Wow! Atari wrote a game that uses some pretty good artificial intelligence. It was fun to play and very challenging. So how could this one possibly be eligible for the Hall of Shame?
Archive for the ‘Grantster.com Classic™ Post’ Category
Okay, Pac-Man has hit the arcades. Everyone in the world is now waiting in line with quarters overflowing in their pockets just to get chance to play it. In the wake of this awesome game, we now have to weed through a few things. Namely:
There is no better way for me to lead off this rant than with that word. I really wish that I didn’t have to write an article like this. Unfortunately, because of my commitment to expose the worst in computer history, I have to. This song is beyond stupid. It is beyond pathetic. It is beyond anything that a sane person could comprehend. I have never heard of the people who wrote and sang this. Their names are Buckner and Garcia. I can’t think of anything witty to say about their names, so I’ll ignore that for now and say that they are two talentless hacks.
“You know, Microsoft, when you want to flat out steal someone’s product, it’s a good idea to…actually it is never a good idea for Microsoft to try to steal anything.” – Grantster
Stac Electronics (the maker of Stacker) was one of the many fly-by-night-turned-big-time companies of the late 80’s, early 90’s. They took your precious hard drive and doubled or even tripled the amount of free space. It did this by compressing and decompressing programs on the fly. Kinda like zipping and unzipping files for you automatically. Why was this ever handy? Well, as hard as it is to believe, hard drives weren’t always 2 terabytes in size. They were actually pretty small. The first hard drives were 10 Meg (yes I said MEG!). This was roughly the amount of space that is on 7 of today’s floppies (sorry, I realize many of you have never used a floppy). You could store jack and crap on your hard drive. Therefore, automatic compression software was quite handy. Unfortunately, if your drive ever got corrupted, it destroyed exponential amounts of data due to the way the drive is compressed. Oh, well, details…details. Nevertheless, the was quite a market for this Stacker product.
Everyone has at least half an idea of how I feel about Coleco (That is, if you already read about Donkey Kong for the Atari 2600). Well, of course, Coleco made the Colecovision, which was a pretty good video game system, I must admit. At the time, it blew everything away. It had the better graphics, sound, and gameplay than the Atari 2600 (DUH!), the Intellivision, and the Atari 5200. Coleco also brought a new idea to the table: the Colecovision Expansion Module. Read the rest of this entry »
In my opinion, the video game revolution started by these three games: Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong. Space Invaders was revolutionary because it was the first and best of its kind. Pac-Man was the first full-feature color video game introducing a main character. Donkey Kong was revolutionary because it was the first to have multiple levels that played differently. While Atari scooped up Space Invaders and Pac-Man, there was no doubt that they were ready to pursue Donkey Kong as well. However, Coleco was finishing up their state of the art video game system, and needed the edge that only a name game like Donkey Kong could give. Coleco won the war, paying a measly $100,000 for rights to produce the Donkey Kong game for home systems. With little development time, Coleco produced a version of Donkey Kong for the Colecovision, Intellivision, and the Atari 2600.
So, you are Atari, the biggest computer game manufacturer on the planet. Everything you touch turns to gold. You are backed by a well-funded parent company of Warner Brothers. But, competition is heating up. You have several people who want the business that you have worked so hard to keep. You’ve got to make the games that people want. It’s 1981 and people want a home version of Pac-Man. Especially, now that it is nearing in on the Christmas season, and the people have a choice to make as far what kind of game system that they want to buy. Well, always aimed to please, Atari buys the rights to produce the home version of Pac-Man for their famed Atari 2600. If you’re one of the executives at Atari, how would you choose to handle the development of this prize?