Jump to content

Join the World of Atari!

Sign In or Create Your Atari I/O Account to join the party! Membership is always free! Gain full access to an amazing new retrogaming community with UNLIMITED member features, weekly high score championships, and prizes. Join other friendly retrogamers as we celebrate nostalgia & classic games, from Atari to Nintendo, Sega, TurboGrafx-16 and beyond!

Photo

Atari ST, the misunderstood computer?


  • Please log in to reply
73 replies to this topic

#41 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 07 October 2016 - 12:18 PM

This might be news to our American readership, but US Gold had the licence to produce a home micro version (and thus the ST) of the film, "A Nightmare On Elm Street' (this was around same time Mindscape had licence for Mad Max, another game of film that failed to appear)..someone on GTW asked what became of it..easy answer is that it was always an on/off project for the publisher and by time film licence expired, they realised the age group that could see the film was very different (ie older) than that the game would be aimed at...

 

Plug pulled.


  • Greyfox likes this

#42 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 07 October 2016 - 01:48 PM

the poor old ST often takes flak for poor conversions of games from other
Systems, but in the case of Space Harrier II, blame SEGA, they wouldn't tell Teque anything, when they came to convert it from the Megadrive...


Edited by Lost Dragon, 07 October 2016 - 05:49 PM.

  • Justin and Greyfox like this

#43 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 07 October 2016 - 05:52 PM

Few more 'finds' from UK Press...

 

1)We have Psygnosis P.R's Nik Wilde, claiming Dr.Mallet And The Tribbles was 'put into a dark cupboard' soon after being shown to UK Press...

 

 

2)Core Design's Jeremy Heath-Smith saying Mark Avory had been working on a second Jaguar game, alongside XJ220, this one however would be in polygon 3D, using ST/Amiga Thunderhawk Engine, some 4 months inital work having been done, game would be based on the Le Mans 24 HR Race....


  • Greyfox likes this

#44 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 08 October 2016 - 03:32 PM

I'm still floored by just how poor the commercial  UK Press coverage of the Atari range of hardware has been over the years at times, when written by UK 'writers' giving a UK perspective, there have been some fantastic looks years back at the 800XL, it's games, the ST often had some good coverage, Makin Of's dedicated to ST versions of games etc, but some of the reporting has been diabolical....

 

 

Be it regarding the Lynx, 7800, ST, A8 range or Panther..missinformation, personal opinion presented as fact etc.

 

I'm trying to ensure Atari I.O gets as much information, direct from source, where ever possible regarding the Atari and the UK scene and every avenue of investigation from magazine claim to email exchange is shared with the community.

 

1 KEY area i feel UK writers have missed when discussing the ST wars..is the Atari ST vs Sinclair's QL....

 

 

I always read of ST being viewed as cheaper alternative to the Apple Mac, Commodore Amiga, yet NOTHING ever gets written about the battle in UK for the entry level 16bit market, between Atari and Sinclair...

 

 

The ZX Spectrum was massive over here and the QL (Quantum Leap), was Sinclair's great hope of recapturing that magic, but in the 16 bit arena.

 

Released in 1984 at £399, if my sources are correct :) it offered displays of 256X256 in 8 colours, 512X256 in 4 colours...

 

Used a Motorola 68008 CPU running at 7.5 Mhz and had 128K of Ram  expandable to 640K) and used Microdrives as storage.

 

 

Hardware was very much aimed at the buisness market....

 

 

 

The reason i feel it deserves a mention in the history of the ST, is due to the various attempts at discrediting Atari and the ST, Sir Clive used at the time, claiming the ST would never meet Atari UK's planned release date, the QL was the superior machine etc.

 

 

This lead to Jack Tramiel being quoted as saying that :`The ST is to the QL, what the Motor car is to the Sinclair C5!`..

 

 

 

Yet you never seem to hear anything of the early war of words.

 

 

 

QL went onto bomb, seen sales figures quoted as low as 150,000, but it still deserves a mention, all the writers seem to act as if the entire exchange never took place and the ST faced no competition in this area in the UK, other than the Amiga.......


  • Greyfox likes this

#45 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 27 October 2016 - 01:04 PM

I did have a few Q's sat with Manuel.PIRES, mainly about his Lost Darwork's games, PS3 era, but a few regarding his ST titles.

 

Finally had reply back, sadly he's not the time to answer them.

 

Pity, could of been another voice on the ST, but that's the way it often goes.


  • Justin and Greyfox like this

#46 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 04 November 2016 - 06:47 PM

Well, i had convinced myself i was done with ST research, espically after last lot of interview Q's were never going to come back, as chap sadly had no time to answer them, plus various people Unseen64 etc had tweeted or contacted on Facebook on my behalf never got back to them...

 

It seemed nobody wanted to chat about the ST days, so i decided to draw a line under it, until i tracked down a coder behind 1 of my favourite ST games (and he went onto be involved in numerous PC games i sank hours into..)....

 

 

So, just emailed him, in very slight chance he might be willing to chat.

 

If there's a chance of getting even more viewpoints on the ST, i'm not going to pass them up.


  • Greyfox likes this

#47 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 22 November 2016 - 02:07 PM

Another for historical aspect of ST's decline... July 1989, Vigin Mastertronic annouce they've noticed Amiga games software had started to overtake ST software, in the 16-bit games market...
  • Greyfox likes this

#48 RickR

RickR

    The Don

  • Member
  • 5,363 posts

Posted 22 November 2016 - 02:54 PM

I don't know if this is the proper place to mention my own feeling....but here goes.

 

At the heydey of Amiga/ST computers, I was sadly not involved in either.  I was in college at the time, and had just upgraded from an Atari 8-bit to a PC.  It wasn't until I started collecting that I finally got an ST.  And I will say it was impressive at first.  But one thing I noticed almost immediately is that gaming was very similar to (but more limited in some ways -- control for example) to the Sega Genesis/SNES consoles.  So as a collector, I kind of lost interest too quickly in the ST.  Genesis gaming is easier has more choices. 

 

I guess the point of my post is kind of an exploration of why the ST just doesn't hold a huge interest to me personally.  No nostalgia since I didn't own one at the time, and just so-so collecting, since there are other systems that have the same games.  I've gone back and forth about selling the ST stuff I have, and I think that will happen very soon. 

 

The PC became the de-facto standard for computing, but that's a much bigger topic. 


  • Lost Dragon likes this

#49 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 22 November 2016 - 03:30 PM

The ST struggles to get much press attention here in UK my friend as it had so few Triple A exclusives and is perhaps unfairly seen as the Poor Mans Amiga...

 

Other than faster 3D and 'better' versions of things like Llamatron etc, people struggle to get overly excited about the system, unless they owned 1 previousily or are curious to see which games on ST never made it to the Amiga...at the time (i know a good few have since been ported over).

 

The recent ST-to Jaguar ports, probably brought the system into the limelight far more than any historical look at the hardware and games, but that's a totally different arena and 1 i'm not entering into.

 

So many ST games ended up on Genesis alone in 1 form or another, from likes of Core Design, Bitmap Bros, Sensible Software etc, i can understand why format doesn't hold collecting appeal.

 

I post up as much historical info as i can, espically concerning PUBLISHERS dropping support/noticing Amiga taking pole position as all too often you still hear this claim the ST was STRONG in UK by time Jaguar launched...

 

Folks mean well, but it's a very 'open' claim to make, espically given just how many titles were unfinished on ST or PC/Amiga only at that time...


  • Greyfox and RickR like this

#50 RickR

RickR

    The Don

  • Member
  • 5,363 posts

Posted 22 November 2016 - 03:52 PM

Don't get me wrong....I love reading your research.  Very interesting indeed. 


  • Lost Dragon likes this

#51 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 23 November 2016 - 04:55 PM

Paul Shirley, did at least PLAN an Atari ST version of Spindizzy (Electric Dreams) but these were sadly shelved (we did at least get Spindizzy Worlds on ST).....

 

 

Paul also said to be a massive fan of Atari's I.Robot coin-op...

 

 


  • Greyfox likes this

#52 Greyfox

Greyfox

    Orange Member

  • Member
  • 213 posts

Posted 23 November 2016 - 05:41 PM

Many thanks again for bring more to the table, it's amazing that snippets of information from the sources actually complete the over all story of the history of both the game devs and software houses of the time.

Cheers fella.
  • Lost Dragon likes this

Atari Gamer Magazine - Explore the Atari 8-bit in the 21st Century

↓↓Click Here to See More↓↓

WWW.ATARIGAMER.CO.UK


#53 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 24 November 2016 - 04:13 PM

:)

 

Your welcome my friend.

 

It's the little snippets everyone seems to miss or gloss over when detailing the ST's history, but each grain has a place as it were and i feel what might of been deserves a seat alongside what was...



#54 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 24 November 2016 - 04:50 PM

According to Firebird's PR Guru, Tom Watson...

 

Star Trek:The Rebel Universe, in it's original 16 bit spec, was beyond the abilities of the Commodore Amiga, as it couldn't provide enough raw CPU power for the Multi-Vision technique..1 main screen surronded by multiple smaller windows which could be pulled into area as required.

 

 



#55 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 27 November 2016 - 02:03 PM

In the past i've seen ST fan's just stop short of using the fact the majority of The Bitmap Bros earlier games were developed on the St 1st, before being enhanced for later Amiga releases (Ice Cream! Ice Cream! samples on Amiga Speedball 2 for example), but this wasn't always the case.... Amiga owners hoping The Bitmap Bros Brothers Magic Pockets might give them a taste of the platforming goodness the likes of the NES, MS and Genesis were experincing, must of been horrified to find the hallmarks of the ST version, still present.... Slow and jerk scrolling, combined with sluggish controls, made the games already cumbersome, frustrating gameplay even worse. So maybe sometimes it's best not to shout too loudly of the ST version being done 1st....espically if shows the hardware in a less than favourable light.



#56 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 29 November 2016 - 08:50 PM

"I believe people are smart, not dumb. If you can give people Rolls Royces, for the price of Volkswagens, i'm sure they will buy them.."

 

 

Jack Tramiel interviewed at the CeBIT exhibition in Hanover, early'88 when asked about ST manufacturing.


  • Greyfox and Clint Thompson like this

#57 Clint Thompson

Clint Thompson

    Apple Member

  • Member
  • 627 posts

Posted 30 November 2016 - 12:14 PM

"I believe people are smart, not dumb. If you can give people Rolls Royces, for the price of Volkswagens, i'm sure they will buy them.."

 

 

Jack Tramiel interviewed at the CeBIT exhibition in Hanover, early'88 when asked about ST manufacturing.

 

Hardware or price points was never really an issue for them. The problem that Jack didn't really foresee was the lack of software/developers. It's nice to have an equal or even better in some cases car but if you can't buy the fuel needed to run the damn thing, then what's the point? ;-) I'm not saying the ST didn't have it's fair share of software just it obviously still wasn't anywhere near that of others when it came to the endless options.

 

One thing can certainly be said, misunderstood or not, the price of these machines continue to increase in price once again, especially the STe. Currently a used unit on eBay that is in ok condition and sitting at $405 with like 4 days to go.... bonkers pricing. Then again, I guess some older computers from the early 90s are getting higher in price as well since most of them have been tossed but still, nothing really like the Ataris.


Edited by Clint Thompson, 30 November 2016 - 01:30 PM.

  • Lost Dragon likes this

2600 - 7800 - 800XL - 130XE - Lynx - Jaguar

cerka.weebly.com

 


#58 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 06 December 2016 - 02:51 PM

Yeah i still to this very day, laugh whenever i read UK historians claim the ST was still STRONG in UK by time Jaguar launched...

 

In early 1991 the Amiga had really started to come into it's own, CBM making 1 Mb machines the standard to develop for, giving developers more memory as well as more colours and better sound chip, Blitter etc as standard to work with and you saw games like Heimdall, Z-Out etc being written specifically for the Amiga spec, with cut down ST versions appearing later, IF at all.

 

At start of 1992..the competition was seen to be PC+Consoles..the St described as breathing it's last breath...

 

By summer of 1992..companies like Probe Software annoucing they were reducing/dropping Amiga support, with likes of Fergus McGovern saying 95% of the games market lay with the consoles.

 

 

Atari reducing price of STE, STFM to bargin basement prices was going to do nothing to get the essential software support, as you say..if there's no fuel for your motor (ie software) your going to be left in the pits, whilst others take Pole Position.

 

 

I look at prices asked for Falcon's, STE's etc here and think bloody hell.

 

 

Are folks buying to collect? or game on?.


  • Greyfox and TeddyGermany like this

#59 Clint Thompson

Clint Thompson

    Apple Member

  • Member
  • 627 posts

Posted 06 December 2016 - 06:14 PM

Yeah, I don't know but it sold at $405. Falcon is currently going for $1,225 and mouse doesn't work. Who knows. I want both but not at those prices.


  • Lost Dragon likes this

2600 - 7800 - 800XL - 130XE - Lynx - Jaguar

cerka.weebly.com

 


#60 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 10 December 2016 - 07:32 AM

:) Bloody typical...

 

Just as i cancel my subscription, Edge magazine delivers a superb Makin Of...just like they did in their prime.

 

The 'Brutal Legend:Making of Speedball II' is bloody fantastic.

 

Where as other wannabe Jurno's here in UK often bark out ST used to develop on 1st by Bitmap Bros..they never go into any real detail, Edge however has and then some.

 

 

I swore i'd read years ago the reason the 1st Speedball only scrolled vertically was due to the ST's hardware struggling with Horizontal scrolling and Bitmap Bros coder, Robert Trevellyan confirmed this:

 

 

"We knew the horizontal scrolling (for Speedball II on the ST) was going to be a challenge, because that's why it wasn't done in the 1st game....vertical scrolling wasn't quite free on the ST, but was certainly cheaper than horizontal.We had to adopt some tricky teqniques....'

 

 

He then talks of how you can clearly see the differences between ST and Amiga versions of Speedball II:

 

 

Central area just a series of 16X16 tiles, where as Amiga version had a 'nice design' to it....

 

How he got around issue of not being able to do horizontal scrolling with 'fully designed graphics at 25 FPS ' on the ST

 

He also stated he was 'keen to change the money-minded porting of ST graphics to the more capable dream machine, the Amiga'....

 

 

 

And it's here where my UK Jurnolist's ST development 1st, claim is found rather wanting, as Robert goes onto explain the SPRITES for Speedball II were done on the Amiga 1st and he held up work on ST version, whilst he designed a new floor for the pitch...this is why the Amiga version has the star design.....he admits he was told off for doing it, but price was worth it.

 

He's also the reason the Amiga version has more ball animation, better lighting in management screens.

 

 

This is a superb 8-page feature and restored a degree of faith in paid for UK work...


  • Greyfox likes this




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users