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Clint Thompson

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  1. Like
    Clint Thompson got a reaction from JustClaws in Guido Henkel's LOST Atari Panther RPG: The Crypt (Lost Dragon Interview)   
    Fascinating read provided by The Lost Dragon - Enjoy!
     
    The following interview was conducted nearly 18 months ago and was
    originally planned to be an exclusive for the planned GTW Atari
    Panther article i was researching, on behalf of the site, however,
    since said article would not be started by GTW until 2017 at the
    earliest, I've decided we've sat on the information long enough and it
    needs to be put up on Atari I.O forum instead, so the community can
    enjoy it.

    It is with the greatest of pleasure I was able to put questions to a
    previously unknown, by myself, Atari Panther developer, Mr Guido
    Henkel :


    1)Guido, would you mind starting this interview by talking us
    through just how you became involved with Atari, in terms of
    developing for the Panther Console (claims go Atari UK had 20 Panther
    development kits and invited the UK Press  and development community
    to look at the hardware,with the li likes of The One, Games X etc
    seeing them.

    Development kits were believed to of been in the  in hands of Jeff
    Minter, Domark and Psygnosis. They'd approached Mev Dinc, but he'd
    declined, due to Atari's poor standing in the industry).


    What can you tell us?
     
    A1) My business partner, Hans-Jürgen Brändle, and I were huge Atari ST
    fans at the time and it was our main development platform. In 1990,
    during CES we visited Atari’s exhibitor suite to see what news there
    was regarding new ST/TT models. By sheer coincidence, we rode the
    elevator with Atari CEO Jack Tramiel. We introduced ourselves and when
    we left the elevator, Jack instantly put us in touch with one of his
    developer relations people. It turned out there was no news regarding
    the ST/TT line of computers, but he told us they were working on a new
    console, called Panther.

    Atari was in the process of signing up developers for the console at
    the time and we had just completed an action adventure, which we had
    originally planned for the ill-fated Konix System also, and were
    working on “Spirit of Adventure” our first full-blown role-playing
    game. Atari wanted variety in its launch titles and was very
    interested in getting an RPG on the console, so they added us to their
    developer program. We never dealt with Atari UK. All of our contact
    was directly with their US division out of Sunnyvale. A couple of
    months later we received a shipment from them with a Panther
    development kit, consisting of a Panther prototype, an Atari TT
    workstation and the developer manual.


    2)This is fantastic news, no-one I'm aware of UK Press wise or
    seemingly online, seemed aware you were developing an RPG, it's never
    been mentioned, just the usual suspects, Pitfighter (which it now
    appears was a red herring), possibly Raiden, Plasma Pong, Crescent
    Galaxy and Cybermorph.

    I'd love to hear more on just what your RPG game was going to be like,
    just how far along it got before Atari pulled the plug on the Panther,
    what features were you planning to exploit, hardware wise and your
    thoughts on the hardware itself .....(there's been views expressed
    online over the years people though it  seemed to think it lacked
    enough RAM, Atari were  considering dropping the Ensoniq Sound chip
    etc, so any insights would be fantastic) and is there a possible
    code/concept art, anything.... still exists of the game itself?


    A2) The game we were working on was called “The Crypt.” It was a
    first-person dungeon crawler in the vein of “Eye of the Beholder,”
    with an Egyptian theme throughout. You were essentially exploring the
    insides of a pyramid with all its traps and labyrinthian mazes. I was
    designing and programming the game at the time and I had one artist
    working with me on the game’s prototype. We had one level complete
    when we received word from Atari that the Panther was cancelled and
    that they had a bleeding-edge 64-bit console called Jaguar in the
    making that would replace the project.

    I honestly do not recall a whole lot about the system. RAM may have
    been an issue, but we had just written one of the most incredible data
    compressors in our careers, so that I was confident we would not run
    into too many problems there.

    I loved that fact that I could work on a TT as the master workstation
    because it allowed me to instantly use the same toolchain I was using
    for my previous development and did not have to find and learn new
    tools. So, from the first day, I was essentially ready to work on the
    console, and I remember how cool it felt to see my first sprite on the
    Panther screen—it was the game’s logo, and with its hardware sprite
    zooming capabilities, it was really cool to see how just a few lines
    of code created a powerful entrance for that logo on the screen.

    Regarding our development, I do not believe anything has survived. I
    may have the actual hardware in the attic somewhere still, but I no
    longer have documentation or source code of the game itself. I’ve
    never been one to archive much of my work, which is bad, in
    retrospect, but I never really thought any of my work was all that
    relevant to be saved for posterity.


    3)That's a crying shame, but understandable, so much has been lost
    over the years.

    How did you feel i wonder, when Atari (Uk ?) announced Panther was
    being scrapped in favour of the Jaguar-I ask this as 'officially'
    Atari's PR were sending out the message they fully supported any
    Panther developers to move code/projects onto Jaguar instead (and
    indeed we saw Cybermorph and Crescent Galaxy jump ship), but Jeff
    Minter for example ditched the Star Raiders-esq game he was working on
    to start Tempest 2000 from scratch for the Jaguar, so we'd love to
    hear why your RPG never made it across either.


    A3) Indeed, Atari offered to enroll us into the Jaguar developer
    program, and they were true to their word. By the time the Jaguar
    project opened up for developers, they reached out to us and invited
    us to continue our work on the new console. However, by that time we
    were completely tied up developing the first of our “Realms of
    Arkania” games, which left absolutely no resources available for any
    other developments, so we passed.

    “Realms of Arkania” was not only a dream project for us, but it was
    also a huge undertaking for a small developer like ourselves.


    Q4)Also could i ask you for your, your own personal thoughts on how
    you felt regarding the possibility  the Panther could have made an
    impact against the likes of the Mega Drive and SNES and thus as some
    withing the Atari Community have felt,  bought Atari enough time to
    firm up support and hardware (bug testing chipsets etc) for the
    Jaguar.?


    A4) From a technical standpoint Panther did put Mega Drive and SNES to
    shame, I remember. They were getting a bit long in the tooth already,
    especially compared to some of the things you started seeing on the
    Amiga. The Panther was like an Atari ST on steroids with a console
    design, meaning without the operating system overhead. Even though the
    architecture was very different than that of the ST-line of computers,
    it was following the same lean and mean approach. The architecture had
    quite a bit in common with Atari’s Lynx, if I recall correctly, and
    had some powerful incredibly sprite hardware that exceeded Sega’s and
    Nintendo’s capabilities.

    However, with the Jaguar’s accelerated development schedule, I think
    they were smart to cancel Panther and shift focus to Jaguar instead.
    There, they had the 64-bit selling point, and for a while they really
    had the superior hardware to anyone else. The reason Jaguar failed was
    not the hardware, it was the marketing and the lack of developer
    support.

    If you look at what was going on at that time, Atari was not really a
    leading edge game platform in many countries from a developer’s
    standpoint. In the UK, where most of the top-tier action games of the
    era came from, everyone was Amiga fanatic, and in the US, where the
    more heavy-weight games came from, the PC was really beginning to make
    an impact with its stunning VGA graphics. So, Atari had a bit of a
    problem getting the foot in the door with developers, which I always
    found disappointing.

    I'd like to thank Guido for taking the time to talk us through what
    turned out to be a lost game on 2, ill fated consoles and give us his
    personal views and insights.

    They are very much appreciated.
  2. Like
    Clint Thompson got a reaction from PSVITAGAMER2012 in Atari Jaguar Rom Release Checklist   
    Found this going through some of the archived Jaguar source codes and figured I would post it here. Internal checklist for Jaguar game approvals:
     

  3. Like
    Clint Thompson got a reaction from PSVITAGAMER2012 in NEW AVP prototype found!   
    I remember the interviews with Sam Tramiel talking about the Jaguar getting into TRU but I never saw it myself. My parents purchased my Jaguar at a local Venture before they went out of business and Venture is also where I picked up my Lynx about a year later. Had it not been for the Jaguar, I wouldn't have even known about the Lynx and if memory serves correctly, in 1994 the Lynx was selling bundled with 4-games for either $99 or $129 new. I thought it was an awesome deal and actually played it quite a lot, despite not having very many games for it.
  4. Like
    Clint Thompson got a reaction from JustClaws in JagDuo PCB discovered...   
    Thanks go to John Hardie for scanning this in. Confirmation that work was done on this and not just a case mockup!
     

  5. Like
    Clint Thompson got a reaction from Paul Westphal in Your Atari "firsts" memories and experiences...   
    Figured this would be a fun topic and shed some light into the lives of everyone here and their background or experiences with Atari as a whole. Looking forward to hearing everyone's stories!
     
    My first Atari 1040ST I lucked out and found at a local Goodwill for less than $20, which was in incredible deal!  Not only was it in really good condition, it also seemed to work flawlessly. Mind you, this was before the eBay and scalper or flipping days where people would buy things just to turn a profit immediately because they knew it was retro/vintage or what have you. I think I only owned the ST for a few years as I didn't have much software and this was before I had learned about LGT, which unfortunately now charges for all downloads. I want to say I remember the disks being downloadable for free at some point but maybe my mind is playing tricks on me. That was my first and last Atari ST and the plan is to get an 4MB STe sometime in the near future to fill that void.
     
    Sometime in early 1999, I received my very first Atari Falcon, which I had always wanted since seeing them in the Toad Computers catalogs around the . At the time, I also had what I was finally happy with as a very fast PC as well - with an AMD K6-II 450Mhz and 64MB of RAM, WinTV card and eventually a 3DFX Voodoo 3 3000 16MB AGP card. Anyways, back to the Falcon - it arrived COD and I had no experience with cash on delivery. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly cash on delivery as I would soon learn lol and they had to re-deliver the next day because only money orders were accepted. So due to my own ignorance, I had to delay it another day. Had that machine for several years and enjoyed the many demos and capabilities of the machine for what I could use before selling it off. It had a BlowUpFX and some other board installed which made it highly incompatible with a lot of the software I wanted to try, as it turned out.
     
    To kind of extend on that story, later on I would end up with yet another Falcon which was also modded unfortunately, as it had a Centurbo II installed and something was wonky with the DSP as a result and I also re-sold this unit as it just had problems. I remember learning from that point on to make sure I would only get another Falcon if it wasn't modded. I would finally end up with a really nice unit sometime in 2001 or 2002, upgrading it myself with an FPU and maxed out the RAM to 14MB. Foolishly, I would sell it years later due to financial constraints and still regret having to had done so.
  6. Like
    Clint Thompson got a reaction from socrates63 in Your Atari "firsts" memories and experiences...   
    Figured this would be a fun topic and shed some light into the lives of everyone here and their background or experiences with Atari as a whole. Looking forward to hearing everyone's stories!
     
    My first Atari 1040ST I lucked out and found at a local Goodwill for less than $20, which was in incredible deal!  Not only was it in really good condition, it also seemed to work flawlessly. Mind you, this was before the eBay and scalper or flipping days where people would buy things just to turn a profit immediately because they knew it was retro/vintage or what have you. I think I only owned the ST for a few years as I didn't have much software and this was before I had learned about LGT, which unfortunately now charges for all downloads. I want to say I remember the disks being downloadable for free at some point but maybe my mind is playing tricks on me. That was my first and last Atari ST and the plan is to get an 4MB STe sometime in the near future to fill that void.
     
    Sometime in early 1999, I received my very first Atari Falcon, which I had always wanted since seeing them in the Toad Computers catalogs around the . At the time, I also had what I was finally happy with as a very fast PC as well - with an AMD K6-II 450Mhz and 64MB of RAM, WinTV card and eventually a 3DFX Voodoo 3 3000 16MB AGP card. Anyways, back to the Falcon - it arrived COD and I had no experience with cash on delivery. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly cash on delivery as I would soon learn lol and they had to re-deliver the next day because only money orders were accepted. So due to my own ignorance, I had to delay it another day. Had that machine for several years and enjoyed the many demos and capabilities of the machine for what I could use before selling it off. It had a BlowUpFX and some other board installed which made it highly incompatible with a lot of the software I wanted to try, as it turned out.
     
    To kind of extend on that story, later on I would end up with yet another Falcon which was also modded unfortunately, as it had a Centurbo II installed and something was wonky with the DSP as a result and I also re-sold this unit as it just had problems. I remember learning from that point on to make sure I would only get another Falcon if it wasn't modded. I would finally end up with a really nice unit sometime in 2001 or 2002, upgrading it myself with an FPU and maxed out the RAM to 14MB. Foolishly, I would sell it years later due to financial constraints and still regret having to had done so.
  7. Like
    Clint Thompson got a reaction from Justin in Lynx Lounge   
    Thanks for the continued episodes, looking forward to seeing more and I hold you and AtariGamer responsible for my revived fascination with the Lynx again and that's a good thing. I've got 21 NIB games on the way, most of which you have covered so far.
  8. Like
    Clint Thompson got a reaction from Control Issues in Tempest 4000 is real, Jeff Minter is developing it and Atari is publishing it   
    Feel like the original Tempest 2000 will never be topped (I just love the pixels too much and it's really perfection) but very looking forward to playing some amazing 4K T4K soon
  9. Like
    Clint Thompson got a reaction from Justin in I finally got a TG-16!   
    Wow... a TG16 AND a SMS v2 in one picture. Saucy stuff!
  10. Like
    Clint Thompson got a reaction from RickR in 3 SMS Versions in 1 Picture   
    I find it fascating, the v2 of the SMS because it resembles the unreleased Atari Panther so much and I had only just recently stumbled upon the fact that Sega even made a second version of the SMS and it wasn't until I was in my early 20's that I even knew the SMS existed. Very cool 😃
  11. Like
    Clint Thompson reacted to TrekMD in New Atari Lynx Homebrew - Quadromania   
    Luchs Soft is re-releasing a game for the Atari Lynx called Quadromania.  It will come on a curved lip cart with a manual, poster and pin in April this year. As if that weren't enogh, it will come packaged in a standard Atari Lynx game box so it matches other games in your collection. The game was made by Alex Thissen, with official permission by RPM Software.  It can be preordered at Luchs Soft's web page (link below).


    Order Here
  12. Like
    Clint Thompson reacted to RickR in 3 SMS Versions in 1 Picture   
    The trifecta.
     

  13. Like
    Clint Thompson reacted to jmjustin6 in Anyone have an Apple Pippin?   
    Does anyone have an Appla Pippin? I was thinking of adding it to the collection, but wanted to know if it was worth the price it seems to be valued at? Is it more of a game system or computer? Best games? I've heard mixed reviews on it. I just sold a Macintosh performa 200 to someone in my area and he showed me pics of his pippin. Hes both a video game and apple collector. Said it's a fun machine/computer. But I'm just not too sure. 

  14. Like
    Clint Thompson reacted to RickR in I finally got a TG-16!   
    LOOK at what came in the mail today!  I already had the microSD card. 

  15. Like
    Clint Thompson reacted to RickR in I finally got a TG-16!   
    Found one at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo Swap Meet today.  I also included a pic of the other good junk I bought.  It works great.  Only one game.  Anyone have games for sale?
     


  16. Like
    Clint Thompson got a reaction from Justin in So, I picked up an OMNI magazine from 1986...   
    ... and I couldn't believe just how incredible it was. This is why magazines died. Not because it was bad but because they used to actually be REALLY good! 
     

     
    I sat and read the entire thing. From topics of how cats talk, to women rubbing drugs over their bodies, to computer babies and introducing your infant to your computer from the first day you bring them home up into their 8th month to recognize patterns and colors and shapes from the screen and then talks about CD-ROMs being the medium of the future. It was such a refreshing read. It's weird how something from 1986 jam packed in under 120-pages could bring such joy and entertainment in 2017. The ending was my favorite part... The Last Word, and it was a story about a guy going to different food joints to eat genetically engineered foods that were micro-sized and you could pop them into your mouth. Seriously, where else can I find that many strangely interesting topics to read about in a short period of time? Facebook is full of cat videos and memes and the world seems super depressing with news, rants and bitching about literally everything. This was everything but.... we're talking about the future!
     
    Even more-so interesting were the talks of medicine and Taurine. My girlfriend has multiple different types of seizures for the past 7-years, has a VNS installed and has tried probably more drugs than any lab rat should be subjected to, only to still have them. The magazine mentions scientists have known that Taurine has helped with seizures for a long time now. That was in 1986 and it's 2017 and she's still struggling with every known man made drug to find something that works. Sure enough, we did a quick search about Taruine and I'm finding that many people say it has helped or even cured them of seizures for years. So that's what we're going to try this weekend to see if it helps control them. It was also mentioned that it helps with floaters? Interesting. 
     
    It also made me realize how diluted and boring things have become in comparison. How can I find something written from almost 30-years ago so fascinating? Things I wouldn't have really read as a kid or most likely unable to even really comprehend but now re-discovering for the first time. It's really refreshing. I'll definitely be picking up a few more magazines to see what else lies in store. There are definitely some bizarre stories to be read but at least it was truly entertaining. 
     
    Just wanted to share how something so old can make someone feel really alive... even if only for a moment. It was magazines like this that helped people dream. Imagine. Inspire. Really look forward to the future. 
  17. Like
    Clint Thompson reacted to Atari 5200 Guy in Anyone here actually own or use an Atari Hotz Box?   
    I've been a keyboardist for a couple of decades and have MIDI knowledge for half that.  To get my hands on what you have would be similar to getting my hands on a Yamaha Tyros...its a dream machine.  The STs are still the best MIDI systems on the planet, period.  I've had a Yamaha MIDI recorder combined with two Yamaha PSR keyboards (510 & 530) and always had timing issues.  I've not experienced that with the ST so far.
    Does that Hotz Box have any drum sounds/patterns?
  18. Like
    Clint Thompson got a reaction from Justin in Anyone here actually own or use an Atari Hotz Box?   
    Has anyone here ever had the opportunity to use an Atari Hotz Box or ever own one even?
     
     

  19. Like
    Clint Thompson got a reaction from Justin in Anyone here actually own or use an Atari Hotz Box?   
    Strange how timing and such works out. A year later and many years of lusting (plus a decade) I finally had a Hotz Box sent out to me the same day you posted this but only just now catching up with everything after the holidays. I was actually in Tennessee when the unit arrived back at home in Indy so the excitement had to be contained until I got back home several days later. 
    Anyways, it's a lot bigger and heavier than I thought it would be and it's definitely far cooler than I could have ever imagined. I'm going to make some proper videos for this since there really isn't much out there aside from the few videos that Jimmy has posted himself. I'm not really sure number count wise to date but the guy who did the music for Riddick said in 2004 that only 25 had been made. Naturally only 2 weeks after I receive the unit, another producer decided to offload a few of the smaller units he has that was custom made for him but I ultimately passed originally to hold out for a larger unit that I've coined The Mothership:

    And a quick test video right after unboxing:
     
  20. Like
    Clint Thompson reacted to Atari 5200 Guy in Anyone here actually own or use an Atari Hotz Box?   
    Here...a demo showcasing the Hotz Box played by a few famous artists.
     
  21. Like
    Clint Thompson reacted to DegasElite in Anyone here actually own or use an Atari Hotz Box?   
    I think that I might have seen one, but I don't remember. It looks familiar. But, I am not so sure.
  22. Like
    Clint Thompson reacted to Atari 5200 Guy in Anyone here actually own or use an Atari Hotz Box?   
    Nope.  But I have heard of them.
  23. Like
    Clint Thompson reacted to Atari 5200 Guy in Atari ST Essentials   
    Crazy.  Within a few days I've managed to locate a useful tool for ST owners.
    SYSINFO
    SysInfo is a small program that gives ST owners detailed information about their system.  Machine type, processor speed, amount of RAM, and more are printed out on your monitor/TV.  Kind of handy.  Program is a compressed PRG file, not a disk image.  
    I am currently going through some more stuff to see what is helpful and learning how to use them.  I'll post more as I find more.  In the meantime, this is my resource:
    Atari ST Essential Software 
  24. Like
    Clint Thompson reacted to Atari 5200 Guy in What did you get for Christmas?   
    Well, the STE was suppose to be part of what I got but, good news, a really nice replacement is on its way.  Other items included a new Pac-Man shirt, a Moose Union Suit (feels like getting a hug from a teddy bear when wearing it, warm too!), GTA V for 360, a new Dickens jacket, a step ladder, and after Christmas I took up GameStop's buy 2 get 1 free offer and found the entire Mass Effect series for $10.  Even the manager couldn't figure that one out because he said, and I quote, "We have the boxed trilogy set for $30 but he just got the same thing buying them individually for $10?  Doesn't make sense."  I agree but more power to me.
    Our Sears store left in May and we just lost Payless Shoes before Christmas Day.  Our area is dwindling down on options for places to go to get gifts.  It's either Wal-Mart or travel to another town or order online.
  25. Like
    Clint Thompson reacted to Justin in What did you get for Christmas?   
    HAPPY 2019! I hope everyone had a warm, relaxing and joyous holiday season! I thought it might be fun to share any fun or interesting presents we may have received (or given!) I have a few below that I am excited to share with you.
    We ended up making this a "Sears Christmas" as it may be Sears' last. Growing up, it seems like a lot of birthday and Christmas presents came from Sears. So many childhood Christmas lists came from flipping through the Sears Wish Book and marking the toys and games I dreamed of. Of course we know the Sears connection to Atari history and how they were very helpful in Atari's early retail success. I have an immense fondness of Sears and hate to see them go. Although I haven't shopped at Sears as often in recent years, I go out of my way to give them my business for tools, their auto center, lawn and garden, and anywhere else where they were still offering stellar service, even if it meant paying a dollar or two more than the big box stores.
    I'm not a mechanic or anything, but it's a good idea for any homeowner to have a basic set of good tools around. I have that brand loyalty to Sears and have been wanting to get a set of Craftsman tools for a while. Fearing there wouldn't be any Sears' left I went to our local Sears to build a nice set of tools a few months back, only to walk in and find that my store was already closing and they were halfway through liquidating the store. Fortunately for Christmas I received the Craftsman screwdriver set I had wanted! Now I just need to get a classic red Sears Craftsman tool box! FYI Craftsman tools are now sold through ACE Hardware, Lowe's Home Improvement, and some other places, but for nostalgia and loyalty alone I wanted to have tools that would last a lifetime that I knew came from Sears. Maybe heirlooms to pass on in 50 years.
    Here is the 28-piece screwdriver set I received:

     
    I also received a beautiful new pressure washer that I've been meaning to get for the longest time!

     
    I also received some fun classic gaming-themed trinkets, like this Pac-Man wireless Bluetooth speaker that I'll put in my game room

     
    Then on the 26th I was at Target and found just one of these babies left on the store shelf marked down to half price. This was the first time I had ever seen one of these in person and it ended up being a little present to myself 😎 Those who know me know I'm far more focused on collecting original games and bits of Atari history rather than Flashback and Mini consoles, but being marked down made this desirable for me to use in another room and would make it easier for me to join in on High Score Squad Challenges! So I bought one, no regrets.

     
    And then finally I received the Retro Series version of Sorry! from Parker Brothers based on the 1958 Edition of Sorry! Do any of you like to collect and play classic board games? I've always loved board games and have wanted to do more board game stuff in the forums. I received a retro edition of Mastermind two Christmases ago and that started my new collection of classic board games. I lost a lot of my original board games during a move about ten years ago that included board games that my parents and grandparents had growing up. I think it's cool that Hasbro has made this Retro Series available en masse at a good price for all.

     
    Also this shelving the Sorry! game is sitting on was actually a Christmas present too. This rack fits in my soon-to-be arcade room and will allow storage for snacks and drinks below, games above, and the middle shelf will be tall enough to accommodate a classic system or two with Sony Trinitron PVM monitors to give it that retro game room feel. 
    All in all it was a wonderful Christmas! Did any of you receive or give anything interesting this holiday season that you'd like to share? I hope 2019 is a stellar year for all! Wishing all of you a year of happiness, health, and the inspiration to follow your dreams.
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