:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :: 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: JEOfirstname.lastname@example.org :: :: :: :: 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 JEOemail@example.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 \__// firstname.lastname@example.org ------------------------------------------------------------------ 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 \__// email@example.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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 (email@example.com) 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org Web http://www.cwest.com/atari //// Buy-Rite Video Games Voice 919-850-9473 Fax 919-872-7561 Email email@example.com Web http://www.buyrite1.com //// Demand Systems Voice 805-482-7900 Orders 800-593-0059 Fax 805-484-3745 805-987-1998 Email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org Web http://www.sunmarkinc.com/products/flashback //// GameMasters Mail 14393 E. 14th Street, Suite 208 San Leandro, CA 94577 Voice 510-483-4263 Email email@example.com Web http://www.game-masters.com //// Game Pedler Voice 801-273-0787 (ask for Internet Sales) Fax 801-273-1357 Email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com (orders) firstname.lastname@example.org (info) Web http://www.gamestogo.com //// Hardysoft Mail 24 Lawnside Drive Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 Orders 609-883-1083 Fax 609-538-8674 Email email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 <email@example.com>... >>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 (220.127.116.11) 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 (18.104.22.168) 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: 1998/08/29 Newsgroups: rec.games.video.atari In article <8F5C4C8.03EF00D23E.email@example.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 \__// firstname.lastname@example.org A>, email@example.com ----------------------------------------------------------------- =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// 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 (22.214.171.124) 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 \__// firstname.lastname@example.org ----------------------------------------------------------------- [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, email@example.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 \__// firstname.lastname@example.org ----------------------------------------------------------------- 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 (126.96.36.199) 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 email@example.com =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 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 \__// firstname.lastname@example.org ----------------------------------------------------------------- //// 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 email@example.com --==--==--==--==-- || Preview: Protector || By: Carl Forhan \__// firstname.lastname@example.org ----------------------------------------------------------------- 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 \__// email@example.com ----------------------------------------------------------------- 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 \__// firstname.lastname@example.org ----------------------------------------------------------------- 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 \__// email@example.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 \__// firstname.lastname@example.org ----------------------------------------------------------------- 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 email@example.com --==--==--==--==-- (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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 ****** ** ** ** ** **** ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: J E O :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :: Volume 2, Issue 3 JAGUAR EXPLORER ONLINE October 18, 1998 :: ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::