Author Archive

LowRes #3

May 15, 2010

Image by Samurai / Inter

Content issue #3 Mai 2010

Editorial #3

May 15, 2010

I remember back the time in 2006 when I visited my first PC party. It was the Demozone 2006 in the Netherlands. I knew that the time of the homemade seperation of the Atariscene was at it’s end, and so I was looking forward for new impressions.

The welcome in the themself called “scene” was warm and people showed some interest in the Atari.

Many Atarians then traveled to PC parties and more and more PC sceners traveled to the outline. They even bought shirts with Atari signs.

In the demos itself you saw more and more greetings of none Atari groups and some Atari groups were also greeted in non Atari demos.

A peak in this process now happened at this year outline party.

Countless Atari signs in a Amiga demo!!!

In Monaco by Desire

A great moment to saw that live. And a great sign that respect is the key to be on good terms.


Links:

  1. In Monaco demo at pouet

Earplug #3

May 15, 2010

We ask some Atari musician about their favorite tracks, so while you read the magazine, you have something to listen to.

Thanks to gwEm.


Links

  1. Steve Nosurname
  2. Exilefaker
  3. 505

News #3

May 15, 2010

A bunch of new Jaguar games

Reboot released Superfly DX [1]. Superfly was created by the Reservoir Gods for the Atari ST and Falcon some years ago. It’s a one button game, you fly a submarine through a tunnel and you have to avoid to hit the top or the bottom of the tunnel. Pressing the button letting your submarine rise and not pressing the bottom let it sink. That’s it. The Jaguar version is a complete rewrite and it has great graphics and a lot of modes.

At the outline there was also a preview [2] of Ladybugged by Jagware. A clone of Lady bug from the VCS (wasn’t that a clone of the Coleco version?). The game is once again very professional with great graphics and  good sound, so we could look forward for the final version.

Outline Demoparty Press Release

Release Date: May 3, 2010
For immediate release

The Outline Demoparty Board monday announced the execution of a consent Cease and Desist Order by and among Digitale Kultur e.V., Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen, a registered digital arts society, and Evoke Demoparty, Köln-Kalk, Nordrhein-Westfalen, a non-registered demoparty event.

A copy of the Order [3] is attached.

Bubble+ clone for the iPhone.
In the STOT round 12 of the actual 3rd season, we played Bubble+. It’s a Atari ST gem back from the good old days. We get a trackback from another blog to an interesting article about a mobile game called Ozone [4]. This is a Bubble+ (or Bubble Ghost as it was called originaly) for the iPhone. Great to see, that people not only remember the blockbuster, but also the great ones.

Xenon II T-Shirt
Some time ago I requested a Xennon II Megablast shirt. Now it’s available [5]. Thanks to Panayotis. I already wear it at the outline, and it’s great, and many people recognized it.

No Fragements 10 & 11 released by .tSCc.
Always proud to announce another released of a group like no other :-) This time, Lotek released 2 new No Fragemens CD’s:

  • Number 10 [6] is filled up with Diskmags.
  • Number 11 [7] contains the (Atari) Party archive 2007 – 2010

Kick Off v.1.0.4
Steve Camber well known for Dogfight on the Atari ST is for shure much better known for patching the Kick Off 2 binary again and again. Now the KOA v1.0.4 [8] is out. And this time with a revolutionary new mode. You could select not only if you want to use PBD (Penalty Box Dribbling), you could also choose Autofix and Trapfix.

  • AutoFix? – Select Yes to disable auto slides and auto headers by your teammates
  • PBD? – Select Yes to enable PBD mode
  • TrapFix? – Select Yes to stop traps turning into slides

Now the gameplay is less hectic and also a little bit different.

Frank F. won the Hessian Champs

Frank was the best player of the greatest tournament [9] in Hessen for years. He won the final against Volker B. 11-2. Beside the final there were a lot of suprises during the tournament and beside Cornelius, who was a bit unlucky that day, everybody got a cup or prize.

Frank got some cups

RMKO TV
The Rhein-Main Kick Offer now have their own Miro Video Channel [10]. There you could see famous and not so famous Kick Off heros playing their matches and screaming around.

WGL TV
The Wiesbaden Gaming Lab, the Rhein-Main based retro meeting for real hardware usage and real food ordering, now also has a Miro Video Channel [11]. Really worth to watch because of the funny comments.

Rhein Main Spiele Club
In the Rhein Main area there seems to be more interest in meeting each other. After the highly successful HomeCon, a website [12] called Rhein Main Spiele Club (Rhein Main Gaming Club) is now online. Let’s see if there will be some people who participate. At the last HomeCon some people from the Cologne area said, they are interested also to host a event inspired by the HomeCon. This would be great, to have such events in more metropolitan areas.


Links:

  1. Superfly DX video webpage
  2. Laddybugged video
  3. Outline kill the scene :-)
  4. Ozone
  5. Xenon II T-Shirt
  6. No Fragements Nr.10
  7. No Fragements Nr: 11
  8. Kick Off 2 (Amiga) KOA v1.0.4
  9. Hessian Champs report
  10. RMKO TV Miro channel
  11. WGL Miro channel
  12. Rhein Main Spiele Club webpage

YM heaven in the net

May 15, 2010

A new ambitious project was released in the web some weeks ago called Atari Music Network (AMN). We would like to talk with Donovan Logan about the past the present and the future of it.

LR: Could you please introduce yourself?

DL: Gladly! But first, I’d like to thank you for this interview opportunity and your interest in the Atari Music Network. This is my first public interview, so I’m very honored.

My name is Donovan Logan. I lived in Toronto, Canada for nearly all 30 years of my life until recently when I immigrated to the USA to get married. Now I live in the beautiful mountain town of Asheville, NC. It’s definitely been a culture shock – especially since the Asheville Craigslist hasn’t had a single Atari listed since I arrived last year! ;-)

LR: What was you first Atari and when do you get in in touch with music on the Atari?

DL: I studied piano/keyboard from the age of four straight through to University. I fell in love with the Atari in grade 7 when my school invested in an entire Atari 1040 ST MIDI studio for $4000. All had at that time was a Tandy TRS-80 and my classroom’s C64 which I brought home on weekends to compose an arpeggiated, three-channel chiptune and light-show on using Basic. The thought of owning a real, genuine Atari seemed impossible; I literally waited years to save enough money from odd-jobs to buy a smokey-yellow Atari 1040 STFM when I was 16 in 1996. Now, I own three modded Atari Falcons that read SD and CF cards and connect to a 22″ flat screen and mint condition Roland and Yamaha analog synths! It’s my dream come true! To read my full-length, extremely humorous and somewhat perverted Atari story, visit this link: [2]. You can also write your own nostalgic Atari story there too!

LR: How would you describe the AMN in a few words?

DL: The Atari Music Network (AMN) promotes and celebrates Atari MIDI and chiptune music with forums, how-to articles, news, & a growing collection of nefarious software. Although AMN focuses on Atari, it warmly welcomes Amiga, C64, ZX & NES musicians to share their music! There’s no platform rivalry here – we’re all one big, geeky, vintage family!

LR: What is the greatest feature of the AMN?

DL: In the beginning of April 2010, the Atari Music Network released AMN Live!, an incredible new feature which has completely revolutionized the site. AMN Live! is a free, professional music publishing tool designed to help chiptune and MIDI musicians promote their music to a targeted, global audience. It is the only chiptune and MIDI music sharing service that includes in-depth SEO and social bookmarking tools so search engines can easily index our musician’s profiles and albums as individual landing pages. AMN also pays out of pocket for Facebook and Google ads to drive traffic to this area of the site; therefore, if you really want your music to get noticed, you’ll want to spend some time writing a clean, professional bio as well as some informative album reviews.

LR: How could somebody could participate?

DL: All you have to do is register once to get access to both AMN Live! and the AMN forums.

LR: How long did it took to establish the site?

DL: This is a loaded question! First of all, this is the first website I’ve ever built. When I started back in June of 2009, I knew absolutely nothing about HTML or Joomla. In fact, I didn’t even know how to buy an internet domain! Since I was a new immigrant to the USA, I wasn’t allowed to work so I had a lot of spare time on my hands. Originally, I wanted to launch the site it in October, but someone hacked into my files and deleted everything. Can you believe I never backed up anything either? It was so devastating and I almost gave up. But after several nights of drinking Heineken and receiving encouragement from several Atari friends and my wife, I started all over again. The site was finally launched on midnight, Jan 1, 2010. And you wouldn’t believe what happened next! A few minutes after the launch, my hard drive crashed and I couldn’t access my site for days!

Over time, I have become quite proficient tweaking CSS, HTML, and mySQL files. The site has changed so much since January and I’ve got many unfinished projects to finish on the site. I can safely predict it will take another year to call it “complete” and “running on its own”. Unfortunately, since June 2009, I haven’t had time to even touch my Atari studio. It’s been a huge sacrifice building this site; there’s always modules to upgrade, bugs to fix, SEO enhancements to make, advertising to pay for…the list is endless. In fact, I’m running both a Joomla and PHPBB3 forum side by side and this dual platform system requires double the constant upgrading and monitoring. Right now, there’s a lot of people waiting on me to upload articles they sent back in March! I can barely keep up! Although I’ll admit, since I’m a graphic designer by trade, I spend too much time perfecting my front page graphics! ;-p

LR: Do you think that there is something most Atari musicians have in common?

DL: I don’t like to over generalize, but I can share some observations I’ve made over the years. Atari musicians come in two flavors: MIDI synth enthusiasts and Chiptuners. MIDI musicians tend to be in their 40s-50s, and are incredible Atari hardware experts. They always seem to have an answer for even the most obscure questions. Typically, these are the guys that never sold their Ataris since they bought them new, or if they did, they came back to it years later after realizing Mac and PC were no where near as stable, efficient, or fun to to sequence MIDI music on.

Chip musicians seem to span all generations and platforms. There plenty of older MIDI-chiptune crossover musicians and ex-demo gurus too. Perhaps the most exciting and promising thing I can tell you is that there are thousands of youths in their teens and 20s who are way too young to even know what Atari is – yet they are embracing and popularizing the 8-bit music genre like never before! For example, I recently encountered a few hundred of them from Indonesia though Facebook. The 8-bit scene is massive over there and I constantly get thank you emails and letters of support from them – incredible!

LR: Do you meet other Atarians in real life from time to time?

DL: Not in the Appalachian mountains! But there are still hundreds of Atarians back home in Toronto buying & selling Ataris on Craigslist all the time. One of the Atari Music Network’s goals is to create a global ‘network’ of Atarians to exist as one, large community.

LR: What are your plans for the future of the AMN?

DL: There are actually several planned stages of growth for AMN. First and foremost, I plan to produce an e-commercial for YouTube to attract and invite more chiptune and vintage MIDI synth musicians. I also have over 1GB of Atari software I need to upload which is a long boring, task – but one I’m sure all Atarians will love and appreciate. More importantly, within a couple years, I am planning on hosting international chiptune/MIDI festivals, similar to Blipfest, in the USA and perhaps globally. But right now, I’m focussed on making sure AMN is running smoothly with more content, software, and members.

LR: When I had a look at the link section, I didn’t see anything related to games and gaming, why?

DL: That link page is massive, isn’t it? My web analytics also show that it’s the most popular page on the site! It took countless weeks to build that page and I am nowhere near finished. I’m now looking for volenteers to continue adding and building it. The categories extend way beyond Atari music and so far it has potential to be the largest, most up-to-date Atari link page of all time. If anyone would like to help continue building it, please contact me at atarimusicnet@yahoo.com. I’d love to have a game section as well as sections for our C64 and Amiga friends.

LR: What are your 3 favorite Atari made tracks?

DL: I can’t say. Ask me again in one year after AMN attracts hundreds more talented Atari musicians – I want to sample thousands of new, innovative tracks before I form an opinion on what I like most. Maybe someone reading this article can blow me away with their musical talent! Hope to see you at http://www.AtariMusic.net/

LR: Thanks a lot that you found some time to do the interview Donovan, and good luck with your project.


Links:

  1. Atari Music Network
  2. Donovan’s Atari story

A new star at the shores of the Main

May 15, 2010

Not long ago the Hessian Kick Off scene organised in the RMKO [1] (Rhein Main Kick Offer) were only few in number. Because a tournament only counts international if at least 4 players participate we have to say thank you to Volker and Oliver from the KLD (Cologne, Langenfeld, Duesseldorf) team. Their participations often made it possible to have a real tournaments.

Now since there are regular retro meetings in the Rhein Main area called HomeCon, we were always able to get at least 4 players from the Rhein Main area itself. That’s a big success and we now locking forward to a brighter future of the RMKO.

Beside the constant attendance of long term RMKO’s like Thorsten B, Jan K, Frank F and Juan S we were able to recruit a new star at the HomeCon: Horst L.

LR: Could you please give a short introduction of yourself?

Horst: I am 38 years old, so I got first in touch with video games in the early eighties.
First in the Arcades, as you could sneek in easily as a child in 1982 :) Later I bought my first computer – a C64 – and had any Amiga except the A3000.
As my parents never bought me a pong console nor an Atari 2600, two years ago I started to collect and repair any model of the Atari 2600/7800 and by having now a collection of roughly 250 cartridges, a dream of my youth became true. Once a month I take part in a Radio Show called Dr. Pong on Radio X in Frankfurt, where we talk about recent games for current Systems like Playstation and XBOX but also about Atari 2600/7800 Homebrew titles and classic Games from the golden age of video gaming.

LR: What were your Kick Off experiences before you met the RMKO?

Horst: When we started to play Kick Off 1 on a Friday evening, we skipped the disco and played until 5 o’clock in the morning until we were some how able to control the ball and score goals (even the goalie was quite week in part one).
When Kick Off 2 was released, we ordered it in advance an got an original English version.
I probaly played it with my mate from school 3 times a week until 1993. Then I left for my studies and we just had a few games afterwards.

LR: What do you think makes Kick Off different to other football games?

Horst: The fact that the ball is not attached to your foot, allowing dribblings any time, requires certain skills with your hands in controlling the ball which current soccer games do not.
In FIFA/PES you need to see the coming action and plan the sequence of the 3-4 buttons you have to press in a row in forehand.
Kick Off requires the player to be concentrated all the time and is more comparable with Table Football (Kicker/Tischfussball) as you need a certain talent to move your hand/fingers. For FIFA/PES you train more tactics and moves, in Kick Off 2 you first have to train ball control, even though tactics are important in Kick Off as well (e.g. find the weak point of your oponent and take advantage of it).

LR: What’s your opinion on turning off know bugs of the original Kick Off?

Horst: I like it! It does not change the nature of the game really and now nobody can complain that he just lost because of a bloody auto slide :)

LR: How important is the competiton for you?

Horst: Well, 20 years ago I just played for fun with friends but had fun to beat them all the time.
Now playing a competition and having just started again, you lose many games but it gives fun, as you can learn new ways to score goals (I never bended the ball around the goalie before I played a game vs. Thorsten B., now I do :)

LR: How would you describe the German Kick Off scene you got in touch so far?

Horst: The guys I met so far were all great. There is competition going on but you allways get tips how to improve your own play and they are all cool guys bringing back the times when we had big parties going on at lake in the Odenwald (that’s were I am original from) with computer freaks from all Europe. This lake hasn’t seen such an crazy international crowd ever again.

LR: What kind of equipment do you use?

Horst: In1988 I was an apprentice at Bosch to become an electrician, so I built my own joystick board with an Arcade Stick and fire button.
Getting my hands aking from joysticks you can buy nowadays, I pulled it up from the basement, implemented a fresh stick and button and it feels great again. That is japanese arcade quality: A stick from 2010 fits in any arcade chassis from 1988, so it fits in my board… !

LR: What do you expect from the WC in October?

Horst: I really hope that I can join the tournament to see the leading guys from other countries to play as well as the German players I have not seen in action before. Hopefully they will find a mode where players of similar strength can play more games against each other to learn and improve before they hit the masters (only a master of evil darth, if you strike me down I will get even bigger… can’t remember the excact words, even I watched it 20 times…).

LR: Have you ever played Kick Off on the Atari ST and if not, what is your relationship to Atari?

Horst: Never played it on an ST. We Commodore supporters did not get in touch with the Ataris often but from time to time we compared the games on our systems and after Commodore and Atari were going down we had one common enemy: These fucking PCs with no soul, were you always had to buy new hardware to get your new game running smoothly… Even today I only play on consoles, never on a PC (except emulators of old systems). Today I love the old Atari stuff (2600, 7800) as I once loved my Amiga but never got in touch with Atari computers at all. I would say Atari is the mother of video games and I admire the guys from the first generation around Nolan Bushnell but did not care much about anything released from Atari by the Tramiels. I find it quite funny that today some people are still picking a fight on which system was the better one. If I think about Jay Miner, I know we had the same roots anyway… wasn’t it Steve Jobs working for Nolan as well?

LR: Do you like real football?

Horst: Yes, I played football when I was young and watch every game of Eintracht Frankfurt. I have a ticket for the whole season.

LR: Which 3 retro games you like most?

Horst: That depends on the system really: A2600: Pitfall, Missile Command, Hero, A7800: Centipede, Commando, Galaga, Amiga: Turrican 2, Apidya, Kick Off2!… and so on. I have my top 5 on each system up to the current systems, so it would take a day to compile a list. These games are just a glimpse.

LR: What are your plans for your Kick Off future

Horst: To play some tournaments localy and hopefully find the time to even go abroad some day.
As I only train vs. the computer from time to time, it is not so easy to improve my game play. It would be quite helpful if I can play a few tournaments with players on similar or slightly higher level, so I hope the scene will grow and we have tournaments with more and more players.

LR: thanks for this interview and good luck for the upcoming tournaments


Links:

  1. Rhein-Main Kick Offer

In offline competitions we need more goals instead of rules, but some rules are necessary

May 15, 2010

At the moment we have some discussions in the STOT [1] which are interesting for all kind of offline tournaments I think.

When we played Lethal Xccess, one of the technical best shooters on the Atari ST, we had the question if it’s allowed to cheat by typing a code to get autofire. This question was heavily discusses, but the question consist of two questions that have to be discussed standalone.

Is it allowed to cheat in a offline competition?
The answer could only be “No”. Cause it’s a competition, and therefor the scores has to be comparable. So one question  is answered and one is left.
No! Another question would be: “Why people like to cheat”. so we keep this question for later.

Is it allowed to use autofire?
At the beginning of the discussing I had the opinion, that autofire is only another way to cheat, but during the discussion I changed my opinion. That’s what discussions are good for.
Depending on the joystick you use, some games could really hurt your fingers or your hand, so using autofire, if the joystick offers it, is not cheating but a convenience. So this question could be answered: Yes autofire is allowed.

When I talked with Cyclone, the artist and level designer of Lethal Xcess, he said, that the autofire cheat let the game be much easier, cause this high frequency of shooting is not possible if you shoot manually. I also like to add, that the game has some autofire weapons, so that collecting a autofire extra is part of the level design.

Why people like to cheat?
To answer the question, let’s rewrite the question to: “Why people are motivated to participate in a retro offline competition?”.

Why people are motivated to participate in a retro offline competition?
From my experiences with the “Abbuc Bundesliga” (Atari 8 Bit offline competition), various Atari Age HSC’s, the STOT and some party competitions I discovered these motivations:

a) people who like to have a challenge. It’s a challenge trying to come as far as possible in the game or even do a play through.
b) people who like competition. It’s a challenge to win or even to pass by some other players
c) people liked the game that is played in the past a lot. So they are motivated to play it again, and then post one or sometimes more scores.
d) people like to enjoy some minutes playing on their ST.

The gaming industry like to categorize gamers into “hardcore gamers” and “casual gamers”. I don’t like these words, cause they were invented when I played my Atari already for 10 years or longer.
So I would like to categorize motivations a) and b) as “Challengers”, while motivation c) and d) could be called “Fans”.

Now I like to ask the following questions: “Are these enough motivations to keep an offline competition alive?

Are these enough motivations to keep a offline competition alive?
a) b) I would count myself into this category and so I say “yes”.
c) these kind of people are hard to motivate to join a competition regular, its great when they do, but as we all know, time is a valuable good, things happen in Real Life could be more important.
d) the way we did the competition so far is really not that motivating for these kind of people.
They always end at the lower places in the table, and in the end the table is what’s left of a round, so I could understand, that after a while they loose the motivation to participate.

So we need new motivations, cause a gaming competition need both groups of players Challengers and Fans.

What new motivations  could  we add?
1) Difficulty bonus
Some games offers the functionality to choose the difficulty of the game. So far, we had to look for a challenging difficulty, so in Super Cars 2 for example we chose “medium”. In  the future, we could set some bonus at the beginning. If you play difficulty “medium”, you get double score and if you play “hard” you get tripple score.

2) Medals of Honor
So far you get the Atari Gaming Activist Medal for participating 24 times (A season has 24 rounds). We also have the Atari Gaming Master medal. You get this medal for earning
192 points (If you would win all rounds you could earn 192 points a season).
Now after 3 years we only give away 3 times the Atari Gaming Master and 7 times the Atari Gaming Activist. So my suggestion will be to do some these changes:

  • Participate 10 times to earn a Atari Gaming Activist medal
  • Earn 100 points to become a Atari Gaming Master

3) Solved a level medal
Another motivation could be to set some more game specific goals at the beginning of a round. The easiest would be to say, that for each level a player solve he earns a “Solve a level in the STOT” medal.
If a game has really easy levels like for example Bubble+ the goals would be to solve 5 levels or something like that.  It’s also possible to give a ways the medal in “Gold”,”Silver”, “Bronze” depending on the chosen difficulty (easy, advanced,hard – if available of course)

What else?
I thought about new tables like A “Fans” table and a “Callengers” table, but I don’t think we really need this, same with a own table for the earned “Solved a level in the STOT” medals, cause this would look more or less the same as the existing one.

Publishing scores and medals to the rest of the world is a nice thing. If you play with a Xbox 360 or a PS3 today, you could post your successes to Facebook and maybe also somewhere else.
I like to have something like that as well. Technically it’s more or less already existing. We have a blog for the STOT. When somebody post a score together with a picture, the organizers are able to recognize that the given goals are fulfilled and they could do a new post to announce the giveaway of the medal(s). This post will be automatically posted to a Facebook page, and
there a player could share them with his friends.

My Conclusion

  • Entering cheats in offline competitions is not allowed cause the scores aren’t comparable
  • Using autofire is allowed, you only need a joystick that offers that functionality
  • We need new motivations for Callengers and Fans.
  • Difficulty is a chance for more motivation, but has to be mentioned in the post
  • Medals should be archived earlier
  • Medals for solved levels would be a nice addition
  • We don’t need more tables
  • It’s possible to post awards to Facebook

I would be glad, if all people who like playing ST Games use this article to discuss the conclusions and of course they are welcome in the STOT or any other offline competition

Christos’ views on the subject:
One thing our readers should know is that ThorN and I have  different opinions about how STOT should advance. It is with that synthesis of views that we made STOT what it is now (and we feel it’s very good too ;) ).

There are two goals in STOT:

  • to promote Atari ST gaming
  • and more importantly to have fun with our old machines.

I am in total agreement with ThorN that we need to make STOT more fun for all types of players and that we should be more generous with our awards. A game can provide all sorts of challenges and we should take advantage of them. So expect lots more surprises :).

However I don’t think that allowing people to choose their own difficulty setting is a very good move. Though it has its merits and it will allow people to enjoy more of the game it effectively creates a premier league and a second division if you excuse the football analogy. Also we introduce a mathematic formula to count points and if that’s simple enough as it should be it creates problems. What if “Normal” isn’t twice as hard as “Easy” but only by a small margin? What if easy is too easy making the game boring? Should we then change the formula to suit each game and doesn’t that make things overly complex?

We are looking forward to your input in the comments section below. Maybe you can give us an idea we haven’t thought.. :)


Links:
1. STOT at atari-forum.com

Twitter, the realtime article replacement

May 15, 2010

I use a lot of so called web 2.0 social networks like Facebook. But so far I did not understand the necessity of Twitter. Now that changed. I use twitter as a realtime article replacement.

During the pre organization of the Hessian Kick Off Champs I thought about how can we save the feelings right after the end of a match best. First I got in mind, that on a demoparty we would build up a realtime article. So in my case I would have build up a Atari 1040STE and a SC1224 monitor, and load something like 1st Word, so that everybody could write his feelings down.

This is not a bad idea at all, and it’s real retro spirit. But we don’t have such a perfect setup at each tournament, so I was looking for a setup that is available everywhere.

Realtime tweets

No finally I found a usage for Twitter! If you compare Twitter and a realtime article, they have much in common from the technical and usability point of view:

  • Short messages
  • A date
  • You must enter the name in front of a post, to let more than one person use the twitter channel.

But most imoartant, both ways share the some goal: Share the thoughts of a moment to the public.

If there would be no interest in sharing the thoughts to the public, an IRC Channel would be the better solution.

So when the tournament started, I build up a laptop, setup a Kick Off fixture, a Bundesliga live page to keep track of the real world happenings and a Twitter client. I invited everybody to use it and then we start the tournament. Here are the results:

Hessian Champs 2010 realtime tweets

Finale !! 9:01 AM Apr 10th (Frank)

Das 3-3 gegen Pushi war geil. das 3 Tor kurz vor Schluss war verdient. Der anschließende Lob von Pushi war nicht schlecht aber nicht drin. 8:43 AM Apr 10th (Thorsten)

Das 2-1 gegen Jan war nicht schön aber nötig. Jan ist eine Harte Nuss heute für mich. Erstmal nen Äppler, und dann gegen Pushi 8:17 AM Apr10th (Thorsten)

Der BvB kommt jetzt. 6:34 AM Apr 10th (Carsten)

Beim Spiel gegen Horst ging es um nichts mehr, daher war die Luft etwas raus, hauptsache 2-0 gewonnen 6:18 AM Apr 10th via web (Thorsten)

Nach dem 3-2 gegen Frank viel mir nichts mehr ein, sehr Schade. Der eine Dreher der nicht drinnen war, hat das Spiel entschieden 4:45 AM Apr 10th (Thorsten)

Hessisan Kick Off Champs near to begin. We are already 7 People, 1-2 more to come. 3:00 AM Apr 10th (Thorsten)

What lessons did I learned? Well some.

  • It’s necessary to put the name in front of the tweet.
  • Even that I started with english, at a tournament where only german players participate, it’s no question, of course we tweet in german
  • Even that I told myself before to tweet after each game, I missed some :-)
  • The othere players were shy in the beginning but then some of them trying out the new medium.

It would be nice, if other Kick Off players from all over the world could also tweet. I found out, that Twitter itself does not support this feature, but there are plenty of other services around.

Realtime tweets 2.0

I created a Kick Off 2 twitter group at the Tweetworks service. Now next tournament other Kick Off 2 friends who joined these group could also twitter his thoughts on the results (that the real players have to twitter of course).

This will looks like:

Next game was better :-) scored the 2-1 with the end of half 1 and in half two finaly everything works. 9-2 in the end.
ThorNpw 14 minutes ago in Kick Off 2

Yust started the training for the Austrian Champs. First game: 4-2 against the computer. I have to get used to Yes|Yes|Yes.
ThorNpw 33 minutes ago in Kick Off 2

The advantage is to have the author in the tweet. During a Tournament, when more than one person uses a twitter account, of course they still have to put their name in front, but if there are different players, each could use their own twitter account. Of course the tournament laptop need maybe a bigger screen to show all their clients, but we will see.

Times changes. It’s not important to do always thee same stuff, but to reach the same goal. So get all the stuff that’s necessary for a realtime system with you is not necessary any more, cause with a twitter client and mobile phones that have browsers, everybody could use twitter as a realtime article replacement.

(German) Zeitzeugnis Realtime Artikel – Inter Meeting 1994

May 15, 2010

Hello guys, this is a realtime article we did at a Inter meeting at Lucky’s place. Iit should give the readers, a short insight what they have missed in the nineties :-) The meeting took place at the 22th and 23th of Mai 1994, so exact 16 years ago.

Sonntag 22. Mai 1994

15:42

Ankunft bei Luckys Bude. Nachdem wir erst einmal eine Stunde gebraucht haben um unsere Böcke aufzubauen, haben wir uns erst einmal die ganzen Demos angetan (34 Megabyte, es lebe die 105SyQuest).

17:12

PC-ler im Anmarsch. Nach Cycedelic Knockout, Weltschmerz (Scheiß  Zeitabfrage) und Autowaschen verboten angeschaut haben, wollte er die Demos mitnehmen. Leider, leider, leider hat er aber nur ein PC. Tja so ist das Leben (des Brian).

18:44

Pizza Time.     Mjamph, jam, jam, jam, Grumpf, schlörf, Gromfph, jam ,jam,

Mjamph, rulps, Grompf, …………….

21:46

Hallo Leute, Samurai auf den Tasten, ich will euch mal ein Gefühl von mir erklären. Ein Gefühl von ungeahnter, abgründiger, verabscheuender Wut. Es ist einfach herrlich. Da sitz man nun, hat ein paar Stunden lang an einem Bild rumgepaintet, sich wirklich mühe gegeben,….. und dann, ja dannnn, ist der Saft, dieser unheimlich tolle Saft des Lebens für dein Compi, Brutal und ohne Vorahnung aus der Wand gerissen.

SCHEEEEEEEIIIIIßßßßßEEEEEEEEE

(Lucky hier. Sorry, war echt keine Absicht!!! Aber warum ist es bei dir so beschissen dunkel, dass man die Steckdose nicht sieht???)

23:24

Oh Mann, die Drei Dosen Red Bull waren mal wieder dringend nötig. Wenn es ganz schlimm wird haben wir ja noch Flying Horse. Das Zeug soll 4x mehr Taurin als RedBull haben.

23:35

Die neue Version unseres Hellplasmas ist fast Fertig. Texte können nun eingestanzt werden und werden auch richtig ausgeblendet.

Montag 23. Mai 1994

0:48

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH, unsere Hellplasma Routine ist endgültig fertig geworden. Es müssen jetzt nur noch die Greetings eingegeben werden.

2:59

Hunger!!! Shit, über Pfingsten sind alle Geschäfte geschlossen. Naja, zum Glück hat Lucky ja noch 3 Scheiben Lääberkääze. Bislle fettisch wars scho aber mapfe geht hald vor.

Ach ja unseres Hellplasma läuft übrigens auch Perfekt mit unserer Harddisk-Recording Routine zusammen.

3:31

Müdigkeit?!?!?!?!?      NNNEEEEEEIIIIINNNNNN       wofür gibt es den Flying Horse. Wenn einer von euch gedacht hat das Red Bull dich Wach macht, Hahahahaha   Flyighorse ist der totale überflieger. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaa.

3:51

Fängt grade an zu Regnen. Nur der Regen wäre ja nett schlimm, aber die Blitze?

Nein mein kleiner Falke Du brauchst keine Angst zuhaben das Du Stirbst, Nein brauchst Du WIRKLICH nicht zuhaben. (Schwitz, Schwitz).

3:58

Hat da jemand Schlafen gesagt?

4:26

Nachdem Lucky mir freundlicherweise mein Logo gekillt hat, bin ich nun mit der zweiten Version fertig geworden. Wartet auf den Line-Vector Part in unserer Demo. Nicht nur das das Logo, wie ich finde, ganz gut geworden ist, sondern die Objekte selber sind tierisch Fett.

4:30

Es hat wieder aufgehört zu Regnen.

4:44

Pater Michaels Falcon ist soeben ins Nirivana entschwunden.

Aaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

4:46

Luckys preemptives Demo Betriebssystem ist fast fertig. Wieso fast? Nun, die Harddisk-Recording Routine läuft nun zwar im VBL aber die anderen Teile wollen nicht.

4:50

Fehler entdeckt.

4:55

Zum X-ten mal hören wir uns die VERY CD von den Pet Shop Boys an.

Noch ein Schluck Flying Horse und schon geht’s mir widder guuuud. HoHoHoHo

5:46

Die zweite “Flying Horse” Dose wurde soeben von LUCKY geköpft! Die eiskalte Flüssigkeit rinnt ihm die Kehle hinunter und versucht ihn am Leben zu erhalten.

5:49

Zweiter Schluck – mal sehen wie lange es wirkt! :-}

6:04

Samurai is back. Mann, wir haben noch nicht einmal bemerkt wie die Sonne auf ging. Oh shit mir fällt gerade auf das mein Falcon schon seit 4 Stunden läuft ohne etwas zu tun. Ciao bis nachher.

6:33

Samurai ist im Reich der Träume.

6:34

Pater Michael bereitet sich auch vor ein wenig zu relaxen.

6:45

(Lucky) GESCHAFFT!!!!! Meine Multitasking-HD-Replay-Routine läuft! ENDLICH können wir HD-Musik im Hintergrund von Demos laufen lassen!!!!

8.32

(Lucky) Snief. Der Player läuft doch noch nicht so 100%. Wieder viel Arbeit. Die Zeitscheiben müssen einfach noch zu groß sein und beim Laden von anderen Programmen stört er auch noch!

So eine SCHEISSE!                 :-(

Michael will jetzt auch noch einen Konverter von Stereo- in Mono-Samples schreiben. Nur damit er nicht Musicom 2 laden muß!!!! Das ist doch WAHHHHNSINNN!!! Aber bitte, wenn er meint…

8.36

Michael schreibt immer noch an seinem Konverter. (Neu aufnehmen ist doch schneller!)

8.37

Das dauert!

8.38

Michael ist immer noch nicht fertig. Und ich habe derweil nichts zu tun. Und was macht man da als gestresster, arbeitssüchtiger Coder? Falsch! Nicht einen neuen Effekt! Nicht so lange man nicht weiß, ob der aktuelle läuft! Aber man kann sich ja im Texte schreiben üben. (Fingertraining…)

8.52

Ich glaub’ jetzt schreib’ ich den Konverter selber…

9:11

Ohhhhh, Dröhnung. Samurai back. Bin grade aufgestanden. Ich habe zwar nicht lange Geschlafen aber dafür tief. Ich sehe jetzt grade dem Lucky seine Multitasking-Routine mit unserem Wolfenstein3D und Hellplasma laufen. Jetzt müssen wir noch mit dem Typ vom Tonstudio reden das er uns ein Tecnotrack auflegt, und dann geht’s los.

9:27

Lucky hat gewonnen. Pater Michael Sampled seine Platte doch noch voll bis zum umfallen. Nix Converter, hehehehe.

9:36

Delirium. Lucky hat grade die letzte Flying Horse auf EX gekippt.

9:39

Lucky dreht durch. Jetzt will er schon unser Demo als Prozess im Hintergrund von TOS/GEM laufen lassen.

9:42

Nachdem unser Multi-Demo-System läuft wollten wir das natürlich Norman Kowalewski nicht vorenthalten. Die Telefonauskunft in den Staaten sind alle viel Freundlicher als hier in Germany. Das hat sich aber geändert als wir ihr gesagt haben wen und vor allem wo wir ihn suchen.

Hehehehe. Norman war ehrlich gesagt nicht sonderlich begeistert als wir ihn um ca. 1 Uhr Morgens aus dem Bett geschmissen haben. Aber als er schon Wach war hat er uns auch ANGEDEUTET, nichts gesagt, das der neue Atari wohl ende dieses Jahres auf dem Markt erscheinen wird. Und das Geile daran ist das die Kiste mit JaguarChips, nein nicht CioChips, arbeitet und knapp unter der Leistung einer SGI Indy mit 120Mhz liegen wird zu einem Preis von ca. $2499. Die Architektur beruht auf den ABAQ von Atari. So, jetzt aber noch ein öffentlicher Aufruf an alle. Die Telecom hat sich über unseren Anruf nach Kalifornien gefreut. Wir sind auf ca. 75 DM gekommen. Also wer will darf und sollte uns zumindest mal 5 DM zukommen lassen. Briefmarken reichen uns vollkommen. Danke.

10:27

No Carrier

10:34

Pater Michaels Headake Effekt ist so gut wie fertig.

10:37

Mist ich bekommen Tierischen Hunger. Aber in diesem Kaff gibt es ja keinen McDoof oder Würger King.

11:14

Geil, MTos & MinT sind gar nicht so schlecht wie ich immer dachte. Unsere Demo läuft auch in einem GEM Fester das man frei positionieren kann und das alles im Mint Kernel. Wir müssten zwar den VSync() Aufruf patchen, aber es läuft.

11:23

Der PMMU Speicherschutz läuft endlich!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11:41

Einen neuen Fehler entdeckt und beseitigt. Wir müssen uns mal mit Eric Smith unterhalten.

12:10

Yeah, enddlich gibbes was zu Mampfe. Wir fahren jetzt nämlich zu McMurder.

13:13

Meine Fresse nach dem uns der Notarzt die Mägen leer gepumpt hat geht’s mir wieder gut. Gott sei Dank lebe ich noch.

13:29

Jo, wir ziehen uns grade die ganzen alten Videos von der 680XX Convention und der Fried Bits 2 rein. Boa Eh, sind das alles Geile Demos. (WARUM, hallo Agent T).

14:50

Der Wind_Update() wird nun von Mint richtig ausgeführt. Die Demo mach schon ein echt tollen Eindruck. Filled-Vectors mit 3Vbl’s in einem GEM Fenster muss man erst einmal machen.

14:53

Bei 3 Tasks geht er in 4Vbls.

16:05

Unsere Deltapack-Routine macht Riesen fortschritte. Lucky und Pater Michael streiten sich welche Methode besser zum Packen ist.

16:11

Lucky ist auf’m Klo.

16:30

Keiner sagt was.

16:31

Immer noch nichts.

16:32

16:33

Nein, nein.

16:34

Immer noch schweigen.

16:35

16:36

16:37

Pater Michael Summt vor sich her.

16:38

Schweigen.

16:39

Pater Singt!!!

16:40

Er ist soeben ganzzzzzzz aus versehen aus dem Fenster gefallen.

17:40

wir sind einfach zu erschöpft um noch irgendetwas zu tun. Halt doch, Schlafen können wir noch hervorragend.

18:33

Lucky on the keys: Ich bin am Ende. Tödlich aber äußerst produktiv dieses Wochenende. Tja, was Norman jetzt von uns denkt?

Ich bin ja jetzt schon gespannt, was als Antwort zu unserer Mail an Eric herauskommt. Ob er unser neues gepachte Mint Kernel-Version, die endlich auch Demotauglich ist, übernehmen wird? Währe doch der totale Wahnsinn! Wo wir doch vorhin noch “Autowaschen Verboten” bis zum Morphing zum Laufen bekommen haben. (Photon: Wieso hast du da den Blitter so exzessiv benutzt? Der hat den Timer A durcheinander gebracht und den braucht Mint doch unbedingt für sein Multitasking!!!)

Tipp an alle Multi TOS Freaks: “Warum” und “Omega Grotesque” vertragen sich überhaupt nicht unter Mint (Auch nicht mit Inters’ PepperMint-Kernel)! Schade…

Signing off…

…Pater Michael

…Lucky of ST

…Samurai

IMPORTANT: THE INDEPENDENT RULES!

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: THE INDEPENDENT SILL RULES!

THE MOST IMPORTANT: THE INDEPENDENT WILL RULE FOREVER!!!!!!

…The CrapTalkers…

Low Res #2

December 28, 2009

Low Res #2 Cover by Samurai / Inter

Content issue #2 Dezember 2009

Editorial #2

December 28, 2009

The best team is a team where the members often disagree to each other!

That’s my experience after 2 issues of Low Res. All of our team members who join regularly our irc channel [1] know what I mean. We met, discuss and very often we disagree. I think that if you have a look at the topics we disagree on, in the end its most of the time the same question:

Should we only concentrate on atari or should we be open minded for all retro stuff going on.

Being open minded looks always to be the right decision and you could kill any discussion with the argument “you are not open minded enough”. It’s a kind of opportunism, if you have no real arguments on the specific topic.

As an example we had a longer discussion about the subtitle of the magazine:

a web magazine made by Retro computing fans

It was a longer discussion not to have the name of our beloved system in the subtitle, but its was worth to discuss instead of blame everybody else as being not open minded.

This kind of discussing and disagreements aren’t negative, they helped us to keep up a higher level in the mag.

Enjoy issue #2

Finally here we are, live from the Ultimate Meeting (T.U.M.) in Karlsruhe / Germany we are happy (that the release stress is over finally :-) to present you issue #2 of our blog mag.

This time CiH, well known article machine of former Atari disks magazines joined our team, so you get some more to read :-)

Last issue I wrote, that we believe in the idea of a blog mag. But who know if something works before you tried it out. In the end, we all at Low Res are very excited about the reactions on issue #1. We got more feedback we expected. Many thanks to all, who gave us feedback.

Also thanks to Samurai for his cover picture. Thanks a lot mate.


Links


1. #lowres on ircnet

News #2

December 28, 2009

Atari STE 20 Year Mega Demo

Go to http://www.dhs.nu to download the long awaited 20 years mega demo for the Atari STE.

Happy birthday bloody grey beast :-)

Attackwave (Falcon)

Our team member SSB released a new game for the ATARI ST called Attackwave [1].

Attackwave

There was also already a STOT round [2] where we played Attackwave. SSB sponsored 3 handmade 3.5″ disks with Attackwave a as kind of limited edition of the game for the winners.

Retro Shirts

Some greek based people do a nice Retro Game Shirt Shop at ebay [3] . If your personal favorite game is not covered by the shirt collection, don’t hesitate to request a motive. I for example miss Speedball and Xenon II.


Retro paper toys

Simon Phipps released Rick Dangerous & Switchblade paper toys [4].

Vintage Computer Calendar updates

MugUK (Mike) has joined the Vintage Computer Calendar [5] team. Mug will maintain the UK based retro meetings. Because there are a lot, it’s good to have him in the team.

The calendar is now also connected at:

  • Atari Shop NL [6]
  • Computer Party Maniacs group at Facebook

Castle crisis competition at the Homecon IV

At the forth issue of the Homecon [7] meeting Wizard/WGL organized a Castle crisis [8] competition played on a Atari XL.

The next issue of the Homecon is soon (23th of January). There it is planed to play Blip [9] on a Atari XL.

Kick Off WC 2009

A lot could be written about the Kick Off WC 2009 [10] in Voitsberg / Austria, but you could simply watch this nice video

Gianni T. once again won the title, even that the final against Sypros P. was very close. The chances are good that the next WC will be in Düsseldorf / Germany.

e-jagfest

As you could read in the e-jagfest article in this issue, there were some great competitions. Here a video of the European Checkered Flag Championship

Scandinavian Kick Off Championship

The Scandinavian Kick Off Championship [11] took place in Lund near Malmö in the south of Sweden. The trainings were held in Copenhagen / Denmark, so it was a kind of multinational event.

Beside the training and the tournament, there was also a fine evening meal in Malmö where the WC qualification game Denmark – Sweden (1-0) was broadcasted.

STOT season #3 started

The STOT started season #3. First game was Paradroid 90. This season all games were elected before the season started. Have a look at the season plan [12].

In Melbourne at the Mace (Melbourne Atari Computer Enthusiasts) meetings, they now regulary take part in the competitions, which is a great motivation.

With the beginning of season #3 there is a partnership with Atarimania, so that the players get some more information’s about the actual game and if possible a download offer.

Abbuc Bundesliga season #7 started

Bunsen / Reno^WGL reported:
With River Raid we played a true classic (fist game ever on the German index for games that glorifying violence :-) as the first game of season #7 of the Abbuc Bundesliga. To short the game a little bit, we started at bridge 50.

The winner [13] was Yellow man. 2nd was Dietrich the Champion of the last season.

Bavarian Kick Off Championship

At the Xzentrix we had our traditional Bavarian Kick Off Championship [14]. This time we managed to get more players to take part than last year and we had a new champion: Frank F.

Frank and Thorsten playing Kick Off 2 during Xzentrix 2009

Frank F. and Thorsten B. playing Kick Off 2 during Xzentrix 2009

Links


1. Download Attackwave
2. Attackwave STOT round thread
3. Retro Shirt shop
4. Simon Phipps paper toys
5. Vintage Computer calendar
6. Atari Shop NL
7. HomeCon website
8. Castle crisis at Atarimania
9. Blip at Atarimania
10. Kick Off WC 2009 stats
11. Scandinavian Kick Off Championship thread at KO-Gathering
12. STOT season plan
13. Abbuc Bundesliga season #7 round:1 results
14. Kick Off Bavarian Championship thread at KO-Gathering

The future of ST web collections: Atarimania

December 28, 2009

Since years ATARIMANIA[1] is a well known source for all Atari 8 Bit fans. Now since some time, it extend it’s collections to also cover the ST computers. Not long ago, there was a relaunch of the site. So it was a good opportunity to have some words with one of the main responsible for the ST part of the site: Marakatti.

The new design

The new game screen

LR: Please introduce yourself.
Marakatti: My name is Marko, I live in southern part of Finland (the promised land of C64, Amiga and Windows) with my wife, 2 kids, 2 dogs and lots of Atari-machines and software. I’ve been active ST user since 1990 and own Atari machines from 2600 to Jaguar and from 400 to Falcon030. In the earlier days I was a gfx-man of Alien Nation and Depression crews. I also used to collect computers and videogames from 1997 to 2005 or something and have total of 135 machines and around 1500 original software titles for different systems.

LR: What is your function in Atarimania ?
Marakatti: My main job is to build the ST / TT / Falcon030 database (games, utils, demos), make Pasti-images from the originals we get or own, do a lot of scanning (disks, box, magazines, and whatever are related to ST software) and the most important part, to add the stuff our contributors send for us.
As every member of Atarimania I also participate to design, bug hunting and suggesting new features for the website and the special program we use to update the Atarimania. I try to work at least 1-2 hours every day for the site so you could say that there’s every day something new to see. I think 11 hours a day is my current record ;)

LR: How did you start participating in Atarimania?
Marakatti: In April 2008 things were very silent at the Guardians of the PaST. Team had lost the coder, founders needed to take a break for their hard work and the database engine wasn’t working 100%. It was a bit of uncertainty what comes next and when. So I was looking for a another project to keep the flame burning while the Guardians was on hold.
I noticed a site called Atarimania which was listed on RetroGamer magazine. It looked cool and I saw that the ST database wasn’t yet published. So I sent mail to the team, told a bit about myself and asked if I can help building the ST section. I got accepted to enter Atarimania. Later I worked for the both sites but as things got more and more silent on the Guardians side so I chose to concentrate my energy for Atarimania which is now my main Atari-project.

LR: What are the highlights of the relaunch of Atarimania? When did the relaunch was planed, and how long did it took?
Marakatti: It was amazing how fast our coder did the whole site from scratch concerning he has a fulltime job. I think the first concepts were done in late January. The new design really took off in May or so and we already had a new version running in early September. We’re still fixing bugs, cleaning the site and adjusting some minor things. This is pretty much done and we can concentrate to build the ST database again which still needs very much work to be equal to other areas of Atarimania.

About highlights I think the best thing is “My Atarimania”. It’s a totally new concept in Atari world where you can keep easy list of your Atari software online no matter where you are. It has already been very popular feature amongst the game collectors.
Generally speaking the whole site is now much faster and easier to navigate thanks to the fact that it’s fully recoded with Webdev instead of PHP. This also allows easier and more flexible expansion for future features.
We tried to make it more user friendly experience for our visitors and also have the latest web technology under the hood for the future.

LR: How many people are involved in Atarimania and how are they organized?
Marakatti: At the moment we have 10 active members from France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and Finland.
Six members are working on 8bit Atari-machines and four for ST / TT / Falcon030. It’s a funny coincidence that most of the ST team are from Scandinavia.

LR: Are there dependencies between the different systems, or are systems like the VCS and ST independent in Atarimania?
Marakatti: The ST section is most independent from the others. With an exception of our coder, we don’t do maintenance work for 8bit systems. Atarimania has originally been built around 8-bit machines so it’s natural that the founders work for console and 8-bit computers.
In fact 8 and 16+bit machines don’t share that much similarities apart from Atari name and the case design of XE. So both require special kind of expertise and most importantly years of experience. I have to admit I don’t even have enough knowledge to use 8-bit Atari computers properly apart from loading some games or watching the absolutely fantastic demos this “babyamiga” has to offer. These guys are best for the job so ST section can concentrate doing our own thing. Having said that I will ofcourse be here to help if things like scanning or taking screenshots is needed.

LR: Why is there an own forum with topics like “programming”, why not reuse “Atari-Forum” or “Atari Age” or whatever?
Marakatti: I think our forum main purpose is to allow interaction between visitors and Atarimania. The other areas like utils and demos are also expanding so it’s natural to have our own little forum for that. It is true that Atari-Forum and Atari Age are the most active places for community. We don’t try to compete against them.

LR: What number of games do you expect to be listed in AM in the end?
Marakatti: For single ST/TT/Falcon titles we try to reach the magical 5000 games limit. I still think there might be some PD or personal archives to be explored. But it will take a lot of time to go this far as we now need to concentrate to fill up the gaps in the current database.
For the total number when you count different releases like budget-versions and country specific releases + the utils and demos for that, no one can’t even imagine the total number! I think we are going to see well over 10000 entries in couple of years.

LR: Is there a chance, that the Atarimania project will die (the ST part) as Guardians of the PaST died?
Marakatti: First of all I think it’s too early to say if the Guardians have died or not. It had a habit of having big breaks, and then suddenly something moves a bit again. As I spent hundreds of hours working for that project I still have a soft spot for the site in my heart and would be sad to see it vanished completely.

I’m sure that Atarimania will survive as long as we have a coder to supports us and there’s nothing dramatically in our families lives. We spent our childhood with different Atari systems, we love to play with our machines now when we are adults and we want to preserve the good old days for the future generations when we’re gone. Three very important things that keeps us together.

LR: The strange thing on GotpST was, that it was only interested in “Commercial” games, what’s the opinion on PD and Shareware games on AM?
Marakatti: It was this way because Guardians goal is to preserve everything including complete game boxes. It was something that most people didn’t realize.

In Atarimania our ultimate goal is to save every software title released no matter under what license, where or who published them. As far as the commercial stuff goes we prefer to use Pasti-images for protected games to have as fresh copy as possible, that’s why we decided not to use any cracks. We have nothing against crackers though, without them the ST history wouldn’t be complete and no one could enjoy as large software base as we can today.
But the thing is that there are already mighty CD or DVD compilations available from DBug, our newest member Marcer and from many other people in the past. But no one hasn’t succeeded making the ultimate Atari ST / TT / Falcon030 software archive yet with as unmodified software as possible. So PD, demo and shareware stuff is most welcome, it would be a real loss to miss such classics like, let’s say Llamatron.

LR: I saw on a C64 Forum, that they have videos of each level of a game, do you think that will come as a future feature in AM as well?
Marakatti: Very tempting idea. It would be possible with the games that have trainers or by hiring Xerus to play everything for us :D

Couple of ST videos are already uploaded with much more to come. Time will tell if we manage to go this far. I have to admit I really enjoy watching the Amiga speed runs from YouTube and would love to see such thing on Atarimania someday.

LR: What are the next steps in the project?
Marakatti: Main priority on ST is now to take screenshots for the current entries and to make as much Pasti dumps available as possible. In total we have well over 1000 boxed originals waiting to be pastified and/or scanned + the new contributions we get every week.
We will also do our best to find lots of previews, reviews, work in progress etc. documents to be added as well as videos and otherwise unreleased material not found from other Atari websites.
I’m also a huge fan of Falcon030 so thanks to the already very good Falcon emulation on Hatari we are finally able to build decent Falcon database as well. I think we also start soon working on Jaguar section when we have figured out how to get decent screenshots.

LR: What are your dream features of Atarimania?
Marakatti: In the future when the database is ready I would like to see Guardians style things in Atarimania like the expanded background information of games, ability to play ST-game music files, wider selection of screenshots etc..
It would be great to be able to play ST games directly from the website like on VCS section. Also the idea of having rotating 3D software boxes sounds very cool to me.

But my ultimate dream is that I would like to see the members of Guardians of the PaST, Atari Legend, Atarimania and other ST sites to work together for one big project that would challenge the big sites like Hall of Light on Amiga or World of Spectrum instead of trying to do things on our own. ST scene is just too small for that.
Just look at the VCS and 8bit databases. They are real flagships of Atarimania. It just shows what is possible when you have motivation and dedication to give your best shot and get people to support the project. We have the technology and motivation so it can be done on ST as well. So far the support has been great but there’s always space for more stuff and people.

LR: What are your favorite ST games?
Marakatti: I’m a big fan of racing games on any platform, so almost anything from that genre goes. I think the best ones on ST are games from Magnetic Fields (Lotus and Super Cars series), Vroom, Microprose GP, Toyota Celica GT Rally and Stunt Car Racer. From other than racing games I enjoy very much playing Kick Off and all the classics like Gauntlet II, Ikari Warriors, Xenon, Arkanoid II, Fighter Bomber, Llamatron and Obsession just to name a few. I bet there are still dozens of great games I’ve never even played. That’s what makes ST gaming so fascinating :)

LR: Many thanks for this great interview, and our best wishes for the future of the project

Links


1. Atarimania website

The truth about the Amstrad CPC

December 28, 2009

Most users owned one only retro computer system or only a couple of them from one brand. We got in touch with other systems, but not in detail. So a bigger part of our knowledge about other systems are prejudices. We liked them in the past, because they were an excuse to keep a closer look on other systems. In this article, I put all my prejudices against the Amstrad CPC on the CPC-Forum [1]. Thanks to the open mindness of the people there we had a very good discussion and I think that most of my prejudices were wrong.

Tunnel Look / Ignorancia: There were no good Joysticks around for the Amstrad because it had a own joystick standard

Octate / CPC-Forum: The CPC uses a standard 9-pin SUB-D connector, so you can connect all standard joysticks to it. However, it only has one port so you need a joystick adapter to add the second port. The missing 5V power supply on the SUB-D port prevents auto-fire from working, but, as already said, you can connect a standard joystick (e.g. I’m using a Competition Pro).

OpenMind / Tollerancia: Ok, there were other computers that had no joystick connector or only one (the Spectrum for example). Now I know what the CPC switch on some joysticks meant. It was the autofire. Thanks for the answer, it extend my horizon.

Tunnel Look / Ignorancia: The 3 inch disks were exspencive like hell and no CPC user owned a floppy drive

Octate / CPC-Forum: Only the CPC464 and 464 Plus had no floppy drive, the 664, 6128 and 6128 Plus came directly with an inbuilt floppy drive. It is also possible to connect a 3.5″ PC floppy drive to the CPC which is the standard today.

TFM / CPC-Forum: Most of the CPCs had a floppy drive built in. Further most of the CPC users use an additional external 3.5″ or 5.25″ floppy drive with inexpensive discs. Since the CPC had a standard drive adapter, nearly every drive can be connected. Even some actual PC 3.5″ drives can be connected.

Tunnel Look / Ignorancia: But every school kid had to deal with drugs on the schoolyard to be able to buy at least one 3″ disk to get some pirate copies for his 664 or 6128, they were so expensive, so in reality everybody used datasettes I guess.

Almasys / CPC-Forum: indeed, I had to use cassettes when I was in school. One pack (10 pieces) of Panasonic 3″ disks had to be enough. But on the other hand, a normal cassette player was much cheaper than a 5,25″ disk drive.

Octoate / CPC-Forum: I got a 5,25″ drive soon after I bought a 3″ drive for my CPC 464. The disks were cheaper of course. A bigger problem for me was, that nobody else owned a CPC at that time. Most people owned a C64

Tunnel Look / Ignorancia: All CPC died after half a year because the floppy belt got broken

Octate / CPC-Forum: Not half a year (it lasts longer), but we can’t deny that it is the main cause for a hardware failure of the “CPC”.

TFM / CPC-Forum: have a CPC running, bought in 1987, it still uses the original floppy and drive belt. Had never a need to change a part.
The drive belt problem only appears if the drive is not used for a long time.

OpenMind / Tollerancia: Is it hard to get a replacement?

Alamsys / CPC-Forum: Not at all, I get them from a local TV & radio repair shop

Octoate / CPC-Forum: There are enough Ebay auctions around, to get one.

Tunnel Look / Ignorancia: The Z80 CPU suxx because even with more MHz a 6502 machine had the faster 3D graphics

TFM / CPC-Forum: The original prototype CPC had a 6502. But this CPU was too weak, so Amstrad decided to switch to the powerful Z80 CPU. Look at Starglider with 3d Vector graphics or Driller for 3D solid graphic. The CPC versions beat every other system, especially the slow and ugly c64 versions.
When looking at the game Mercenary the Atari 800XL and the CPC versions were superior compared to all other so called home computers (16 bit machines excluded).

Cpt_void / CPC-Forum: A friend (hardcore C64 user) throw the joystick away after playing Elite. He said, it unplayable, it’s to fast.

Tunnel Look / Ignorancia: The CPC was not able to scroll as good as the other 8 Bit machines

Octoate / CPC-Forum: Well, have a look at the Giana Sister Remake [2] by TFM and Tolkin. It has smooth scrolling in overscan mode. I guess that this prejudice is caused by the bad Spectrum game ports. It’s much better on a real CPC, cause the CPC monitor had hardware antializing.

OpenMind / Tollerancia: Are there other examples then this Giana Sister Remake ( Or is the real reason you mention it the fact that the ST version of Giana Sisters did not scroll :-) Is it hard to code a scrolling?

Octoate / CPC-Forum:

  • Prehistorik II
  • Super Cauldron
  • Axys
  • Warhawk

that are example for good Hardware Scrolling. To code scrolling, you need some OUT orders to some registers of the CRTC and you have to keep an eye on the screen border. It’s more complicated if you use the overscan mode.

TFM / CPC-Forum: Take an old game of the old days… TLL! Watch TLL (Tornado Low Level) once on a CPC and you will never talk about scrolling!!! Really! Watch it !!! !!! !!! Bye the way, it’s not hard to code scrolling. Look at all the demos Wink

Tunnel Look / Ignorancia: There are no demos around for the CPC

Octate / CPC-Forum: Have a look at the demo section at Pouet [3]. There are a lot of them…

TFM / CPC-Forum: Take a look at the web and you will need about 99 years to watch all demos Wink

Tunnel Look / Ignorancia: I expected to get names from really good demos from you, are there none?

Octoate / CPC-Forum: Of course there are interesting demos, but not as much as on other systems. Of the newer ones, I like

  • From Scratch
  • Pheelone
  • Backtro
  • PHAT
  • PHAT 2
  • Demoizart
  • Hate Beats
  • Midline Process
  • A step beyond

Of the older ones, I like:

  • das Ultimate Megademo
  • The Demo
  • Voyage 93.

Tunnel Look / Ignorancia: The most unsuccessful Amstrad machine was the Joyce

TFM / CPC-Forum: Wrong, the Joyce was in fact one of the most successful systems for word processing. And in the time of its release it was superior to the PC.

OpenMind / Tollerancia: I heard, that Amstrad sold 8 million Joyce, so they even sold more units than ATARI with the ST range.

Tunnel Look / Ignorancia: Nobody used CP/M in the old days

TFM / CPC-Forum: CP/M was the standard OS in the old days like Windows today.
And it provides still a trendemous software library.

AMSi / CPC-Forum: Thanks to CP/M, applications like WordStar and dBase II were available right at the launch of the CPC. Turbo Pascal was also very popular. The ability to use CP/M was one of the reasons of the success of the CPC.

Nilquader / CPC-Forum: I had computer science at school and we had to write programs in LOGO. The school had to upgrade almost all of their computers to run PC Logo, but I could do my homework on the CPC. Thanks to CP/M and DR LOGO.

Many thanks to the people at the CPC-Forum to understand the intention behind the questions and to cooperate in that great manner. See you soon at a party guys.

Links


1. CPC-Forum
2. Gianna Systers Remake playable via a emulator online
3. Pouet

The future of the patches

December 28, 2009

Maybe the most important breakthrough in atari gaming in the past years was the invention of the ULS by d-bug. Thanks to this technology, Atari gamer are able to play old ST classics on a Falcon direct from the hard disk.
This year d-bug announced on their webpage [1], that they will stop patching games, so I like to do this interview with GGN of d-bug to ask him some questions about what could we expect in the future.

LR: Could you please introduce yourself

GGN: George Nakos, originating and living in Greece, 32 years old (I think :P), coder (and rarely crap artist) of the groups KÜA software productions, D-Bug and Paradize. I hang around at #atariscne a lot, tormenting people with my crap humor and sometimes I even help.

LR: As a lot of our readers aren’t familiar with the Falcon, could you please explain in some words, what you do to patch a game.

GGN: Well, that’s a pretty big subject on its own and would take a couple of articles on its own to answer fully ;). I’ll keep it short, simple and non technical though: Most ST games are only meant to run from a floppy, so we have used lots of techniques (including ULS) which basically change the disk routines so that they load from hard drive instead. This is not limited to the Falcon only (indeed the first ULS version was for STs). Falcon fixing includes changing 68000 code that doesn’t work on 68030, and generally running the game, see if it works or not, fix any apparent or possible crashes, and release.

LR: What is the current status of the d-bug activities concerning Falcon patches?

GGN: Well, we aren’t exactly busting a nut fixing stuff. We mostly do it at our leisure time. A couple years ago it was almost our only Atari activity. Now we just patch something if we get bored or would like to see it running on Falcon. This years December-full-of-releases came into being just because Cyrano Jones patched 5 games in a couple of hours, and then the next day I did the same, then we added some other stuff we had lying around, et voila!

LR: What could we expect in the future?

GGN: Being lax doesn’t mean we don’t have ideas :)

Recently we had an idea that (we hope) will spark some new interest in ST gaming. If all goes well, we’ll announce it in January 1st!

Otherwise, there are always things we can do to improve ULS. Don’t know if there’ll ever be a v4 of it though, again it depends on our moods.

LR: On the Amiga the WHD Load system exist for years, and it looks like there is still a lot of activity, is this project comparable to your patches?

GGN: Yes, it is comparable. Cyrano Jones told me that it originated from a Showaddywaddy quote on irc which was something along the lines of: “I wish we could switch off TOS!”. At that moment a small light bulb appeared on top of CJ’s head, and soon “TOSOff” (renamed to Universal Loading System for marketing reasons :P) was created. Of course it was influenced by WHDLoad, but it shares 0% code with it. Actually, with ULSv3 we have even one-upped them by introducing save states on the games (similar to emulator save states).

LR: How could people participate in the project?

GGN: ULSv3 is open source, so people simply need to download it, read the online documentation on our website and start patching! All they need is some 68000 knowledge, a copy of the compendium and the hardware address listing really.

LR: What are your personal 3 favorite games on the ST?

GGN: Very very very very very very very tough question! Interphase is surely one of them, a brilliant mix of 3D and real time strategy. Wings of death, no comments really. Turrican 2, again no comments. And since I just put a trainer on this interview, I’m free to give you 3 more :P. Another World, Prince of Persia and Vroom!

LR: Many thanks GGN for this interview, will be interesting of what kind your January Announcement will be.

Links


1. d-bug website

The beast and the bird under load

December 28, 2009

After picked up MugUK, Gaztee and Link in Cologne, around 12 o’clock we arrived at the well known Pub where the event took place like the years before.

This year right after you entered, you feel that there were a lot more people present then in the years before. Having 16/32 [1] filling up the hall with his stuff always let a event looks bigger, and because atarishop.nl [2] (Jar Jar & Mr. Atari) were present once again on the other side, this year seems to be the biggest e-jagfest [3] since years.

the event

After some welcome to everybody I bought another Lynx with Checkered Flag from Jar Jar, to be sure that I have enough working machines for the competition later on. The prices for a Lynx are double the price of a Jaguar, interesting.

Soon in the UK “Currywurst”

Cause I knew from the years before the kitchen would close soon, I managed to get something to eat. The pub have the normal Schnitzel stuff on the menu, and I felt no hunger later on. My friends from the UK were on the “Currywurst” trip this year and were also satisfied they told me with the one the got in the pub. Later they were at the local supermarket and bought some ingredients to do their own Currywurst. Keep my fingers cross they get the proper sausages in the UK as well.

The mother of all racing battles

Now it was time to start the first competition: Checkered Flag on the Lynx [4]. The CF compo at the e-jagfest is one of the most traditional or maybe the most traditional ATARI gaming contest, and because the level of the participants is really high, it’s a great challenge to gain some fame in this competition. Because I failed last year in the half final. I was satisfied to reach the final once again. I even manage to win the qualification lap in the final, but in the race I crashed into Gaztee and next into on of the others, so in the end only the 4th place was possible. In the last round more or less nobody crashed, which shows the high level of the competition, because the course we always choose for the final is not easy. Even that Gaztee was very motivated this year, he once again managed to score 2nd (3 times in a row when he participated). Last year champion Mr. Atari used the chance and passed by 4 cars, and finally won the tournament once again. Chris was a fast driver and gain the 3rd place.

UBI Soft has been the main sponsor

This year BMX the organizer was able to get UBI Soft as the main sponsor of the competitions. And because UBI Soft gave us a lot of stuff, we were able to give prizes to all 6 players in the final. Many thanks to Ubi Soft for their support. Beside Limited boxes of “Anno 1701″ and older versions of “Anno 1503″ the best 3 players also won a cup. The competition took a long time and it was nearly 17’30 already.

New stuff

One reason for being a little bit late was as I said before, the large number of visitors this year. In the CF compo we had 24 participants, and the other reason were the presentations. But because the presentations are one of the most important events at the e-jagfest, it was ok, that it took so long.

Mathias Domin [5] once again showed the Impulse conversion for the Jaguar. The name now changed to Impulse X because of all the enhancements. I had the feeling, that there were not so many changes to the year before, but maybe I’m wrong.

Impluse X presentation

Simon Quernhorst [6] showed his latest Atari 2600 release kalled: Kite. It’s the first ever kite simulation on the 2600. Simon said, that he once worked for on of the largest kite shops in the world, and there he got the idea. The game really looked great. Like all his releases there is a limited number of cartridges and the game could be downloaded as well. Atariage could also do a cartridge, if the limited edition is sold out.

Kite presentation

Starcat [7] participates in a new project called “The Jaguar Owl Project”. It’s a engine for action adventures, and the 3D routines both for voxels and for textures looking very promising. While Mathias did his presentation in German, Starcat spoke English which was better for our guests from the Netherlands and the Uk. Starcat showed for the first time in public in the routines and graphics of the “inner world”, which means the stuff you see when you are inside a house for example. We keep our fingers crossed, that this project will lead to a release and continue to keep an eye on further alpha and beta releases.

Last but not least a member of the famous eclipse [8] team showed some first impressions of a upcoming Lynx game where you have to move tiles while the graphics are from the Iron Soldier universe. A ambitious project that will be a highlight when it’s finish I could imagine. Also some screenshots of never released Iron Soldier versions for the PS2 were shown. Once again it was shown, that there is activity in the atari games development scenes.

8 Players together play one game, that’s Atari spirit

Next I started the Grenzüberschreitungs competition [9]. This year my falcon looked really like put out of the trash, so some people were in fear, it would not work, but it did, and we managed to have a funny tournament. For the first time since we do competitions on the e-jagfest finally we had a female winner. Sarah managed to win and I scored 2nd (like last year, maybe the Gaztee syndrome) 3rd was Stefan who reached the final because of some lucky circumstances (Jar Jar and Mr. Atari had to get something to eat).Each player in the final also won some “Anno 1701 & Anno 1503″ Stuff. UBI Soft gave us some Art books and some chili flowers (hope I will hear how they work) and some T-Shirts.

Grenzüberschreitung results

The infamous Club Drive appeared

Even that it was already after 8 o’clock there were still about 15 people present and we did a last tournament: Club Drive on the Jaguar [10]. We played the mode where you have to chase a ball. Because most of us were watching, it was like a popular sport game. We had some very close matches. Starcat for example was already 9-7 in the back when he manages to beat Link 10-9 and also in the final BMX managed to beat CDi even that CDi had a “match ball”. Great sport I could only repeat and the competition also proved once more, that Club Drive is much better than some people say. Finally CDi won the tournament, BMX scored 2nd and Starcat scored 3rd. It was the first Cup for Starcat so he was happy, like all the others who watch the games. As for the competitions before, UBI Soft sponsored some games and merchandise stuff for all the people in the finals.

The Club Drive competition

Doing some war at the end

Happy and satisfied it was too much harmony in the world, so after the tournaments we sat together and played Dogfight on a Mega STE. This is a nice PD game where you are a fighter pilot and have to shoot the opponent. The nice thing on the game is the possibility to play with 4 players if you have a parallel port joystick adapter. I will test this configuration as soon as possible. A good possibility to test the adapter I once got from GGN. Dogfight was coded by Steve Camber, the same guy who still do a amazing job in patching Kick Off 2 on the Amiga again and again. I met him at the Kick Off WC in Austria, and he was really happy to hear that we had fun with his game.

Then it was time to go and we packed our stuff together and said good bye.

Links


1. 16/32 website
2. atarishop.nl website
3. e-jagfest website
4. Results of the European Checkered Flag Championship
5. Matthias Domin’s website
6. Simon Quernhorst’s website
7. Starcat’s blog
8. Elipse Design website
9. Results of the European Grenzüberschreitung Championship
10. Results of the European Club Drive Championship

20 years ago (no political correctness under the tree)

December 28, 2009

Most of us know that close before a new year starts, there is this Christian party called Xmas, and all over the land people talk about peace and harmony, so this time I will have a look in some mags, what I find about this topic.

The One (UK) January 1990

The first two pages are an advertisement for “Operation Thunderbolt” The advertisement tell us:

  • “Blockbuster follow-up to last Christmas’s No.1 Hit .. Operation Wolf ..”
  • Now with twice the action, twice the fun, twice the challenge

Year, a great start. I never understand why war games were marketed as “funny”. Well I’m sure that a lot of pupils who let their parents bought them the games are at the moment in Afghanistan or somewhere else and maybe now they have their fun (I’m cruel, I know) Would be a good idea to send the advertisement guys down there as well I think.

The remarkable reviews this issue were:

  • X-Out

I have to play that game, it has a good reputation.

  • Black Tiger

I bought a copy of the game at the Xzentrix. It looks nice and the controls are also good. A good jump and run game.

  • Chase HQ

I played that a lot in the past, a good racing game I think. The special I remember was the split of the course.

Top 5 Atari ST

  1. Hard Drivin
  2. Powe Drift
  3. Laser Squad
  4. Pro Tennis Tour
  5. Strider

ASM (Germany) December 1989

What a contrast :-) On page 2 there are game cards (for what were they good?) And the first one is Rainbow Warrior, a game about Greenpeace. Political correct :-)

The remarkablest reviews were:

  • Chambers of Shaolin

The first game I remember that use the bottom border. The training session was always more fun than the game itself

  • Shufflepuck Cafe

Still a great game. A unique concept among the ST games. You could say pong on speed. Well air hockey is the right expelantion.

  • Continental Circus

Enjoyed this game a lot in the STOT round last year. A racer with some unique stuff. It’s a tuff game.

  • A picture of everybody’s darling Jeff Minter

He wanted to do a game for the Koenix console. Both never entered the shops. Sad.

  • Rings of Medusa

I never played it, even that I own a original box, but it has a good reputation

  • North & South

A milestone in games history. Ok it’s war so it’s not political correct, but I played it like hell, and who does not remember when he let 3 horsed die in the river because they missed the bridge. Also unforgetable: the traitor :-)

Top 5 Atari ST:

  1. Kult
  2. Xenon 2
  3. Summer Edition
  4. Super Hang On
  5. Populous

Also interesting, inside the magazine there was a Michael Jackson “Moonwalker” poster, maybe this is valuable these days

Editorial

August 30, 2009

Maybe some of our readers will ask themselves the question: “Why the hell these guys do another magazine?”.

The answer? Not that easy I would say. SSB got the idea to do a magazine based on a blog on our way to the Outline party this year. The idea was born in a discussion about what should we do after there will be no Alive diskmag (http://alive.atari.org) any more.

We think that there is enough going on in the retro scene that should be mentioned from an atarian point of view. Also we should look over the edge of our SM124 monitor and write about other stuff that is not Atari related at the first view. Because we know, that everything that is digital is in a relationship to Atari. (We simply believe, that Atari computers are the hubs of the world. :-)

So basically if something has a connection to Atari computers and systems, it is suited to get dealt with in the magazine.

Also the blog engine offers us the possibility to have a much deeper communication with the readers. Simply leave a comment under each article if you like, that is pretty easy we think and we will appreciate your feedback a lot.

So we hope that you like our little magazine, and if there will be some kind of feedback, we hopefully could realize some of our further ideas.

We will welcome any new authors and articles. Just contact us and we will find a way to make it happen.

News

August 30, 2009

Jagware release “Do the Same” for the Atari Jaguar

You could download the game [1] as an CD image. I played the game at the Atari Connexion in France this year. The aim of the game is to move tiles to get a picture presented before the level starts. The problem of course is the time you got to solve the problem. The game is very well presented. It has an intuitive menu system and a motivating game play. Even that you think you know these kinds of games, you always want one more.

Retro Calendar

Hessi, one of the organizer of the HomeCon and the web master of the event also created a Google calendar [2]. It is possible to get rights to add retro orientated events to this calendar. So everybody who wants to do so, please give me a mail, or contact Hessi. So far beside the events from the Forum64 forum, there are Kick Off tournaments in Germany and Atari parties. A good start I think.

Hatari version 1.3.0 has been released

This new release [3] brings you now basically working DSP 56k emulation, lots of ST shifter emulation improvements, an improved debugger and many other nice features and bug fixes.

Links

  1. Do the Same
  2. Retro Calendar
  3. Hatari

In the press

August 30, 2009

Some informations from other publications, worth to spread around.

Lotek 64 [1]
Beside the great articles in this great Fanzine, I saw an interesting article [2] about a project called KEEP. They got a lot of euros from the European Union to create a platform to be able to save old digital data (like games, games and … games :-) from being lost. Interesting.

What was of interest some 20 years ago. An not very objective view of some old computer magazines

ST Computer #3/89 (Germany) [3]

One topic is the question which Basic to use on the ST. Yes, at that time, when we were bored fighting the amigians and always have to answer the question, if the ST could scroll or not, it was pure fun, to fight in the small group of atarians, which Basic was better. Omikron or GFA a question that will always be part of the Atari spirit I think.

Another article covers Revolver. This application let you divide the ST in 8 parts, and each of them could work separately, if it’s loaded. The question behind these kind of programmes was: “Do I really need multitasking” or “What the hell is multitasking”. Well in the end, even today, I never heard a lot about using multitasking on the ST. Even under mint, when it was finally available, it was to slow compared to the PC standing next to the ST on the desktop already.

Also covered in the mag, was an article about a Sinclair QL Emulator. Yes we loved this machine, it was one of the few machines that was even more unsuccessful than the machines Atari produced after the ST. But to be honest today, I say, that the QL is a very sexy machine, but I never heard much about the OS or programmes for it.

ST Format #2 (UK) [4]

On the cover there was a demo of Blood Money. An all time great, and we enjoyed playing this game in the STOT #2/7.

In the magazine there is a interview with Sam Tramiel who wants to fight Nintendo. A funny guy our Sam :-)

In the games section the important releases were:

  • Blood Money
  • Kick Off 2 !! Yes really it is 20 years ago the best footie game every was released
  • Quarz. We should play Quarz in a STOT. I’m sure it’s one of the forgotten gems.

ASM #9/89 (Germany)

In the readers letter section, it was interesting to read, that already in 89 people discuss if games should be political correct or not. When I see advertisements for ego shooter and war games today, I see that this discussion was not successful in the last 20 years.

The most important reviews were:

  • Silkworm:

A great shooter at that time. We played the game in STOT #1/13

  • Forgotten Worlds:

The games failed in one of the pools for the best capcom game. I bought the game back in the days, and was satisfied with it, even that I would say today, nothing special.

  • Stormlord (Hewson)

Can’t remember this one, the graphics looks nice, have to give it a try.

  • Rick Dangerous

This review is legendary. The tester does not like the game at all, and while worldwide people got crazy playing the game, in the ASM it butchered. Also the sequel got bad grades, but we all played the game.

  • Super Scramble Simulator

I always wanted to play the game. Also have to give it a try.

  • RVF Honda

A great bike racing game. Still a very playable game with a very good AI.

  • Kult

I never understand the game, but I know that it is a good one. Maybe I find somebody who explains it to me.

Top Ten ST:

  1. Populous
  2. Ballistix
  3. Dragon Ninja

Links

  1. Lotek 64
  2. Article about Keep
  3. ST Computer archive
  4. ST Format archive

Upcoming parties

August 30, 2009

Some dates and infos about upcoming parties

JagFest UK [1]

This years event will be running from the 18th – 20th of September at the Chiltern hotel in Luton, England.

Features & Exclusives for JFUK ‘ 09:

* Exclusive 1st showing of Donkey Kong for the Atari Jaguar.
* 16/32 Systems will be in attendance if you need to pick up that piece of hardware or software you really want.
* Demo of the latest build of Atari Owls Jaguar game.
* Demo of prototype Playstation controller to Atari Jaguar interface
* Famous Worms tournament on the Atari Jaguar

e-jagfest [2]

This year the e-jagfest will take place in November it looks like. Again there will be the traditional Checkered Flag Championship and another Jaguar Championship. Also there will be the chance to play many of the new games released in the last time. The location will be once again in Kaarst / Germany.

OFAM [3]

At the 4th of September the OFAM – “Ober-Fraenkisches ATARI Meeting” will take place. The event will be in Muenchberg / Germany. Various ATARI systems will be present. And people are friendly even if you come without a Atari.

Xzentrix [4]

This multi platform party is already cult. It will take place at the 11th of September. Relax at the lake of Starnberg and enjoy talking with a lot of crazy people about their crazy machines. This time the 3rd Bavarian Kick Off Open will take place. Also a small flee market will take place.


Links

  1. JagFestUK
  2. e-jagfest
  3. Ober-Fränkisches Atari Meeting
  4. Xzentrix

Offline Gaming

August 30, 2009

Informations, news, results from various offline tournaments

ST Offline Tournament (STOT)

The ATARI ST offline competition [1], hosted at the http://www.ATARI-Forum.com [2] forum.

The STOT logo

Simon Phipps did a drawing exclusive for the STOT!

During the Switchblade competition, Simon Sunnyboy found Simon Phipps web page in the net, and he got in touch with him via email to tell him that there is a competition of one of his games on the ATARI ST.

Simon answered and he propose to do a drawing for the winner. In the end he also did the drawing for all the 5 participants. Many many thanks to Simon Phipps for this outstanding support of the Offline gaming community.

Photobucket

Season #2 is over. A short look back.

Xerus was a class of its own again, congratulation to him [3].

Beside the fun to play, there were some special competitions to remember:

  • For the first time we did a competition with a B/W game (Bolo). There is no other platform that brought us such many great B/W games then the Atari ST. It was time to honer all these games.
  • We managed to do a competition (Nebulus) with another System. Interesting to see, that our try to get in touch with a Amiga competition does not work, but it did with a Amstrad one. Thanks to our friends from the CPC scene.
  • We got feedback from one of the authors of a game (Switchblade). Again many many thanks to Simon Phipps. He liked that we still love his games, and his support motivated us a lot, that’s who it should be.
  • We also did some competitions to honor special people: Sinister Development (ST Asteroids), Dave Munsie (Frantick). These people created something that gave us so much joy in the past, now it’s great to give them something back.
  • There was again one new game (rOx). So the authors were able to get real feedback from people that really play their games.

Best new game of the season

This year we only had one candidate, so there was no poll like last year. But even there was no competition, rOx deserves the title: Best game of the year

rOx
rOx

Best game of the season #2

Thanks to Greyfox for the graphics

Abbuc Bundesliga

The “ABBUC Bundesliga” is a highscore contest for Atari-8Bit-Computers. In June we ended the sixth season. One season comprise 10 days, 1 day per month (september to june). The winner of day 10 was Lucky in the game Mr. Do with 83100 points. Over-all winner of the whole season was Dietrich.

Abbuc Bundesliga

Finale table of season #6

Place Score Name
1 139 DIETRICH
2 123 YELLOW MAN
3 94 BUNSEN
4 92 WIZARD
4 92 LUCKY
6 88 BERND
7 57 FLORIAND
8 56 KAISERSOFT
9 54 HARDWAREDOC
10 49 CASH
11 46 SLEEPY
12 35 SKRIEGEL
13 26 TIGERDUCK
14 25 TRON04
15 20 DL7UKK
16 19 ROCKFORD
17 17 TROLL
18 15 THOMAS
19 11 THE GREAT LOSER
20 8 SDX
21 8 CHARLIECHAPLIN
22 6 U0679
23 5 KING KONG XL
24 4 EDA70
25 4 ANKE
26 1 DEBORA KOCH

Rhein-Main Kick Offer (RMKO)

The RMKO [4] is part of the Kick Off Assosiation (KOA) [5], a community that organize Kick Off 2 tournaments and keep the spirit alive.

  • 1.Wiesbaden town championship (1. Wiesbadener Stadtmeisterschaft)

Due to the in and out of the participants, in the end there were 3 tournaments. The main one was won by Frank F., the new champion of Wiesbaden. There was some close matches for the title between him and Volker B. Thorsten B. was lost in the midfield nomansland, while there were also close matches between Andreas Kl. and Jan K. Andreas Kl. showed a strong performance and managed to end at place 4.

Frank F. the new town champion

  • July tournament

The July meeting was once again a tournament. (If there are four players, a meeting counts as an official tournament. If we are less than four people, we call it a training.) Thanks to Cornelius who came to Wiesbaden for the first time. Frank F. won all games as expected. Cornelius H. won the important games against Thorsten B. who was not able to win a game he was 4-1 ahead. Thorsten therefore archieved his highest victory ever: 11-0 against Jan K. Jan himself scored 7 goales, but was not able to gain a points, we keep our fingers cross that he will be more lucky next time.

PhotobucketFrank F. vs. Oliver St.

tabelle

Burgenschlacht Competition

At the HomeCon III party [6]  I managed a “Burgenschlacht” competition on a Phillips G7400. 14 people participated and there were some close matches in the finals and in the half finals. What is a retro event without a open retro competition? Here are the results [7].

I play Burgenschlacht

I play Burgenschlacht

The winners

The winners


Links

  1. ST Offline Tournament
  2. ATARI-Forum
  3. STOT Season #2 final table
  4. German Kick Off 2 forum
  5. The Kick Off Gathering, home of the Kick Off Assosiation
  6. HomeCon
  7. Burgenschlacht competition results

It rOx!

August 15, 2009

After the release of “r0x”, we played the game in the STOT #2/21. We all liked the game, so we asked Tomchi the coder, to give us an interview.

r0x

rOx

LowRes: Could you please introduce yourself.

tomchi: Nicolas FLANDIN, french , optician and born in 1975. I own an STE since 1989 and try to contribute with my very limited skills to the Atari scene since 2007.

LowRes: When did you got the idea, what were your inspirations?

tomchi: Heavy Stylus had the idea and the gfx, i just proposed him to code the game :)

LowRes: How long did it take to do the game?

tomchi: As for the code, we started late december and we can say that it was released in june that’s about 7 months.

LowRes: Was it hard to find a team of graphicians and musicians?

tomchi: Original gfx were ripped from deluxe galaga by Heavy Stylus and I had some unfinished chiptune, so we had everything at the beginning. Then Templeton gave us these really cool gfx after a chat with him and DMA-SC made the game main tune at Outline, so all in all we can say that it was easy and that ST sceners are really cool and motivated if you have a project that is not vapour ware ;)

LowRes: How did you communicate?

tomchi: Mostly mails and MSN.

LowRes: What tools and machines do you used to code the game?

tomchi: ATARI STE 4 Mos, PC and gfa :P

LowRes: Did you drop some ideas during the development?

tomchi: Indeed, we wanted it to be a full game with levels and so on, I wanted to code a shop ala xenon 2 where you could buy speed, lives and so on, but then that was to much for the gameplay of r0x.

LowRes: Are there some hidden parts in the game, and could you give some hints to unlock them?

tomchi: Just grind the rocks to make an insane score and rank … erm .. 3 rd IIRC ;)

LowRes: Are you happy with the feedback?

tomchi: Yes, people at outline liked it, at least more than the other games as it ranked 1st :P Some blogs also have a complete review of the game, thx ThorN for r0xing a STOT round too :) As far as a few people enjoyed playing this game, that’s cool :)

LowRes: What are your next plans?

tomchi: I made a Jagpad only version of r0x … I like to release it in two weeks.grtx

Many thanks for this interview.

Here are two of the Blogs that reviewed the game:

StickHeads review
Matty’s review

Also r0x won the title “Best game of the year (season)”, given by the STOT players

Here some comments of the STOT Players

SSB:

  • I really like the soundtrack of this game!
  • Most of the time I end up with loss of 2 lives before I get 10000 points :?

ThorN:

  • I like the graphics, the sound is superb and the intro is really great. I look forward to test the 2 player mode.

Good game

Good game

StickHead:

  • I can see this getting very addictive! I concur, lovely game with superb graphics and music.

Xerus:

  • Also watched your video but, but … shame on me, I didn’t know we could scrape points close to the meteors – bloody hell, and you still got 1.5 million?! It would be interesting to see what you can get now… (StickHead)

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