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Player/Missile - An Atari 8-bit Retrospective

CC BY-SA 4.0

A retrospective of the Atari 8-bit home computer systems, the magazines that covered them, and a somewhat chronological review of games as they arrived on the platform.

Last feed update: Friday May 20th, 2022 05:07:20 PM

Ep. 34: 8-bit vs 5200 Part 2: Q1 1983

Friday April 29th, 2022 08:45:27 PM
5200 coverage in magazines from January through March 1983. Plus a special bonus look at a NY Times article about Warner's stunning December 1982 earnings shortfall caused by Atari's massive financial loss. 1983 Q1 1983 First Quarter P.O.P. (Point Of Purchase) Support Jan 1983 Video Games Vol 1, #4 Jan 1983 ANALOG Computing #9 Jan 1983 Joystik Magazine Jan 1983 Electronic Games Vol 1, #11 Jan/Feb 1983 Atari Age Magazine Vol 1, #5 Feb 1983 Video Games Vol 1, #5 Feb 1983 Creative Computing Vol 9, #2 Feb 1983 Electronic Games Mar 1983 ANALOG Computing #10 12/19/82 NY Times article “The Game Turns Serious at Atari” Mar 1983 Video Games Worm War 1 TV commercial Mar/Apr 1983 Atari Age Magazine Vol 1, #6 Production Notes Music: Stef Animal's Bandcamp page Episode page: Episode 34 Twitter: @atari8bitgames

Ep. 33: Dec 1982: Magazines, Part 3

Thursday March 31st, 2022 06:43:16 PM
Coverage of a few magazines I missed last time. Live plays of two games, tips to speed up disk drive I/O, and articles on how automation has changed TV and film production. Magazines Atari 8-bit magazines Softalk Softalk Vol 3, #4 Assembly Lines book Total Replay harddisk image Axlon RAMDISK 320k Passport auto-cracking tool Nibble Nibble Vol 3, #8 Nibble disk Production Notes Music: Stef Animal's Bandcamp page Episode page: Episode 33 Twitter: @atari8bitgames

Ep. 32: Dec 1982: Magazines, Part 2

Friday December 10th, 2021 06:22:13 PM
Coverage of Atari Connection, APX, Byte, C&VG, Micro, Softside, Page 6 & Atari I/O for Dec 1982. Another Chris Crawford article on game design, a review of Steve Wozniak’s US Festival, and will Forth become the official language of the podcast? Magazines Atari 8-bit magazines Atari Connection Atari Connection Vol 2, #4 Mastering Rubik's Cube by Don Taylor Josh Malone’s USB CX-85 numeric keypad mod APX Catalog APX Catalog Winter 1982 Byte Byte Vol 7, #12 Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock Byte Magazine Atari articles only by Kay Savetz TRON soundtrack composer Wendy Carlos Women in Electronic Music Sisters with Transistors documentary film Computer & Video Games C&VG Issue #14 Micro 6502/6809 Journal Micro #55 SoftSide Softside #36 Starting Forth online edition Edsger W Dijkstra Dijkstra’s rant on languages History of Forth language Forth cross compiler History of Computing Podcast episode on Pascal Page 6 Page #1 History of Page 6 magazine Atari Input/Output Atari Input/Output #1 Production Notes Music: Stef Animal's Bandcamp page Episode page: Episode 32 Twitter: @atari8bitgames

Ep. 31: Dec 1982: Magazines, Part 1

Friday November 19th, 2021 04:48:21 PM
Coverage of Antic, Compute!, Creative Computing, Dec 1982. Chris Crawford on Legionnaire, first rumors of the IBM PCjr, and two articles predicting the future: Compute! does OK while Creative Computing gets a bunch of whammies. Also: Bullwinkle’s restaurant, sexism and mansplaining about whether educational software should ask kids their gender, and Bahrain doctors, video games & epilepsy. Magazines Atari 8-bit magazines Antic Antic Vol 1, #5 Stratos by Neil Larimer ANTIC Podcast interview with Linda Schreiber Legionnaire by Chris Crawford Compute! Compute #31 IBM PCjr HP 85 Computer Xanadu, the Home of the Future Monrobot desk computer Creative Computing Creative Computing Vol 8, #12 CIA World Factbook on Bahrain Production Notes Music: Stef Animal's Bandcamp page Episode page: Episode 31 Twitter: @atari8bitgames

Ep. 30: 8-bit vs 5200 Part 1: 1982

Wednesday October 20th, 2021 10:10:17 PM
In a special multi-part series comparing the 8-bit computers to the 5200 console, this first episode focuses on 1982. Scanning the regular magazines for mentions of the 5200, I also scour other magazines for both 8-bit and 5200 coverage. Only in this special series will you hear article summaries from these periodicals: Electronic Games, JoyStik, Video Games, Video Games Player and Atari Age Magazine. Introduction Atari 5200 Super Community Podcast The Atari 5200 Podcast Atari 3200 prototype Gremlins: last official release for the 5200 Technical References Business is Fun by Marty Goldberg and Curt Vendel Jan 1984 ANALOG Computing #15 article Transporting programs to the 5200 Feb 1984 ANALOG Computing #16 update for 2-port 5200 Magazine Chronology Jan 8, 1982: Atari Press Release Announcing the 5200 Winter 1981/1982 Electronic Games Mar 1982 Electronic Games Command Line Heroes podcast about Jerry Lawson May 1982 Electronic Games May/Jun 1982: Atari Age Magazine Vol 1, #1 Jun 1982 Electronic Games Jul/Aug 1982: Atari Age Magazine Vol 1, #2 Aug 1982 Video Games Vol 1, #1 Billy Mitchell & Perfect Pac-Man Historical overview of fake Pac-Man high scores & Billy Mitchell’s Fraud Background research for the above Sep 1982: Video Games Player Sept 1982: Joystik Magazine Sep/Oct 1982: Atari Age Magazine Vol 1, #3 Nov 1982 The Video Game Update Vol 1, #8 Nov 1982 Joystik Magazine Nov 1982 Electronic Games Nov/Dec 1982: Atari Age Magazine Vol 1, #4 Creative Computing Vol 8, #12 Dec 1982 Joystik Magazine Dec 1982 Video Games Vol 1, #3 Dec 1982 Electronic Games Arcadia 2001 overview Late 1982 Atari P.O.P. (Point Of Purchase) and Advertising Support Production Notes Music: Stef Animal's Bandcamp page Episode page: Episode 30 Twitter: @atari8bitgames

Ep. 29: Nov 1982: Byte, CVG, CGW, Micro, Softline, Softside

Wednesday June 2nd, 2021 07:30:24 PM
Coverage of the remaining magazines for Nov 1982. Magazines Atari 8-bit magazines Byte Byte Vol 7, #11 Computer & Video Games C&VG Issue #13 Computer Gaming World CGW Vol 2, #6 AtariAge forum post on cheat codes Legionnaire gameplay video Micro 6502/6809 Journal Micro #54 Softline Softline #2.2 Kay Savetz interview with Jerry White Jerry White’s software Bill Williams Atari Sounds, part 3 SoftSide Softside #35 Feedback Dennis Debro’s Atari 2600 disassemblies Free ringtones from Stef Animal Stef Animal creates a track in one day Production Notes Music: Stef Animal's Bandcamp page Episode page: Episode 29 Twitter: @atari8bitgames

Ep. 28: Nov 1982: ANALOG, Compute!, Creative Computing

Friday May 7th, 2021 08:48:34 PM
Format experiment: splitting magazine coverage across two episodes and separating game reviews to their own episodes. Magazines Atari 8-bit magazines ANALOG ANALOG Computing #8 Inverse ATASCII S4E07: Money Manager Compute! Compute #30 Atari 1000 project info from Atari Museum Jeepers Creepers at Atarimania VisiCalc @ Inverse ATASCII Effectus, modern cross compiler for Action! Creative Computing Creative Computing Vol 8, #11 Video Invaders book by Steve Bloom at the Internet Archive Feedback SortViz sorting algorithm visualization on the Atari Bill Kendrick tested plotting in GR.0 and it uses ATASCII values, not ANTIC Production Notes Music: Stef Animal's Bandcamp page Episode page: Episode 28 Twitter: @atari8bitgames

Ep. 27: Oct 1982: Worm War I

Saturday April 17th, 2021 01:01:14 PM
A friend gets his first game published in Computers & Video Games! 6 other magazines this episode, and I try to dissect my first kernel game, Worm War I. Or is it 1? It’s a super important distinction. Magazines Atari 8-bit magazines Antic Antic Vol 1, #4 Compute! Compute #29 Paperclip by Batteries Included, reviewed by Wade on Inverse ATASCII Creative Computing Creative Computing Vol 8, #10 Ted Nelson Mail Project Byte Byte Vol 7, #10 Computer & Video Games C&VG Issue #12 Wild Strawberries Micro 6502/6809 Journal Micro #53 SoftSide Softside #34 Game Review: Worm War I Worm War I at Atarimania Tom McWilliams sold his first game for $60,000 Home page of David Lubar, author of the 2600 version Worm War 1 on Ferg’s Atari 2600 Game by Game Podcast Sirius Software’s Atari titles at Atarimania Feedback Dog Daze Deluxe with 1 player mode Production Notes Music: Stef Animal's Bandcamp page Episode page: Episode 27 Twitter: @atari8bitgames

Ep. 26: Sep 1982: Deluxe Invaders

Saturday February 20th, 2021 11:40:55 PM
Strap yourselves in for coverage of 11 magazine issues including a tiny bit on the large magazine Byte -- there’s an article on Star Raiders strategies that I can’t pass up. Game review is of Deluxe Invaders, which is a high quality Space Invaders clone. Oh, and there’s a discussion of a game called Hazard Run and its ties to a bad TV show and a worse flag. Introduction Bally Astrocade website Bally Astrocade podcast: Bally Alley Astrocast Source of Bally Artillery game Demo of Bally Artillery game from last month’s Creative Computing Twitter review of Rear Guard by RetroAnalyst Retrogame Deconstruction Zone Magazines Atari 8-bit magazines ANALOG ANALOG Computing #7 Star Raiders on the 2600 Compute! Compute #28 Speed Reading comprehension Creative Computing ... For 36 more links, see the show notes

Ep. 25: Aug 1982: Rear Guard

Tuesday November 10th, 2020 04:13:02 AM
Adding a new magazine to the coverage: Softline, a games-focused magazine published by the people responsible for Softalk. Also a review of Rear Guard, a game that’s appeared in full-page color ads for many months in magazines. Introduction AtariAge discussion on the term IRG Magazines Atari 8-bit magazines Antic Antic Vol 1, #3 Compute! Compute #27 Atari Jaguar injection molded cases used for dental equipment Creative Computing Creative Computing Vol 8, #8 57 games by SSI for the Atari Full page ad for Rear Guard on Pg 50 Full page ad for Crush, Crumble & Chomp Khan Academy explanation of elastic collisions ... For 34 more links, see the show notes

Ep. 24: Jul 1982: Typo Attack

Tuesday October 20th, 2020 05:59:51 PM
Just a regular ol’ episode talking about magazines, learning typing during the pandemic, and if we’ve finally seen the end of creepy William Shatner ads for the VIC-20. Magazines Atari 8-bit magazines iCompute! Compute #26 Fred D’Ignazio interview on the ANTIC Podcast Inverse ATASCII review of LJK’s Data Perfect Creative Computing Creative Computing Vol 8, #7 APX Catalog APX Summer 1982 Carol Shaw’s Calculator source code hardcopy OCR text of calculator source ANTIC, the Atari 8-bit podcast Eaten by a Grue Byte ... For 18 more links, see the show notes

Ep. 23: Jun 1982: Quarxon

Sunday December 8th, 2019 08:01:42 PM
Phase 2 begins with the usual magazine coverage and a review of Quarxon, a two-player shoot-each-other game with prominent use of Display List Interrupts. In the tech section, I use Omnivore to discover how these DLIs work. Introduction Stef Animal's Bandcamp page Stef Animal's Pico-8 game: The Spooky House Pico-8 virtual machine (a "fantasy video game console") XLXE Podcast Magazines Atari 8-bit magazines ANTIC Antic Vol 1, #2 Atari Connection Atari Connection Vol 2, #2 Byte Byte Vol 7, #6 Full text of De Re Atari ... For 14 more links, see the show notes

Ep. 22: Special Episode: Phase 2

Thursday March 14th, 2019 07:10:51 PM
Introducing Phase 2 of the Player/Missile extended podcastimatic universe. The magazine coverage will stay the same, but instead of a typical game review, I will focus on reverse engineering to discover interesting game programming techniques used by the authors of these classic games. I intend it to be a tutorial on the use of Omnivore, the desktop application I've designed that includes many reverse engineering tools, including a built-in emulator and debugger. Tech Section Omnivore, my 8-bit reverse engineering platform

Ep. 21: May 1982: Fujirun

Friday September 29th, 2017 07:54:00 PM
The hiatus is over. With my new slimmed-down post-production, I now plan to get back to regular episodes. For this one, it's the usual magazine coverage and some talk about the retro-computing projects I've been doing in the last year. Introduction KansasFest! Richard Broadhurst's Programs Astroblaster Carnival Frogger Phoenix Emulated hardware arcade port of Circus Tech Section Omnivore, the Atari 8-bit Binary Editor Magazines Atari 8-bit magazines ANALOG Analog #6 Antic Podcast Interview #214: Ron Hartman of K-Byte Software ... For 13 more links, see the show notes

Ep. 20: Apr 1982: Jumpman

Friday October 14th, 2016 09:30:13 PM
The culmination of the first "season" of the Player/Missile podcast is a review of my favorite game and the announcement of the project undertaken by Kevin Savetz and myself to reverse engineer the game. We're sponsoring a level design contest, and there's still time to enter! Oh, and I'm taking a hiatus until I can collect the physical magazines. You can help out with your contributions! Introduction KansasFest! Chris Torrence's Softalk Apple (video) Podcast I'm a guest on Antic Episode 33! Atari 8 bit ads Intellivisionaries Addison-Wesley Book of Atari Software 1984 Article and photo of Mark Reid winning the 1983 Atari Star Award Listener Written Programs Wade's windowing system in Action! MAME Cabinet MAME cabinet progress (AtariAge forum thread) More details on MAME cabinet Tech Section Omnivore, the Atari 8-bit Binary Editor AtariAge forum post announcing Omnivore Jumpman Level Editor for C64 ... For 19 more links, see the show notes

Ep. 19: Mar 1982: Getaway!

Thursday March 31st, 2016 09:30:00 PM
Game review of Getaway! and interview with the author Mark Reid. The program won the Atari Star Award and the $25,000 prize in 1983. I also introduce Omnivore, the 8-bit binary editor that I've been working on during the hiatus. Kevin Savetz has a guest review of the APX Spring Catalog, and we add a new section to the podcast, the countdown to the Tramiel takeover. Introduction Omnivore, the Atari 8-bit Binary Editor Player/Missile Blog AtariAge forum post announcing Omnivore AtariAge forum post with Wade's new Getaway! level Dan Boris's Atari Disk Explorer Atari Disk Explorer on github Feedback San Leandro Computer Club SLCC home page AtariAge forum post: 1200XL Owners Club (serial tracker) Atari Party 2016! Saturday, Jul 30, 2016 Vintage Computer Festival West, Aug 6-7, 2016 Listener Written Programs Tom Raidna's Windows IDE & code builder for his TUI (Text User Interface) MAME Cabinet ... For 48 more links, see the show notes

Ep. 18: Feb 1982: Flight Simulators, Part 2b

Wednesday December 9th, 2015 06:34:58 PM
Part 2b of the flight simulator roundup with Chris Olson, reviewing helicopter sims and the all-time classic F-15 Strike Eagle. Plus: an update on speeding up Star Raiders. Introduction Dan Carlin's Hardcore History Pictures from the AtariAge booth at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo XEGS Cart-by-Cart Podcast They Create Worlds Podcast They Create Worlds Blog Feedback Interview with Dona Bailey, Centipede co-creator Hidden Maze from Compute!'s First Book of Atari Games Wikipedia article on maze generation Bill Kendrick's maze generator web game Bill Kendrick's printable mazes Bill Kendrick's 10-line BASIC maze generator San Leandro Computer Club SLCC home page Listener Written Programs RetroChallenge in January! MAME Cabinet ... For 33 more links, see the show notes

Ep. 17: Jan 1982: Shamus

Monday October 19th, 2015 09:05:23 PM
The universe of games really begins to expand in 1982. From here on out we'll have a huge selection of choices to talk about, and Shamus by Cathryn Mataga leads us off. Also, an interview with Michael Portuesi who is both a published author in Compute!'s books and a listener to the podcast. Introduction Ten Pence Arcade podcast San Leandro Computer Club Feedback Interview with Dona Bailey, Centipede co-creator MAME Cabinet MAME cabinet progress (AtariAge forum thread) More details on MAME cabinet Tech Section Python program to split ATR/XFD images My half-finished game Air Defense Source code to Air Defense ATasm, a Mac/65 cross assembler 2015 ABBUC Software Contest Magazines ... For 16 more links, see the show notes

Ep. 16: Dec 1981: Flight Simulators, Part 2a

Tuesday September 1st, 2015 07:43:26 PM
The first half of the military flight simulator roundup with Chris Olson. I've included a bonus tech section at the end discussing a clever display list technique used by the MicroProse sims. Guest reviews: Michael Glaser of the XEGS Cart-by-Cart podcast covers SoftSide and Kevin Savetz summarizes the APX Winter 1981 Catalog. Introduction Thanks to Wade from Inverse ATASCII for the ANALOGs & Flight Simulator II AtariAge forum thread: 2 worthy video game podcasts Internet History Podcast By Brian McCullough Dan Carlin's Hardcore History XEGS Cart-by-Cart Podcast ANTIC Podcast Feedback The History of 8-bit Computer Games in The USA #1 : CGW Nov/Dec 1981 Sprite Castle, the C64 game review podcast with Rob O'Hara No Quarter episode 89: Arcade Draft #1 No Quarter episode 123: Arcade Draft #2 Listener Written Programs The Space Invaders TRS-80 'Bootleg' Project MAME Cabinet MAME cabinet progress (AtariAge forum thread) More details on MAME cabinet ... For 35 more links, see the show notes

Ep. 15: Nov 1981: Reversi II

Friday July 31st, 2015 09:02:44 PM
Two new magazines for the coverage: Computer Gaming World and my first magazine from the UK: Computer & Video Games, and two guest reviewers of magazines. An overview of KansasFest from the Atari point of view, and a review of the APX game Reversi II. Introduction California Extreme Arcade/Pinball show July 18 & 19 2015 CA Extreme twitter Pictures from CA Extreme KansasFest KansasFest More from Rebecca Heineman: Antic Interview #64 Steve Mayer: Antic Interview #65 Mark Pilgrim's Dive Into Python Ringtones from Atari 8-bit games HackFest Podcasters Summit Retro Computing Roundtable Ep #105 Carrington Vanston from Retro Computing Roundtable John Leake from RetroMacCast John Linville from The CoCo Crew Ken Gagne from Polygamer ... and also from Indiesider Kevin Savetz from ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Podcast Michael Mulhurn from Retro Computing Roundtable Mike Whalen from Electric Dreams BBS Podcast ... For 43 more links, see the show notes



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