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Messages - mqarkcambie
« on: May 13, 2015, 08:38:42 AM »
Well, apart from encouraging (nagging?) Lee the (tolerant of idiots like me) programmer, I'm not really contributing much - other than trying to reach out and find people with items and code that they don't realise are of interest to a wide audience. To this end, I'm still looking and trying to talk with people.
There isn't much more that we are likely to find (there wasn't much to start with), but we have at least lots of demos and test programs for the various versions of the machine, all of the famous demos - and 2 full games (Robocod for the later MSU version of the Konix and LN2 for the Konix Multisystem).
I'm trying my best to preserve and tell the story of the Konix - by giving everyone a voice and a fair chance to put their side of the story across. I think I have now talked to everyone concerned - or at least tried to talk to them (sometimes I get nowhere, sometimes they don't remember anything, sometimes they just clam up). Frustratingly, there are a couple of people who will probably take their knowledge to the grave with them. And I know for sure they have things worth sharing...
As for letting you have the game - don't worry, we aren't trying to keep this to ourselves, it is absolutely our intention to see the game released - but released the correct and legal way with the blessing of the copyright owner and those that were involved in writing the software.
It may be a while before we find a route through to getting it released, neither of us are particularly keen to get sued, but we are keen to allow people's creative efforts to be experienced and appreciated.
If nothing else, the act of digital preservation has been performed, and that means we actually have something tangible to talk about.
« on: May 12, 2015, 17:11:00 PM »
I didn't see this topic...!
Progress report? OK - probably the first thing to do is to watch this video then...http://youtu.be/EJbB10Z-6fo
So to sum up what's going on, Lee has worked out the raw disk image from the floppy, been able to implement disk load functions in his emulator and has emulated the game.
There's still some stuff he'd like to do, but for the moment, the game is playable. To me the audio sounds a little... I don't know the best way to describe it, but maybe lumpy, and a little discordant. However other than Jeff's computer generated music in AMC'89, this is the first real Konix music we are hearing. I haven't played through to the later levels (You can't currently play with Joystick, but when Lee gets time, I'm sure he'll look into that, at the moment it's keys only (and I suck on keys)) so I don't know if the music is different for each level - I hope it is!
All the levels are there on just one disk - the multiple disks were backups, source and different versions.
Work is in progress to try to get permission to release this - no news there yet, but we're not sleeping on it...
« on: March 03, 2015, 12:53:42 PM »
Haven't been contacted by David yet (I realistically think my chances are very slim of him just coming right to me).
Zapiy - Any chance you can give him a gentle nudge after a few months? (GDC is on, so I assume he's pretty gosh darn busy!).
« on: February 24, 2015, 16:28:29 PM »
Thanks man - yes, you're good to your word!
You're a Gentleman and a Scholar
David definitely seemed to know what a Konix was, so it's not like he's confusing it with anything else which is very promising.
Thanks once again!
« on: February 24, 2015, 16:09:53 PM »
Woah - wait, what? David Perry worked on a Konix game and he still has a "case" in his garage... WTF?
Didn't know he was involved in any way, have no idea what game he's supposed to have been working on and he's got a"case" - the mind boggles as to what that is exactly (one of the unused plastic shells of the Slipstream controller? a dev-kit...?).
Great find - I've tried reaching out to him on twitter, but Zapiy
- if you could give him a quick nudge in my direction, I'd love to delve deeper.
Also - he's Northern Irish, bloody heck, always thought he was American. Maybe he knows my Mum?
(because she knows EVERYONE in her homeland that has ever existed and ever will - longshot LOL)
« on: December 02, 2014, 16:36:21 PM »
I can't say without giving a lot away, but it's one of the ones you definitely know about from the line up of launch games. It sounds like BS, I know, but with the amount of work I've put into this website - you can see that when I say something is there, you can be sure it's there...
You never know in this game, sometimes people come along out of the blue with huge news, I somehow get the feeling that's less and less likely to happen as time goes by - but you never know.
« on: December 02, 2014, 12:14:55 PM »
Hi, unfortunately, it's all ground to a halt.
The guy with the power chair is still just that - some guy with a power chair. He'll never let anyone else see it (even just for a few months loan in a museum somewhere). He'll never sell it, and it's just going to be thrown out by his relatives when he dies. I can see it crumbling into rust in some council landfill.
The guy that claimed he had a garage full of liquidated Konix assets in a lock-up in Brighton including software backups of all the games, numerous devkits, prototypes, documents, etc was most probably full of shit as he never came through with any proof of owning any of this stuff and just kept making up stories of having offered it to collectors in the US and Japan (doubling the claimed price that they were supposedly offering for it each time).
The guy that did the Music for the MSU devkit who went to China with the programmer to train them how to write games for the system is maintaining radio silence. He says he has an MSU era devkit and unfortunately has seemingly vanished off the face of the earth. I guess I did something to turn him off talking with me. HE was actually suggesting selling it on ebay, I've never seen him trying.
The Emulator most probably got stalled as the emulator programmer changed companies and probably has many other things on his hands, all completely understandable, and it's a hobby project, so his free time is totally his to do what he sees fit with. Hoping he gets back into it one day, but i won't pester him.
A programmer who is potentially sitting on a full/complete/finished Konix game is a little difficult to reach, this game would need to be emulated, but it's an actual, real, finished Konix game - but even if it does get backed up from the floppys it's on, it will possibly get stuck in legal hell as the intellectual property owner may have an issue (even today) with us releasing it.
(This is previously unannounced, so this is a little bit of an exclusive here - but it's not that exclusive unless anything actually happens, and I've been sitting on it for a few years now...).
Finally, the guy who used to work at Konix who's said to know loads and who has a big fat book full of Konix info is someone I can't contact as his daughter won't pass his e-mail address on to me, and I don't want to pester her anymore. All I have is the answer "he has your email address, he'd contact you if he wants to talk to you".
I don't really see any way forward, I've tirelessly and painstakingly researched and interviewed and tracked down everyone possible, and I'm now very tired and lacking any kind of desire to continue.
If someone else manages to turn up anything then that's great and I'll jump right on it, but as it stands, unless other people decide to start sharing then what we have is probably all we will have.
I will always take contributions if people find magazine scans worth hosting - and I'll consider following some leads depending how promising they look, but for the meantime...
...this is Mark signing out!
« on: April 29, 2014, 10:26:04 AM »
Don't worry, the site's not going away. I'm just not tirelessly chasing people anymore. I'll be happy if the contacts come good or if anyone pops up with something else - I'll happily keep the website up to date with those sorts of developments, I'm just tired of looking for more or trying to tie up loose ends.
I'm not sure what you can do to help... but anything would be appreciated.
I'm sure there must be people out there who worked in the Konix factory, I'd love to hear some of their stories, but seemingly only 4 people ever worked there - anyone else (the people that actually manufactured, tested ,developed, shipped - whatever the joysticks and Multisystem bits) seemingly must be a figment of my imagination!
If you can put out feelers for finding these people, someone must have stories from the shop floor - pictures from inside the factory...
« on: April 29, 2014, 08:53:03 AM »
« on: August 18, 2013, 18:37:18 PM »
To me this had killer title written all over it. It's a shame the concept never made it to market, even on another system, but it was certainly a viable project, and having come from a simple tech demo knocked up by Fred Gill of ATD as a proof of concept, it is all the more impressive. The concept was sold to another company but sadly we didn't see it materialize into a game - Jon Dean recalls "They [ATD] had work in progress on TUNNELS OF DOOM but it was in its early stages. I subsequently sold the idea to MIRRORSOFT and we were creating it for a bunch of systems - but when Robert Maxwell went swimming, that as the end of Mirrorsoft, and we eventually gave up on TUNNELS." It's sad to see this one get away.
He also went on to say "TUNNELS OF DOOM would have been a killer app too; fast, very colourful, could have been controlled differently using any of the system configs and would have been a dream in the chair; in game style, it would most closely resemble WIPEOUT that came many years later."
Given that I happen to know Fred Gill, who also programmed CyberMorph, this might be something to ask him about!!!
Depending on your relationship with him (if you're friends rather than like me, just having his e-mail address) It may be worth asking him some more. I've already interviewed him and I feel, although he was forthcoming to some extent that he was being weary of me as I basically come to him cold with no introduction from a trusted connection.
He may have a bit more to share with a friend. He would be a great resource as him AND Brian Pollock both worked on the Jag and Multisystem, and Fred was there all the way through the Konix's life. He was also involved in the Panther - so (I am wildly speculating with nothing to back up my claims) he may have more details or maybe even some code from the Panther games he was involved in.
« on: August 12, 2013, 22:03:05 PM »
...In a market place that didn't need a machine that could barely do what was needed, you could go and buy the PS1 or Saturn which were more laudable choices.
So there was still talk of the KMS being released in some form as late as the mid-'90s?
Not just talk - keep your eyes open around the car boot sales, they (MSU which is what Konix became) made the TXE Multisystem which was apparently available in Tandy. I've not seen one yet - but one of the programmers remembers seeing one in Tandy. It was a terrible CDTV like home entertainment box which could play CDROMs and "games". Very sad...
It didn't have the controller or the add-ons and seemed to be aiming for the edutainment market.
« on: August 12, 2013, 21:45:26 PM »
I'm not going to leap to the Konix Multisystem's defence because although I'm fascinated by the whole back story, it never came out so it's like comparing Unicorns to Horses.
I appreciate the points you're making, it was universally accepted that the 8086 was an oddball choice basically governed by trying to sell a system that could be called "16bit" for as little as possible (it started with an 8bit Z80). This feature creep carried on to the point of getting up to the 32bit 386 in the Multisystem's final recognisable version - 486 was talked about too...
It's a purely academic exercise to speculate how well the machine would have done if it had been released, because during it's lifespan in development hell, it went through many changes and got surpassed by several different "competitors" machines until it got to a point (MSU SS4 in the TXE Multisystem) where it effectively did become available for purchase but in such an outdated and horribly watered down and buggy form that it would have been competing against it's spiritual successor (the Jaguar). By this time it wasn't even really being itched as a game machine but as a *cough* multi-media player *cough*.
In a market place that didn't need a machine that could barely do what was needed, you could go and buy the PS1 or Saturn which were more laudable choices.
« on: August 12, 2013, 09:42:10 AM »
Flare had considered a 68000 CPU and had worked out the technicalities of using their AVP chip (what Flare internally called the Slipstream chipset when they were marketing it to people other than Konix).
I'm sure if they had interest from a manufacturer they could have gone ahead with that implementation quite painlessly.
Without a large collection of games to compare, I think it's difficult to really judge just how good or bad the KMS was in comparison to it's competitors.
Once the emulator get more developed, I guess if we're lucky, Lee the programmer might knock together some demos that try to push it to see what kind of performance it could really manage but he's a very busy chap...
« on: August 09, 2013, 14:07:49 PM »
Chess... I've no real problem with that - I wouldn't have bought it - but it was something different I guess.
But Konix claiming that it supported the Power Chair - What the Hell? That's just bat shit crazy and really smacks of someone at the top passing down an edict that every game must support the Power Chair so that they can ensure it's not just a buy it once never use it again peripheral.
Also, talk of BattleChess sounds cool - however from the only screen shot know to exist of Konix Chess, it had terribly simplistic graphics that wouldn't have encouraged anyone to play it for anything other than the love of Chess.
« on: May 15, 2013, 20:07:00 PM »
Ok, guy on ebay now saying that he's talking to companies in the US AND the UK and the price of his stuff is now 28 thousand ( funny, keeps going up all the time...
" title="Roll Eyes" /> ).
Now there's no mention at all of the supposed Japanese deal.
I am fully aware that this guy could be reading this, but I don't care, it is just bullshit. There is STILL no proof, I have no idea how all these people are supposed to be knocking at his door, and he should know that I will never make an offer for something I've not even seen a picture of...
Such a crying shame that this is going down the way it is. I still struggle to understand why it should be this difficult if this guy does have anything, and then - if he doesn't, why he keeps this going for so long!