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New Atari Jaguar Game Running $1,225 on eBay 191

Bill Kendrick writes, "The long-awaited Atari Jaguar game Battle Sphere has finally been released. A special signed copy of the game is running on eBay for $1,225. After the auction is over, the game will start being sold for about $80 a cartridge. All proceeds from the auction will go to diabetes research."
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New Atari Jaguar Game Running $1,225 on eBay

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  • ahhh the jaguar I remeber being in fifth grade and desiring that machine. It was the first 64 bit machine, although with further research I found it wasnt truly 64 bit.

    But on another topic , what person will buy a game for 80 bucks , for a system that was arguably one of the worst sytems ever.

    Who needs games when u got GL enhanced Xscreensaver..

    just kidding.

  • The Atari Jaguar still has things in development? I bought one when it first came out, (1994 I guess). I think I had five games total, and was totally disgusted with the amount of games available.

    Although Tempest 2000 was the best game ever. I remember Kay-Bee Toy Store was selling new jaguars for $35 bucks, with any game of your choice. I should I have bought one then.


    Ever thought about patenting it? Or otherwise, Open Source it. One of those two happens to every useless idea.

  • Actualy, The concept, while not new by a long shot, is usualy good game. The graphics look a bit cartoon-ish, but, that's doesn't make them bad. Star Fox for SNES kicked ass, and Super Mario Bros. is still classic. Still, what wouldn't I give for a Play Station 2....


  • Does anyone else think that there isnt really a fanbase for this game? Just a couple people on e-bay that think they can resell it on e-bay again in 2 months? I am waiting for my PSX2, this is old cheese.. -Fred http://www.fredbenenson.com
  • I bought a brand new Jaguar in the summer of 1997. I bought it because I was so-called "collecting" older consoles (I also bought Nintendo's Virtual Boy - don't laugh).

    I had all of three games for the Jaguar, I can't even remember the exact names because once I bought it, it sat in a corner while I played Wild Arms and FF7 for PSX.

    I even had the store where I got it from (Software Etc.) order me a Jaguar CD-ROM drive from a different store, but I chickened out when I saw the $75 price tag.

    My Atari "64-bit" Jaguar now sits dismantled (I had my way with my trusty Phillips), broken, abused, and shattered in a dusty corner of the closet in my computer room.

    I hadn't even thought about it until Slashdot posted this article (Damn you Slashdot :). The rest of my 5 minutes thinking about this worthless piece of 68K+Tom+Jerry crap is ruined! The fact that someone released a *NEW* game for it, when we now have true 128-bit consoles is...


    I'm a budding console programmer (currently with my PSX), and even though I'm not a professional, I know that all games have a time and a place - as previous posters mentioned, Jaguar's place was in 1993-94, not 2000 (how in God's name did it make it this far?!).


  • The marketing claimed 64 bits but it was merely two 32 bit chips that I remember. If the other companies took to claims like that, maybe PS1 would be 128+ bits, same with the N64, as it seems both of them have extra hardware processors for specific tasks.

    And would those mega-scroll asses please stop!
  • I'd always been a big Atari fan before the Jag came out, so I was really hoping it would be their big comeback/asswhoopin system. It may not be a true 64-bit system, but it is a dual-processor 32-bit system with chips that have interchangeable functions; it's truly badass. I coveted one desperately. Alas, I had no cash...

    Then, about a year and a half ago, I found a Jaguar in a toy liquidation store for like $30. Sold. Hit eBay, bought up as many of the games as I could find for a reasonable price (still missing a few cool ones, like Atari Karts), and played Tempest 2000 and Flip-Out! like mad.

    Most of the games for the Jaguar were fairly half-assed and didn't begin to take advantage of its impressive (especially for its time) power. It was this, the lack of available titles, and a slightly high price tag that killed the Jaguar. But now that you can pick one up for cheap, it's a great system for a gamer's collection.
  • I'm glad that atari is out and may have a chance to gain some more media, but with the public infatuated with Sony, Sega, and Nintendo ... there really isn't much room for other competition. Now don't get me wrong ... my first gaming machine was an atari and I rocked qbert, pac-man, and frogger.

    Now atari released the jag and I was really impressed, but it uses cartridges (I do believe there's a CD Ad-on) which make it limited. The reason I don't know too much about it would have to be the key fact that it's not popular. I'm sure people have one, but not as many as Dreamcasts, N64, and PlayStations. And with the release of PS2 comming out I don't know how much more time Atari actually has.

    Did everyone forget about the Black Box that Microsoft is coming out with. Or the fact that PS2 can browse the web and play DVD's ... heck PS2 might even bring competition to WebTV and standard DVD players along with companies like Atari.

    And a special thanks to all the lamers who managed to make this forum look all that more childish. Nice maturity guys.

  • I did the same thing... The thing you have to realize (especially if you're gonna be programming console games) is that while graphics and flash are nice, they're not everything. The Jaguar had some damned entertaining games, and the Virtual Boy probably does even better on that score. Every once in a while I pull out my $30 Virtual Boy and hit Galactic Pinball or Mario Clash or Tetris 3D for an hour or two... they're *good games*. Sure, they're in redscale. Sure, you absolutely cannot spend that much time playing the VB in the expected position (I play laying down), and yeah, the sound sucks. But they're damn fun nontheless. The 3D gimmick is even pretty cool.

    Granted, *I* wouldn't be developing for the Jag or VB now, were I a console programmer...
  • guess ya just had to be there for that one, huh?
    -------------------------------------------- ----------
  • by Sleepy ( 4551 ) on Saturday March 04, 2000 @11:13AM (#1225452) Homepage
    Actually, it wasn't two 32-bit chipps added together. There *were* 64 bit chips and busses in there doing real grunt work. It's just that the CPU was a 32-bit 680x0 (like the ST) and that's why people cried foul.

    If the CPU is demoted to tasks like controlling I/O and keeping the other chips in line - and those chips are 64-bit -- I don't think it's unreasonable to call it 64-bit.

    Of course, another way to draw the line is how the code is compiled... in this case 32-bit. But it's kind of interesting to think about this when we get to the point that CPU's don't matter.
    CPU's only matter in today's architecture because ** INTEL SUCKS ** and they want everything tied in such a way that the system can't scale without upgrading the CPU. Well designed (in this respect) systems are Solaris, Alpha boxes, and even PowerMacintosh. For better or for worse though the market says that bad designs will win because of economies of scale.

    On a different note, I had *really* hoped Atari would regain their glory with this system. A cartridge system could have scored big if Atari got this out on time. As it was, 18 months too late, CD rom was the only way to go. Atari later made a CD Rom expansion, but those type of expansions *always* fail because you fragment your market (just like Microsoft... LOL)

  • Ok, I remember distinctly that the Jaguar was capable of rendering 3D objects and such, yet was still limited due to the fact that it wasn't a PC. What I'm wondering is how the game is able to support multiple players. The web page stated that it can support up to 32 players, yet I don't remember Atari ever having modem or serial link capabilities to the system. Also, considering that I didn't get a clear look at all the images, is the game rendered in 3D or in sprites (I think the game Iron Soldier was in 3D, yet kinda ran slowly)?
  • Ok, I know I am not the only one asking this, but what is Battlesphere? I went to the web page, and it seems like a crappy space sim reminiscent of Wing Commander 1 - and that was released in 1990....

    Why is this game so important that it took 6 years to develop and cost over $1000 on ebay?? I can't possibly imagine, from the old screenshots, that it could be that good.

    -Julius X
  • by stickyc ( 38756 ) on Saturday March 04, 2000 @11:17AM (#1225457) Homepage
    I think most people are missing the point. Battle Sphere has been in development since almost before the PSX came out. It takes some serious devotion (and capital, I'd imagine) to put out a game (a console game, no less!) that's been off and on for over 5(?) years.
    I bet there's a hell of a story behind the development of this game.
  • As for the Playstation II, I'm really torn. On one hand, its a DVD player, a webTV, and a good console. Also, my fave game of all time (Armored Core) has a sequel coming out for it. On the other hand, its Sony. Sony has been being real nasty lately, like the DVD stuff, beating up the competition with their CD monopoly (wonder why N64 is cartridge) and now setting up a new Sony proprietary home network system. That's right, you'll be able to network your digital camera, your cellphone, your computer, your stereo, and, at the centre of this little cybertropolis, your PSII. All proprietary Sony networking, to which the licence fees will be obscene. All hail the dark empire. I am soooo torn on this, I want my Armored Core 2! I guess I'll have to wait for Bleem 2.
  • The reason that the Atari Jaguar was limited was not because it wasn't a PC. The N64 whooped any PC that was available at the time of its release (mainly P90 with Voodoos) It was limited because it was a weird hybrid 64 bit system except it had like 4 16 bit or 1 32 bit and 2 16 bit procs. It also had a weird controller and 0 developer support.
  • | The Atari Jaguar still has things in
    | development?

    It wouldn't be unheard of. Would you be surprised to learn that there are still people out there developing Atari 2600 games and Vectrex games?

    What's surprising to me about this game, though, is that it actually got released. It's been in the vaporware category for *years*.
  • by hatless ( 8275 ) on Saturday March 04, 2000 @11:38AM (#1225464)
    Finally, the Jaguar version is out. That means they can finish up the Amiga port.
  • Slightly off-topic, but while we're talking about old consoles, I picked up the "Intellivision Lives!" CD from http://www.intellivisionlives.com [intellivisionlives.com]

    What a time trip! I was very young when the IntelliVision was popular, and my oldest brother and I wasted *many* hours on their sports games like Baseball and Football. In many ways, the Intellivision was ahead of its time, and the multiplayer games were the best for the era. We had the IntelliSpeech module (B-17 bomber was awesome!) and most of the big games.

    The CD is great. It contains an emulator and ROM images for many of the classic games (AstroSmash, etc..) some games that were never released, and all kinds of information on the development of the IntelliVision and the internal politics at Mattel and the rise and fall of the system.

    Some of the old developers put the CD together, so it's much more interesting than the typical "100 classic games on a CD!" type packages.

    It's too bad the software industry came down so hard on the emulation scene. Stuff like the intellivisionlives project is critical in providing a context and history for computer gaming. Without deep background like this, console developers and game developers will keep making the same mistakes over and over.


  • by Pathwalker ( 103 ) <hotgrits@yourpants.net> on Saturday March 04, 2000 @11:48AM (#1225468) Homepage Journal
    The web page stated that it can support up to 32 players, yet I don't remember Atari ever having modem or serial link capabilities to the system.

    You can use a JagLink cable hooked up to the DSP port on the back to link two jaguars together, or use CatBox [holyoak.com] units to link up to 32 systems together.
  • This is definitly geek news. It hits on a number of topics that Slashdot has explored lately. How about the flaws of a proprietary encription scheme and the cracking there of a la DeCSS [slashdot.org]? That's geek news. Nostalgic gaming a la MAME [slashdot.org]? Geek news. No longer commercially viable platforms? Can you say Amiga? [slashdot.org] Geek news. Not to mention, a company that goes to pains to insure that their software doesn't turn out to be vapourware. Or how about about a company that, rather than putting out a shoddy last minute product, actually takes pride in it's quality. That's gosh darn commendable. The hacker ethic is all about perservering until a problem is solved. Besides, this game looks a hell of a lot more original than Parsec [slashdot.org] which for all it's shiny 3D graphics and sound effects, doesn't look like it will provide much in the strategy department.
  • Its really awesome that people do things for charities.. like real , honest to god charities. Its too bad that these organizations have a hard time geetting funds on their own.
    oh well
  • "After the auction is over, the game will start being sold for about $80 a cartridge."

    Suppose the game will never be sold if we keep bidding up the auctioned cartridge indefinitely? But we individually don't have an infinite amount of money...

  • sure, and who cares about people who post shit about a really cool thing. Who cares about people who have nothing better to do with their time. And who cares about rubber ostriches. Ha! got you on that last one!
  • Of course they are going to lose money on the development. Proceedes are going to charity. Thats kind of the point
  • I found the following info in two issues of Janguar Explorer Online. From Volume 3, Issue 1 [atarihq.com] we learn that Hasbro has opened the Jaguar platform. This is what allowed Battlesphere to be produced. In Volume 3, Issue 2 [atarihq.com] we learn that "FOUR new titles - Skyhammer, Protector, Hyper Force, and Soccer Kid - are coming from Songbird Productions, J.U.G.S. ("Jaguar Unmodified Game Server") is slowly creeping out of the shadows, and work continues on The Assassin and Gorf 2000."

    //// Hasbro Frees Jaguar! Beverly, MA (May 14,1999) - Leading entertainment software publisher Hasbro Interactive announced today it has released all rights that it may have to the vintage Atari hardware platform, the Jaguar.

    Hasbro Interactive acquired rights to many Atari properties, including the legendary Centipede, Missile Command, and Pong games, in a March 1998 acquisition from JTS Corporation.

    This announcement will allow software developers to create and publish software for the Jaguar system without having to obtain a licensing agreement with Hasbro Interactive for such platform development. Hasbro Interactive cautioned, however, that the developers should not use the Atari trademark or logo in connection with their games or present the games as authorized or approved by Hasbro Interactive.

    "Hasbro Interactive is strictly focused on developing and publishing entertainment software for the PC and the next generation game consoles," said Richard Cleveland, Head of Marketing for Hasbro Interactive's Atari Business Unit. "We realize there is a passionate audience of diehard Atari fans who want to keep the Jaguar system alive, and we don't want to prevent them from doing that. We will not interfere with the efforts of software developers to create software for the Jaguar system."

  • Before you make wild subject headers like that consider what you're writing. Atari was once a proud and mighty company that innovated the videogame industry into existence. Give 'em the honor they deserve.
  • Nice post, and don't forget we wrote this
    thing under Linux :-) starting way back in

    Scott Le Grand
    Lead Coder

  • This isn't about what console is hot or current or best. This is about how cool it is that someone finally got their game out. The bit about using it to support charity is just an added bonus.

    The features of a given console are irrelevant - what's important is the quality of the games it has. The current generation of consoles has a long way to go to live up to the greatness of some of the earlier ones.

    If somebody were to release a new Atari 2600 or Colecovision game today, I would be likely to buy it simply because it would be cool to see someone supporting a classic system. If it were actually a good game (as many 2600 games were), so much the better.

  • by visionik ( 63503 ) on Saturday March 04, 2000 @12:46PM (#1225483)
    Having played it and the rest of it's kin, I'd have to say that battlesphere is the most enjoyable space lords/star raiders/etc like space fighting game made to date.

    4play/scatalogic has no intention of "making a profit" off this game. The programming of the game has actually been finished for years.

    Shortly after the coding of the game was finished, atari stopped the production of the jag, and sold everything to JTS and then Hasboro. During this time, the encryption key needed to encrypt games put into jaguar cart roms was lost! Jaguar carts have to be encrypted -- this was how Atari prevented unlicensed 3rd parties from making Jaguar carts.

    4play/scatalogic ran a brute-force key cracker on an array of Jaguar development systems for months in order to find the key needed to encrypt the cart. Then they went out and created packaging, a manual, etc. with as high a quality as any big game shop delivers to retail shelves. Pretty damn impressive for only 3 people and a few hundered cartridges.

    They finished battlesphere and drudged through it's production and delivery because they are devoted to the art of video game making; not just the profits, and because there are a bunch of jaguar devotees who *really* wanted to see the game released -- as is evidenced by the auction price on eBay for the first commercial cart.

    frankly, i wish there were more game companies as devoted to their product and as tenacious scatalogic has been -- most of them just take the money and run.

  • by Oppressor ( 79526 ) on Saturday March 04, 2000 @12:54PM (#1225486) Homepage

    The BattleSphere Shrine [fortunecity.com]

    The BattleSphere FAQ [fortunecity.com]

    Next Generation's Preview/Review [google.com]


  • by shambler snack ( 17630 ) on Saturday March 04, 2000 @01:04PM (#1225488) Homepage
    Wrong. It was 64 bit. From Atari Jaguar Frequently Asked Questions [faqs.org]:

    The Jaguar has five processors which are contained in three chips. Two of
    the chips are proprietary designs, nicknamed "Tom" and "Jerry". The third
    chip is a standard Motorola 68000, and used as a coprocessor. Tom and
    Jerry are built using an 0.5 micron silicon process. With proper
    programming, all five processors can run in parallel.

    - "Tom"
    - 750,000 transistors, 208 pins
    - Graphics Processing Unit (processor #1)
    - 32-bit RISC architecture (32/64 processor)
    - 64 registers of 32 bits wide
    - Has access to all 64 bits of the system bus
    - Can read 64 bits of data in one instruction
    - Rated at 26.591 MIPS (million instructions per second)
    - Runs at 26.591 MHz
    - 4K bytes of zero wait-state internal SRAM
    - Performs a wide range of high-speed graphic effects
    - Programmable
    - Object processor (processor #2)
    - 64-bit RISC architecture
    - 64-bit wide registers
    - Programmable processor that can act as a variety of different video
    architectures, such as a sprite engine, a pixel-mapped display, a
    character-mapped system, and others.
    - Blitter (processor #3)
    - 64-bit RISC architecture
    - 64-bit wide registers
    - Performs high-speed logical operations
    - Hardware support for Z-buffering and Gouraud shading
    - DRAM memory controller
    - 64 bits
    - Accesses the DRAM directly

    - "Jerry"
    - 600,000 transistors, 144 pins
    - Digital Signal Processor (processor #4)
    - 32 bits (32-bit registers)
    - Rated at 26.6 MIPS (million instructions per second)
    - Runs at 26.6 MHz
    - Same RISC core as the Graphics Processing Unit
    - Not limited to sound generation
    - 8K bytes of zero wait-state internal SRAM
    - CD-quality sound (16-bit stereo)
    - Number of sound channels limited by software
    - Two DACs (stereo) convert digital data to analog sound signals
    - Full stereo capabilities
    - Wavetable synthesis, FM synthesis, FM Sample synthesis, and AM
    - A clock control block, incorporating timers, and a UART
    - Joystick control

    - Motorola 68000 (processor #5)
    - Runs at 13.295MHz
    - General purpose control processor

    Communication is performed with a high speed 64-bit data bus, rated at
    106.364 megabytes/second. The 68000 is only able to access 16 bits of this
    bus at a time.

    The Jaguar contains two megabytes (16 megabits) of fast page-mode DRAM,
    in four chips with 512 K each. Game cartridges can support up to six
    megabytes (48 megabits) of information, and can contain an EEPROM
    (electrically erasable/programmable read-only memory) chip to save game
    information and settings. Up to 100,000 writes can be performed with the
    EEPROM; after that, future writes may not be saved (performance varies
    widely, but 100,000 is a guaranteed minimum). Depending on use, this limit
    should take from 10 to 50 years to reach.

    The Jaguar uses 24-bit addressing, and is reportedly capable of accessing
    data as follows:

    Six megabytes cartridge ROM
    Eight megabytes DRAM
    Two megabytes miscellaneous/expansion

    All of the processors can access the main DRAM memory area directly. The
    Digital Signal Processor and the Graphics Processor can execute code out of
    either their internal caches, or out of main memory. The only limitations
    are that

  • Slashdotted buddy

    "500 Server Error

    The hard access limit for this user has been reached"

    Tee hee
  • eBay does not keep going while there are bids coming. It closes the auction after a certain time. No matter how much you bid, it'll still go out at the set time (little over a day at the time of this writing).
  • It seems to me then, that the 68k processor works the same as it does in the Super Nintendo, as a data pump for custom graphics and sound chips. Of course, it's also 10Mhz faster than the SNES version 13Mhz vs 3Mhz, so the cartridges would load quicker when you turn the machine on. (Two minute wait for loading some SNES cartridges anyone?)
  • When the Jaguar was released, we were under the
    impression that it would be the first networkable
    console. At least that's what Atari was saying
    at the time and we were a lot more naive back

    As things turned out, there was a HORRIBLE
    bug in the Jaguar's UART and we had to design
    our own proprietary networking hardware and
    software to get around it. Unfortunately, Atari
    suffered from NIH syndrome so they poopooed the
    thing at the time. This hardware was one of
    the components of the CatBox. A CatBox allows
    one to link up to 32 jaguars. Atari released
    the Jaglink which allowed the connection of
    two jaguars and they were working on a voice
    modem with similar capacity except over phone

    In a sad twist of fate, after a successful first
    batch, the maker of the CatBox, took a lot of
    money from a lot of people for a second batch and
    never delivered product to them as far as I know.

    Scott Le Grand
    Lead Coder
  • Hee hee, yeah, we got a little bit of a surprise this afternoon. While I wait for the bandwidth to reset, I'm working on an updated (streamlined?) version of the site. To those who had questions about our desire to contribute to diabetes research and our finances in general: We expect to make some money, believe it or not, based on feedback we've received. After we've taken out the cost of cartridge production and some expenses like the cost of incorporating and the webspace (not salaries or such), the rest of the money really IS going to diabetes research. We didn't really expect to make enough money to support ourselves on the profits (we're not deluded, merely extremely persistent). I happen to have been a type I diabetic from the age of four, so when we started discussing all of the good things we could do with the money, diabetes research seemed like a great choice. And hey, I bet all of YOU have some weird hobbies, too. We might actually manage to do some good with ours... :) -Stephanie (musician/programmer, Scatologic)
  • I was at the WOA 98 when you and Stephanie did your speech and Q&A session on this project. I was impressed with your drive to get this project completed. I was even more impressed with the fact that you appeared to be two regular people who were enjoying the ride (except for the 'lost key' thing).

    Those who are interpreting this as an attempt to ressurect the Jaguar are missing the point. All I can say to them at this point is "your loss." I'll definitely be ordering a copy as soon as it is available.

    Thanks for all of your work. By the way, are you guys going to be at CGE2K [cgexpo.com]?

  • Hmm... A Jaguar using a Nintendo controller? I don't think so...

    [look at the icon, sheesh]

  • This is not Bruce Perens, but a childish imposter. Slashdot administrators, please disable this account.
  • User's account has maxed out. As usual, go to Google [google.com] for the cached copy. Not much fun without the pictures, but at least you can read the text.
  • Wrong. From the faq's you cite:

    Q. Was the Jaguar really a 64-bit system?

    A. The question is hard to resolve, largely because the definition of what constitutes an "N-bit" system has not been set. Of the five processors in the Jaguar, only the object processor and the blitter are "true" 64-bit components. Because the blitter and the object processor are in the Tom chip, by extension Tom is a 64-bit chip. Furthermore, the Jaguar also used a 64-bit memory architecture, according to Jez San of Argonaut Software.

    Some say the Jaguar should be considered a 32-bit system, as that is the maximum register size in the programmable processors (the 68000, the graphics processor, and the DMA sound processor). Others say the Jaguar can be considered a 64-bit system, because 64-bit components are used, and the GPU can access 64 bits of data if required. Again, the lack of an agreed-upon definition serves to complicate the issue.

    According to Jaguar designer John Mathieson, "Jaguar has a 64-bit memory interface to get a high bandwidth out of cheap DRAM. ... Where the system needs to be 64 bit then it is 64 bit, so the Object Processor, which takes data from DRAM and builds the display is 64 bit; and the blitter, which does all the 3D rendering, screen clearing, and pixel shuffling, is 64 bit. Where the system does not need to be 64 bit, it isn't. There is no point in a 64 bit address space in a games console! 3D calculations and audio processing do not generally use 64-bit numbers, so there would be no advantage to 64 bit processors for this.

    "Jaguar has the data shifting power of a 64 bit system, which is what matters for games, so can reasonably be considered a 64 bit system. But that doesn't mean it has to be 64 bits throughout."

    For the record, the opinion of most third party developers and observers is that the Jaguar is indeed a 64-bit system. The emphasis is on the word "system"; while not every component is 64 bits, the Jaguar architecture, as a COMPLETE SYSTEM, is.
  • (wonder why N64 is cartridge)

    Actually, a lot of it is due to good oldfashioned engineering decisions: cartriges, while smaller and more expensive than cds, are frankly still much faster. To compensate, you can put more ram in the cd-based console, but that translates into more expensive consoles. Obviously the market has declared Sony the victor for the time being, however....
  • What is this proprietary networking scheme of which you speak? HAVi? I haven't heard about it, but if it requires big licensing fees let the /. world know about it so that we can look into making an open version before the closed one becomes standard (and less easily eradicated).
  • I saw $25 virtual boys on a close-out shelf at Best Buy about 3 years ago. I wish I had bought one but I couldn't find any game cartridges so wasn't sure if it'd be worth it. Doh! I wonder when a Sony Glasstron full-immersion console will be released?
  • We all know that playing games involves excessive sugar intake -> coke, mountain dew

    This game's prolly so damn good, the average player will consume at least 50 litres of fizzy drink trying to get past the 7th level, dammit.

    Statistically, that gives you an increase in the possibility of developing diabetes - and if multiplied over the whole population who play this game, there's a good chance someone will develop this disease as a direct result of playing too much of this game.

    Thus, the proceeds will better aid those less-fortunate friends who developed diabetes from drinking too much coke (and pizza.)!

    There's a reason behind everything ....
  • by slapout ( 93640 ) on Saturday March 04, 2000 @02:53PM (#1225513)
    Some people here just don't get it when it comes to Battlesphere. This program was started when the Jaguar was a current machine. Rather than just giving up, these people stuck with it and finished their product. BTW, the programmers all had full time jobs and wrote Battlesphere in there spare time. They have overcome so many obstacles its amazing. My hat is off to these people.
  • o you are saying that a $5,000 workstation can play solitaire better than a deck of cards? That millenia-old chess falls short to a Playstation?

    I don't know what's available on the Playstation, but I can show you a few chess programs for my PC that are MUCH harder to beat and will teach you MUCH more about the game than the average human player most people are likely to come across.

    Better technology doesn't make a better game.

    No more so than better instruments make better musicians...but a truely talented person with superior tools to work with will create spectacular stuff.

  • I find it hilarious that it took such a long time to brute-force the crypto on the Jaguar than it did to make DeCSS... It's great when a half-decade old failiure of a console system is more secure than the "Future of Home Movies"...


    "REPENT HARELQUIN! Said the TicktockMan."
  • Heheh - I'm such a huge Star Raiders fan* that I went out and bought not one, but two Atari Jaguars (at about $30 a pop) not too long ago, in anticipation for BattleSphere.

    I've played games like Colony Wars [colonywars.com] & CW: Vengance [psygnosis.com] for the PlayStation, but was disappointed by their predictability. There's lots of stuff in the two games, but you always end up doing the same thing every time you start over...

    BattleSphere sounds like it will have just enough randomness. And, since it's multiplayer, that makes it even more dynamic.

    * Star Raiders [sonic.net] was, I believe, the very first 3D space action/stragety game. It came out in 1979 for the Atari 400/800 computers, and later for the 2600 and 5200 game systems.

  • It's not like they just wrote the game. The game was started back when the Jaguar was still out. It was due to Atari dying, being sold, and being sold again, that finished and near-finished games for the Atari Jaguar (and Lynx) didn't come out... until now.

    I just picked up a copy of Raiden [telegames.com] for the Atari Lynx. I got Protector [atari.net] for the Jaguar when it came out back in December. Sure, the game is a few
    years old, but after a while, the genre of games that are popular on the PSX/N64/etc. just get boring...

    (Speaking of Lynx, I wish Hasbro would re-release it... It kicks Game Boy's ass... from what I've seen, kicks Game Boy Color's ass, too... And it's already got dozens of really nice games for it.)
  • All systems start out with crappy (looking) games. Remember Outlaw for the 2600? Compare it to pretty much anything from Imagic.

    How about Twisted Metal vs. Twisted Metal 4 for the PSX?

    Jaguar was only produced for 3 years, so most of the games out for it are first-generation quality. Later titles look a lot better. (Iron Soldier 2 vs. Iron Soldier, for example.)

    What was my point? Oh - the quality didn't necessarily kill the Jaguar. It was Atari, the company... Bad marketing ("If it's good, people will buy it- no need to advertise!")... Morons.
  • Yes sir! Star Raiders was great.. I kept my 400 running for a few extra years (Well into the 90's)just so I could play it.

    Damn Cylon cruisers!
  • FYI, "Atari" has nothing to do with this. "Atari" (ie, the people who made the Jaguar) are now part of Hasbro Interactive. See? [atari.com]

    Also, in case you didn't know, the other Atari, "Atari Games" is still alive and kicking. It has been for, what, 15 years maybe? See here. [agames.com]

    (They did Gauntlet, Road Blasters, Tetris (arcade), S.T.U.N. Runner, Area 51, SF Rush, and tons others.) (I had a chance to work there a few years ago, too... but picked my girlfriend over Silicon Valley.)
  • I have two Atari Jaguars on my entertainment center, and they're connected via the link cable that was available for the Jaguar. It plugs into the link cable plug in the back. ;)

    BS is 3D, as was Iron Soldier & IS2 (which, BTW, looks a lot nicer and has better music), as was many, many Jaguar games.

    BTW, you can play networked Doom on the Jag.
  • Battlemorph is nice... immersive. :) T2K kicks ass. Can't wait to see if NUON gets anywhere to play T3K. Or maybe they'll do a Linux port of it.

    I still haven't gotten into AvP... my friends laugh at it, and I get a little lost in the mazes.

    As for Defender 2000, I say - get your hands on Protector [atari.net]. MUCH more playable. Not quite as silly, but still as pretty.
  • by John Carmack ( 101025 ) on Saturday March 04, 2000 @04:18PM (#1225529)
    I actually dug up all my old jaguar development hardware to give to these guys a year or two ago.

    Unfortunately, it turned out that I had lost the C compiler that I had retargeted to the jaguar RISC engines, so DOOM was no longer buildable.

    There is something noble about developing on a dead platform -- it is so completely for the joy of the development, without any commercial motivation.

    The quick recap on the jaguar:

    The memory, bus, blitter and video processor were 64 bits wide, but the processors (68k and two custom risc processors) were 32 bit.

    The blitter could do basic texture mapping of horizontal and vertical spans, but because there wasn't any caching involved, every pixel caused two ram page misses and only used 1/4 of the 64 bit bus. Two 64 bit buffers would have easily trippled texture mapping performance. Unfortunate.

    It could make better use of the 64 bit bus with Z buffered, shaded triangles, but that didn't make for compelling games.

    It offered a usefull color space option that allowed you to do lighting effects based on a single channel, isntead of RGB.

    The video compositing engine was the most innovative part of the console. All of the characters in Wolf3D were done with just the back end scalar instead of blitting. Still, the experience with the limitations and hard failure cases of that gave me good amunition to rail against microsoft's (thankfully aborted) talisman project.

    The little risc engined were decent processors. I was surprised that they didn't use off the shelf designs, but they basically worked ok. They had some design hazards (write after write) that didn't get fixed, but the only thing truly wrong with them was that they had scratchpad memory instead of caches, and couldn't execute code from main memory. I had to chunk the DOOM renderer into nine sequentially loaded overlays to get it working (with hindsight, I would have done it differently in about three...).

    The 68k was slow. This was the primary problem of the system. You options were either taking it easy, running everything on the 68k, and going slow, or sweating over lots of overlayed parallel asm chunks to make something go fast on the risc processors.

    That is why playstation kicked so much ass for development -- it was programmed like a single serial processor with a single fast accelerator.

    If the jaguar had dumped the 68k and offered a dynamic cache on the risc processors and had a tiny bit of buffering on the blitter, it could have put up a reasonable fight against sony.

    Now the LYNX, on the other hand, was very much The Right Thing from a programming standpoint. A fast little processor (for its niche), a good color bitmapped display, and a general purpose blitter.

    Price and form factor weighed too heavily against it.

    John Carmack

  • a comparison of the different consoles? I saw one a long time ago, and it seems like, feature-wise, the jaguar was cool (working from seriously old memory here). I also remember that comparison saying the Playstation sucked rocks, but loa and behold - the Jaguar has gone the way of the kiwi, and the Playstation is kicking butt. Am I remembering wrong or is this another example of the better *marketing* winning? (Seems like that is becoming way too common nowadays)
  • IIRC, CSS was cracked so quickly because Real Networks, I beleive, were stupid and didn't encrypt their decryption code... or something. ;)

    (In too much of a hurry to track down the actual facts...)
  • John, you mentioned the Lynx as an example of a well designed platform for game programming. RJ Mical and Dave Needle were both engineers (principle, I think) on the Lynx design. They also did a lot of the design on the original Amiga. Now, this depends on your knowledge of Amiga hardware and OS design, but I was wondering if you noticed any consistencies in the way the Lynx and Amiga are laid out (HW or OS)? For that matter, do you see the signature of their (Mical, Needle) designs in the 3DO specification?
  • Actually, I believe you're referring to Carl Forhan of Songbird Productions. He's the guy who you gave your development systems and DOOM source code to.

    He's been trying to come up with a revival of the DOOM code with another fellow.

    Carl is the guy who's been publishing an additional 4 "complete but never published" Jaguar titles which someone else here already mentioned.

    The problem you mention with the Jaguar being unable to run from system RAM was actually a bug in the memory controller. It was intended to be able to run from main RAM. There were quite a number of these (fairly crippling) bugs in the hardware, and we had to work around them to get BattleSphere completed. The fact that it runs at all is pretty amazing... (I'm not sure if this is something to be proud of or not.)

    Doug "Thunderbird" Engel BattleSphere Assistant Coder & Lead Artist Scatologic

  • >Actually, I believe you're referring to Carl Forhan of Songbird Productions

    Heh, sorry... I just assumed all jaguar development was coming from a single crazy group. :-)

    Even if the memory controller hadn't been broken, performance would still have sucked really bad without a cache.

    The jaguar was definately significantly hampered by its technical flaws, which kept me from ever being too big of a jaguar booster. I was proud of my work on Wolf and DOOM (more so than just about any of the other console work Id has been involved in until just recently), but in the end, the better consoles won the war.

    John Carmack
  • I was only into the Apple II/IIGS during the Amiga's strong times, so I never really got to give it a fair evaluation. My impression of the Amiga is mostly colored by later years of fanatics hounding me about supporting the "inherently superior amiga" when it was obviously well past its competative prime. John Carmack
  • The icon is a general symbol meaning that the news is for video games...how long have YOU been on slashdot..yeesh
  • Yes, "Scatologic" is the name.

    (And if you think THAT's sweet, just wait a few days when we unveil our company logo!)

    Doug "Thunderbird" Engel BattleSphere Assistant Coder / Lead Artist Scatologic

  • I loved the Lynx. It was the most sophisticated color portable at the time, beating out the game-boy easily (won't it ever die?). Of course, as Atari usually was, they had the technology behind them but no support.

    BTW, the CD-Rom add-on for the Jag was pretty cool because it made the thing look like a toilet! How's that for forshadowing? Destined for the crapper...
  • Xing, actually, didn't encrypt the key.
  • Is there a good Jaguar emulator available yet?
  • It's too bad that the noisiest members of the Amiga community also tend to be those least in touch with market realities. Someone (Dave Haynie, I think) observed that choosing your favorite computer/OS falls somewhere between choosing a sports team to back and choosing a religion (or political party). All have their zealots. I'm suprised, though, that your opinions of what is essentially a specification set are mostly colored by fanatics. I was just asking if you saw design similarities to other systems by the same designer(s). A commentary on the communities surrounding them seems out of place.
  • by John Carmack ( 101025 ) on Saturday March 04, 2000 @05:48PM (#1225547)
    I mean that I never actually worked with low level register programming specs for the amiga, so I can't comment authoritatively. The reason is that when I was young and the Amiga looked interesting, I couldn't afford one. When I had the means, I no longer had the desire.

    I certainly don't mean to imply that all Amiga users are fanatics, just that the advocates that made it to my mailbox were less well mannered than those for many other platforms. You are right, it did color my response.

    So, to give you a somewhat better answer:

    The Amiga's success was in demonstrating the large benefits of specialized graphics coprocessors for personal computers, and providing close to a workstation like environment while the PC was still struggling with segment registers in dos.

    It wouldn't have been obvious at the time, but the Amiga was basically fated to go the way of a console generation, rather than evolve as the PC or mac did.

    The reliance on low level hardware knowledge and programming provided the obvious visual superiority, but also locked it in to a very ungracefull evolution.

    John Carmack
  • The Lynx borrowed many ideas from the Amiga (with many innovative touches of its own), as would be expected from two guys who worked so closely with Jay Miner. The Lynx sprite engine was ultra-powerful (you gave it a linked list of sprites to draw, and it drew them; no preset limits).

    The Lynx's main Achilles heel (IMO) was the relatively short battery life, which meant mainly action games, and few adventure games (ala Mario-whatever). Still, I have a couple of "Handys", and enjoy playing multi-player carts. It still impresses those who have never heard of it ("Wow! Is this new?")
  • for answering my actual question.
  • I wonder how much of a write-off it constitutes if they take care of the profits this way? Their situation must be desperate; however, would a regular game company be able to treat their latest release in a similar way in order to gain a certain advantage over the usual game sale model? Such donations do generate an outpouring of consumer appreciation which translates into game sales. Could this be the start of a new model of games salesmanship? Could such a model be applied to non-game software sales? Not *all* profits have to be donated to charity. Not an orignal incentive, but I haven't seen software sold in this way before Battle Sphere.
  • Also, keep in mind that "Area 51" and it's successor were running on an arcade version of the Jaguar chipset.

    Doug "Thunderbird" Engel
    BattleSphere Assistant Coder / Lead Artist
  • http://www.best.com/~sebab/dvidgames/dsphere/spher e.shtml Is no longer availiable as of 11:30 EST because of the slashdot effect. Oh well.
  • Now the LYNX, on the other hand, was very much The Right Thing from a programming standpoint. A fast little processor (for its niche), a good color bitmapped display, and a general purpose blitter.

    I played with one of these back in the day. If I remember correctly the Sega GameGear and the Nintendo GameBoy were already established. (The GameGear may have already been in decline.) This kid at "Geek Camp" [siu.edu] had one. What I remember about it was not only that it was quick, but that it's color screenm unlike the GameGear was crisp. (Playing Sonic on the GameGears was very much like playing with your eyes closed. The pixels simply didn't refresh fast enough, so all you got was a blur.)

    Price and form factor weighed too heavily against it.

    I don't remember it being that big. Maybe a bit bigger than the GameGear, but nothing absurd. It was quite expensive wasn't it.

    I'll have to see if I can track down one of these things to purchase some time. It's by far my favorite piece of failed hardware.

  • A Lynx FAQ, including specifications, can be had here:

    http://sls.mcs.usu.edu/~kurto/lynx/faq.html [usu.edu]

    Other notable Amiga-derived features include:

    • palette of 4096 colors (16 per line, I think, using Amiga "Copper"-like tricks.)
    • Blitter w/ logical ops and scaling features (more powerful than Amiga)
    • Previously mentioned sprite hardware (much more powerful than Amiga)
    • Sound specs suspiciously similar to Amiga
    Basically, the idea and implementation of the helper chips (including a special hardware multiply, and graphics and sound processors) evolved directly from much of Jay Miner's work, although Needle & Mical certainly innovated on their own. Their Sprite hardware engine (as I said before) was quite a powerful feature. STUN Runner showed this off quite well.

    The next step was moving away from integer ops and sprites, into true 3D. Hence the 3D0 (the next RJ Mical, Dave Needle (and David Morse(?)) collaboration).

  • Star Raiders for the Atari ST works under some of the ST emulators that I tried. Doesn't seem to work with STonX, which is the only one that runs under Unix :(, but I've played it under PacifiST.
    #define X(x,y) x##y
  • Star Raiders II _DID_ ship for the atari 800, they just renamed it The Last Starfighter after the movie. I have a copy. It sucks.

    Hmmm - I have to disagree with you on that last point - I spent way too much time playing that game when I was little, that was one of my favorite games on that system...
  • Only printed reference offhand is a passing mention in a recent Wired. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/7.11/playstatio n.html Other than that, all I've heard is scuttlebutt. Could someone get some more concrete info on this one?
  • Give me a break.

    I grew up on the Atari 520 ST personal computer.

    I loved that thing. But give me a break...the company is called "Scatologic"? this sounds more like a joke than anything else.

  • yeah. Tekken is no match for donkey kong or Super Mario Brothers. What was I thinking all these years. I think the problem you're encountering is that there were 1 or 2 "good" games in the old days, whereas now there are many good games, so the bar has been raised. Every time somebody makes a killer game the bar is raised and that killer game is just "average."

    Please tell me what game from "the earlier ones" is "great," I would really like to know

    I could mention some of my favorite games for the various classic consoles, but that's beside the point.

    I'm saying that glitz and glamor do not a game make. Technology advances allow us to prettify games by adding better sound and graphics, but I don't play games for their sound and graphics. I play a game for the game part of it.

    If you believe that good graphics make a good game, then in your world there are lots of great games and they're getting better all the time.

    I don't agree. All that matters to me is playability and replayability. Originality is good too. All three qualities are becoming less prevalent in the game industry today, possibly because the industry recognizes that most of its customers are like you, willing to relax their purse strings for some eye'n'ear candy.

  • by emerson ( 419 ) on Sunday March 05, 2000 @01:08AM (#1225580)
    Umn, please, as a diabetic, I beg you...

    Don't further the myth that eating sugar causes diabetes. It's no more true than saying that thinking gives you Alzheimer's disease.

    Diabetes is actually one of two diseases:

    Type I (formerly "juvenile diabetes") is caused by an autoimmune response that destroys most or all of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas (actual cause unknown, viral infection suspected), and requires that the person take insulin shots regularly for the rest of their life, barring medical breakthroughs. This is the type of diabetes I have.

    Type II (formerly "adult-onset diabetes") is caused by a desensitizing of the body's cells' insulin receptors, and is often associated with aging and obesity. It can often be treated with changes in diet and exercise habits and oral medication, but occasionally requires supplemental insulin if these therapies fail. My father recently developed this form of diabetes. It's more common than Type I at about a 9:1 ratio.

    (There's also 'gestational diabetes,' which is a cousin of Type II....)

    Eating sugar has nothing to do with the onset of either of these diseases. I only go out on a limb and talk about this because public misinformation about what diabetes is, and how it works, could potentially kill me (see the movie "Con Air" for a REALLY REALLY bad example of horrible diametrically-opposite incorrect possibly-fatal misconceptions about diabetes).

    And, to be moderately on-topic, it's ASTOUNDINGLY cool that the authors are giving this money to diabetes research; diabetes is the nations's fourth-largest killer disease, and largely goes undiagnosed for over 50% of the people who have it. Get your blood sugar checked if ANYTHING seems weird in your health. It can't hurt, and might save your life.

  • I think what John's trying to get at with regards to the "evolving with the consoles" remark is that it was programmed too closely to the metal to ever move on to other, better things.

    Looking at the Amiga market from the Commodore Banckruptcy onwards, you can see the prevelance of applications which supported the ageing ECS chipset specs, when the more advanced AGA chipset was available. Why? No published specs for AGA!

    It's taken years for the Amiga Community to realise that, and unfortunately killed the platform. I think it's only been for about 2 or 3 years where people have been seriously programming for hardware-independant interfaces like WarpUP and Warp3D, like OpenGL, actually using the OS to do tricks rather than banging the ancient custom hardware.

    Then again, it's only been in the past 2 or 3 years that we've had machines hit mainstream that have been powerful enough to facilitate that..

    I'll be glad when we get a new set of machines either by Amiga via Tao and their intent product, or from the QNX Neutrino movement. At least a fresh start (and with Quake 3 Arena already ported* ;) would encourage people to program independantly of hardware in environments that really are "processorm agnostic".

    And a question for John Carmack - have you seen the QNX Neutrino port of Quake 3 at all?

  • Hi! Fanatics surely did the name of the Amiga much damage, but fanatics exist on other platforms too. Just have a look at the typical Linux or BeOS or MacOS guy... and if your firm would not support Linux and MacOS you surely would get a lot of fanatic-mails from users of these systems too. And yes, there are also a lot of Win32 fanatics, though they usually get what they want, as to games... I don't think Fanatism is more typical for the Amiga than for other platforms. It is just something typical for "computer nerds" in common. About Direct Register Programming... this is something the Amiga - well with the exception of a handfull of demo coders maybe) left behind since YEARS. The typical Amiga these days is a 233 MHz PowerPC System equipped with a Permedia 2 VGA Board and around 64 MB RAM. The API for Games to be used is Warp3D, a hardware-independent API similar in some ways to Glide (though Glide is not hardware-independent, of course). Games strictly use the API, no direct register accesses allowed. Games not using a 3D API use the CyberGraphX API for 2D Graphics. This is basically a OS-layer for standard Chunky-style Graphics. The authors of Warp3D though in the meanwhile set up their own firm, doing ports of famous PC-3D-Games to non-mainstream-platforms (Amiga, Mac and Linux, though they mainly support Amiga) and are using their recently finished OpenGL Implementation which is using Warp3D as Driver System for their upcoming commercial games. It is true of course that many people talk about the Amiga, but don't really know what they are talking about... if i talk about the PC I don't talk about 286 either... but about Amiga it seems to be accepted for many PC Coders to talk about the years-forgotten A500. Of course this upsets the Fanatics... I don't want to defend the fanatism, don't misunderstand me... i just want to explain :) To give only one example... at one time people from ID said Amiga could not technically run Doom. Only a few weeks after the Doom Source was released, an acceptably running port was released... Steffen Haeuser (Who has programmed a LOT on Amiga...)
  • emerson,

    please forgive me for what seems to be an ignorance of diabetes - I apologise for my previous post for those who are offended by it's misinformation.

    Thanks for the correction, I now stand better educated, and I revoke my previous comments.

    I apologise to all that this post may have offended.

  • The little risc engined were decent processors. [...] the only thing truly wrong with them was that they had scratchpad memory instead of caches, and couldn't execute code from main memory. I had to chunk the DOOM renderer into nine sequentially loaded overlays to get it working (with hindsight, I would have done it differently in about three...).

    Actually, you could execute code out of main memory. You merely had to be careful about crossing page boundaries because the instruction pointer wouldn't update properly. I'd say the biggest problem with the processors was Atari & Brainstorm's documentation. =)

    We manually paged pieces in for NBA Jams, White Men Can't Jump and Ruiner Pinball. Vid Grid sat entirely in one chunk on either RISC with the 68000 just facilitating major modes. (And you thought 64k games were gone!)

    For Dactyl Joust, we were using an automatic memory paging system which was started with Ruiner. This worked by augmenting function calls to load in each function in 256-byte chunks, as many as needed, and doing address fixups. Rarely called support routines remained in main store, specially tagged to avoid being loaded in. (See above re: running from main RAM and crossing page boundaries. The addresses had to be guaranteed by creating a million sections in the link file. Can you say link file nightmare?) In the end though, C and eventually C++ use became pretty invisible (read easy and efficient) even on the GPU RISC processor.

    Going back and looking at Jaguar code again when I did Tempest/X3 for Playstation was a total trip. Even just a couple years later, I'd forgotten how fun/weird/ugly that beastie was. I honestly miss it though. I really do. For all its quirks (especially because of its quirks!) It was a great little box.

  • I remember reading about it on one of the Jaguar fan websites.
    The name of the hardware was "CoJag", so a search for info on that name should yield some info.

    Doug "Thunderbird" Engel
    BattleSphere Assistant Coder / Lead Artist
  • Dactyl Joust?

    I thought that was one of those "Jaguar Urban Legends" (a.k.a. marketing hype / vaporware) like MKII and Tiny Toons Adventures....

    Did Dactyl Joust Really exist? Are there any remains of this game left?

    Doug "Thunderbird" Engel
    BattleSphere Assistant Coder / Lead Artist

  • Star Raiders II _DID_ ship for the atari 800, they just renamed it The Last Starfighter after the movie. I have a copy. It sucks.

    Actually, it was the other way around: Atari took the code for Last Starfighter and converted it to Star Raiders II.

    This does raise an interesting point - look back at the original Star Raiders. It required a 10K OS, 8K program, and 8K data, including screen display. Could anyone put together a neat hack like that today in 26k?

  • You know what else I can't believe?

    All those people still using paintbrushes to make pictures in this day and age! I mean, come on people! Live in the NOW! Get a copy of Illustrator for God's sake!

  • Don't forget that Jay Miner was one of the key developers of the Atari 8-bit systems (400/800).

    John Carmack mentioned that the Amiga was destined to go the way of the consoles. Atari did that first, too. :) Even 10 years ago, all people thought about when they heard the name "Atari" was "Pong" and really sucky games for the Atari 2600.

    If you're bored, grab a copy of "Atari800" (for Unix/Linux) or "Atari800Win" or some other Atari 8-bit emulator, and try running some of the really kick-ass demos created in the European demo-scene in the past 10 years.

    Consider that the hardware's capabilities have been the same since the late '70's / early '80's, and wonder why Apple II's were so popular. ;)
  • Mical and Needle did have a hand in the Amiga, but they didn't design that system. There's gotten to be an Amiga -> Lynx -> 3DO myth behind these two fellows for some reason. They *did* design the latter two systems, but the architect of the Amiga was Jay Miner. He came up with the plan, the philosophy. He also did the video chipset design for the Atari 800, and there's definitely a philosophical connection between those two machines.
  • If the Jaguar had gone the way of the Kiwi, it would still be being manufactured. Kiwis are alive and well and breeding in the wild.

    I suggest you use dodos or moas when you need to use an extinct flightless bird as a metaphor.

    I had an Atari Lynx for a while. Nice little machine with some rather cute games. I remember trying so hard to get the maximum rotations (4 or 5? "Awesome!") on that surfing game.

  • BattleWheels [ign.com] and Road Blasters [ign.com] also show off the Lynx's excellent 3D capabilities.

    BTW, there's a new Lynx game coming out based on BattleWheels' 3D engine, called CyberVirus [ign.com]...
  • Hey! I started working on an Open Source game [newbreedsoftware.com] based on VidGrid's concept. It loads MPEGs and lets you slide them around... I need to finish working on it.

    One of its other cool features will be a Virtual Light Machine mode so you can play MP3's and MOD's and slide around a visual representation of the sound. :)
  • The Lynx is a neat little machine, but it has it's problems (or limitations rather.) They could have put a 65816 or 65802 in there and that would have enabled somewhat tighter code. Adding another 64K or so RAM would also be nice. Allowing a variable pitched display width and a byte level start address would also have been a very smart move as it would allowed various cheats for scrolling type games. Oh, and their encryption is somewhat annoying. The only way for a hobby developer to get code to run on there is to exploit a security flaw in some of the orignal games. I spent some time trying to track down the people who know the private keys for the boot-loader-crypto and it looks relatively impossible for a "little guy" to get that information. Not because they want to hold it secret but because they Lynx property has traded hands so many times that it's just been lost.
  • Vextrex!!! I thought I had the only one. That really brings back old memories. I still have my machine somewhere.
  • Why'd the gameboy do well?

    It's very small.

    It's very cheap.

    There are 151753018537 games for it.

Genetics explains why you look like your father, and if you don't, why you should.