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christianscott27

lost trails- emailing for clues

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from time to time i like to play desktop detective, attempting to find some missing history from the classic gaming era. a lot of dead ends and some nice discoveries along the way, now in the interest of making room in my email box i'm posting these here. earth shattering no, but i had fun and maybe you will as well. if anybody cares to contact the programmers mentioned in these emails i can help but having a healthy fear of spam i'm not posting that info here.

 

all of these are from actual emails, in some cases i have edited for clarity and legnth

 

former imagic programmer michael greene (no escape) on 2600 wing war and other lost titles from imagic, these emails have been partialy posted here before in the thread greene mentions

Hi,

It's news to me that Wing War was released on the European market. I had

been told that the program wasn't going to be released.

 

To be honest, I don't remember much about the game. It was an attempt to

emulate Joust's flight characteristics which to me, felt really good. The

wandering around the maze looking for goodies bit was more a reason to fly

around than much else.

 

There was some discussion about turning it into a helicopter game, very

similar to the Copter flash game that's making the rounds these days. Given

how well Copter plays, it probably would have been a good idea.

 

Glad you like it.

 

Michael Greene

 

I read the forum comments. It's not true that Wing War was the only game

not released by Imagic. Brad Smith who did Asteroids for Atari, had a game

revolving around fire that never made it out of the lab.

 

Rob Fulop had a really nice little game involving moving colored tiles

around on a screen. It was something like the 15 tile game except you were

moving colored tiles. The difference was it was easier to play, was fast

paced and had a two player mode. It was one of the best games for the 2600

but as it was a puzzle and not action game, it died. If you know how to

reach Rob, he might still have a copy.

 

Mark Klein had a porno game he wrote before coming to Imagic. As you might

expect, Imagic wasn't too keen on publishing it but they hired Mark as he

demonstrated he could code for the machine.

 

Somebody made a comment about a marketing droid dictating the game's

release. It wasn't like that at all - marketing never told us what to do.

Imagic was definitely an engineer's company, not a marketing company. The

reason Imagic went under was the marketing vp made some pretty amazing

forecasts based more on fantasy than facts as to where the market was

going. Imagic borrowed boatloads of money to fund the necessary expansion

and when the market crunched, couldn't handle the debt burden. Wing War

was finished after the market crunched and there just wasn't a sense it

would sell in a dead market.

 

I don't recall any other versions being worked on while I was working on

the VCS version. The Mattel side worked in a separate area than we did and

about the only time we got together en masse was for brainstorming. The

VCS team and Mattel teams had two distinctly different cultures. As to an

Atari 800 version, it would have been done by Activision, not Imagic.

Imagic was almost 100% console oriented.

Michael

 

former milton bradley programmer N.F. describes a title that was very far along, AFAIK his work predates and is seperate from the later MB 2600 titles, i'd really love to see this game turn up!

 

Sure,

 

I worked on two VCS games when I was at Milton Bradley in 1981 that were

never released. One was a design I gave to another programmer, and I've

forgotten the name. The one I programmed was called "King of the

Mountain". It used the two twin paddle controllers (like Warlords which

was one of my favorite VCS games) for up to four people to play at

once. The playfield was a mountain that looked sort of like a wedding cake

with four layers. The paddles let you control a blob that represented a

kid and move him left and right on your level of the mountain. Pressing

the button threw a snowball - the kid at the top threw straight down, and

the three below him threw straight up. If you hit someone higher up you

changed places with him, and if the person at the top hit someone below

him, that person froze for a second. The higher on the hill you were, the

faster you accumulated points, with bonuses for hitting other players. The

winner was the first to reach some total, probably 99, I've forgotten. I

got about half of the way through the game, with all the players moving on

the field and some of the rest of it before they cancelled the four VCS

projects we had in development. Milton Bradley reverse-engineered the VCS

and would have been the fourth company on the market in 1981 after Atari,

Activision, and some third group that debuted with a game called Lost

Luggage, but the management decided to do a home computer instead - and

that was in turn cancelled when Coleco's Adam computer came out six months

before ours was ready.

N.

 

questing for a lost IBM PC title i learned this-

Hi Christian,

 

You've got an interesting hobby and you're the only one who has ever asked

me about Genesis.

 

I don't know whether Genesis was ever published but I don't think it was.

(he wrote the PC port)

Genesis was a coin-op arcade game very much like Tempest in that the game

revolved around shooting down a tunnel while spiders climbed upward to

attack you. I've never seen it in the arcades but we had one at

DataSoft and

I got to read the source code. I remember being very impressed with how well

the code was written, it was very professional.

 

All the best to you in your quest for treasures from the past

 

Tony a former roxlan programmer describes his eight bit titles which never made it to the public-

The one that I worked on for the Atari never got released... Rockball, a

clone of an arcade game by the same name. I also worked on Gyruss, but the

version that Parker Bros. eventually released wasn't mine.

 

unfortunately, I don’t know where to find those images. I have copies of my originals, but I really can’t release them because they never became ‘official’. I do know that my ‘laser strike’, ‘galactic chase’, and ‘star island’ games have shown up on the internet (these are the ones I did before joining Roklan), but none of the Roklan stuff ever did.

 

ahh crap its looks like i deleted a few by mistake but there you go.

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Very nice read, thanks for sharing!

 

And it looks like that Kind of the Mountain game could have been pretty fun.. too bad it never made it to the shelves :(

 

Regards!

Rasty.-

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The one I programmed was called "King of the  

Mountain". It used the two twin paddle controllers (like Warlords which  

was one of my favorite VCS games) for up to four people to play at  

once. The playfield was a mountain that looked sort of like a wedding cake with four layers.

 

This game sounds really unique and quite fun! It would be quite the party game, much like Warlords.

 

Too bad a prototype never surfaced for this game. Maybe it will someday?

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