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Topics - TrekMD

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Homebrew Games / New Atari 2600 Hombrew - Snow Flakes
« on: January 20, 2018, 04:00:02 AM »
AA member Lolkiu64 has released a new mini-game for the Atari 2600 called Snow Flakes.  It's Winter time, and your outside as a paddle catching snow flakes, but watch out these snow flakes are tricky.  If one snow flake falls on the snowy floor, your toast!!!

Press fire to start the game
Use the select switch the quit back to the menu (your score will reset to 0)
Left Difficulty Switch to change the size of your paddle
Right Difficulty Switch to alter the height of the cloud

Homebrew Games / New Atari 2600 Homebrew - Stardust
« on: January 20, 2018, 03:53:05 AM »
AA member metalbabble has released a new game for the Atari 2600 called Stardust.

The TLDR of how to play:

 * Explore space, use the navigation map on the bottom of the screen for guidance
 * Shoot asteroids, aliens - don't get hit
 * Find all 4 planets
 * Land on the planet, defeat the boss, get a power up (multi-ships, etc).
 * Return to the starting base

RVG Interviews / Brian Colin Questions Needed
« on: January 19, 2018, 01:01:27 AM »

I had the chance to meet Brian during FreePlay Florida this past November.  He's a very nice guy and he agreed to do an interview for us. So, here is your chance to post some questions that we can send Brian.  If you don't know who Brian is, he is a video game designer who is best known for his work on Rampage, Arch Rivals, and Rampage: World Tour. He is currently the CEO of Game Refuge,Inc., an independent video game development company.  He has been very prolific in video game development and he is named as an inventor in three different US patents related to gaming history.

Colin's animated short film In Search of a Plot (1977) earned awards at the Chicago International Film Festival, the Melbourne International Amateur Film Festival, the Datsun/Playboy FOCUS International Film Festival, the National Student and Amateur Filmmakers' Festival of Comedy and CINE.

Retro Podcasts / The Intellivisionaries Podcast - Episode 33
« on: January 13, 2018, 20:33:33 PM »

In this episode we review the Mattel Electronics Intellivoice game TRON Solar Sailer by the late Keith Robinson. We interview former Blue Sky Ranger Mark Urbaniec about his involvement with the game, and his memories of working with Keith. There’s a listener interview with Steve Craft and his brother Jay. There’s a lot of non-Christmas talk by George, and numerous clips from Keith Robinson (sourced from previously released and unreleased material) about TRON Solar Sailer. And of course we have Feedback, News and even a few Easter Eggs. This is also our longest episode ever, clocking in at just over 7 hours!

Download .mp3 of this episode
0:00:00 – Turn on the tube TV, insert TRON Solar Sailer and go!
0:00:35 – Intellivisionaries Theme (The Not Quite Christmas Mix)
0:01:51 – George: episode rundown
0:03:44 – Welcome
0:11:31 – Ray Kaestner promo
0:11:41 – B-17 Bomber TV commercial
0:12:11 – Feedback
0:31:21 – Intellivision II Spaulding TV commercial
0:31:49 – Dear Mr. Intellivision spoof (Podcast Length)
0:32:38 – George: letter
0:33:49 – News
0:51:31 – George: Christmas box (1)
0:52:09 – Channel F Files promo
0:52:28 – Listener Interview: Steve and Jay Craft
2:02:26 – Easter Egg?
2:03:09 – George: Christmas box (2)
2:04:30 – William on the Keith Robinson clips
2:05:15 – Game Review: TRON Solar Sailer (part 1)
2:14:34 – Wendell Brown promo
2:14:47 – Game Review: TRON Solar Sailer (part 2)
3:48:46 – Keith Robinson promo
3:48:55 – Programmer Interview: Mark Urbaniec
5:13:06 – George: no Christmas
5:13:50 – Game Review: TRON Solar Sailer (part 3)
5:40:49 – Intellivision Flashback commercial
5:42:32 – Atari Age + INTV Steve TRON Solar Sailer feedback
6:24:58 – 1982 Intellivision holiday TV commercial
6:25:27 – Mark Urbaniec promo
6:25:34 – Game Review: TRON Solar Sailer (part 4)
6:34:16 – George: Christmas jokes
6:34:56 – More Easter Eggs?
6:35:12 – Additional Keith Robinson clips
6:42:38 – Wrap Up / “Treasured” by Paul ‘Nurmix’ Nurminen
6:47:01 – Outtakes
6:55:27 – Intellivisionaries promo
6:55:38 – Christmas chat with Keith Robinson (unreleased recording)

Listen Here:  Episode 33: TRON Solar Sailer

Retro Podcasts / Atari Lynx Handycast
« on: January 04, 2018, 04:53:34 AM »

This is a new podcast that's coming next month dedicated to the Atari Lynx.  The podcast will be run by Mark Little.  Here is his own announcement...

Hello, fellow Lynxians.
Thanks to all of you who have already liked the Atari Lynx HandyCast FB page and are patiently waiting for the podcast to arrive in February. And to those who haven't hit the Like button yet: go ahead and do it (you know you want to).
I thought I would take this time to give everyone a brief (well, maybe it's not so brief) outline of what I have in mind for the HandyCast:
To begin with, I hope everyone following me on this journey understands that I am not the expert on all things Atari Lynx; there are others out there that I'm sure know the ins-and-outs of the system better than I do (especially in the technical realm, because I'm actually dangerous with a soldering iron in my hand); to those folks in this community, I welcome your input and expertise. However, I will say that I have totally immersed myself in the Lynx since I first got one back in February of this year, and as I have had some experience with podcasting already, I thought I would go ahead and take up the torch.
My first episode, episode 00, will cover the history of the console. It will also include my own experience with the system, brief though it may be.
After that, each monthly episode (episode 01 to episode 36) will cover two Atari-published Lynx games. I plan to go in part number order so that I'm reviewing games generally (but not always) in chronological order. There are 62 Atari-published games released during the original run of the Lynx (1989-~1994/95). Every sixth episode or so I will cover 2 of the 10 games released by third-party vendors (Telegames, Shadowsoft, and Beyond Games) during that same time. At two games per month, that means that I should finish covering the 72 original-release games in three years (roughly February of 2021).
At that point I'll decide whether to cover the later releases games (Bubble Trouble, Alien vs. Predator, etc.), homebrew games (Alpine Games, Weltenschläkter, etc.) and other self-published and/or prototype titles for the Lynx. Of course, someone else may decide to cover those games in their own podcast before I get to them, and that of course is fine. For myself, I'm just focusing on the list of 72 titles that are generally accepted by the Lynx community to be the original games released during the Lynx's brief lifetime on the market.
Episode 01 will cover the first two games in part number order published by Atari for the Lynx: Blue Lightning (PA2020) and Electrocop (PA2021), both of which were launch titles for the Lynx I. As I will in all of my coverage (and as Ferg does in his excellent long-running podcast The Atari 2600 Game by Game Podcast), I will include statistics about each game, a review of its gameplay, graphics, music, and the people who worked on them, as well as my own thoughts on each game. I will also include how much each game has recently sold on eBay; we all want to keep on top of that in order to know how much to budget to get the carts we don't have, right?
Most importantly, I also hope to include feedback and opinions on the games I will be covering from everyone and anyone in the Atari Lynx community. I want the HandyCast to be OUR podcast for our beloved system, not just mine.
And speaking of the community: I've already received suggestions about people in the community or industry whom I might want to interview for the HandyCast. If I can secure these interviews, I will post them as special episodes alongside the original 36 planned episodes.
Lastly, I want to make this podcast fun for our great community, not just informative. I want anyone listening to the HandyCast who doesn't already own a Lynx to be excited about picking one up. And I also want to inspire those gamers and collectors whom are already Lynx owners and collectors to spread the word.
Eat. Sleep. LYNX. Repeat.
Mark Little
a.k.a. MillipedeMan

Check it out here:  Atari Lynx Handycast

Homebrew Games / New Atari 7800 Homebrew - Venture
« on: January 02, 2018, 22:13:03 PM »
The guys from Video61 are working on a new game for the Atari 7800:  Venture!  Yes, an appropriate arcade port is being created for the system!  Their intention is to create a port that is better than the existing ports for any home console or computer from yesteryear!  This is supposed to even out do their 5200/8-Bit version (which is already excellent).  The game may even expand a bit from the arcade version.  Here is a WIP video of the game.

Homebrew Games / New Atari 7800 Game - Legend of Silverpeak
« on: January 02, 2018, 21:59:35 PM »
Atarius Maximus posted about a new game he is working on for the Atari 7800 that would fill a gap in the system's game library as it is an RPG.  The game is called Legend of Silverpeak.  Check out his post and some images below.

Happy New Year!

I've been working on an RPG title since October, and I thought I'd start off the new year by sharing my progress.  It's a fairly expansive title, with a large overworld with towns and dungeons to explore and plenty of turn-based level grinding fun.  While the game's basic objectives are in place and the game is playable (and winnable) there is still much work to be done.  I'm aware of a few minor issues here and there that still need to be worked out.  The most notable area that isn't completed is the planned boss battles in each dungeon, some objects in the game don't do anything yet, how you level up and progress in the game will likely be changed/tweaked, and the graphics are my first attempt and may be changed.  The battles at the beginning of the game are very easy, and later on they are probably too difficult.  Hundreds of hours of work have already gone into this already, and many design and gameplay choices were made based on compromises related to available hardware resources (especially the attack sequence). I thought it would be a good time to take a short break from it, share my progress, and hopefully hear some feedback.

Saving and Loading your game to the Atarivox is implemented but untested on real hardware.  Actually I haven't tried it at all on real hardware yet, just in Mame.  The game is 512K, and is currently actually using around 280K of that space.  In emulation you'll have to use Mame, Mess, or A7800, and while the AtariVox saves aren't supported in those emulators you can use Mame's save states, which I tested and that seems to work fine.  At any time when you're not in the middle of a battle you can press the right fire button to bring up a detailed status screen. There you can save your game, use an item in your inventory, see your location on the overworld map, and review your statistics.  In battle, use the left button to attack, and the right button to switch back to the menu at the top to choose alternate options or use items.

Here's the story...

You are Azémar Rehn, a simple woodsman from Mountain Home Grove, a beautiful patch of forest just east of the Silver Mountains.  You set out from your homeland to reunite with your Uncle after your father's death.  Unfortunately, upon your arrival, your Uncle is no where to be found.  A short note is left in the Cabin, but it's not as helpful as you'd like it to be.

You'd heard of the war, and how all the most virtuous crystals that were revered by the people of Midlothia were captured and scattered into the deepest dungeons. They are fiercely guarded by powerful men who are determined to crush the will and spirit of the people.  Without their beloved symbols of virtue, the entire realm had been taken over by mercenaries and theives, bent on taking whatever they can for their own selfish gain. No power or virtue of man could ever have deserved that, what has been fated should not have taken place. Feelings of hopelessness and misery abound, and no one has risen to the challenge of ridding the land of these thieves.

No one with good intent, that is.  One powerful warrior, who calls himself Nonnag, who's mere prescences strikes fear in the hearts of men, has spread his evil throughout the realm.  He created the the Crystal of Wrath, which serves as a beacon for those who serve his evil purposes.  It must be captured and destroyed in order to bring peace, light, and life back to Midlothia.  The common people are waiting for a hero to emerge.  Once who can vanquish the evil, recapture the crystals, and restore the rod of life.  Only this man is worthy of being crowned the next King of Midlothia.  Great crisis produce great men and great deeds of courage.

The Midlothian army has long disbanded.  With their tragic losses and lack of leadership, hope was lost.  Soldiers are citizens of death's grey land, drawing no dividend from time's tomorrows.  It is now up to Azémar to restore order, to agree to the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of his homeland.  As soon as sacrifice becomes a duty and necessity to mankind, there is no limit to the horizon which opens before him.  It's time to fulfill your destiny.

I'll leave some additional details for later. :)

Retro Chat / The (His)Story of the Atari NES
« on: December 25, 2017, 20:52:39 PM »
When people talk about 1983 they almost always refer to it as the year of the video game crash. But 1983 also almost became the year that Atari had it all, when they nearly reached an agreement to sell the Famicom in all markets outside of Japan under their own name. This is the story of the Atari Nintendo Entertainment System that almost was.

Correction on the video:  Wrestling With Gaming accidentally used the NES NY trial run for the full launch date and the 7800 full retail launch date. He meant to use the full launch date for both. The NES full launch only beat the 7800 to market by a few months, which if anything it makes the sales number comparison more jarring in favor of Nintendo.

Retro Chat / The History of the Sega PODS
« on: December 25, 2017, 20:48:05 PM »
SEGA was one of the biggest video game companies in the 90's, but did you know they dabbled in toys too? Let's take a look at SEGA Pods, a motion-detecting game very similar to Simon!

Homebrew Games / Atari 2600 Demo - Egypt, 2600BC
« on: December 21, 2017, 02:43:11 AM »
These are always cool...

Entertainment / Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
« on: December 08, 2017, 03:19:08 AM »
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will be released in theaters on June 22, 2018.  Here is the official synopsis.

It’s been four years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles.

When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.

With all of the wonder, adventure and thrills synonymous with one of the most popular and successful series in cinema history, this all-new motion-picture event sees the return of favorite characters and dinosaurs—along with new breeds more awe-inspiring and terrifying than ever before. Welcome to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Stars Pratt and Howard return alongside executive producers Steven Spielberg and Colin Trevorrow for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. They are joined by co-stars James Cromwell, Ted Levine, Justice Smith, Geraldine Chaplin, Daniella Pineda, Toby Jones, Rafe Spall and Isabella Sermon, while BD Wong and Jeff Goldblum reprise their roles.

Directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible), the epic action-adventure is written by Jurassic World’s director, Trevorrow, and its co-writer, Derek Connolly. Producers Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley once again partner with Spielberg and Trevorrow in leading the filmmakers for this stunning installment. Belén Atienza joins the team as a producer.

Homebrew Games / New Intellivision Homebrew - Deep Zone Gorf
« on: December 05, 2017, 00:31:49 AM »
Deep Zone Gorf is a new game for the Intellivision coming from developer Arturo Ragozini.  I don't have a lot of details about the game but a new video has been released and it shows several types of enemies and a boss.  You can read more about it here:  Deep Zone Gorf.

Retro Chat / The Coleco Adam Thread
« on: December 02, 2017, 22:26:02 PM »

The Coleco Adam is a home computer, and expansion for the ColecoVision (port 3), released in 1983 by American toy and video game manufacturer Coleco Industries, Inc. It was an attempt to follow on the success of the company's ColecoVision video game console. The Adam was not very successful, partly because of early production problems, and was orphaned in early 1985.

Coleco announced the Adam at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in June 1983, and executives predicted sales of 500,000 by Christmas 1983. From the time of the computer's introduction to the time of its shipment, the price increased, from USD $525 to $725.

The Adam announcement received favorable press coverage. Competitors such as Commodore and Atari almost immediately announced similar computer-printer bundles. The company announced an extensive marketing campaign, with television commercials for "boys age 8 to 16 and their fathers ... the two groups that really fuel computer purchases", and print advertisements in nontechnical publications like Time and People.

Source:  Wikipedia

Here are two videos that looks at this failed computer system...

Did any of you guys get one of these computers back then? 

Homebrew Games / New Atari 2600 Hombrew - Mappy!
« on: December 02, 2017, 21:58:48 PM »
The guys from CHAMP games have been busy at work with a new project for the Atari 2600:  Mappy!  This is, of course, a port of the arcade classic.  Nathan Strum is doing an amazing job with the graphics (as he does with all my games, thanks Nathan!) and Mike Haas (ieposta) will be following up his fabulous work in Super Cobra Arcade to provide the music and sound effects (he has already posted some amazing music demos for Mappy).

CHAMP is estimating the game is about 50% complete, with all of the game physics done (walking, jumping, hopping, scrolling, platforms, trampolines, doors, bells, trap doors), all levels implemented (12) plus the bonus stage is playable, and basic collision detection (prizes, walls, balloons).  Still plenty of work to be done, most notably the enemies (cats, Goro, etc) and all the no-so-fun stuff like title screens, menus, etc.  There is no timetable for a release but a playable demo may be available sometime after the new year.

Below are some screenshots so you can see how good this game looks!

Retro Chat / Let's Compare - Micro Machines!
« on: November 28, 2017, 01:27:43 AM »
Micro Machines is a racing video game developed by Codemasters and originally published by Camerica for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1991. Themed around Galoob's Micro Machines toys, players race in miniaturised toy vehicles around various environments. The game is the first instalment in the Micro Machines video game series.

Micro Machines was developed because Galoob wanted Codemasters to develop a game based on their toy brand, although Galoob and Codemasters encountered legal issues with Nintendo over the game being unlicensed. Micro Machines was ported to several systems, and received remakes for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube in 2002. Micro Machines's reception was positive, with reviewers praising the originality and two-player mode, although some criticised the sprites on some versions. A sequel, Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament, was released in 1994, and the series was revived in 2016 with the release of a title for iOS and Android.


Micro Machines is a top-down racing game: players observe races from above. Players race in environments such as breakfast and pool tables, work desks, and treehouses, driving toy vehicles such as powerboats, helicopters, formula one cars, and tanks that can shoot other racers. Courses have a predefined path that racers must follow: if a player leaves the defined route for too long they are sent back to the track. Many have obstacles such as cereal boxes on breakfast tables, and pencil sharpeners on desks.

There are two game modes: the Micro Machines Challenge, and head-to-head. In both modes, players select a character. In Micro Machines Challenge, players race against three computer-controlled opponents, and must finish in first or second to qualify for the next round. Players are given three chances: if all three are lost the game is over. Every three races, players compete in a time trial race to earn an extra chance. In head-to-head, players race against another vehicle. Players are colour-coded, and the goal is to get lights on the screen to show the player's colour by getting a screen ahead of the other player, so the trailing player is no longer visible. When this happens, one light turns to the colour of the leading player. The game ends when all eight lights are one colour, or after three laps, in which case victory goes to the player with the most lights. If the game is tied, there is a "sudden death play-off", where the next player to win a light wins. The game starts with four lights of each colour. Head-to-head can be played in either single-player mode or with two players. With two players, certain characters have a handicap to give the other player a better chance. The Game Gear version supports two players via link-up, or by players holding one end of the console each with one player using the buttons and the other the D-pad.

Source:  Wikipedia

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