Posts Tagged ‘Low Res #1’

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

That is STOT ( ST Offline Tournament)

August 30, 2009

This article was written some time ago, and was intended to be published in the Alive diskmag.

STOT – SEASON 1 REVIEW AND PROSPECTS IN THE 21ST CENTURY

In this review article the author will examine the patterns displayed during the first season of the somewhat popular ST Offline Tournament gaming contest and will attempt to predict the future behaviour of the system while providing ideas and thoughts on future improvements.

1. Introduction.

The ST Offline Tournament [1] is based on similar contests that are being held on and for other systems such as the ATARI 2600 [2] and the ATARI 8-bit computer systems [3]. It is a contest in tournament form, where Atari ST(e) gamers can compete with others on their favourite game and thus get a measure of who is better at a particular game. One could say that it was born during a discussion in the Atari ST channel, #atariscne on IRCnet when the two STOT organisers discussed the concept and agreed that those contests can provide a lot of fun. The STOT organisers, namely ChrisTOS and ThorN, have since then laid out the terms of the contest, the point awarding system and the game selection scheme. The contest was decided to be held in the site http://www.atari-forum.com [4] due to the large number of Atari ST gamers that are present in this forum. During the contest, sh3-rg created a logo that has been first unveiled in STOTRO by ChrisTOS [5].

The STOT logo

The STOT logo by sh3-rg as used in STOTRO

2. The ST Offline Tournament process.

As described in the rules, the ST Offline Tournament is generally held in the following manner:

  1. The contest is bi-weekly. The selected game is being played for two weeks.
  2. In the second week of the contest, a game for the next round is selected
  3. The points are awarded after the contest is closed in the following scheme: 8 points for the player with the highest score, 6 for the second and 4, 3, 2, 1 for the players that score less.
  4. Newly released games take precedent in the tournament. From the above it should be clear that only games that provide a scoring system can be selected for the tournament.

3. To be discussed

There can be made little connection between the games played and the amount of players, with the exceptions of very bad games (f.e. Enchanted land) and games not suited for STOT (f.e. Sudokuniverse) that all displayed a negative impact. No positive relationship could be found.
Graph 1
Another factor that might have contributed to the falling participants trend may be the constant high level performance of Xerus. However the hete dans actie known to have been performed by at least one of the three people who managed to defeat Xerus may be a factor that should be taken into account when examining the aforementioned suggestion. Examining the trends found in other offline tournaments [2,3] one can see similar patterns.
Another observation that can be made is that the polls attracted much more attention than the amount of players in the contests. This could be attributed to Atari community’ s desire for the right to expression without actually deciding to exercise that right by acting upon it, or to sheer boredom.

4. Conclusions and Prospects

The Atari ST game database consists of more than 4000 games. It is reasonable to assume that at least 2500 of them are suitable for the needs of STOT. With 24 rounds per season a simple calculation shows that there are enough games for at least 100y. Therefore the only two reasons that the author can see for an end to STOT – excluding major catastrophies or death- are the lack of interest by the organisers or by the players. The death of the Atari ST and the slow decline of the community are the key elements in the lack of interest, together with an equally negative to STOT thing called “real life”. However, as demonstrated by this paper, STOT has become a known name in the Atari world and the ST gaming experience is still strong in many atarians. With people working on new games and with authors finding nice the fact that people play the games, the future of STOT seems NOT gloomy, though one would have a hard time to call it bright. Still website is up [1].


Links

  1. STOT web site
  2. Atariage VCS HSC
  3. Atariage ATARI 8 Bit HSC.
  4. STOT on Atari-forum
  5. STOTRO on Pouet

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)