The future for the CT63 lies in smaller things?


I had a discussion a few days ago, with a certain scener that has a CT60 [1]. He was telling me that he had expected much more from the machine, he expected a machine that would be more geared towards demos and games but it instead proved to be aimed to GEM users.

Essentially this is true. We’ve only seen two major demos for the CT60, Supernatural by Evolution and Derealization by DHS and various smaller intros with the most notable in my view being Genocidal, again by DHS. I am not mentioning Mikro’s ports of the TBL demos because they aren’t demos specifically made for the Atari, great as they are (and a good way to tease amiga users I might add :P). In the game front things are even worse, with only ports of old open sourced games and game engines. Great as they are again, nothing specific for the ct60.

DHS videodb for a much better quality video:

You don’t need an explanation for that. Usual excuses apply. Basically it can be summarised to real life. We aren’t young students anymore. But if we also take a look a bit deeper I would like to point two or three more possible reasons. The first is the bad timing of the CT60 appearance. It came at a time when the remaining sceners had abandoned the plain old simple falcon and went back to their ST/STE roots. All we need is to take a look at the recent releases for those machines. Though their numbers aren’t really high, the quality generally is.

and again better video at DHS videodb:

The second reason has to do with the great power of the accelerator, and as they say with great power comes great responsibility. The responsibility here lies with doing something spectacular, something as good and better to what the Amiga scene has been doing with these accelerators for years. This however besides the skill, that already exists, needs time, needs a lot of work from lots of people which adds to the time.

The third reason has to do with GEM. Many of the people who got the 060 are GEM users and not that much interested in the scene. People who want a fast GEM machine. Indeed this accelerator has boosted software production in that area a lot. Of course that argument falls into the false dichotomy category. We are all gem users. We all to some or more extend use GEM apps. I am writting this on a GEM app ;). Still, false as it may be this dichotomy exists though I really can’t understand it..

What I can understand though is the fact that I want this CT63 to become more enjoyable. I vote therefore for smaller demos and more cheating :). As much as I enjoy full featured demos, I’d really like to see more intros, even if they are just a couple of screens and a scroller. I think that those smaller projects could start a chain effect. I really don’t know that much about demo making but I’d think that a great time is spent towards making all things fit, finding new effects that appear coherent, collecting graphics and all those things that make a demo. Like in life, big projects are hard to start and even harder to finish.

I think I am bringing an owl to Athens (obligatory greek expression put in order to confuse readers) and those are things everyone’s already thought. But hopefully it will spark some interesting discussion in the comments section below..


1. Powerphenix – Website of the CT63


13 Responses to “The future for the CT63 lies in smaller things?”

  1. Atari060 Says:

    I totally agree with your opinio ChrisTOS. It´s very “hard” to be a ct60 user these days… no really new games/demos and the biggest benefit is the better speed of gem applications (webbrowser, etc). For years I want to have a nice racing game on the falcon, best with head2head races via internet… But this is *much* work to code, far more than a demo and I am sure that real life is the biggest obstacle to have one 😦 But I can understand that as my sparetime is also very limited…

  2. CiH Says:

    I would agree to some extent. I think the problem with the demoscene side is partly due to ‘performance anxiety’ in the form of direct comparison with the best of Amiga ‘060 productions, which I think acts as an ‘anti-viagra’ to Falcy coders thinking of moving up to the next level. There is also of course the lack of time factor.

    As for “smaller things”, we haven’t seen that many challenging 4ktro’s for the CT6xx series, maybe those coders wanting to try something without committing to a full scale demo could flex their skills with a few of those 😉

  3. ChrisTOS Says:

    Well yes, but I don’t think the Atari scene needs to play catch up wth the Amiga one as was done so long ago. In the end they are two different communities with different views on how things should be done. Check out the comments on Underscore by Escape, with most atari sceners liking it and many Amiga sceners considering it boring. I still think that though indeed Amiga catch up has something to do with it, real life is the most important factor.
    But the situation is much worse in games.. Hopefully Atari060 we’ll get your wish. I’d also like a really cool 2d shooter and maybe a platformer…

  4. beetlef060 Says:

    You know, i found into the 16/32 scene quite late, 2 years ago. I got my ct63 in may ’09, therefore this is all a bit more new and exiting to me than for you.

    But anyway, all in all, i agree. Well, hey, thats no reason to give up the Falcon 060, is it?

    I’d also be happy with some more of the classic Falcon demos/games getting fixed for ct60. “Sure this are still old code, but see: it runs silksmooth!”

    My game wish would be a port of “Descent” – great game, within the capabilities of the Falcon 060, and the Amiga 060 has no port running…

  5. ChrisTOS Says:

    There are a few patched games that work. Flying shark by Klapauzius and Star Wars by D-Bug. Flying shark becomes unplayable by the extra speed. However Star Wars is very good with the cache turned off.

    I think Descend has an amiga port afaik the source code is opened. Maybe it would be possible to port it.

  6. Atari060 Says:

    I think Patrice was/is working on a port… but he is busy with SDL and Reevengi right now… latter one is very promising and I keep fingers crossed he will make a playable version out of this some day!

    Beside that, even a plain Falcon030 is an excellent gaming machine hardware wise… when you see Crown of Creation 3D in action, it is still amazing today… Willies preview is still a good looking platformer… well, my wishlist is long 😉

    I am a little disappointed that the Xmoon (a Raiden clone) sources are lost… this graphically would have been the best Falcon 2D shooter…

  7. -XI-/Satantronic Says:

    hmmm… i love my CT60 because i can watch great demos as:
    Silkcut, Ocean Machine or Starstruck (all from TBL – ported by MiKro)

    playing cool games as:
    Quake I, Duke Nukem 3D – great ports made by MiKro

    and other good stuff (from DHS, Evo, …)

    all of this on my Atari Falcon machine.

    But i see one big problem with our scene…majority of scene still only crying about no new stuff…but how many people sent simple mail with ‘Thank you’ to this great people that made this great stuff for us? I spoke with MiKro some months back, and he does not feel any (or very small) feedback at his great ports….and result? He is losting motivation for making another ports, because in his opinion, it is too much time if this stuff will see/use/play only few people (in his opinion 5-10 max. 20 ppl)…

    but in my opinion if there is about 350 CT60s => more that 200 ppl who realy use Falcon with CT60 (and many others with Falcon emulators)…but i don’t know how many of this sent ‘Thank you’ to MiKro for Quake or Duke Nukem or… 😦

    As i know, MiKro has plans for port another 3-4 games, but he stopped it.

    And maybe other ppl have same problem with motivation…but there is simple and quick solution…send mail like:
    Hi guy, you are great, i like your prods, i want more stuff like your last demo/game… Thank you…

    • Simon Sunnyboy / Paradize Says:

      I can feel the problem!

      IMHO this applies to authors of ST software too but in a somewhat smaler scale. With ST software, you can count at least on the Emulator scene. The CT60 scene does not have it (which ain’t a bad thing IMHO)

  8. BeetleF060 Says:

    I can only double that. Mail him and other people who code!

  9. ChrisTOS Says:

    Xi, you make a great point about feedback. It’s something we discussed about this publication as well. Most of us have given our feedback in one way or another but you are right that a direct approach is more important. I know for a fact that not only Mikro is demotivated from lack of feedback.
    But, also another question is what constitutes motivating feedback. TBH and I am speaking personally, a “great work, well done” though is most appreciated doesn’t really tell me very much. It makes me feel good but I always have the doubt whether people tell me that they actually liked what I’ve done and used it, or that they just liked the fact that I was doing something. Well, whether I am doing something is debatable :P.
    I for one have really enjoyed Mikro’s ports and work. I am looking forward to more stuff from him and I am especially looking forward to original stuff from him and everyone else.

  10. CiH Says:

    Ah, lack of communication and keeping things close to your chest, the blight of the Atariscene, and probably many other scenes, come to think.

    I’m probably one of the ones to blame.I’ve written detailed reviews of two of the demo ports (with Starstruck in my ‘to do’ list), but these have not appeared due to the non-appearing nature of what was supposed to be the final official issue of Alive (no.15). Trusting fool that I am, I’m still hopefully staring into space, waiting for Cyclone to reappear, for all the world like a member of a latter-day cargo cult.

    I am planning to do something with these reviews at some point if this does not happen, but that is going to be later in the year which is hardly the immediate motivating feedback needed! I won’t go on about my CT60 being currently allergic to any bulk data storage method that I try on it, wasting a day on a failed outcome is a pretty big big motivation killer in itself and I’m slowly nerving myself up for the next attempt. This means I’ve paid less attention to that format over the last several months than I should have done.

    There is also a tendency for people to avoid ‘bigging up’ what they are doing, partly down to the ‘no promises, no demands’ philosophy expressed most fervently by the likes of tSCc, also partly down to fear of being seen as a non-deliverer of overblown promises if a project is delayed. Dammit, I do miss the mid-nineties buzz there was about the scene, with all sorts of cool stuff being announced, and some of it eventually being delivered 😉

    I’m probably being stupid and speaking out of turn, but maybe a question or poll posed on a forum like DHS along the lines of “I fancy doing a port of game or demo “X”. Do you guys want it?” might get some idea of interest levels and a tad less taking stuff for granted than the case is at the present.

    It’s late, I’m off to bed, I apologize for the rambling uneven nature of this post..

  11. CiH Says:

    Another thing. I was under the impression that UltraSatan was taking up Mikro’s Atariscene time until recently, also that he wanted to move away from porting stuff to doing some original Falcon 030 DSP coding?

  12. Atari060 Says:

    Well you are all right, but I think, we, discussing these things here, are already among the 20 people Mikro mentioned 😉

    But where are these other guys? Are they sleeping?

    I miss the days (not too long back) when every x-mas we got a new Reservoir Gods release…

    Feedback always is a problem, but I am happy that it´s recognized by the programmers (here: Mikro), that at least *some* people appreciate their work. And if you say 20 people you mean 1/10 of any CT60 user… that has to be improved for sure, but it´s definately better than the feedback a pc game company gets 😉

    See it from that point and maybe that changes the view that the Atarians don´t give feedback 😉 I would definately prefer coding for *some* enthusiastic people than for a crowd of pc-zombies 🙂

    The idea with the poll isn´t bad… maybe that helps!

    Best regards,


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