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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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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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I just found this Event topic of the AA forum! A little late I know, but better late than never. 

 

I flew from Chicago to Austin just for this CGF show and attended for the first time. Unfortunately, probably won't be going back due to some of the same thoughts from other reviewers above. While it was generally a diverse floor of vendors and exhibits, the (1) lack of panels and (2) very few (only two?) Atari vendors will make me explore other shows. Of the 2 booths that I saw that had a lot of Atari stuff, I found a decent Black CIB copy of Imagic's Moonsweeper (didn't even know about the black boxes until then!). That and an Atari Red/White/Blue T-shirt were my only 2 purchases.  :( 

 

Highlights: That being said, the "bitgod" booth was one of 2 specific highlights at the show. Very happy to see 8-bit represented and played their "Rain of Terror" paddle game! Unfortunately, could not buy it, but will now keep a lookout here and do some searching on this forum to find out if it's available to purchase! The second highlight was the authors panel with Brett Weiss.  Very fun stories from someone who definitely enjoys the classics. Great trips down memory lane!

 

Since the California Extreme show looks to be the same weekend (at least it was this year in 2019), I'm going to likely try to put that on my list for 2020 and pass on CGF again.

 

In closing, PRGE can't come soon enough. I'm attending it for the first time next month and plan to bring an extra suitcase, if not just for the AA releases! :)

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Sadly, this event has been going downhill with its inability to attract speakers, and vendors selling video games is probably half of what it was a few years ago. Might have been my last year unless they do something drastic for next year

Edited by BadHornet

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On 9/1/2019 at 11:30 AM, Kaboomer said:

Highlights: That being said, the "bitgod" booth was one of 2 specific highlights at the show. Very happy to see 8-bit represented and played their "Rain of Terror" paddle game! Unfortunately, could not buy it, but will now keep a lookout here and do some searching on this forum to find out if it's available to purchase! 

Happy you enjoyed our booth at CGF and playing Rain of Terror.  

 

Yes, you can still purchase the Collector's Box Edition while supplies last!!  More info here ...

 

Just PM me if you are interested.

 

Thanks!

-Eric

 

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On 9/4/2019 at 11:03 PM, erichenneke said:

Happy you enjoyed our booth at CGF and playing Rain of Terror.  

 

Yes, you can still purchase the Collector's Box Edition while supplies last!!  More info here ...

 

Just PM me if you are interested.

  

Thanks!

-Eric

 

Just sent you a PM!

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A bit late here, haven't been checking AA often lately, but more than in the past.

 

The main thing I got was 45 junk Sega Genesis sports games for their cartridge shells at the Game Over $1 surplus booth. I'm still staying with Sega Genesis as my homebrew system of choice once I finally get back into it (life is finally starting to get back to semi-normal for me). But it looks like the cartridge boards I made 10 years ago won't be so useful in this era of 3.3 volts, so I'll have to do it again for SMT parts.

 

Anyhow, the square with Bitgod and other homebrewers, and Ianoid's booth were really about the only memorable things this year. Maybe next year I can finally do something cool.

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Thats' a bummer to hear, I've enjoyed going in the past - especially in 2015 when AtariAge attended.

 

I would have gone and done a panel, but my cousin's wedding was that same weekend so I took a road trip to Wisconsin.  That's the furthest I've taken my Model 3 so far, the way up only cost $40.47 in charging to go 1360 miles.

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