Jump to content
abbotkinneydude

California Games was actually in production for the ATARI 8-Bit but no code might have ever been produced.

Recommended Posts

59 minutes ago, davidcalgary29 said:

Typically just crappy, old, and/or budget titles, though. By the later '80s, the selection of these were either second-tier Mastertronic games, Pitstop and the like, the Questbrobe comic titles, or the Awardware line. It was a great idea, but none of the top software houses were selling older titles this way. I think that Infocom sold some of its games boxless and without feelies, but I never saw any for sale.

I loved Pitstop as a kid.  I should play it again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, leech said:

I loved Pitstop as a kid.  I should play it again!

I loved the game too — It was one of the first game I had in the Atari. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, zzip said:

My copies of the Lucasfilm Games (Fractalus, Ballblazer, Koronis Rift, Eidolon) were all on Atari/C64 flippies.   These were published by Epyx at the time.   Also my Beyond Castle Wolfenstein was an Apple/Atari flippy.

 

Yes Mastertronic was a big one, but their games weren't all bad

Wow, I didn't ever see any of those LucasFilm offered in the budget clamshell format. It was just L.A. Panther/SWAT all over the place. Maybe there was a glut of Mastertronic titles in southern Ontario in the late '80s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, davidcalgary29 said:

Wow, I didn't ever see any of those LucasFilm offered in the budget clamshell format. It was just L.A. Panther/SWAT all over the place.

These weren't budget titles,  these were standard-sized and packaged Epyx boxes at full price.   It was also right when the games released.   I was kind of shocked when I saw them in store, because last I heard Fractalus was supposed to be published by Atari, but it was possibly being cancelled due to it being leaked to BBSes and widely pirated.

 

Edit: here's an example.   All four of the Lucasfilm games on A8 were sold like this in my area

ballblazer.png

Edited by zzip
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, I was just thinking of the budget lines that appeared at the end of the '80s and popped up in places like grocery stores and Canadian Tire, encouraging people to make Molecule Man an impulse item purchase along with windshield wipers and car wax.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, MrFish said:

My Rescue on Fractalus was (sold it) a flippy. Interestingly, it didn't indicate so on the box anywhere.

 

389511239_boxfront.thumb.jpg.1f602027e8cff72b8b906bd3215cdae3.jpg

 

1864750028_diskfront.thumb.jpg.397423b7aad127133f6c11b32566c76f.jpg

 

789104416_diskback.thumb.jpg.e3a23754dcaa756bba5804b44c4d6a64.jpg

You even got the front side too?   Usually we Atarians were relegated to the backside 🙂

 

I suspect by the mid-80s, there were a lot of retailers unwilling to carry Atari8 software,  so flippy was a way for publishers to get it into stores.  Stores that would accept Atari got the Atari label on the outside,  but still got the flippy inside?

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is my 'flippy' disk for "Beyond Castle Wolfenstein".   It looks shady as hell!   But I swear it's not a pirate copy and was packaged this way inside the standard game box from Muse Software,  including the BASF sleeve.

 

image.png.5ae75b46290e6219866c0532f5fa05b1.png

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, zzip said:

This is my 'flippy' disk for "Beyond Castle Wolfenstein".   It looks shady as hell!   But I swear it's not a pirate copy and was packaged this way inside the standard game box from Muse Software,  including the BASF sleeve.

 

image.png.5ae75b46290e6219866c0532f5fa05b1.png

It does look shady... I know back when you could return software, a lot of times I would buy them and there would be blank disks or copies in the boxes. The store would just put it back on the shelf.  I know I bought Bruce Lee one time and got a box with a blank disk in it.

 

Now, quite coincidentally, I just spoke with the current owner of MUSE. His father passed away earlier this year, but he bought the MUSE assets out of bankruptcy/dissolution in 1987 from Silas and company.

 

 

Edited by R.Cade

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, R.Cade said:

It does look shady... I know back when you could return software, a lot of times I would buy them and there would be blank disks or copies in the boxes. The store would just put it back on the shelf.  I know I bought Bruce Lee one time and got a box with a blank disk in it.

Hmm.  I don't remember if it was shrink-wrapped.   I guess I got lucky that the game works then.   I even "tested" the other side on one of the Apples at school :)  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, zzip said:

This is my 'flippy' disk for "Beyond Castle Wolfenstein".   It looks shady as hell!   But I swear it's not a pirate copy and was packaged this way inside the standard game box from Muse Software,  including the BASF sleeve.

 

image.png.5ae75b46290e6219866c0532f5fa05b1.png

 

The Atarimania scan of this title is also from a flippy (Atari / C64).

 

Atarimania: Beyond Castle Wolfenstein

 

beyond_castle_wolfenstein_d7.thumb.jpg.3b4a95e8e7e4a68cdef12f03f53bd4f5.jpg

 

 

Edited by MrFish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I seem to remember the early Scott Adams adventures had really cheaply typed labels and in branded disk sleeves..

Edited by Mclaneinc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, MrFish said:

 

The Atarimania scan of this title is also from a flippy (Atari / C64).

 

Atarimania: Beyond Castle Wolfenstein

 

To be fair, it seemed like a really easy way to sell the same game for different systems cheaply.  Wonder if it inspired Valve to do the same with Steam, as it is the digital library equivalent of the flippy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Mclaneinc said:

I seem to remember the early Scott Adams adventures had really cheaply typed labels and in branded disk sleeves..

Yeah, early games did.   Some were even packaged in zip-loc bags.   This was after that era,  it's the only commercial game I have with an unprofessional label.   Even my copy of the original Castle Wolfenstein game had a more professional-looking disk than this 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you MrFish, those are quite cute, never seen them (the boxes) before...

 

Always loved MAD magazine but lost track of it, I know its still going though..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, I didn't ever see any of those LucasFilm offered in the budget clamshell format. It was just L.A. Panther/SWAT all over the place. Maybe there was a glut of Mastertronic titles in southern Ontario in the late '80s.

Yup. I’m remember buying them at Herbies Drug Store in London, Ontario for 10 bucks each. Sold in comic book racks.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As seen on the facebook page of the ATARI Museum:

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/105586892805903/permalink/3785484521482770/

 

epyx-california-games-atari-xl-xe-port-programmer-first-name-chris.png.f5a0783aaa76404edf6789d1acbbd466.png

 

There was a musician named Chris Grigg working at the time at Epyx but I cannot draw any conclusion from that.

 

Edited by abbotkinneydude
Enabled link
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/7/2020 at 11:15 AM, abbotkinneydude said:

 

I would actually listen to the Rebecca Heineman interview that Kay Savetz did at KansasFest back in 2015.

 

In it, she explains the 3 major issues she encountered while (and after) porting Racing Destruction Set to the A8.

 

During the port:

• Technical Capabilities of the ATARI vs the C64 for sprite detail.

• Single Density disk limited to 88Ko per side + sector size limited to 128 bytes (so you had to pack more disks -$$$- vs. the C64 version for the same game - hence more A8 customer returns if disks go bad).

 

After the port:

Major rampant piracy. Racing Destruction Set might have only sold 3000 units in the U.S. (paying only for the port to the A8 - no profits for EA).

 

The C64 version might have sold 10 to 20 times that amount.

 

If I remember correctly, she said that A8 users wanted fresh games for their system.

 

I presume this was based on the Antic letter campaign that Trip Hawkins (EA) responded to but it wasn't clear in the interview.

 

Considering EA contracted Interplay for that port, it might have come from the top as a reaction to the letter campaign.

 

However, nobody was buying those games in sufficient numbers hence no major release (U.S. wise) post 85/86.

 

I also would go back to a David Lubar interview where he mentions that, for porting Ultima IV to the A8, he really had to push the envelope in terms of how the information was compressed on the disk.

 

BTW- She mentioned an interesting point. She said that ATARI was overstating the number of CPU units being sold.

 

Nevertheless, if you called X/Y/Z store, they'd tell you "yeah, we sold a couple of ATARIs today but that C64 is really flying off the shelves".

 

In a way, publishers got burnt out by ATARI's behavior + the whole Tramiel tragedy of not advancing the chipset to keep it on par with contemporary offerings.

 

(This truly makes late XEGS releases such as Airball, Mario Bros., Commando, Xenophobe, Midi Maze, Tower Toppler coding masterpieces for the era.)

 

To get back to California Games, the port might have:

 

1) proven too difficult for a regular A8 coder. Maybe there was no Steve Coleman lurking around.

2) They had nobody on staff and couldn't find a way to outsource (Last Ninja situation).

 

Rebecca Heineman Interview:

https://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/antic-interview-64-rebecca-heineman-racing-destruction-set-and-mindshadow

 

David Lubar Interview:

https://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/antic-interview-271-david-lubar-game-developer

 

 

Your concerns about disk drive capabilities for a California Games port is a non-issue because this would've been a bankswitched cartridge for the XE Game System. After all, one of the main reasons why Atari Corp released the XE Game System was to attract a new user base and dangle that in front of the software publishers as a reason to continue supporting A8 after most had already declared they were dropping support due to piracy. As long as Atari Corp paid for everything and took the risk by selling the cartridges themselves, it was theoretically a win-win situation for the software companies, not to mention a negotiating stick - leverage - against Nintendo and their greedy demands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Lynxpro said:

 

Your concerns about disk drive capabilities for a California Games port is a non-issue because this would've been a bankswitched cartridge for the XE Game System. After all, one of the main reasons why Atari Corp released the XE Game System was to attract a new user base and dangle that in front of the software publishers as a reason to continue supporting A8 after most had already declared they were dropping support due to piracy. As long as Atari Corp paid for everything and took the risk by selling the cartridges themselves, it was theoretically a win-win situation for the software companies, not to mention a negotiating stick - leverage - against Nintendo and their greedy demands.

 

Hi @Lynxpro,

 

I do appreciate your insight about the use of XEGS bank-switched cartridges and how you could deliver more with those.

 

And I'm saying this despite Atari Corp. not always taking advantage of the extra space offered by such scheme:

 

• Hardball XEGS does not offer the title screen from the disk version.

• Ace of Aces XEGS only offers 1 title screen out of 2 title screens present on the disk version.

 

However, the post of mine you're quoting above was not directed toward a potential XEGS cartridge release of California Games.

 

I was responding to a post by Mclaneinc:

 

On 12/7/2020 at 10:37 AM, Mclaneinc said:

Shame we don't know the whole fate of the program but its fair to say there's either no code of very very little, certainly nothing that could be used to promote it..

 

Its at a time when the Atari was growing less interesting to certain places. I remember going around the shows asking if XYZ game was coming to the Atari and you were pretty much met with just a NO or just BS to say they were thinking it over.

 

 

 

All I said in the aforementionned post about California Games was:

 

To get back to California Games, the port might have:

 

1) proven too difficult for a regular A8 coder. Maybe there was no Steve Coleman lurking around.

2) They had nobody on staff and couldn't find a way to outsource (Last Ninja situation).

 

Since then, we've learned that, based on Rick Matias' post on facebook, corporate politics were involved and the Tramiel behavior ("I win, you loose" as per John Skruch) might be responsible for the non-delivery of the product.

 

I'm sure we'll learn more in time.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/8/2020 at 8:42 PM, abbotkinneydude said:

 

I'd reach out to @Jetboot Jack

 

 

For now, all we have is a 7800 screenshot glued onto an XEGS setup.

 

This actually originated from press material provided by ATARI UK at the ATARI SHOW of April 1987 taking place at the Novotel Hammersmith.

 

It leaked in Pokey! issue #3 (Summer 1987, French language).

 

Winter-Games-7800-XL-XE-Pokey-Issue#3-Summer-1987-ATARI-UK-Show-Novotel-Hammersmith-April-1987.jpg

I saw Winter Games running on an XEGS at Atari UK in Slough, alongside UFO...

 

Sadly I have no evidence of my experience (it was a way before camera phones) - and to be honest I was there to sign a contract for some software I was developing, little would I know the games I saw would never be released.

 

sTeVE

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jetboot Jack said:

I saw Winter Games running on an XEGS at Atari UK in Slough, alongside UFO...

 

Sadly I have no evidence of my experience (it was a way before camera phones) - and to be honest I was there to sign a contract for some software I was developing, little would I know the games I saw would never be released.

 

sTeVE

They even have sunglasses with built in cameras now.  So now all we need is a time machine to send you back to gather evidence!  Or figure out how to copy your memories to a MicroSD card.  That couldn't hurt too much to slide into your grey matter, right?

Why does my memory think that we had Winter Games on the Atari 8bit?  I am pretty sure I played it 'somewhere' and we went from the 2600 -> 800xl -> SMS -> Genesis -> Mega STe. Somewhere in there we had a Lynx too.

Edit: It must have been on the ST.  Looked at screen shots on moby games.

 

Surprised someone hasn't tried to do a remake of them, as they were extremely popular back in the day.  I miss Epyx.

Edited by leech
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...