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decle

Prototype of Las Vegas Roulette & Slots discovered

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Posted (edited)

Amongst the files we've recovered from a PDP-11 owned by Technology Associates was the intriguingly titled "Vegas II".  This name first appeared on a list of games that was found with a PlayCable adapter bought from a store in NJ...

 

list.thumb.jpeg.b33eb071904eb422df62cbfba2a3243a.jpeg

 

The file we've found is in the PlayTape format used by Jerrold engineers to make game backups that can be played at home on hacked PlayCable adapters.  This, and the other oddball names on the list, suggests the piece of paper might detail the contents of one or more PlayTape audio cassettes (unfortunately no cassettes were sold with the PlayCable).  Following a bit of tinkering to convert the PlayTape format into something compatible with JzIntv, we have it up and running.  The result appears to be a previously unknown prototype of Las Vegas Roulette & Slots.  So, for the first time in 40 years, Vegas II...

 

 

By the way, apologies if you get ads on my videos now. This is not my doing, and I don't get any revenue from it (my channel is waaaayyyy too small to be monetized).  This seems to be a policy change by Google.  Unfortunately, I didn't notice the switch until recently (I use an ad-blocker).

Edited by decle
Can't even type one sentence without making a grammatical error
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28 minutes ago, Atari_Bill said:

😮😮😮😮😮😮

 

We need a full cart release of this!!  Love it!

Shouldn’t it be digital only if it was meant for play cable? 😎

 

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So Cool! Thanks for you work on it!

I 2nd a cart release! :)

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"There isn't much of gameplay..." well as for all betting games.

Nonetheless decle this is a great finding.

 

...me neither, in fact i dislike chance games mostly virtual chance games, for two reasons there is nothing to win which makes the rather boring experience even more boring and well "same number draws always the same number" which isn't chance at all. I remember well that my dad made in the seventies an electronic dice but as with all of them it leaked exactly of this it can't replace a dice roll, as usual the randomness was in milliseconds (difference of touching the contacts), the most interesting fact was that it was controlled by the back then "absolutely brand new" touch control you found a little later in the '80s on any TV set.

I posted already to the "Backgammon" thread that i had in my youth a Backgammon computer it allowed to use real dice and enter the values, played in this manner the machine hardly won.

 

I'm not a cards counter but i had a friend which "leaked" of this special talent, he easy could predict slot machines apart from playing video games for hours with a single coin "i can't understand you it's soooo easy"... This dude could predict cards from up to three decks - amazing! Playing Poker or Blackjack against him was a pure loss. We, which is him some friends from back then and little me designed a sort of Monopoly (not the one i posted once, this was made quite later) we played at Sundays in our Pub, SFr. 50.- stake, but even this was mostly won by him.

 

And erm you do check your comments for grammatical errors?

I thought only me is revising his comments over and over...

 


 

Sometimes i miss you and your electronic toys daddy.

Papi Wilhelm: "You need to have blisters on your fingers before you understand the matter".

Edited by Gernot
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I wonder if they dropped slots because they couldn't figure out a way to get around that graphic limitation of not being able to show a cherry on the third reel?  It does look kind of odd.  Or maybe the changes they did to tweak Roulette took up too much room?  Otherwise I can't see a reason to drop slots even if it was lackluster.

 

Do we know if coding for Craps was started or completed?  It's interesting that Slots turned up but not Craps.

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From the old Intellivisionlives website:

"APh completed (and was paid for) this adaptation of the dice game Craps, but it doesn't appear to have ever been announced or scheduled by Marketing for release."

 

With slots, they could have shown the ninth fruit with background graphics. They look like low resolution sprite graphics.  How big is the Roulette Slots combo rom file.  The Roulette cartridge is about 3.2k, not much room for anything else.

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Imho i would have dropped the idea of a virtual slot machine right at start, to flip a coin is exactly as fascinating as this it equals to NIL to me. I guess craps and slots won't use much extra space in general it is the same a spinning wheel of numbers with a "random" stop. The poor graphics of slots show this well and it is a sort of game which you could have realized for the outraking "Unisonic Champion 2711", a single button controller will suit for it (pardon me) and a pure dice rolling game won't need a lot of graphics at all - just six dots per dice. Roulette offers at least a little bit of gameplay because the betting strategies vary, pure dice rolling or a slot machine offers nothing of this. Further virtual slot machines won't cover what they are for real, a virtual slot machine will be balanced while in reality they are cheated to generate profit. Dammit i have a young friend who is recently addicted to lots (is that proper told?) like far to many and i don't understand what they get out of this extremely short fascination not to know what the result will be (flip a coin), i always like to convince him that no one would start such a lottery if the gain was on side of the players, likewise for slot machines you shouldn't play it, in a long run you only will lose. He's on the other hand a cool dude and can play first person shooters very well, last year he played Doom on my machine for the very first time and it was a sort of walkthrough to him. A little randomness is the salt in a game but to consume only salt is not wise.

 

He's really a funny dude, he told me about a maths prof who claimed that you can have a row of over 30 times heads if you flip a coin, he liked to demonstrate to me that it won't work and reached twelve - sorry my fellow it is possible in an endless stream you demonstrated it with a contrary mind setting (perhaps exactly because of his contrary mind setting? Fortuna is still a not to control goddess and does whatever pleases her, "Ha, i will show you...", but however never depend on her she is very willful) . To stay with real randomness, it is what we maybe don't understand to well about chance, as low as a chance will be as long as this chance does not equal to zero it is in fact a chance of 1:1, it will happen or not. "if it is in the range of possibilities it either has already happened, will happen right now or happens in future" (a reply i received once from Dr. Mitchell to the topic extraterrestrial visitors, personally i'm very conservative to this topic but he's right "as long as it is not zero...").

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1 hour ago, Gernot said:

Imho i would have dropped the idea of a virtual slot machine right at start

I never understood slot machine video games myself, but you have to remember this was still early enough on that anything, no matter how mundane, done on a computer or game system was new and fascinating.  I remember talking to David Crane and asking him about the 2600 Slot Machine cartridge and he told me that he made it so his mother (or was it his grandmother?) could play slots on her TV because she couldn't get out to the casino.  So there was a market for such things, even if it seems kind of dull now.

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Now you have online casino gambling but before the internet there was a market for computer casino games.  I always looked at it as a way for people to practice before going to a real casino.  I never understood the appeal of slots in a real casino but the floorspace of a casino is about 80% slots.

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5 minutes ago, mr_me said:

 I never understood the appeal of slots in a real casino but the floorspace of a casino is about 80% slots.

Mindless entertainment and exciting noises. I mostly play slots the once a decade I'm in Vegas.

 

I still wonder how they were planning on cramming all three games into the cart.  Unless Craps was very simple or they were going to spring for a larger cart.  I think it's interesting that craps was removed but slots remained (for awhile anyway).  Maybe they thought about making Craps its own cart before killing it? 

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27 minutes ago, mr_me said:

Now you have online casino gambling but before the internet there was a market for computer casino games.

Online casino games, a thing my young friend plays often if that is part of a game like for GTA i can see a value.

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27 minutes ago, Tempest said:

...

I still wonder how they were planning on cramming all three games into the cart.  Unless Craps was very simple or they were going to spring for a larger cart.  I think it's interesting that craps was removed but slots remained (for awhile anyway).  Maybe they thought about making Craps its own cart before killing it? 

Roulette is more than 3/4 of the cartridge, there's no way Craps fits; and no larger cartridges until 1982.  (I assume someone checked that slots is not hidden in the Roulette cartridge.) Roulette selling poorly might have had something to do with it.  The other thing is if compromises were made to the game.  For example, Intellivision Blackjack is missing features you'd find in a casino, so it's not a good simulation.

Edited by mr_me
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@decle  This is gold! Thank you for sharing!

 

I tried to find a full list of APh employees and the games they covered, do you know where one might be? I hadn't heard of Walter Bright before this (but had seen John Brooks' name before).

 

 

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On 10/6/2021 at 9:22 PM, Atari_Bill said:

We need a full cart release of this!!  Love it!

Sorry, we don't own the rights to the game, so we can't distribute it.

 

On 10/7/2021 at 12:55 PM, Tempest said:

you have to remember this was still early enough on that anything, no matter how mundane, done on a computer or game system was new and fascinating.

I think this is an excellent observation.

 

On 10/7/2021 at 8:50 AM, mr_me said:

How big is the Roulette Slots combo rom file.  The Roulette cartridge is about 3.2k, not much room for anything else.

Vegas II is 3900 decles long, this compares with the released version of Roulette which is 3265 decles.  So, as things stand, Craps would have to be 196 decles or less for all three games to fit into 4K (4096 decles).  However, we don't know how much optimisation has been done to Vegas II, and therefore, how much more could be squeezed.

 

17 hours ago, First Spear said:

I tried to find a full list of APh employees and the games they covered, do you know where one might be?

No, I didn't, but it's not hard to put one together, or at least a first stab at one...

 

Game Programmer(s) Reference(s)
ABPA Backgammon Kevin Miller https://www.mobygames.com/game/abpa-backgammon
Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Chris Hawley, Tom Soulanille, Tom Loughry http://intellivisionaries.com/episode-6-the-dreadnaught-factor/
Armor Battle Chris Kingsley http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
Auto Racing Larry Zwick https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto_Racing_(video_game)
Boxing Tom Loughry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_(1981_video_game)
Checkers David Rolfe http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
Frog Bog Peter Kaminski, Tom Soulanille http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
Horse Racing Chris Hawley http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
Las Vegas Poker and Blackjack David Rolfe http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
Las Vegas Roulette Walter Bright, John Brooks https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intellivision_games
Major League Baseball David Rolfe https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_(Intellivision_video_game)
Math Fun Kimo Yap http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
NASL Soccer Kevin Miller http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
NBA Basketball Ken Smith http://intellivisionaries.com/episode-18-basketballs/
NFL Football Ken Smith, Kevin Miller, Glyn Anderson https://www.mobygames.com/game/nfl-football, http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
NHL Hockey Ken Smith https://www.mobygames.com/game/nhl-hockey_
PGA Golf Scott Bishop http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
Reversi Greg Favour http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
Royal Dealer Rich O’Keefe http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
Sea Battle Ken Smith http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
Sharp Shot Frank Evans http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
Space Armada John Brooks, Chris Hawley http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
Space Battle Hal Finney http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
Star Strike Hal Finney, Brett Stutz http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
Sub Hunt John Hershberger, Tom Loughry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intellivision_games
Tennis Gavin Claypool http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
Treasure of Tarmin Tom Loughry http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
Triple Action Rich O’Keefe, Shal Farley https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intellivision_games
US Ski Team Skiing Scott Reynolds http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting
Word Fun Kevin Miller https://www.mobygames.com/game/abpa-backgammon
World Championship Baseball Dan Dickerson, Mike Minkoff http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/APh_Technological_Consulting

 

As you can see most of the references come from GRDI, Moby Games and Wikipedia.  The GRDI page is especially good, it lists a couple of titles I had not heard of before, for example "More of Theirs" by John Brooks, and Explorer.

 

17 hours ago, First Spear said:

I hadn't heard of Walter Bright before this (but had seen John Brooks' name before).

My understanding is that Walter wrote the core Roulette game prior to leaving APh in June 1979.  However, he did not write Slots and doesn't know who did.  Perhaps John Brooks did the control and animation overhaul?  Its interesting the GRDI doesn't list Slots, but does list Craps. Unfortunately, it doesn't attribute an author, so we can't go a chasing.

 

Edited by decle
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If anybody really wants to play slots on their Intellivision, a different version of slots is one of the games on IntyBasic Volume 3, available from Intellivision Revolution.

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