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rllmuk

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  1. Fire Stingray always, and hold down the rudder to slide into the paths of the (faster) accelerating cars to get a cheeky boost as they ram you forwards at the start of a race. Doesn't work in time attack of course, but then just save up boosts till you have a full stock for a lap, making sure to trigger one just before you cross the line for a cheeky top up.
  2. As you unlock new items they get mapped to X and Y and the shoulders. Sadly I don’t think you’d get that far from what I’ve played.
  3. Well this is lovely. Looks stunning and music is ace. Its delightfully tricky too, not many places to get hearts back when you’re in a dungeon. Framerate drops are a surprise though, not very Nintendo. I have a feeling its running on Unreal Engine which might be why. Hopefully something they can improve in an update.
  4. My Shopto copy arrived too. But there was all sorts of weirdness going on before it did. First I paid for it upfront in August, but then I get an email telling me my card had been declined earlier this week... When I went and looked I had two orders for some reason, one paid, one not. I removed my card details on the off-chance, and sure enough I got an email telling me my order had been cancelled as they couldn't take payment. At that point both orders disappeared. I logged a ticket politely inquiring what was going on, I never got a reply to it, but a day later got an invoice sent by email telling me I'd paid, followed by another saying they'd send on the poster and keyring separately. Only one showed up at least. My gut is pre-payments went wrong in some way (maybe down to the price drop?) and it's completely thrown their system out of whack. They're brilliant at getting things to you early, but their website is all sorts of archaic. Still, Zelda, yay!
  5. I think the difference is that in this case it's being put together by people who I have far more faith in. I've worked with Jim in the past professional and he's clearly promoting something he believes in. Henrique of course is successful already in the software world, he co-founded Bossa Studios (Surgeon Simulator, I am Bread) where they've been successful enough to do an MBO. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the current development is being done out of their personal pockets in this case. Plus the hardware has had help and input from many capable people. After all, the boards are already out in the wild with developers and being put to good use. But my gut is whilst they've got plenty of experience with software and electronics, they've not got that much experience in the rest of the manufacture. It was clearly something Rick Dickenson understood and I'm sure part of this is trying to make sure this last design lives up to it's legacy, but I think they didn't quite understand the challenge they were taking on. Much like many other delayed Kickstarters... They've probably bitten off more than they can chew, and you can see some classic feature creep in places, but I'm confident as a backer that they'll pull it off eventually. Plus as I said before, much of this seems to be delayed by a desire for quality control, something you couldn't level at the Vega... If you knew how many games go through almost exactly this process where something wasn't working and you had to iterate (but in private) then you really wouldn't be surprised that this is running late
  6. Spent another day with this yesterday and it justs keeps getting better and better. It’s just so well made. Especially the cadance of lulls and action. Music is astonishingly good to boot. My game of the year so far, I’ve not been able to put it down. Plus it came completely out of no-where for me, just picked it up on a whim based on the positive reviews...!
  7. I’ve played this pretty much all day and it is glorius. As you were,
  8. It's as they still trying to make the boards case compatible with the original case and keyboards - and so they needed to make a completely new keyboard that worked in the 'old' way. They likely could have just channelled a more modern keyboard design through some other interface (i.e. USB) but then that would have upped the board complexity. Plus, arguably, part of the feel is in the use of a rubber membrane keyboard. You can sort of understand why they went this route. I'm used to virtually every Kickstarter I've ever backed taking way longer than planned, I have faith in these guys to deliver eventually. Mostly as unlike the VEGA mob, they have demonstrated working software and boards at public events and the folks involved have much more reputable backgrounds. It's amusing that the complicated bit is done (in terms of the actual guts of the machine) and the delay is now with the case and keyboard which you'd think were the easier parts. At least it looks to be down to some degree of quality control though. That's not to say backers shouldn't be allowed to vent, the communication has been a little sporadic and optimistic in terms of when it'd be done.
  9. I'm not sure it was this one... But it's pretty close to the one I remember seeing https://web.archive.org/web/20101010233709/http://gamesareevil.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/History-of-Video-Game-Development-Studios-Flow-Chart-2.jpg
  10. Really? That's a shame. Certainly from PSX\PC-CDROM era the archive was pretty extensive. There were at least three copies of the final master disk, a full archive of source code, assets a and tools (we had to check it could be built on a completely fresh PC), any documentation required to build them and all documentation created during development, along with marketing, contract and QA docs. I'm not entirely sure when that started, it may be post 8/16 bit days, but it was a pretty rigorous process. Part of it was making sure everything was there and checked and signed off by all departments, trying to get people to sign for it used to be a pain in the arse My gut is on the Vortex side there was likely the agreement to distribute and then take some share of the profits. Way before my time that one though. Odd how TLL wasn't part of that, excellent game that too. Interestingly, one of the things that most people didn't realise about Infogrames is they had an excellent distribution network across Europe and beyond so many other publishers would distribute games around the world through them with a similar kind of deal. They did rather well out of that. When it comes to licensed properties based on movies or other IP, it's interesting how these are avoided, likely as a side effect of the license expiring. Most deals with licenses have some form of expiry date, take something like Aliens, it'd been licensed by Fox to multiple companies over the years, rarely at the same time. It's one of the reasons you can't go and buy some form of OutRun2 these days, as to be able to sell it, a license would need to be in place with Ferrari. But yeah, yet more evidence of the crazy and confusing nature of ownership is licenses make it even more crazy and confusing. Again, if I see Ian I'll ask. Core Design by the way started life as Gremlin Derby, so Ian does have some claim to ownership of Switchblade I'm sure I've seen some kind of videogame family tree showing that, it's amazing how intertwined it gets...
  11. Yeah, good luck untangling that. Arguably Gizmondo weren't exactly known for being entirely...legal. But it's a good example of how over 30 years there is a lot of history right there and trying to go over the forensics of what exists and what doesn't (good luck especially with Gizmondo!) to see what does or doesn't belong to someone conclusively is going to be a challenge. Next time I see Ian I'll ask him At least he's back to owning some of the IP he helped establish. One thing I can say about Gremlin though is we did have an excellent archive process, master disks, source code, assets and all the documentation was collected up and put into secure area. So there at least there is a good chance some of it survived. How far back it extended is hard to say. Certainly early 90's, right through to when Infogrames closed us down. I know this as at one point I was in charge of making sure completed games made their way into the vault. I pity the lawyer who has to decipher my handwriting down the line as part of some IP rights case. When we closed, some of got shipped out and some of it got skipped... A few of us managed to save some of that, for example I've got an unreleased DVD version of Hardwar with a fancy Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track on it. So even at this point there is a good example of someone who potentially owned the rights not knowing what they kept or lost. Or even something they owned which might have been of value but threw in a skip...
  12. Well the beauty is we don't know, and there is a good chance neither do the people who've bought the rights, not unless they've actually seen the original contracts Anyway, apologies for the derail. You'd be surprised how much time we spend as devs worrying about legal stuff. I'm sure it's the same here and at Antstream.
  13. See this is where I think it's not straight-forward. They sold the rights to the IP and the version of the software at the time. If indeed that was the contract. What does that mean. Well it means that the original programmers can't sell the software as it stood to someone else. I.e. in an unmodified form without agreement of the rights holders. I'm sure Matt Smith found some way hence the Software Projects and Bug Byte versions of Manic Miner. After all, bear in mind back then I suspect proper suitable written contracts were a rarity. Let's assume for a moment Ocean did have such a contract in place. They could in theory now create more Head Over Heels games with another developer and thus neither Ritman or Drummond would expect to see anything for that. They likely could re-print or sell the original software as a budget title or compilation in it's original form also without paying them (unless there were some form of royalties or rewards associated with it). Those IP ownership rights presumably now belong to Ziko. So they can create new Head over Heels titles and they can likely distribute the original unmodified version of the software as they see fit. But as soon as some level of modification exists, be that wrapping it up in an emulator, editing it in some way (like changing the copyright on the titlescreen) it's not necessarily covered under the original agreement. In theory they need to go back to the original developer and either agree some form of payment or some form of contract amendment. It's not open and shut. It's also clearly not being distributed via disk or tape. It's delivered as digital data. That alone could be outside the remit of the original contract. The internet didn't exist. If the contract stipulated release platforms (and there is a good chance they did as many dev handled ports of their own games) the rights may only applied to various 8 bit computers. Everyone assumes that owning the rights means all the rights. You know how George Lucas got so rich yeah? Fox didn't think the toy rights were worth anything. We don't know what rights actually were part of the contract. The assumption is that the rights for everything transferred, but at the time, the contract probably didn't include every possible way that the software may be used in the future. At what point does it cease to be the original software and IP. For example, let's say Ritman and Drummond created a game called Heel Over Heads and they were two cat faced animals, could that be deemed to be breach of the original IP contract now with Ziko? Good luck with that one in court. There is a reason lawyers stay in business, it's as contract law is complex. It's unlikely that it'll get tested in court, especially if the original contracts don't exist and because it's a likely a royal pain to drag everyone through it. But where there is reasonable doubt... Again, you've assumed the rights holders hold the rights to everything. I'm saying it's not black or white. Plus, presumably you recognise the painters right to be recognised as the artist in perpetuity? We're not saying everything has to be financial... Who knows. I was being tongue in cheek about expecting a free replacement version of the game now as I'd bought it in the past, but I find it interesting how someone can purchase the rights but doesn't want to hold any of the indemnity. When you bought it, you bought the right to use it on the target hardware presumably for life. Unauthorised copies and reproductions no doubt prohibited. But let's say Commodore (or whoever owns them these days) released a new version of the C64. In theory you'd be allowed to play it on that as you own it and no-one could have predicated back then that new official hardware existed to the original specification (even if improved). It's the other interesting thing about Antstream. It's built off the back of years of emulation development and research for people who did it as they were either interested in it or wanted some way to preserve this old software and generally given away for free. I suspect the foundations are built on open source. But running the games on emulation isn't the same as running them on the original target platforms, even if it's a FPGA recreation. It's a bit of a grey area to say this is allowable to under the rights transferred to any IP/rights ownerships as that again might not have been part of the original contracts. And then on top of that, what about the sundry parts people don't assume likely need to be licensed. Have Antstream licensed the use of the Z80 core from Zilog, or it's instruction set, or the Sinclair specific hardware being emulated like the ULA. Or the Ferranti memory chips. Or the Spectrum ROM code. Or the Spectrum font. None of this is open and shut. It's a legal minefield End of the day, just because someone says they own something, doesn't necessarily mean that they do. Again, King Kong VS Donkey Kong. Go look it up
  14. I think most agree with this, it feels like there should be some reward if you’ve created something that has endured so long, Even if this wasn’t the original understanding. Again, making money off rights you’ve acquired isn’t by itself what I think folk are saying is wrong. Its doing this whilst not resolving the above or necessarily respecting that the work in question has a value in part due to other efforts to keep that IP alive, even if it was free. Plus we’ve seen enough bad behaviour by rights holders where they do attack the people who previously kept something alive or ongoing. There is a middle ground where both can co-exist. I think Piko have shown some degree of this by working with and paying the remake team to do a commercial release. But their language about portals and official releases still give a cause for concern. The other side is how often do the other side of historic contracts get honoured. What about royalities, sales bonuses. I bought a copy of Head over Heels on Spectrum via the Hit Squad budget label, my understanding was I bought the game for life, will they furnish me with a replacement version based on my previous lifetime purchase license agreement? Now that is hardly a useful argument. My point is that I think there is an acceptance amongst creators that if someone finds enjoyment from something out of print or unavailable but no-one is getting richer by its circulation, at least they’re still enjoying the work. By all means, if you acquire OutRun2006 somehow as you enjoy playing it, I personally really don’t care how. If you hack it to be more like the arcade and fix some bugs, more power to you. Just don’t claim it as your own work and charge people for the benefit Again, this is all good, no-one here is saying otherwise. At least I don’t think they are. But for me, it still comes down to recognising the value of the original work, even if its just a credit. It doesn’t necessarily have to be financial. It’s recognising the contribution. I mean if I was running some kind of service like this, I could think of some way that benefitted everyone. Offer to do a paid interview with the devs, they get to have some payment, exposure and fans get to have a developers insight. Link to any current projects they might have ‘If you like games by this developer, they’re still making games over here...’. But don’t forget they exist... Especially when your prospective customers and audience are giving you feedback that it doesn’t feel quite right. Hell I’m still mildly annoyed the original All-Star Racing/Transformed teams didn’t get a mention in the Team Sonic Racing credits, what with them getting our engine, tools, assets and assistance and in this case we all work for the same company! Just also recognise the legal side of this. I’m sure you’re aware of when Universal wanted to hit Nintendo with huge legal damages for calling their game Donkey Kong as it infringed thier license of King Kong. Just a shame they didn’t actually own King Kong eh? Anyway, I’ll stop being mean to you! At least you’re happy to have an open discussion within the bounds of NDA’s.
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