Golden Era Game of the Week 11/25/06: Barrier

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Golden Era Game of the Week 11/25/06: Barrier

Post by Weehawk » Sat Nov 25, 2006 8:23 pm

Golden Era Game of the Week

See introduction here

The Game: Barrier

romname: barrier

Screenshot:
ImageImageImage
(click to see current MARP scores)


Reward: $25 (usd)

Deadline for submission to MARP: December 1, 2006 2359 hours GMT

Further Bounty: none

This week's game comes from one of my favorite early video arcade game producers, Cinematronics. They were pioneers in the vector graphics field. This game was programmed as an exercise for one of their junior programmers to learn from, and is a blatant copy of the gameplay from a handheld LED-display Football (that's American football for you foreigners) game from Mattel which was enormously popular in 1976 and ranks right up there with Furbies, Tickle-Me-Elmo, and Cabbage Patch Kids (remember the riots of 1983?) as one of the hottest-ticket Christmas items of all time. I can imagine it's hard for younger people at this point to fathom how cool this was when it was new.

Image

The vector copycat, once done, was sold to a competitor, much to the amusement of the Cinematronics crew. The laugh was on them when they later acquired the company they had sold it to, and were stuck with it themselves!

From a Cinematronics site:
The game Barrier, manufactured just after the Vectorbeam buyout by Cinematronics, is also an interesting story. Barrier was a game designed at Cinematronics as an excercise for newly-hired programmer Rob Patton, and was initially named Blitz. Jim Pierce, co-owner of Cinematronics, came up with the gameplay idea, which was curiously identical to the handheld Mattel football electronic game which was very popular at the time. As Skelly remembers, "To make Jim happy, we put it out on test. It did very poorly, to put it nicely, and we stuffed it in the closet."

Bill Cravens, President of Vectorbeam, visited Cinematronics before the buyout, looking for something his company could build and and sell quickly. "Cinematronics sold him Blitz," Skelly says. "And we all laughed our asses off."

However, the laughter died abruptly, as this happened only a matter of weeks before the buyout of Vectorbeam by Cinematronics, which nobody at Cinematronics had apparently forseen. "When Cinematronics took over Vectorbeam they found themselves stuck in Vectorbeam’s position," says Skelly. "They had employees, an assembly line, and nothing to build. So--and here comes the irony--they were forced to endure the fate they had intended for their foes: they had to build Barrier."
Note Well: I could not get the game to work in .106, and did not try to figure out why. It worked in .101, so that is what we are using.


Random prize: One player submitting in excess of 500 points, selected randomly from those who do, will receive a retro-game themed scarf. Thanks to MJSTY for finding this gem. (And if you don't like them blame him.)

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(Click for more info)


Use WolfMAME .101

On Deck game: Frogger
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Re: Golden Era Game of the Week 11/25/06: Barrier

Post by artz » Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:09 am

Weehawk wrote:I can imagine it's hard for younger people at this point to fathom how cool this was when it was new.
I can vouch for you. This was the coolest electronic game around. Around 1977-1978 if I can remember. The football one was the most popular.

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Post by Weehawk » Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:08 pm

Sunday's bonus points to Tekkaman.
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Post by Weehawk » Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:09 pm

Tuesday's bonus points to Tekkaman.
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Post by Weehawk » Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:57 pm

Clean sweep on the bonus points for Tekkaman.
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Post by Weehawk » Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:58 pm

Results:

1st: Tekkaman@AIVA (576)
2nd: MarcoMarocco@AIVA (510)
3rd: Don Hayes (481)


Tekkaman takes 1st and 6 bonus for 16 total.

Surprised the scores weren't higher this week. I expected to see the previous highs on MARP fall, and more people to be eligible for the random prize.


Eligible for the random prize:

MarcoMarocco@AIVA (1-27)
Tekkaman@AIVA (28-54)


Watch at 0400 hours GMT for the numbers drawn here:

http://www.txlottery.org/online/winmegamillion.cfm

which will determine the winner. The first ball drawn will be the winning number.
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Post by Zhorik » Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:15 am

Weehawk wrote:Surprised the scores weren't higher this week. I expected to see the previous highs on MARP fall, and more people to be eligible for the random prize.
Sikraiken's theory on #marp was that changes to the driver at some point made the game more difficult than it was in earlier versions of MAME.

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Post by Weehawk » Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:58 am

The winning number is 37.

Tekkaman, do you have a preference among these scarves?

http://www.b2d4.com/shop.php
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Post by Tekkaman » Sun Dec 03, 2006 4:34 pm

I prefer that one with this code: b2d4_003_a Thanks

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Post by Marco Marocco » Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:42 pm

Zhorik wrote:
Weehawk wrote:Surprised the scores weren't higher this week. I expected to see the previous highs on MARP fall, and more people to be eligible for the random prize.
Sikraiken's theory on #marp was that changes to the driver at some point made the game more difficult than it was in earlier versions of MAME.
May be Sikraiken is right, but today I got 681 8) and I think is possible to improve

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Post by destructor » Sat Dec 30, 2006 3:43 pm

Marco, do you don't have more interesting games? :D

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Post by Marco Marocco » Sat Dec 30, 2006 4:29 pm

destructor wrote:Marco, do you don't have more interesting games? :D
Yes, I have.
But Barrier was like a drug :roll:

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