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Re: Astrocade references update

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  • Flash Angstrom
    Electronic Games, Issue 3, Volume 1 (1/3/82) May - pp. 44&45 Inside Gaming: Meet Bob Odgon, the Man Behind the Wizard By Arnie Katz It takes three things to
    Message 1 of 18 , Jun 29, 2011

      Electronic Games, Issue 3, Volume 1 (1/3/82) May - pp. 44&45

      Inside Gaming: Meet Bob Odgon, the Man Behind the Wizard
      By Arnie Katz

         It takes three things to make a good designer," says Bob Ogdon, President of Action Graphics and a vital force at Dave Nutting Associates.  "First, I look for people who have other interests besides computers, things like photography or carpentry.  We don't want the stereotypical 'computer nerd.'  Then, of course, a good designer needs a lot of creativity.  And a designer should love the field."
         Unconsciously, the soft-spoken 26-year-old had described himself perfectly.  Since graduating from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., with a degree in psychology, Ogdon has produced an impressively varied array of games for both the coin-operated and home arcade fields. His latest achievements, Space Fortress and The Wizard. both for Astrovision, stamp him as one of today's truly outstanding game creators.
         Ogdon is unstinting in his praise of Dave Nutting, who, with Jeff Frederickson, designed what is now the Astro Professional Arcade for Bally Manufacturing Co.  "He is my mentor," Ogdon asserts.  "I've learned everything from him."  He credits Nutting with the inspiration for two of Bally's greatest coin-op hits, Gorf and Wizard of Wor.
         As with many of us, the designer entered his chosen career as a result of a lucky accident. Bob Ogdon's wife Julie introduced him to Dave Nutting, who flew him to Chicago for a mutual look-see.  Excited by this exploratory trip, the couple threw everything they owned into the back of their Datsun and headed for the Second City.
         Under the direction of Nutting, Ogdon Joined the 20 designers working on games for what was then called the Bally Professional Arcade.  His first assignment was to create a version of the ball-and-paddle wall-bashing game for the system.  Of Brickyard, he notes, "There were no copyright laws covering electronic games at that time.  It was common practice to adapt existing ones to new systems."
         The same cartridge also included Clowns.  Bally purchased the design from Exidy and had Ogdon perform the translation of the coin-op original to the home screen in a form that has still not been surpassed.
         Brickyard/Clowns, even apart from the fact that it represents Bob Ogdon's debut, has had a farreaching effect on the hobby.  It was the first ROM cartridge utilizing 4K of memory.  "At first ROMs were too expensive, so we had only 2K games," he recalls."  Clowns was the first 4K.  Now all our games for the Astro system are 8K. "
         Once acclimated to the demands of his new career, Ogdon really began to hit his stride.  "I had always played football in high school and college," says the electronic game artist, who still has the lithe build of a quarterback or free safety.  "They had a football game, but I convinced them to try mine."  State-of-the-art when introduced, Astrovision's Football has only Intellivison's NFL Football" to rival it for pigskin supremacy.
          "I try to recreate reality," Ogdon explains, "and I wanted something more than blips on the screen."  That's why, though his game offers a wide variety of possible plays, coaches can still ad-lib at the line of scrimmage just like Dan Fouts or Joe Montana.  "You can give a lot of power to the players," he adds.  The first use of horizontal scrolling greatly enhances Astro's Football, opening up the action by providing a larger gridiron.
         A three-quarters perspective was considered for Football, but ultimately the decision was to stick with the overhead view.  "Football takes a lot more exactitude than a sport like soccer."
         The circumstances under which Pinball came into being are still vividly etched in Ogdon's memory.  "Our home is out in the country and rather isolated," he says.  "We had a big snowstorm that kept us in the house for about a month."  When he emerged from this enforced seclusion it was with the basics of this two-playfield cartridge in hand.
         Shortly thereafter, Bally got a case of cold feet and withdrew from the home arcade sweepstakes to concentrate on the business it knew best - coin-op amusement machines.  Mindful of Ogdon's success with Football, Dave Nutting Associates put him to work on Extra Bases, the latest in a distinguished line of Bally baseball machines.  "Hardware problems prevented it from becoming a true success," he observes.
         The same could hardly be said of Ogdon's next major effort, Gorf.  The guiding concept in this case was to give good players a little more variety than found in the usual invasion game.  The result was the first multi-field commercial arcade unit.
         And then came Wizard of Wor.  "We wanted to get away from simply moving the gun left and right and shooting upward, and we wanted a game which two people could play together or against each other," he says.  "We decided on a maze, because mazes introduce strategy."
         "When we put a voice into the machine, that got us into the mythology of who, exactly, was doing the talking.  So we invented the Wizard.  We used the Wizard to disrupt the flow of the game."
         Ogdon and the crew working with him on the project next decided to make the Wizard a mystery, "so that players would have to work to get at him."  Then to make the game increasingly challenging, they started subtracting the walls of the maze at the higher skill levels.  "That way, there's a whole series of goals. " he says.  "Of course, getting to the pit is the ultimate."
         Originally, Wizard of Wor had relatively small on-screen characters. Somehow, it didn't look just right.  After Ogdon and staff saw a then-new coin-op called Pac-Man, they switched to much larger characters for their game.
         Great advances in technique are speeding the game-design process, according to Ogdon. 
      Now it is possible for a company to get a game from a new addition within six months, instead of the two years it once took.  After drawing a picture of what he'd like on the screen, a graphics programming language similar to FORTH allows him to animate it in less than an hour.  "With this language," Ogdon boasts, "you don't have to be a nitty-gritty bit-biter."
         Right now, Ogdon is supervising a new designer, Dave Armstrong's first project using this secret, patented system.  He confidently predicts great success for Armstrong's Quest for the Orb program for the Astro Arcade, due out later this year.
         And when those promised innovative designs reach the commercial arcades and retail electronic game stores, it's a safe bet that several of them will bear Bob Ogdon's stamp of creativity.  []

      Ogdon's design successes run the gamut from sports titles like Football to SF shoot-'em-ups like Space Fortress.

      OCR cleaned up by: BALmisc docsLY

       

      --- In ballyalley@yahoogroups.com, Adam Trionfo <ballyalley@...> wrote:

      >
      >
      > Paul Thacker wrote:
      > >>
      > Electronic Games
      > Interview with Bob Ogden, other Astrocade mentions
      > May 1982
      > >>
      >
      > Here is a link to the whole issue (the interview is on page 46):
      >
      >
      http://www.bombjack.org/commodore/magazines/electronic-games/pdf/Electronic_Games_Issue_03_Vol_01_03_1982_May.zip
      >
      > I'm reading the article now.
      >
      > Adam
      >

    • Flash Angstrom
      Also in that issue (after a nice write-up noting that Pac-Man Fever is Catching ) is this item on page 11 [with photo] Astro Update * Astrovision has taken
      Message 2 of 18 , Jun 30, 2011


        Also in that issue (after a nice write-up noting that "Pac-Man Fever is Catching") is this item on page 11 [with photo]

        Astro Update
        *  Astrovision has taken firm control of the old Bally Professional Arcade system, rechristened it and begun introducing a swarm of new game titles.  But perhaps the most interesting news from the Columbus, Ohio-based firm is the appearance of the long-awaited ZGrass keyboard, scheduled for release later this year.
        *  On hand to demonstrate their new Galactic Invasion at a recent trade fair, Galaxian champ Mike Kohler, 14. from Naperville, Ill., wound up setting a new record on the ninth level, one of the most challenging variations for any game, Mike was even briefly joined by former NBA star Rick Barry for a little head-to-head action.

         

        Then on pg. 20 in "Readers Replay" was this letter to the editor

        An Overlooked System?
           While I greatly enjoy Electronic Games, I do have one small complaint to bring to your attention.
           Your space devoted to coverage of the Bally Professional Arcade seemed very sparse compared to that given to the other programmable videogames.  In my opinion, the Arcade is equal to or better than any of the other systems you covered.  Perhaps you will see fit to cover the Bally Professional Arcade in much greater depth in a future issue.
                 Don Reed
                 White Sulphur Springs,
                 W. Va.

           Ed: The quality of the Astro Professional Arcade (note new name) had nothing to do with lack of coverage.  At the time we assembled the first two issues, we were still unsure about the level of commitment Astrovision intended to make in reviving this system.  Time has removed some of our doubts and, with review materials from Astrovision now reaching our offices regularly, look for greatly expanded coverage of this fine system beginning this issue.
        [Editor is Arnie Katz, previously under the nom-de-plume of Frank Laney Jr.]

         

        And down on page 33 in "Videogame Outlook" (Continued from page 24) [with drawing of Space Fortress]

        Astrovision
           Astrovision not only showed its ZGrass keyboard, but several top-line games as well.  Space Fortress is a space shoot-out that's long on action, color and flash.  The Wizard, from Wizard of Wor designer Bob Ogdon, is a virtual duplicate of the coin-op version and Quest for the Orb promises to be one of the most unique videogames of all time.
        [Ignore the next paragraph there, it should have the name "Apollo" above it]

         

        Special Section "Player's Guide to Electronic Wargames: Videogames go to War" page 36 has this brief mention
        Victory at Sea
           Seawolf (Astrovision) [no review] and AirSea Battle (Atari) furnish gamers with a taste of navel action.

         

        [Insert article from pages 44 and 45 "Inside Gaming: Meet Bob Odgon, the Man Behind the Wizard" here]

         

        pg. 64 "Looking for people who share your interest in arcading?"
        By Willy Richardson

           Birds of a feather flock together, as the old saw goes, and it's certainly been true in the case of hobbyists.  Whether it's stamp collectors, model railroaders or electronic gamers, everybody enjoys sharing their interest with kindred spirits, talking about favorite items, comparing successes and failures.
           It was only a matter of time. therefore, before electronic gaming clubs began sprouting like mushrooms. Most gaming clubs are of one of two types: the users group and the fan club.

        Users Unite!
           The founders of the early game clubs were great believers in the adage "If you want something done right. do it yourself."  The first users group formed around the Bally Professional Arcade.  After Bally decided to dump the home programmable supersystem they'd developed, owners found themselves adrift.  Except for the few existing game cartridges, there was no software for the BPA and little promise of any developing down the line. So fans took matters into their own hands, using the Bally BASIC cartridge (which has an input slot that allows programs to be recorded onto audio cassette tape).  A pair of clubs, Cursor and the Arcadians began publishing newsletters, programs and even ready-to-run games on tape in Bally BASIC.
           Both clubs are still going strong (though Cursor is now known as The Bally Express), though Astrovision's purchase of the Professional Arcade and release of new software has given the unit sunnier prospects. Astrovision has even lent a helping hand to the users by introducing a new, improved form of BASIC modeled on Palo Alto Tiny BASIC that allows the creation of even more intricate game software.
        [more on other systems and where-to-writes followed]

         

        pg. 70 "Programmable Parade: Fly High--and Low--with Barnstorming" excerpt
        By Arnie Katz and Bill Kunkel

        Bally Pin / Astrovision / Astro Professional Arcade
           Imagine a videogame version of pinball with all the color, action, and excitement of the real thing.  It would offer two distinctive playfields, two sets of flippers, reset spin-paddle, thumper and back bumpers.
           Sound like a pipe dream?  It's not.  Bob Ogden's design for this pinball simulation is so skillfully constructed that even those staunch videogame chauvinists who wouldn't be caught dead near a flipper machine will soon find themselves transfixed by the realistic play, vivid colors and inspired play mechanics.  Arcaders hold two of the Astro Arcade pistol-grip controllers.  Using the right thumb, the ball awaiting ejection from the chamber is sent gyrating onto the playfield through a special, spinning-reset paddle.  The trigger on the right-hand controller operates the two flippers on the right side of the center gutter; the left controller's trigger operates the pair of flippers on the left.  This "two gun" effect is the first successful use of programmable videogame controllers in a pinball simulation, effectively recreating the sense of smashing away at flipper buttons on the real thing.
          []


        --- In ballyalley@yahoogroups.com, "Flash Angstrom" <fangs301@...> wrote:

        >
        >
        > Electronic Games, Issue 3, Volume 1 (1/3/82) May - pp. 44&45
        >
        > Inside Gaming: Meet Bob Odgon, the Man Behind the Wizard
        > By Arnie Katz
        >
        > [...]
        >
        > OCR cleaned up by: BALmisc docsLY
        >

      • Flash Angstrom
        In Electronic Games, Issue 6, Volume 1 Number 6, Aug. 1982 (ignore the malformed date I gave for Issue 3), not one but two [identical?] Astrocade ads. And
        Message 3 of 18 , Jun 30, 2011

           

          In Electronic Games, Issue 6, Volume 1 Number 6, Aug. 1982 (ignore the malformed date I gave for Issue 3), not one but two [identical?] Astrocade ads.  And this item on page 11

          ASTRO BITS
           * The biggest news from the company that took over the Bally Professional Arcade is that both manufacturer and machine have a new name - again.  Although research initially failed to turn up the fact, it seems that there is another Astrovision out there in the marketplace.  [Quest for the Orb drawring here]  To avoid problems with that concern, a distributor of X-rated videotapes, the videogame outfit has taken the name Astrocade for the machine and company itself.
           * Two major licensing agreements soon bring star characters from other media into the world of videogaming.  Astrocade has concluded agreements for games based on Conan and G.I. Joe.  The two titles, both reworkings of programs already in development, should be available quite soon.  (Conan is based on the Quest for the Orb game which the game-maker had previewed at 1982 industry shows.  G.I. Joe, on the other hand, will be an enhanced version of a cassette title originally produced by one of the independent software suppliers for the Astrocade senior [?] programmable videogame system.
            [no matching ')' ??]

           

          Distributor VideoLivery on page 34 lists some videocades for 24.95/29.95 along with these tapes:
          Max (RoIxJt hool Space)ilhserace .. 10.95
          Clue/ Flying Ace . . . . . . .. . .. 10.95
          Maze Race/ Obstacle Course/
          Space Chase . . . .. . . . 10.95
          Slot Machine/Perversion . . . . 10.95
          Music Composer /Yalrtzee . . 10.95
          Notematch . . 10.95
          Guitar Course/ Tuning/ Note Match/
          Chord Progressing ....... 19.95
          Backgammon/ Obstacle Course/
          Tournament. . t5.95
          Pack Ratl & II . . . . . . . . 10.95
          Lookout lor the Buill & II 10.95
          Whiz Quiz ITrivia ). 12.95
          Castle 01 Horror . . 10.95
          [note the OCR failures, which haven't been corrected]

           

          On page 63 and 64 "Video Pinball" has an introduction, then [with two screenshots] this excerpt

             It is somewhat appropriate that the best flipper cartridge comes from the system that began life as the Bally Professional Arcade.  Astrocade's Bally Pin provides two action-packed tables to delight flipper fanatics.  Although the variations have much in common, clever alterations individualize each one enough to give the arcade decent variety.
             There are, as might be anticipated, a number of similarities.  Both are five-ball contests playable by one to four participants.  To give the gamer independent control of each flipper, the designer has cleverly rigged things so that the player holds one of the Astrocade controllers in each hand and uses one trigger knob to manipulate each on-screen bat.
             In version # 1, the so-called white table, the rectangular drop targets, upper kicker targets and lit bumpers produce the most points, though hitting the wall and ceiling of the table above the flipper, the unlit bumpers and the spinner which appears directly over the ball-shooter once a sphere is in play, all add a little to the tally.
             The spinner is also important, because hitting it randomly moves the four bumpers located near the middle of the field and resets the drop targets.  Hitting the four upper kicker targets on the white table lights the corresponding middle bumpers, signified by the appearance of a "+" on the object, which multiplies the point value tenfold.
             Many arcaders will find the dark background of Bally Pin's second table much easier on the ideas [eyes??].  For this reason, the second version is often preferred over the overly bright white table.
             Eliminating all the drop targets to double the bonus score is the prime strategic objective on the second table of Bally Pin.  Knocking off all 24 drop targets also earns the player 1,000 bonus points.  In a fashion similar to table #1, hitting the upper kicker targets confers enhanced scoring opportunities.  Each of the six objects will light a corresponding thumper bumper, multiplying its score by 10.
            [Thunderball for the Odyssey2 has its good points, but it is a much cruder simulation than Bally Pin. ...]

           

          Finally, page 69 and 70 under "Strategy Session: Lasso More Dogies in Stampede" excerpt
          By FRANK TETRO JR.

          GALACTIC INVASION
             Astrocade / Astrocade (Bally Arcade)
             Galactic Invasion is a Galaxian-type contest in which players control a laser cannon that moves horizontally across the bottom of the playfield in an attempt to destroy the swooping aliens before they either obliterate the base with a bomb or by ramming into it.
             There are three rows of aliens.  The bottom rung, consisting of eight blue "swoopers", are each worth four points.  The middle row, composed of six red convoy-protectors, is good for five points apiece, and the top stratum contains the two convoy-leaders, worth anywhere from 15 to 80 points, each depending on the manner in which it's eliminated and how many protectors accompany it.  If the leader descends with two protectors and he's destroyed before the protectors, his point value is 15-20.  If you hit one protector, then the leader, it gets you 30 points.  Taking out both red protectors, then blowing up the leader, will reward you with the full 80 points.
             The essential strategy in all games of this type is to keep moving.  Never give the aliens an opportunity to home in on your position as they will almost never miss a non-moving target.
             Stay in front of the "swooping" aliens, and attempt to fire in such a way that it flies into your blast.  This also serves the secondary purpose of keeping your laser base out of the line of enemy fire.
             Once a convoy breaks off from the pack, attempt to destroy it totally.  Eliminating an entire formation gains substantially more points than picking off one here and one there.
             Remember that once either a swooper or protector disappears off the sides or bottom of the playfield, it will reappear at the top of the screen, so be prepared.
             Avoid the corners at all costs, as they leave you with no escape route should the aliens attack from the open side.
             Once the arcader clears a screen and a new board appears, notice that the invaders will hesitate momentarily before they begin to descend.  Take advantage of this opportunity to destroy as many swoopers as you can.
             Try not to blow away all the protectors.  If the leaders are forced to take the trip downscreen without protection they are worth fewer points.
             Keep a steady hand and a sharp eye - and stay on the move, since these aliens just love to "kamakaze" a sitting duck.

           

          One more mention on page 85, "INTRODUCING •••• THE NATIONAL ARCADE SCOREBOARD"

           * "How do I stack up against other players?" is the question more and more readers are asking these days.  To help find out, Electronic Games is establishing the National Arcade Scoreboard.  [...]  The games which will be listed in the National Arcade Scoreboard are:
          4. Galactic Invasion (Astrovision) Difficulty #1
          [Issue 8 October 1982 first lists the high scores]

           

          Issue 7 [not archived here] also has some mention of Astrocade, according to this eBay listing
          http://cgi.ebay.com/Electronic-Games-Magazine-Vol-1-No-7-Sept-1982-Atari-/220806302751?pt=Magazines&hash=item336914cc1f

           

          BalMisc DocsLy


          --- In ballyalley@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Thacker" <lennier_of_the_minbari@...> wrote:

          >
          > I've made a small update to the list of Astrocade references in the files area. I've added this entry:
          >
          >
          > Electronic Games
          >
          > Interview with Bob Ogden, other Astrocade mentions
          > May 1982
          >
          > Where did I find this?: Arcadian volume 4, issue 6, page 57
          >
          > How interesting is this? Very interesting. Bob Ogden is a well-known cartridge programmer.
          >
          >
          > I just happened to run into this one, so there may be more such articles mentioned in the Arcadian.
          >
          > Paul
          >

        • Paul Thacker
          Thanks for finding and OCR ing all these articles, Richard!  Are there any issues on-line that you haven t looked through, yet? I did learn some interesting
          Message 4 of 18 , Jun 30, 2011
            Thanks for finding and OCR'ing all these articles, Richard!  Are there any issues on-line that you haven't looked through, yet?

            I did learn some interesting things, particularly in Bob Ogden's interview.  I hadn't realized that Clowns was the world's first 4K cartridge, or that Football was the first horizontally scrolling game.  (Unless someone knows some earlier examples....)  There's also yet another name to track down--Dave Armstrong, designer of Quest For The Orb, later Conan.  And these articles definitely confirm that the Quest For The Orb name predates the Conan name, though perhaps they switched back to Quest For The Orb later if they ran into licensing problems as Brett mentioned.

            Paul

            --- On Thu, 6/30/11, Flash Angstrom <fangs301@...> wrote:

            From: Flash Angstrom <fangs301@...>
            Subject: [ballyalley] Re: Astrocade references update
            To: ballyalley@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Thursday, June 30, 2011, 12:55 AM

             

            Electronic Games, Issue 3, Volume 1 (1/3/82) May - pp. 44&45

            Inside Gaming: Meet Bob Odgon, the Man Behind the Wizard
            By Arnie Katz

               It takes three things to make a good designer," says Bob Ogdon, President of Action Graphics and a vital force at Dave Nutting Associates.  "First, I look for people who have other interests besides computers, things like photography or carpentry.  We don't want the stereotypical 'computer nerd.'  Then, of course, a good designer needs a lot of creativity.  And a designer should love the field."
               Unconsciously, the soft-spoken 26-year-old had described himself perfectly.  Since graduating from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., with a degree in psychology, Ogdon has produced an impressively varied array of games for both the coin-operated and home arcade fields. His latest achievements, Space Fortress and The Wizard. both for Astrovision, stamp him as one of today's truly outstanding game creators.
               Ogdon is unstinting in his praise of Dave Nutting, who, with Jeff Frederickson, designed what is now the Astro Professional Arcade for Bally Manufacturing Co.  "He is my mentor," Ogdon asserts.  "I've learned everything from him."  He credits Nutting with the inspiration for two of Bally's greatest coin-op hits, Gorf and Wizard of Wor.
               As with many of us, the designer entered his chosen career as a result of a lucky accident. Bob Ogdon's wife Julie introduced him to Dave Nutting, who flew him to Chicago for a mutual look-see.  Excited by this exploratory trip, the couple threw everything they owned into the back of their Datsun and headed for the Second City.
               Under the direction of Nutting, Ogdon Joined the 20 designers working on games for what was then called the Bally Professional Arcade.  His first assignment was to create a version of the ball-and-paddle wall-bashing game for the system.  Of Brickyard, he notes, "There were no copyright laws covering electronic games at that time.  It was common practice to adapt existing ones to new systems."
               The same cartridge also included Clowns.  Bally purchased the design from Exidy and had Ogdon perform the translation of the coin-op original to the home screen in a form that has still not been surpassed.
               Brickyard/Clowns, even apart from the fact that it represents Bob Ogdon's debut, has had a farreaching effect on the hobby.  It was the first ROM cartridge utilizing 4K of memory.  "At first ROMs were too expensive, so we had only 2K games," he recalls."  Clowns was the first 4K.  Now all our games for the Astro system are 8K. "
               Once acclimated to the demands of his new career, Ogdon really began to hit his stride.  "I had always played football in high school and college," says the electronic game artist, who still has the lithe build of a quarterback or free safety.  "They had a football game, but I convinced them to try mine."  State-of-the-art when introduced, Astrovision's Football has only Intellivison's NFL Football" to rival it for pigskin supremacy.
                "I try to recreate reality," Ogdon explains, "and I wanted something more than blips on the screen."  That's why, though his game offers a wide variety of possible plays, coaches can still ad-lib at the line of scrimmage just like Dan Fouts or Joe Montana.  "You can give a lot of power to the players," he adds.  The first use of horizontal scrolling greatly enhances Astro's Football, opening up the action by providing a larger gridiron.
               A three-quarters perspective was considered for Football, but ultimately the decision was to stick with the overhead view.  "Football takes a lot more exactitude than a sport like soccer."
               The circumstances under which Pinball came into being are still vividly etched in Ogdon's memory.  "Our home is out in the country and rather isolated," he says.  "We had a big snowstorm that kept us in the house for about a month."  When he emerged from this enforced seclusion it was with the basics of this two-playfield cartridge in hand.
               Shortly thereafter, Bally got a case of cold feet and withdrew from the home arcade sweepstakes to concentrate on the business it knew best - coin-op amusement machines.  Mindful of Ogdon's success with Football, Dave Nutting Associates put him to work on Extra Bases, the latest in a distinguished line of Bally baseball machines.  "Hardware problems prevented it from becoming a true success," he observes.
               The same could hardly be said of Ogdon's next major effort, Gorf.  The guiding concept in this case was to give good players a little more variety than found in the usual invasion game.  The result was the first multi-field commercial arcade unit.
               And then came Wizard of Wor.  "We wanted to get away from simply moving the gun left and right and shooting upward, and we wanted a game which two people could play together or against each other," he says.  "We decided on a maze, because mazes introduce strategy."
               "When we put a voice into the machine, that got us into the mythology of who, exactly, was doing the talking.  So we invented the Wizard.  We used the Wizard to disrupt the flow of the game."
               Ogdon and the crew working with him on the project next decided to make the Wizard a mystery, "so that players would have to work to get at him."  Then to make the game increasingly challenging, they started subtracting the walls of the maze at the higher skill levels.  "That way, there's a whole series of goals. " he says.  "Of course, getting to the pit is the ultimate."
               Originally, Wizard of Wor had relatively small on-screen characters. Somehow, it didn't look just right.  After Ogdon and staff saw a then-new coin-op called Pac-Man, they switched to much larger characters for their game.
               Great advances in technique are speeding the game-design process, according to Ogdon. 
            Now it is possible for a company to get a game from a new addition within six months, instead of the two years it once took.  After drawing a picture of what he'd like on the screen, a graphics programming language similar to FORTH allows him to animate it in less than an hour.  "With this language," Ogdon boasts, "you don't have to be a nitty-gritty bit-biter."
               Right now, Ogdon is supervising a new designer, Dave Armstrong's first project using this secret, patented system.  He confidently predicts great success for Armstrong's Quest for the Orb program for the Astro Arcade, due out later this year.
               And when those promised innovative designs reach the commercial arcades and retail electronic game stores, it's a safe bet that several of them will bear Bob Ogdon's stamp of creativity.  []

            Ogdon's design successes run the gamut from sports titles like Football to SF shoot-'em-ups like Space Fortress.

            OCR cleaned up by: BALmisc docsLY

             

            --- In ballyalley@yahoogroups.com, Adam Trionfo <ballyalley@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Paul Thacker wrote:
            > >>
            > Electronic Games
            > Interview with Bob Ogden, other Astrocade mentions
            > May 1982
            > >>
            >
            > Here is a link to the whole issue (the interview is on page 46):
            >
            >
            http://www.bombjack.org/commodore/magazines/electronic-games/pdf/Electronic_Games_Issue_03_Vol_01_03_1982_May.zip
            >
            > I'm reading the article now.
            >
            > Adam
            >

          • Flash Angstrom
            Premiere Issue of Electronic Games, Issue 1, Volume 1 Number 1, 1981 Winter, from: http://www.bombjack.org/commodore/magazines/electronic-games/electronic-
            Message 5 of 18 , Jul 1, 2011

              Premiere Issue of Electronic Games, Issue 1, Volume 1 Number 1, 1981 Winter, from:
              http://www.bombjack.org/commodore/magazines/electronic-games/electronic-games.htm

              Page 38 "PLAYER'S GUIDE TO PROGRAMMABLE VIDEOGAMES" special section recapped (EG's parent) Video Magazine "Arcade Alley" column's "Arkies" Arcade Awards, and listed for 1980
              Best Sports Game: Football (Professional Arcade).  A gorgeous, scrolling gridiron, a wide choice of plays and socko animation characterize what is still among the best of all sports simulations.

               

              Page 47 has a "PROFESSIONAL ARCADE UPGRADES TO A COMPUTER" article [with three pictures - SCRIBING (sic), a White BCS, and SEAWOLF/MISSILE screenshot]

              Astrovision Plans Revival
                 Astrovision has gladdened the hearts of the many fan of the Professional Arcade with the announcement that it intends to revive and develop the system pioneered by Bally.  It hopes to succeed where the original manufacturer failed, and many see considerable cause for optimism.
                 For one thing. the Professional Arcade is still one of the most advanced and powerful programmable videogames ever produced.  In fact, the concept of a modular hardware system that could be upgraded to a complete home computer may simply have been ahead of its time.
                 Astrovision is keeping quiet about its plans at this time, so it's difficult to know whether the new ownership will put the entire Bally game catalog back into distribution or just selected titles.  Likewise, Astrovision has revealed no information concerning the development of new games for the system.  One thing the company has already promised is a ZGRASS keyboard with 24K of memory, but even in this case no firm delivery date is specified.

              The Professional Arcade System
                 The Professional Arcade is a modular system that attempts to bridge the gap between videogames and home computers.  At its heart is a compact console that features a keypad, a pair of Bally's unique controllers and a covered rack for storing game cartridges and cassettes.  The keypad is used with the built-in calculator and can also reset screen colors.  Perhaps future games will make use of the pad as an input device.
                Surprisingly, the Professional Arcade comes pre-programmed to play three games.  Gunfight, Checkmate and Scribing [sic again].  Even more surprisingly, they're all very much worth playing.
                 Another big plus: the Professional Arcade is the only programmable videogame that allow players to attach up to four joystick-style controllers at the same time. (Actually, Bally designers combined the functions of a joystick and a paddle in a single device.

              Game Software

              Gunfight.  This two player game is as good as anything you'll find in a coin-op parlor.  Players move on-screen buckeroos using the joystick, aim with the paddle and fire by pressing the trigger.  Each gunslinger gets six shots, after which a reload cycle begins.

              Checkmate.  Up to four players simultaneously steer their symbols across the screen, creating serpentine lines.  The Object is to be the last one to crash into a line or one a the playfield boundaries.

              Scribing [that's what they thought it was!].  Not really a game, but most arcaders will probably have at least some interest in what may well be the best drawing program available for a programmable videogame.  Using the keypad and the controller, is possible to alter the color, brightness and hue - and create some electrifying visual effects.

              Seawolf/Mlssile.  This cartridge contains two highly playable games.  Seawolf, a visual stunner, casts two players as submarine commanders, while Missile has arcaders trying to bring down airborne targets with horizontally mobile guns. [star]
              [Missing the "At A Glance" bottom-bar that the other systems being reviewed had]

              note: The OCR text underlies the scanned text in the PDF allowing Search to work.  By copying this article into a text editor, you can see how much cleaning up had to be done to make these legible.

               

              Page 48 had a "WHICH SYSTEM'S FOR YOU?" comparison, which omitted AstroVision since it didn't purchase an ad.  In fact ActiVision (which was a VCS software company, see page 42) was listed and beat out the Channel F system (being revived by Zircon, Inc., see page 43) by a hair.

               

              balMISC DOCSly

               

            • Flash Angstrom
              The first one s easy - the only mention in Electronic Games, Issue 2, Volume 1 Number 2, Mar. 1982 is page 22 A Decade of Programmable Video Games 1978
              Message 6 of 18 , Jul 1, 2011

                The first one's easy - the only mention in Electronic Games, Issue 2, Volume 1 Number 2, Mar. 1982 is page 22 "A Decade of Programmable Video Games" 1978 history

                   For customers interested in a gaming computer, Bally offered the Professional Arcade.  It featured a fantastic collection of sports and arcade titles enhanced by audio-visual effects almost as good as those on the coin-op devices.
                [Not as interesting as the Bob Ogden interview in Issue 3, eh?]

                 

                Jumping ahead to: Electronic Games, Issue 8, Volume 1 Number 8, Oct. 1982

                As promised, page 10 has the first "The National Arcade Scoreboard", adding
                * The Incredible Wizard (Astrocade) - One player, Easy Difficulty

                Galactic Invasion / Astrocade / Astrocade / Difficulty #1
                   99,999 - Steve Sabolich, no address given.
                [Is this a real score?  Does it roll over after this??]

                 

                Page 35, "Previews of the New Videogames" excerpt
                "Here Are the Cartridges We'll Soon Be Playing" by ARNIE KATZ & BILL KUNKEL

                ASTROCADE
                   Sporting a new name and a fantastic system-seller in The Incredible Wizard (from Wizard of Wor designer Bob Ogdon), Astrocade promises an improved keyboard  (the Z Grass 200) and a batch of new games including Conan the Barbarian and G.I. Joe.  The latter is a highly dressed-up version of the independently-produced Artillery Duel.  Astrocade has also been talking with other underground Astro game designers, such as Wavemakers and Arcadians which began programming games on cassette a few years ago when Bally retrenched with the system.
                   New Astrocade releases include Soccer, Solar Conqueror and Cosmic Raiders with voice synthesis reportedly on the way.

                 

                Page 44 & 45, "Player's Guide to Electronic Football" excerpt
                "Can You Win the Video Super Bowl?  Think You Really Know Your Football?  Find Out with These Gridiron Videogames!"

                ASTROCADE FOOTBALL
                   If Mattel's NFL Football is the game for those who may be more interested in the gridiron than the game board, this cartridge is Electronic Games' pick for those whose interests are centered mostly on playing videogames. The reason is that though Astrocade Football is far from simple and includes much of the flavor of the real game, it is considerably easier and quicker to learn than the Intellivision version.
                   The secret is in the play selection process.  Like NFL Football, this simulation comes with a little playbook for the offense (defense is more freewheeling here).  The difference is that, in this case, the playbook is only a reminder to which the players may want to occasionally refer.  The real business of deciding what to do after the ball is hiked from scrimmage takes place right on the screen using a straightforward menu-driven system.
                   The control system also promotes each play.  Pushing the joystick springs the ball and controls the quarterback's direction of movement.  The knob directs the angle of the passer's arm, thereby governing the flight of the ball, which is thrown by pulling trigger.  Once the ball's in the air, the offensive coach's control automatically shifts to the receiver (the flanker) who runs patterns along the top of the TV display.
                   Another good point for this game is that it can be played by four instead of two.  On defense. each human controls one cornerback, while on offense the alternate receiver who runs along the bottom of the screen is under direct control of one of the co-coaches.


                [Page 46 defines "standard" programmable videogame systems as Odyssey and Atari VCS, and the more powerful "senior" programmables as Astrocade and Intellivision.]

                 

                [an AstroCade ad appears down on page 67]

                 

                "Games Library" By CHARLENE KOMAR on page 86 lists "Ken Uston's Guide to Buying and Beating the Home Video Games (Signet $3.95)" as covering the Astrocade.


                BALmisc docsLY

                 

                --- In ballyalley@yahoogroups.com, Adam Trionfo <ballyalley@...> wrote:

                >
                >
                > Paul Thacker wrote:
                > >>
                > Electronic Games
                > Interview with Bob Ogden, other Astrocade mentions
                > May 1982
                > >>
                >
                > Here is a link to the whole issue (the interview is on page 46):
                >
                > http://www.bombjack.org/commodore/magazines/electronic-games/pdf/Electronic_Games_Issue_03_Vol_01_03_1982_May.zip
                >
                > I'm reading the article now.
                >
                > Adam
                >

              • Michael Di Salvo
                I m not a sports nut, and rarely ever play sports games on any console, but back in the day Football was king on my Bally Computer System console.  Played it
                Message 7 of 18 , Jul 1, 2011
                  I'm not a sports nut, and rarely ever play sports games on any console, but back in the day Football was king on my Bally Computer System console.  Played it to death with friends, more so than any other game on the system. 
                   
                  The crowd cheering/roar of the crowd was awsome!
                   
                  -Michael
                   
                  128K. Your Life Will Never Be The Same.



                  From: Flash Angstrom <fangs301@...>
                  To: ballyalley@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Fri, July 1, 2011 10:37:59 AM
                  Subject: [ballyalley] Electronic Games, Issues 2 AND 8 articles [was: Astrocade references update]

                   

                  The first one's easy - the only mention in Electronic Games, Issue 2, Volume 1 Number 2, Mar. 1982 is page 22 "A Decade of Programmable Video Games" 1978 history

                     For customers interested in a gaming computer, Bally offered the Professional Arcade.  It featured a fantastic collection of sports and arcade titles enhanced by audio-visual effects almost as good as those on the coin-op devices.
                  [Not as interesting as the Bob Ogden interview in Issue 3, eh?]

                   

                  Jumping ahead to: Electronic Games, Issue 8, Volume 1 Number 8, Oct. 1982

                  As promised, page 10 has the first "The National Arcade Scoreboard", adding
                  * The Incredible Wizard (Astrocade) - One player, Easy Difficulty

                  Galactic Invasion / Astrocade / Astrocade / Difficulty #1
                     99,999 - Steve Sabolich, no address given.
                  [Is this a real score?  Does it roll over after this??]

                   

                  Page 35, "Previews of the New Videogames" excerpt
                  "Here Are the Cartridges We'll Soon Be Playing" by ARNIE KATZ & BILL KUNKEL

                  ASTROCADE
                     Sporting a new name and a fantastic system-seller in The Incredible Wizard (from Wizard of Wor designer Bob Ogdon), Astrocade promises an improved keyboard  (the Z Grass 200) and a batch of new games including Conan the Barbarian and G.I. Joe.  The latter is a highly dressed-up version of the independently-produced Artillery Duel.  Astrocade has also been talking with other underground Astro game designers, such as Wavemakers and Arcadians which began programming games on cassette a few years ago when Bally retrenched with the system.
                     New Astrocade releases include Soccer, Solar Conqueror and Cosmic Raiders with voice synthesis reportedly on the way.

                   

                  Page 44 & 45, "Player's Guide to Electronic Football" excerpt
                  "Can You Win the Video Super Bowl?  Think You Really Know Your Football?  Find Out with These Gridiron Videogames!"

                  ASTROCADE FOOTBALL
                     If Mattel's NFL Football is the game for those who may be more interested in the gridiron than the game board, this cartridge is Electronic Games' pick for those whose interests are centered mostly on playing videogames. The reason is that though Astrocade Football is far from simple and includes much of the flavor of the real game, it is considerably easier and quicker to learn than the Intellivision version.
                     The secret is in the play selection process.  Like NFL Football, this simulation comes with a little playbook for the offense (defense is more freewheeling here).  The difference is that, in this case, the playbook is only a reminder to which the players may want to occasionally refer.  The real business of deciding what to do after the ball is hiked from scrimmage takes place right on the screen using a straightforward menu-driven system.
                     The control system also promotes each play.  Pushing the joystick springs the ball and controls the quarterback's direction of movement.  The knob directs the angle of the passer's arm, thereby governing the flight of the ball, which is thrown by pulling trigger.  Once the ball's in the air, the offensive coach's control automatically shifts to the receiver (the flanker) who runs patterns along the top of the TV display.
                     Another good point for this game is that it can be played by four instead of two.  On defense. each human controls one cornerback, while on offense the alternate receiver who runs along the bottom of the screen is under direct control of one of the co-coaches.


                  [Page 46 defines "standard" programmable videogame systems as Odyssey and Atari VCS, and the more powerful "senior" programmables as Astrocade and Intellivision.]

                   

                  [an AstroCade ad appears down on page 67]

                   

                  "Games Library" By CHARLENE KOMAR on page 86 lists "Ken Uston's Guide to Buying and Beating the Home Video Games (Signet $3.95)" as covering the Astrocade.


                  BALmisc docsLY

                   

                  --- In ballyalley@yahoogroups.com, Adam Trionfo <ballyalley@...> wrote:

                  >
                  >
                  > Paul Thacker wrote:
                  > >>
                  > Electronic Games
                  > Interview with Bob Ogden, other Astrocade mentions
                  > May 1982
                  > >>
                  >
                  > Here is a link to the whole issue (the interview is on page 46):
                  >
                  > http://www.bombjack.org/commodore/magazines/electronic-games/pdf/Electronic_Games_Issue_03_Vol_01_03_1982_May.zip
                  >
                  > I'm reading the article now.
                  >
                  > Adam
                  >

                • Paul Thacker
                  Hmmm, voice synthesis on Astrocade games?  I don t remember hearing about plans for that before.  I wonder if it would have required some sort of extra
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jul 1, 2011
                    Hmmm, voice synthesis on Astrocade games?  I don't remember hearing about plans for that before.  I wonder if it would have required some sort of extra hardware, or if they were just going to use the regular sound abilities to sort of approximate a few words.

                    Paul

                    --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Flash Angstrom <fangs301@...> wrote:

                    From: Flash Angstrom <fangs301@...>
                    Subject: [ballyalley] Electronic Games, Issues 2 AND 8 articles [was: Astrocade references update]
                    To: ballyalley@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 10:37 AM

                     

                    The first one's easy - the only mention in Electronic Games, Issue 2, Volume 1 Number 2, Mar. 1982 is page 22 "A Decade of Programmable Video Games" 1978 history

                       For customers interested in a gaming computer, Bally offered the Professional Arcade.  It featured a fantastic collection of sports and arcade titles enhanced by audio-visual effects almost as good as those on the coin-op devices.
                    [Not as interesting as the Bob Ogden interview in Issue 3, eh?]

                     

                    Jumping ahead to: Electronic Games, Issue 8, Volume 1 Number 8, Oct. 1982

                    As promised, page 10 has the first "The National Arcade Scoreboard", adding
                    * The Incredible Wizard (Astrocade) - One player, Easy Difficulty

                    Galactic Invasion / Astrocade / Astrocade / Difficulty #1
                       99,999 - Steve Sabolich, no address given.
                    [Is this a real score?  Does it roll over after this??]

                     

                    Page 35, "Previews of the New Videogames" excerpt
                    "Here Are the Cartridges We'll Soon Be Playing" by ARNIE KATZ & BILL KUNKEL

                    ASTROCADE
                       Sporting a new name and a fantastic system-seller in The Incredible Wizard (from Wizard of Wor designer Bob Ogdon), Astrocade promises an improved keyboard  (the Z Grass 200) and a batch of new games including Conan the Barbarian and G.I. Joe.  The latter is a highly dressed-up version of the independently-produced Artillery Duel.  Astrocade has also been talking with other underground Astro game designers, such as Wavemakers and Arcadians which began programming games on cassette a few years ago when Bally retrenched with the system.
                       New Astrocade releases include Soccer, Solar Conqueror and Cosmic Raiders with voice synthesis reportedly on the way.

                     

                    Page 44 & 45, "Player's Guide to Electronic Football" excerpt
                    "Can You Win the Video Super Bowl?  Think You Really Know Your Football?  Find Out with These Gridiron Videogames!"

                    ASTROCADE FOOTBALL
                       If Mattel's NFL Football is the game for those who may be more interested in the gridiron than the game board, this cartridge is Electronic Games' pick for those whose interests are centered mostly on playing videogames. The reason is that though Astrocade Football is far from simple and includes much of the flavor of the real game, it is considerably easier and quicker to learn than the Intellivision version.
                       The secret is in the play selection process.  Like NFL Football, this simulation comes with a little playbook for the offense (defense is more freewheeling here).  The difference is that, in this case, the playbook is only a reminder to which the players may want to occasionally refer.  The real business of deciding what to do after the ball is hiked from scrimmage takes place right on the screen using a straightforward menu-driven system.
                       The control system also promotes each play.  Pushing the joystick springs the ball and controls the quarterback's direction of movement.  The knob directs the angle of the passer's arm, thereby governing the flight of the ball, which is thrown by pulling trigger.  Once the ball's in the air, the offensive coach's control automatically shifts to the receiver (the flanker) who runs patterns along the top of the TV display.
                       Another good point for this game is that it can be played by four instead of two.  On defense. each human controls one cornerback, while on offense the alternate receiver who runs along the bottom of the screen is under direct control of one of the co-coaches.


                    [Page 46 defines "standard" programmable videogame systems as Odyssey and Atari VCS, and the more powerful "senior" programmables as Astrocade and Intellivision.]

                     

                    [an AstroCade ad appears down on page 67]

                     

                    "Games Library" By CHARLENE KOMAR on page 86 lists "Ken Uston's Guide to Buying and Beating the Home Video Games (Signet $3.95)" as covering the Astrocade.


                    BALmisc docsLY

                     

                    --- In ballyalley@yahoogroups.com, Adam Trionfo <ballyalley@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Paul Thacker wrote:
                    > >>
                    > Electronic Games
                    > Interview with Bob Ogden, other Astrocade mentions
                    > May 1982
                    > >>
                    >
                    > Here is a link to the whole issue (the interview is on page 46):
                    >
                    > http://www.bombjack.org/commodore/magazines/electronic-games/pdf/Electronic_Games_Issue_03_Vol_01_03_1982_May.zip
                    >
                    > I'm reading the article now.
                    >
                    > Adam
                    >

                  • Michael Di Salvo
                    I guess everyone was jumping on the voice bandwagon back then.  Too bad they didn t have this in place for the Incredible Wizard... -Michael  128K. Your
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jul 1, 2011
                      I guess everyone was jumping on the voice bandwagon back then.  Too bad they didn't have this in place for the Incredible Wizard...
                       
                      -Michael
                       
                      128K. Your Life Will Never Be The Same.



                      From: Paul Thacker <lennier_of_the_minbari@...>
                      To: ballyalley@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Fri, July 1, 2011 12:21:21 PM
                      Subject: Re: [ballyalley] Electronic Games, Issues 2 AND 8 articles [was: Astrocade references update]

                       

                      Hmmm, voice synthesis on Astrocade games?  I don't remember hearing about plans for that before.  I wonder if it would have required some sort of extra hardware, or if they were just going to use the regular sound abilities to sort of approximate a few words.

                      Paul

                      --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Flash Angstrom <fangs301@...> wrote:

                      From: Flash Angstrom <fangs301@...>
                      Subject: [ballyalley] Electronic Games, Issues 2 AND 8 articles [was: Astrocade references update]
                      To: ballyalley@yahoogroups.com
                      Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 10:37 AM

                       

                      The first one's easy - the only mention in Electronic Games, Issue 2, Volume 1 Number 2, Mar. 1982 is page 22 "A Decade of Programmable Video Games" 1978 history

                         For customers interested in a gaming computer, Bally offered the Professional Arcade.  It featured a fantastic collection of sports and arcade titles enhanced by audio-visual effects almost as good as those on the coin-op devices.
                      [Not as interesting as the Bob Ogden interview in Issue 3, eh?]

                       

                      Jumping ahead to: Electronic Games, Issue 8, Volume 1 Number 8, Oct. 1982

                      As promised, page 10 has the first "The National Arcade Scoreboard", adding
                      * The Incredible Wizard (Astrocade) - One player, Easy Difficulty

                      Galactic Invasion / Astrocade / Astrocade / Difficulty #1
                         99,999 - Steve Sabolich, no address given.
                      [Is this a real score?  Does it roll over after this??]

                       

                      Page 35, "Previews of the New Videogames" excerpt
                      "Here Are the Cartridges We'll Soon Be Playing" by ARNIE KATZ & BILL KUNKEL

                      ASTROCADE
                         Sporting a new name and a fantastic system-seller in The Incredible Wizard (from Wizard of Wor designer Bob Ogdon), Astrocade promises an improved keyboard  (the Z Grass 200) and a batch of new games including Conan the Barbarian and G.I. Joe.  The latter is a highly dressed-up version of the independently-produced Artillery Duel.  Astrocade has also been talking with other underground Astro game designers, such as Wavemakers and Arcadians which began programming games on cassette a few years ago when Bally retrenched with the system.
                         New Astrocade releases include Soccer, Solar Conqueror and Cosmic Raiders with voice synthesis reportedly on the way.

                       

                      Page 44 & 45, "Player's Guide to Electronic Football" excerpt
                      "Can You Win the Video Super Bowl?  Think You Really Know Your Football?  Find Out with These Gridiron Videogames!"

                      ASTROCADE FOOTBALL
                         If Mattel's NFL Football is the game for those who may be more interested in the gridiron than the game board, this cartridge is Electronic Games' pick for those whose interests are centered mostly on playing videogames. The reason is that though Astrocade Football is far from simple and includes much of the flavor of the real game, it is considerably easier and quicker to learn than the Intellivision version.
                         The secret is in the play selection process.  Like NFL Football, this simulation comes with a little playbook for the offense (defense is more freewheeling here).  The difference is that, in this case, the playbook is only a reminder to which the players may want to occasionally refer.  The real business of deciding what to do after the ball is hiked from scrimmage takes place right on the screen using a straightforward menu-driven system.
                         The control system also promotes each play.  Pushing the joystick springs the ball and controls the quarterback's direction of movement.  The knob directs the angle of the passer's arm, thereby governing the flight of the ball, which is thrown by pulling trigger.  Once the ball's in the air, the offensive coach's control automatically shifts to the receiver (the flanker) who runs patterns along the top of the TV display.
                         Another good point for this game is that it can be played by four instead of two.  On defense. each human controls one cornerback, while on offense the alternate receiver who runs along the bottom of the screen is under direct control of one of the co-coaches.


                      [Page 46 defines "standard" programmable videogame systems as Odyssey and Atari VCS, and the more powerful "senior" programmables as Astrocade and Intellivision.]

                       

                      [an AstroCade ad appears down on page 67]

                       

                      "Games Library" By CHARLENE KOMAR on page 86 lists "Ken Uston's Guide to Buying and Beating the Home Video Games (Signet $3.95)" as covering the Astrocade.


                      BALmisc docsLY

                       

                      --- In ballyalley@yahoogroups.com, Adam Trionfo <ballyalley@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Paul Thacker wrote:
                      > >>
                      > Electronic Games
                      > Interview with Bob Ogden, other Astrocade mentions
                      > May 1982
                      > >>
                      >
                      > Here is a link to the whole issue (the interview is on page 46):
                      >
                      > http://www.bombjack.org/commodore/magazines/electronic-games/pdf/Electronic_Games_Issue_03_Vol_01_03_1982_May.zip
                      >
                      > I'm reading the article now.
                      >
                      > Adam
                      >

                    • Bill Loguidice
                      Yeah, it s a shame that the only pre-crash system to support voice on Wizard of Wor was the C-64, and that was only with the little-supported Magic Voice
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jul 1, 2011
                        Yeah, it's a shame that the only pre-crash system to support voice on Wizard of Wor was the C-64, and that was only with the little-supported Magic Voice add-on. It would have definitely made the superb Incredible Wizard and Atari 5200 Wizard of Wor versions all the better.

                        I'm a huge fan of pre-crash speech synthesis. The "problem" was tackled in so many amazing ways, from hardware add-ons to in-cartridge chips to clever software-only implementations. Certainly systems with far worse sound than the Astrocade had competent software-only solutions (like the Apple II), but it probably would have ultimately been extremely difficult due to memory constraints on the Astrocade. On the console side, every major system had talking games - Atari 2600, Odyssey2, Intellivision, ColecoVision, Vectrex, and Atari 5200. That's certainly one indicator that the Astrocade was in the second tier of systems at the time (which included the Channel F and Arcadia 2001, among others)...

                        -Bill

                        On Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 12:46 PM, Michael Di Salvo <msdconsulting@...> wrote:
                         

                        I guess everyone was jumping on the voice bandwagon back then.  Too bad they didn't have this in place for the Incredible Wizard...
                         
                        -Michael
                         
                        128K. Your Life Will Never Be The Same.


                      • Michael Di Salvo
                        Bill- What game(s) talked on the 2600?  I sold my 2600 system and games back then to finance my ColecoVision purchase, so I really didn t keep up with the
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jul 1, 2011
                          Bill-
                           
                          What game(s) talked on the 2600?  I sold my 2600 system and games back then to finance my ColecoVision purchase, so I really didn't keep up with the system after that. 
                           
                          -Michael
                           
                          128K. Your Life Will Never Be The Same.



                          From: Bill Loguidice <bill@...>
                          To: ballyalley@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Fri, July 1, 2011 12:56:37 PM
                          Subject: Re: [ballyalley] Electronic Games, Issues 2 AND 8 articles [was: Astrocade references update]

                           


                          Yeah, it's a shame that the only pre-crash system to support voice on Wizard of Wor was the C-64, and that was only with the little-supported Magic Voice add-on. It would have definitely made the superb Incredible Wizard and Atari 5200 Wizard of Wor versions all the better.

                          I'm a huge fan of pre-crash speech synthesis. The "problem" was tackled in so many amazing ways, from hardware add-ons to in-cartridge chips to clever software-only implementations. Certainly systems with far worse sound than the Astrocade had competent software-only solutions (like the Apple II), but it probably would have ultimately been extremely difficult due to memory constraints on the Astrocade. On the console side, every major system had talking games - Atari 2600, Odyssey2, Intellivision, ColecoVision, Vectrex, and Atari 5200. That's certainly one indicator that the Astrocade was in the second tier of systems at the time (which included the Channel F and Arcadia 2001, among others)...

                          -Bill

                          On Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 12:46 PM, Michael Di Salvo <msdconsulting@...> wrote:
                           

                          I guess everyone was jumping on the voice bandwagon back then.  Too bad they didn't have this in place for the Incredible Wizard...
                           
                          -Michael
                           
                          128K. Your Life Will Never Be The Same.


                        • Bill Loguidice
                          Only Quadrun, which said, Quadrun . The programmer naturally said it was very tough fitting it in, but he was able to do it and still make it sound legible.
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jul 1, 2011
                            Only Quadrun, which said, "Quadrun". The programmer naturally said it was very tough fitting it in, but he was able to do it and still make it sound legible. It doesn't count for purposes of this discussion, but the AtariVox allows modern day homebrews to make use of speech, and hacks of original games (Berzerk has a voice enhanced version)...

                            -Bill



                            On Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 1:55 PM, Michael Di Salvo <msdconsulting@...> wrote:
                             

                            Bill-
                             
                            What game(s) talked on the 2600?  I sold my 2600 system and games back then to finance my ColecoVision purchase, so I really didn't keep up with the system after that. 
                             
                            -Michael
                             
                            128K. Your Life Will Never Be The Same.



                            From: Bill Loguidice <bill@...>
                            To: ballyalley@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Fri, July 1, 2011 12:56:37 PM
                            Subject: Re: [ballyalley] Electronic Games, Issues 2 AND 8 articles [was: Astrocade references update]

                             


                            Yeah, it's a shame that the only pre-crash system to support voice on Wizard of Wor was the C-64, and that was only with the little-supported Magic Voice add-on. It would have definitely made the superb Incredible Wizard and Atari 5200 Wizard of Wor versions all the better.

                            I'm a huge fan of pre-crash speech synthesis. The "problem" was tackled in so many amazing ways, from hardware add-ons to in-cartridge chips to clever software-only implementations. Certainly systems with far worse sound than the Astrocade had competent software-only solutions (like the Apple II), but it probably would have ultimately been extremely difficult due to memory constraints on the Astrocade. On the console side, every major system had talking games - Atari 2600, Odyssey2, Intellivision, ColecoVision, Vectrex, and Atari 5200. That's certainly one indicator that the Astrocade was in the second tier of systems at the time (which included the Channel F and Arcadia 2001, among others)...

                            -Bill

                            On Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 12:46 PM, Michael Di Salvo <msdconsulting@...> wrote:
                             

                            I guess everyone was jumping on the voice bandwagon back then.  Too bad they didn't have this in place for the Incredible Wizard...
                             
                            -Michael
                             
                            128K. Your Life Will Never Be The Same.



                          • toby wickwire
                            I think there is also a European 2600 game with voice, Open Sesame or something like that. Toby
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jul 1, 2011
                              I think there is also a European 2600 game with voice, Open Sesame or something like that.

                              Toby

                              On Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 11:33 AM, Bill Loguidice <bill@...> wrote:
                               

                              Only Quadrun, which said, "Quadrun". The programmer naturally said it was very tough fitting it in, but he was able to do it and still make it sound legible. It doesn't count for purposes of this discussion, but the AtariVox allows modern day homebrews to make use of speech, and hacks of original games (Berzerk has a voice enhanced version)...


                              -Bill




                              On Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 1:55 PM, Michael Di Salvo <msdconsulting@...> wrote:
                               

                              Bill-
                               
                              What game(s) talked on the 2600?  I sold my 2600 system and games back then to finance my ColecoVision purchase, so I really didn't keep up with the system after that. 
                               
                              -Michael
                               
                              128K. Your Life Will Never Be The Same.



                              From: Bill Loguidice <bill@...>
                              To: ballyalley@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Fri, July 1, 2011 12:56:37 PM
                              Subject: Re: [ballyalley] Electronic Games, Issues 2 AND 8 articles [was: Astrocade references update]

                               


                              Yeah, it's a shame that the only pre-crash system to support voice on Wizard of Wor was the C-64, and that was only with the little-supported Magic Voice add-on. It would have definitely made the superb Incredible Wizard and Atari 5200 Wizard of Wor versions all the better.

                              I'm a huge fan of pre-crash speech synthesis. The "problem" was tackled in so many amazing ways, from hardware add-ons to in-cartridge chips to clever software-only implementations. Certainly systems with far worse sound than the Astrocade had competent software-only solutions (like the Apple II), but it probably would have ultimately been extremely difficult due to memory constraints on the Astrocade. On the console side, every major system had talking games - Atari 2600, Odyssey2, Intellivision, ColecoVision, Vectrex, and Atari 5200. That's certainly one indicator that the Astrocade was in the second tier of systems at the time (which included the Channel F and Arcadia 2001, among others)...

                              -Bill

                              On Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 12:46 PM, Michael Di Salvo <msdconsulting@...> wrote:
                               

                              I guess everyone was jumping on the voice bandwagon back then.  Too bad they didn't have this in place for the Incredible Wizard...
                               
                              -Michael
                               
                              128K. Your Life Will Never Be The Same.




                            • Paul Thacker
                              I ve made another small update to the Astrocade references list in the files area. I removed the Electronic Games entry now that this issue is available. I ve
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jul 2, 2011
                                I've made another small update to the Astrocade references list in the files area. I removed the Electronic Games entry now that this issue is available. I've also added the Business Week article referenced by "Entrepreneurship Creativity & Organization: Text, Cases & Readings" by John Kao, with at least some content from John Perkins.

                                Paul

                                --- In ballyalley@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Thacker" <lennier_of_the_minbari@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > I've made a small update to the list of Astrocade references in the files area. I've added this entry:
                                >
                                >
                                > Electronic Games
                                >
                                > Interview with Bob Ogden, other Astrocade mentions
                                > May 1982
                                >
                                > Where did I find this?: Arcadian volume 4, issue 6, page 57
                                >
                                > How interesting is this? Very interesting. Bob Ogden is a well-known cartridge programmer.
                                >
                                >
                                > I just happened to run into this one, so there may be more such articles mentioned in the Arcadian.
                                >
                                > Paul
                                >
                              • Flash Angstrom
                                The letter from Electronic Games, Issue 9, Volume 1 Number 9, Nov. 1982 was already on BallyAlley.com as a PDF http://tinyurl.com/y9d7s4p
                                Message 15 of 18 , Jul 5, 2011

                                  The letter from Electronic Games, Issue 9, Volume 1 Number 9, Nov. 1982 was already on BallyAlley.com as a PDF
                                  http://tinyurl.com/y9d7s4p

                                  but here's the text from "Reader Replay" on page 16

                                  EXPRESS STOP?
                                     I am a long time owner of the Bally/Astrocade and the original Bally BASIC cartridge.  Subscribing to the Arcadian and Bally Express newsletters more than adequately filled the void left by the lack of new games produced by Bally or Astro.  Last year, without warning, I stopped receiving the Express.  They don't answer our letters and they still owe me a year's subscription.  Can you investigate?
                                           Alfonzo Smith Jr.
                                           Cleveland, OH

                                     Ed: We can and did.  A few quick phone calls have determined that the Express has run off the tracks.  Attempts to contact Fred Cornett, the newsletter's publisher, have so far been unsuccessful.  Keep an eye out, however, for the January issue of EG which will contain a piece entitled "The Astrocade Underground", the saga of the gamers who refused to take the lack of new software lying down.  The article will deal with the various independent game designers, such as Mike Peace of Wavemakers, and the publications, such as the new software source book and Bob Fabris' Arcadian.

                                  note: This article seems to have become the JOYSTIK magazine's September, 1983 "ASTROCADE'S UNDERGROUND", on-line as
                                  http://www.ballyalley.com/articles_and_news/Astrocade%27s_Underground%20(Joystik)(Sept%201983).pdf

                                   

                                  Included in "PROGRAMMABLE PARADE" By BILL KUNKEL AND ARNIE KATZ is this review on page 32

                                  PIRATE CHASE
                                  Astrocade/Astrocade
                                     Meet the game in the plain brown wrapper.  Pirate Chase is a two-player contest that may well prove highly habit-forming to videogamers.  It really doesn't look like much, but its play mechanic certainly produces a bumper crop of close calls and thrilling confrontations.
                                     Using the joystick portion of the Astrocade controller, each player moves his on-screen symbol vertically, horizontally or diagonally across a rectangular playfield composed of regularly spaced dots.  The result is something that might be called a maze-less gobble game, since passing over a dot removes it from the screen and adds its point value to the appropriate player's total.  Periodically, special bonus prizes appear at random points on the screen (but always replacing an ordinary dot).  These are generally worth 100 points multiplied by the level at which the game is then being played.  After the combatants cycle through an array of trinkets and goodies, the game returns to the first bonus prize for another go-around.
                                     Besides racing against the other player to see who accumulates the greatest number of dots and bonus objects, both joystick wielders must always flee from the pirate.  This nautical no-goodnik, symbolized by the traditional skull and crossbones, takes one of the player's precious lives whenever it catches up with the corresponding symbol on the playfield.
                                     The missing ingredient - about the only one in an otherwise solid cartridge is the visual element.  Pirate Chase doesn't look all that attractive, though "plain" would be a better description than "ugly".  Let's hope that Astrocade owners have the sense to look past the wrapping to see the gem buried inside.
                                     If electronic game-lovers are able to unshackle themselves from the prejudices of this intensely graphics-oriented period in the hobby, their reward will be a first-rate action contest.  Its non-stop play routine, although admittedly somewhat repetitive in longer rounds, is positively riveting.
                                     One of the key factors which does the most to build excitement during play is the (intentionally?) imprecise steering.  It is really quite difficult to steer a straight course, much less make sharp turns.  As a result, both players frequently end up circling a particularly juicy bonus object like flies buzzing around a pot of honey.
                                     As must be the case with any game that includes an open playfield and a merciless robot attacker, strategy is fairly fluid in Pirate Chase.
                                     In general, the best advice is to make as few turns as possible when scooping up all of the dots and prizes.  That golden scoring opportunity occurs when the pirate has caught the other player and your symbol is still active.  This is the time to concentrate on hitting the bonus objective.
                                     Pirate Chase's dull visuals notwithstanding, offers the rare chance to compete head to head.
                                  [Glad someone appreciates the gameplay and that the difficulty was intended.]

                                   


                                  That's six EG issues worth of Astrocade mentions.  The remaining twelve archived probably only have bankrupcy notices, so I'll check them later.


                                  BALmisc docsLY

                                   

                                  > --- In ballyalley@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Thacker"

                                  > lennier_of_the_minbari@ wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > I've made a small update to the list of Astrocade references in the
                                  > files area. I've added this entry:
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Electronic Games
                                  > >
                                  > > Interview with Bob Ogden, other Astrocade mentions
                                  > > May 1982
                                  > >
                                  > > Where did I find this?: Arcadian volume 4, issue 6, page 57
                                  > >
                                  > > How interesting is this? Very interesting. Bob Ogden is a well-known
                                  > cartridge programmer.
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > I just happened to run into this one, so there may be more such
                                  > articles mentioned in the Arcadian.
                                  > >
                                  > > Paul
                                  > >
                                  >

                                • Flash Angstrom
                                  Speaking of that Joystik article, here it is wrapped at 79 columns JOYSTIK magazine 1983 September, pages 18 - 21 ASTROCADE S UNDERGROUND by Danny Goodman
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Jul 5, 2011
                                    Speaking of that Joystik article, here it is wrapped at 79 columns


                                    JOYSTIK magazine 1983 September, pages 18 - 21


                                    "ASTROCADE'S UNDERGROUND"
                                    by Danny Goodman

                                    You can't really call the group an "underground," because it operates openly,
                                    almost vocally. But few of the millions of Atari, Mattel, Odyssey and Coleco
                                    players are aware that an entire cottage industry has grown around the highly
                                    rated, but rarely seen, Astrocade Professional Arcade system. To gain
                                    appreciation for the third~party support out there, consider that almost 400
                                    individual programs are currently available for the Astrocade - more than for
                                    the Atari 2600 and Mattel Intellivision combined.

                                    In conversations, correspondence and meetings with several members of the group,
                                    I found a common thread of intense dedication to keeping the Professional Arcade
                                    alive. Despite the up-and-down activities of the system's producers over the
                                    years, the Arcade guerrillas are keeping the faith.

                                    The Astrocade system started on the hilly home game road back in 1977 as the
                                    Bally Professional Arcade, a programmable home game from the people that brought
                                    us blockbuster arcade videogames of the 1970's like Gunfight and Checkmate.
                                    After meeting with minimal success in the home market (many of the Arcade
                                    guerrillas maintain it was a half-hearted attempt anyway), Bally in 1980 sold
                                    off the Professional Arcade to a newly formed company called Astrovision. To
                                    confuse the matter even more, Astrovision later changed its name — and the name
                                    of the system - to Astrocade to prevent mix ups with the popular cartridge
                                    maker, Activision.

                                    Since the early part of this year, however, Astrocade has been operating under
                                    Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy laws as they try to extricate themselves
                                    from financial difficulty. Product shipments and planned introduction of new
                                    cartridges has been irregular, and no one is quite sure what the fate of the
                                    Professional Arcade will be. But this turn of events has not deterred the
                                    Astrocade guerrillas in the slightest.

                                    Three features about the Professional Arcade attracted early advocates.
                                    Foremost was the system's combined graphics and sound capability, which was very
                                    advanced for 1977 and has only recently been surpassed by the likes of the Atari
                                    5200 and Colecovision. Second, a plug-in cartridge - at first an accessory,
                                    later included with the console at no extra charge - let the user create
                                    computer games and other applications using the console's calculator-like
                                    keyboard for program entry and a cassette recorder for program storage. That
                                    cartridge was the Bally BASIC programming cartridge (later upgraded under the
                                    Astrocade BASIC name). With the cartridge and the well-written Astro BASIC
                                    tutorial manual, anyone with the time and inclination could become a game
                                    designer within the confines of the system's 1.8K memory and the speed of the
                                    BASIC language.

                                    Third, there was a promise from Bally, and carried over by Astrocade, that
                                    a keyboard add-under would turn the Professional Arcade into a powerful
                                    graphics-oriented computer. The most recent incarnation of the add-under,
                                    called the Z-Grass 100, has not yet made it to market, but rumors are
                                    circulating that another company will have the Z-Grass ready this year.

                                    But, while users patiently awaited the Z-Grass, they were busy writing programs
                                    with the BASIC cartridge. Some designed programs just for fun, but others, like
                                    professional musician Mike Peace, eventually turned game design into a thriving
                                    business.

                                    Mike's company, Wavemakers (Box 94801, Schaumburg, IL 60193), now offers 18
                                    different cassette tapes that load directly into the BASIC cartridge. In
                                    addition to featuring some very original games, his catalog also includes a
                                    unique guitar course that uses the Arcades tone generator to tune a guitar.
                                    Combined with graphics, the musical program teaches you fingering of chords
                                    and chord progressions for folk, blues, etc.

                                    Tom McConnell, who originally bought his Arcade because he liked the
                                    invaders-type cartridge, learned that programming in BASIC isn't all that
                                    difficult. He now runs Tiny Arcade (Box 1043, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223) which
                                    produces many titles. Omega Valley, although not as graphically appealing as
                                    you see on other home systems, is nonetheless a game with three simultaneous
                                    waves of spaceships to fight off on three different screens.

                                    One of the most complex maze games on any home game system is L&M Software's
                                    (8599 Framewood Dr., Newburgh, IN 47630) Secret of Pellucitar. In this contest,
                                    you must guide a miniscule cursor through obscenely narrow channels without
                                    touching any of the walls. The steadier your hand and the faster you are,
                                    the better your score and rating at the end.

                                    And, what is a first tor the Arcade, Spectre Systems (Box 1741, Dearborn, MI
                                    48121) is producing a third-party plug-in cartridge, called Treasure Cove.
                                    Aimed primarily at the younger set (although it is no piece of cake, by any
                                    means), the game features a diver which you must guide down to the bottom of the
                                    sea to recover treasures one-by-one and return them to the ship above. Hassling
                                    you every glub of the way are numerous sea creatures, any one of which will
                                    spell an end to your diver's life. And you can't dally, either, because you
                                    have limited oxygen with which to retrieve each treasure.

                                    Treasure Cove departs from the Arcade tradition of presenting a menu screen
                                    at the beginning. Instead, a colorful title screen appears. There is also a
                                    singularly pleasant musical backdrop to the entire cartridge, with a series of
                                    three different nautical tunes playing at all times (disengageable, too). The
                                    score was produced by Arcade musical expert George Moses, who offers several
                                    tapes of his realizations of all types of music for the Arcade, plus a music
                                    development system (P.O. Box 686, Brighton, MI 43116).

                                    Software isn't the only part of the Arcade receiving attention from the
                                    guerrilla forces. Memory expansions and more sophisticated development tools
                                    help bring homebrewed programs very close to the level of the plug-in cartridges
                                    available from Astrocade.

                                    Memory suppliers include: R&L Enterprises (2901 Willens Dr., Suite 6, Northlake,
                                    IL 60164) with their 64K RAM board; Alternative Engineering Corporation (P.O.
                                    Box 128, Gardiner, ME 04345) whose full line of Arcade accessories include Viper
                                    memory boards, a keyboard for easier programming, RS-232 interface and others;
                                    and Perkins Engineering (1004 Pleasant Ave., Boyne City, Ml 49712) whose
                                    offerings include Blue Ram memory, printer interface and BSR lighting/appliance
                                    controller interface.

                                    Mike Peace at Wavemakers has also developed a number of his games in Blue Ram
                                    versions. Additional memory allows him to create the game screens in four
                                    colors, instead of the regular BASIC's two-color limits. Particularly
                                    impressive are his renderings of Dungeons of Dracula, Flying Ace, and his newest
                                    creation, The Gate Escape, which has rotating gates similar to the ones in the
                                    arcade game/Colecovision adaptation Lady Bug.

                                    Mike demonstrated some of the graphics development tools he has designed for
                                    both Astro and Blue Ram BASlC. Inside of three minutes right before my eyes, he
                                    issued a few commands that generated girder-like constructions for a Donkey Kong
                                    type of screen background. It made some of the big computerized development
                                    systems I've seen at the giant cartridge makers look primitive.

                                    For those with a little bit of Z-80 microprocessor programming experience, or
                                    at least the desire to learn, The Bit Fiddlers (P.O. Box 11023, San Diego, CA
                                    92111) makes a Machine Language Manager (MLM) cartridge that helps you design
                                    machine language subroutines for faster and smoother character action than is
                                    possible with BASIC alone. Andy Guevara of The Bit Fiddlers developed the MLM
                                    because he found the standard BASIC language to be too slow for the games he has
                                    envisioned. Thus, you will see Andy's imprint on many of the better games
                                    developed by other Arcade game makers.

                                    The extent to which the Arcade is supported by third-party suppliers is
                                    well-documented in Richard Houser's semi-annual Sourcebook, a listing of every
                                    program and related product available. Lest you think this is just a skimpy
                                    newsletter, the book is 114 pages, complete with many detailed advertisements
                                    for the products listed. If you have an Astrocade, you can't be without the
                                    latest edition (RMH Enterprises, 635 Los Alamos Ave., Livermore, CA 94550).

                                    Of course, the followers of the Arcade didn't always have it so easy. In fact,
                                    much of the credit for keeping the Arcade alive over the years can be attributed
                                    to one gentleman. "Bob Fabris in particular is largely responsible for saving
                                    the Astrocade system. His monthly ARCADIAN newsletter kept users informed and
                                    interested during the 'long dry spell' between Bally's decision to give up and
                                    Astrocade's purchase of the system," writes Guy McLimore, Jr., of ABC
                                    Hobbycraft, a major Arcade hardware and software dealer (2155 E. Morgan Ave.,
                                    Evansville, IN 47711).

                                    Bob Fabris is still the editor of the ARCADIAN. Each issue of the ARCADIAN
                                    contains a wealth of information. In addition to the latest gossip about the
                                    future of Astrocade, there are loads of BASIC program listings, reviews, and
                                    frequent programming tutorials for BASIC and Assembly Language. Further
                                    information is available from Bob at 3626 Morrie Drive, San Jose, CA 95127-9990.

                                    As you may have noticed from the addresses of most of the suppliers, there seems
                                    to be a pocket of intense interest in the midwest, particularly Michigan and
                                    Ohio. There is little wonder, then, that one of the strongest local user's
                                    groups is the Michigan Astrobugs User's Group (59400 Nine Mile, South Lyon, MI
                                    48178). The group has been known to draw a hundred Arcade followers to its
                                    meetings.

                                    As a group and as individuals, the Arcade guerrillas are a dedicated lot -
                                    more so than any player's group following the other home systems. Remember
                                    that these Arcade followers are doing more than simply massaging a joystick to
                                    the rhythm of a professional game designer's beat; they are taking an active
                                    role, doing the actual designing, production and marketing of the products
                                    themselves.

                                    In all my years of writing about video games and computers, never have I run
                                    across a group so willing to help with information and examples of their work.
                                    It certainly can't be easy for them to sustain interest and enthusiasm for a
                                    system that never seems to catch on with the masses. Yet the frustration, if
                                    there is any, is not evident. On the contrary, the disappointment in Bally's
                                    and Astrocade's ability to get "The Word" across to the home game buying public
                                    almost seems to link these survivors more closely together. They continue to
                                    explore the capabilities of a wonderful system and stretch their knowledge about
                                    its inner workings to new limits. They are forever sharing tidbits they unearth
                                    about the system.

                                    Brett Bilbrey, who started publishing his BASIC games in the ARCADIAN a few
                                    years ago and has graduated to the design of the Treasure Cove cartridge, speaks
                                    for every Astrocade guerrilla when he resolutely states, "We're not going to
                                    give up on the Astrocade system."


                                    Photography by Donna Preis and George Siede



                                    Google OCR'ed, cleaned up by me


                                    --- In ballyalley@yahoogroups.com, "Flash Angstrom" <fangs301@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > [...]
                                    > JOYSTIK magazine's September, 1983 "ASTROCADE'S UNDERGROUND"
                                    > [...]
                                    >
                                    > BALmisc docsLY
                                    >
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