Games by Serious Software

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SeriousSoftware
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Games by Serious Software

Post by SeriousSoftware » Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:05 pm

I've just reinstalled STeem (as well as Atari800Win and Stella - getting really nostalgic here) and found Atarimania.

One of the things I've been looking out for is software that I wrote, and I notice you have one of my 8-bit games (Gridwars from a Page 6 coverdisk) but blank entries for the ST stuff which I released as Serious Software.

Somewhat to my amazement, my old download page on Fortunecities still exists, so I can give you screenshots and executables for most of my ST games.

However, it's missing some of the best ones, and I no longer have copies. I'm particularly keen to get hold of Empire Star, Empire Star II and Seven Keys, which were all released through LAPD as Licenceware, but I've not found anyone with an archive of their disks. Empire Star II is likely to be particularly rare as it wasn't out long before LAPD closed up shop.

I asked the same question on Atari-Forum.com a couple of years ago with no success, but it's worth a try.

Ross McNaughton
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marakatti
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Re: Games by Serious Software

Post by marakatti » Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:43 pm

Hi Ross and welcome to Atarimania. It's always nice to hear from ST-games programmers :)

Our ST-database is still very much under construction so there are still a lot of blank entries. I guess you mean this page (http://www.fortunecity.com/skyscraper/c ... rious.html). Big thanks for the tip, I downloaded all the games before they gets lost. You've coded a lot of games :shock:

Unfortunately I didn't find the games you mentioned from my archives but Empire Star and Seven Keys are listed in LAPD catalogue which is available at http://www.atari.org.uk/

If I'm correct this guy bought the LAPD catalogue and ran a PD library called LaST PD after that. I know this isn't much but you can find his email address from the main page so maybe it's still working? At least the copyright says 2009 which is quite recently so who knows. Would be awesome to find these games :)
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Marko
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Re: Games by Serious Software

Post by SeriousSoftware » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:44 pm

marakatti wrote: I guess you mean this page (http://www.fortunecity.com/skyscraper/c ... rious.html).
Well done for finding it. I hadn't been there for ages and it no longer comes up under a Google search for 'Serious Software Atari', so I ended up having to follow a link from someone else's old Atari page.
marakatti wrote:If I'm correct this guy bought the LAPD catalogue and ran a PD library called LaST PD after that. I know this isn't much but you can find his email address from the main page so maybe it's still working? At least the copyright says 2009 which is quite recently so who knows. Would be awesome to find these games :)
Definitely worth a try, although the dates on most of the other pages are a lot earlier. But it's possible he was generating the disks from a PC and still has all the MSA files.

By the way, you seem to have 4 different entries for my game Quest. This was the last thing I wrote before switching to STOS, which means the 1991 date is the correct one, but I don't know what the chances are of finding a copy. I know I uploaded it to at least one of the university FTP sites, and it may well still be there, but I can't remember which ones.

Ross
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Re: Games by Serious Software

Post by Marcer » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:37 pm

I belive the chances are quite high I have couple of them on my dvd... (gamedvd collection).. but my ftp crashed couple of days ago.. so i dont have many ways to supply the stuff atm..

// Marcer
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Re: Games by Serious Software

Post by SeriousSoftware » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:06 pm

Thanks guys. I got a pretty much instant reply from Steve at LaST - he is still running everything off a Falcon, which is a bit of a problem for me as I don't have anything with a floppy drive anymore. However, he is going to see what he can do about burning a CD.

So if there's anything else in his library that you need to get hold of, it looks like it might be possible to order a custom CD with specific titles.

I'll let you know how it goes

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Re: Games by Serious Software

Post by marakatti » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:09 pm

Marcer wrote:I belive the chances are quite high I have couple of them on my dvd... (gamedvd collection).. but my ftp crashed couple of days ago.. so i dont have many ways to supply the stuff atm..
I uploaded everything I got from your collection Marcer. Version 1.1 from Quest might have files missing as it crashes after generating character but 1.51 works very well. Here's the link to the entries: http://www.atarimania.com/list_games_at ... 6_S_G.html
SeriousSoftware wrote:Thanks guys. I got a pretty much instant reply from Steve at LaST - he is still running everything off a Falcon, which is a bit of a problem for me as I don't have anything with a floppy drive anymore. However, he is going to see what he can do about burning a CD.

So if there's anything else in his library that you need to get hold of, it looks like it might be possible to order a custom CD with specific titles.
Sounds excellent! I'm glad there's a hope to rescue your missing games. I have couple of ST- and Falcon-machines so it's not a problem to image the disks for you if we can get the files somehow.

By the way, could you help us to fill the missing fields? For example have you done all the graphics yourself (except maybe that Porsche in Overdrive titlescreen?) and how about the sound effects? Thanks :)
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Re: Games by Serious Software

Post by SeriousSoftware » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:24 pm

marakatti wrote:By the way, could you help us to fill the missing fields? For example have you done all the graphics yourself (except maybe that Porsche in Overdrive titlescreen?) and how about the sound effects? Thanks :)
I'll see what I can remember. The Porsche, as you say, was ripped, and also the marine from the title screen of Star Troopers, as far as I can remember all the other graphics were my own work. Music wasn't my strong point, so all the chip and tracker music was either ripped or used with permission. A lot of the sound effects were done by me inside STOS, but if I was using a music that also had sound effects I tended to make the best of them :twisted:
So generally, if you credit me for the graphics but not the sound you'll be at least 90% right!

Ross

Edit: Other things you're missing. Dice was written in STOS, and IIRC Quest was written in GFA Basic. There was such a game as Starhawk I, but I don't remember if I ever released it. There was also another STOS game called Greenies which was only released on one of the Page 6 Library disks and never put on the website (because it wasn't very good). I've attached it as a zipped .MSA
greenies.zip
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Re: Games by Serious Software

Post by marakatti » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:50 pm

Ok, thanks for the infos :)

I've never seen original Starhawk listed anywhere so as you say it might be unreleased. Was it also a vertical scrolling shooter?
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Re: Games by Serious Software

Post by SeriousSoftware » Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:13 pm

marakatti wrote:Ok, thanks for the infos :)

I've never seen original Starhawk listed anywhere so as you say it might be unreleased. Was it also a vertical scrolling shooter?
Yes, I wrote Starhawk and Cobra Strike at around the same time (based on the same code, obviously) and they turned out a bit too similar. Since Cobra Strike had slightly more in the way of gameplay, I released that and reworked the Starhawk map to be larger and more complex.
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Re: Games by Serious Software

Post by SeriousSoftware » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:02 am

A few more bits of info:

Dates:
Confusion would have been 1992 as it was written just before Cyclotron.
Dice II was also 1992, it was one of my first STOS games (if you're wondering where the II comes from, the original Dice was identical but only supported two players. Again, it was never released).
R-Zone I and II were probably 1992 and 1993 respectively but I can't be absolutely sure.
Cyclotron II was probably 1994 as I think that's when I got the routine to read 4 joysticks.

Quest 1.1 was indeed released with a missing data file; if you look at the Readme for 1.51 you'll see that I commented on it there. Which is a shame, because 1.1 was a stable version, just less efficient than 1.51. I can't remember whether the data file actually changed between versions, so the one from 1.51 might work. 1.0 and 1.5 both had major bugs, so even if you find executables for those versions I wouldn't recommend putting them up.

I've also remembered one more game, Bricks, which was similar gameplay to Activision's Kaboom! It was another one from 1992, I know I uploaded it to at least one of the university FTP sites, and probably released it on one of my earlier PD disks. It's not in either the LAPD or Page 6 listings, which means it might have been New Age PDL or one of the missing Page 6 disks.
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Re: Games by Serious Software

Post by Marcer » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:03 pm

I quick checked my gamedvd of serious software and got there up:

Axis - 1993
Cobra Strike - 1996
Confusion
Cyclotron - 1992
Cyclotron 2
Ergon - 1993
Greenies
Imperial Conquest - 1993
Overdrive - 1996
Pipetris - 1994
R Zone
R Zone 2
Soccer Management Simulation - 1992
Star Troopers - 1997
Starhawk 2 - 1996
Trackball - 1993
War v2.0 - 1994

if there is other serious software games. I would be very intressted as they will be rated Highly rare! :)
as you may understand I have all these games able to share in one way or another.

// Marcer
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SeriousSoftware
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Re: Games by Serious Software

Post by SeriousSoftware » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:11 pm

Marcer wrote:I quick checked my gamedvd of serious software and got there up:

Imperial Conquest - 1993
...
Soccer Management Simulation - 1992
These two were a different PD author using the name Serious Software. I've no idea who used it first, but I definitely used it more!

Other than that, the only things you're missing are Bricks, the three LAPD Licenceware titles, and the editor for WAR (which was only sent to people who registered and/or other STOS programmers, so that one is definitely rare).

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Re: Games by Serious Software

Post by marakatti » Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:43 pm

I added the missing records to our database. Let's hope we will some day see the software too. I wasn't able to locate Bricks from any of the working uni FTP-sites I know of. I have some FTP-backups from late 1990's on CD so I'll have to see if there's something.
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