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LOST DRAGON's Atari Related Articles, Interviews and Links


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#21 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 02:07 PM

Regarding Team 17's lost Jaguar games:

 

Thanks to an old Team 17 'Team Talk' archive i discovered that:

 

Team 17 stopped all Jaguar work by Sept'95 as the user base was far too small to make it finacially feasable to support.

 

Allegiance:Was Never really started on Jaguar, everything was done on PC, until Team 17 realised there was'nt much of a game to start with.

 

Rollcage:Appeared to be PC Only at 1 point and in Team 17's own words was'nt a great original loss to see canned, as it was basically a Sega Rally clone.

 

And Witchwood:Canned early on in development (i assume PC was leading version, PS1, Saturn+Jag conversions planned to follow?) as Team 17 were'nt even sure there was a PC market to support it/asked themselves how many PC owners would buy it.


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#22 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 02:16 PM

Gremlin Graphic's Ian Stewart answering a few of my Q's:

 
He viewed the Atari 400/800/XL/XE range the same as other platforms - MSX for example a very minor market, especially in the UK. They only did MSX versions of games because of Fungus and that it was a couple of hours to port games - they usually made a loss - and they had no in-house Atari specialisms at the time.
 
 
 
 No real thoughts on the 7800+XEGS Consoles , they came and went, because the machine was a good machine didn't necessarily mean that games would sell on them. Caould'nt remember any games planned for Atari apart from Deflektor. (offered through a distribution deal) and none for the 7800 at all.
 
 
 No other Lynx games planned after Switchblade II, as retail sales showed it was commercially unviable, as did SWI on the Amstrad Plus - though they did continue to support the 8-bit markets when everyone else stopped - for as long as commercially possible.

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#23 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 02:21 PM

Coder Douglas Little talking to me about his various Lost Atari Games:

 

 

'Aliens' (ish) FPS: BSS, '94. Game intended for the launch of the Atari Falcon030 home computer - their last machine and Amiga 1200 competitor, which followed the ST/STE. This project was discussed with Atari UK a few times and seemed like it might be making some kind of progress with them, but as it turned out (kind of obvious with hindsight) Atari were not too much into the idea of providing cash to develop games for their machines. You either did it at your own expense or not at all. We tried again later with LiveWire for the Jag and got a lot further, but same story in the end - the ROM cartridges had to be bought by us them at significant cost, based on an estimate (read: guess!) of sales figures. Ouch.


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#24 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 02:22 PM

Doug..continues :

 

 

* LiveWire (Atari Jaguar): Black Scorpion Software, around '98(ish?). I was

a co-founder of BSS who produced some apps and later began work on games.

LiveWire was an 8-way arcade scroller with top-down view, combining

parallax scrolling playfields connected with polygonal structures. Was

being developed for Atari UK and reached quite an advanced technical stage

but the project was underfunded and Atari imploded not long afterwards

anyway. There's a summary and material from the game on my own website.


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#25 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 02:24 PM

More from Doug:

 

* Formula 1 Racer (Atari ST, Amiga 500). ICEsoft, sometime around '90-'91.

This was a prototype which never matured into a game. It used a combination

of polygon scenery and a more classic road representation (e.g. Outrun)

with the expected alternating red/white track borders, and 2D sprites for

vehicles etc. There are some screenshots from the ST version somewhere on

AF, from a year or two back when I dug up a test disk.

 

 

 

* FutFut & Bobby (Amiga 500, Atari STE). ICEsoft, probably '92. Again

screenshots can be found on AF. Largely horizontal (really, 8-way) scroller

involving platform-oriented world with small cartoon vehicle which could

drive on varying gradients, jump gaps and areas of water etc. Collecting

pickups etc. Developed into prototype/demo on Amiga, STE but terminated due

to lack of publisher interest.


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#26 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 02:25 PM

Doug (Again):

 

World Cup '92 on ST/Amiga

 

While making the P.O.C for this project, I remember we had the arcade box sitting in the office (which was generally the way we converted arcade games - playing, watching and recording the originals to VHS and replaying over and over!). In this case I was listening to the title music many, many times and creating a 4-channel tracker MOD file, note-by-note, entirely by ear using some ST tracker software. Once the music had been 'cloned' by ear, it was played back on both 16bit machines by the best means available on each (Paula on Amiga, YM+scan sync on ST). The titles themselves (mostly big text characters in lots of colours) were represented using palette switching tricks while the music was playing. By doing this it ended up pretty close to the arcade.

 

The rest of the demo was more typical of game dev at the time but the titles involved some extra determination which I only just remembered 


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#27 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 02:25 PM

:-) Guess who? yep, it's Doug:

 

F1GP arcade machine conversion to Atari ST, Amiga 500. ICEsoft again, '92-93. (different from the Formula 1 Racer project, which was more sprite based - this one was pure filled polygons like the arcade). We tendered for the contract but didn't get it. There was a small tech demo for this but less well progressed than 'Formula 1 Racer', because we didn't have as much time on it.

 

And perhaps more importantly - World Cup '92 (I think it was 92!) arcade conversion for Amiga 500, Atari ST. ICEsoft again. This was actually pretty advanced in terms of technical progress - playfield with fine grass textures, shadows, sprites, good scrolling speed on both platforms. Titles & music in the demo. Most of the mechanics. The football logic however was missing (i.e. the important bit) and IIRC the contract was never closed so it died.


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#28 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 02:35 PM

From my chats with 2 Ex-Domark Coders on behalf of Classic Console Magazine:

 

 

Domark did have Lynx development kit's, but guys i spoke to did'nt have any info on anything unreleased though. Nor could they remember anyone using it.....

 

They had the Atari folks come and to pitch the Jaguar to them and even started designing Jaguar titles. 

 

General feeling at Domark was that the industry had lost faith in Jaguar and it was obvious that the Japanese consoles were going to come out on top...

 

 

Sorry for slew of posts :-)

 

Just trying to get everything under 1 roof and give folks some hands-on info, rather than going off UK Press claims/Youtube footage of games that might of been that bear no relation to reality.

 

Here, i hope you'll be able to piece together just why so much was never released on various Atari Platforms.


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#29 MaximumRD

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 02:45 PM

THANK YOU! -  :emoji-E420: 


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Bah-weep-Graaaaagnah wheep ni ni bong.

I am Rob aka MaximumRD aka OldSchoolRetroGamer
and THIS is my world http://about.me/maximumrd
ON the FACEBOOK? Well have I got the Classic Gaming / Computing group for you!

;) https://www.facebook...ximumrdclassic/


#30 The Professor

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 02:54 PM

Sorry for slew of posts :-)

 

Just trying to get everything under 1 roof and give folks some hands-on info, rather than going off UK Press claims/Youtube footage of games that might of been that bear no relation to reality.

 

Don't apologize! It's great that you're organizing all of this under one thread! This is all rich information, thank you for sharing this with everyone  :thumb:


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#31 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 02:57 PM

Honestly? it's i who owes this site THE THANK YOU :-)

 

Whilst this info has 'existed' on various forums, in various forms as/when it came in, it's been....messy, by that i mean you'd really have to go looking for it to find it.

 

Thanks to this great site it and everything else i have will be under 1 roof...

 

I emailed over a mini-interview (and magazine article on it) i did based on a Lost Atari coin-op, hopefully that will be up here, ditto the (Canned) PS1 conversion of Jaguar AVP screens....

 

I've more stuff in the pipeline, keep yer fingers crossed for me :-)

 

 

It's my pleasure to share it, whilst i love to give publications exclusive interviews, i try and make sure sites get ample findings as well, that way, everyone gets the information.

 

I do not do this for personal gain, just love of subject material.


Edited by Lost Dragon, 17 October 2015 - 02:59 PM.

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#32 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 05:26 PM

 Mike Fullton answering my email Q. for his thoughts on Jaguar Quake being 30% finished (U.F.G mag claim):

 
"Quake didn’t come out on the PC until mid ’96, like 9 months after I had left Atari.  By that time, new Jaguar projects were pretty much non-existent. So it seems unlikely that there was anything going there, at least not with ID.  It’s far more likely that someone started playing around with the QUAKE source code when it was released.
 
The big hurdle to overcome for Quake (as well as Tomb Raider) would have been the lack of a texture-mapping 3D library.  Having such a library would take development of the game from 0% to about 70% in one jump, so someone saying QUAKE was 30-40% done sounds like they were talking about someone working on a library, not so much the game itself."

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#33 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 05:27 PM

From my Interview with Will Harbison-Re.his Lost ST/Amiga Game:

 

" When you have been in this business as long as i have you’ll find that a lot of projects fall by the wayside, for example I was in the process of working on an isometric Simpsons game while working at Ocean for the Atari ST and Amiga. That is one that i would have liked to have seen through to the end. Another game that got canned at the last minute was while i was working for a company called Malibu Comics who were soon to be bought by Marvel. The game was based on one of their superhero characters called Prime and was going to be a side scrolling, platform beat-em-up. I still have some graphics for that project. More recently I was working on a golf game starring Spongebob Squarepants and various other characters from the show. The game was pretty much complete but the plug was pulled right at the last minute."


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#34 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 05:29 PM

NOT my interview, but I.D's John Carmac often quoted as having said he'd had Quake running on Jaguar, i've searched countless interviews of his never found such a claim, but he DOES chat about how he (could of) done Jaguar Doom better:

 

JC:

The jaguar CANNOT make a fully textured, full screen, full

resolution game that runs at 30 fps. The bus will simply not take

that many accesses. The 64 bit bus will let you do really fast

shaded polygons, but texture mapping is done a single pixel at a

time.

 

DOOM had to be significantly reworked to get good performance, but

it wasn’t designed from the ground up to take advantage of the

Jaguar. If I was designing a game from scratch for the Jag (I’m

not), I would target 20 fps with a 256*180 view window in 16 bit

color as a reachable goal. Doom runs 15 fps at 160*180 because the

basic design is non-optimal for the jag’s characteristics. I wrote

it for the pc.


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#35 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 05:34 PM

I did make repeated attempts to contact Ex-Beyond Games coders, artists etc to see just how far Jaguar Battlewheels got and also IF rumour that had secured the AVP 2 deal with Atari were true, but no-one ever sadly replied, sniff.

 

So had to make do with this interview i found online:

 

http://www.metalstuf...guar/beyond.txt


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#36 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 05:40 PM

And regarding Ocean Software's Toki Goes Apeshit on Jaguar (Canned):

 

Both myself and others (who use Facebook) have attempted to contact both Bobby Earl and Ged Cafferly to try and get some further insights on this game (how far along it got, just what aspects of the hardware were being used etc) but none of us ever had any replies from either :-(

 

I’ve had questions put to Gary Bracey via an RVG interview, on my behalf to see if he can recollect anything (doubtful given how much time has passed).

Still waiting for the RVG interview to come in with answers....

 

I like to be 100% transparent regarding reporting on who i tried (and failed) to speak with regarding Lost Games, as i think it helps make me a little more grateful to those who did reply/were able to help.

 

There's no 'Dark Art' to looking into these claims after all. :-)


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#37 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 05:48 PM

Few odds n sods from Q's i put to various on RVG Community interviews (so you'll get bigger picture of how UK Publishers viewed the Atari formats):

 

 

Andrew Hewson:

 

Q) I see the Atari 7800 listed among supported formats, but you never did any Atari 8-bit Micro games did you? (I only discovered your works when I moved from the 800XL to the C64) did you never consider the Atari 8 Bit range a worthy market? Not even for your budget range? If not, why?

 

A) Dunno, it never really crossed my mind to get involved. Atari seemed a step backwards to me.

 

Q) Can you explain how Atari 7800 version of Nebulus came to be in hands of US Gold for the USA release and why the name change to Tower Toppler?

 

A)US Gold made us an offer and it went from there. The change of name is a fine example of clueless marketing people misunderstanding the product that’s been put into there hands. For the Yanks it was just another game…


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#38 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 05:53 PM

From the RVG Community interview with Rebellion, a few Q's i put to them:

 
 
Checkered Flag, with a little more play-testing/work on the controls, could have been the Jaguar's answer to Virtua Racing, were you happy with the car handling? Or would you have preferred more time to tweak it?
 
Jason Kingsley
 
More time is always good but rarely available to a dev team. I’ve never been much of a racing game player myself so I’m probably not best placed to speak about it. When developing the title we did not noice major differences between north American play styles and European ones. NA players blip the controls, European ones press and hold. Balancing the game for both was tricky.

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#39 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 05:54 PM

And more:

 

 

Q) Sky Hammer + AVP, fantastic use of Jaguar hardware, but just how far do you feel you pushed the hardware? Would moving to Jag CD have allowed for much better games? And just how much further do you feel the system COULD have been pushed? I.E. with games like your own Legions Of The Undead (Doom, but with lighting done properly as I believe you proclaimed it. 

 

Jason Kingsley

 

Yes we were caught out by the Jaguar collapse. SkyHammer was really pushing the tech, and was a dystopian idea that I think worked pretty well. Second and third generation games always build on what has been learnt by the previous ones, so usually they get better.

 

Q)Talking of Legions...just what were the plans for the game? adventure type, but in Doom style engine?.

 

Jason Kingsley

 

Dungeon exploring action game was on the cards with stop-motion generated enemies from models. I’ve still got a few of the models about the office somewhere.


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#40 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 05:55 PM

Last one from said RVG interview (always credit your sources :-) as without RVG, these would'nt of been possible):

 

Q) I saw in Edge that whilst you had no specific Jag CD games in development, your were planning CD versions of cart games, most promising of which as Legions Of The Undead, which Edge claimed the cart. version of, would be finished 'very shortly' and would most likely be a headliner at Atari's ECTS stand, they also claimed Skyhammer was Jag CD bound. Any truth in these claims if not? how did you feel about Edge making such claims?

 

Jason Kingsley

 

We had complete SkyHammer and were well on the way with Legions of the Undead. Not sure where Edge got it’s info from back then.

 

 

:-) Another UK Mag claim, put straight.


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