year they didn't) which, while ten years old, isn't exactly retro.  There were only four pinballs there as well and the others weren't exactly stellar.  Same goes for the arcade machines they put out, they weren't exactly great and there were at least of couple of iCades mixed in as well (why bother with crap like that?).

 

I'd say unless the organizers do something to radically change things for the better, I can't see them lasting much longer.  I don't know if we'll attend next year, especially if it keeps going on its downhill slide like it has for the past few years.

Edited by Shamus
Formatting : P

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For any of that stuff to be successful, content is king. Unfortunately, all such events percolate their priorities down to making enough money to cover expenses and continue to exist. That makes them start agreeing to sell all kinds of exhibition space to support the event. Problem is, that makes the event less relevant, and less able to recruit topic specific vendors, speakers and exhibitors. Ultimately these things just become marketing events that eventually fizzle out at a result. Even ComicCon is going that way from what I read.   

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I did find some 2600 carts that I needed from the excellent Ianoid, and I got a couple of old BASIC type-in game books from the Game Over Clearance section, but that was it for retro content for me.  (I also seriously considered getting a Tandy 102 that was for sale, but decided I had enough projects)  I picked up a screen-printed t-shirt that was a mashup of Star Wars and Galaga.  This was my first time watching the "This Controller Sucks" panel, and I liked it, but I left during the book author panel as I just wasn't hearing anything that exciting.


I liked the old computer content -- the Apple II and Mac gallery with the old games was great, as was the bitgod booth and the Irata Online people.  But it really feels more like a local show than something trying to be one of the big ones.  It did redouble my resolve to go to PRGE this year, though; that's the closest show to the feel of the old Classic Game Expo shows in Las Vegas of the ones I've visited.

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