Much more could have been done on ST

All about ST/STE games

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Re: Much more could have been done on ST

Postby calimero » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:08 pm

^
Agree :) :cheers:
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Re: Much more could have been done on ST

Postby nativ » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:28 pm

Well you can really go to town on sound, music and cut scenes with the UltraSatan IDE or CF card solutions not to mention Falcon hardware too.

Where is the first 64MB SD card ST game? ;)
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Re: Much more could have been done on ST

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:13 pm

The point of this thread was.

It's the detals that makes the difference between a descent game and a good one. Details that don't cost anything in processor power to implement and easily could be done on ST too. Attention to detail. Many games for ST felt kind of flat and could easily be enhanced with some extra (and better) animation, small cut scenes, a small story, some extra in game pics and why not better sound effects. Why not enhance the animation of the cars in Super Sprint for exemple? In most NES games they added some extra animation to make things more living.

By "cut scenes" i don't exactly mean animated movies. It can be a series of stills with some text as in many NES games.

It's the details that makes the big difference.

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Re: Much more could have been done on ST

Postby nativ » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:42 pm

Turrican 2

Indy Heat ( Super Sprint clone )

Rodland, Pang and Exterminator

all used cut scenes to good effect, it's not an unrecognised feature
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Re: Much more could have been done on ST

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:18 pm

@Nativ

I know.

In that time most hardware were pretty limited and you had to use many small tricks and touches to give the games an extra dimension. The japanese game makers was exceptionally good at adding small features and touches to make the games more involving and more film like. Features that easily could have been done on most ST games too.

Too many Atari ST games felt pretty uninspired and flat when they could have been a lot better by adding small touches before releasing it to the ST gamers. Stiff boring animation, run to the mill levels without a single "between screen" or cut scene in sight.

Nintendo in a nutshell was kind of...

Play slot machine in Super Mario Bros II between the levels. Quite insane, and very japanese, but fun.

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Re: Much more could have been done on ST

Postby nativ » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:40 pm

earliest cut scene? Ms.Pacman ? or Pacman? Still you'd have to be Namco to come up with ideas like that.... in the start. that's just using player graphics and text to embellish the game.

You have the flip side of the cut scene with the development of systems like the Mega CD and CD32.. where mostly it goes tragically wrong, except maybe Thunderhawk and a couple of others...
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Re: Much more could have been done on ST

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:44 pm

Small unique ideas add pretty much to a game.

Like in "Great American Cross Country Road Race" for Atari 800 for exemple. If you forget to stop and fill up with gas, you have to push your car to the nearest gas station.

You could add a funny animation of a wobbling car to Super Sprint when the car becomes damaged for exemple.

Small touches like that makes most games much more fun to play.

Head Over Heels. Instead of using the quite boring sound of the ZX Spectrum version on Atari ST, why not use the more Pac Man like sound found in the Atari 800 and C64 versions of the same game?

Things like that enhances any game and makes it more fun to play.

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Re: Much more could have been done on ST

Postby Dio » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:32 pm

nativ wrote:earliest cut scene? Ms.Pacman ? or Pacman?

Donkey Kong climbing to the top of the building and jumping?

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Re: Much more could have been done on ST

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:41 am

"Pac-Man -first released in 1980- is frequently credited as the first game to feature cut scenes, in the form of brief comical interludes about Pac-Man and the ghosts chasing each other around during those interludes, though Space Invaders Part II employed a similar technique that same year."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutscene

"The first example of a complete story, with beginning and end, told within a video game is the original Donkey Kong arcade game. It was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto in Kyoto, Japan, and released by Nintendo in July 1981. It is also the first example of the use of cutscenes to tell a story in a game: for example, an introductory animation shows Jumpman/Mario’s girlfriend being abducted by Donkey Kong."
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Re: Much more could have been done on ST

Postby retrogameandcomputer » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:49 pm

Sadly, the ST did not have a large enough audience to demand the attention of developers to create stunning games. This also plagued the Amiga as well.

What I wish is that Atari had of not given up on the ST when it did. The ST was gaining much more tracking in Europe in professional circles. I wonder what would have happened if someone with more vision was at the top. This was a time where technology was changing rapidly as were the things that could be done with it. While the Atari ST was pioneering multimedia in the 1980s and early 90s, it took until 2000 before Steve Jobs truly understood how computers could be more than desktop devices.

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Re: Much more could have been done on ST

Postby DarkLord » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:33 pm

Oh, I don't know. For a few years there, the ST got pretty much every game every
other system did. I'm talking about during its heyday of course. (circa '86-89 or so)

I know I spent a lot of time on them! :)
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Re: Much more could have been done on ST

Postby retrogameandcomputer » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:04 pm

DarkLord wrote:Oh, I don't know. For a few years there, the ST got pretty much every game every
other system did. I'm talking about during its heyday of course. (circa '86-89 or so)

I know I spent a lot of time on them! :)


I had an Amiga and an Atari ST. Used one for midi and desktop Pub and the other for video with Newtek. The one thing we complained about the most was the porting of games rather than developing just for the ST or Amiga. A few games were designed to take advantage of the ST's custom chips, but most did not.

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Re: Much more could have been done on ST

Postby carmel_andrews » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:34 pm

The NES got lucky since most of the NES developers were poached from the MSX consortium...since that had largely failed in the US and nintendo wanted in on the US market, since nintendo themselves had tried getting in on the US market by a tie up with Atari which came to nothing since Atari imploded following Kassars departure and ofcourse the great 'game crash' of 1983/4

According to something that Atari UK's former Tech Head (Les Player) mentioned to me per email, Atari UK and Atari Germany wanted the ST to come with hard drives as standard, Atari France on the other hand figured otherwise and demanded that the ST only game with Floppy drives

Unfortunately Atari france won the argument and if you ask me, that probably killed any possibility of the ST succeeding in the long term, since if you'd followed things from that period, the PC was coming with HD's as standard, Mac's had just gotten in on the whole HD thing and if Atari had gone with Atari UK/Germany's stance and having the ST come with HD's as standard i reckon that the ST would have taken a lot more sales away from the PC and also got more support from the non games market (like MS, Adobe, Lotus etc etc)

And seeming that tramiel claimed to have invented 'market segmentation' while he was running things at commodore, perhaps he could have done 2 versions of the ST, a low end version that was floppy disk based (which could be easily updated to using HD, as it would have used the same internal motherboard) and a higher priced version that was hard drive based

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Re: Much more could have been done on ST

Postby mlynn1974 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:38 am

The ST was a great computer but it's sometimes fun to think 'what if'. Would it have been possible for Atari to have released the STE in 1985? I don't think so. It would have been great to have had 1Mb RAM, SIMMs and double sided drives as standard from the beginning but it just couldn't have happened like that. Memory was very expensive in 1985. SIMMs had just been invented in 1983. It would have been amazing if Atari had thought about top and bottom border removal without having to use tricks, and hardware scrolling but then it would have been just like the Amiga.

I think it was a mistake for Atari to include single sided drives. It undoubtably made games producers limit games to fit onto a single sided disk just incase a few owners still had a single sided drive. This gave the packers a lot of scope to fit as many games as possible on a double sided disk though. At college in 1992 my mate had a ST with a single sided drive (and a double sided external drive with an A-B switch), a Macintosh SE (good for Word Processing) and a PC but played most of his games on the ST. Sim City, Oids, Stunt Car Racer and Xenon II mainly - all great games.
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