Vintage Games Book Bonus Chapter 2 Released - "Pinball Construction Set: Launching Millions of Creative Possibilities"

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Bill Loguidice
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PCS
Matt Barton wrote:

Good news: Slashdot ran with the story, too!

I haven't looked at the comments yet (brace for impact!), but I appreciate the added exposure. Thanks, Soulskill!

As expected, we've gotten good coverage everywhere on this. Pong (the first bonus chapter) is too tired, but PCS is something fresh. That's why it was important for me to include PCS in the book, along with some of the other games.

I haven't seen one negative comment and I really didn't expect to in this case. All I've seen are people reminiscing fondly and mentioning a few of their favorite construction sets or games that didn't necessarily receive a direct mention.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Rowdy Rob
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Negatives
Bill Loguidice wrote:

I haven't seen one negative comment and I really didn't expect to in this case. All I've seen are people reminiscing fondly and mentioning a few of their favorite construction sets or games that didn't necessarily receive a direct mention.

There's really nothing to be negative about, particularly to the audience in question. It does the job, and the older reader is transported back to the 80's, and can't help but reminisce.

You guys may have inadvertently stumbled on the next great marketing tactic for books: bonus (or sample) chapters! As Matt says, the bonus chapters are clearly driving sales up.

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

davyK
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Just had a quick scan of the

Just had a quick scan of the article and seems to be up to the expected quality. Maybe I missed it but its a pity that Dezeamon was excluded? I have #2 for the Sega Saturn and its a comprehensive 2D shmup construction kit, compatible with the Saturn mouse, and is quite daunting due the scale and depth of what can be done. Thankfully there's a handful of excellent sample games included.

Indeed there is a piece of homebrew software that allows Dezaemon 2 owners to play over 100 games that people have created once burned to CDROM (modded consoles only unfortunately). The software basically allows you to copy a game config from the CD into the Saturn's backup memory cartridge. The user the boots up Dezeamon2 and starts the game from the cartridge.

The developers use the Action replay cartidge's comms port to not only develop this software , but to get the game config save off the Saturn onto CDROM.

link: http://thesaturnjunkyard.blogspot.com/2007/12/dezaemon-2-shmup-galore.html

Bill Loguidice
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No, no Dezaemon

No, no Dezaemon, Saturn or N64 (don't recall seeing it for any other platform). A bit too obscure for such an article (and I don't even think there's an English-specific version available, right?), but it's certainly implied by mention of the others like it in the article. Another interesting game of that variety is Blastworks for the Wii, which I actually own. It's a surprisingly progressive product for the platform with a decent online component.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Bill Loguidice
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PCS Postscript

Obviously Raster Blaster was also released on the Atari 8-bit in 1982. That was probably worth a mention in a footnote, though it's unimportant in the grand scheme of the article as PCS itself came out in 1982, kind of trumping mention of something incidental like that. (I'm not aware of any other official ports of Raster Blaster, though. Anyone know?)

Also, it would have been nice to mention in the footnote that's in the article/chapter on the PS3's PAIN, that Budge has a credit, as one of the Engineers on the Tools Team.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Calibrator
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Bill Budge
Bill Loguidice wrote:

Obviously Raster Blaster was also released on the Atari 8-bit in 1982. That was probably worth a mention in a footnote, though it's unimportant in the grand scheme of the article as PCS itself came out in 1982, kind of trumping mention of something incidental like that.

The Atari platform has its shares of wonders but these pinball games first and foremost aren't games that make the Atari shine. Sure, they run nearly equally well as on the Apple but they don't make special use of the Ataris capabilities.

These pinball games are frame buffer based games, like most of the early graphical RPGs - also done well on the Apple - relying not on hardware sprites (player-missile graphics in the case of the Atari), many colors or other funny stuff like display interrupts, but depend plain and simple on the intelligent manipulation of the frame buffer.

It took a special sort of assembler programmer for this, someone with an emphasis on math and memory manipulation. Twiddling custom chip registers wasn't a priority here.

Bill Budge wasn't without a reason one of the most prolific Apple II graphics programmers - he not only made computer pinball games a reality but did also work on 3D stuff (math again...), drawing proportional fonts and the basis for GUIs: Very fast blitting of large areas to and from the frame buffer (for drawing windows).

Though others could've done the same job, he was clearly the right man (knowledgable and eager to experiment) at the right time to push things forward.

Here's some Apple folklore...

Quote:

(I'm not aware of any other official ports of Raster Blaster, though. Anyone know?)

That is also my knowledge. Especially no C64-version (which would've been the most likely) and after PCS probably nobody wanted one anyway.

For some tidbits about dates see here...

Quote:

Also, it would have been nice to mention in the footnote that's in the article/chapter on the PS3's PAIN, that Budge has a credit, as one of the Engineers on the Tools Team.

While I think that it's great that Budge appears again publicly - albeit not really exposed - I wonder how much influence he (or Clint Bajakian of Lucas Arts fame, credited as "Senior Music Supervisor" at Sony) actually had on this game.

take care,
Calibrator

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Bill Loguidice
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More PCS

Nice stuff. It's a shame though that like most other places on the net, there's no mention of the earlier BudgeCo release of PCS. Hopefully the Gamasutra piece will help create awareness of that. When you're talking about a groundbreaking work, the difference of a year earlier is huge.

Quote:

Also, it would have been nice to mention in the footnote that's in the article/chapter on the PS3's PAIN, that Budge has a credit, as one of the Engineers on the Tools Team.

While I think that it's great that Budge appears again publicly - albeit not really exposed - I wonder how much influence he (or Clint Bajakian of Lucas Arts fame, credited as "Senior Music Supervisor" at Sony) actually had on this game.

take care,
Calibrator
[/quote]

Absolutely, but it's a funny coincidence that when I mentioned PAIN in the piece, he happened to have a credit on the game.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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davyK
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The 1st was on the SNES if

The 1st was on the SNES if memory serves...but was limited due to storage space. And yes, as far as I know it was only a Japanese release.

Bill Loguidice
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SNES - Lots of interesting titles
davyK wrote:

The 1st was on the SNES if memory serves...but was limited due to storage space. And yes, as far as I know it was only a Japanese release.

Interesting, I wasn't aware of that. The SNES also received the spritual successor to Racing Destruction Set (RDS) called "RPM Racing", which was one of the few games that used that system's low color mode. Eventually an even-further-from RDS successor to RPM called "Rock and Roll Racing" did utilize the standard full color mode. I never did get the connection back-in-the-day those two games had to RDS, but it certainly makes me want to track down a copy of RPM Racing now!

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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Another nice mention of the

Another nice mention of the bonus chapter: From PCS to LBP: user-generated content through the eras. Thanks, Mr. Boyer!

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