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Atari ST, the misunderstood computer?


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#21 Greyfox

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 07:53 PM

Another cracking interview, again really enjoyed it, and amazing again digging out a lost ST game, as regards to getting code extracted from the disks, the guy behind Atari Mania have a team to recover such stuff, I think the best person and man for the job I suggest either pass this on to Rich to ask is Marakatti from Atarimania on how to go about the extraction work or better still, send on the stuff to him?, secondly my good friend Galahad over at EAB could do the Amiga version as he was responsible for the after 20 years release of the system 3's "Putty" from their master disks, as they couldn't read from them, but he managed it.

So again many thanks Ross for this brilliant interview, would of loved to have included this stuff in ST gamer magazine.

Cheers.

Edited by Greyfox, 22 February 2016 - 07:55 PM.

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#22 Lost Dragon

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 03:32 PM

Thanks for the very kind words there Greyfox, i will of course pass on the recovery suggestions onto Richard, very much appreciated.

 

Richard was a real pleasure to talk to and yet again his insights into the UK software development community, simply hammer home just how rapid Atari's presence in the market had become.

 

Once developers tarted moving to Amiga 1st, the writing really was on the wall for the ST :-(.

 

The STE was never going to do anything to stem the tide, let alone reverse Atari UK's fourtunes, being far too little, far too late.

 

Had the Panther been released it too would of done nothing for Atari, just how many industry insiders, who say by then everything had gone SEGA/Nintendo, will it take i wonder, for people to realise Atari were never going to get the essential third party support needed for any console? Panther or Jaguar.....


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#23 Lost Dragon

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 04:21 PM

Richards replied already Greyfox:

"

Hi Ross,

 

Thanks, but I have already spoken with Galahad - so he is aware of the licensing issue re: it being Ian Stewart's (Gremlins) property not mine so I can’t release it into the public domain unfortunately, hence my idea of sticking a video on YouTube. I will get my MegaST up and running at some point, if the discs are OK they will run on that.

 

Cheers

 

Richard"


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#24 Greyfox

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 05:36 PM

Ahh that's a pity :( , but What about the lost ST game, Galahad is the go to man for Amiga stuff, Ask him to get in contact with Marakatti over at the Atari a Mania forum or site or over at Atari-Fourms. And as far as I know Ian Steward is easily contactible on Facebook and the likes , I'm sure he'd allow it as a gift to the communities etc. or maybe not, but it would be cool none the less.
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#25 Lost Dragon

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 06:21 AM

My 'take' on it is that it's mainly an I.P rights thing, Ramrod remains the I.P of Ian Stewart/Gremlin Graphics and then you've the added issue of Richard himself NOT thinking much of the game itself.

 

Lets hope he can recover enough data at least for some YT footage of the game running itself.


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#26 Lost Dragon

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 02:21 PM

"Trying to get a good console game on the ST was like pulling teeth, and even the Amiga was pretty underpowered."

 

Chris Sorell of ST/Amiga James Pond, James Pond II:Robocod etc

 

I mention him as like John Croudy, Chris was an earlier Atari 8bit owner, an A400 at that and the very 1st video game he [played was Miner2049er and in fact it was the only game he owned for 6 months, he wagered he'd reached the point he could practically play it in his sleep :-)



#27 Lost Dragon

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 03:38 PM

This was posted up very kindly by:dlfrsilver over on Atari-Forum, as part of the general look into UK Mag claims Chuck Rock II was headed to the ST:

 

Hello Lost Dragon, Dan Scott/Anarchy has posted on the EAB amiga forum about Chuck Rock 2 this :

 

"Q : Do you know exactly when Core's boss, Mr Heath-Smith, decided to stop any productions of games on the Atari ST ?

 

A : I am guessing around the end of 1991, beginning of 1992 was the last Atari ST release from Core ? I worked a little on Heimdall and Wolfchild (the intro sequence) for the ST, and I think that Wolfchild was probably the last release (or maybe Thunderhawk)

"

 

http://www.atari-for...=290509#p290509

 

And again, simply is stark evidence of just how rapidly UK support for Atari platforms had dried up by time even the Panther was intended to be launched, let alone when the Jaguar did arrive.



#28 Lost Dragon

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 03:51 PM

"The ST was rushed and underspecced.Then when the Amiga took hold, Atari upgraded the ST.And then upgraded it again.An again.So ST users had to continually shell out for double-sided drives or memory upgrades, or even new machines, leaving software houses the tricky decision of which standard to write for.

 

The Falcon recieved no advertising outside the specialist press, and was launched -in paltry amounts-with little or no decent software".

 

Potted history of the ST there in Edge, Jan'94 and it's honestly hard to find fault with that.

 

I was a 520STFM owner, so lucky enough to avoid the single-sided drive woes, but soon found myself buying an external drive to reduce disk swapping, then the Discovery Pack was phased out in favour of the 520STe, so my machine had become obsolete overnight or so it seemed, then games starting needing 1 Meg of Ram....

 

By time Falcon was being covered in UK Press on UK TV, it was clear developers favoured the Commodore A1200 so i avoided the Falcon.


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#29 Lost Dragon

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 06:58 PM

Atari UK's Marketing Manager did write into Edge to 'correct' them on claims they had made regarding the Falcon being a 'failure' saying not only were Atari UK 'delighted' with the Falcon's performance so far (Nov'93) but it was being stocked in over 80% of the UK's independent music stores and Atari UK believed it had a very big future and they should not of compared it to Commodore's CDTV system....

 

Basically because Atari viewed the Falcon as a 'specialist application-based' home computer, not a lowcost, mass market computer.

 

:-) Maybe if it HAD been the latter, it would of had that big future Atari UK talked of, eh?.


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#30 Greyfox

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 10:32 AM

Some really fascinating info there pal, kudos for your great work, as I mentioned to you about a new Facebook page on the ST scene, covering games, demos, utilities and more, head over for a sneak a peek @ https://www.facebook...73902659298213/


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#31 Lost Dragon

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 11:34 AM

Looks great my friend.

 

Sadly even something as wonderous as this is not enough to get me personally to touch Facebook :-)

 

 

Hopefully it'll offer something more than the copy cat approach to covering the ST i've started to see cropping up recently, whilst there are new publications planned on the ST, i've yet to see anything that attempts to look at the format in a new light.

 

I hope we don't enter an era of publications/books/futuure mainstream press articles writing for the sake of writing and filling page space with familar screenshots of ST/Amiga games, basically filling space because it's there to be filled.

 

The ST sadly lacked a wide range of Triple-A exclusives to call it's own and i'd hate to see the format over-exposed in the UK with yet more of the same, just done by different faces, something that appears to of blighted the ZX Spectrum coverage i found.


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#32 Lost Dragon

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 11:38 AM

Despite saying that and indeed that i'm getting out of looking into Lost Atari games this year, i DO still have a few ST related interviews yet to come in and i'm having Unseen64 forward some Q's to an ST artist on my behalf, so IF there is fresh info, i'll post it up here before i depart proper.

Hoping to clear up a few UK Press claims over things like ST Raiden, Falcon Humans etc etc.

Long shot stuff, but they always have been each time i asked anyone about anything Lost Games wise :-)

To be honest, i was in 2 minds wether to ask or not, as this stuff is time consuming and i know coders etc been interviewed via Facebook by others, interviews /quotes appeared online/in UK Press, but still the info i kinda wanted cleared up was sadly missing, so having to yet again, ask the Q's myself in vain hope of getting the info.

Edited by Lost Dragon, 03 April 2016 - 11:40 AM.

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#33 Lost Dragon

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 06:30 AM

Any NES fans who used Codemaster's Game Genie, should probably thank the ST in some small part :-), as it was designed not only by Richard and David Darling, but also a chap called Ted Caron, who had previousily been coding on the Atari ST.
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#34 Lost Dragon

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 08:54 AM

Looking back at ST, it's curious looking at the message Atari was putting out, regarding the machine once it had celbrated it's 1st birthday:

 

On the 1 hand Atari themselves were very keen to promote the hardware as a Buisness machine, they were also just as keen to annouce who'd signed up for it to produce games software and were themselves actively seeking to commission conversions of it's arcade games portfolio, back in June 1985.

 

 

Also, spot of triva as i'm here :-)

 

Marketing often (and indeed rightly so...) take flak for asking for changes to be made to a game prior to release, but you've Rainbird to thank for the 'fixed sights' of Starglider on the ST as Tony from Rainbird asked for it to be included, as he couldn't play the game without it.



#35 Lost Dragon

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 01:57 PM

Back in Xmas 1985, Archer Maclean talked of really wanting to get into the 16 Bit computers (Amiga and ST) and reckoned he could easily do a cross between the Star wars coin-op (Atari) and his very own Dropzone, on the Atari 520St and it would knock everyone's socks off.

 

 

Ohh Archer, mate, why did you never code this?.

 

He wanted coders breaking into the ST/Amiga scene to produce titles of the equivalent quality of Star Raiders on the Atari 800, he mentioned becoming limited by the 8 Bit Micro's at this point in time, saying:

 

"Atari's are just about ok, if they are a Porsche in a BL body then the C64 to me is a 3-wheeled Roller Skate, with a puncture", saying the C64 was such a pain to get to do anything fast, but since it was the biggest market share, you couldn't just abandon it.

 

Thankfully he didn't and we got IK+ (sadly the A8 didn't)....

 

 

He also reckoned he could do a 'proper' version of Robotron on A8 and C64 in about 6 weeks and release it as a budget title, but had doubts over if it'd sell or not


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#36 Lost Dragon

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 12:47 PM

Mr Martin Walker (C64 Hunter's Moon etc) talks of the ST:

 

 

"The Atari's built-in MIDI ports made it the perfect computer for the musician, since programmers had access to them at a very basic level, and didn't have to run the gauntlet of a modern multi-tasking operating system. While today's computers can run multiple applications 'simultaneously', it's still done in exactly the same way as my sound chip programming - by rapidly swapping between tasks - but there are lots more of them to juggle, and therefore more possibilities for timing errors, especially when audio and MIDI are regarded as less important than the graphic bells and whistles. Both the Atari and the Amiga still have a small but dedicated following...."

 

http://www.yewtreema...interviews4.php

 

Thought Martin should be quoted as he spent several years working at Atari UK.


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#37 Lost Dragon

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Posted 04 June 2016 - 04:25 AM

Seems UK Press were expecting an ST version of Ocean Software's The Vindicator (aka..Green Beret II), to appear soon after the 8 bit versions.

I had the C64 version,looked great, but maze sections at start soon tedious.

No loss to ST owners this one.

#38 Lost Dragon

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 08:24 AM

Another ST fan, Paul Blythe (Gremlin) who, thanks to interview in A Gremlin In The Works, said he prefered working on the ST, rather than the Amiga as the ST was a nicer machine.


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#39 Lost Dragon

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 01:21 PM

http://www.gamesthat...gtw64/exodus-2/

Another lost ST game, tragic end to story mind..

#40 Greyfox

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 04:21 PM

Yes, very sad indeed, some many games that didn't make it, and a majority of ones that did that were terrible should of found themselves in the lost games limbo.
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