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Atari ST, the misunderstood computer?


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#1 RetroX

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 02:47 AM

I have been Atari ST owner for many years, i have owned Amiga too. Many people seems to have missunderstand what Atari ST was about.

I have seen so many clips on YouTube or threads in forums where people compare Amiga to Atari ST. Then they say, look, Amiga has better graphics, Amiga has better sound. Those people don't seems to have understand what Atari ST was about.

From the beginning Atari ST was built to battle MAC as a "serious computer", that's why ST used a similar GUI (GEM), so similar that Apple actually sued Atari for using it. ST also used a monochrome monitor for high resolution (no scanlines) and 70 Hz refresh rate that made Atari ST perfect for serious use. Besides that ST contained everything in ROM. Just boot the computer and everything is ready to run.

For gaming ST was considerably more limited then Amiga. While ST just used a simple frame buffer and software generated sprites Amiga contained Jay Miner's custom chips. The only area ST could battle Amiga in gaming was in pure vector games where ST had a bit faster processor, else Amiga was THE computer for gaming.

MAC was the computer for serious use while Amiga was the computer for games, graphics and demos while Atari ST was something in between. The serious computer that could be used for playing games as well. Not to say that demos and games couldn't be good on ST too off course but when Amiga capabilities was used to the full, ST didn't stand a chance.

So, when people just compare the computers for graphics and sound, it isn't a fair comparison because ST was the allround computer made to battle MAC from the beginning.

Many people who bought Atari ST was kind of surprised, including me. Atari was supposed to be about gaming, but not this time. In fact Amiga was way more similar to Atari 8bit then ST ever was thanks to one person, Jay Miner.

This is Atari ST when showing it's real strength. In this comparison, Amiga don't stand a chance.

image.jpg
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#2 Yo-Yo

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 11:23 PM

Atari ST is definitely under appreciated! It had a lot of Mac features for a fraction of the price. That's why they called it a Jackintosh!
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#3 RetroX

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 01:31 AM

Even Amiga was from the beginning a computer that Commodore advertised as a all-purpose business machine, but soon Amiga became something else as we all know. In fact, the only computer that actually kept the serious business side and at the same time were a demo and games computer, was Atari ST.

 

If we take a look at Atari ST in the whole, it was a very competent allround computer for it's time that was supposed to rival MAC. ST was about "Power without the price" and what you got was a computer that could handle a high resolution display, in fact Atari ST hooked up to the SM 124 monochrome monitor was even better then the MAC display itself. Yet you could switch to a colour display any time and play games.

 

To understand how good Atari ST really was...

 

ST is still the tightest midi computer ever built, no modern PC or MAC even comes close to the performance of Atari ST.

 

Check this.

http://www.synthtopi...3/10/atari-ste/


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#4 Lost Dragon

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 09:26 AM

It's possibly because the ST had a shortage of Triple-A exclusives, to call it's own, it's been cast in the shadow of the Amiga, by UK Press alone.

 


People thus just 'assume' ST version to be the 'poor mans version' of a game, less colours, awful ST soundchip sound, jerky scrolling, faster 3D, but not to point where it makes a monumental difference, etc etc.Amiga gets all the credit due to custom soundchips (although there are a good few 16 Bit era coders who say the Blitter was'nt as impressive as Commodore would of had them believe) and because UK magazines started reviewing Amiga games 1st (ST version would follow month or say later, mini-review just pointing out the differences) , i guess it's the format so many look back on, despite the ST doing very well here in UK, cheapest entry to 16 Bit Gaming for many of us, myself included.

 


I guess that's been a stumbling block for many when doing articles on it, (though credit to likes of Edge whom have at times looked at the ST when doing a making of.......Alpha Waves appearing a few months ago), as once the historical viewpoint has been covered, feature has listed the most popular games etc etc, where are you left to turn?.

 


I personally don't feel it does the hardware any favours to list the 8 Bit ports as games you must play on it as things like Ranarama, Trantor:Last Storm Trooper, Starquake etc felt more at home on ZX Spectrum/C64 and things like Wizball, whilst looking very nice, just seemed to play better on the C64.

 


Thankfully likes of ST Gamer etc have done fantastic work in order to represent the hardware in a much fairer light, to those who might of previousily written it off, i've tried to interview as many ST coders as i can and even Amiga coders who never touched it, to get a balanced viewpoint of how the games industry saw the hardware.

 


I also think a lot of the trouble was, Atari was always playing catch-up to Commodore over the Amiga.....

 

 

STE arrived far too late, delivered too little, Atari kept talking about the ST CD Drive then CDST in response to CBM's CDTV, then rumours of ST Console, then Panther.....

 

 

After a while people just wised-up and as for claims ST support was strong when they should of been looking at launching the Panther, my research would suggest anything but.....

 


You've only to look at how even when ST games were outselling Amiga titles 4-to-1, developers had switched to Amiga 1st, ST to follow, then ST if at all...

 

 

E.A had a regular pattern of annoucing support for ST dropped, then back on, then dropped again.

 

 

Being the cheapest only goes so far.

 

 


The STwas a fantastic work horse, a great way for many of us to upgrade from 8 Bit computers (so many of us bought the 520STFM Discovery Pack), i loved the P.D scene, it was fantastic fun linking ST's for Stunt Car Racer etc, but i'll always hold it in a true light and 'report' on it with no bias.The ST was simply another machine i owned, got a lot of enjoyment from.

 


It was rushed, it was up again'st superior hardware in form of the Amiga and as a gamer coming from 1st the 800XL and then the C64, for a 16 Bit machine to have such poor scrolling and an awful soundchip, did 'hurt' and it's why, when i got into Retro gaming i went the Amiga route, not the St to replay my favourite games.

 


Not sure if it's of interest, but the UK Press interviewed a good few coders at the start of the ST Vs Amiga era, a few thought's from some of them:

 


Jez San, in C+VG's ST Spectacular:Starglider feature, described the ST as 'Just a glorified (ZX) Spectrum', explaining that is was so similar in regards to not having custom chips for sound or graphics and relied almost entirely on the power of the 16 Bit Processor..but he went onto describe the ST as superb VFM and questioned at that point in time, how many folk could actuallt afford an Amiga.

 


Also of note:Original design for Starglider was just 4 levels, but decided on a lot more, to cater for the better gamesplayers.

 


From Zzap64's 16 Bit feature:The Balance Of Power ST+Amiga compared.....

 


John Darnell who'd programmed Dragon's Lair, Escape From Singes Casttle Star Paws etc on the 8 Bit formats, described how he was'nt a fan of the Amiga's O/S and again drew comparisons with the ST to the ZX Spectrum... saying whilst the ST was good, it just did'nt have the same potential of the Amiga, but Atari had gotten the price right, whilst Commodore with the Amiga had 'Botched it' on the marketing front and yer average consumer seeing both ST+Amiga marked up in stores as 16 Bit would see the ST at £299 as the obvious choice.

 


Peter Johnson, again drew the ST/ZX Spectrum comparison, as everything had to be done via the CPU on the ST, he also bemoaned the sound chip and said lack of internal hardware meant there'd be a lack of coding tricks, years down the line....

 


Andy Onions and Ian Oliver (Realtime Software) again described hardware differences between ST+Amiga, but pointed out that the 8 Bit ZX Spectrum+3 was priced the same as the St and no-one in their right minds would buy the 8 Bit Micro over the ST and the ST was a bargin and they had no idea how atari had managed to price it so low

 

 

Andrew Braybrook described at length the differences between writing software for the ST and the Amiga, describbed Amiga owners as 'snobbish' as they did'nt like the Amiga to be doing games other machines (ie ST) were just as capable of doing.

 

He also feltthe ST would be a thinking mans machine where as the Amiga, due to it's superior hardware, would be a true arcade machine

 


And Steve Bak was another hater of the Amiga's O/S, he diagreed with the ST/Amiga comparison to the C64/ZX Spectrum, instead saw it more similar to the Amstrad CPC vs the Commodore C64.

 

He thought the St would be sucsessful, Atari being right behind it, Atari's boss knowing what direction to go, staff and technical support being excellent and slated Commodore for it's then buisness approach to marketing the Amiga.

 


So, from a coding point of view it does'nt appear the UK Cream at that time did'nt miss-understand the ST.

 


As i can add these comments to those from the interviews i was lucky enough to be able to carry out.


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#5 RickR

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 12:36 AM

I've got an ST, and it's a great computer with lots of fun games.  Kicked butt over the Macintosh at that time...color screen for a lower price.  Coolest feature (IMO): it uses plain old Atari 2600 joysticks for games. 


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#6 Lost Dragon

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Posted 27 November 2015 - 09:17 AM

Another coder quote to kinda prove the ST was seen as a serious machine and not just a poor mans Amiga....

 

Mr Steven Kelly (Bitmap Bros:Cadaver/Speedball II):

 

'..on the horizon was the Atari ST.I could see this was a serious machine with serious gaming potential and as i had a lot of experience on the 68000 chip (note from his earlier work on the Sinclair QL), i felt i had a head start on this machine'.

 

Source Retro Gamer Magazine's In The Chair:Steven Kelly article/interview.

 

And from similar RG article, but Michel Ancel this time in the chair, Michel talks of trying to code on the 800XL, but found it very difficult....but said the real work for him began when he was able to get hold of the Atari ST....

 

So it seems a lot of coders really embraced the ST and the industry should respect the key role the platform had.

 

More respect for the ST from the industry:

 

The team at FTL who produced the groundbreaking Dungeon Master on the ST praised the ST for making hardware avaiable that everybody could own and had really impressive graphics ability and said it was a key part of the inspiration to make DM and the ST really changed things.

 

You'd be surprised as well, just where ST code turned up:

 

It's been claimed Paul Woakes Amiga games are just done running an ST Emulator (things like Mercenary etc)

 

Probe's Fergus McGovern has claimed or been quoted as saying...that PS1/Saturn Rainbow Islands/Bobble Bobble pack..use ST code for the conversion of Bubble Bobble....

 

Rage's MD/Genesis title, Striker was a port of the 3 year old ST game, just graphically overhauled....

 

In wishing to give balance, here's Rainbow arts Teut Weidermann, then product development supremo, talking to ACE in Dec'89:

 

On the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum and Atari ST:

 

'..If i had my way, we'd burn the lot of them.By 1991, dead, along with the ST.The trouble with the ST was the original spec was'nt good enough (single sided drives) and now everyone is forced into writing software for the lower spec machines because that's where the market is.'

 

Tony Crowther (Knightmare+Captive) sadly not much of an ST fan then, by sounds of it:

 

'What was it I liked about "Dungeon Master"? To my eyes, it was just well
cool! Some games have only got visual appeal, but with Dungeon Master you
could really live in it, totally immersed in the game with it's corridors
and the little beasties.
I saw it on the Atari ST first, and I waited ages for the Amiga version.
Why? Because ST's weren't very nice, you always seemed to get a cut down
version. I'd really gone from the C64 straight to the Amiga. My ST was out
of the way on top of a cupboard, it was good that it had a midi port as
standard, but I wanted "Dungeon Master" on the Amiga.'

 

Source:http://www.angusm.de...BA1/DungM3.html


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#7 Doctor Octagon

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 07:40 PM

Seems like everything Jack Tramiel laid his hands on post-Commodore was "misunderstood".


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#8 Lost Dragon

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 08:10 AM

I only stumbled on Tony C's comments when looking into claims made by Mean Machines Magazine that Mindscape were planning to convert an ST all time fav.game of mine, Captive, to the SNES....

 

So far found nothing to indicate they ever were :-(

 

I'd already mentioned unlikely places ST code (in 1 form or another) turned up:

 

http://forums.atari....nd-links/page-5

 

But time to continue the ST Love:

 

The Bitmap Bros seemed to be keen users of the ST, with Artist Mark Coleman using a 1040ST and Degas Elite for graphics on things like Xenon II

 

Coder John Smith meant to of coded Xenon II using his own assembler on a 386 PC 1st and then transfered the code to the ST via the parallel port, so not as some of claimed, strictly coding on the ST 1st, but the ST played it's key role.

 

Addt.to the above:Only fair to point out that later Bitmap Bros games were either developed with Amiga as priority (Chaos Engine Graphics created for 32 colours on the Amiga, reduced to 16 for the ST-confirmed by Mike Montgomery and Dan Malone) or Amiga only...Chaos Engine II.....as ST market had declined rapidly. :-(

 

And as Sean Griffiths told UK Press, each programmer at the Bitmap Bros was responsible for their version of a game, so ST coder handled his version, PC coder his, Amiga coder his etc and Sean himself wasn't particularly looking forward to coding on PC when the time came to move on.

 

Bill Barna, ST Coder for Software Creations Gauntlet III, published by US Gold, said that people tended to expect a lot from the St as it was a 16 Bit micro, but in reality it was a 'vamped up ZX spectrum and whilst coding had started on the ST with Gauntlet III, the Amiga versionhad over-taken it, as the hardware had the benifit of hardware scrolling.

 

Tony Crowther again:

 

'The ST would of been a great machine, IF it'd been released at the same time as the Commodore 64'.

 

By October 1990, UK developers were starting to predict the rapid decline of the ST :-(

 

Archer Maclean talking about what the future held for the industry: 'The ST will continue dying rapidly'

 

Vektor Grafix: 'The next 2 years will see the ST Fall'

 

Sadly this indeed proved to be very true, with the ST being pretty much forgotten by the time the Jaguar arrived and it's once mighty presence reduced to a mere shadow of what once was...

 

Bit more on rapid decline of the ST, UK wise:

 

In May'92, Jez San was telling UK Press he'd be abandoning the ST.

 

Also, Virgin Games Andy Green, who at that point was busy coding The Rookies (sadly never released) admitted whilst he'd started coding the game on the ST, he soon switched development over to the Amiga.

 

More and more i look into it, more rapid the ST's decline amongst coders/publishers seems to be evident, as does the fact the Panther console would of done nothing to buy Atari any time for the Jaguar.

 

In Summer of 1992, Renegade Software's Tom Watson talked of the ST as being THE Premier 16 bit machine 5 years earlier, but now just doing a fraction of the Amiga's buisness.

 

In Jan'93 Eric Matthews of The Bitmap Bros admitted they were only really doing ST Chaos Engine, as the game design's editors etc ran on the ST as well as the Amiga and said whilst titles like Gods and Speedball II had sold around 2-to-1 in favour of the Amiga over the ST versions, they'd seen a rapid shift, with later Bitmap Bros games selling around 5-to-1 in favour of the Amiga over the ST versions.

 

Archer Maclean admitted whilst he'd written Snooker on the ST 1st, due to it's faster CPU, when he wrote Pool, it was Amiga 1st and then ported to the St (in 2 weeks) and he was going to be pleased IF it sold something like 10,000-20,000 copies on the ST in the UK.

 

ST games sales were that poor.

 

:-(


Edited by Justin, 20 February 2016 - 09:39 PM.

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#9 Greyfox

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 07:44 AM

Some great reading to be had here fella.

 

and as part of my return to doing game reviews, if it's okay with you, I'd like to share the first video produced after some 6 years lol.

 

I'm not You tube spamming with the latest content, well I am, amid I? sorry about that, I'm hoping to cover some great titles on the ST Machine and hopefully not main stream amongst other formats too like th A8 and Amiga

 

but here's the latest peace offering :).

 


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#10 Lost Dragon

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 07:45 PM

:-) Fantastic to see Flashback Gamer content on YouTube.This proudly sits alongside the likes of Lynx Lounge and The Jag Bar as THE Premier Atari related YT coverage, for myself.

 

What i finds works so well for you guys is you make professionally produced content look easy, yet come across really down to earth, you narrate as GAMERS and it works on so many levels.

 

Slapfight is a nice 1 to start your return with...

 

Lovely music for the ST's weak soundchip and yes, Imagine did wonders with the ST Colour limits, producing a bright and vibrant look to the visuals (if only they'd put as much time into their A8 offerrings, like Green Beret and Arkanoid, sigh)..no washed out visuals here.

 

It is a tough game to plsay and something i'm sure i'd find far too frustrating if i attempted today, it'd be curtains for myself within seconds, i'm sure. :-)

 

I cannot wait to see your next video.


Edited by Lost Dragon, 29 January 2016 - 08:32 PM.

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#11 Lost Dragon

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 07:52 PM

No idea IF it's true, as so, so many of the various magazine claims i've looked into over the years turned out to be utter cobblers, when talking about the Atari formats alone, let alone others, but claim went that when Ocean France were developing Snow Bros, whilst they were using an Amiga for bulk of the coding (this itself something of a rare thing, with most developers coding on PC's linked to Amiga's at this point (Mid 1991) or so it seemed), they were using an ST to design maps and do sprite editors etc.

 

Be a nice story if it were true.

 

Excuse my cynical nature, but far too much has been falsely reported by those in the press, for far too long, so until i hear stories direct from horses mouth these days, i do wonder the credibility of such claims at times.

 

Was 'chatting' to Frank Gasking about ZZap 64's claim they'd seen Amstrad CPC early code of a canned Laser Disc-esq attempt at a Scooby Doo game, seems only the ZX Spectrum version was ever started.

 

Jurnolists eh? i dunno....

 

Seeing Slap Fight up here just rubs a degree of salt into the wounds of what the ST could of had, Arcade Conversions wise :-( Despite being in the very early stages of development, Rastan was looking very promising: http://www.google.co...23RZyJx1WMDjaWwAnd word had it WEc Le Man's was to be based around the 3D Driving section code from Ocean's Batman The Movie game and thus should of been something special.

 

In my bid to ensure this site has the DEF.guide as it were to coders views on the ST, in order to represent the most balanced outlook possible.

 

From my Interview with John Croudy:

 

there wasn't much decent hardware in the ST. Compared to the
800, the ST was a terrible disappointment. You could do more fancy graphics
on the 8-bit 800 than the 16-bit ST. Writing games on the ST was like
trying to write games on a word processor. I hated it and still do. They
should have asked me to get into the Amiga, of course, which I did later.
As you say, the ST was better for 3D than for sprite-based games, although
I never got very far with that. It had a terrible screen-pixel layout which
made drawing triangles a real pain and much slower than it could have been
had the graphics hardware been smarter. I had seen what the Archimedes
could do with 3D and tried to copy it, but that was a fool's game.

 

http://www.grumpyold...oudy-interview/



#12 Greyfox

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 06:44 AM

I was reading through my tweets today and seen a person had put up a collection of magazine game advertisements from that great publisher Gremlin Graphics, expecting to see the usual Lotus Espirits totems and such, there was a four panelled on with games coming out circa 1988 across the Spectrum (Released) C64(released) Atari ST(unreleased) ???? , a game I'd never heard of, let alone seen it was in production and from Gremlin Graphics called "Hercules: Slayer of the Damned" .so I took the liberty of downloading and cropped this game advertisement and have posted a preview below. What happens to this game? Why wasn't it finished? Did it turn into Pegasus? It Clearly states from the advert that it was been released on the Atari ST, not even the Amiga was getting it? Who knows what happened?

5fgbi0.jpg

I've also include a link to Lemon64 on their thoughts and review of the game plus a video play through to see what we could of had on the ST, my only conclusion is that they were working on Lotus and the few other exclusives on the ST to be bothered doing an 8-bit game port over, but I've never heard of this game and would have loved to have given it a go.

Lemon64 review : http://www.lemon64.c...ils.php?ID=1186

Hercules Slayer of the Damned gameplay c64 version.
https://www,youtube.com/watch?v=fa-nFYqDHOc

Hope this is one is a new one for ya :)

Edited by Greyfox, 31 January 2016 - 06:46 AM.

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#13 Lost Dragon

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 10:08 AM

Great spot my friend :-)

 

Wish i'd put the question of what happened to it, Ian Stewart, when i asked him about Gremlins Lynx/7800+Jaguar support.

 

I'm going to say this was never anything more than a PROPOSED ST Game, the advert being 'drawn up' months in advance, as adverts are, 8 Bit versions to be coded 1st, ST version to follow, depending on how well 8 Bit versions were recieved by press and public alike.

 

However once game got slaughtered at review:

 

C64 version getting: 51% Zzap 64, 3/10 Powerplay, 4/10 C.U and 47% TGM and Ace rating both the Amstrad CPC and MSX versions at 399/1000...any future plans were shelved pronto.

 

It looks like the C64 coder, John Tometzki didn't stay coding for long, only doing:

 

Hercules: Slayer of the Damned! (1988), Gremlin Graphics Software Ltd.
Samurai Trilogy (1987), Gremlin Graphics Software Ltd.
Spaghetti Western Simulator (1989), Zeppelin Games Limited

 

Also, Gremlin must of known it would be going head to head with the far superior offerings from Palace Software on the ST:

 

Barbarian and Barbarian II, both of which had gone down a storm on the 8 Bits and did so again on the 16 Bit Home Micro's.

 

Be nice to find out IF any actual coding was started, but at this stage, i'm calling it proposal only.

 

After all, we've seen so many adverts promising Atari versions of games:

 

Last Ninja, B.Knights, D.T Super Test, Adam Caveman etc on A8

 

Hellraiser Lynx

 

LKet alone those that have used mock-up shots...it's hard not to feel cynical.

 

But no, given the poor reception, i personally cannot see an ST version being greenlight, resources wise.

 

Here is Pegasus:

 

 

Mix of scrolling Shooter stages and platforming.

 

Mixed reviews it seems:

 

http://amr.abime.net/review_8079

 

Not 1 i'm personally familar with, so cannot say if reviewers were too harsh or not.


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#14 RickR

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 01:01 PM

A lot of good info here.  Thank you!

 

I hope no one minds me mentioning this (and I may have mentioned it already, forgetful SOB that I am) ...but one of the really great things about the ST is that you can create working floppy disks from a PC with a floppy drive.  Download a disk image, create a disk, and BOOM, you can run the software on a real Atari ST.  You don't even need to find DD disks...HD works fine.  Just tape over the hole on the disk to "fool" your PC into thinking it's DD.


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#15 Lost Dragon

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 12:11 PM

Had an email in regarding certain insights as to why we sadly never saw ST Myth finished and released.

 

I'm not going to name names or go into detail, as info was given in confidence, but my understanding shall we say of why the games industry suffers from so many promising titles reaching the stage of being so close to completion, yet sadly never being finished, has been increased by a further degree and it's no wonder people often don't want to chat about Lost Games .

 

I had an email back from Ged Keaveney, whom i asked on the off-chance he might of known IF ST Chuck Rock II was ever started, his reply:

 

'For Chuck Rock II I honestly don’t recall the details, I’d worked with the guys (Chris, Lee etc) to help out with a few bits but it was their project and I had my own projects, also my memory is hazy after all this time'

 

I also asked if he had any idea if claims that another titile, Litil Divil, was at least planned to appear on likes of MegaDrive/Jaguar etc, were true:

 

 

'As for Litil Divil that really isn’t something I know about. Jerr and I created the first draft of that game on Amiga at Gremlin but then we moved on to setup The 8th Day and didn’t have anything to do with it after that.'

 

So sadly nothing much to report, but i appreciated Ged taking the time to get back to me and share his involvement with projects.

 

The search continues

 

More UK Press claims/Lost ST Games properly researched:

 

'We really wanted to maximize our efforts so had started to attempt to produce Atari conversions of our games - but that machine couldn’t quite do what we needed
(for games like Shockwave and Drivin’ Force)'

 

'As I’d mentioned the Atari ST version of Drivin’ Force never came close and without the 50fps lost the arcade like visual quality.
Our inability to generate Atari versions of all our games was merely due to
human bandwidth. We felt it better to generate new products rather than
spend time converting - particularly to a machine that had way lesser graphic prowess.'

 

'Sadly the ST couldn’t compete.'

 

'Yes, I saw some of the reviews making claims about ST versions of Scorpion etc.
Maybe my memory fails me - but I really don’t believe we had stated we intended to
move all our titles to the ST.'

 

From my latest interview:

 

http://www.grumpyold.../#comment-35349

 

So, yet AGAIN UK Press making FALSE Claims about games being headed to ST (Sigh..this is such a regular occurance with Lost A8/ST/Lynx/7800 and Jaguar games) and at least now we KNOW why they never appeared.

 

More from Jules:

 

‘The lasy front cover of Drivin Force was interesting. The flag we’d ordered from a racetrack in the uk. The gloves and helmet were lent to us by a local bike shop – and he let us take them away without even asking for a deposit – we explained why we wanted to borrow them – but remember this was Widnes/Liverpool. Needless to say we returned them to him…and the keys…well they were my house/car keys out my pocket. Those were the good old days of self publishing…a bit like the ‘German shots’ of us for Colditz. We rented some uniforms from a costume shot and took the pick at an old church in Widnes!’


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#16 Clint Thompson

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 02:55 PM

I owned a 1040 for a short while and regret ridding it but had the Falcon to mostly make up for it - until you run into a ton of incompatibility problems for whatever the reason may be. Never got a solid gaming vibe from it going from the 800 and the Falcon trumped the ST so I thought but was definitely a much more expensive machine.

Someday I'll get an STe. I remember in the early 90's around the Jaguar launch, I wrote Atari in hopes to buy a new ST but received a letter stating they had discontinued sales of their computers. I don't remember if they pointed me in any other Atari retailers who may have had stock but it didn't matter, the Falcon was always on my radar for what I wanted anyways since it was to be a multimedia machine with CD-ROM attachments and such.
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2600 - 7800 - 800XL - 130XE - Lynx - Jaguar

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#17 Lost Dragon

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 03:15 PM

I saw C+VG's Tony Takoushi covering this one in his Hot Gossip column, saying it was the 1st ST game to require the 1040ST (1 Meg) and game had 'real class'....

 

http://www.google.co...j7HocdhM2wgvGmg

 

:-) Each to their own Tony, but why on earth this needed 1 Meg is beyond me, it looks and sounds as basic as they come.

 

Mentioned in the A8 threads about Domark's Living Daylights being due for an ST (and Amiga) conversion, well......

 

I looked a bit deeper into claims of ST The Living Daylights.Whilst Domark's Press Advert never mentioned the ST version at all, just CPC/C64/ZX Spectrum/A8/MSX etc....

 

C+VG claimed Richard Naylor had visited the USA to see the coding team behind the ST version, Sculptured Software and there were also plans for a coin-op version, using the Amiga board, for the Arcadia coin-op system.

 

The magazine also claimed there were to be conversions of the game to the C16 and Acorn Electron.

 

And still the Lost Games for the ST keep on coming... C+VG proclaimed the ST version of Firebird's Druid II:Enlightenment, would be shown alongside the A8 version of Druid at a PCW show, only the Amiga had a version as far as i'm aware, so yet again UK Press built up (false) hopes for Atari owning Druid fans :-(

 

And on further still:

 

Looking at UK Press around time of the 1987 PCW show as an ST owner, you were told to expect the likes of:

 

Firetrap (Electric Dreams)

 

Rimrunner (work started, demo exists etc) and Starship from Palace Software.

 

Bravestarr US Gold/Go!

 

Morpheous and Magnatron (Firebird who annouced they'd be avaiable on ST at 'some point in the future')...

 

Mean Streets and Zig Zag from Mirrorsoft.

 

Warlock (The Edge) advertised as was Charlie Chaplin, US Gold/Go!.Claims screens were from ST version, but might well of been mere mock-ups...

 

Question:Is this just a UK Press thing? annouce games based on speculation/PR statements and little/No real research? or was US Press just as bad?.

 

C+VG also had screens from ST version of Gremlin Graphics Blood Valley, game never released.

 

Bit more addt.info from Jules Burt:

 

"For reference - out the gate Trained Assassin and to a lesser degree Scorpion did fairly well. Drivin’ Force did terrifically well - hence the Atari ST move (which sold nothing - but wasn’t that great either!). Subsequent games just did less and less sales than even the first two…and of course costs for something like Colditz (with a full book included) meant our margins were very poor along with the fact it didn’t sell well at all. Even today I can’t find anyone who actually knows what Colditz is…perhaps we should’ve done some market research!"


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#18 Lost Dragon

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 04:38 PM

An 'unexpected' interview of mine has just come in/been forwarded onto Grumpy Old Gamers, i focused purely on the chaps ST work, it details 1X Lost ST game, why he converted 2 flagship coin-ops to the Amiga and not the ST etc.

 
Link to follow :-)

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#19 Lost Dragon

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 07:19 PM

" Atari should have introduced the Amiga when they had the chance.

The ST was a panic reaction they had when they realised they had lost the

Amiga and needed a 16-bit machine. The Amiga was a natural progression from

the 8-bit Atari architecture given it was created by the same team of people.

The ST was a nice general purpose computer which Atari should have developed

into the PC by licensing the architecture out - that would have lead to Motorola

being Intel today and Atari would be massive too."

 

http://www.grumpyold...ello-interview/

 

Thought i'd add to list of industry quotes.


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#20 Lost Dragon

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 07:26 PM

"RamRod was finished on the ST but it had no depth and the gameplay was rubbish. Robocop meets Marble Madness is a perfect description. It was very heavy on graphics, which as you mention were gorgeous (all by Kev Bulmer R.I.P.) they were the best bit. But the game just consisted of the main character wandering about 3 levels each 4 screens high (vertically scrolling) and on each level playing 4 arcade games-within-a-game where RamRod was scanned into the arcade machine (like in TRON) where he became the central character in Space Invaders etc. The arcade games were added in an effort to add game play. The whole project was a bit of a dinosaur with no central control, management or direction unfortunately - I was no game designer, I enjoyed writing cool code - and I was left to come up with the game I guess, so all it became was a lump of cool code displaying cool graphics, bit of a demo I guess." From above interview, thought i'd put for those interested in Lost ST Games only :-)






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