::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
 :: Volume 2, Issue 3      JAGUAR EXPLORER ONLINE       October 18, 1998 ::
 ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
 ::                                                                      ::
 :: JAGUAR ............. News, Reviews, & Solutions ............. JAGUAR ::
 ::    EXPLORER ........... For the Online Jaguar .......... EXPLORER    ::
 ::       ONLINE ................ Community ............... ONLINE       ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::      Published and Copyright (c) 1998 by White Space Publishers      ::
 ::                          All Rights Reserved                         ::
 ::     """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""     ::
 ::     Publisher Emeritus Plus .................... Michael Lindsay     ::
 ::     Publisher Emeritus .............................. Travis Guy     ::
 ::     Editor/Publisher ............................ Clay Halliwell     ::
 ::     Lynx Editor .................................... Carl Forhan     ::
 ::     JEO Mailing List Maintainer .................. Joachim Vance     ::
 ::     Genie Uploader .............................. Clay Halliwell     ::
 ::     CompuServe Uploader ......................... Richard Turner     ::
 ::     America Online Uploader ....................... Lonnie Smith     ::
 ::     FidoNet Uploader ................................ Troy Cheek     ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::                             Contributors:                            ::
 ::                       (voluntary and otherwise)                      ::
 ::                       """""""""""""""""""""""""                      ::
 ::                Don Thomas, Mark Santora, Scott Le Grand              ::
 ::                 Kevin Manne, Wes Powell, Fard Muhammad               ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::                      Telecommunicated to you via:                    ::
 ::                      """"""""""""""""""""""""""""                    ::
 ::                     GEnie: ST/JAGUAR RT Library 15                   ::
 ::        AOL: VIDEO GAMES FORUM Hints, Tips and Tricks II Library      ::
 ::               CompuServe: ATARIGAMING and VIDGAME Forums             ::
 ::                  FidoNet: ATARI_ST and VID_GAME Echoes               ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::       World Wide Web: http://www.atarihq.com/jeo/                    ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::       E-Mail Request address: JEO-request@maximized.com              ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::       To subscribe to JEO, send e-mail to the request address,       ::
 ::       with the following line (no subject):                          ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::       subscribe JEO                                                  ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::       Your request will be automatically processed and your e-mail   ::
 ::       address will be subscribed to the list. To unsubscribe from    ::
 ::       the JEO list, send the following:                              ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::       unsubscribe JEO                                                ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::       to the same request address, making sure you send it from      ::
 ::       the same address you subscribed from.                          ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::       Subscription problems requiring human assistance can be sent   ::
 ::       to JEO-help@maximized.com.  Thanks to Maximized Software for   ::
 ::       hosting the JEO list.                                          ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


                             Table of Contents

* From the Editor ................................... No More Missing Lynx.

* JEO Trivia Challenge III: The Questions .............. Strain Your Brain.

* Jaguar Tackboard .................. Newsletters, Message Boards, Mailing
                                           Lists, FAQs, Codes, Development
                                                List, Mail Order Directory.

* CyberChatter .......................................... Overheard Online.

* BattleSphere News ..................................... 4Play Marches On.

* Llatest from Llamaland ........................................ Yak yaks.

* JagFest '98: The Aftermath ....................... The Smoke Has Cleared.

* JagFest '98: Blow by Blow ..................... Isn't the Internet Great?

* State of the Lynx ....................................... Say Hi to Carl.

* Preview: Protector ............................... Another New Jag Game?!

* Review: Tony Price's Keypad Overlays .............. The Overlay Overmind.

* Always Check the Mirror Before You Start the Car ..... Don Thomas at WOA.

* JEO's Top Ten List of the Year ........................... Humor by Fard.

* JEO Trivia Challenge III: The Answers ............................. D'Oh!

* Shutdown ............................ Around the world and up your block.


                             --==--==--==--==--


   ||  From the Editor
   ||  By: Clay Halliwell
\__//  halliwee@dyess.af.mil
       ------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, it's October and autumn is kicking in again. That's what I hear on 
the news anyway... I live in Texas, so I kind of have to take people's word 
for it. In case you're wondering why it's been so long since the last JEO 
(heck, given JEO's pacing, you probably weren't), I was holding it back in 
hopes that this would finally be the JEO to review BattleSphere. But alas, 
thanks to corporate indifference at Hasbro, that review will have to wait 
for a future issue. Check out the BattleSphere News and CyberChatter 
sections for more details on the BS encryption saga.

I'd like to welcome a new assistant editor to JEO: Carl Forhan, well-known 
to Lynx and Jaguar fans alike. Since both Jag and Lynx support is 
dwindling, and I'm not aware of any dedicated Lynx e-zines these days, I've 
decided to augment JEO with a regular Lynx section, "State of the Lynx". 
Carl will be writing this column, which will cover the goings-on in the 
Lynx community.

If you're wondering whatever happened to the www.atari.com domain, it's 
active once more. Any curious web surfer heading to this site will find a 
mirror of the Hasbro Interactive page. Ah well, it's better than nothing I 
suppose.

CORRECTION: In last month's Jaguar Trivia Challenge, we gave an incorrect 
answer to one of the questions. In response to, "Which two companies, 
besides Atari and Telegames, released games for both the Lynx and the 
Jaguar?" we gave the answer "Beyond Games and Hand Made Software". We also 
should have included Imagitec Design. Sorry about that!

Speaking of the Jaguar Trivia Challenge, we've renamed it to the JEO Trivia 
Challenge, to reflect the fact that it frequently has non-Jaguar related 
questions.

Included in the ZIPped version of this issue are pics from JagFest '98, 
Gorf 2000 (Classic mode) and Protector (a new Jag game).

YOW! Look what appeared on Jaguar Interactive 2 just as I was preparing to 
send out this issue of JEO--

Jaguar interactive 2
Satan Skates Figure 8s: Details at 11
Posted by BattleSphere Bob (209-239-197-123.oak.jps.net) on October 16, 
1998 at 13:16:08:

BattleSphere Encryption approved...

Scott Le Grand
Lead Coder
4Play

PS: Special thanks to Fard Muhammad, Leonard Tramiel, Keita Iida, Richard 
Cleveland, and Ken Rose


                             --==--==--==--==--


   ||  JEO Trivia Challenge III: The Questions
   ||  By: Carl Forhan
\__//  forhan@millcomm.com
       -----------------------------------------------------------------

In honor of Carl's "State of the Lynx" column debuting this issue, we've 
got a special, all-Lynx trivia challenge.

1. List two games that were first planned for the Lynx, but were later
   released only on the Jaguar.

2. List four Lynx games that use digitized *speech*.

3. Which team sport game for the Lynx uses professional team names and
   logos?

4. What was the Atari in-house name for the network communication device
   that later became known as ComLynx? 

5. What was the first published game allows you to save data without
   passwords, even when the Lynx is turned off?

6. What unpublished game (from Atari) allows you to save data without
   passwords, even when the Lynx is turned off?

7. What were the last two Lynx games published directly by Atari?

8. List all the words from Klax that can complete the following phrase:
   "_____ wave."

9. What was the original pack-in game for the Lynx?

10. What are the official Atari part numbers for the unpublished games
    Road Riot 4WD and Rolling Thunder? 

BONUS QUESTION: How many different Lynx cartridge form factors have been
used by Atari and Telegames? (Hint: there are more than two) 


                             --==--==--==--==--


   ||  Jaguar Tackboard
   ||  Confirmed information about Atari's Jaguar
\__//  Compiled from online and official sources
       -----------------------------------------------------------------

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// Jaguar Message Boards
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Anyone with web browsing capability can join in on the discussions on 
several web-based Jaguar message boards out there on the net. Note that, 
due to the rapid message turnover and instant-update nature of these 
boards, they have a tendency to burn through topics in a matter of days 
instead of weeks (or hours instead of days).

Just point your browser to:

Jaguar Interactive II (hosted by Atari Gaming Headquarters)
http://www.atarihq.com/interactive/

Atari Times Boardroom (hosted by The Atari Times)
http://venus.beseen.com/boardroom/c/17653/Date


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// Jaguar Chat
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Anyone with web browsing capability who wants to chat in real-time with 
their fellow Jaguar enthusiasts, but has no access to IRC, should take 
advantage of this Jag chat page:

JFPN's Jaguar Chat
http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Heights/5916/chat.html


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// Atari Underground Mailing List
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Anyone with Internet e-mail access can request to be added to the Atari 
Underground mailing list. This is a read-only mailing list maintained by 
Matt "MHz" Bruce, generating periodic messages describing current events of 
interest to Atari Jaguar owners.

To subscribe to the list, send an e-mail request to MHz@earthlink.net.

Please do not confuse the Atari Underground mailing list with the Jaguar 
Underground hackers.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// Jaguar FAQ
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Robert Jung (rjung@netcom.com) maintains the Jaguar FAQ (Frequently Asked 
Questions) file, a continually updated list of Jaguar specs and facts. The 
Jaguar FAQ is posted to rec.games.video.atari on Usenet around the first of 
every month, and can also be found at http://www.digiserve.com/eescape/atari/
Atari.shtml.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// Jaguar Cheats and Codes
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Clay "No Handle" Halliwell (halliwee@dyess.af.mil) maintains the Atari Jaguar
Game Cheats and Codes FAQ. It's available by e-mail request or from Atari 
Gaming Headquarters http://www.atarihq.com/jaglynx/jag/jagcheat.txt.

Lonnie "The Mage" Smith (themage1@aol.com) maintains the Concise Compendium of
Frequently Asked Codes, Moves, and Cheats (FACMAC). It's available via FTP 
from ftp://users.aol.com:/TheMage1/jaguar, or from http://users.aol.com/
TheMage1/jaguar/jagcodes.txt


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// JEO Development List
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

The following list of game titles has been confirmed to the best of JEO's 
ability as of publication. Entries in the "S"tatus column reflect any 
"u"pdates, "n"ew titles, or "?"uestionable listings since the last JEO 
list. Entries in the "M"edia column reflect whether the title is "C"D-ROM 
or "J"aguar Server/BJL (blank entries indicate cartridge software).  "NEW" 
indicates titles released since the last issue of JEO.

ETA dates are dates that have been provided by the developer or publisher.

//// Titles in Development or Limbo

S M Title                             ETA   Developer            Publisher
" " """""                             """   """""""""            """""""""
    BattleSphere                      1999  4Play                4Play
  J Bong+ 1999                         ?    Just Claws Software
?   Deathwatch                         ?    Data Design
  J Gorf 2000                          ?    Krunch Korporation
?   Hyper Force                        ?    C-West
  J Jagmania (PacMania clone)          ?    Matthias Domin
  J Jagmarble (Marble Madness clone)   ?    Matthias Domin
  J JagTris (Tetris clone)             ?    Bastian Schick
  J Painter                            ?    Sinister
n   Protector                          ?    Carl Forhan
?   Skyhammer                          ?    Rebellion
? C Soulstar                           ?    Core Design Ltd.
?   Space War 2000                     ?    Atari


//// Current Software Releases

M Title                             Rated   Developer            Publisher
" """""                             """""   """""""""            """""""""
  AirCars                             5     MidNite              ICD
  Alien vs. Predator                  9     Rebellion            Atari
  Atari Karts                         6     Miracle Design       Atari
  Attack of the Mutant Penguins       6     Sunrise Games Ltd.   Atari
C Baldies                             6     Creative Edge        Atari
C Battlemorph                        10     Attention to Detail  Atari
C Blue Lightning                      6     Attention to Detail  Atari
C BrainDead 13                        5     ReadySoft            ReadySoft
  Breakout 2000                       7     MP Games             Telegames
  Brutal Sports Football              6     Millennium/Teque     Telegames
  Bubsy                               5     Imagitec Design      Atari
  Cannon Fodder                       8     Virgin Interactive   C-West
  Checkered Flag                      4     Rebellion            Atari
  Club Drive                          5     Atari                Atari
  Crescent Galaxy                     3     Atari                Atari
  Cybermorph                          7     Attention to Detail  Atari
  Defender 2000                       8     Llamasoft            Atari
  Doom                                8     id Software          Atari
  Double Dragon V                     4     Williams Enter.      Williams
C Dragon's Lair                       5     ReadySoft            ReadySoft
  Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story         6     Virgin Interactive   Atari
  Evolution: Dino Dudes               6     Imagitec Design      Atari
  Fever Pitch Soccer                  6     U.S. Gold            Atari
  Fight For Life                      6     Atari                Atari
  Flashback                           7     Tiertex Ltd.         U.S. Gold
  Flip Out!                           6     Gorilla Systems      Atari
C Highlander I                        8     Lore Design Ltd.     Atari
  Hover Strike                        5     Atari                Atari
C Hover Strike: Unconquered Lands     7     Atari                Atari
  Iron Soldier                        9     Eclipse              Atari
C Iron Soldier 2 CD                  10     Eclipse              Telegames
  Iron Soldier 2                     10     Eclipse              Telegames
  I-War                               4     Imagitec Design      Atari
  Kasumi Ninja                        5     Hand Made Software   Atari
  Missile Command 3D                  8     Virtuality           Atari
C Myst                                9     Atari                Atari
  NBA Jam: Tournament Edition         9     High Voltage         Atari
  Pinball Fantasies                   6     Spider Soft          C-West
  Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure        8     Imagitec Design      Atari
  Power Drive Rally                   7     Rage Software        TWI
C Primal Rage                         7     Probe                TWI
  Raiden                              6     Imagitec Design      Atari
  Rayman                             10     UBI Soft             UBI Soft
  Ruiner                              6     High Voltage         Atari
  Sensible Soccer                     6     Williams Brothers    Telegames
C Space Ace                           3     ReadySoft            ReadySoft
  Super Burnout                       7     Shen                 Atari
  Supercross 3D                       5     Tiertex Ltd.         Atari
  Syndicate                           7     Bullfrog             Ocean
  Tempest 2000                       10     Llamasoft            Atari
  Theme Park                          6     Bullfrog             Ocean
  Towers II                           7     JV Enterprises       Telegames
  Troy Aikman NFL Football            6     Telegames            Williams
  Ultra Vortek                        8     Beyond Games         Atari
  Val d'Isere Skiing & Snowboarding   7     Virtual Studio       Atari
C Vid Grid                            6     High Voltage         Atari
C VLM                                 9     Llamasoft            Atari
  White Men Can't Jump                6     High Voltage         Atari
  Wolfenstein 3D                      7     id Software          Atari
C World Tour Racing                   6     Teque London Ltd.    Telegames
  Worms                               9     Team 17              Telegames
  Zero 5                              7     Caspian Software     Telegames
  Zool 2                              7     Gremlin Graphics     Atari
  Zoop                                6     Viacom               Atari

Total Carts     51
Total CDs       14 (counting VLM)
Total Combined  65

Pts Stars  JEO Ratings
""" """""  """""""""""
 10 *****  THE ULTIMATE - Flawless, beautiful, deviously addictive.
  9 ****+  EXCELLENT - Something to throw in the face of N64-heads.
  8 ****   SMEGGIN' GREAT - Something to kick on the shoes of N64-heads.
  7 ***+   DARN GOOD - Plays as good as it looks.
  6 ***    DECENT - Plays better than it looks (or vice versa).
  5 **+    TIME KILLER - If there's nothing else to do, you play this.
  4 **     INEPT - The programmer's first Jag game?
  3 *+     INCOMPETENT - The programmer's first game ever?
  2 *      UNPUBLISHABLE - Heaven help us!
  1 +      INCONCEIVABLE BAD - ...but someone conceived it. Too bad.
  0 -      EXECRABLE - This is an April Fool's joke, right?


//// Current Hardware Releases

Item                           Manufacturer
"""""                          """"""""""""
Jaguar 64                      Atari
Jaguar 64 CD-ROM Drive         Atari
3-button PowerPad              Atari
6-button ProController         Atari
Team Tap                       Atari
Jag-Link                       Atari
Memory Track                   Atari
Composite Cable                Atari
S-Video Cable                  Atari
Stereo Audio Interface (proto) Atari
VoiceModem (proto)             Atari/Phylon
Controller Extension Cable     Best Electronics
CatBox                         ICD/Black Cat Design
Lap Cat/Lap Cat Pro joystick   Ben Aein
Jaguar Extreme Joystick        Dark Knight Games (modded Gravis Blackhawk)
Jaguar Server devkit           Roine Stenberg (Istari Software)
Behind Jaggy Lines devkit      Bastian Schick


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// JEO Mail Order Directory 1.2
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

The following list of vendors carrying Jaguar software/hardware has been 
confirmed to the best of JEO's ability. Please e-mail JEO for additions/ 
corrections.

//// B&C ComputerVisions
Mail   1725 De La Cruz Blvd #7
       Santa Clara, CA 95050-3011
Voice  408-986-9960 (Tue-Fri, 10am-6pm)
Fax    408-986-9968
Email  myatari2@juno.com
Web    http://www.myatari.com

//// Best Electronics
Mail   2021 The Alameda, Suite 290
       San Jose, CA 95126-1127
Voice  408-243-6950

//// Bits of Fun
Mail   PO Box 12345
       San Luis Obispo, CA
Phone  800-FUN-JAGS
Email  ddavis@cwest.com
Web    http://www.cwest.com/atari

//// Buy-Rite Video Games
Voice  919-850-9473
Fax    919-872-7561
Email  buyrite@interpath.com
Web    http://www.buyrite1.com

//// Demand Systems
Voice  805-482-7900
Orders 800-593-0059
Fax    805-484-3745
       805-987-1998
Email  mbrown@demand-sys.com
Web    http://www2.demand-sys.com/demand

//// Dentec Computer Products
Mail   465 Milner Ave #3
       Scarborough, Ontario M1B 2K4 Canada
Voice  416-292-2996
Fax    416-292-4075
       416-292-248
Email  jaguar@dentec.com
Web    http://www.dentec.com/warehousesale

//// Flashback Video Games
Mail   2284 Kresge Drive
       Amherst, OH 44001
Voice  216-960-1622
Fax    216-960-1663
Email  flashback@usa.net
Web    http://www.sunmarkinc.com/products/flashback

//// GameMasters
Mail   14393 E. 14th Street, Suite 208
       San Leandro, CA 94577
Voice  510-483-4263
Email  mchaddon@game-masters.com
Web    http://www.game-masters.com

//// Game Pedler
Voice  801-273-0787 (ask for Internet Sales)
Fax    801-273-1357
Email  sales@gamepedler.com
Web    http://www.gamepedler.com

//// Games To Go
Mail   7632 Lyndale Avenue So.
       Richfield, MN 55423
Voice  612-798-5879
Fax    612-869-5925
Email  sales@gamestogo.com (orders)
       inquiries@gamestogo.com (info)
Web    http://www.gamestogo.com

//// Hardysoft
Mail   24 Lawnside Drive
       Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Orders 609-883-1083
Fax    609-538-8674
Email  hardysoft@genie.com
       hardysoft@prodigy.com
       hardysoft@compuserve.com
Web    http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/hardysoft

//// O'Shea, Ltd.
Mail   330 West 47th Street #203
       Kansas City, MO 64112
Voice  816-531-1177
Fax    816-531-6569
Email  billh@oshealtd.com
Web    http://www.oshealtd.com


//// STeve's Computer Technologies
Mail   405 Main Street
       Woodland, CA 95695
Voice  916-661-3328
Fax    916-661-1201
Email  steves@woodland.net
Web    http://woodland.net/steves/

//// Telegames
Mail   P.O. Box 901
       Lancaster, Texas 75146
Voice  972-228-0690
Orders 972-224-7200
Fax    972-228-0693 
Email  sales@telegames.com
Web    http://www.telegames.com

//// United Game Source
Mail   232 East Eau Gallie Blvd
       Indian Harbour Beach, FL 32937
Orders 800-564-1458
Fax    407-777-3940
Email  unitedgame@aol.com
Web    http://www.unitedgame.com

//// Video Game Advantage
Mail   6861 Anthony Lane
       Parma Heights, OH 44130
Orders 216-843-8815 (24-hr answering machine)
Email  vga2000@ix.netcom.com
       vga2000@io.com
       dw901@cleveland.freenet.edu
Web    http://www.io.com/~vga2000

//// Video Game Liquidators
Mail   4058 Tujunga Ave, #B
       Studio City, CA 91604
Orders 818-505-1666 (9am-5pm PST)
       888-944-4263 (toll free)
Fax    818-505-1686
Email  vglq@vglq.com
Web    http://www.vglq.com


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// Announcements and Press Releases
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

//// World of Atari '98 Video

Mark Santora is making available the Official World of Atari '98 Video.
This tape will be recorded at SP will run approximately two hours.

There will be original music on the tape scored by 4Play's Stephanie
Wukovitz (at least three new tunes).

WHAT'S ON THE TAPE:
[] All the speakers at the show
[] Direct feed of BattleSphere in action
[] Direct feed of the new Jaguar game Protector
[] Direct feed of the Lynx games Hyperdrome and TNT Terry.
[] A quick run-through of the dealer room and auction
[] Anything else that catches Mark's eye

PRICING:
[] Each tape is $25.
[] This includes two day shipping within the US.
[] All additional shipping will be priced per request.
[] Payment is available by Check or Money order.  No Plastic. 
[] NO CASH ORDERS. NO C.O.D. orders. If you send me cash, I will
return it.

POLICIES:
[] Tapes will be mailed when they are finished.
[] If you pay by check I will not mail the tape out until after it has
cleared.
[] The tapes will be furnished in black paper sleeves with windows
and black and white labels.
[] The tape is available in both NTSC and PAL.

Email Mark Santora (santora@earthlink.net) or vist his home page at
http://home.earthlink.net/~santora/playtstb.htm to order.


//// Motorola's Blackbird platform prepares to take wing

By Junko Yoshida 

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Motorola Inc.'s Semiconductor Products Sector will 
use the IBC '98 broadcasters conference late next week to detail a flexible 
consumer-electronics platform, dubbed Blackbird, on which many of its hopes 
are riding.

The company expects Blackbird to fly into interactive game machines and DVD 
players, digital terrestrial TV sets and set-top boxes.

But the launch comes as the semiconductor division, under continued 
economic pressure, said it will layoff workers as part of an overhaul that 
includes plans to dismantle its Consumer Systems Group.

Although Motorola declined to describe Blackbird in advance of its planned 
Sept. 12 launch, sources who have been closely working with Motorola on the 
project said the company is betting big on the success of what they said 
will be a highly flexible platform. "Considering some industry forecasts 
showing an Internet set-top and a game platform as an ideal combination, 
this [Blackbird] strategy does make sense," said Abhishek Gami, an analyst 
at William Blair & Co. (Chicago), an investment-banking firm.

At the heart of Blackbird is the Project X media processor from startup VM 
Labs. Blackbird uses it to decode digital audio and video streams, to 
process graphics and as a main processor in configurations for standalone 
DVD or game players. Versions of Motorola's PowerPC will be used in some 
high-end configurations.

Blackbird can also accommodate a variety of network interface modules 
(NIMs), which could support terrestrial, cable, satellite or digital 
subscriber line connections. "Motorola has designed very powerful network 
capabilities into this NIM," one industry source said, The system will run 
the latest release of the David real-time operating system from Microware 
Systems Corp. (Des Moines, Iowa) - version 2.2, which supports Java. It 
uses Project X's microkernel, along with its own graphics APIs and 
development tools, to run Project X-enabled games or other interactive 
applications.

The hardware and network flexibility of Blackbird lets consumer OEMs build 
a variety of products around it, potentially including digital terrestrial 
TV sets, cable and satellite set-tops, Web-browsing TV set-tops, DVD 
players and game machines.

By using the Project X media processor across virtually all Blackbird 
configurations, Motorola is paving a route to a unified base of games and 
interactive applications for the system. Applications can be delivered via 
a network or digital video disk.

Motorola has already forged several deals with key software and service 
providers. Spyglass Inc. (Naperville, Ill.) recently won a multimillion-
dollar contract to provide Web-browsing client and sever technologies and 
consulting services to Motorola for the Blackbird platform. UniView 
Technologies Corp., a Dallas-based developer of hardware and network 
technologies for set-top applications, has agreed to port its Xpressway 
Internet service to the Blackbird environment, and will market the 
resulting integrated system to companies seeking end-to-end communication 
and entertainment solutions. 

The Blackbird platform stems from the mid-'90s, when Motorola, Microware 
and a forerunner of VM Labs jointly bid on a request for proposals (RFP) 
issued by Tele-TV. That ambitious interactive TV joint venture - now 
defunct - comprised Bell Atlantic, Nynex and Pacific Telesis. Industry 
sources close to Motorola said the whole NIM concept for the Blackbird 
platform came from the Tele-TV RFP.

While telco video-on-demand plans started to go south in late 1996, 
Motorola never abandoned its ambition to become a premier supplier of 
system solutions to consumer OEMs.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// New Cheats and Codes
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

//// I-War

Thanks to I-War programmer Andrew Seed (via Carl Forhan).

Secret Options:
At the main menu, press 2+4+6+8. No confirmation; does not survive resets. 
The option menu will now have a texture toggle option (does nothing), and a 
node select option.

Level Codes:
Entered on option screen (Secret Options must be enabled). Select Enter 
Code, then use number keys to enter code. Left/right moves cursor, A/B/C 
confirms code. Select Start to begin.
     #1   Alpha Matrix     3495823456
     #2   Data Core        7983456383
     #3   Central Web      5282259782
     #4   Outer Ring       9452382725
     #5   Home Node        7357286586
     #6   Core Dump        3985615345
     #7   Internal Store   6315678561
     #8   Vector Five      1238261234
     #9   AI Reserve       3982612389
     #10  Safe Segment     4826178962
     #11  Code Segment     2397856123
     #12  Parallel Area    3482623457
     #13  Logic Switch     8563457634
     #14  Gate Two         8278634589
     #15  Binary Path      5785623456
     #16  Damage Vector    5234545214
     #17  Restore Buffer   9238471472
     #18  Energy Grid      8957235957
     #19  Defense Segment  2359834235
     #20  Decision Vector  7892597223
     #21  Override Central 7891237892
          Block


                             --==--==--==--==--


   ||  CyberChatter
   ||  Random topics about the Jaguar
\__//  Compiled from online public discussion areas
       -----------------------------------------------------------------

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// Jag Bomberman Developer Revealed
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Next Generation Online Q&A
July 24, 1998

Q:
In the July 7 Q&A, you mentioned a Michigan developer that worked on a 
Bomberman conversion for the Jaguar. Do you know the name of the company 
and/or their website?

A:
The name of the company is Genetic Fantasia, and you can find their web 
site, surprisingly enough, at http://www.geneticfantasia.com.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// Whatever Happened to the Jag 2?
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject:      Re: Hasbro is considering a JAGUAR 2 W/PROJECT X DVD UPGRADE!
From:         "Andrew Seed" 
Date:         1998/07/09
Newsgroups:   alt.atari-jaguar.discussion,rec.games.video.atari 

I worked for Imagitec Design and knew the internal problems in Atari. We 
were offered by Gremlin Interactive to convert either Actua Soccer, Loaded 
and a racing game, they wanted to do at least one on the Jag 2 but we could 
not get any details out of Atari about it - unless we forked out for a dev 
kit . Then we saw Atari in its demise and decided not to get involved. Also 
Bill Rehbok (hope that's the spelling) used to work at Atari before moving 
to Sony. I too would have liked to have seen the Jag 2 since if it 
addressed all the problems which dogged the Jaguar it could have been quite 
powerful for its time. I am sure if the could have proved to developers 
that the Jag 2 was "impressive" then they might have survived.
Also I think that before the Jaguar retailers got burnt with Atari and so 
were a bit skeptical to get behind the Jaguar. Whilst I was at Imagitec all 
of the Jaguar games written were conversions (aprt from I-War) and doing 
this might be good for the short term it does not do any good for the long 
term. We had to wait a year for Tempest 2000. Ok  it is not a 100% original 
game but it was new to the teenagers who never experienced the original.

    Ah well must dash

    All the best

    Andrew Seed

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject:      Re: Hasbro is considering a JAGUAR 2 W/PROJECT X DVD UPGRADE!
From:         Scott Le Grand 
Date:         1998/07/08
Newsgroups:   alt.atari-jaguar.discussion,rec.games.video.atari 

About as much of the Jaguar 2 survived as the model 101 in
_The Terminator_.
The remains are on John Mathieson's desk at VM Labs next to the original 
prototype for the Jaguar itself.

Sad, isn't it?

Scott Le Grand
Lead Coder
4Play


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// Whatever Happened to Freelancer?
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject:      Re: Hasbro is considering a JAGUAR 2 W/PROJECT X DVD UPGRADE!
From:         "Andrew Seed" 
Date:         1998/07/12
Newsgroups:   alt.atari-jaguar.discussion,rec.games.video.atari 

It got dropped, when we examined what we could do with the CD it just no 
way was as flexible as the PC CD-ROMs and drivers available. Also the 
designer left after doing the PC version for 2 years, we had prototypes on 
the PC done but running very slow, using Brender by Argonaut but with no 
hardware acceleration on 33mhz 486.  For the Jag version we were going to 
license the Jag Doom engine but we had a few problems getting the tools to 
work on the Next machine. (we had to buy one and somebody had to learn how 
to use it)

    Hope this is of use.

Mike Morais wrote in message <6o8bga$l8f@nnrp1.farm.idt.net>...
>>In a sense Atari burnt Imagitec in that we did the Falcon version of
>>DinoDudes before the Jag version (another programmer was put on the
>>Falcon version when I started on the Jag one.
>
>Just wondering - do you know whatever became of "FreeLancer 2088" for the
>Jag CD that Imagitec were working on?
>
>Mister E...


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// All About BPEG
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Jaguar Interactive 2
Re: Jaguar Emulator (T-Bird) [BPEG Exists]
Posted by Tom Scott (prime017034.lvcablemodem.com) on October 14, 1998 at 
19:42:54:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Jaguar Emulator (T-Bird) [BPEG Exists] posted by Dan 
on October 14, 1998 at 19:36:10:

>T-Bird, who has been programming the Jag since... how long has it
>been? '93 or '94... doesn't know what BPEG is? And its in the Jaguar
>but he doesn't know about it?

>You know, I bet he has the official Atari docs too... along with an
>Alpine board, some Flash roms and a hell of a lot of serious coding
>under his belt.

>dan

Excuse me, but did you look at the scanned Atari doc I put on the web? It 
talks about BPEG. It DOES exist and apparently TBird doesn't know about it. 
At least he claimed I made it up.

Here is something sent to me by the programmer who created the BPEG 
routines:

Well, it is simply impossible to write a BPEG decompressor, just because 
there are several ?PEG algorithms:
The first ?PEG library (called JagPeg) was written by Atari (using the 
source of the Falcon JPEG decoder as a basis). Then, I rewrote another 
(much faster) library that Atari bought.
JPEG/MPEG are an algorithm AND a file format. BPEG uses the same kind of 
algorithm, but the data used by BPEG has nothing to do with the JPEG/MPEG 
*file format*. For example:
- BPEG uses hardcoded Huffman tables. MPEG uses other hardcoded Huffman 
tables. JPEG may use any Huffman table.
- BPEG files have just a simple magic ID ('BPEG', I think), then the 
quantization tables (and the image width/height) and the Huffman datas are 
stored. The JPEG file format is much more complex, with chunks for 
everything. MPEG file format is less complex than JPEG, but is based on 
chunks too.

To summarize, BPEG uses the JPEG algorithm, but not the JPEG file format. I 
don't have a lot to say about JagPeg, since I didn't write it, and never 
had the sources of it.

By JPEG algorithm, I mean: Huffman Decoder + Quantization + Inverse DCT + 
Colorspace Conversion (YCC -> RGB).

If you want to decode BPEG files, the 'only' thing to do is emulate the 
GPU. The BPEG decoder is in the cartridge ROM, if the cartridge uses BPEG 
files. It is not on the Jaguar ROM. (BTW, the Jaguar ROM contains no 'user-
callable' functions: Just a CRC check, and a bootstrap).

For example, let's say you are writing a PSX emulator. You would like to 
see the nice PSX movies. The only way to do it is to emulate the R3000a and 
the MDEC chips, and let the Sony 'libpress' library do its job. It's 
exactly the same thing with the Jaguar: Emulate the processors and you will 
emulate the decoder...

Description of the BPEG library:

It contains some 68000 code that copies the GPU code in the GPU RAM, writes 
some variables in the GPU RAM (input stream address, image width/height, 
quantization tables), and then runs the GPU. The GPU does the decoding, and 
then halts. The GPU routine is just plain standard GPU code: You don't have 
to emulate the GPU interrupts. This code is probably the best way to check 
that the GPU instruction set is correctly emulated, since it uses almost 
all GPU instructions. Oh yes, there is 1 thing that must be emulated in the 
GPU, apart from the full instruction set : That's the 'register bank 
switching', since BPEG uses almost all registers from both the standard and 
the alternate register banks (64 registers !!!).

To know if a cartridge uses the BPEG library, you may try to find the 4 
bytes 'BPEG' in the ROM. If you find it, you are looking at a BPEG 
compressed file. There is only 1 commercial game that I'm 100% sure it uses 
BPEG: 'Fight For Life'.

Best regards,

Raphael Lemoine

-Tom 


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// BattleSphere Ramblings
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Jaguar Interactive 2
Re: Battlesphere questions
Posted by The Suit (oak-port767.jps.net) on July 24, 1998 at 01:35:42:
In Reply to: Battlesphere questions posted by B Dogg on July 24, 1998 at 
00:48:13:

I can say that we are going to produce about 600 copies of BattleSphere. 
That's it, guys. We cannot afford to lose our shirts on additional copies 
as has happened already with other post-Atari Jaguar games.

That is sadly enough to provide everyone with a copy or 2 and give us all 
souvenirs. Sucks, eh?

Scott

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Jaguar Interactive 2
Re: BattleSphere encryption OK'd by Hasbro? 
Posted by GI Joker (209.209.1.58) on July 21, 1998 at 09:11:17:
In Reply to: BattleSphere encryption OK'd by Hasbro? posted by Scott Le 
Grand on July 21, 1998 at 04:09:32:

>Has BattleSphere's encryption been OK'd by Hasbro? It has 
>to be, doesn't it?

That's a really interesting question to which there is currently no clear 
answer. Cool, eh? This is why we emphasized that encryption and production 
would be such an adventure.

Scott

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Jaguar Interactive 2
Re: Battlesphere questions
Posted by Mark Stingray Santora (pool003-max11.ds17-ca-us.dialup.earthlink. 
net) on July 24, 1998 at 12:58:30
In Reply to: Battlesphere questions posted by B Dogg on July 24, 1998 at 
00:48:13:

>I can't wait for BattleSphere to be finished and ready to 
>buy.. (thanks 4play) But how long about will it take to get it on
>to cartridges, will 4play produce plenty of copies for everyone
>what are these personalized BattleSphere games I read we might be
>able to order and how much will the pinnacle of jaguar 
>gaming cost us? 

Here's how it goes.

1st - Get it encrypted through Hasbro (who knows how long)

2nd - Find a company to actually BUILD the carts. Don't forget the Jag 
isn't exactly a top priority for companies to refit their entire lines and 
build a marginal run of a cartridge for a dead system. (again who knows how 
long)

3rd - Get the packaging complete (should not prove to be as lengthy as the 
top two).

4th - Collect Orders

5th - Ship it.

6th - Throw Jaguar Development system through a window. =-)

Don't expect the cart for a while...

Sorry.
Mark "Stingray" Santora

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Jaguar Interactive 2
Re: Battlesphere at WOA -- the list we prepared
Posted by steffi of the cleffy (209-239-194-168.oak.jps.net) on August 26, 
1998 at 01:53:10:
In Reply to: Battlesphere at WOA posted by Mike on August 25, 1998 at 
21:49:21:

Hey thanks Mike...

>P.S. I loved the top 10 list in which Scott and Steph
>listed the 10 reasons why Battlesphere was late :)
>Oh, did I mention their great sense of humor??!!!!

And, since you guys will get the jokes... from the home office in Santa 
Cruz CA...

The Top Ten Reasons BattleSphere Took So Long

10. 4Play members were waiting for the Gyaku codes...
9. It took us many months to count all the polys in Todd's World
8. We were too busy making stupid Top Ten lists...
7. We were locked in a 64-bit kiss (eww)
6. Waiting around hoping for lawsuits from every major science fiction 
movie and TV producer (no publicity is bad)
5. Two words: Tempest 2000
4. Needed funding to make more top ten lists
3. Took a while to make BattleSphere Year 2000 compliant
2. When we said "BattleSphere before 30," we really meant Stephanie, not 
Scott...

And the number one reason Battle Sphere was delayed...

1. We were too busy posting nudie GIFs of Leonard to Usenet!

Sigh, ok, did we need sleep or WHAT? :)

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Jaguar Interactive 2
Re: Encryption Problems? (BattleSphere)
Posted by That Crazy Sphere Guy (209.209.9.201) on August 29, 1998 at 
18:44:46:
In Reply to: Encryption Problems? (BattleSphere) posted by Mister E... on 
August 29, 1998 at 17:11:42:

>There's been talk in one of the Atari newsgroups that there are problems
>regarding the encryption process of BattleSphere because apparently the 
>encryption key has gone missing and Hasbro has no clue as to where it is 
>(and aren't particularly enthusiastic about finding it).

>Anybody have info regarding this (i.e. true or false)? 4Play?

It's absolutely true. However, there is another way to deal with this and 
the only obstacle there is getting Hasbro's permission to do so. Great 
people (who should feel free to step forward and take credit if they wish 
to be known and openly thanked to death!) are trying to get this moving 
with Hasbro. All we really need from Hasbro at this point is the OK to get 
the thing produced by any means necessary and it will happen.


Scott

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject:    Re: encryption key
From:       Scott Le Grand (varelse@best.com)
Date:       1998/08/29
Newsgroups: rec.games.video.atari

In article <8F5C4C8.03EF00D23E.uuout@i.hate.spam.com>,
PHILIP DREW  wrote:
>what is incryption key i am wondering
>pd

Here's the deal.  All of the games you guys have brought up were completed 
and encrypted before the Hasbro deal.  We were not. The key was sent off to 
Hasbro in an envelope and that is the last anyone saw of it.  Fortunately, 
there is a way to get past this without the key, but it still needs an 
official nod from Hasbro to get the ball rolling.  Some great people are 
working behind the scenes right now to make this happen.  If they feel like 
stepping forward, let's give them all a hand or an arm or a leg :-).

I wish it were simpler, but I did mention that this was going to be quite a 
stunt in that message a month or so ago announcing the completion.

Scott

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Jaguar Interactive 2
Hasbro Rumor Control
Posted by Scott Le Grand (209-239-194-220.oak.jps.net) on October 07, 1998 
at 19:37:41:

Hi guys, We have heard from several sources now that there is a rumor that 
we have received approval for encryption from Hasbro. That rumor is 
incorrect. We have been specifically advised NOT to proceed by Hasbro 
themselves. When that situation changes, we will let you know. It is true 
that it looked for a while like we did indeed have such approval, but it 
was quickly rescinded.

We don't like this any more than you guys. We are currently unable to get 
closure to this saga. But then again, We predicted that this would be a 
nightmare and that prediction has more than come true.

Wish I had better news...

Scott

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Jaguar Interactive 2
Re: Re: Hasbro Rumor Control
Posted by Scott Le Grand (209-239-194-220.oak.jps.net) on October 07, 1998 
at 20:42:03:
In Reply to: Re: Hasbro Rumor Control posted by Will on October 07, 1998 at 
20:26:59:

Guys, don't write the letters just yet. The time for making noise is not 
now. If it comes to that, we need to be united in our offensive. If we 
can't resolve this, then we will make a lot of noise and a lot of stink. 
But let's do it together. The only reason I broke radio silence is because 
I received several congratulatory emails on getting permission to produce 
BattleSphere. I wanted to squelch that rumor before it got out of hand.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Jaguar Interactive 2
Re: Re: Re: Re: If Hasbro owns Atari....
Posted by Scott Le Grand (209-239-195-78.oak.jps.net) on October 08, 1998 
at 12:45:57:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: If Hasbro owns Atari.... posted by Chris B. on 
October 08, 1998 at 12:10:34:

>I thought that Atari had already "approved" Battlesphere? Does 4PLAY
>even need Hasbro's permission to publish BS? I don't understand what
>issues Hasbro could possibly have.

My suspicion is that Hasbro thinks they OWN BattleSphere and that we are 
trying to release a game based on one of THEIR intellectual properties. 
Since the remains of Atari are just a pile of papers locked in the 
proverbial disused lavatory, it's hard for them to confirm or deny this. 
Now this is utterly and entirely a hunch, but my instincts for such things 
have been pretty good so far. Of course, anyone familiar with the 
BattleSphere saga and our utter failure to convince ANYONE to fund us at 
even minimal levels should feel free to laugh hysterically at this ultimate 
of ironies if so. All should become clear within a few weeks and that's 
when the next step will be taken.

Scott

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject:    Time to Lobby Hasbro?
From:       Bojay1997
Date:       1998/08/28
Newsgroups: rec.games.video.atari

As most of us probably know, Battlesphere is being delayed by the 
encryption deal with Hasbro.  Actually, the encryption key is apparently 
lost.  I have a friend who is a contract programmer working with the guys 
at Hasbro and he looked at their "pile" of Atari stuff sort of out of 
curiosity.  Needless to say, he was very concerned after examining what 
they had since it was literally a pile of boxes and unsorted documents.  
Does anyone think it would help to bombard Hasbro with letters encouraging 
them to search vigorously for the key? My friend also got the impression 
that they could care less if the key is found or not.  They apparently just 
want to keep releasing rehashes of old Atari games. Well, what can we do?

Bojay


                             --==--==--==--==--


   ||  BattleSphere News
   ||  By: Scott Le Grand and Mark Santora
\__//  legrand@tesla.mbi.ucla.edu, santora@earthlink.net
       -----------------------------------------------------------------

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// BattleSphere Countdown
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

[from Scott Le Grand's Official BattleSphere Countdown page (http://www.
best.com/~varelse/sphere.html.]

BattleSphere is done after 1745 days of work. Stick that in your pipe and 
smoke it, Jag-Bashers! Of course, there's plenty of flame bait left for you 
to insist that a) we'll never get it encrypted, and/or b) that we'll never 
ship it, but I wouldn't want to ruin all your fun. Commence the naysaying! 

Last Updated 7/18/98

There is now: 

*** 1 ***

coding day to the completion of Battle Sphere.

Here's what we have left to do in that last day:

1. PRODUCE BATTLESPHERE!!!!!!! 

What am I doing right now?

7/18/98 - Code complete, WOO HOO!

7/17/98 - Wow, six months since I updated this thing. Time flies. 
Meanwhile, BattleSphere has been bugfree for the past 13 days. This means 
that we think it's finished (though there are always those worries that we 
missed something, making them into "features"). We are on one last quest 
for flaws before we declare it done. Stay tuned for the exciting resolution 
(or non-resolution) late on July 18th, 1998. And don't forget that when the 
adventure of BattleSphere development reaches its end, a whole new 
adventure in getting it produced begins. Nevertheless, any doubters will be 
able to play the sucker networked at World of Atari from August 21st-23rd 
though my presence there was in doubt until just today as I am busy on the 
20th and 21st.

It's show time...


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// BattleSphere Completion Announcement
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Jaguar Interactive 2
Posted by 4Play West (209.239.201.64) on July 18, 1998 at 23:34:23:
In Reply to: Re: PEOPLE OF EARTH, YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE... posted by 
Intergalactic Planetary on July 18, 1998 at 23:22:39:

//// In the Beginning

On September 23rd, 1993, my roommate (who I believe Bill thinks was Doug 
Engel) and I were invited by Bill Rehbock to come up to Glendale, 
California to see the very first video games running on the Atari Jaguar. 
Besides playing a really crude edition of Checkered Flag, we pitched a 
space combat game called "Singularity" which we indicated could better be 
called Star Raiders 2000. Bill told us that the name was already taken, but 
that he'd get back to us. One month later, we met Tom Harker across the 
Internet and he agreed to act as our interface to Atari and I 
conned^H^H^Hvinced my wife (then fiancee) Stephanie to write the 
soundtrack. In November, I drove and Tom flew to Santa Cruz and we met for 
the very first time. Tom was here to trade away the 8 bit line of ICD tools 
for a cool 1950s monster mobile. The next day we drove up to Sunnyvale, 
navigated our way to 1190 Borregas avenue and played Tempest 2000 and 
Cybermorph for the first time. 

//// Big time! We're on our way and making it...

We walked away that day with a very early prototype of AvP, along with a 
deal for 2 development systems. By then the game had been renamed to "Star 
Battle", in honor of a game I had written on a high school mainframe back 
in 1980 about which I still get email now and then. On December 24, we 
received our first Alpine board in dysfunctional condition in a FedEx box. 
After several frantic phone calls, we were sent a second, functional Alpine 
board and Doug kept the first in order get medieval upon it with a 
soldering iron. Within a week, we both had working development systems and 
the evolution of the game that became BattleSphere began. The kicker is 
that since there was no backing of any sort for this game, we would have to 
develop it entirely in our spare time while maintaining full-time day jobs. 
Our advice: Don't do this. Our original estimates were that we could have 
the entire game coded in 12-18 months. Bzzzzt! Wrong! We had yet to 
encounter the black hole that was Atari developer support, as well as a 
myriad of inexplicable bugs and random flaky development tools.

//// They like us, they really like us!

Six months later, we showed off the very first demo of the polygon engine 
at SCES '94. The demo makes an appearance in the AEO SCES '94 Video, for 
those of you collecting BattleSphere Trivia and anyone there could see we 
ought to have sued the pants off of Nintendo over the N64 logo, but of 
course, they must have thought of the thing first, they're Nintendo. Things 
went well, but I wish it had been a playable demo by that time, but c'est 
la vie, we were just getting introduced to some of the many Jaguar hardware 
bugs and part-time development already sucked. Six months later at WCES 
'95, there was sound, the first pass at the music engine, primitive 
collision detection, and a simple game involving rescuing animated 
astronauts. The game was now called "BattleSphere". This is really starting 
to take too long, isn't it?

//// Trouble ahead, trouble behind...

Five months after that, BattleSphere had its last trade showing at the very 
first E3. This was the first place we ever demonstrated networked 
dogfighting. It was a resounding success and numerous professional aviators 
commented on the quality of our flight engine compared to what they could 
play on the PC and other systems. This demo almost never happened, because 
a insidious bug in the hardware forced some last minute rewriting 
practically on the show floor. Of course, the real star of E3 was the 
Playstation unveiling, but we were happy with our reception. After all, at 
this point, the fat lady was clearing her throat for her Atarian anthem.

///// They said we were daft to build a castle in the swamp!

At this point, we realized we were behind schedule. I decided to take three 
months off and Doug took a month's worth of accumulated vacation time off 
from work and go full time on game development. From July through 
September, BattleSphere became my one and only obsession. In that time, we 
went from a primitive dogfight engine to networkable deathmatching with the 
infamous subsumption architecture AI. A fun footnote here is that but two 
days after we got the AI marginally running, a mysterious request came from 
Atari for a demo. We sent it off, only to find out later that they secretly 
put the badly behind Battlesphere head to head with the completed Space War 
2000 in a focus group. Guess who won and who got canceled? This pattern 
repeated itself in October when Atari demanded working networking code from 
us on a Friday, to be provided by the following Monday, for incorporation 
into Iron Soldier II or it wouldn't have networking. Ah, the fun final days 
of Atari. However, we now had a solid demo for showing off to potential 
backers of a PC or PSX edition and the search for a future past Atari 
began.

//// Is there life after death?

Although we knew at this point that Atari was pining for the fjords, we 
decided that BattleSphere was not enough of a game to actually release the 
thing (in retrospect, this was a BIG BIG BIG mistake). So now, we commenced 
development of the play modes. Atari died in January, 1996 and the Gauntlet 
play mode first appeared in March of that year. It was soon followed by the 
BattleSphere and Training play modes, and that took us into early 1997 
since we still didn't have any funding for a PC version, despite a one year 
search leading to 10 or so pitches with big publishers who just couldn't 
grok the networking, the 3D, the Jaguar, or some random combination of the 
above (or possibly our failure to closely resemble the current trendy 
genre). In March of 1997, I quit my science career, leaving behind eight 
years of dedicated research. It was painful and we once again considered 
releasing BattleSphere at that point. However, we faced the Concorde 
fallacy that we had already put too much time into the thing so why not 
make the Alone Against the Empires play mode and call it a day. This play 
mode was completed by October of 1997, and there's nothing like it on any 
other platform. And that's when the playtesting began. It's oh so much fun 
to put a game into beta when you have no money. Thankfully, a dedicated 
crew of playtesters put their own free hours into the thing and now, eight 
months later, BattleSphere is finished.

//// And on day 1745, God said "Ship it already!"

Oh, you thought this was the end of the story? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Silly 
you, now we have to get the sucker encrypted and produced so it will 
actually run on other people's Jaguars. But, it will happen. And when some 
twit naysayer tells you it won't, just remember how many times they said 
we'd never finish the thing.

May your urine be fresh and frothy!

Scott Le Grand
Doug Engel
Stephanie Wukovitz
Tom Harker

Team "The Mess that is BattleSphere"


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// BattleSphere Playtester's Report
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

[from Mark Santora's BattleSphere Playtester's Page (http://home.earthlink.
net/~santora/playtstb.htm)]

//// 09/09/98

Well now it's OFFICIAL, the game is done. Scott & Company have said it and 
now comes the waiting. The game is definitely worth it, there's no doubt 
about that. Some of you got to play it at the JagFest a couple of weeks ago 
and even more will play it at World of Atari. Now I know some of you won't 
make it, so check out the World of Atari Video I'm making. It will have 
footage from a direct link.

You see, it's tough to say something else that I haven't already said about 
the game. It rocks. The gameplay is there. The music rocks (LOSER!). And 
even better they are without a doubt the best graphics on the Jag. Period. 

Now there is more I CAN'T TELL YOU. You know, easter eggs and the such. All 
I will say is that the detail of the easter eggs (that I've seen) is 
totally revolutionary compared to the other generic crap that gets floated 
into games. Ooo! Make my super duper street kombat fighter have 300% 
health! Big Fargin' Deal. They've got nothing on these. And I can't tell 
you! Na, na!

So, because I don't know what else to say on these pages, why don't you ask 
me? Any questions, I'll answer them here. That's the best I can think about 
for now. Of course, check the links at the bottom of the page to see 
previous updates.

See you all soon.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// And One Final Bit...
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

[I found this on my hard drive but can't remember when or where Scott 
posted it. Oh well... --Ed.]

Enjoy the Jaguar edition: it's likely the only version you will ever see. 
The industry has said no to this game, continues to say no to this game, 
and I'm not expecting a change of heart any time soon.

They know what they want and BattleSphere is not it. In some ways, I 
actually agree. I think they have the business sense of a Tramiel, but I 
see the logic once one understands that the people making the decisions are 
all mostly Leonard wannabees targeting an extremely narrow audience already 
saturated with content.

That having been said, there are a few more chances of its reincarnation on 
another platform, but yours truly is not holding his breath.

Scott

                             --==--==--==--==--


   ||  Llatest from Llamaland
   ||  By: Jeff "Yak" Minter
\__//  net.yak@yak.net
       -----------------------------------------------------------------

[All of the following postings are taken from Jeff Minter's web page, Yak's 
Zoo (http://www.magicnet.net/~yak/zoo.html).  Check it out, and see what 
else Jeff has yakked up lately.]

//// 15 August '98

First of all, and before I actually say anything (apart from this sentence 
about not saying anything, that is) here is a gratuitous picture of 
Flossie, with her tongue out.

[gratuitous picture of Flossie here --Ed.]

Mmmm! That was nice. Always pleasant to see Flossie's pretty little tongue!

So, I haven't updated for ages... so shoot me, iz all. I have just been 
doing other stuff, like working on T3K, going to E3, watching the footy, 
being gutted at England's exit from said footy by way of bloody penalties 
when it was plain for all to see that we really should have won, and 
probably would have gone on to win the Cup itself had it not been for some 
pretty severe misfortune, but oh well, there ya go.

Anyway.

T3K continues to take shape nicely on X; at least it is more recognizably 
game-like now and not so much like a bunch of graphics demos stuck 
together. You can actually shoot things, they blow up in a very nice 
manner, and the Web is surrounded by the descendant of the particle tube 
out of T2K - this p-system is related, in that you would see in it traces 
of its antecedent, but it is a whole lot prettier, naturally! I also just 
yesterday managed to get around a 40 percent increase in my vector 
performance, due to finding a really silly bug where I was losing the 
status of a flag just prior to entering a clipping routine. That sounds 
pretty trivial, but it meant that instead of just considering the pixels 
inside the narrow corridor subtended by the actual line, under certain 
circumstances a whole bloody right-angle-triangle-full of pixels, with the 
line endpoints as vertices, was being considered! With a lot of vectors 
onscreen, you can imagine how wasteful that was... and yet, even with such 
a hideous bug in place, it still wasn't particularly slow. That gives you 
some idea of the raw power of X, and also an idea why I didn't spot it 
straight away! You can imagine my joy at finding the bug and getting even 
more ridiculously nice vector performance than I had before :-)

BTW, have you noticed that translucent, antialiased vectors are becoming in 
vogue now on the emulators? Try setting them to anything other than a tiny 
thickness, though, and even my Penty-300 starts to grind. X fur sure beats 
the piss out of a Penty 300 for cool-looking vector performance, and no 
mistake. Wait'll you see them in T3K...

In case you haven't noticed, I am really enjoying being back in full-on 
game writing mode. I have certainly enjoyed all the preliminary stuff that 
I've been doing on X, but hey, I have been out of harness for too long when 
it comes to actually writing games. I'm really enjoying getting back into 
it, and actually having something live I can pick up a joystick and start 
to play :-). The lovely thing about X is that one can put so much detail 
into even the smallest things - glows around the bullets, shockwaves around 
the explosions, even the score is drawn with dynamic procedural plasma (one 
of the guys at VM Labs says sometimes he just likes to "stare into the 
score"... hehe... this is more fun than a large pile of sweaty donkeys, and 
no mistake :-)

I'm just getting ready to go out to devcon, so I'll have to say goodbye to 
the Prettiest Sheep in the World for a little while, and lodge the 
microcarnivore at my mum's. Oh, by the way, the carnivore isn't so micro 
any more, as you can see, in the following picture of Vindy (with her 
tongue out).

[picture of a dog with it's tongue hanging out --Ed.]

That's not a bad picture really, considering that it is almost impossible 
to get a good close-up of that dog, except when she is unconscious, on 
account of she is always zooming around at a billion miles an hour when she 
is outside playing. The only reason I got that one was because I happened 
to press the button just as she was closing in to give me a slobbering. 
Approximately 0.3 seconds after that pic was taken, that tongue was all 
over my chops. Which is all well and groovy, except that I have seen some 
of the stuff that Vindy likes to eat. I mean, microcarnivores can just be 
so disgusting. Old, festering rubbish, snails and dead mice are the least 
of it.

She also seems to enjoy pursuing Alastair the goat. Although Ali nominally 
occupies the same field as Floss, the fencing really isn't sufficient to 
contain him. I did tether him for a while, but it seemed a shame to do so, 
and in fact, even if he gets out of that field, he still can't get off my 
land or out onto the road, so in the end I decided to untether him. So now 
he sometimes comes out and ambles around, "helping out" with the gardening, 
and wandering up to say hi to any humans who happen to be about. Of course, 
should I go and give Ali a skritch, Vindy becomes insanely jealous, and 
dances all around the goat, barking madly. Ali is completely unintimidated 
by this, and just regards her with a detached, slightly amused air. Should 
she get too close for his comfort, he just lowers his head and shows her 
his horns, and she backs off. If she really takes the piss, then he puts 
his head down and charges at her, and at that point, she runs off to a safe 
radius at a high rate of knots. This next pic doesn't show anybody with 
their tongue out, but it does show Ali just beginning a charge. See if you 
can spot the fleeing Vindy :-)

[picture of a charging goat --Ed.]

So, apart from the code, cleaning up after that dog, snuggling Flossie and 
skritching the goat, what else gives? Well, I got a Voodoo 2 board for my 
PC - very nice, even if I did have to kick something else out of a slot to 
be able to use it! I've been playing Forsaken, Unreal and Incoming on it, 
and very pretty they are too. However, one of the things that most tickled 
me was finally getting to see the OpenGL version of Llamatron that I have 
known to be around for a while. You can check it out at VoodooExtreme - go 
to their Golden Oldies section, and pull it down from there. Various people 
have done interpretations of the classics for the Voodoo, and Llamatron is 
by far the most polished. The rest range from the quite good (check out the 
Asteroids and Missile Command versions) to the absolutely pants (erm - I've 
seen a better Space Invaders on the Spectrum).

Emulator-wize, version .33 of MAME is finally out of beta, and supports 
many new games - one I was glad to see again, after many years absence, is 
"Satan of Saturn" - not exactly a classic, but significant to me, because 
the only other place I ever saw that game was in Mrs. Platypus's bar in 
Greece, many moons ago. Me and the lads spent many a drunken evening 
consuming industrial-strength cocktails and "Going to the Saturn". Kinda 
fun to do so again, even if the surroundings are not quite so exotic.

Version 1.0beta of Stella is out too, and it's a treat - all the games seem 
to run much more smoothly, and compatibility is vastly improved, so even 
the difficult-to-run carts like Activision Robot Tank work correctly. Now 
that Tempest is coming along, downloads into the X-box can take awhile, so 
I often pop open a Stella window, and have a quick go on something whilst 
the download is happening :-)

Top of my emu pops at the moment, though, has to be the new release of the 
WinSTon Atari ST emu. I know that PacifiST is supposed to be better, but 
for some reason that emu does not get on well with my machine, and 
sometimes does unspeakable nastiness that kills the video and requires a 
full reset. WinSTon runs under 'Doze and DirectX, and so far has been very 
well-behaved, and so I have been enjoying an extended noSTalgia trip, 
playing again such erstwhile faves as Time Bandit, Virus (although it took 
me a few goes before I once again learned to fly the ship without piling it 
into the ground - I still love this game, and with a new PC version in the 
works, now is an opportune time to be polishing up my flying skills) and, 
of course, some of my own, such as Andes Attack, Gridrunner and Photon 
Storm. Onea these daze I'll get around to adding all those games to the 
free downloads of my stuff from this site. There are some huge archives of 
ST disks around - although at the time pirates were a pain in the arse, 
now, in the time of emulation, all those easily-available pirate disks of 
cracked, compacted games are actually quite handy :-)

You could also do far worse than to go pick up the NeoRage Neo-Geo emu. 
Provided you don't mind downloading ROM images that are absolutely huge, 
and can put up with no sound, this is a great emu of what was probably one 
of the last, classic sprite-based game machines. There are some great games 
available for it - I particularly enjoyed "Viewpoint", which is a scrolly-
shooter in the vein of Zaxxon, but with some absolutely beautiful graphics. 
I remember drooling when I heard that this game was to be released on the 
'Station, and in due course I rushed home from the mall with a copy in my 
sweaty little hoof, only to discover that the conversion was complete, 
total, unmitigated pants. Even without sound, the version on NeoRage beats 
piss out of that poxy PS version.

In case anyone is reading all this and wondering what an emu is - get your 
arse over to Dave's, download, and enjoy! Dave's is just about the only 
site you need for all the latest emus, and their ROMs. Large amounts of fun 
are absolutely guaranteed, and it's all free :-)

Well, I have just finished watching Schumi kicking the McLarens' arse in 
the Hungarian GP, and, much though everyone loves to hate the German dude, 
you have to say he richly deserved to win, he was totally caning that 
Ferrari! It's good for the excitement level of future GPs, too, since it 
means that Hakkinen has by no means got it in the bag. I'm looking forward 
to the next race, and thank Ghu, I'll be back from devcon just in time. I 
din't get to see a lot of F1 when I was out in the US, they seem more 
preoccupied with that Indy stuff on thos1e incredibly boring donut tracks.

That's about it for this time - I'd better upload this now, since I still 
have stuff to do, like mow the lawn so it does not become a jungle before I 
get back, pack a bag full of T-shirts and smeggers, charge up the laptop 
and such stuff, leaving me a clear day tomorrow for some more debugging and 
backing up, before departing for devcon. When I get back I should have a 
tools update that will enable me to start putting sounds'n'choons into T3K. 
Cool :-)

Oh yeah, they keep hassling me down my local that, even though I have 
frequently referred to going down there on my webpage, I never actually 
referred to it by name! So, just to totally put the record straight, if you 
should happen to be leaving Carmarthen on the Lampeter road, and fancy a 
pint, then go to the second pub on that road. It's on the left as you go 
through a small village (with a field of nice pretty sheep just as you 
drive in the village - mind you don't get distracted and crash), and it's 
called The Masons. Nip in and have a pint!

Gotta go - the grass is growing, and although the goat is out there doing 
his bit, I still need to go and do the Hover Bovver thang [an early Minter 
game centering around the mowing of lawns --Ed.]. Cya!

//// 13 Sept '98

Bleatings!

Well, it's been almost a month since my last update, and I have been up to 
a few things. Went out to devcon in California, which was fun even if the 
weather was typical California-boring - just sun, sun, sun all the time, 
and none of the possibility of getting seriously moist that makes the Welsh 
summer so endearing :-). Devcon was fun - you have no idea how nice it is 
to be able to finally get up on my hind hooves and bleat at least semi-
publicly about how cool X is, after so many months/years of Deep Stealth. 
And it was cool to catch up with all the guys from VM who I haven't seen 
for a long while, and spend the occasional night lurking in bars with other 
denizens of the Valley who are mates and who haven't seen my shabby carcass 
for almost a year. My boss invited me for dinner and his wife cooked me a 
*really* excellent curry. I was lodged in corporate apartments which just 
happened to be across the road from both the Golfland Arcade (a well-known 
test site for new videogames - I spent a deal of time in there checking out 
the new update on an old classic called Gauntlet Legends) and an Indian 
restaurant. I took the obligatory trip to Fry's (which was kinda a shock, 
since it had moved and wasn't where I expected it to be) and came away with 
a fine toy, in the shape of a Fuji MX-700 digital camera; very cool 
compared to the old Kodak DC50 that I used to have. It is really nice, 
about 1/4 of the size of the old Kodak, and takes pics at almost 4x the rez 
of my old camera. Flossie is rapidly becoming the Most Photographed Sheep 
in the World :-)

Back home, a week later I was off to ECTS for the day, where VM had a 
discreet presence and were blowing the bollox off invited guests :-). That 
was kinda fun too - I had the opportunity of having a look around the show, 
when I wasn't needed to be rabidly enthusiastic about X for the Mothercorp 
(not a difficult task). I enjoyed having another go at F-Zero X, for which 
I am drooling; and playing around with the horse in Zelda 64. I had an 
unfair advantage on the Nintendo stand, coz they were showing 1080 
Snowboarding - a title not yet released over here, but which I picked up in 
Fry's being as it has been out in the US for ages. I was therefore able to 
deposit a few Yakly hi-scores on the systems at the show :-)

Actually, there is a small part of me which will be forever Olympia. For 
years I have had this tiny polyp near my navel. It has never bothered me, 
being an almost insignificant excrescence, but a few days before the show 
it started getting really itchy. As I was wandering around at the show, I 
absent-mindedly gave it a scratch, and it fell off! Quite a relief, and now 
there is a small part of me which remains in London (albeit probably up 
somebody's Hoover by now :-))

(Yak pauses to throw his dog off his coder's seat, the little bugger!)

Back home, and all proceeds nicely - although I think that we have seen the 
end of summer here. Much moisture has a tendency to descend from the sky, 
and this last weekend the ambient temperature has declined sharply. Flossie 
has become most insistent about getting attention from me, and whenever I 
show my face outside bleats vigorously and runs up to the fence for a biccy 
and a good skritch :-). I don't mind at all, it's always a pleasure to bury 
my hands in her thick fleece and watch her squirm with pleasure as I 
scratch Just The Right Spot :-)

Watched the Italian GP today, and saw Schumi win it yet again, and leave 
Hakkinen with a technical problem to languish in 4th place, meaning that 
they are now exactly level in the points for the championship - this means 
that the last couple of races will be well exciting. Excellent. I felt a 
bit sorry for old Coulthard though, who was streaking away in the lead, 
much to the displeasure of the Tifosi, until his engine blew up (which 
cheered them up considerably). I bet Hakkinen is sweating now! At the start 
of the season it looked like the McLarens would be urinating from a great 
height on all the opposition, but now it has come right down to the wire. 
Excellent stuff! And it's fun to hear good old Murray Walker almost having 
an aneurysm with excitement at each new development. I'm not that much of a 
sportsfan, but I do love me GP :-).

Mind you, my GP was interrupted today. I am sitting there, glued to the 
hallowed event, and my bro' (who is also a GP fan) had just rung me up to 
discuss how the race was going, when I was interrupted - by a large, white 
shaggy entity, who decided that he'd come inside and check out the action 
as well. Yep - good old Ali decided he'd come in and see what the human was 
so interested in...

[picture of goat eyeing object on chair --Ed.]

No, you can't eat my VM Labs bag, you mad goat!

He's a caution, that goat :-). Mind you, it's good to see him in such good 
form - he had been limping recently, so I called the vet thinking it was 
maybe trouble with his hooves, although I had trimmed them to the best of 
my ability. The vet-dude examined his hooves, which were fine, and then 
listened to his knees, and pronounced him arthritic. He is an old goat, 
after all. Although there is no specific palliative for goats with that 
condition, the vet gave me something usually prescribed for horses, to be 
given in a reduced dose, and it seems to be working fine - Ali is not only 
running about again but even coming in the house for the odd game of 
pinball :-). Luckily on this occasion I was able to evict him before he 
left me a bunch of goat-currants on the carpet hehe...

Vindy, of course, got really jealous when Ali came in the house, since 
inside is definitely her territory. In fact, if you look at the previous 
picture you can see her barking indignantly at him. Check out the closeup - 
the flash just caught her eyes, and she actually looks quite demonic :-).

[picture of small dog with evil glowing eyes --Ed.]

I call her the DemonDog.... 

Actually Vindy is in for the chop this week - not before time, I reckon, as 
she has been getting increasingly randy, of late. I have found that it is 
really difficult to devote the proper attention to playing on one's 
Playstation when there is a small, demented furry entity desperately 
attempting to shag silly the arm that you're holding the joypad with. I 
thought it was only male dogs that did that kind of thing - maybe I got a 
lesbian carnivore here :-)

Gameswize I have been playing the aforementioned 1080 Snowboarding - it has 
been out for ages in the US, and not in the UK, so I picked it up on my 
trip. It's really a blast! If you liked WaveRace you'll like this; the 
controls are very similar, and the courses are a lot of fun, with many 
variations possible during the descent, and loadsa cool tricks you can do. 
I would have liked to have seen a skiing mode built in too, since the 
snowboarding part is so cool, and I have spent a few years becoming 
proficient at descending mountains on two skis IRL... but hey, snowboarding 
is more GenX than skiing, and it's still a great game. Highly recommended 
:-)

Last weekend I decided that it was about time I picked up a new 'Station - 
my US-spec one does not play UK games, and is also suffering from the 
dreaded "turn-it-upside-down" bug, so I went into Carmarthen and picked up 
a UK-spec machine and a copy of Gran Turismo. Although those of us used to 
better things are somewhat put off by the massive pixels and texture-
bending that have become the trademark of PS games, GT is still a great 
driving game, graphical shortcomings notwithstanding. Loadsa cars, loadsa 
tracks, and for a PS, the replay mode is actually quite spectacular. The 
inclusion of the full Gran Turismo mode - in which you have to start out 
buying a second-hand car and then win races to earn points to get better 
cars, and even take driving tests - lends the game more depth than just yer 
average racer. You *need* a memory card though!

I just spent the whole afternoon playing this after watching the GP - 
nothing gets you in the mood for a good racing game session than watching 
Schuey and the rest doing their thang. Again, highly recommended.

Also, I have to love Gran Turismo, because in the game I can drive a red 
MX-5 just like the one I had back in the US! Now if only they could put in 
the sound of KSJO on the radio and the bit of Highways 101/85/280 between 
Watsonville and Los Altos Hills... :-)

Well, that's it for now... I am gonna upload and then chill out ready for 
some more T3K tomorrow. It's a shame that there are no HTML tags that 
express the essence of plump sheep and the feeling of lanolin on your 
fingers or I would say goodbye from Flossie too. I'll cya next time....


                            --==--==--==--==--


   ||  JagFest '98: The Aftermath
   ||  By: Kevin Manne and Wes Powell
\__//  KevinManne@wycol.com, powell@easilink.com
       -----------------------------------------------------------------

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// Kevin Manne's Take
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

So, the second Atari Jaguar Fest was a success, or so I'd say. Most 
probably didn't think there'd be another, but I'd set my mind to it and 
went for it....and I think it went over well.

The day started off early for me, getting up and packing up the car full of 
TVs and Jaguar-related items. I headed off to the Fire Hall to find Dave 
Bell waiting there for us. We opened up the doors and started setting up... 
things were off to a good start.

Soon after we opened the doors, Scott Walters showed up and we set up his 
BJL Jaguar with a program he had written to display some JagFest artwork 
Wes had done, along with playing a MIDI file. I was certainly impressed, 
and it made a great display for people arriving at the door.

We set up a head-to-head Doom network early, and began setting Jags and 
monitors on the north wall of the Fire Hall. Things didn't really get 
going, though, until Guy Dupre arrived in his Camaro loaded with monitors 
and Jags. I'm still amazed by how much stuff he had packed in there... now 
that's skill! 

BattleSphere was definitely the biggest attraction at the Fest. Most seemed 
genuinely impressed with its "polished" look and high fun factor. The BS 
experience was heightened even more by being hooked up in RGB, with some 
great speakers and a subwoofer that Guy brought with him. I even got to try 
out the game in a Scuba VR headset. What a rush!

The tournaments actually happened this year, which was a great thing 
considering how much fun people had with them. I actually enjoyed the Ultra 
Vortek tournament the best, even thought I got eliminated in the first 
round. Everyone was really into that one, which made it the most exciting. 
The Super Burnout and Tempest 2000 tournaments took a bunch of time each, 
which made getting all the scheduled tournaments done in time difficult. 
Even so, I'd say what was there was pretty good.

Gorf 2000 made a good showing, even though there were only some 3D demos 
and models to show. The MOD files were definitely rockin, and the Classic 
mode was already up and running on the Jag, albeit incomplete. Steve really 
seems to know what's up, and with Terance doing some killer artwork for 
him, I'm sure nothing but good things can come of this.

Dark Knight Games brought a prototype EXTREME Rotary Controller. The rotary 
control on it was very nice, thanks to the optical encoder. But the 
joystick seemed too stiff and poorly-placed on the casing. The Option and 
Pause buttons were a bit cheesy and the case could use to be screwed 
together :-) But, this was only a prototype, so some of these things could 
change (hopefully) before the final release. Definitely keep the rotary the 
same, though.

The Lynx had a new game showing, a Bomberman clone entitled "TNT Terry". 
Even in its early state, the graphics look amazingly similar to other 
versions of Bomberman, but the enemy AI was nearly non-existent (they just 
ran back and forth), and the game would just lock up after you cleared out 
all the baddies. But, it's off to a great start. I look forward to the 
final release.

Overall, I'd say the Fest was a great time. I even bought a few of the 
Dentec games to almost finish off my Jag collection there :-). It seems 
that everyone that came out had fun, and for that I have no regrets for 
putting together JagFest '98. You guys made it great, and without you, it'd 
be nothing. Thanks for coming out, and we'll see you next year if someone 
puts together a JagFest '99. I think I'll pass for next year, myself :-)


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
//// Wes' Take
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

First off, I have to mention the day before the Fest. Kev and I went down 
to the Fire Hall to set up some tables and chairs, along with a few posters 
and stuff. The tables went smooth, but when it came to setting up the 
chairs, Kev's teamwork dropped off a cliff. As I continually packed out 
chairs 4 and 6 at a time, Kev was "setting up some classic stuff"... Okay, 
I thought that was cool. As I continue to pack chairs out, I look over to 
see Kevin having a grand ol' time playing Moon Patrol, Missile Command and 
some other games.

Oh well... it was cool =)

Then we went outside to put the letters on the sign outside. Kevin and I 
were trying to get both sides to look identical. When we finished up, we 
stood back to take a look at our work. We were satisfied! So we took some 
pics of us standing in front of the sign. The next day as we were driving 
by the Fire Hall, Kev notices that I had misspelled the freakin' sign. I 
had "Jagaur" instead of the proper spelling. Everyone insisted on making 
fun of my little error, but they didn't understand that I was concentrating 
on the alignment of the letters instead of the spelling. Oh well, it made 
for some great pictures... hehehe!

(Kevin's Note: You'll be seeing some scans of the infamous signs soon, when 
we get them scanned in. Wes was crying about it we were picking on him so 
much. Hehe.)

So, the day of the Fest finally came around. It's weird when you've been 
planning for something and looking forward to it for so long and then it's 
finally about to happen -- sorta like BattleSphere.

Scott Walters (great guy) had his BJL modified Jag there running some 
Server games and stuff. I finally got the chance to play Native. Let me 
tell you that this game has the most impressive graphics of any 2D Jaguar 
game. The demo didn't allow for you to collect any of the powerups, but you 
could still tell that the gameplay was very smooth. It's a shame that this 
thing isn't getting finished. I'd pay good money for that game. I also got 
a chance to play Jagtris. It was okay, but the controls were a bit wacky. I 
also scoped out JagMania for a few seconds. 

As more people started coming in, the games really started to get rolling. 
I even got a chance to sit down and play some Ruiner pinball for about an 
hour. I had one of the best games I've ever played on it, ending up with a 
final score of 1,140,000,000!! People were having a lot of fun trying out 
the games they hadn't tried before, I could tell. Of course, I was 
constantly looking over at the BattleSphere setup to see if anyone was 
having a tough time getting started out. 

The tournaments were a lot of fun! First game was Ultra Vortek. The 
toughest part about this tournament was that you couldn't use the same 
character twice. This made the character selection tough, considering that 
I needed to save Buzzsaw for the final round (Yes, I was confident that I'd 
get that far...hehe)... Scott Walters seemed to know his stuff, so he's who 
I faced in the final. It was a good fight. I'm glad I won tho... I won a 
couple of games that I already own =)

Next up was the Super Burnout tournament. This one took quite a while since 
we had to race 3 laps on 3 different tracks. But after all was done, I came 
out on top! Sweet! This time I won an Atari T-Shirt.

Last was the T2K tourney. Start up on level 39 and see how high of a score 
you can rack up. My first guy was pretty pathetic. I died on a pulsar 
almost immediately. This got a couple of laughs from the crowd that was 
watching, but I wasn't going to go down like that, so I started to rock on 
the second try. As I started to rack up extra guys beyond the reach of the 
display, people began to get up and leave. Whoops... And just when everyone 
thought I was doomed with no guys left, I pulled off a comeback and racked 
up a whole bunch more points before it was over. I ended up with 800,000, 
which was twice as much as second place. For this, I won the color edition 
of the Atari Zone Fanzine! ROCK ON =) I also got a subscription for a 
year...

So, then things started to settle down a bit as a few people started to 
leave. Then Steve "Gorfian Empire" Scavone showed up! A big crowd suddenly 
gathered around a couple of tables to listen to the discussion they had 
going. Then he started showing us some stuff he had going on Gorf 2000! 
Most of the phases from the Classic mode were up and running on the Jag. 
The collision detection needs some tweaking and the AI needs some work, but 
it's cool that he's got it all going. Then he showed us a little idea he 
had going on the PC for the Astro Battle mode. He also showed us the 
Flagship and Cruiser models. Then he fired up the MOD files. These are some 
rockin' metal tunes that have quite a bit of flavor. Lots of stuff going on 
there. Look for some of those MODs and stuff up on Jagu-Dome soon.

Dave Bell brought his official dev-kit and stuff. Reading through some of 
that stuff was cool. He also brought his stereo, which was used to play 
T2K, IS2 and the BattleMorph soundtrack. He also hooked up his PC to the 
phone line there, allowing us to give you guys the Jaguar Interactive 
updates. FedEx delivered the prototype model of the Extreme Rotary right to 
the Fire Hall. It was all messed up. I'm sure Dave hoped he'd have 
something better to show, but it looked okay. The rotary controls were 
smooth and the buttons were nice, but the joystick needed some work. It's 
placed right above the rotary knob, so you jack your wrist on the rotary 
when you use it. Kev says the stick is a bit stiff, but I like the feel of 
it. As long as they move it to a more convenient spot. 

As things started to settle down, I figured it was time to do some psycho 
stuff. So, I set up 2 tables together and convinced Pete Voorhees to jump 
over them with me. After we accomplished that, I had to try something 
harder, so I jumped the 2 while doing a 360 in mid-air. I was about to 
attempt to jump the length of one of the tables, but they wouldn't let me. 
Too bad... it would've looked cool =)

JF '98 was awesome. It was even cooler than last year's! I finally got to 
meet some of the people I'd been talking with on the 'net. It's always cool 
to put a face with those people. I had a blast talking to everyone and 
playing in the tournaments. I certainly won't forget it... I hope to do it 
again sometime.

Oh yeah... I forgot to mention the fun I had with BattleSphere. I got quite 
a bit of time to play around with it. I made it up to level 30 on Gauntlet 
mode! I finished a level of Alone Against the Empires and had a blast 
wasting some people in Free-For-All mode. I can't wait to own two of these 
carts. It's simply the best game you can own.


                            --==--==--==--==--


   ||  JagFest '98: Blow by Blow
   ||  Compiled By: Clay Halliwell
\__//  halliwee@dyess.af.mil
       -----------------------------------------------------------------

As JagFest '98 was rumbling along up in Corfu, Dark Knight Games' Dave Bell 
had the foresight to bring along a computer with an Internet hookup. Thanks 
to this, those of us unable to attend were treated to a series of posts to 
Jaguar Interactive 2, keeping us abreast of events as they happened. This 
is the transcript of those posts.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: JagFest 98 Update #1: 10:00am
Posted by Dave Homenuck (206-21-128.iptr.aol.com) on August 01, 1998 at 
06:58:06:

JagFest has officially been open for an hour. I have been playing 
BATTLESPHERE for at least half that time so far, with much more to come. 

Simply... this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. No, since 
something far before that. 

The game is completely polished. Everything from the menus to the ship 
select screen to the actual game is beautiful.

I've been playing Alone Against the Empires, and I'm getting my butt 
whipped terribly. 

I think I'll babble on a bit more. Say "hi", Wes! "Hi!" says Wes.

We'll be back in a bit once something new happens. 

Until then, we'll be playing BATTLESPHERE! Will you? Didn't think so! 
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Dave 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Re: Re: Re: JagFest 98 Update #1: 10:00am
Posted by Thunderbird (midtown-dnnqw-029.ny.compuserve.net) on August 01, 
1998 at 10:07:58:

Alone Against the Empires is a lot more fun once you figure out how far 
from your base you have to be in order to dock (can't be too close or too 
far). Repairs/Replenishes are cool!

Also, the "0" key is the wingman command key. It's helpful in tight spots.

Are you guys figuring out how to command the friendly forces yet? It's 
pretty straightforward, but some people don't get it.

Don't forget to come back with more reviews of the thing. This is a prelude 
to actual buyer reactions ('cause that is probably a final ROM image you 
have there), and we're very interested in what people say about the final 
version.

Thanks for the feedback!

Thunderbird
4Play

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Stuff to ask T-Bird and friends
Posted by Wes (174-138-66.iptr.aol.com) on August 01, 1998 at 12:42:15:

>Alone Against the Empires is a lot more fun once you figure out how far
>from your base you have to be in order to dock (can't bee too close or
>too far). Repairs/Replenishes are cool!

Yeah...warping around the sectors is fun stuff. We still can't figure out 
how to dock tho...Once you get the right distance to the starbase, do you 
have to push a certain button or does it just do it automatically?

>Also, the "0" key is the wingman command key. It's helpful in tight spots.

Ya =)

>Are you guys figuring out how to command the friendly forces yet? It's
>pretty straightforward, but some people don't get it.

Ya =)

>Don't forget to come back with more reviews of the thing. This is a
>preclude to actual buyer reactions ('cause that is probably a final ROM
>image you have there), and we're very interested in what people say about
>the final version.

Okay, dude...We're gonna put it thru it's paces here...I've been showing 
the people the basics even tho I suck still. You need to tell us some 
tactics (or some easter eggs :-] )

>Thanks for the feedback!

Thanks for the cheats! =)

Wes
Super Burnout champion...or soon to be =)

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Re: Stuff to ask T-Bird and friends
Posted by Oppressor (209.142.25.185) on August 01, 1998 at 13:02:47:

Docking is automatic, you'll know. You have to face the starbase and be 
fairly close but not too close. Experiment. Usually, the radius of the base 
is just about fullscreen when you're the right distance.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Updates from the Fest - 3:30 PM
Posted by Kevin (174-138-66.iptr.aol.com) on August 01, 1998 at 12:31:27:

Hey Guys:

We've started up playing the tournaments...the Ultra Vortek tourney has 
been completed, won by Wes Powell vs Scott Walters. The Super Burnout 
tournament is currently being held.

I just finished up playing BattleSphere on the Scuba VR headset...and it 
was pretty cool! Hey T-Bird, why aren't you here, you punk? hehehe

Think I'll head back to BS now...:-)

-Kevin

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: JagFest 98 Update: 5:30pm
Posted by Dave Homenuck (174-148-184.iptr.aol.com) on August 01, 1998 at 
14:26:55:

What's new here at the Fest?

Well, before I forget, TNT Terry (a new Lynx game announced today and 
available for play here at the Fest) has been getting great reviews. It's a 
very early demo of a Bomberman clone by Laurens Simonis.

It looks like Wes Powell and Scott Walters are going to be going head to 
head (again!) to see who's the Super Burnout champion. The award for "Best 
Effort" goes to Dave Bell, who made a great showing, but is so far at the 
end of the pack of 10-12 players. Maybe next year, Dave!

Steve Scavone just showed up and is amazing everybody simply by telling us 
all about the Jag's hardware.

Clay Halliwell put together a VERY professional Battlemorph soundtrack CD 
to give out as a prize. Trust me, it looks awesome and sounds better. I 
think Kevin is planning on rigging a contest so he can win it. Clay, if 
you're reading this, we've already had a bunch of people say they'd gladly 
preorder if you think of creating some more copies!!!

Now, I'm off to try out the tips that 4Play gave us about Battlesphere... 
oh, in case I didn't mention it already, we're playing it and YOU aren't! 
HAHAHHA

Dave 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: JagFest 98: Gorf 2000 demo
Posted by Dave Homenuck (173-224-108.iptr.aol.com) on August 01, 1998 at 
15:20:27:

Steve Scavone showed us some of his work for Gorf 2000. He's got some 
classic modes looking much like the originals. He also had some nice 3D 
stuff to show us... those famous screenshots of the 3D flagship were before 
our eyes with full motion. He also had a cool little demo where you could 
make your way around some hovering rows of Galaxian-style aliens but in a 
3D world (if it's not Galaxian, please excuse me... young guys like me 
consider "classic video games" to be Super Mario for the NES). ;)

He basically told us that the 3D demo simply a bunch of ideas... they won't 
be in the game (at least how we saw them), instead it will have aliens 
coming from all directions, while you move around a track making sure that 
they don't land on a domed city in the middle (again, much like Missile 
Command 3D). Keep in mind that Gorf contains many different play modes, so 
this is just one of them.

The big hit was the .MOD theme song for Gorf. It's of Tempest 2000 quality, 
but more of a heavy metal style. 

Steve assured us all that he'd take the 4Play route for his game: He won't 
give dates and he'll also make sure it's 100% perfect and polished like 
Battlesphere before it's released. He wants his name to be associated with 
the highest-quality of games, not just something that gets rushed out the 
door.

Dave (who's angry because every time he is about to walk over to play some 
Battlesphere, somebody else sits down and plays... and plays... and 
plays...) Homenuck 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Oh what a festival!
Posted by Brian R. (br3.ceh.servtech.com) on August 01, 1998 at 20:55:19:

The JagFest might be over, but my excitement isn't...have yet to dig into 
the "haul" of goodies I brought back to Corning from Corfu...Atari Karts, 
Ultra Vortek, Iron Soldier and Ruiner Pinball, and a Jaguar, all new. (So 
what am I doing here? Good question, I was wondering that myself...)

It was a blast meeting everyone and talking Atari all day. Not something I 
get to do often, most people here just look at me funny. Man did the time 
fly! Trying out all those games, seeing bunches of stuff for the first 
time. Unfortunately there wasn't a CD unit for sale, though. 

Too bad BattleSphere wasn't ready to buy at the Fest. If it had, an easy 
three dozen or more carts would've gone out the door. Anyone without the 
cash would've found it, I think, even if it meant donating a few pints of 
blood and getting rid of spare organs...Yes, I was impressed by the game in 
all respects -- graphics, music, gameplay -- although I got blown up more 
than a few times. With some time, though, I could see myself really liking 
that game...and maybe getting good at it? I'll be looking for the 
announcement... Congrats to 4Play, I don't understand much of anything 
about creating a game, and I'm new to all this so I wasn't along for the 
whole ride, but the end result looks great.

Well, enough for now, I've got four new carts to open up and try out! SEE 
YA!! :-) 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Just got back...
Posted by Jagman (frdn2-57.netsync.net) on August 01, 1998 at 21:50:50:

And whew what a day! It was awesome meeting everyone, Wes, Kevin, Guy, (btw 
whats the url to your page) and everyone else...there was only one copy of 
BS, but from what ive played it looked really awesome! I cant wait to get 
my own copy(s) and network them! We did get a 4 player Aircars game going 
(took us long enough to get it hooked up right) but we finally got it and 
the game isnt even half bad networked like that..I kinda like it. I played 
Native and oh my god! That game is awesome, even though there was no sound 
and the power ups wernt enabled the graphics are really good. If this game 
was done it could beat R-type easy. I wish i/could go on about the fest but 
its kinda hard using a controller to type all of this since my pc is still 
broke...

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: JagFest shtuff
Posted by Wes (Client103.wycol.com) on August 01, 1998 at 22:31:22:

Hey all...

Well...the Fest is all over now. That was a sweet show. There was plenty to 
play and enough cool people to talk to for a few hours. BattleSphere rocked 
again...But DUDE...we need some tips or something...just to watch someone 
from 4Play play it (Not Steph or Tom) for a few minutes would probably help 
out a lot. We finally got the docking going...that's cool stuff...nothing 
like filling up on your missiles and junk. We tried to enter some scores 
into the Jag Top 50, but we only got negative scores =) 

Note to 4Play...I got -480 or something and the ranking that I got said 
"Wesley"...don't tell me that you're hashing me up on your cool game that 
I've been promoting for you for the past 2 years =) Oh yeah...the music 
kicks some butt, Steph...My favorite tune is the one where you select your 
ship...freakin' bad. The "Loser" song is very cool too...too bad we had to 
hear that so many times =) Oh yeah...We all singing along with the 
"Awesome" song...hehehe...sweet! Linkability would have been totally sweet 
this year with all the bugs taken care of, but ohh well.

Yo, Rock....Sorry I didn't get to say goodbye...but it was pretty cool 
hanging with you and all the other guys. It's always smooth to put some 
faces with the names you've been talking to on the net...

BattleMorph soundtrack is smooth...

Oh yeah...just to update you on the tournaments...I won the Ultra Vortek, 
Super Burnout and Tempest 2000. I didn't enter the Plasma Pong tourny, but 
Kevin Mosely took that one...I won a couple of game that I already own! If 
anyone needs a copy of Baldies or HoverStrike CD, drop me a note...I got a 
couple more Atari shirts...that's smooth!

Anyway...I gotta save some of this junk to write up the JagFest report =)

Wes
The Ultimate Jaguarian
P.S. (...) 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Re: BS music
Posted by Dave Homenuck (stn-on1-05.netcom.ca) on August 01, 1998 at 
22:32:16:

>Out of curiosity, nobody said anything about the music.
>Hoping you liked.

...Stephanie is feeling a bit left out... ;)

With music playing from every which way, it was sort of hard to appreciate 
BattleSphere's music. That is, until somebody hooked up some cool speakers 
and a huge subwoofer to the thing. It rocked!

My favorite song was the "Loser" song. I'd finish a game, and the remaining 
integrity and pride that I could muster would be stomped on and destroyed 
when I'd hear it. ;) I think it's a funny touch.

Dave 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Re: some scores for BS at the top 50---=>Maybe not!
Posted by Dave Homenuck (stn-on1-05.netcom.ca) on August 01, 1998 at 
22:40:57:

>I hope the guys at the fest will send me some scores to post.
>I put a BattleSphere page up and everything at the top 50.
>If anyone can help please do.

Sounds all well and good, but T-Bird sure gave us some challenging 
guidelines. My scores in succession were 20, 40, -109 (yes, that's 
negative) and -170.

In order to understand this, I'll let you inside the mind of an AATE 
player: Hey, I'm shooting a bunch of aliens! Cool! I'm the greatest man in 
the world! I'll send some of my computer allies over to guard this base, 
and that one... hey, more aliens to kill! Woo hoo! Am I getting cocky? Who 
cares! I'm busy shooting aliens! Uhoh, my base in sector whatever is under 
attack. It's destroyed! Another base is destroyed!

Next thing you know, you've got 91 points for shooting bad guys, and -200 
for losing some star bases. ;)

So, hey, put me up on the Top 50 for 40 points at Battlesphere AATE!

Dave 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Re: Re: some scores for BS at the top 50---=>Maybe not!
Posted by Thunderbird (midtown-dnnqr-021.ny.compuserve.net) on August 02, 
1998 at 07:53:05:

>Sounds all well and good, but T-Bird sure gave us some challenging
>guidelines. My scores in succession were 20, 40, -109 (yes, that's
>negative) and -170.

Whoops! Sorry about that!

I've mastered the highest skill levels of AAtE for over a year now, so I 
figured I'd pick the one in the middle of the difficulty scale because you 
guys would find the easy levels too easy. I just played a game myself and 
scored 1587, so I'm on top! Whoo-hoo!

Thunderbird
4Play

P.S. You think Steph's got a singing career ahead with that "Loser" song?

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: some scores for BS at the top 50---=>Maybe not!
Posted by Thunderbird (midtown-dnnqy-067.ny.compuserve.net) on August 02, 
1998 at 14:21:32:

>So, 1587... did you lose any bases getting that score?

I think I lost 4. Usually I do much better than that, but I was watching 
the Brickyard 400 at the same time and I wasn't really paying attention. ;-
)

>Oh, I've got some questions. First of all, is the deployment (location
>and number) of ally ships and enemies random? 
>It would seem like sometimes I'd have more guys one time than the next...
>or maybe they were just a bit more spread out and it deceived me.

It's supposed to follow a range (but it is random). Sometimes you can 
randomly get a grouping that can develop into a really good game because 
the placement puts your strong friendlies near strong enemies and you get 
an easier plan of attack.

>Since I also didn't have a manual, I didn't bother trying to figure out
>what the letters meant on the map. The enemies were green, my guys were
>red, but the "F"s and stuff like that, what were they? I assume they were
>classes/types of ship... I think that knowing this would have made it
>easier, so I could just send in a couple big ships to fight a bunch of
>small ones, or something similar to that.

F-ighter
B-omber
S-upership
C-ruiser
X-arbase
.-jected pilot

There's also a S-hield, H-ull Damage, E-nergy and W-arp meters on the 
map...

Thunderbird
4Play

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: some scores for BS at the top 50---=>Maybe 
not!
Posted by Thunderbird (midtown-dnnqe-107.ny.compuserve.net) on August 02, 
1998 at 18:39:42:

>Ah, yes. That Warp meter is a great idea.

Didja notice that it turns yellow when you can't reach the destination with 
your current energy reserves, but turns green when you have enough charge 
to make the warp? 

I think the whole map came out pretty nice, I wish it could have had some 
more graphics effects (like a computer monitor bitmap deal surrounding it 
to make it look like it's on your ship's control panel) but there wasn't 
room for the bitmap.

Did you get a chance to watch the battles take place while viewing the map? 
That's one of the coolest things about it, as you can watch the battles 
transpire and ships get killed, etc.

>It also seems as if you can overshoot your target if you
>"lose control" of the HUD target thing while you're
>warping. This is what I figured, anyway, since I think I
>kept it close enough every time.

Did you ever play "Star Raiders"? 

>What is the "eject" key, by the way?

It's as easy as "ABC 123"

Thunderbird
4Play

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Hey tell Wes
Posted by John Rockefeller (Rocky) (as5-19.iaw.on.ca) on August 01, 1998 at 
19:47:31:

Hey all I got home bout 20 mins ago, I love I-War.
Also, Tell Wes I said bye cause when I left I wanted to shake his hand too, 
but I couldn't see him. So just tell him I said bye, and It was a great 
fest, it was the best Saturday I've ever had, I especially liked talking to 
the guy that runs Jag-Tail website, and with Brian from the newspaper. I 
enjoyed meeting you all and I look forward to Jag-Fest 99. Even if its like 
way too far away, I'm still going to try to make it.

See ya
Rocky

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Back from the Fest
Posted by Dark Adder (omega.buf.adelphia.net) on August 01, 1998 at 
20:48:02:

Well, actually, was back a while ago, but as soon as I got home I ripped 
into my new acquisitions, Defender 2000 and Iron Soldier ($11.00 and $7.50, 
respectively. What a steal!), and you can figure out why it took me a while 
to get around to the PC ;)

Awesome, awesome, awesome day. Some memorable events include some hot Doom 
deathmatching with Scott, the BJL dude, and of course the Ultra Vortek and 
Super Burnout tourneys (So what if I lost in the first round to Scott, eh? 
:) Of course BattleSphere was there and lookin slick, with a liquid 
framerate. 

Very cool roundtable sort of discussion at the food tables amidst pizza, 
hot dogs, and free pop, on all topics video games. The hot topic after that 
was Gorf 2000. Didn't get a chance to hop on the controls myself, but was 
quite impressed with the classic mode, and man does that music rock the 
house! :)

Also had to dig Kevin's bix box custom controller. Buttons on the sides for 
flippers in pinball just rule. 

Bill Roeske
Dark Adder
hroeske@adelphia.net 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Back from Jagfest '98
Posted by Sean Routte (spider-ta033.proxy.aol.com) on August 01, 1998 at 
23:46:51:

Well I just finished my 7 hour drive back home. I learned a very important 
lesson, plan better next time so that I can stay longer. I hope no one was 
offended that I had to leave early, but I had a blast meeting everyone. Oh 
yeah, for those of you who think that T-Bird has a huge ego, once you play 
Battlesphere, you WILL forget all about it. That game rules. Oh, and 
despite popular belief, Dave Bell wasn't a total jerk. He knew his Atari 
stuff pretty well. I also learned that I seriously need to start playing my 
Jag more often.

-Sean 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Leftovers: Dentec and BSphere trick???
Posted by Dave Homenuck (stn-on1-05.netcom.ca) on August 01, 1998 at 
22:54:50:

Two things I forgot... 

#1: Somebody was asking about Dentec's service at the JagFest. They weren't 
there, but they sent a huge box full of games and Jaguars. Games ran from 
$7.50 (Ruiner, etc) to $13. Iron Soldier, T2K, Supercross, Missile Command, 
D2K, and many more were on sale. Atari Karts sold out at $11! There were 
some very good deals there... did I mention that Jags were sold brand new 
for $13.50??? Needless to say, I've got another Jag.

#2: ATTN: 4Play! I tried my best to mash buttons and type in weird codes in 
various menus and stages of the game (in a valiant attempt to find an 
easter egg or trick). All I came up with is this: When you pause the game, 
"pause" is written across the screen, and the music stops. While it's 
paused, if you hit 1 and 3 together on the keypad, the word "pause" is 
removed and the music can be heard again. I hope this isn't documented in 
the manual... that way I think I'm the first non-4Play member/playtester to 
find an undocumented trick... In that case, do I win a ham or something?

;)

Dave 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Re: Re: Leftovers: Dentec and BSphere trick???
Posted by Dave Homenuck (stn-on1-13.netcom.ca) on August 02, 1998 at 
12:06:51:

>All Jaguar games do that (well, 99% of them do, anyhow) it's in the
>developer guidelines... most developers followed them.

Oh, well. My parade has officially been rained on. ;)

There still are "10+" easter eggs in the game, right? I think I remember 
that quote from you a while ago (or maybe it was from the countdown site).

Dave

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: JVM and the 'fest
Posted by Carl (Dial-52.Roch.MillComm.COM) on August 02, 1998 at 13:06:52:

This is a day late, but just for the record we tried to set up a Voice 
Modem link between my house (in MN) and the 'fest in NY, but it didn't 
work. The phone lines connected, but for whatever reason the modems would 
not send the required ID sequence to recognize each other.

But at least we tried...

I have played UV successfully over the phone before, and it is a lot of 
fun. ;-)

Carl

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: JagFest Notes
Posted by G (dt03q6n88.nycap.rr.com) on August 02, 1998 at 18:42:54:

Well most of my notes are in the form of an answer to a question troughout 
my posts of today . All i can say is it was an EXCELLENT time had by all , 
well almost . Thanks to all those involved in helping to make it such a 
great time, mostly kevin , sorry about your face melting in the visor with 
BattleSphere there chief! Maybe we should tell 4Play they should insert 
some kind of WARNING in the manual that something like that may happen . 
Wes, add me to your list of people who wants a rematch . Thanks to everyone 
who went your all nice people and easy to get along with , hope to do it 
again sometime and see you all there without you all it wouldnt be what it 
was . I am still not unpacked . Aloha . 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Re: Re: JagFest Notes
Posted by Dave Homenuck (stn-on1-17.netcom.ca) on August 02, 1998 at 
16:58:10:

>Hey no epileptic seizures?!? That's good! Psychedelic Pong? Was that
>really there? I heard there was a Pong there. And also, what was the
>mystery game? I'm curious as to what it was. 

That was the Pong that was hidden in, I believe, D2K. We were going to have 
the Classic Pong going, but it didn't work out that way.

Our "mystery" tournament didn't happen, either. It was to be Native (a 
mystery just so there was at least one game that nobody would practice 
for!). Due to our T2K and SBO tournaments that took up quite a bit of time 
each, not to mention the Ultra Vortek one (but it was worth it!), we didn't 
get Native up for competition.

Aside from that, we had another sort of mystery game available... for the 
Lynx! It was announced on the day of JagFest. It's called TNT Terry, and 
it's a Bomberman clone by Laurens Simonis. Very early demo, but it's got a 
lot of potential (and it'll be comlynxable!).

Dave

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: JagFest 98
Posted by Krunch FORCE (1Cust219.tnt1.muskegon.mi.da.uu.net) on August 02, 
1998 at 20:46:57:

Hello to every one of you who attended the JagFest! I had a great time 
Kevin, Wes, Scott, Steve, etc.

Terance Williams
Krunch FORCE (FORCE DESIGN)

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Jagfest!
Posted by Dark Knight Games (173-43-172.iptr.aol.com) on August 02, 1998 at 
20:54:26:

Hey,

Wanted to say that I had a blast at Jagfest 98'. Big thanks go out to 
Kevin, for throwing this event together for us! BattleSphere kicked ass, 
and is the best Jaguar game to date. 

Gorf 2000, I would buy just for the classic mode that they have running. 
Terrance and Steve really got a kickass classic mode going for that game, 
and Galaxian fans will be overjoyed.

Hello to all the other cool dudes, like Wes, Dave H., Guy, Carl (who tried 
to get a VM going with UV), and Clay (I believe) with the BattleMorph 
soundtrack! I WANT ONE. $60.00 to the person to get me one!

GREAT FEST. Hope the people that tried our controller liked it!

Regards,
~Dave Bell
Dark Knight Games 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Subject: Battlesphere Review: Was the hype true?
Posted by Dave Homenuck (stn-on1-45.netcom.ca) on August 03, 1998 at 
01:40:03:

Okay... enough of me posting to JI in a dazed Battlesphere high. I've 
finally taken the time to put all of my initial thoughts about Battlesphere 
into an organized fashion.

I only spent a few hours with the game, but it was much more time than 
needed to get familiar with it.

My review is located at the link below... I'd love to hear from other 
JagFesters to see how my review compares to their experiences!

Dave


                            --==--==--==--==--


   ||  State of the Lynx
   ||  By: Carl Forhan
\__//  forhan@millcomm.com
       -----------------------------------------------------------------

//// Preface

Oct 7, 1998

Welcome to the first installment of the "State of the Lynx", what I hope 
will be a regular feature in JEO to keep Atari fans everywhere up-to-date 
about the Lynx and what we can expect in the coming months.


//// Web Lynx

First off, what kind of Internet support is there for Lynx fans and/or 
programmers? At the risk of a shameless plug, I have to recommend my own 
web site, The Lynx Domain, as a good starting point for any Lynx 
enthusiast. I keep the site updated regularly with news and game progress 
reports, as well as provide links to other great Lynx web sites such as the 
BLL site from Bastian Schick (author of T-tris and co-author of SIMIS), 
Lynx World, the (very) Handy Lynx Emulator, and more. I also have links to 
BZ2K hints, a small Hyperdrome preview, and my own series of ULM articles. 

You can find The Lynx Domain at:
http://www.millcomm.com/~forhan/lynx.html


//// Game Updates

SIMIS was recently published, and features a collection of nifty games for 
the Lynx like a long-awaited Space Invader clone. I haven't received my 
copy yet, but should have one in time for review in the next JEO.

My own first Lynx project, SFX, is currently being published as I write 
this. A few copies are still left, so please contact me ASAP if you'd like 
to purchase this unique sound tool for the Lynx.

TNT Terry and Puzzler 2000 are two surprise titles that were announced in 
recent months. Both currently have playable demos, and it's refreshing to 
see some new folks making progress on original Lynx titles. The Puzzler 
title screen boasts some colorful graphics and lively sounds, while TNT 
Terry looks like a promising adaptation of the ever-popular Bomberman saga. 
Look for more updates on these in upcoming months.

Still fretting over not getting to travel to World of Atari '98? Then be 
sure to pick up Mark Santora's video of this renowned event, which includes 
direct video feeds for several unreleased Lynx games such as TNT Terry and 
Hyperdrome!

Links to all the above may be found at The Lynx Domain:
http://www.millcomm.com/~forhan/lynx.html


//// Ye Olde Rumor Mill

I've heard from a good source that an 'L' game WILL be published for the 
Lynx in the coming months... stay tuned for details. 

Telegames has indicated that they are pursuing the publication of 
Hyperdrome. There is no mention of this on their web site yet, but expect 
it sometime in early '99 (my best guess).

PONX is still being actively developed, and may have a unique two-player 
feature when it is published... I hope to yet find time to finish this 
title in '98.

This just in... I can't seem to get a good lock on the signal, though... 
"...new Lynx proje*STATIC*rmer developer*STATIC*appeal to *STATIC*ablished 
Lynx base."  What could this mean?

Signing off,
Carl Forhan
forhan@millcomm.com


                            --==--==--==--==--


   ||  Preview: Protector
   ||  By: Carl Forhan
\__//  forhan@millcomm.com
       -----------------------------------------------------------------

Most of you have probably heard something about Protector, an old-but-new 
game for the Jaguar that I've snatched from the jaws of death. Protector is 
at heart a Defender-styled game, but with plenty of new twists to keep 
Jaguar and classic game fans alike entertained.

Where did it come from? Well, that's a bit of a story in itself, but for 
now let me just say that I've done a lot of legwork tracking down a few 
former developers and seeing what they had in progress for the Jag. In this 
case, things worked out, and they had a nearly finished game that was 
shelved because a) Atari was abandoning the Jag in late '95, and b) they 
didn't want to compete against Minter and D2K.

I, on the other hand, think there is enough that sets Protector apart from 
D2K so that people will still want to add it to their Jaguar library. So 
far, that analysis seems correct as most people have responded favorably to 
the Protector previews, screen shots, and video clips (be sure to get Mark 
Santora's WoA '98 video for your very own full-motion clip of Protector!).

What state is the game in? 90% of the graphics and animations are there. 
I'm adding some in this area, but not a lot -- mainly filling in "missing" 
animation frames or incorporating existing graphics that weren't included 
in the current Protector demo. Background music is there, but it currently 
utilizes a MOD from an old scifi game for the PC, and I'm negotiating with 
the composer to let me use it in Protector. Sound effects are there for 
your laser and explosions, but notably absent are enemy shot effects or 
thrust effects. Finally, many of the levels need to be redesigned to be 
more challenging.

Protector is 320x200 resolution, 256-color mode (this helps keep the 
graphics to a manageable size for a 2MB game). The game runs at 60FPS 90% 
or more of the time, and does combine Z-buffering with transparencies to 
allow three layers of parallax scrolling. Most of the game runs in the 
68000 chip, but there are certainly some core routines running in both the 
GPU and DSP; the Object Processor is utilized as well. The audio clips are 
in .RAW format, which makes it kind of a pain to figure out how to add new 
sounds with the same characteristics, unfortunately.

EEPROM support is there (saves your configuration and high scores), and the 
game will currently fit in a 2MB cartridge. One of my first programming 
additions to the game was to add ProController support for the Hyperspace 
option... the original programmer has never even seen a ProController, so 
he hadn't picked buttons that would benefit ProController owners. I changed 
about three lines of code, and started down the path of becoming a Jaguar 
developer... :)

One thing to keep in mind is that the owning company will have final say on 
the game's publication, whether I can associate the game with them, etc. 
But so far, they have been extremely helpful and I have sought to bother 
them as little as possible for now, so I can focus on the coding and 
testing.

I will pursue encryption, production, and distribution when the game is 
much nearer to completion (I estimate it at 80% currently). I think any Jag 
fan that loves the classic gameplay of Defender but would like to see more 
graphics, more audio, and more enemies will enjoy Protector. And of course, 
stay tuned to The Jaguar's Domain for the latest scoop on this game... 

Carl Forhan
The Jaguar's Domain: http://www.millcomm.com/~forhan/jaguar.html


                            --==--==--==--==--


   ||  Review: Tony Price's Keypad Overlays
   ||  By: Clay Halliwell
\__//  halliwee@dyess.af.mil
       -----------------------------------------------------------------

Among the many things that distinguished the Jaguar when it came out, one 
that stands out to this day is the full numeric keypad built into the 
controller. This vast array of buttons made games like Doom, Syndicate, and 
Theme Park much more enjoyable to play than their other console cousins. 
Alas, only games that came from Atari included keypad overlays. Third-party 
products, like the aforementioned Syndicate and Theme Park, practically 
cried out for overlays, but none were to be had. So we Jaguarians were 
forced to either memorize the functions of all those keys, or, as I did, 
fashion crude black-and-white overlays on our PCs and cut them out.

Enter Tony Price...

Seeing a void in the Jaguar market (and seeking to make a few bucks), Mr. 
Price has come out with overlays for several Jaguar games. They're all 
printed in full color at high resolution, and covered with a slick clear 
plastic. The end result is very professional-looking. The only downside is 
that you still have to cut the overlays out yourself. He currently offers 
the following overlays:

AirCars
     Different from the one printed in the AirCars manual, but quite good. 
Nice clean layout and intuitively obvious icons.

Atari Karts
     One of the few "solution in search of a problem" overlays Tony offers. 
Colorful and well-designed, but sheesh, the game only uses two keypad keys!

Iron Soldier 2
     A clean, competent design. Useful if you don't already have the 
original Iron Soldier overlay.

Missile Command 3D
     Another "why?" overlay.

Virtual Missile Command
     And again, "why?". The only thing Virtual Missile Command uses the 
keypad for is to switch bases (two keys).

Syndicate
     Not so good. This overlay uses a high-contrast background pattern that 
makes reading the button labels overly difficult. Plus, it omits a few 
functions.

Tempest 2000
     Just in case you can't remember that the 1,2,3 keys are used to change 
the camera angle. For some reason the blasters on this overlay are white 
instead of yellow. Odd.

Theme Park
     A much-needed and excellent one. Colorful and good choice of icons.

Towers II
     Ditto.

World Tour Racing
     This overlay only shows about half the keypad keys WTR uses. 
Specifically, it gives the map toggle and the three main camera angles, but 
not the track texture toggle or any of the "novelty" camera angles.

Worms
     This one is a dead ringer for Atari's early overlays (black 
background, red buttons, white text), and is adorned with genuine Worms 
clipart. A winner. Oh yeah, some guy by the name of Halliwell designed 
it... ;-)

Zero 5
     Simple layout with goofy round button graphics. Handy if you can't 
remember which button activates which powerup.

Dust Cover
     A plain black background with the Jaguar logo in large letters. Pretty 
self-explanatory.

In addition to fixing the World Tour Racing and Syndicate overlays, I'd 
also like to see Tony come out with overlays for Classic Missile Command 
(which uses more keys than 3D and Virtual put together), and Checkered 
Flag, Club Drive, and I-War (lots of camera-angle keys).

Tony Price has a web page at:
http://home.earthlink.net/~mfmurdock/jaguar/jaguar.htm


//// Final Ratings

        Title: Keypad Overlays           JagNet: n/a
       Design: Tony Price               Players: 1-4
 Published by: Tony Price                 Media: paper and plastic
       Retail: $3.00/ea            Availability: NOW

  A Summary of Ratings:
              "*" is a whole
              "+" is a half
               5 stars maximum

Graphics - ****   Clean, sharp, and colorful
   Audio - *      Make a nice crinkly sound if you wad them up
 Control - *****  Very easy to pick up and insert into controller
Gameplay - ****   Enhances games with complex keypad controls
 Overall - ****   Worth picking up a few!

Key to Clay's ratings
  (a note-taking state of mind)

   ***** - Yellow Legal Pad
    **** - Post-It Notes
     *** - Napkin
      ** - Palm of Your Hand
       * - Bathroom Wall


                            --==--==--==--==--


   ||  Always Check the Mirror Before You Start the Car
   ||  By: Don Thomas
\__//  datj@jts.net
       -----------------------------------------------------------------

Keynote speech by Donald A. Thomas Jr.
August 22, 1998 - 10:30 a.m.
World of Atari '98 - Las Vegas, Nevada
(c) 1998 may be reprinted in entirety and with byline


It was about six weeks ago or so that my family hopped a plane from the 
Sacramento to San Diego for a couple of days. It was a trip we had promised 
our son for years. -- Actually for about three years now. -- At twelve, 
Kyle, was very much into skateboarding and inline skating. When we finally 
connected cable television to the house, it seemed whenever Kyle was not 
outside our house devising new tricks with his skateboard, he was inside 
watching the pro-skaters compete in ESPN2 X-treme game competitions.

I don't know if you have watched a lot of the X-treme games like my son 
has, but Kyle has learned two major lessons in life by watching 
professional skateboard competitions. First, there are desirable careers to 
be had in that sport. Secondly, all the nation's skateboard pros live in 
San Diego, California. Hence, he has had an eager desire to visit that 
city. Kyle just knew that professional skaters were all over the streets in 
San Diego and he just had to see and mingle with them.

So now Kyle is fifteen. He is in his early years of high school and a trip 
to San Diego is an opportunity to tour San Diego State University, a 
renowned venue for a respectable college education. Of course, now, Kyle 
isn't into skateboarding any more... it's definitely BMX trick cycling.

We hit San Diego during a very warm, but still pleasant weekend. We visited 
the Zoo on a Sunday and toured the SDSU campus on the Monday before flying 
back home. On the evening of that Sunday, we were touring the area in our 
rental car and comparing differences between San Diego and the San 
Francisco Bay Area. At some point, Kyle told Lynn and me, "One thing is for 
sure... There aren't all the professional skaters on every street corner 
like I thought there would be!"

How nice it was to see my son mature and get a better grasp of what the 
world is really like. Just as I was about to congratulate him on his astute 
observation, he added, "They must all be on tour."

I guess he still has a little more maturing yet. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Good morning. My name is Don Thomas. I worked at Tramiel's Atari between 
November 1989 through August 1996. Many Atari users once knew me as a 
spokesperson for Atari offering feedback and support on CompuServe and the 
Genie online services. I have been an Atari computer user and game player 
since the early eighties and founded a small software publishing company I 
called Artisan Software in the late eighties. I have been profiled in 
publications such as Start Magazine and have had my articles printed in 
many prominent trade journals and throughout the Internet over the years. I 
currently work in the video game industry and am responsible for the Web 
Domain of "I.C.When.COM". "I.C. When" is a comprehensive chronological 
history of video games and home computers.

In a few minutes I will offer an opportunity to answer questions you may 
have about me, my experiences at Atari or in the industry. But first, I'd 
like to share some thoughts I have with regard to the impact classic gaming 
and computing SHOULD have on us all... particularly the decision makers and 
the trend setters.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So... my son, Kyle, is convinced that he understands the skateboard 
industry. He'll be the first to admit that he doesn't know everything, but 
that is not really the point. The point is more related to the integrity of 
the information he does know. For instance, he is convinced that 
skateboarders and BMX riders and inline skaters can earn a respectable 
living by touring the country and winning competitions. "All it takes is 
finding the right sponsors," he says.

In most respects, Kyle is simply wrong and he is in for an awakening when 
he learns that life is most probably going to be made up of flipping 
hamburgers, going to school and landing a series of traditional jobs 
throughout his career. On the other hand, Kyle may very well become the 
Ralph Baer or Nolan Bushnell in some aspect of the X-Games industry. His 
determination may well persevere and he could be in the right place at the 
right time as the world adopts a new billion-dollar devotion to world 
league network of skateboard teams and competitions. If Nolan had listened 
to his critics, then he may well be an unknown engineer at Lockheed and the 
world may have never known the same "Pong" that we now know.

But, while we popularize the stories that beat the odds, we often forget to 
check the mirror in life and see all the mistakes to avoid new failures. 
The gambles that lost. The bets that may have won if the gamblers looked at 
all the angles and examined all the risks before starting the machine that 
failed so unceremoniously.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, let's fast-forward away from Baer's Odyssey and Bushnell's "Pong" to a 
world of PlayStation, Dreamcast, N64 and Color Game Boy. Dare I forget to 
mention Project X? I think we can all agree that the video game industry 
has changed in a quarter century. Companies make systems that are MIPS 
ahead of a time that power was evaluated by how many sprites and colors 
could be on a screen simultaneously. Technology includes terms related to 
texture mapping and full motion video instead of bank switching and 
vertical blanks. Gaming magazines tend to allocate more space to well 
endowed polygons named Lara. Publishers select games that spatter oceans of 
blood-red pixels across the screen and replay digitized screams of real-
time animated monsters being ripped apart to terrorize more than just our 
imaginations.

This weekend's World of Atari '98 show is indicative of an old trend that 
is re-emerging. It is one that explores the value of updating and 
republishing classic video games. Most recent examples include Activision's 
libraries of Atari 2600 and Commodore 64 compilations for the PC, Hasbro's 
release of "Frogger", Namco's series of "Namco Museum" titles for 
PlayStation, other releases such as "Centipede", "Asteroids" and so many 
more. I think it is exciting that companies are putting back in to my hands 
easy access to the games we loved playing so fondly in years gone by.

In my opinion, this trend is not a step backward by any stretch of the 
imagination and I feel it has been way too slow in coming. I believe that 
the video game industry has successfully established a new market of game 
players in the last decade. By doing so, they have abandoned the original 
phenomenon that built the industry twenty years ago and, thus they have 
abandoned those who loved it so. I guess it could be similar as if the 
music industry gave up on classical, swing, blues or jazz just because most 
of the world seems to appreciate some form of rock.

So what is it exactly that built the industry? What is this phenomenon that 
differentiates the games of the nineties from those introduced in the 
seventies and eighties?

Many of us at Atari had a name for the formula that makes classic games so 
great. I don't know if anyone else ever tried to define it like I have, but 
it is three simple words... "The. Fun. Factor.".

I define the fun factor as a phenomenon that includes five primary 
components: I can remember them more easily because the parts spell out the 
word PRESS as in "Press the Fire Button".

1. high score Potential
2. Repetition
3. Ease of learning
4. Strategy
5. Secrets

All games, past and present, have to have some mixture of these components 
to survive very long on the marketplace. But only the original classic 
games consistently maintain a balance of all of them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let's look at them quickly. First, I mentioned "high score Potential". (I 
am cheating a little bit to steal the P from potential to make the anagram, 
but it is a very serious component.)

You might remember "Pong" had scoring. It had to. It was the only measure 
of how one did when playing the game. A higher score than your opponent 
meant that you won the game. A higher score than the computer player meant 
that you beat the game. But, by today's standard, the scores were awfully 
unimpressive. A good game might conclude with a score of 11, maybe 15 
depending on the version of "Pong" being played.

Then there were games like "Warlords", "Breakout" and "Missile Command". 
Suddenly games allowed players to score as high into the hundreds, maybe 
thousands. Then along came "Galaxian" and "Phoenix" which doused players 
with scores in the tens and hundreds of thousands.

Eventually, next generation games took over and high scores have been 
fading fast. Games are too complicated to score anymore. Racing games give 
lap times. R.P.G.'s reward players with new levels and fulfilled 
objectives. Arcades no longer publish player high scores over each machine 
and we never hear about a game that revealed something unusual simply 
because a determined player hit a new high score.

There is an article I found in the most recent September 1998 issue of Next 
Generation magazine. The article starts on page 10 and is titled: "When was 
the last time you scored?" The piece concludes and I quote, "Will score 
ever come back? Probably not. As technology evolves, games will become even 
more complex, and current titles that still employ a high score, such as 
'N20', 'Einhander', and 'Incoming', are in an ever-smaller minority."

The article sheds some rays of hope however and I quote further, "But 
classic games are making something of a comeback; titles like 'Centipede' 
and 'Asteroids' are being retrofitted for the 90's, with score intact."

Sadly the author concludes, "Still, it's safe to say that score will never 
play the pivotal role it once did in gaming history."

If nothing else, I am not the only one that believes that high score 
potential is an elementary difference between games of today and yesterday.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let's look at the second element of the fun factor... Repetition.

When I say Repetition, I am describing the ability to identify a way that a 
game is played within the first few seconds of pressing the start button 
and depend on that overall premise to stay the same throughout the game. 
"Pitfall" is a game that includes climbing, swinging and jumping in a 
horizontal scrolling format. The obstacles may change their positions, the 
ladders may not always be on the left or on the right, but the game never 
ends up being different than how it started. Each new wave, each new level 
predictably resembles the one prior.

Someone might say, ah, but "Gorf" deviated from that formula and "Donkey 
Kong" had a series of different virtual game venues that had a lot of 
changes from one level to the next. Well, not really. It may have taken 
more than a few seconds to learn the new looks of each level, but they 
eventually recycled and the series of levels fit the definition of 
repetition that I am describing here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, let's look at ease of learning... the E in the anagram that defines 
the fun factor.

Many people tell me that ease of learning is not at all missing from games 
today. They bring up games like "Unreal", "Gran Turismo" or "Crash 
Bandicoot". Yes, those are relatively easy games to learn, but are still 
far more complex than walking up to a machine, dropping a quarter and 
driving a circle through a maze to eat dots and avoid ghosts. I've played 
"Unreal". It's fun, but there are a lot complexities too. A lot of passages 
to discover. A lot of items to recover. A very difficult game to sit down 
and compete against your previous high score.

I have played "Gran Turismo". It is undeniably a phenomenal racing game. Of 
course I have to be concerned with a lot more than I did when I played 
"Night Driver" or even "Pole Position". There's tire tread, engine 
capabilities, car handling. Not much instant plug-and-play here.

I have enjoyed many hours of "Crash Bandicoot" and "Crash Bandicoot 2". I 
know I will rush out and buy "Crash Bandicoot 3". But it is more complex of 
a game to learn and accomplish than "Space Invaders" or "Missile Command".

Games from yesteryear, games that were filled with the fun factor, were 
never hard to learn. Often hard to master, but never hard to learn.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

All games require the gamer to learn and apply a strategy to master the 
gameplay. Whether it is "Checkers" or "Othello", "Boxing" or "Street 
Fighter", there are one or more strategic moves that enable competitors to 
score better with experience.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Finally, the fun factor is unleashed in any specific game when there are 
secrets in or about the game to be discovered. A secret may be a hidden 
level or character. Maybe it is a code to add lives or weapons. Maybe it is 
a way to see the programmer's initials such in Atari's "Adventure" or 
"Yars' Revenge". Or, perhaps it is a fascinating story on how the game was 
developed or marketed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So why does an understanding of the fun factor and the appealing aspects of 
video games from yesterday have significance to you and me today?

Because we are approaching a new fork in the road. An opportunity to go in 
new directions. New generations of video game systems such as Dreamcast and 
Project X as well as whatever competing products designed to knock the 
socks off of the mass market. And before we embark on a journey to new 
next-next-generation technology, let's check the rear view mirror. Let us 
begin to recognize the market that wants to play classic favorites or new 
games that instill the fun factor into them. Let's put high score back into 
the game.

I applaud what companies such as Hasbro for what they appear to be doing. 
Their focus on reintroducing some of the world's greatest software titles 
on up-to-date platforms is cutting edge. Hasbro has tasted the success with 
"Frogger" selling over a million copies in less than six months since its 
launch last November. "Centipede" will undoubtedly do similarly as well. I 
believe that they will do equally as well with each new title as long as 
they look back and enhance them using the same formula that made them great 
in the first place.

Thankfully, companies like Hasbro and Activision and Namco and nYko are 
beginning to adjust the mirror before moving forward on new projects. They 
may not always make the greatest decisions based on what they have seen 
behind them, but they are pulling out into the proverbial traffic of 
progress while being more informed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'd like to suggest to forward thinking companies in this business two 
things... It's wise to check the mirror and apply the good things from the 
past into the things they do in our future. And, secondly, it would be 
smart to look for more ways to work together... to solidify a plan to help 
legitimize the gaming industry completely. Let's find more opportunities to 
recognize all the better games and to put the people who create them in the 
spotlight.


                             --==--==--==--==--


   ||  Top Ten Signs Your Jaguar is Nearing the End of its Warranty
   ||  By: Fard Muhammad
\__//  ultimate-atarian@rocketmail.com
       -----------------------------------------------------------------

10. When you turn it on, the Jaguar roar is followed by a hacking cough. 
 9. Duct tape becomes a permanent fixture on the Jaguar CD 
 8. You have to put a second controller next to the television to keep the
    image from flickering. 
 7. When you turn it on, the words "Welcome to Macintosh" appear on the
    screen below the Jaguar logo. 
 6. When you want to change effects in the VLM, the system responds with
    the message "I'm too tired. Besides, this effect is good for you." 
 5. In mid-jump, Rayman suddenly falls asleep. 
 4. The radar in the IS unit can't pick up anything besides CBS. 
 3. The entire system crashes when you press the number five on the keypad. 
 2. When you turn it on, the letters of the word "Atari" just fall to the
    bottom and break. 

and the number one sign your Jaguar is nearing the end of its warranty 
is... 

 1. When you turn it on, a Pong game appears.


                             --==--==--==--==--


   ||  JEO Trivia Challenge III: The Answers
   ||  By: Carl Forhan
\__//  forhan@millcomm.com
       -----------------------------------------------------------------

1. List two games that were first planned for the Lynx, but were later
   released only on the Jaguar.
   Ultra Vortek (nee Vortex), Alien vs Predator

2. List four Lynx games that use digitized *speech*.
   A.P.B., Pinball Jam, Rampart, KLAX, JC Tennis, Steel Talons, Awesome 
Golf,
   NFL Football, Checkered Flag, Hockey (sort of, just some "oofs!" and
   "uhs!"), STUN Runner, Tournament Cyberball.

3. Which team sport game for the Lynx uses professional team names and
   logos?
   NFL Football

4. What was the Atari in-house name for the network communication device
   that later became known as ComLynx?
   RedEye (was originally to be an infrared port)

5. What was the first published game allows you to save data without
   passwords, even when the Lynx is turned off?
   T-Tris (on-cart EEPROM)

6. What unpublished game (from Atari) allows you to save data without
   passwords, even when the Lynx is turned off?
   Eye of the Beholder

7. What were the last two Lynx games published directly by Atari?
   BattleZone 2000, Super Asteroids/Missile Command

8. List all the words from Klax that can complete the following phrase:
   "_____ wave."
   Klax, Points, Tile, Horizontal, Diagonal

9. What was the original pack-in game for the Lynx?
   California Games

10. What are the official Atari part numbers for the unpublished games
    Road Riot 4WD and Rolling Thunder? 
    RR4WD - PA2103
    Rolling Thunder - PA2058

BONUS QUESTION: How many different Lynx cartridge form factors have been
used by Atari and Telegames? (Hint: there are more than two) 

  Five:
     Flat black Atari cart with circular bumps on grip
     Flat black Atari cart with rectangular bumps on grip
     Curved black Atari cart (most common format)
     Flat green raised EPROM Telegames cart
     Flat black zero-profile flash ROM Telegames cart


                             --==--==--==--==--


   || 
   ||  Shutdown ....................... Power off, * + #, EOL, Game Over
\__//  -----------------------------------------------------------------

Buzzword Index:
     Buzzword    Occurrences
     HTTP        31
     Texture     4
     Bug         10
     Network     17
     Encryption  19
     2000        25

Useless Fact O' The Month: The Jaguar's cartridge encryption key was 
created by Dave Staugas razzing into a microphone and then using the 
sampled audio data as the key. (thanks to Scott Le Grand for this one)

Until the next issue of JEO, I remain,

Your Editor
Clay Halliwell
halliwee@dyess.af.mil


                             --==--==--==--==--

                 (This issue printed on recycled photons)

                             --==--==--==--==--

                          Eternal power to Kortan!

                             --==--==--==--==--

                       Oh my god, they killed Atari!
                               You bastards!

                             --==--==--==--==--

                   Where do you want to play Atari today?

                             --==--==--==--==--

Jaguar Explorer Online Magazine is a bidimensional publication covering the 
Atari Jaguar community. Reprint permission is granted, unless otherwise 
noted at the beginning of the article, to registered Atari user groups and 
not for profit publications under the following terms only: articles must 
remain unedited and include the issue number and author at the top of each 
article reprinted. Other reprints granted upon approval of request. Send 
requests to halliwee@dyess.af.mil.

No issue of Jaguar Explorer Online Magazine may be included on any 
commercial media, nor uploaded or transmitted to any commercial online 
service, in whole or in part, by any agent or means, without the expressed 
consent or permission from the Editor or Publisher of Jaguar Explorer 
Online Magazine.

Opinions presented herein are those of the individual authors and do not 
necessarily reflect those of the staff, or of the publishers. All material 
herein is believed accurate at the time of publishing. Just because you're 
paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

                             --==--==--==--==--

Atari, 400/800, XL/XE, 2600, ST, Mega ST, STe, Mega STe, Atari Falcon030, 
Blitter, Atari Lynx, ComLynx, Atari Panther, Atari Jaguar, AtariTel, Pong, 
and the Atari Fuji Symbol are all trademarks or registered trademarks of 
Hasbro Interactive, Inc. All other trademarks and identifying marks 
mentioned in this issue belong to their respective owners.

                             --==--==--==--==--

Jaguar Explorer Online Magazine
"Your Source for Jaguar News"
Copyright (c) 1998, White Space Publishers


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 :: Volume 2, Issue 3        JAGUAR EXPLORER ONLINE     October 18, 1998 ::
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