December 9, 2020
[retrogaming] The Making of Donkey Kong on the Atari 2600‘In the summer of 1982, I spent about three months creating a list of 4,096 numbers, meticulously ensuring that every single number was the right value, and in the correct place in the list. When I finished, the only tangible evidence of my work was that long list of numbers. When the list was complete, after nearly 1,000 hours of work, the former Connecticut Leather Company¹ put the numbers (in order) into a computer memory chip and plastic case and sold it at stores throughout the country. And people actually bought it…’
November 25, 2020
[retrogaming] The boy behind the biggest coin-op conversion of the 80s … A look at how a british teenager converted the arcade game Outrun to the Commodore 64 in 1987. ‘It seemed that the 17-year-old in the room had a prototype of just what US Gold needed – and this was around Eastertime, giving them months to get the game ready for Christmas 1987. “Geoff took me into a side room where there sat an OutRun arcade machine. He said ‘Martin you can do this right? You can convert this to the C64?’ I was gobsmacked. Within an hour the lawyers and my dad had made a contract and that’s how I landed my first conversion. The upfront fee was about £20k. That was a lot of cash back in 1987.”‘
November 17, 2020
[gaming] Retro games – How I fixed the Atari 2600 awful music … How one Atari programmer managed to work around the 2600’s musical limitations. ‘I knew that a ton of the frequencies were out of tune, so what technical trick could I come up with to coax the Atari 2600 into playing beautiful, melodious in-tune music? The answer was, none. I couldn’t come up with any technical trick that worked, so I went to Plan B. Rather than forcing the Atari to do something it couldn’t do, I took the opposite approach, putting some effort into figuring out exactly what it could do.’