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Atariboy

Existence of Centipede/Millipede prototypes for the NES?

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I read that Ed Logg ported Centipede and Millipede to the NES in the mid 1980's only for Atari Games to discover that it was actually Atari Corp. that owned the rights. Have his cancelled versions ever surfaced through the years? 

 

Note that Millipede did get a different port that actually got released by HAL Labs, but I believe that has no connection to the cancelled Atari Games version other than being based on the same arcade classic. 

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I believe that there were three “Atari programmed” Famicom games made; Millipede, Stargate(Defender II), and Joust. And all 3 were redone/touched up for their 1988 USA NES release. (which btw all of them are more accurate & more enjoyable in their famicom versions)

 

But even more to what you said, all 3 rom betas were not only recently found, they were also dumped and posted on the internet. So they’re already out there.

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1 minute ago, Supergun said:

I believe that there were three “Atari programmed” Famicom games made; Millipede, Stargate(Defender II), and Joust. And all 3 were redone/touched up for their 1988 USA NES release. (which btw all of them are more accurate & more enjoyable in their famicom versions)

 

But even more to what you said, all 3 rom betas were not only recently found, they were also dumped and posted on the internet. So they’re already out there.

Wasn't Joust Iwata's first game made for Nintendo? Also, I didn't even know that Millipede and Stargate we're ported to the NES!

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It has been stated that Joust was the inspiration for Shigeru Miyamoto’s cooperative/competitive play of the original Mario Brothers game.

 

Also, at the same time that HAL America released those 3 NES “atari licensed” games, (3rd quarter 1988 if I recall correctly) Bandai released Galaga and Tengen released Pac-Man.

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Posted (edited)

Those all appear to be HAL games programmed in Japan. Joust certainly was, as that link goes into. So I doubt there was any connection to what Ed Logg programmed for Atari Games in California.

 

Plus I simply can't see HAL discovering that Atari Games had unreleased NES games and doing the work to not only purchase that work, but also to license IP from Atari Corp to enable them to be commercially released. 

 

Also, if what Ed Logg did work on ended up released, I'm not sure why he doesn't say so when he's interviewed. Instead he says his Centipede and Millipede ports were cancelled and never released due to Atari Games discovering they didn't own the Atari Inc. arcade library.

Edited by Atariboy

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Supergun is confused, the games mentioned were programmed by HAL in Japan, not by Atari. They were actually commissioned by Nintendo as first party titles, to use in their pitch to Atari when they were meeting to discuss the possibility of the Famicom being an Atari system in the U.S., so in a fun way they're arguably unreleased first-party titles that later got picked up by third-party publishers.

 

The Ed Logg games have not been found. If they existed and are anywhere public, they might be in the Atari Games archives at the Strong Museum of Play, which has not been completely processed yet.

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I believe I have the source code to millipede and super sprint for NES in my archive.  I will have to look and see if it can be compiled.  

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Posted (edited)
			MILLIPEDE for the Family Computer


Initial Date:	March 14, 1986
Last Revision:  July 16, 1986
File:		[LOGG.FC]MILLI.DOC

Prepared by:	Ed Logg

Project Team:	Team Leader	= Chris Downend
		Project Leader	= Ed Logg
		Programmer	= Ed Logg
		Engineer	= Pat McCarthy
		Technician	= Cris Drobny
		Animators	= Ed Logg
				  Sam Comstock
		Sound Driver	= Rusty Dawe 
		Sounds		= unknown
				  

			BRIEF OVERVIEW

	This Family Computer cart is a remake of the Coin-op game with a few
embelishments.  The most significant addition is the ability to play with
up to four players at the same time.  The multiplayer game can be played in
the standard alternating format or as a competitive game or as a cooperative
venture.

	The important features of this project is to test the Japanese market
with some of our older properties and the concept of multiplayer games.  It 
will also allow us to understand the FC and develop tools to be used on future 
projects.  This game was chosen because it will take very little in the way of 
programmer and animator resources.  I expect to be able to have Millipede
working after about 2 months.  The only animation help I may need is to create
a nice looking title to be used in the title screen.

	The main drawbacks to this project are the controls and the lack of 
excitement in Millipede on the part of the Namco personnel we have talked to.
The optimal controls would be a trackball with buttons but we must use a 4
directional joystick style controller which may not make this game as fun as 
the original.

copy:	Dan Van Elderen
	Lyle Rains
	Chris Downend
	Rich Moore
	Mary Fujihara
	Linda Benzler
	Dave Wiebenson
	Pat McCarthy
	Rusty Dawe
	Brad Fuller
			GAME PLAY ENHANCEMENTS

	The player will be able to select the variation of game that he would
like to play by pressing the select button on the player 1 or player 3 control
while the game is in the attract mode.  In this select mode the player can 
select any option by using the 4 joystick directions.  This is different from 
the standard convention used by NAMCOT carts which have only two game options
(one or two player game).  NAMCOT carts use the select button to toggle between 
the two options.  When he is satisfied with the variation he wants to play all 
that he must do is press start to begin play.  

	In addition to all the original game features, there will be at least
one new playfield feature called a super bomb.  This will be a super bomb which 
is capable of destroying or stunning (I haven't decided which) all creatures.
The player can collect these by scrolling the screen down and running the 
shooter into them.  The player can collect only two of these at any one time.
There will be only a couple on the screen at the beginning of a game but new
ones can enter when the screen is scrolled down just like the DDT bombs.

	The following is a partial list of the options planned for this cart.  
The game strategy varies greatly for some of these options.  For example, 
disabling scrolling only allows the inital 4 DDT bombs but now allows all the 
strategies that were present in Centipede.  The default entries have an asterix 
before them.  Alternating means one player plays until he dies and then the next
player plays.  Cooperative means everyone is on the screen at the same time and 
there will be one total score.  In addition there are extra lives which any one
of them can use.  Competitive means that all players play at the same time but
they have separate scores and lives.  The game will stop when the last player 
dies.  In this case the player with the highest score is the winner.

	Option			Meaning
	______			______________________________________________________
      *	SHOTS MISS PLAYERS	This option is only displayed in a cooperative
	SHOTS STUN PLAYERS	or competitive game.  It controls the effect of 
	SHOTS KILL PLAYERS	the players shots on other players.

      * ALTERNATING		This option controls the type of game.  Alter-
	COOPERATIVE		nating is the normal style.  Cooperative and
	COMPETITIVE		competitive are discussed above.  This option
				is only displayed if 2 to 4 players are playing.

      * 1 PLAYER		This controls the number of players in the game.
	2 PLAYERS
	3 PLAYERS
	4 PLAYERS

      *	SCROLLING		Enables or disables scrolling.
	NO SCROLLING	

	EASY			This option controls the game difficulty.  This
	MEDIUM			will control which creatures are entered into
      *	HARD			the game and how fast they move.
	HARDER
			IMPLEMENTATION

	The original game was written on a 6502 processor which will make the
conversion to the FC hardware considerably easier.  I will list here the FC 
hardware contraints and the Millipede harware features which are not available 
on the FC.  I will also explain how I plan to handle those problems.

	The controls for Millipede consisted of a trackball (or joystick) and
a fire button.  Since there is no trackball for the FC we must use the 4 
directional buttons on the standard control.  I propose however to use the up
and down arrows differently than the joystick controls.  On Millipede they 
moved the shooter one pixel per frame but it was difficult to place the shooter 
on a row where the millipede segments could not get the shooter.  I propose that
a single press of the up or down direction move the shooter up or down one row.

	Millipede uses a playfield which is 32 rows of 30 columns of 8 by 8
pixel stamps which were 2 bits deep.  FC does not have a vertically mounted
monitor so we must live with 26 rows of 30 columns (due to overscan of the 
monitor even though the FC limit of 30 by 32).  We may have to change the game 
parameters (the speed) so that the millipede will not get to the bottom too 
fast.  The FC also uses 8 by 8 pixel 2 bit deep stamps, so the graphics should 
not be a problem.  

	The FC has a restriction of 256 playfield stamps at any one time.  There
were only 128 in Millipede so again there should be no problem with this
restriction.  

	The playfield color palette selection on the FC is based on 16 by 16 
pixel areas with a total of 4 color palettes per area.  Millipede used a total 
of 4 color palettes but on a 8 by 8 pixel area.  Hence, all the playfield stamps
will use the same color palette.  This means the mushrooms, poisoned mushrooms,
and the flowers must all use the same colors.  The DDT bombs and DDT explosions 
will no longer be part of the playfield.  They will be motion objects.

	The playfield background colors are not part of the playfield palettes.
Instead there is one motion object color address for the entire screen.  This
means the grey portion of the screen marking the players area will be black
just like in Centipede.

	The FC has 64 8 by 8 (or 8 by 16) motion objects.  Millipede used 16 by 
8 motion objects.  In addition, the millipede segment pictures are really a 
little larger than 8 by 8 pixels.  I plan to reduce the pictures to 8 by 8 
pixels.  This means than the body segments will be one pixel less than before.  
The head segments will be 3 pixels less because I must reduce the size of
the mandibles.  Except for the players shooter, players shot, and possibly the 
beetle, all the remaining creatures will use two motion objects to create a 16 
wide by 8 high object.

	Millipede hardware allowed motion object colors to be remapped.  This
allowed the programmer to use the same pictures for the head and body segments
and set the body segment eye color to the body color.  I plan to add new 
pictures so that the correct colors are used in the FC Millipede.

	The FC has a restriction of only 8 motion objects per scan line.  I plan
to flicker only the motion objects which exceed this limit of 8 per line.
	The FC motion object priority is opposite from that used on Millipede.
At this time I plan to reorder the motion objects.

	Collision detection on the FC will not be the same because the program
cannot easily go out to the playfield to determine what is there.  I plan to 
keep a page per player to store the mushroom and flower arrangement.  Collision
detection will use this array.  This will also allow me to redraw each players 
playfield in the case of a 4 player alternating game.  This will also allow me
to write the players scores over mushrooms without destroying the mushrooms.

	Sounds in Millipede used two POKEY chips for a total of 8 channels.
The FC has only three channels (two for tones and one for noise), so I must stop
certain sounds when higher priority sounds start.  This will add several days 
to the conversion.

	The score line will vary depending on the number of players in the game.
The diagram below shows a four player screen.  Each players score  will be in a 
different color which matches the players shooter.  This will help determine 
which shooter he is controlling.  High score will not be displayed during game
play.  At the completion of a game I plan to implement a screen which summarizes
statistics for each player.
				SCREEN LAYOUT
	  0         5        10        15        20        25        30
	 ________________________________________________________________
      0 |XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX| 0
      1 |XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX| 1
      2 |XX  000000000000  111111111111  222222222222  333333333333    XX| 2
        |XX  BBBB  SS==nn  BBBB  SS==nn  BBBB  SS==nn  BBBB  SS==nn    XX|
        |XX                                                            XX|
      5 |XX                                                            XX| 5
        |XX                                                            XX|
        |XX                                                            XX|
        |XX                                                            XX|
        |XX                                                            XX|
     10 |XX                                                            XX|10
        |XX                                                            XX|
        |XX                                                            XX|
        |XX                                                            XX|
        |XX                                                            XX|
     15 |XX                                                            XX|15
        |XX                                                            XX|
        |XX                                                            XX|
        |XX                                                            XX|
        |XX                                                            XX|
     20 |XX                                                            XX|20
        |XX                                                            XX|
	 ----------------------------------------------------------------
        |XX                                                            XX|
        |XX                                                            XX|
        |XX                    Players Area                            XX|
     25 |XX                                                            XX|25
        |XX                                                            XX|
        |XX                                                            XX|
     28 |XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX|28
     29 |XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX|29
	 ________________________________________________________________
	  0         5        10        15        20        25        30

	XX = not used because it will be overscanned.
	00 = player 0 score digit
	11 = player 1 score digit
	22 = player 2 score digit
	33 = player 3 score digit
	BB = super bomb picture if any
	SS = shooter picture
	nn = number of shooters left
				SCHEDULE

						time	scheduled     completed
______________________________________________________________________________
1) Project initiation *********************************	3/27/86

2) Software startup (1 programmer)			3/20/86
	* Set up Dev. Sys.			 1 day			3/21/86
	* Set up VAX account and files		 1 day			3/21/86
	* Learn new hardware			 5 days			-------
	* Update FC.DOC documentation file	 1 day			-------
	* Update FCEQU.MAC include file		 1 day			3/21/86
	* Do title screen			 2 days			
	* Do pause and restart modes		 1 day			
	* Display playfield with alphanumerics	 2 days			
	* Get shooter moving to joysticks	 2 days			
	* Get shots working			 1 day			
	* Get Millipede working			 2 days			
	* Get spider working			 1 day			
	* Make DDT work				 2 days
	* Get poison mushrooms working		 1 day			
	* Get other creatures working		 1 day			
	* Do select option screen		 2 days			
	* Add super bombs			 2 days
	* Add 3rd and 4th players		 2 days
	* Work on Gauntlet II			10 days
	* Vacation/Sick/Holidays		 3 days
	_______________________________________________
						43 days

3) Animation startup					3/24/86
	* Convert Millipede graphics 		 3 days
	* Modify PB utilities for FC format	 2 days
	* Get title for title screen		 2 days

4) Sound startup					3/24/86
	* Sound driver				?? days
	* Convert old sounds			?? days

5) 1st Review  ****************************************	5/21/86

6) Continue software development						
	* Do attract mode (see Centipede)	 2 days
	* Complete sounds (my time)		 2 days			
	* Complete graphics			 2 days
	* Tune game play			 5 days
	* Misc					 3 days

7) 2nd Review  ****************************************	6/??/86

8) Japanese Focus or Testing ************************** 6/??/86

9) Complete Software 
	* Misc tuning of game			5 days+

10) Prod Release **************************************	7/??/86

11) Finished Goods ************************************	8/??/86


 

Edited by Dutchman2000
Wrong format
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			MILLIPEDE for the Family Computer


Date:		AUGUST 19, 1986
File:		[LOGG.FC]NEWMILLI.DOC
From:		Ed Logg

cc:		Dan Van Elderen
		Lyle Rains
		Chris Downend
		Pat McCarthy
		Cris Drobny
		Animators

	I have been asked to change the FC Millipede from an insect theme to a
space theme.  This means we must come up with a new game name and names for all
the playfield objects and creatures found in Millipede.  I am asking you to help
me brainstorm some interesting new creatures and think how these would be 
animated.  Please remember that there will at most 3 colors per object and the 
choice and number of colors is very restricted.  In the next couple of days I 
will have a meeting to make a final choice for all the creatures and to assign 
them to the animators.  Please try to respond as soon as possible.

	Below you will find a list of all the current objects and their sizes.
On the far right are some possible ideas.  These are just suggestions at this
time.  The sizes, colors and palettes can be changed but remember that motion 
objects are 8x8 and anything larger means that I may not have enough objects or 
enough time to process them.

creature		  size	 palette  colors  type	  new creature
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
mushroom      		| 8x8	| 0     | 1,2	| plfld	| rocks
poisoned mushroom	| 8x8	| 0	| 2,3	| plfld | different rocks
flowers			| 8x8	| 0	| 2,3	| plfld	| indestructible rocks
DDT explosion		| large	| 1	| 1,2,3	| plfld	| the same explosion
extra player lives	| 8x8	| 2	| 1,2,3 | plfld	| space ship
alphanumerics		| 8x8	| 3	| 1,2,3	| plfld	| 3 player colors

DDT			| 16x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| space mines
Bombs			|   NA	| NA	| NA	| NA	| super bombs
players shooter		|  8x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| space ship
players shot		|  8x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| same as now
spider			| 16x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| energy pulsar
millipede head		|  8x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| larger head of dragon 
millipede body		|  8x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| space dragon
earwig			| 16x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| transformer
inchworm		| 16x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| flying clock
bee (flea)		| 16x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| comet
dragonfly		| 16x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| flying saucer
mosquito		| 16x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| missile
beetle			| 16x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| space ameba
	New possible game names:
	1. Marauders			2. Gridlock (Gridrock)
	3. Blastron Master		4. Nebula
	5. Laser Star			6. Nebulon
	7. Dragons of Andromeda		8. Star Speed
	9. Megapedes			10. Star Warrior
	11. Astron Warrior		12. Astra Warrior
	13. Galactic Attack		14. Space Patrol
	15. Space Warp			16. Time Warp
	17. Galaxy Express		18. Alien Reign
	19. Mutant Fleet		20. Alien Convoy
	21. Mutant Marauders		22. Gemini Run

	The new game program will be changed so that only one to two players 
can play at a time.  This was done to make RAM available for sounds, and leave
room for other pictures in the graphics EPROM.  In addition there will be 
a new object called a battle cruiser that will enter at the completion of a
round which will shoot at the player.  The Dragon should be on a separate
color palette to allow me to change their colors with each stage.  The following
are the new creatures and their sizes:
    creature	  size	 palette  colors  type	  comments
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
rock/asteroid	| 8x8	| 0     | 1,2	| plfld	| 
poisoned rock	| 8x8	| ?	| 2,3	| plfld | different colored rocks
damaged rock	| 8x8	| 0     | 1,2	| plfld	| for both types of rocks
indestructibles	| 8x8	| ?	| 2,3	| plfld	| different colored rocks
mine explosion	| large	| 2	| 1,2,3	| plfld	| same explosion as Millipede
extra lives	| 8x8	| 3	| 1,2,3 | plfld	| space ship in two colors
alphanumerics	| 8x8	| 3	| 1,2,3	| plfld	| 2 player colors
title screen	| large	| ?	| 1,2,3	| plfld	| 

space mine	| 16x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| a paired space mine
super bomb	|  8x8	| ? 	| ?	| m. o.	| 1/2 a space mine
players ship	|  8x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| space ship
players shot	|  8x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	|
energy pulsar	| 16x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| energy pulsar
death of pulsar	| 16x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o. |
large head	|  8x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| larger head of dragon 
dragon head	|  8x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| smaller head of dragon 
dragon body	|  8x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| dragon body segment
transformer	| 16x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| poisons rocks 
time warp	| 16x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| slows down creatures
comet		| 16x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| lays rocks behind
flying saucer	| 16x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| lays rocks too
missile		|  8x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| 
space amoeba	|   *	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| both H and V movement
shot explosions	|  8x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| when shot hits rocks, etc.
player death	|  **	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| 
battle cruiser	| 48x16	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| large shooting ship
cruiser explodes| 48x16	| ?	| ?	| m. o. |

* 	16x8 for horizontal movement and 8x16 for vertical movement.
**	as large as necessary (8x8 preferred but 16x16 as a max).
	To help assign colors here is the playfield and motion object color 
assignment tables.  There is a choice of 4 palettes for each type of object.
				Playfield
			1		2		3
	        -------------------------------------------------
	   0	|		|		|		|
		|		|		|		|
	        -------------------------------------------------
	   1	|		|		|		|
		|		|		|		|
	        -------------------------------------------------
	   2	|		|		|		|
		|		|		|		|
	        -------------------------------------------------
	   3	|		|		|		|
		|		|		|		|
	        -------------------------------------------------

				Motion Objects
			1		2		3
	        -------------------------------------------------
	   0	|		|		|		|
		|		|		|		|
	        -------------------------------------------------
	   1	|		|		|		|
		|		|		|		|
	        -------------------------------------------------
	   2	|		|		|		|
		|		|		|		|
	        -------------------------------------------------
	   3	|		|		|		|
		|		|		|		|
	        -------------------------------------------------
	New sounds for the space theme Millipede will require new sounds.  We
will not be able to steal the old sounds.  The following are the sounds needed:
	1. Amoeba sound
	2. Background music (Japanese style light orchestra)
	3. Explosion sound for the mines (about 1+ seconds)
	4. Pulsar sound
	5. Pulsar death sound
	6. Flying saucer buzzing (let me set the frequency based on the left
	   right motion).
	7. Missile sound
	8. Player shooting sound
	9. Comet bombing (let me change frequency based on height)
	10. Transformer sound
	11. Player explosion (2+ seconds)
	12. Extra life sound
	13. Battle cruiser sound
	14. Battle cruiser explosion
	15. Time warp sound
	16. Slow down sound (use old one??)
	17. Pause mode (see other FC games)
	18. ACK sound (acknowledge change of options in select mode)

 

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			MILLIPEDE for the Family Computer


Date:		AUGUST 19, 1986
File:		[LOGG.FC]NEWMILLI.DOC
From:		Ed Logg

cc:		Dan Van Elderen
		Lyle Rains
		Chris Downend
		Pat McCarthy
		Cris Drobny
		Animators

	I have been asked to change the FC Millipede from an insect theme to a
space theme.  This means we must come up with a new game name and names for all
the playfield objects and creatures found in Millipede.  I am asking you to help
me brainstorm some interesting new creatures and think how these would be 
animated.  Please remember that there will at most 3 colors per object and the 
choice and number of colors is very restricted.  In the next couple of days I 
will have a meeting to make a final choice for all the creatures and to assign 
them to the animators.  Please try to respond as soon as possible.

	Below you will find a list of all the current objects and their sizes.
On the far right are some possible ideas.  These are just suggestions at this
time.  The sizes, colors and palettes can be changed but remember that motion 
objects are 8x8 and anything larger means that I may not have enough objects or 
enough time to process them.

creature		  size	 palette  colors  type	  new creature
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
mushroom      		| 8x8	| 0     | 1,2	| plfld	| rocks
poisoned mushroom	| 8x8	| 0	| 2,3	| plfld | different rocks
flowers			| 8x8	| 0	| 2,3	| plfld	| indestructible rocks
DDT explosion		| large	| 1	| 1,2,3	| plfld	| the same explosion
extra player lives	| 8x8	| 2	| 1,2,3 | plfld	| space ship
alphanumerics		| 8x8	| 3	| 1,2,3	| plfld	| 3 player colors

DDT			| 16x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| space mines
Bombs			|   NA	| NA	| NA	| NA	| super bombs
players shooter		|  8x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| space ship
players shot		|  8x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| same as now
spider			| 16x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| energy pulsar
millipede head		|  8x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| larger head of dragon 
millipede body		|  8x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| space dragon
earwig			| 16x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| transformer
inchworm		| 16x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| flying clock
bee (flea)		| 16x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| comet
dragonfly		| 16x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| flying saucer
mosquito		| 16x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| missile
beetle			| 16x8	| 0	| 2,3	| m. o.	| space ameba
	New possible game names:
	1. Marauders			2. Gridlock (Gridrock)
	3. Blastron Master		4. Nebula
	5. Laser Star			6. Nebulon
	7. Dragons of Andromeda		8. Star Speed
	9. Megapedes			10. Star Warrior
	11. Astron Warrior		12. Astra Warrior
	13. Galactic Attack		14. Space Patrol
	15. Space Warp			16. Time Warp
	17. Galaxy Express		18. Alien Reign
	19. Mutant Fleet		20. Alien Convoy
	21. Mutant Marauders		22. Gemini Run

	The new game program will be changed so that only one to two players 
can play at a time.  This was done to make RAM available for sounds, and leave
room for other pictures in the graphics EPROM.  In addition there will be 
a new object called a battle cruiser that will enter at the completion of a
round which will shoot at the player.  The Dragon should be on a separate
color palette to allow me to change their colors with each stage.  The following
are the new creatures and their sizes:
    creature	  size	 palette  colors  type	  comments
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
rock/asteroid	| 8x8	| 0     | 1,2	| plfld	| 
poisoned rock	| 8x8	| ?	| 2,3	| plfld | different colored rocks
damaged rock	| 8x8	| 0     | 1,2	| plfld	| for both types of rocks
indestructibles	| 8x8	| ?	| 2,3	| plfld	| different colored rocks
mine explosion	| large	| 2	| 1,2,3	| plfld	| same explosion as Millipede
extra lives	| 8x8	| 3	| 1,2,3 | plfld	| space ship in two colors
alphanumerics	| 8x8	| 3	| 1,2,3	| plfld	| 2 player colors
title screen	| large	| ?	| 1,2,3	| plfld	| 

space mine	| 16x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| a paired space mine
super bomb	|  8x8	| ? 	| ?	| m. o.	| 1/2 a space mine
players ship	|  8x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| space ship
players shot	|  8x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	|
energy pulsar	| 16x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| energy pulsar
death of pulsar	| 16x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o. |
large head	|  8x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| larger head of dragon 
dragon head	|  8x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| smaller head of dragon 
dragon body	|  8x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| dragon body segment
transformer	| 16x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| poisons rocks 
time warp	| 16x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| slows down creatures
comet		| 16x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| lays rocks behind
flying saucer	| 16x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| lays rocks too
missile		|  8x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| 
space amoeba	|   *	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| both H and V movement
shot explosions	|  8x8	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| when shot hits rocks, etc.
player death	|  **	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| 
battle cruiser	| 48x16	| ?	| ?	| m. o.	| large shooting ship
cruiser explodes| 48x16	| ?	| ?	| m. o. |

* 	16x8 for horizontal movement and 8x16 for vertical movement.
**	as large as necessary (8x8 preferred but 16x16 as a max).
	To help assign colors here is the playfield and motion object color 
assignment tables.  There is a choice of 4 palettes for each type of object.
				Playfield
			1		2		3
	        -------------------------------------------------
	   0	|		|		|		|
		|		|		|		|
	        -------------------------------------------------
	   1	|		|		|		|
		|		|		|		|
	        -------------------------------------------------
	   2	|		|		|		|
		|		|		|		|
	        -------------------------------------------------
	   3	|		|		|		|
		|		|		|		|
	        -------------------------------------------------

				Motion Objects
			1		2		3
	        -------------------------------------------------
	   0	|		|		|		|
		|		|		|		|
	        -------------------------------------------------
	   1	|		|		|		|
		|		|		|		|
	        -------------------------------------------------
	   2	|		|		|		|
		|		|		|		|
	        -------------------------------------------------
	   3	|		|		|		|
		|		|		|		|
	        -------------------------------------------------
	New sounds for the space theme Millipede will require new sounds.  We
will not be able to steal the old sounds.  The following are the sounds needed:
	1. Amoeba sound
	2. Background music (Japanese style light orchestra)
	3. Explosion sound for the mines (about 1+ seconds)
	4. Pulsar sound
	5. Pulsar death sound
	6. Flying saucer buzzing (let me set the frequency based on the left
	   right motion).
	7. Missile sound
	8. Player shooting sound
	9. Comet bombing (let me change frequency based on height)
	10. Transformer sound
	11. Player explosion (2+ seconds)
	12. Extra life sound
	13. Battle cruiser sound
	14. Battle cruiser explosion
	15. Time warp sound
	16. Slow down sound (use old one??)
	17. Pause mode (see other FC games)
	18. ACK sound (acknowledge change of options in select mode)

 

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;
;INITIATED: 	MARCH 21,1986
;
;PROGRAMMER:	ED LOGG
;
;CHARGE NUMBER:	
;
;VAX DIRECTORY:	[LOGG.FC]
;
;HARDWARE:	FAMILY COMPUTER
;		SCROLLING PLAYFIELD
;		64 MOTION OBJECTS (MAX OF 8 PER LINE)
;	   	COLOR RASTER TV
;
;DESCRIPTION: 	THIS GAME IS AN EXTENSION OF CENTIPEDE AND MILLIPEDE FOR THE
;		NINTENDO FAMILY COMPUTER (FC).  MULTIPLE PLAYERS ARE PERMITTED.
;		THERE WILL ALSO BE A NEW FEATURE CALLED A SUPER BOMB WHICH CAN
;		BE COLLECTED AND USED TO DESTROY OR STUN ALL THE CREATURES.
;
;
;			COPYRIGHT 1982 ATARI
;			UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION, ADAPTATION
;			DISTRIBUTION, PERFORMANCE OR DISPLAY OF THIS
;			COMPUTER PROGRAM OR THE ASSOCIATED
;			AUDIOVISUAL WORK IS PROHIBITED.

 

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		FC MILLIPEDE SCHEDULE AND STATUS REPORT		18 July 1986

	For the past three weeks I have been in limbo and have not worked on 
this game as planned.  I will restart my programming effects when I return on
September 8.  The following schedule reflects a change in direction from the
original game desription.  I have changed the theme from an insect game to
a space game.  The new game name is ?????????.  All the creature graphics will
need to be redone.  The program must also be modified for the new graphics
animation and sizes of the objects.  There will no longer be a three or four
player game.  There will no longer be a growth/death of the mushrooms.
	This schedule assumes that someone else handles all the sounds and
graphics.  It also assumes that there will ne no major problems with timing or
squeezing the program to fit a 27128.  Currently there is nobody assigned to do 
the animation or audio.  My hope is that a majority of the graphics
and audio will be done during my vacation.  
	I have a major concern for the RPM driver because it may cause me to 
use too many of my resources (EPROM, RAM and processing time).  I feel it is a 
better idea to have a simple driver that uses precalculated tables (sounds) 
instead of calculating the values each frame.  At the current time I plan to 
use RPM as is.
	In summary, while I am gone the following should be done:
	1. Verify that the game name is ok with Namco and with Dennis Wood.
	   We should also verify that there will be no problem with a Centipede
	   look-a-like game from a legal standpoint.
	2. Get most of the new graphics done.
	3. Start on new audio.  I will check on my return to see that we are
	   going in the right direction.
	4. Let Namco know that they will receive a cart approximately 10/6/86
	   for testing.  We should start work on the details for release.
							   schedule
						time	new	old	completed
______________________________________________________________________________
1) Project initiation *********************************	3/27/86		3/27/86
2) Software startup (1 programmer)			3/20/86		3/20/86
	* Set up Dev. Sys.			 1 day			3/21/86
	* Set up VAX account and files		 1 day			3/21/86
	* Learn new hardware			 5 days			4/1/86
	* Update FC.DOC documentation file	 1 day			4/1/86
	* Update FCEQU.MAC include file		 1 day			3/21/86
	* Display playfield with alphanumerics	 2 days			6/3/86
	* Get shooter moving to joysticks	 2 days			4/2/86
	* Get shots working			 1 day			4/2/86
	* Get Millipede working			 2 days			6/4/86
	* Do pause mode				 1 day			5/30/86
	* Do select option screen		 2 days			3/31/86
	* Add 3rd and 4th players		 2 days			6/12/86
	* Add cooperative and competitive	 2 days			6/12/86
	* Add stun and kill			 1 day			6/12/86
	* Add player versus player collision	 1 day			6/13/86
	* Work on Gauntlet II			10 days			-------
	* Vacation/Sick/Holidays		 3 days			-------
3) Animation startup					3/24/86		3/25/86
	* Convert Millipede graphics 		 3 days			3/28/86
	* Modify PB utilities for FC format	 2 days			3/27/86
	* Get title for title screen		 2 days
4) 1st Review  ****************************************	6/13/86 5/21/86
5) Sound startup					3/24/86		3/24/86
	* Learn FC sound system (Rusty Dawe)	?? days			8/18/86
	* Sound driver				?? days			8/18/86
	* Sound development system		 6 days			8/18/86
	* Convert old sounds			?? days
6) Continue software development						
	* Get spider working			 2 days			7/16/86
	* Make DDT work				 2 days
	* Get poison mushrooms working		 1 day			7/16/86
	* Get other creatures working		 3 days			7/18/86
	* Add stages and rounds			 1 day
	* Add super bombs			 2 days
	* Make scrolling work			 3 days
	* Relayout the scores on the top line	 2 days
	* Make each player a different color	 1 day
	* Do attract mode (see Centipede)	 3 days
	* Complete sounds (my time)		 2 days			
	* Complete animation (my time)		 2 days
	* Tune game play			 2 days
	* Brainstorming				 1 day			9/9/86
	* Work on FC Gauntlet			 2 days			8/14/86
	* Work on Gauntlet II			 7 days			-------
	* Vacation/Sick/Holidays		11 days			-------
7) 2nd Review  ****************************************	10/3/86	6/??/86
8) Send a sample cart to Namco				10/3/86
9) Japanese Focus or Testing ************************** 10/?/86	6/??/86
10) Complete Software 
	* Add color coding to each stage	 1 day
	* Add secret scoring			 3 days
	* Add battle cruiser			 3 days
	* Help Namco with storyline		?? days
	* Instruction Manual and instructions	 3 days
	* Extensive testing			?? days
	* Misc game tuning			 5 days
11) Prod Release **************************************	10/?/86	7/??/86
12) Finished Goods ************************************	?/??/86 8/??/86

 

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I find it interesting that in 1986 people at Atari didn't realise that they sold the whole farm to Tramiel back in 1984..

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for posting all those documents, Dutchman2000. Was an interesting read. I hope you're able to successfully compile the source code.

 

As for the confusion over ownership, I suppose I can see how it may have happened. To me it seems natural at first glance to assume that the Atari Inc. arcade library would stay with the Atari coinop division after the sale of the home business to the Tramiels.

 

But I suppose it made even more sense for those rights to go with the home division. Classics like Centipede had long since departed the arcade division's production lines. Other than the potential of some sequels, the only remaining business associated with this library was with parts support. And for that Atari Corp. didn't need the ownership of the trademarks and copyrights to those games to still sell parts.

 

But there was still potential value there with games like Asteroids for the home division. The delayed launch of the Atari 7800 with ports of Asteroids and Centipede, an inventory of unsold 2600/5200/8-bit games, and the rerelease of a lot of Atari's old 2600 arcade ports when the 2600 Jr. launched and started selling well are some examples of how Atari Corp. benefited financially from owning the rights to the Atari Inc. arcade line.

Edited by Atariboy
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54 minutes ago, mr_me said:

I find it interesting that in 1986 people at Atari didn't realise that they sold the whole farm to Tramiel back in 1984..

The thing is it wasn't that cut and dry.  Tramiel got the home division but the arcade division got spun off into Atari Games.  There was some confusion as to what rights were owned by which company. 

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Posted (edited)

That's true, publicly that's probably how they announced it.  But Warner retained all the employees and Tramiel got all the IP including the Atari trademark, I don't think the execs were confused and probably told their staff very little.  There was probably confusion amongst employees on who was firing them, it was Warner.  At the time with the industry in the state it was in, Warner/Atari probably didn't care about the back catalog, they were developing new games.

 

---------------

I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility that Atari Games might sell these games for others to publish but in the case of Millipede it's already been done by others.  Then I thought why wouldn't they just license the title from Tramiel, but I figured that relationship might have gone bad by then, considering the GCC dispute.

Edited by mr_me

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I really need the help of someone who knows more about NES code and ROMS then I do to get this working.  It does look like he stopped working on it in August of 1986.  I don't think any of the "Space Game" changes got made. 

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Slightly O/T, but how was the proposed simultaneous 4-player mode supposed to work? Was there a multitap for the Famicom? I thought that the two controllers were hardwired.

 

The NES multitap was not even available until several years later, 1990 per Wikipedia.   

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Not sure, there are memory locations for the score for 4 players in the code:

 

SCORE0:	.BLKB 6			;PLAYER 0 SCORE (ASCII)
SCORE1:	.BLKB 6			;PLAYER 1 SCORE
SCORE2:	.BLKB 6			;PLAYER 2 SCORE
SCORE3:	.BLKB 6			;PLAYER 3 SCORE

 

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2 hours ago, jhd said:

Slightly O/T, but how was the proposed simultaneous 4-player mode supposed to work? Was there a multitap for the Famicom? I thought that the two controllers were hardwired.

 

The NES multitap was not even available until several years later, 1990 per Wikipedia.   

Alternate controllers plug in to the famicom expansion port.

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Yes, remember this game was for the Japanese market so it was being developed for the Famicom not the NES.

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3 hours ago, Dutchman2000 said:

I really need the help of someone who knows more about NES code and ROMS then I do to get this working.  It does look like he stopped working on it in August of 1986.  I don't think any of the "Space Game" changes got made. 

Maybe try asking here? http://forums.nesdev.com/

 

I have some ROM hacking experience, but never tried compiling from source.

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There are a controller for the Famicom that can be connected in the extention port that has an extention port itself for another controller. I don't remember the brand and have no idea when it was released. I have played four players in the Kunio-kun hockey game that way.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, the famicom 4-player adapter works differently, with a different protocol, than the American NES adapter. 

 

Also, I'm not an expert on the NES but I've made a handful of NES games so I might be able to help.

Edited by gauauu

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