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oky2000

Were any of the games/apps STE enhanced in STE Turbo Pack?

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So I was looking up stuff after somebody pointed out who wrote 520ST Star Raiders and whilst on Atarimania I found something called the "Turbo Pack" bundle for the Atari STE. The bundled games don't appear to be even STE enhanced games so that just leaves apps like STOS bundled with it and there is no way I am reading all that to check.

 

http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-st-atari-520ste-turbo-pack_21794.html

 

Was this just an old STFM bundle with now an STE option?

 

Was anything in that pack apart from the actual computer inside even Atari STE enhanced?

 

Looked up the games and found no mention of STE enhanced releases via a quick search on google for "STE enhanced". If they weren't then to try and sell the 520STE (1040?) for the same price as an Amiga 500 in 1990 (379.99 via Silica Shop in UK) by including STFM only titles in the bundle seems like the biggest marketing cockup I have ever known. Everybody knew the Commodore Plus/4 was doomed to fail (due to RRP and also the introduction of the useless 16K RAM base model which 99.99% of games were written for) but the STE is not quite as doomed, I think Commodore had yet to sell 1 millions A500 units or only just managed it.

 

It would be like bundling an Atari 7800 with some 2600 games in an attempt to go up against NES/SMS in the shops!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Count of Atari STE enhanced games is low. In 1990 it was certainly very low. I know only one STE enhanced one published by Atari - Whitewater Madness (1989), so it could be in this pack . Why not, why no STE enhanced games, or any such SW ? Maybe we should ask someone working in Atari in those times. Marketing department ... were they aware about STE specific SW ? 🙂

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23 minutes ago, oky2000 said:

Was anything in that pack apart from the actual computer inside even Atari STE enhanced?

 

Looked up the games and found no mention of STE enhanced releases via a quick search on google for "STE enhanced". If they weren't then to try and sell the 520STE (1040?) for the same price as an Amiga 500 in 1990 (379.99 via Silica Shop in UK) by including STFM only titles in the bundle seems like the biggest marketing cockup I have ever known.

Mostly not, Hyperpaint II was altered from the original to take account of the STe's extended palette and STOS would have been an updated version that ran (although I don't think that actually meant it had anything that made use of the new abilities), and other than that I think it is a no. There was also a STe Discovery Pack Plus, which was also completely unenhanced. I guess as Atari didn't have much of a software division at that time, and they had to make a pack with what they could get at launch, which at the time wouldn't have been STe enhanced. I think Sleepwalker was the first STe only game which would have been released at a similar timeframe. Some of those games in the Turbo Pack though are absolutely dire, Outrun should have been binned from the get go and HKM is also terrible. They were terrible games on the original ST, and should have been sent to the knackers yard not put in a new pack. Blood Money, Anarchy and Dragons Breath are fairly nice looking though.

Although I would say the Amiga equivalent would be the 500+ if we are going to do comparisons, which equally launched with cruddy support and underexploited features. I don't think that came with any 500+ enhanced software either.

I think, hardware wise, the STe is in the same ballpark for gaming as the original 500, winning some and loosing some (the sound of a thousand screaming Amiga fan boys errupts at this heresy ;) ), so I suppose charging the same for the hardware isn't that unfair, particularly as the pack ins were essentially loss leaders/ freebies in a way. Not the best advert though with the consoles on the rise admittedly.

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5 hours ago, oky2000 said:

Looked up the games and found no mention of STE enhanced releases via a quick search on google for "STE enhanced". If they weren't then to try and sell the 520STE (1040?) for the same price as an Amiga 500 in 1990 (379.99 via Silica Shop in UK) by including STFM only titles in the bundle seems like the biggest marketing cockup I have ever known. Everybody knew the Commodore Plus/4 was doomed to fail (due to RRP and also the introduction of the useless 16K RAM base model which 99.99% of games were written for) but the STE is not quite as doomed, I think Commodore had yet to sell 1 millions A500 units or only just managed it.

 

Atari certainly didn't care about showing off the STE hardware with an STE exclusive game or else they would've paid a developer for an exclusive. In Germany the computer was advertised (together with the STFM!) with a screenshot of Test Drive. I also assume that cost was important for inclusion in a bundle.

 

As an "Amiga killer", the STE was always doomed to fail, but at least it was (mostly) compatible with the older models, unlike the Plus/4 ;-)

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Probably over 90% of Amiga games technically were not worth the cost of a blank disk to pirate them I remember.

 

I suppose the number of games compared to previous ones had shrunk but you do get STOS and a paint package etc so probably trying a different 'family computer' market. STOS as bundled is missing the STOS Assembler it says so you couldn't even write your own STE enhancements.

 

Same price as 1990 A500 Batman Pack from what I can make out.

 

Might go and check the earliest STE enhanced games on the web now.

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For new ST users, it wouldn't matter if they had no idea about the STe's improved features but that it runs ST games & applications.

 

I actually wanted the 520 STe Discovery Pack because it had copies of Sim City & Final Fight which I wanted to play badly.  But my mom bought the 1040 STe w/o any extra software because it had more memory, and I'm glad she did because I found a full megabyte of RAM to be more useful than a bad arcade port.

 

Once I learned about the STe's "differences", I sought out PD & Shareware games that did use DMA audio for cleaner sound samples.

 

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On 1/20/2022 at 11:22 PM, MrMaddog said:

For new ST users, it wouldn't matter if they had no idea about the STe's improved features but that it runs ST games & applications.

 

I actually wanted the 520 STe Discovery Pack because it had copies of Sim City & Final Fight which I wanted to play badly.  But my mom bought the 1040 STe w/o any extra software because it had more memory, and I'm glad she did because I found a full megabyte of RAM to be more useful than a bad arcade port.

 

Once I learned about the STe's "differences", I sought out PD & Shareware games that did use DMA audio for cleaner sound samples.

 

Well it's a bit like if you got a Toshiba MSX for the price of a Commodore 64 and only ever played ZX Spectrum crappy ports on it. The STE Turbo bundle as far as I can tell was the same price as the Amiga Batman pack looking at Silica Shop. That came with Deluxe Paint II, FA 18 Interceptor, New Zealand Story (16 color only Ami game!!) and Batman the Movie. That would be a problem in UK. I think in the USA though Amiga 500 bundles were equally badly thought out too.

 

 

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1 hour ago, oky2000 said:

I think in the USA though Amiga 500 bundles were equally badly thought out too.

 

 

What Amiga bundles in the USA??  I was lucky to find a local Atari dealer at the time and even they stopped carrying ST's after a year...

 

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15 hours ago, oky2000 said:

Well it's a bit like if you got a Toshiba MSX for the price of a Commodore 64 and only ever played ZX Spectrum crappy ports on it. The STE Turbo bundle as far as I can tell was the same price as the Amiga Batman pack looking at Silica Shop. That came with Deluxe Paint II, FA 18 Interceptor, New Zealand Story (16 color only Ami game!!) and Batman the Movie. That would be a problem in UK. I think in the USA though Amiga 500 bundles were equally badly thought out too.

That Batman pack was mega successful, but I must admit I'm not entirely sure why (well I am, Batman hype was off the scale at that time). Batman itself was a bit of a Marmite game, part generic Ocean platformer (i.e. not great) and part innovative racer. I liked the driving/ flying section, the platforming bit was the same turgid stuff on the same Ocean engine that they pumped out for everything on at the time (Robocop 2 and so on.. ). New Zealand Story is a pretty reasonable conversion but no Rainbow Islands and Deluxe Paint and FA18 Interceptor are, of course, good stuff. But that seems to be all you are getting for you money, unless I'm missing something. The Atari pack has a reasonable art package (Hyperpaint is no Deluxe Paint, but it's fairly capable for the time), two programming languages (in fact you probably had a 'bonus' ST Basic in there as well, but that was probably only good for a spare floppy), a music creation program, and more games, one of which, Blood Money, is a bona fide classic - (although not my cup of tea) and certainly the best game out of both packs. Nothing in the Amiga pack actually pushes any of the Amiga's strengths, I would not be surprised if Batman and New Zealand are straight ports from the ST looking at them - I don't think either of them are any better than their ST counterparts, bar the usual tart up of the music and scrolling that Amiga games got at the time. I suspect today FA18 would be unplayable for most people due to the low frame rate. So to me, given a choice (and no late 80s Batman obsession), and no particular brand loyalty, I would go with the Atari pack on the basis of the included software alone. It's no power pack, but then what is, I guess.

 

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47 minutes ago, Zogging Hell said:

That Batman pack was mega successful, but I must admit I'm not entirely sure why (well I am, Batman hype was off the scale at that time). Batman itself was a bit of a Marmite game, part generic Ocean platformer (i.e. not great) and part innovative racer. I liked the driving/ flying section, the platforming bit was the same turgid stuff on the same Ocean engine that they pumped out for everything on at the time (Robocop 2 and so on.. ). New Zealand Story is a pretty reasonable conversion but no Rainbow Islands and Deluxe Paint and FA18 Interceptor are, of course, good stuff. But that seems to be all you are getting for you money, unless I'm missing something. The Atari pack has a reasonable art package (Hyperpaint is no Deluxe Paint, but it's fairly capable for the time), two programming languages (in fact you probably had a 'bonus' ST Basic in there as well, but that was probably only good for a spare floppy), a music creation program, and more games, one of which, Blood Money, is a bona fide classic - (although not my cup of tea) and certainly the best game out of both packs. Nothing in the Amiga pack actually pushes any of the Amiga's strengths, I would not be surprised if Batman and New Zealand are straight ports from the ST looking at them - I don't think either of them are any better than their ST counterparts, bar the usual tart up of the music and scrolling that Amiga games got at the time. I suspect today FA18 would be unplayable for most people due to the low frame rate. So to me, given a choice (and no late 80s Batman obsession), and no particular brand loyalty, I would go with the Atari pack on the basis of the included software alone. It's no power pack, but then what is, I guess.

 

In my youth i was a regular to the games sections of WH SMITHS  and the like in my nearest town. 

 

 

They had the Ocean Software demo tapes playing non-stop (and very loudly) and you were bombarded with Amiga footage of Operation Thunderbolt and the 3D sections of Batman The Movie. 

 

 

It really was brute force marketing. 

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On 1/18/2022 at 5:04 PM, oky2000 said:

So I was looking up stuff after somebody pointed out who wrote 520ST Star Raiders and whilst on Atarimania I found something called the "Turbo Pack" bundle for the Atari STE. The bundled games don't appear to be even STE enhanced games so that just leaves apps like STOS bundled with it and there is no way I am reading all that to check.

 

http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-st-atari-520ste-turbo-pack_21794.html

 

Was this just an old STFM bundle with now an STE option?

 

Was anything in that pack apart from the actual computer inside even Atari STE enhanced?

 

Looked up the games and found no mention of STE enhanced releases via a quick search on google for "STE enhanced". If they weren't then to try and sell the 520STE (1040?) for the same price as an Amiga 500 in 1990 (379.99 via Silica Shop in UK) by including STFM only titles in the bundle seems like the biggest marketing cockup I have ever known. Everybody knew the Commodore Plus/4 was doomed to fail (due to RRP and also the introduction of the useless 16K RAM base model which 99.99% of games were written for) but the STE is not quite as doomed, I think Commodore had yet to sell 1 millions A500 units or only just managed it.

 

It would be like bundling an Atari 7800 with some 2600 games in an attempt to go up against NES/SMS in the shops!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Over here in the UK, Atari simply announced they were phasing out the older STFM hardware and the existing Discovery Pack bundle would be replaced by the equivalent STE bundle. 

 

 

A friend of mine at the time was late getting into the ST, he ordered a 520STFM bundle from Silica Shop and the smug sod recieved an STE bundle instead, as they said they'd exhausted existing STFM stocks. 

 

Bar stereo sound on a few commercial titles, he had to resort to public domain demos to lord it over us FM Peasants 😂

 

The publisher support, let alone support from Atari UK, for the enhanced hardware, simply wasn't there. 

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17 hours ago, oky2000 said:

Well it's a bit like if you got a Toshiba MSX for the price of a Commodore 64 and only ever played ZX Spectrum crappy ports on it. The STE Turbo bundle as far as I can tell was the same price as the Amiga Batman pack looking at Silica Shop. That came with Deluxe Paint II, FA 18 Interceptor, New Zealand Story (16 color only Ami game!!) and Batman the Movie. That would be a problem in UK. I think in the USA though Amiga 500 bundles were equally badly thought out too.

 

 

I could be wrong but.. 

 

Wasn't it a case with a lot of these 'free software bundles'" that came with the hardware and offering great VFM  😀, that the titles were often things the publishers considered had reached the end of their commercial lifespans, in terms of stand alone titles.. 

 

And were now only fit for compilations and bundling with computers? 

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51 minutes ago, Lostdragon said:

Over here in the UK, Atari simply announced they were phasing out the older STFM hardware and the existing Discovery Pack bundle would be replaced by the equivalent STE bundle. 

 

 

A friend of mine at the time was late getting into the ST, he ordered a 520STFM bundle from Silica Shop and the smug sod recieved an STE bundle instead, as they said they'd exhausted existing STFM stocks. 

 

Bar stereo sound on a few commercial titles, he had to resort to public domain demos to lord it over us FM Peasants 😂

 

The publisher support, let alone support from Atari UK, for the enhanced hardware, simply wasn't there. 

You can see from the developer comments at the time of release in the magazines that it wasn't a big enough upgrade to get anyone really excited. I think everyone was expecting next gen performance, and what we got was a slight upgrade to bring it to some sort of parity with the Amiga (i.e. fixing the weaknesses of the original design). Leaks suggested it was going to be packing 256 colours and wot not, but we ended up with something that... good as it was, was not going to get existing ST users to upgrade, which were where most of the sales were going to come from at that point. I think Atari's lack of quality in house game development doomed their new hardware releases in the late 80s and early 90s. The Falcon, Lynx and Jaguar all suffered as a result and the STe was probably the first in that line.

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9 minutes ago, Zogging Hell said:

You can see from the developer comments at the time of release in the magazines that it wasn't a big enough upgrade to get anyone really excited. I think everyone was expecting next gen performance, and what we got was a slight upgrade to bring it to some sort of parity with the Amiga (i.e. fixing the weaknesses of the original design). Leaks suggested it was going to be packing 256 colours and wot not, but we ended up with something that... good as it was, was not going to get existing ST users to upgrade, which were where most of the sales were going to come from at that point. I think Atari's lack of quality in house game development doomed their new hardware releases in the late 80s and early 90s. The Falcon, Lynx and Jaguar all suffered as a result and the STe was probably the first in that line.

Going off a very hazy memory.. 

 

I can remember the UK Press hyping it up, when news leaked it was being worked on, as being Amiga-beating technology.. 

 

One of the Tramiel family promising the conversion of Steel Talons being the first title to make full use of the STE hardware and didn't that itself only end up on the Falcon? 

 

Also vague claims one of the Tramiel family had lied about the STE soundchip, it wasn't as powerful as exoected/had fewer channels or something? 

 

 

Publishers had moved onto the Amiga and consoles at this point and this wasn't going to be the machine to entice them back, that's for sure. 

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2 minutes ago, Lostdragon said:

One of the Tramiel family promising the conversion of Steel Talons being the first title to make full use of the STE hardware and didn't that itself only end up on the Falcon?

To be fair the Steel Talons that was released on the Falcon, didn't look like something that couldn't have come out on the ST, with a lower frame rate of course. Most of the non-3d graphics look very low colour/ resolution and the models and environments themselves aren't all that different to something like Thunderhawk. When I brought it for my Falcon I wasn't exactly blown away by anything remotely next gen. It's an odd choice as well to show off hardware scrolling and blitter improvements of the STe, as 3D games don't really get much of a boost from those sort of chips, and the STFM was already good enough on that front anyway (by comparison to the Amiga and Megadrive).

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13 minutes ago, Lostdragon said:

Also vague claims one of the Tramiel family had lied about the STE soundchip, it wasn't as powerful as exoected/had fewer channels or something? 

I vaguely remember something about better than CD quality sound (rather than channels), which I suppose technically isn't a lie as the STe dma sound chip can playback at a better than CD quality sample rate, which is indeed higher than the Amiga can manage, not that you can really use that practically with a floppy drive format games release. I think some of the press must have been confusion with other machines Atari had in the works, the 256 colour stuff could have come from the TT for example (which released around the same time and did indeed sport 256 colours in low resolution, but was a little out of the average ST game players price range), and you get the impression some of the Falcon specs have also slipped in there as well.

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I think it came with a couple of GEM apps (ST Basic for example) which technically would take advantage of the Blitter just by virtue of being GEM based.

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On 1/23/2022 at 10:56 AM, Zogging Hell said:

I vaguely remember something about better than CD quality sound (rather than channels), which I suppose technically isn't a lie as the STe dma sound chip can playback at a better than CD quality sample rate

It could do 50khz, but 8-bit  vs 16-bit on a CD, so it wasn't technically better than CD sound.   In practice though most apps seemed to use 25khz or 12.5khz because of the amount of data required for 50khz..   And if you had to do mixing, the 8mhz STe struggled to mix at 50khz from what I've seen.  

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1 hour ago, zzip said:

It could do 50khz, but 8-bit  vs 16-bit on a CD, so it wasn't technically better than CD sound.   In practice though most apps seemed to use 25khz or 12.5khz because of the amount of data required for 50khz..   And if you had to do mixing, the 8mhz STe struggled to mix at 50khz from what I've seen.  

Yeah the STe has to use the CPU for mixing, which isn't as useful if you are running a game as the case on the Amiga, where the mixing can be done with less CPU overhead (and yes you are completely right about 8bit sampling). I guess back in the those days with the limited disk space 50khz is not really an option (my Falcon used to chew through disk space when I used to record D2D back then) at high sample rates although that , on the other hand with today's cheap storage that is effectively not so much of a problem, more a problem of bandwidth I would imagine.

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On 1/18/2022 at 5:33 PM, Zogging Hell said:

 

Mostly not, Hyperpaint II was altered from the original to take account of the STe's extended palette and STOS would have been an updated version that ran (although I don't think that actually meant it had anything that made use of the new abilities), and other than that I think it is a no. There was also a STe Discovery Pack Plus, which was also completely unenhanced. I guess as Atari didn't have much of a software division at that time, and they had to make a pack with what they could get at launch, which at the time wouldn't have been STe enhanced. I think Sleepwalker was the first STe only game which would have been released at a similar timeframe. Some of those games in the Turbo Pack though are absolutely dire, Outrun should have been binned from the get go and HKM is also terrible. They were terrible games on the original ST, and should have been sent to the knackers yard not put in a new pack. Blood Money, Anarchy and Dragons Breath are fairly nice looking though.

Although I would say the Amiga equivalent would be the 500+ if we are going to do comparisons, which equally launched with cruddy support and underexploited features. I don't think that came with any 500+ enhanced software either.

I think, hardware wise, the STe is in the same ballpark for gaming as the original 500, winning some and loosing some (the sound of a thousand screaming Amiga fan boys errupts at this heresy ;) ), so I suppose charging the same for the hardware isn't that unfair, particularly as the pack ins were essentially loss leaders/ freebies in a way. Not the best advert though with the consoles on the rise admittedly.

I'm not defending Human Killing Machine, it's up there with Elite's Duet aka Commando II, Tiertex's Strider II and Imagine Software's The Vindicator (Green Beret II) and Renegade 3:The Final Chapter, as a prime example of a publisher milking the home conversion rights to popular arcade titles. 

 

 

It was never intended as a full price title, it was part of the line up US Gold had with it's experimental budget software for the ST and Amiga. 

 

 

It undoubtedly made it's way into the STe Discovery Pack as nobody else wanted it. 

 

Atari UK's attempt at publishing games itself on both the ST and Amiga, ARC didn't last long, around in 89/90. 

 

 

Results were mixed to say the least. 

 

http://www.atarimania.com/list_games_atari-st-arc_publisher_1737_S_G.html

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Lostdragon said:

Atari UK's attempt at publishing games itself on both the ST and Amiga, ARC didn't last long, around in 89/90. 

 

 

Results were mixed to say the least. 

 

http://www.atarimania.com/list_games_atari-st-arc_publisher_1737_S_G.html

Certainly mixed, although mainly average at best (quite a lot of 'Defender' in there, bit of a mistake to drop Arc though). The Borodino/ Gettysburg games were fairly innovative at the time (Total War before total war, but with a painful delayed messaging command system and units made out of blocks!), and Prince is an interesting idea. It's a lot of games for two years, perhaps an emphasis on quality rather than quantity wouldn't have gone a miss :)

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