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Albert

New 2600, 5200, 7800, and Atari 8-bit Computer Games! Pre-Order Today!

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I will never forget the work involved making only 100 carts of 5200 Koffi: Yellow Kopter, cleaning the carts, burning 100 EPROMs, soldering caps onto 100 pcbs, affixing labels, gluing boxes, testing each, and shipping them.   After that Interesting experience, I was done with the manufacturing aspect.    I don’t know how Al is able to get it all done! 

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4 hours ago, Deteacher said:

Well, maybe those that know themselves well enough to realize that they have no patience should refrain from PRE-ordering stuff, because PRE-ordering implies that the items for sale are not currently available to just grab off a shelf and mail, same day.  Maybe they should just watch the store and when the item they want is actually in stock, THEN make their purchase.  The caveat to that is that they will end up getting their items even later than someone who pre-orders. 

 

Either way, the lesson is:  If you don't have patience, then get some.

 

To Al,

 

Thank you SO much for everything you do for this community.  Your efforts are very much appreciated.  I think there needs to be an official "Albert Appreciation Day" put on the calendar.  :party:

 

 

Thanks for the tip, but I don’t think Al himself is happy with the unusually long time frame on this batch, so I don’t feel these suggestions are really necessary. 

Edited by mhodgeshvs

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2 hours ago, mhodgeshvs said:

Thanks for the tip, but I don’t think Al himself is happy with the unusually long time frame on this batch, so I don’t feel these suggestions are really necessary. 

Nah, for sure.  We're lucky he hasn't snapped and been found posing as the thinking man on a stack of old 2600s in front of the Whitehouse.

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2 hours ago, mhodgeshvs said:

Thanks for the tip, but I don’t think Al himself is happy with the unusually long time frame on this batch

Understatement.

 

 ..Al

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Just wanted to give a brief update on my progress.  I expect to have most of the games finished by the end of this week, and to have them all completed (including some extra games for these orders I still need to build) by the end of next week.  This means having the games in finished, boxed form (nearly all of them are boxed, so they are going to take a ton of space!) and ready to ship.  After that it will take about a week to get them all shipped.

 

I will start posting photos of the games towards the end of this week.  And I will continue to post updates every couple of days from this point forward.

 

 ..Al

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Here's a batch of approximately 160 Atari 2600 carts drying after I used Goo Gone to clean the exterior of the carts (in particular, the two label surfaces to remove any label residue to ensure they are nice and smooth). 

 

 

drying_carts_2021-05-08.jpg

 

Half of these have already been used to build games, the remainder today, and there are many more carts elsewhere. :D

 

 ..Al

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^ ... and if anyone wants an idea of all that is involved to get the cartridges to this point, I documented the procedure that I use (which is similar) in this thread.  Re-building them as new cartridges would also include assembling and testing the electronics, which is even more time-consuming.

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5 hours ago, Albert said:

Here's a batch of approximately 160 Atari 2600 carts drying after I used Goo Gone to clean the exterior of the carts (in particular, the two label surfaces to remove any label residue to ensure they are nice and smooth). 

 

 

drying_carts_2021-05-08.jpg

 

Half of these have already been used to build games, the remainder today, and there are many more carts elsewhere. :D

 

 ..Al

This makes me exhausted just thinking about it.

 

Have you considered a Kickstarter to, well ... "kickstart" ... the new injection-molded shell initiative? Rewards could include Store credit for X number of new carts from the Store, a supply of empty shells for the backer, whatever.

 

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4 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

This makes me exhausted just thinking about it.

:)

4 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

Have you considered a Kickstarter to, well ... "kickstart" ... the new injection-molded shell initiative? Rewards could include Store credit for X number of new carts from the Store, a supply of empty shells for the backer, whatever.

I have, and there are some interesting ways of going about it.  For instance, one thing I considered would be to work with one or more homebrew authors to create a unique title that would only be available as part of the Kickstarter (or at least only available in some deluxe form).  However, I'm just going to finance these myself. It won't take long to get the carts once I have the design finalized.

 

 ..Al

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2 minutes ago, Albert said:

For instance, one thing I considered would be to work with one or more homebrew authors to create a unique title that would only be available as part of the Kickstarter (or at least only available in some deluxe form).

Even if you don't go this way to fund new shells, this is a GREAT idea to support the site/Store in some other way.

 

Take My Money GIF by memecandy

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3 minutes ago, Albert said:

:)

I have, and there are some interesting ways of going about it.  For instance, one thing I considered would be to work with one or more homebrew authors to create a unique title that would only be available as part of the Kickstarter (or at least only available in some deluxe form).  However, I'm just going to finance these myself. It won't take long to get the carts once I have the design finalized.

 

 ..Al

Weird, I thought for some reason that the 2600, out of anything else on the planet, would have had a new mold already made.  Seems much simpler than doing new computer cases, for example.

 

Awesome though!

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I know this is getting ahead of ourselves here (feel free to ignore) but I’m curious if the new molded shells would remain as close as possible to the original shells (a sucker for nostalgia) or a new design and shape like other companies (Activision) did in the past.

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10 hours ago, Albert said:

:)

I have, and there are some interesting ways of going about it.  For instance, one thing I considered would be to work with one or more homebrew authors to create a unique title that would only be available as part of the Kickstarter (or at least only available in some deluxe form).  However, I'm just going to finance these myself. It won't take long to get the carts once I have the design finalized.

 

 ..Al

I have the perfect idea for the game that should be created.  It's based loosely on the Atari 8-bit game "Pieman."  You play as Albert, frantically putting game carts together as the orders roll in.  The cart shell appears on screen, then you have to remove the label, build the PCB and install, apply the new label and then box the game for shipping.  All the while, the orders keep coming in, faster and faster.  Don't let the cart fall off the conveyor belt.  Too many dropped orders and AA shuts down.  

 

Too much on the nose?  :D

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Here's another photo of carts in progress.  The stacks of carts on the left are some carts (nearly 100) waiting to be cleaned with Goo Gone.  The carts on the right are drying after being cleaned.  About to go assemble all of "The End" and "Deepstone Catacomb" carts, and then I'll be attacking the carts on the left with Goo Gone those so I can use them tomorrow.

 

More_Carts_2021-06-11.jpg

 

In other news, here's an example of a box that had to be reprinted as the colors were off.

 

DragonsCache_Boxes_2021-06-11.jpg

 

The box on the left is from the original run, and the red Atari 7800 logo and "DRAGON'S CACHE" title that appears on the spines and top and bottom are not supposed to be red (which is the color Atari used for 2600 games).  Also, the Dragon's Cache logo, screenshots on the back, and artwork on the front were a bit washed out.  The printer re-ran these, and I received them yesterday.  The reprinted boxes look perfect, using the maroon color to more closely match the color Atari used for their 7800 releases, as well as the manuals and labels.  And the art isn't washed out--look at the background in the "Dragon's Cache" logo, you can see it's quite a bit lighter on the box on the left. 

 

Now imagine how much fun it is when you print 20 different boxes, 30 different manuals, and 35 different labels all at the same time, using three different companies (the reason these numbers are different is I printed manuals and labels for some older games as well as the new ones).  Plus posters for games (Venture Reloaded and Zoo Keeper), postcards for two different games (Adventure II XE and reBOOTed), and a soundtrack CD (for Last Strike).  Do not recommend, unless you enjoy pulling your hair out.  :D

 

Back to work!! 

 

 ..Al

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Man, you really need a vacation after all of this! 😆

 

Huge thanks for keeping us updated, can’t wait to finally give Zoo Keeper 2600 a go!

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21 hours ago, Albert said:

Now imagine how much fun it is when you print 20 different boxes, 30 different manuals, and 35 different labels all at the same time, using three different companies (the reason these numbers are different is I printed manuals and labels for some older games as well as the new ones).  Plus posters for games (Venture Reloaded and Zoo Keeper), postcards for two different games (Adventure II XE and reBOOTed), and a soundtrack CD (for Last Strike).  Do not recommend, unless you enjoy pulling your hair out.  :D

 

Back to work!!

Thanks so much for these more frequent updates and pictures!  I know it takes you away from the work of getting them shipped out, but it's really nice to see how things are moving along.

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Here's a photo showing all the boxes for the games waiting to go out, except the new Jaguar games (that haven't already gone out) as those boxes were glued by the printer.  These boxes have all had double-sided tape applied to one of the box flaps.  Next step is to go through all these to remove the backing on the tape and then "glue" the two long flaps together. Doing this in advance will make the process of assembling the games (cartridge, manual, box insert, and poster) into the boxes once I'm ready to do that (next week!) much faster.  These are going to take a TON of space, so I'm clearing off a bunch of shelving to make room for them.

 

NewGameBoxes_TapeApplied_2021-06-12.jpg

 

The red boxes in the back of the bin on the right are for Zoo Keeper.  The orange boxes behind "The End" are for Deepstone Catacomb.  :)

 

By end of day today I will have all the pre-order games assembled except for Zoo Keeper.  Most of tomorrow will be spent testing and labeling all the 2600 pre-order games that have been built.  All the extra games for orders will be built next week. 

 

 ..Al

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4 hours ago, Albert said:

Here's a photo showing all the...

 

 

ShinyBoxes.gif

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13 hours ago, Albert said:

Here's a photo showing all the boxes for the games waiting to go out, except the new Jaguar games (that haven't already gone out) as those boxes were glued by the printer.  These boxes have all had double-sided tape applied to one of the box flaps.  Next step is to go through all these to remove the backing on the tape and then "glue" the two long flaps together. Doing this in advance will make the process of assembling the games (cartridge, manual, box insert, and poster) into the boxes once I'm ready to do that (next week!) much faster.  These are going to take a TON of space, so I'm clearing off a bunch of shelving to make room for them.

Could you offer an "IKEA option" for those who didn't mind unfolding the box themselves? Maybe at a slight discount?

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3 hours ago, Nathan Strum said:

Could you offer an "IKEA option" for those who didn't mind unfolding the box themselves?

Including forgotten pieces?

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Here's another photo showing plastic bins full of already assembled pre-order games (2600, 5200, 7800, and Atari 8-bit).  These drawers generally hold 72 Atari 2600 carts, and varying amounts of 5200, Jaguar and 8-bit games.  There are 11 drawers full of pre-order games (some labeled, some not), and three drawers of 2600 games that have already had labels removed and are ready to be cleaned before they can be used for games.

 

Bins_Of_Games_2021-06-13.jpg
 

And here's a single drawer of 2600 carts.

 

Single_Drawer_Of_Games_2021-06-13.jpg

 

The unlabeled games will be tested and labeled this week, the only pre-order game that hasn't been built yet is Zoo Keeper.  The the extra games for these orders will also be built this week, and all the games will be boxed next weekend.  Then I'll be ready to ship everything out!  :D

 

Will continue to post updates of my progress during the week.  Going to take a break now (have been working on these games all weekend!) and then Goo Gone another batch of 80 carts.  That's my last task for the day, then will relax for a bit and watch the latest episode of Bad Batch and another episode or two of War of the Worlds.  Then sleep, then back at it tomorrow!

 

 ..Al

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I love seeing the steps and the volume that is being processed.  it would be great (for the future) if the photos and text could be prepackaged into a "why is my order taking so long?" thread that just documents the process.

 

and am I correct in understanding that you're processing over 1,000 cartridges?

 

holy smokes.

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