Jump to content

Scott Stilphen

Member
  • Content Count

    243
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    3

Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from fergojisan in Atari VCS/2600 Bloody Human Freeway cartridge   
    Done in-house as a prank by David Crane, and was based on his original version of Activision's Freeway (which featured a chicken). Included on the 2003 Activision Anthology and Remix packages. The fire button resets the game. Appears to be only 1-player, even though there are 2 score counters.  This is a fully playable prototype reproduction in an Activision cartridge shell with a custom label.  Price is $25 each (shipped).  PM me if interested, thanks.


  2. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from StormSurge in Atari VCS/2600 Bloody Human Freeway cartridge   
    Done in-house as a prank by David Crane, and was based on his original version of Activision's Freeway (which featured a chicken). Included on the 2003 Activision Anthology and Remix packages. The fire button resets the game. Appears to be only 1-player, even though there are 2 score counters.  This is a fully playable prototype reproduction in an Activision cartridge shell with a custom label.  Price is $25 each (shipped).  PM me if interested, thanks.


  3. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from kamakazi20012 in FS: GCE Vectrex portable vector graphics game system   
    This is a fully-working GCE Vectrex Arcade System vector video game console, with original controller. It features the built-in game Mine Storm and includes the original controller. The system has been thoroughly cleaned and tested with the factory test program, and the monitor has been calibrated to its original specifications. The controller has been tested and is fully functional as well.

    Asking $375 shipped. PM me if interested, thanks.
  4. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from RickR in FS: GCE Vectrex portable vector graphics game system   
    This is a fully-working GCE Vectrex Arcade System vector video game console, with original controller. It features the built-in game Mine Storm and includes the original controller. The system has been thoroughly cleaned and tested with the factory test program, and the monitor has been calibrated to its original specifications. The controller has been tested and is fully functional as well.

    Asking $375 shipped. PM me if interested, thanks.
  5. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from nosweargamer in What are the real facts behind Pac-Man’s 2600 development?   
    No, the choice of what colors to use makes no difference as far as memory is concerned.
     
    With all the VCS programmers I've talked with over the years, I don't recall any of them ever stating that nonsense about only space games could have a black background (or apparently the option to have one, since Space War doesn't).  Someone on Atarimania commented on what a good job Frye did with the b&w scheme, so I checked it out.  At powerup, the date is in color, and then turns gray when the game starts its color-cycling routine.  I start a game.  Everything is in b&w, as it should be.  The game ends, and... whadaya know, the score is in color now.  The longer you leave it on, the more it changes color, as it goes through the color-cycling routine.  After powering it up again and leaving it run, the date does the same thing.  Frye couldn't even get the b&w scheme correct...
  6. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from nosweargamer in What are the real facts behind Pac-Man’s 2600 development?   
    You've heard all the same rumors about Pac-Man that I have - that Tod was rushed to make the game, and that the game was actually a prototype.  Well, I just came across this post on AA.  It's 2nd-hand info, but again a completely different story that apparently came from Frye.  The game is so bad, it almost makes this version of events believable.  As much as Pac-Man appears to have been done in a matter of weeks, if Tod started it before Dennis left to found Imagic (which was founded in July 1981) and Marketing was that hot on getting the game out, it would have been out by Christmas of that year, and not late March the following.  So I just don't see any rush there on anybody's part to get the game done and out the door.  The  AA story is interesting, but I'm not sure there's much truth to it:   http://atariage.com/forums/topic/81989-pacman4k/?p=1353919    
    "I asked Tod about this when I worked with him at 3DO. He wasn't as into reminiscing about Atari as Howard Scott Warshaw was, but I did coax some tid bits out from him about this. The details that I can remember are: What he showed to the execs was only a prototype to show what could be done theoretically. But the execs felt that with a little polish, the game could ship in a matter of weeks, and they'd all make tons of money. I think it was Tod's intent to sit down and remake the game correctly, but the execs didn't want to "waste time" when they thought what he showed them was playable.

    Regarding the color, Atari marketing had a strict policy on avoiding black backgrounds for any game that didn't take place in space. They felt that color helped to sell a game because color TVs were only beginning to become mainstream around that time, and they wanted to hype up the fact that the VCS could produce color. So it's doubtful that marketing would have let Tod correct the colors if he wanted to.

    And lastly, the bit about the ghosts flashing: Tod knew how to implement the now-famous horizontal interrupt that was later used in Ms. Pac-Man to cut down on the flashing. But his project manager was an ass and was very patronizing to him, so he left it out and submitted a final version that did not contain the fix. He was one of the first Atari programmers to get a huge royalty check under the new bonus incentives that Atari arranged to keep from losing programmers to the competition (Activision, Imagic...) so I don't think he lost too much sleep over the lack of accuracy.

    Honestly, Tod is a brilliant guy, and if he wanted to make a more accurate conversion of Pac-Man, I'm sure he could have. But it doesn't matter how smart you are; when you work for buttheads all you make is poo. (I cleaned that last bit up, but you know what I mean)"
  7. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from Justin in What are the real facts behind Pac-Man’s 2600 development?   
    Just to reiterate some of Frye's contradictions:
     
    Development - has claimed:
    6 weeks - as quoted in the book, Racing The Beam (pg. 67)
    5 months - as quoted in the April 1998 Next Generation article
    6 months - as quoted in the documentary Stella At 20 - 
    (12 min in) 
    4K vs 8K - in the same Next Gen article, Frye mentioned 8K ROMS weren't available when he started programming it.  VCS Asteroids came out in July/August 1981 and was the first 8K VCS game released.  The bank-switching technique was developed (but not put into production) 2 years before, for Video Chess.  In this thread (http://atariage.com/forums/topic/232660-pac-man-review-from-1982/page-8), Goldberg claims to quote Tod from a Facebook conversation they had regarding the story about him being offered use of an 8K ROM for Pac-Man, which is something Rob Zdybel said happened in Once Upon Atari:
      Goldberg: Were you offered to move to 8K for Pac-Man towards the end of coding for it?   Frye: Nope. 8k wasn't even an option until after Pacman coding was complete.  I did have a meeting after Pacman came out, to assess the possibility of a quick revision with less flicker, if we used 8k as an option.   Goldberg: So where did the claim that you originally asked for 8K come from?   Frye: It came from thin air. I never considered 8k. rom was not really an issue. ram was.  
    Popularity - Frye also stated, "Pac-Man wasn't a particularly big game.  'Pac-Man fever' hit between the start and the finish of the project."   PuckMan was released in Japan in May 1980 and the Midway Pac-Man version in October 1980.  Working backwards, VCS Pac-Man came out late March 1982, and production took a good 10 weeks (2.5 months, so Tod likely finished it no later than December 1981 (since the game's copyright date is 1981 which reflects when programming was completed).  Go back 5 months at most for programming, so let's say he started no later than July 1981.  So since October 1980, Pac-Man wasn't a huge hit by the following summer?  A friend of mine remembers the Tomy and Entex handhelds coming out almost immediately together and Coleco's arriving quite a bit later (all in 1981).  Can't find any release date for Odyssey2 K.C. Munchkin; it was definitely out by January 1982 (it was reviewed in the March 1982 issue of Electronic Games), and possibly a few months before that.  Also, Buckner and Garcia's song was released December 1981 (and the album in January 1982). 
     
    Colored background - In a keynote from the 2015 Portland Retro Gaming Expo, Frye states he wish he had made a black background with a blue maze, but claims Atari had a rule against black backgrounds because it would have burned the maze into the CRT (apparently this rule didn't apply to space games...).  This makes no sense since Atari touted the anti-burn-in effects of the VCS from day one, plus Tod included the color cycling code routine in his Pac-Man game!  And I've never heard any other Atari VCS programmer state such a requirement, either.  The story I heard back then was that Pac-Man had a colored background and muted colors, to help make the flickering monsters less noticeable (and they were relabeled as ghosts because of their flickering, which was more logical to accept than having flickering monsters).
     

  8. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from Justin in What are the real facts behind Pac-Man’s 2600 development?   
    Recent article about VCS Pac-Man in this month's Retro Gamer Magazine.  Tod again claims having a 2-player option was somehow an essential part of Pac-Man, as if we were talking about a co-op feature like with Warlords.  Anyone else would have dropped the 2-player option very early in the dev process, realizing what the restrictions were with having only 4K.  As for the color scheme, look at all the other coin-op ports that were done before Pac-Man.  Even b&w arcade games like Breakout and Space Invaders duplicated the colored overlays that were used.  For him to say "Nobody knew what was important" is nonsense.  Clearly everyone else knew what was important, and the rules weren't as unclear or unknown as he likes to claim - if you're doing a coin-op conversion, the objective is to COPY the arcade game as closely as possible.  "No one knew?"  EVERYONE knew.  If the game was purely b&w, like Air-Sea Battle or Asteroids, then sure, take advantage of the fact the system has color.  But to take a game like Pac-Man and put a colored background in it, when part of the visual appeal of most games back then was to see colors against a black background (something Rob Fulop fully understood with most of his games) just shows how goofed up on drugs Todd must have been for him to think that was a good idea.  How come he didn't put a colored background in his 400/800 Asteroids?  Yet with most of his VCS games (Pac-Man, SQ FireWorld, Aquaventure, Save Mary), the coloring schemes were just an eyesore.  Sorry, but to spend 6 months on a 4K game and have it look or sound nothing like the game it's based on is still just as unforgivable, even 36 years later.  No, he was no pioneer with Pac-Man, other than he was the first to do a truly horrible coin-op conversion version.  He came come up with all the excuses he wants, but Tod did a shit job on the game.  Yeah, he 'touched' millions of people, if you want to call disappointing them 'touching' them.  And the touted reward program that Atari initiated?  Yeah, Tod "pioneered" that when he threatened to leave during the Pac-Man development unless he got royalties.  Some pioneer.
    RetroGamerMagazine-the_story_of_pac-man_on_atari_2600_4-18.pdf
  9. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from TrekMD in What are the real facts behind Pac-Man’s 2600 development?   
    Recent article about VCS Pac-Man in this month's Retro Gamer Magazine.  Tod again claims having a 2-player option was somehow an essential part of Pac-Man, as if we were talking about a co-op feature like with Warlords.  Anyone else would have dropped the 2-player option very early in the dev process, realizing what the restrictions were with having only 4K.  As for the color scheme, look at all the other coin-op ports that were done before Pac-Man.  Even b&w arcade games like Breakout and Space Invaders duplicated the colored overlays that were used.  For him to say "Nobody knew what was important" is nonsense.  Clearly everyone else knew what was important, and the rules weren't as unclear or unknown as he likes to claim - if you're doing a coin-op conversion, the objective is to COPY the arcade game as closely as possible.  "No one knew?"  EVERYONE knew.  If the game was purely b&w, like Air-Sea Battle or Asteroids, then sure, take advantage of the fact the system has color.  But to take a game like Pac-Man and put a colored background in it, when part of the visual appeal of most games back then was to see colors against a black background (something Rob Fulop fully understood with most of his games) just shows how goofed up on drugs Todd must have been for him to think that was a good idea.  How come he didn't put a colored background in his 400/800 Asteroids?  Yet with most of his VCS games (Pac-Man, SQ FireWorld, Aquaventure, Save Mary), the coloring schemes were just an eyesore.  Sorry, but to spend 6 months on a 4K game and have it look or sound nothing like the game it's based on is still just as unforgivable, even 36 years later.  No, he was no pioneer with Pac-Man, other than he was the first to do a truly horrible coin-op conversion version.  He came come up with all the excuses he wants, but Tod did a shit job on the game.  Yeah, he 'touched' millions of people, if you want to call disappointing them 'touching' them.  And the touted reward program that Atari initiated?  Yeah, Tod "pioneered" that when he threatened to leave during the Pac-Man development unless he got royalties.  Some pioneer.
    RetroGamerMagazine-the_story_of_pac-man_on_atari_2600_4-18.pdf
  10. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from RickR in What are the real facts behind Pac-Man’s 2600 development?   
    Recent article about VCS Pac-Man in this month's Retro Gamer Magazine.  Tod again claims having a 2-player option was somehow an essential part of Pac-Man, as if we were talking about a co-op feature like with Warlords.  Anyone else would have dropped the 2-player option very early in the dev process, realizing what the restrictions were with having only 4K.  As for the color scheme, look at all the other coin-op ports that were done before Pac-Man.  Even b&w arcade games like Breakout and Space Invaders duplicated the colored overlays that were used.  For him to say "Nobody knew what was important" is nonsense.  Clearly everyone else knew what was important, and the rules weren't as unclear or unknown as he likes to claim - if you're doing a coin-op conversion, the objective is to COPY the arcade game as closely as possible.  "No one knew?"  EVERYONE knew.  If the game was purely b&w, like Air-Sea Battle or Asteroids, then sure, take advantage of the fact the system has color.  But to take a game like Pac-Man and put a colored background in it, when part of the visual appeal of most games back then was to see colors against a black background (something Rob Fulop fully understood with most of his games) just shows how goofed up on drugs Todd must have been for him to think that was a good idea.  How come he didn't put a colored background in his 400/800 Asteroids?  Yet with most of his VCS games (Pac-Man, SQ FireWorld, Aquaventure, Save Mary), the coloring schemes were just an eyesore.  Sorry, but to spend 6 months on a 4K game and have it look or sound nothing like the game it's based on is still just as unforgivable, even 36 years later.  No, he was no pioneer with Pac-Man, other than he was the first to do a truly horrible coin-op conversion version.  He came come up with all the excuses he wants, but Tod did a shit job on the game.  Yeah, he 'touched' millions of people, if you want to call disappointing them 'touching' them.  And the touted reward program that Atari initiated?  Yeah, Tod "pioneered" that when he threatened to leave during the Pac-Man development unless he got royalties.  Some pioneer.
    RetroGamerMagazine-the_story_of_pac-man_on_atari_2600_4-18.pdf
  11. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from jmjustin6 in Crazy, Fun, Interesting & Insane eBay Auctions   
    Boxed Adventure for $1,500!
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/202277580230?ul_noapp=true
     
    Too bad it's not even an original copy but a re-release from 1981 at the earliest.  The game was originally released in early-mid 1980 and no boxes from 1980 had a hanging tab on the back of them. Also, every box with that tab had glued flaps, and both features didn't start appearing on Atari's boxes until early 1981.
     
    When Atari changed their cartridge label style from text (which Adventure originally had) to labels with color photos (which is what the Ebay seller has), they re-released many of the text-label carts with the new style. Atari put a copyright date of 1978 on the packaging with these re-releases (due to the copyrights having to be redone). Here's an article with more information about the different label styles:

    http://www.ataricompendium.com/archives/articles/vcs_label_variations/vcs_label_variations.html#picture

    This site has photos of what the original Adventure cart and box look like:

    http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-2600-vcs-adventure_8246.html

    Note the copyright date is correct (1980) on both the cart label and box. And here's the page with photos of the re-release the seller has:

    http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-2600-vcs-adventure_18101.html

    Note how the copyright date is now 1978 on both, even though that cart label style didn't come out until 1981.
  12. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from RickR in Crazy, Fun, Interesting & Insane eBay Auctions   
    Boxed Adventure for $1,500!
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/202277580230?ul_noapp=true
     
    Too bad it's not even an original copy but a re-release from 1981 at the earliest.  The game was originally released in early-mid 1980 and no boxes from 1980 had a hanging tab on the back of them. Also, every box with that tab had glued flaps, and both features didn't start appearing on Atari's boxes until early 1981.
     
    When Atari changed their cartridge label style from text (which Adventure originally had) to labels with color photos (which is what the Ebay seller has), they re-released many of the text-label carts with the new style. Atari put a copyright date of 1978 on the packaging with these re-releases (due to the copyrights having to be redone). Here's an article with more information about the different label styles:

    http://www.ataricompendium.com/archives/articles/vcs_label_variations/vcs_label_variations.html#picture

    This site has photos of what the original Adventure cart and box look like:

    http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-2600-vcs-adventure_8246.html

    Note the copyright date is correct (1980) on both the cart label and box. And here's the page with photos of the re-release the seller has:

    http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-2600-vcs-adventure_18101.html

    Note how the copyright date is now 1978 on both, even though that cart label style didn't come out until 1981.
  13. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from Atari Today in Exclusive interview with former Atari/Imagic/Sente designer Dennis Koble   
    http://www.ataricompendium.com/archives/interviews/dennis_koble/interview_dennis_koble.html
     
    Dennis Koble started his illustrious career as one of Atari's early coin-op designers.  He started at Atari in 1976 and was the 4th programmer hired.  During his 5 years there, he worked in nearly every division before leaving to co-found Imagic.  He got back into coin-op games with Sente, and later co-founded another company that specialized in games for the PC and Sega Genesis.  Most recently, he tried his hand at designing mobile app games.
  14. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from RickR in Newsletter section now online at Atari Compendium   
    RickR kindly offered 6 issues of the Portland Atari Club newsletter to be archived for the site, which are now online:
     
    http://www.ataricompendium.com/archives/newsletters/portland_atari_club/portland_atari_club.html
  15. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from Clint Thompson in Exclusive interview with former Atari/Imagic/Sente designer Dennis Koble   
    http://www.ataricompendium.com/archives/interviews/dennis_koble/interview_dennis_koble.html
     
    Dennis Koble started his illustrious career as one of Atari's early coin-op designers.  He started at Atari in 1976 and was the 4th programmer hired.  During his 5 years there, he worked in nearly every division before leaving to co-found Imagic.  He got back into coin-op games with Sente, and later co-founded another company that specialized in games for the PC and Sega Genesis.  Most recently, he tried his hand at designing mobile app games.
  16. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from RickR in Exclusive interview with former Atari/Imagic/Sente designer Dennis Koble   
    http://www.ataricompendium.com/archives/interviews/dennis_koble/interview_dennis_koble.html
     
    Dennis Koble started his illustrious career as one of Atari's early coin-op designers.  He started at Atari in 1976 and was the 4th programmer hired.  During his 5 years there, he worked in nearly every division before leaving to co-found Imagic.  He got back into coin-op games with Sente, and later co-founded another company that specialized in games for the PC and Sega Genesis.  Most recently, he tried his hand at designing mobile app games.
  17. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from Justin in Exclusive interview with former Atari/Imagic/Sente designer Dennis Koble   
    http://www.ataricompendium.com/archives/interviews/dennis_koble/interview_dennis_koble.html
     
    Dennis Koble started his illustrious career as one of Atari's early coin-op designers.  He started at Atari in 1976 and was the 4th programmer hired.  During his 5 years there, he worked in nearly every division before leaving to co-found Imagic.  He got back into coin-op games with Sente, and later co-founded another company that specialized in games for the PC and Sega Genesis.  Most recently, he tried his hand at designing mobile app games.
  18. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from atarilbc in Exclusive interview with former Atari/Imagic/Sente designer Dennis Koble   
    http://www.ataricompendium.com/archives/interviews/dennis_koble/interview_dennis_koble.html
     
    Dennis Koble started his illustrious career as one of Atari's early coin-op designers.  He started at Atari in 1976 and was the 4th programmer hired.  During his 5 years there, he worked in nearly every division before leaving to co-found Imagic.  He got back into coin-op games with Sente, and later co-founded another company that specialized in games for the PC and Sega Genesis.  Most recently, he tried his hand at designing mobile app games.
  19. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from GRay Defender in Exclusive interview with former Atari/Imagic/Sente designer Dennis Koble   
    http://www.ataricompendium.com/archives/interviews/dennis_koble/interview_dennis_koble.html
     
    Dennis Koble started his illustrious career as one of Atari's early coin-op designers.  He started at Atari in 1976 and was the 4th programmer hired.  During his 5 years there, he worked in nearly every division before leaving to co-found Imagic.  He got back into coin-op games with Sente, and later co-founded another company that specialized in games for the PC and Sega Genesis.  Most recently, he tried his hand at designing mobile app games.
  20. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from fergojisan in Exclusive interview with former Atari/Imagic/Sente designer Dennis Koble   
    http://www.ataricompendium.com/archives/interviews/dennis_koble/interview_dennis_koble.html
     
    Dennis Koble started his illustrious career as one of Atari's early coin-op designers.  He started at Atari in 1976 and was the 4th programmer hired.  During his 5 years there, he worked in nearly every division before leaving to co-found Imagic.  He got back into coin-op games with Sente, and later co-founded another company that specialized in games for the PC and Sega Genesis.  Most recently, he tried his hand at designing mobile app games.
  21. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from GRay Defender in The untold story of Jane Whittaker   
    Great article, passed on to me from Ross "lost dragon" about someone you've probably never heard of, but has worked over 100 titles:
     
    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-08-10-death-threats-false-personas-and-philanthropy-the-untold-story-of-jane-whittaker#ampshare=http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-08-10-death-threats-false-personas-and-philanthropy-the-untold-story-of-jane-whittaker
  22. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from RickR in The untold story of Jane Whittaker   
    Great article, passed on to me from Ross "lost dragon" about someone you've probably never heard of, but has worked over 100 titles:
     
    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-08-10-death-threats-false-personas-and-philanthropy-the-untold-story-of-jane-whittaker#ampshare=http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-08-10-death-threats-false-personas-and-philanthropy-the-untold-story-of-jane-whittaker
  23. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from Justin in Pie Factory Podcast   
    Looking forward to your next podcast regarding the Paperboy lawsuit.
  24. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from RickR in Tempest 4000 is real, Jeff Minter is developing it and Atari is publishing it   
    https://twitter.com/llamasoft_ox/status/908815610418692096
     

     
    I was hoping for new music instead of the same soundtrack used for T2K, but still looking forward to playing it.
  25. Like
    Scott Stilphen got a reaction from TrekMD in Newsletter section now online at Atari Compendium   
    http://www.ataricompendium.com/archives/newsletters/newsletters.html
×
×
  • Create New...