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TapperP

Tempest, Venture etc. - cart only or other options?

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I saw a video last night showing really nice looking ports of games like Tempest 2000, Venture, Animal Keeper etc.

 

From what I saw these are available as carts (for fairly high prices IMO). I would personally prefer to buy a digital ROM copy to use on a flash cart, especially at a lower price.

 

Is there such an option for these games? If so, please let me know where.

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Posted (edited)

@TapperP

20 foot pole deployed....

there may be demo executables still floating around...

 

The people involved with the mentioned Games may or may not have obtained full rights to the titles... and might even slightly modify the name like ZOO Keeper etc and then slightly changed the game in the hopes no one will notice it's not the same game.

 

Ironically, they will enforce their will and demand that it never leave a cartridge for any reason... lots of threads are full of all sorts of arguments and threats of litigation...  I'm of the opinion everyone has the games anyway, but would never speak of it. I personally purchased a few things before all this kind of crap came to light... then I gave away all the carts I had, I felt on principle I didn't want stuff from people like that in any form. To be honest the build quality was poor, one of my carts fell apart, and the stuff is like photocopied paperwork... Some of it was just buggy. Just not my cup of tea.

 

I hope the later versions are all fixed up, but I won't be taking a chance on it. Most home brew folks will take care of such issues and let you re burn chips, or give you digital versions. At first it seemed this group was selling sold as is, in regard to the coding contained. Perhaps if the cart was DOA or fell apart, they might take care of it... not sure if they'd cover postage or not. You'll have to read and talk with Video 61 et el about all of this stuff

 

best wishes..

 

tossing the 20 foot pole into a pit of fire...

time for a shower, I feel dirty...

Edited by _The Doctor__
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Yikes. Thank you for the info. I looked at the site where they sell the carts and it looked really sketchy.

 

A shame, Tempest and Venture are personal favorites and the ports looked great. 😞

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Tempest has to a fixed up by now(it's been around for a long time), like I said... you'd have to talk with them a bit to make sure about any of it.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, I won't get in to the whole digital copy debate but you can ask Lance but it will be a no, I have chatted with him a few times, oddly enough the last time when I found Tempest as a rom on a website while looking for some turbo 200 roms. I told him the site address so he could ask for it to be taken down and mentioned the notion of digital versions and he said about the rom on the site and no intention of doing them. What is daft is that at some point someone with the knowledge will dump them to be archived yet there's a solid but small revenue to be had from digital versions but its never taken off on the Atari unlike the C64 where its always one of the options on sold items.

 

Does not help that the programmer is a paranoid multi account making annoyance who insults his customers..

Edited by Mclaneinc
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I'm in the UK, I purchased Tempest Elite, for some reason it would only work on my XEGS for 1 in 3 power ups.

 

I contacted V61, spoke to Lance (the nice one), he advised there was an issue with some Atari's not correctly making connection at the cartridge connector side.  I've been out of the Atari loop for a while but they look like Atarimax carts and from my minimal experience with them I think it's more of a "latching" issue with the Atarimax embedded firmware not liking their (V61's) code.

 

In speaking to Lance I offered to return the game, for a replacement (on the basis of his explanation), he shipped me out a replacement at no charge.  The replacement may be a different revision as the circuit looks to have a revised layout.

 

For what appears to be a high price (not including the customs I paid) and that I am not allowed to back up the ROM, it transpired that when there was an issue I got a replacement, so there was no loss to me, or need to back up the ROM (as long as V61/Lance exist).

 

The free dud is currently in the case as a display item, and no one else needs to know it's a dud.

 

One note for Tempest Extreme/Elite, if you like paddle controllers you'll need to switch to Driving Controllers, because the directions are reversed (you can hold the Paddles upside down) and their code will not be revised.

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Posted (edited)

I don't know what the law is these days but you were allowed to back up your owned software, I'm not sure anyone can tell you not to with any authority?

 

Although you don't own the code and only the ability to play that code the first thing I'd do if I had an eprom programmer and I didn't mind opening the cart is to read it in. Whilst I would not expect to damage a cart it can happen and I'd like to think I still had the ability to play the game even if the original cart was damaged.

 

Obviously if there's bank overwrite protection it would have to be back on another cart of some type.

 

Not suggesting you or anyone dumps their carts, I just think its wrong that people may be told you are not allowed to..

 

I own Venture and I like it, yes I got Tempest but I would have liked to have brought a download, I don't really want a cart as if my gear dies a cart is no use to me..

 

As brilliant as Altirra is I don't think Avery would create a lead to link real carts to the emulation (or even if its possible?)

Edited by Mclaneinc

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Posted (edited)

All interesting stuff.

 

Well, me personally I would not pay that sort of money for a 3rd party cart these days. I have bought a couple of original Atari carts CIB recently in that price range, but those are vintage Atari and have value to me personally as objects themselves.

 

New games I'm willing to buy as digital copies to run on flash cart or sdrive. Without that option I'm out, unless the cart price is low enough to justify buying (maybe $20 - $30 at most) and even then I'd try to dump it with my Maxflash programmer if possible to use on flash/sdrive (I dumped my original Star Raiders cart last night and ran it from flash which was kinda cool for me, since I never dumped a game before).

 

That's just me - I fully respect if others are OK buying for higher prices.

Edited by TapperP

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Some prices for carts feel way too high, I understand lots of folk like a real item and will pay but I do think some places overload the price....

 

Still, there's so much out there as it stands, almost entirely free....

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Posted (edited)

My issue with this developer isn't so much their hard-core insistence on cartridge distribution, but that the titles themselves are generally glitchy and unpolished.  Display garbage when transitioning between screens, sprites lingering outside screen borders, hiccups in the soundtrack, lackluster graphics on some of the titles.  For the asking price you should be getting something that at least in presentation looks professional.

 

Edited by FifthPlayer
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4 hours ago, TapperP said:

Well, me personally I would not pay that sort of money for a 3rd party cart these days.

Some homebrew releases are worth the money asked, some sadly are not. If the person selling is the person who wrote it, it tends to be a good sign.

 

 

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Personally, I wish one of the terrific homebrew devs in our scene would write Tempest properly, They could really do justice to a title like that.

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I own real, legit purchased copies of "Venture", "Tempest Elite", and "Animal Keeper".  All are fun games and I really wouldn't want to be without the first two.  I did have an issue with "Venture" when I first got it but Lance at Video61 totally came through for me and replaced my copy with a new one.  "Tempest Elite" is picky about which XL hardware that it likes to run on; it hates my earliest HK revision 800XL but runs just fine on my later Taiwanese made 800XL (and it has no issue with any of my RAM upgraded 600XLs).  I have corresponded with Lance from Video61 on a number of occasions via email and I have always found him to be helpful and friendly; I genuinely like the guy.   

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likeability and charisma are traits used in obtaining an acting gig (Hollywood), by government personel (politicians to gain office), and by businesses (relations, sales, etc)... in all cases it has little to do with a product itself or what you get from someone who knows how to charm people.

 

My used car fell apart a few times but the salesman was awfully nice...

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I have several Video 61 carts, they have all been good.  Animal Keeper and Putt 18 are great games, they get a lot of play time.  So, I don't regret the price I paid.  Expensive, yes, but quality software.  Yeah, the labels are not good, but the games are fun.

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1 hour ago, _The Doctor__ said:

likeability and charisma are traits used in obtaining an acting gig (Hollywood), by government personel (politicians to gain office), and by businesses (relations, sales, etc)... in all cases it has little to do with a product itself or what you get from someone who knows how to charm people.

 

My used car fell apart a few times but the salesman was awfully nice...

 

Truly a fair point and used daily pretty much everywhere....Lance I feel is the real deal, spoke to him only yesterday and he always comes across as wanting to help, pleasant and kind. When I spoke to him about digital downloads a long while back he didn't act aggressively or unwilling to talk about it, he said he would give it a thought but it's unlikely he would adopt it and joked about Petey. It was a totally pleasant exchange of views and I always approach stuff from a friendly POV, rarely will you see me being tetchy with people, if I am its a sure sign that someone has pushed my buttons too long as its not my normal behaviour.

 

As for buyable games, I agree that some are not as polished as they could be but I look for the playability first, graphics matter but I like a good game rather than just a pretty game, games like RGB just blew me away, super looking and plays like a dream..

 

I like some of Petey's games, Venture and Tempest but the sprite flicker on some titles just drives me insane, I know its a fight against the machines constraints but its the video equivalent of the fingernails down the blackboard for me..

 

Pricing well I guess it's down to how much disposable income you have and if you believe it's worth that money, both are personal but in my case I find Lances titles a bit of the heavy side and every penny counts here.

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On 7/5/2020 at 3:30 AM, _The Doctor__ said:

@TapperP

Ironically, they will enforce their will and demand that it never leave a cartridge for any reason... lots of threads are full of all sorts of arguments and threats of litigation...  I'm of the opinion everyone has the games anyway, but would never speak of it. I personally purchased a few things before all this kind of crap came to light... then I gave away all the carts I had, I felt on principle I didn't want stuff from people like that in any form. To be honest the build quality was poor, one of my carts fell apart, and the stuff is like photocopied paperwork... Some of it was just buggy. Just not my cup of tea.

 

Unfortunately I can agree with this. The games do contain all kind of bugs. It's a pity, some of them could have been pretty good conversions though. The conversion do most certainly have potential. I was one of the person that asked several times for download-version of the games, but with no effect. I had 3 (in my opinion good) reasons for download-versions of the game:

1. You can easily fix bugs, which is much harder with ROMS. You'd say: use flashroms, which V61 did, but still they did not want to send an update, so they treated it as a non flash rom.

2. I do not need all the hardware that is in a cart. I would put the purchased ROM file to a multi cart and that's it. When I purchase a cart I do that as well, so no need for all the extra hardware from a cart.

 

3. Shipping. With a download version people could save money (and time) on shipping.

 

People responded that V61 and other people have the right to do their business the way they want to do their business. And that is true and everybody has to accept that. But for me that is then the end of story. Especially since the games are proven buggy, I would no one advise to buy any game ever from V61 as long as they use a non-fixable format (a cart). 

 

Venture and Tempest Xtreem could be really great games though. So I still keep my fingers crossed for good bugfixes.

 

 

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On 7/5/2020 at 3:39 AM, _The Doctor__ said:

Tempest has to a fixed up by now(it's been around for a long time), like I said... you'd have to talk with them a bit to make sure about any of it.

No. I bought the first version of Tempest Xtreem when it came out. I enjoyed the game, but I hated the stupid bug in the bonus round. I gave my cart away, and later I decided to buy it again (!). So yes indeed I bought myself TWO copies of Tempest Xtreem. The second one I bought came on an AtariMax cart. The first one (if I remember correctly) on a 256kb MegaCart or something like that. Anyway, the second version (on the AtariMax cart) had an even bigger bug: the bonus game did not show any player/missiles. 

 

I was able to fix that myself by tweaking the code a little. But sigh the first bug (in the bonus round) was still there.

 

I offered my help to beta test the games in the past. I had to sign some kind of agreement, and before we were ready to do so some of the guys in the team shouted a big NO to me. 

Well, I am not soon proud of anything, but there is one thing I am very good at: breaking stuff. If you want a good beta-tester... ask me. I can seriously find 99% of the bugs, and probably 100% of all the daily-use-flaws. If the author of the game, or Lance had me on their beta test team those stupid bugs that exist now in those games, wouldn't exist.

 

In the past I did some betatesting for @flashjazzcat ... well that was fun, and a person who can appreciate a good bug report :D

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I thought about buying a copy of Tempest Xtreem but the developers are well.... Xtreem.  In the modern age only offering a cart seems like a dick move only to promote artificial scarcity.  I don't use carts most of the time as there is little reason to wear out the cart slot.  I'm sure someone will post a dump eventually.

 

I would have happily paid for a digital download and so would a lot of others.  Might even pay for a cart if a couple people that worked on the game weren't so obviously obnoxious and shady.  I liked the demo though, it's a shame.

 

What annoys me more is Lance imposing artificial scarcity on things they did NOT develop and likely don't have the rights to..... like Xenophobe.  I really want a copy of this and when one comes up secondhand or I find a dump I will have it.  The fact that Xenophobe prototype was sold to V61 pisses me off to no end.  At least I still have the ST and Lynx versions to enjoy.

 

People that think there's still a bunch of money to be had in the Atari community and engage in bullshit legal threats are incredibly delusional and sad people.

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At the end of the day a companies business model is their own choice, Lances problem is petey, Petey has convinced Lance that DD (digital downloads) are rife for piracy yet feels that carts are secure which is a nonsense, there's not a cart that can't be dumped with a bit of skill, if it can be read it can be dumped. Peteys other issue is that he tries to have loads of irons on the fire but does not get the worked on product actually tested to the right amounts. I was asked to beta test by Petey but turned it down as its a bit weird being told that you are a dirty pirate and then asked to rubber stamp your products or worse still be accused of leaking them just because his head is on upside down.

 

As my real machines get older I like Kogden want to keep them as fit as possible so the more I can reduce the wear and tear the better, digital loading works and the digital disk never wears out, sure if want a sudden burst of 100 authentic playing I can insert a cart, load a disk or tape but I get all the same noises and feel bar the physical side with the digital material. Do I miss a 15 min tape load, er NO, do I miss taking the disk out of the box & sleeve, not really, do I miss having the real boxes, that I do miss, just for seeing them in all their glory but not the loading side.

 

Lastly, broken games, sorry, no excuse for that if you are paying top dollar, not only does it prove the so called beta testers are not either skilled or bothered which if there's no perks to the beta side then you can't blame them but it just sits bad with the buyer. The choice of the cart also becomes a more problematic issue where a DD can be fixed and returned at zero cost except in person hours. If you are going to use carts then they MUST be right at the point of sale.

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My favourite part of all of pete's insanity is his utter fear of piracy, even though he copies trademarked games without permission.  I can see him screaming from the roof "You damned dirty pirates - don't steal this shit that I stole and copied".

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Posted (edited)

Btw, they sell two versions of Tempest, Elite and Xtreem. Does anyone know about the differences between the two?

Edited by Dinadan67

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Xtreem was the first one and plays very well. I bought the cart years ago and still play it a lot.

 

Elite is kind of a successor. As far as I remember, there were graphical improvements announced. I think it was planned to have VBXE support, not sure. Also there is improved controller support, should work very nice with Paddles and Driving controller. But I never bought it, so I can´t say for sure.

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I'm not sure the seed isn't planted in the heads of these folks... The confluence centers around a business or individual no matter how sweet the talk...

Look at the Sparta war, Supra, KJMan, Petey... etc etc etc... something is amiss.

 

I could care less if it were delivered via paper tape! Just so long as it's professional, bugs get fixed, and we aren't told that backing up the damn thing isn't allowed. The other thing I don't buy is that the particular bugs are part and parcel of the Atari experience and the game is as is unless it's DOA etc.

 

Sure things can change, but it's not happened yet, and seems unlikely. I say we back it all up, and apply our own patches and fixes. So long as it's for our own use! That's that!

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, _The Doctor__ said:

 

Sure things can change, but it's not happened yet, and seems unlikely. I say we back it all up, and apply our own patches and fixes. So long as it's for our own use! That's that!

 

Personally I think that is s good as its going to get, Petey isn't likely to suddenly have a fit of decency and I suspect Lance isn't technical in the coding area so he can't help. I still don't think we can be legally told to not back it up and to be honest if I had the gear I'd bloody well do it anyway. I own that cart, I'll tinker with it s I please and as long as I'm not distributing the code I stick 2 fingers up to petey. As for some bugs being part and parcel of the experience, sod that, if its a BUG it needs fixing, if its like the sprite flicker and that's a limitation of the machine then I class that as different, as long as the author has tried their best to eliminate it then I have my choice to buy or not.

 

Petey and KJMan, what a devilish pair they were...

Edited by Mclaneinc
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