Gaming 2001--The Future of Gaming!

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Jon Kade

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
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Uh....yeah. And what are the questions?

On Fri, 18 Sep 1998 15:46:05 -0400, the Magus summoned "Brad Zumwalt"
<f...@binary.net>, who said:

>We need your help! Fairfield Research is conducting a survey on the gaming
>industry. We are in need of people to give us their opinions on the future
>of gaming in the US. You can now help and be rewarded for your efforts. By
>taking the time to complete and return the survey, you will be entered into
>a drawing for excellent prizes including a 27" color tv, video game hardware
>and software, computer games and mulitmedia enhancement boards for the PC.
>If you are willing to participate please email us your current street
>mailing address. It is a long survey but one that is very important!
>
>Thanks for your consideration! Ted Lannan President/COO Fairfield Research,
>Inc.
>
>


Otter

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
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The future of gaming can be summed up in two words -- Pong and Joust


-- Otter

** The Otter's Den - http://www.oz.net/~otter
**
** Tashi's Nest - http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Dungeon/8751/nest.html
**

Dan Mazurowski

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
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Otter wrote:
>
> The future of gaming can be summed up in two words -- Pong and Joust
>

JoustPong - what a great idea! Two great tastes that taste great
together! Hey, your Joust is in my Pong! Well your Pong is in my Joust!

Seriously, the idea is intriguing. Each side has a bird that can move
vertically (and ONLY vertically) by flapping. They bounce an egg back on
forth. If they miss the egg, it lands in a hatching area (nests?) and
three riders are born. Then they all jump on birds and attack the two
players. When they are knocked from their mounts, you have eggs bouncing
around pong style again, which eventually end up in the nests, to
produce three more riders. Each generation is different, just like in
regular Joust. After three generations, the level ends. Higher levels
could feature more eggs, obstacles in the playfield, bonuses, and
perhaps special items to bounce at the other player to kill them. Of
course there would also be visits from the Pteradactyl, and perhaps the
lava troll could climb out of his pit once in a while for some fun. For
a one player game, the gameplay would be similair to handball (keep egg
in play to avoid hatchlings and rack up major points).

I can't believe I have just come up with an arcade game idea that
requires only ONE button to control it. :)

--
Check out my video game retrospect web site!

http://home1.gte.net/smedley/index.htm

To reply via e-mail, edit my ISP address.

Jon Kade

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Sep 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/22/98
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On Mon, 21 Sep 1998 17:34:24 -0700, the Magus summoned Otter
<ot...@oz.net>, who said:

>The future of gaming can be summed up in two words -- Pong and Joust.

Woohoo! Thou hast said it! =)

Jon Kade

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Sep 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/22/98
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Well, I know what the first game I try to program for stella is gonna
be....=)

The Maverick

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Sep 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/22/98
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Thus spoke Zarathustra...

--
Maverick's "Believe it or Click on it"
ABC brings you sex with Cindy Crawford?
http://www.abc.com/sex/index.html

Dan Mazurowski

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Sep 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/22/98
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Jon Kade wrote:
>
> I wrote out a a description of this game, along with two sketched
> screen shots. I'm gonna do a small webpage on it shortly, with REAL
> faked Screen shots.
>
> I deem it Jong, since Poust sounds stupid, and my first name and MI
> are Jon G. =)

Jong... I love it! BTW, it seems to me that successfully bouncing the
egg back should be worth a lot of points, 'cuz continuosly bouncing that
thing with just the flap action sounds VERY challenging...

Let me know what the URL for that page is when you get it together!

Jon Kade

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Sep 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/23/98
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I wrote out a a description of this game, along with two sketched

Dave Homenuck

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Sep 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/23/98
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In article <360867...@gte.antispam.net>, Dan Mazurowski <sme...@gte.antispam.net> wrote:
>Jong... I love it! BTW, it seems to me that successfully bouncing the
>egg back should be worth a lot of points, 'cuz continuosly bouncing that
>thing with just the flap action sounds VERY challenging...

Sorry for rushing into this discussion without reading the previous posts in
the thread (they are no longer on my server), so please excuse me if this has
already been brought up...

The lava troll should somehow be put into this game! :) The greatest part of
Joust was getting grabbed by it, and flapping like crazy to get away! Maybe
this could happen if you get too close to the bottom of the screen trying to
hit the ball... ;)

Dave

-- da...@netcom.ca - - - - Dave Homenuck
The Battlesphere Shrine
http://www.fortunecity.com/roswell/shelly/55/bsmain.html

Brian Newman

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Sep 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/23/98
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Dan Mazurowski wrote:

>
> Jon Kade wrote:
> >
> > I wrote out a a description of this game, along with two sketched
> > screen shots. I'm gonna do a small webpage on it shortly, with REAL
> > faked Screen shots.
> >
> > I deem it Jong, since Poust sounds stupid, and my first name and MI
> > are Jon G. =)
>
> Jong... I love it! BTW, it seems to me that successfully bouncing the
> egg back should be worth a lot of points, 'cuz continuosly bouncing that
> thing with just the flap action sounds VERY challenging...
>
> Let me know what the URL for that page is when you get it together!

I think you should allow the player to move left/right like in
Joust, within the left or right third of the screen. You could
bounce off the sides of your area with similar physics to Joust.

In fact, I think you should write it for Joust hardware and get
somebody to make a multi-game out of it. That way, you could
use all the Joust graphics and sounds and just rewrite the game
rules. You could also play it on Mame.

Oh... I just realized this is mostly in non-arcade NG's.

later,
-brian

PHILIP DREW

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Sep 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/23/98
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-> The lava troll should somehow be put into this game! :) The greatest
-> part of Joust was getting grabbed by it, and flapping like crazy to
-> get away! Maybe this could happen if you get too close to the bottom
-> of the screen trying to hit the ball... ;)
it is not a troll yet a genie
pd

Dan Mazurowski

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Sep 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/23/98
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Dave Homenuck wrote:
>
> The lava troll should somehow be put into this game! :) The greatest part of
> Joust was getting grabbed by it, and flapping like crazy to get away! Maybe
> this could happen if you get too close to the bottom of the screen trying to
> hit the ball... ;)
>

I agree, the lava troll should make a few random appearances... but I
was thinking it would be very cool to have him actually climb out of the
lava pit and start causing trouble - perhaps flinging lava at the
players, or climbing ledges to try to catch them as they flap by. Or
maybe he could catch the eggs and carry them to the nest(s)?

Dan Mazurowski

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Sep 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/23/98
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The attract screen in the original arcade game called it a troll, as did
the text between levels 1 and 2.

Jon Kade

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Sep 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/24/98
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On Tue, 22 Sep 1998 22:14:40 -0500, the Magus summoned Dan Mazurowski
<sme...@gte.antispam.net>, who said:

>Jon Kade wrote:
>>
>> I wrote out a a description of this game, along with two sketched
>> screen shots. I'm gonna do a small webpage on it shortly, with REAL
>> faked Screen shots.
>>
>> I deem it Jong, since Poust sounds stupid, and my first name and MI
>> are Jon G. =)
>
>Jong... I love it! BTW, it seems to me that successfully bouncing the
>egg back should be worth a lot of points, 'cuz continuosly bouncing that
>thing with just the flap action sounds VERY challenging...
>
>Let me know what the URL for that page is when you get it together!

Here's the description from my handwritten fake ad:

Jong is a combination of Joust, Breakout, and Pong. It can be played
by either one or two players.

In one player (BreakJoust) mode, the player attempts to clear the rows
of robotic buzzards which hover in place on the top of the screen. He
does this by hitting the specially designed indestructible "egg" with
either his mount or himself. However, if the egg touches the bottom
level, he loses a life. A different configuration of platforms appears
each round; however, these may be destroyed by a certain number of
hits from the "egg". If the player stands on the bottom too long,
however, the lava troll will grab him.

In two player (Jong) mode, one player defends the top and one defends
the bottom, switching off every round. A different configuration of
platforms appears each round, but cannot be destroyed. The top player
must fly to stay near the top, but the platforms concentrate more near
the top in order to let him rest. Unlike the original Joust, the top
player may hover near the top without bouncing off, but if he hovers
too long, the pterodactyl dives down to attack. Likewise, if the
bottom player sits on the bottom too long, the lava troll will
attack.Points are scored by hitting the "egg" into the other player's
goal, but watch out! If you accidentally hit the Pterodactyl or Lava
troll (whichever can kill the other player), the creature is destroyed
(thus allowing the opponent to hover or sit without worrying about
it), and is not replaced for thirty seconds, and the opponent gets
another goal! Too make things more difficult, players may unseat one
another (which stuns for five seconds), and follow the ball to near
the opponent's goal.

Practice is imperative, or you'll be BUZZARD BAIT!

A sketch of one of my game screens is available at
http://home.earthlink.net/~jgkspsx/classics/joustpong1.jpg
Yes, it looks like it was drawn by a five-year-old, but I did it in
Civics under cover of hand, and anyway, I'm a designer, not an artist!
=)
I expect to have a rudimentary fake image with real joust pics up next
week, since I'm going away for the weekend.
------------------------------------------------------------------

BTW, you've started an unstoppable train of thought, Dan. I've written
a similar gameplay plan for SiniPong, and have good ideas for
PongDefender and BubblesPong. It's unstoppable, I tell you! =)

Dave Homenuck

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Sep 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/24/98
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In article <8F7640D.03EF...@i.hate.spam.com>, phili...@i.hate.spam.com (PHILIP DREW) wrote:
>it is not a troll yet a genie

Sorry... I didn't notice his curly shoes...

Kirk Is

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Sep 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/24/98
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Interesting, from previous coversations I thought it was going to
be more pong like, with each rider confined to strict up and down movement
(hence the idea of a game that could be controled by a single 'flap'
button per player) -- imagine old Pong, but instead of a knob controlling
the position of the bar, the flap button moved it up a bit and then
gravity always pulls it downward.

I think it'd be a more interesting thing to see frankly, besides being
easier to program. Otherwise, the game is a lot like trying to pick up
eggs as they fall in regular joust, not nearly as innovative.

Come to think of it, if I had VB installed here, I could write a version
of "2D" Jong in less than hour-- at least get all the basic pong elements
in. Or in Java, for that matter.

--
Kirk Israel - kis...@cs.tufts.edu - http://www.alienbill.com
Insecurity knocks once in a while. Invite her in. Sit down, have coffee
with her. And once you have heard Insecurity out for a while, take that
sugar spoon and poke her in the eye. --Erica Bial

Jon Kade

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Sep 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/24/98
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On Wed, 23 Sep 1998 01:56:34 GMT, the Magus summoned jgk...@usa.net
(Jon Kade), who said:

>On Tue, 22 Sep 1998 10:38:03 GMT, the Magus summoned jgk...@usa.net
>(Jon Kade), who said:
>

>>On Mon, 21 Sep 1998 22:16:14 -0500, the Magus summoned Dan Mazurowski
>><sme...@gte.antispam.net>, who said:
>>
>>>Otter wrote:
>>>>
>>>> The future of gaming can be summed up in two words -- Pong and Joust
>>>>
>>>
>>>JoustPong - what a great idea! Two great tastes that taste great
>>>together! Hey, your Joust is in my Pong! Well your Pong is in my Joust!
>>>
>>>Seriously, the idea is intriguing. Each side has a bird that can move
>>>vertically (and ONLY vertically) by flapping. They bounce an egg back on
>>>forth. If they miss the egg, it lands in a hatching area (nests?) and
>>>three riders are born. Then they all jump on birds and attack the two
>>>players. When they are knocked from their mounts, you have eggs bouncing
>>>around pong style again, which eventually end up in the nests, to
>>>produce three more riders. Each generation is different, just like in
>>>regular Joust. After three generations, the level ends. Higher levels
>>>could feature more eggs, obstacles in the playfield, bonuses, and
>>>perhaps special items to bounce at the other player to kill them. Of
>>>course there would also be visits from the Pteradactyl, and perhaps the
>>>lava troll could climb out of his pit once in a while for some fun. For
>>>a one player game, the gameplay would be similair to handball (keep egg
>>>in play to avoid hatchlings and rack up major points).
>>>
>>>I can't believe I have just come up with an arcade game idea that
>>>requires only ONE button to control it. :)
>>
>>Well, I know what the first game I try to program for stella is gonna
>>be....=)

It bounces between the two birds. I just wanted a more creative way to
do it. Otherwise, it's just Pong with a flap button =)

BELJAN E

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Sep 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/25/98
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In <6udl0r$lmn$1...@news3.tufts.edu> kis...@allegro.cs.tufts.edu (Kirk

Is) writes:
> if I had VB installed here,
>
Now this gave me a great idea, JoustPong for Virtual Boy!!! Think of it
in all its red glory ;)

Kirk Is

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Sep 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/25/98
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: It bounces between the two birds. I just wanted a more creative way to

: do it. Otherwise, it's just Pong with a flap button =)

Well, that's JUST what you're gonna get, at first--

ANNOUNCING
|| /\ | | /- -|- ||)) /\ |\ | /-- Version 0.1 BETA
\\|| \/ |_| -/ | || \/ | \| \_=| [an alien bill production]

Written in Visual Basic 3 over the course of an hour or two. This is a
very primitive Beta-- it plays pong with a flap button in lieu of the
typical controls. It keeps score, allows you to adjust some of the
physics, and that's about it.

Because this version owes much more to Pong than to Joust, the graphics
are limited to Pong Bars with wings and a green bouncing egg.

Get your copy today at http://www.alienbill.com/abp/

The executable is around 27K, the Zip file around 5, but you need
VBRUN300.DLL (available at the same URL) While you're at it, you may want
to sample InterGalactic SpaceMan BlastFest, a more complete 2 player game
also written in VB. There's some other neat Windows Toys there as well.

"And isn't sanity really just a one trick pony anyway? I mean all you get
is one trick, rational thinking, but when you're good and crazy, oooh
oooh oooh, the sky is the limit!" --The Tick


Dave Homenuck

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Sep 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/25/98
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In article <6uf160$cis$1...@news3.tufts.edu>, kis...@allegro.cs.tufts.edu (Kirk Is) wrote:
>Written in Visual Basic 3 over the course of an hour or two. This is a
>very primitive Beta-- it plays pong with a flap button in lieu of the
>typical controls. It keeps score, allows you to adjust some of the
>physics, and that's about it.
>
>Because this version owes much more to Pong than to Joust, the graphics
>are limited to Pong Bars with wings and a green bouncing egg.

Haha! That's great! It is early, but it's got the same feel of Joust.

Dan Mazurowski

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Sep 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/26/98
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Jon Kade wrote:
>
> It bounces between the two birds. I just wanted a more creative way to
> do it. Otherwise, it's just Pong with a flap button =)

Well, not exactly. In my original JoustPong vision, you also had to
dismount the newly born riders, who would fly like the riders in the
original Joust. Knocking them off would then put another egg into play.
The occasional appearance of the pterydactyl and the lava troll would
interfere with the player's strategy.

Jon Kade

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Sep 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/26/98
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Yes, it's Pong with a flap button, but oh so fun! Great job, kirk!

Too bad I have to control both players...getting a two player game of
anything going in this house is impossible.

Jon Kade

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Sep 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/26/98
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On Sat, 26 Sep 1998 17:59:09 -0500, the Magus summoned Dan Mazurowski
<sme...@gte.antispam.net>, who said:

>Jon Kade wrote:
>>
>> It bounces between the two birds. I just wanted a more creative way to
>> do it. Otherwise, it's just Pong with a flap button =)
>
>Well, not exactly. In my original JoustPong vision, you also had to
>dismount the newly born riders, who would fly like the riders in the
>original Joust. Knocking them off would then put another egg into play.
>The occasional appearance of the pterydactyl and the lava troll would
>interfere with the player's strategy.

That does sound good....we should do as many versions of this as
possible!

After I get some experience, I may try a Vectrex version (We're
talking a while from now =)

Dan Mazurowski

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Sep 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/26/98
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Kirk Is wrote:
>
> The most unclear or awkward thing about this is how the egg becomes a
> rider. Your original description said something about a "nesting area",
> that when a egg is missed it goes here? It's hard to see how that could
> smoothly be integrated into the little world.

I agree - I have been giving it some thought. Shouls the edges of the
game world be enclosed, giving the eggs a surface to cling to or slide
along into the 'nest'? If so, that will interfere with the behaviour of
the riders. Or perhaps a downdraft in the cavern, blowing the flying
eggs down into the nest? But to stop the egg's horizontal motion on a
dime would require a very powerful downdraft, one that would surely
interfere with the riders' (and pterydactyl's) flight, forcing them low
everytime they pass and making them vulnerable to the players.

I think the best solution would be an Egg Gatherer on both ends of the
screen. An unusual beastie with one long tentacle that can flick
straight up and grab eggs right out of the air. The creature would also
explain why the eggs could not hatch on their own - the beastie would
have to incubate them (for a very short time, of course). Then it
hatches (three [or more?] riders per egg), mounts swoop down from
off-screen, and voila! A fresh batch of enemy riders!

>
> Also, from a programming standpoint, I'm a little concerned about nailing
> the AI of the enemy riders.

I imagine them behaving much like they did in the original Joust. I
think it would be fascinating to take that AI and plug it directly into
this model, unchanged, to see how they react to the players purely
vertical motion.

Other game design ideas I have been thinking of:

- As I have said before, I feel the troll (trolls?) should get out of
his pit and wander around a bit. I'd like to see him throwing fireballs
at the players, and perhaps also climbing the cave walls (background
graphics? ledges in the playfield?) to try to catch the players, or at
least grab at them. Should the troll be able to jump?

- The troll used to go after the enemy riders in the original, so
perhaps he should here as well?

- All these extras make for a very busy screen, and things could get
overwhelming for our heros - especially since they can only move
vertically. Perhaps a new move should be added - a power dive. Hit this
button (or perhaps simply hold the flap button down, to keep with the
one button control design) to dive your mount straight down. Of course
you want to pull out of your dive before hitting the cave floor face
first!

- The lava pit(s) should not be located directly under the players.
Instead it should be in the middle of the cave floor. Eggs that bounce
into the lava pit should be destroyed (no hatchlings). Furthermoe, if
the troll os out and he catches an egg (or a mount that fails to escape
his grip), he'll eat it (perhaps returning to his pit to do so).

Kirk Is

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Sep 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/27/98
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Dan Mazurowski (sme...@gte.antispam.net) wrote:
: Well, not exactly. In my original JoustPong vision, you also had to

: dismount the newly born riders, who would fly like the riders in the
: original Joust. Knocking them off would then put another egg into play.
: The occasional appearance of the pterydactyl and the lava troll would
: interfere with the player's strategy.

The most unclear or awkward thing about this is how the egg becomes a


rider. Your original description said something about a "nesting area",
that when a egg is missed it goes here? It's hard to see how that could
smoothly be integrated into the little world.

Also, from a programming standpoint, I'm a little concerned about nailing


the AI of the enemy riders.

--

Do you play chess? Volyibol? Tenyisneya? Or should we sit in the
cafeteriya and enjoy big glasses of hot tea with all the sugar and talk
and talk and talk. --Garrison Keillor, "Glastnost"

Kirk Is

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Sep 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/27/98
to
Jon Kade (jgk...@usa.net) wrote:

: Yes, it's Pong with a flap button, but oh so fun! Great job, kirk!

Thanks--

: Too bad I have to control both players...getting a two player game of


: anything going in this house is impossible.

Hmmm. It's actually an oddly satisfying game trying to control both
sides. I'd have to change the scoring system though, make it reward
continued volleys. (of course, making a version of the old Pong "handball"
variations (1 player bounce against wall) would be trivial.

As it stands the game has an interesting difficulty feature built in-- the
ball has the same angle once it's reset to the center of the screen. It's
also going towards the player who missed it, which means if you start
losing you're likely to keep losing. (The rule is the new vertical speed
of the ball after being hit is its old speed plus 1/2 the hitting players
speed. The horizontal speed is constant.)

Thougha 1 player version could also be an interesting test bed for some AI
work.

The graphics could use some tweaking. I suppose I could dig this up in
MAME or the Williams pack I have and rip the graphics directly. I had
this vision of the ostriches holding the pong bars beneath them, but
didn't have the time/energy to get the graphics right. (Beta 0.05 used my
little spacemen from InterGalactic SpaceMan BlastFest)

In the spring, a young man's fancy/lightly turns to thoughts of what
The older man, throughout the year,/Has never even once forgot
--Isaac Asimov, "The Sensuous Dirty Old Man"

Kirk Is

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Sep 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/27/98
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Dan Mazurowski (sme...@gte.antispam.net) wrote:
: > Also, from a programming standpoint, I'm a little concerned about nailing

: > the AI of the enemy riders.

: I imagine them behaving much like they did in the original Joust. I


: think it would be fascinating to take that AI and plug it directly into
: this model, unchanged, to see how they react to the players purely
: vertical motion.

I said nailing the AI, because I assumed people would want it to look
like the originals. But does anyone have any idea of how to extract it?

: - As I have said before, I feel the troll (trolls?) should get out of


: his pit and wander around a bit. I'd like to see him throwing fireballs
: at the players, and perhaps also climbing the cave walls (background
: graphics? ledges in the playfield?) to try to catch the players, or at
: least grab at them. Should the troll be able to jump?

I kind of like the Troll as thenseen force behind the hand. After all,
any attempt to draw him would surely fail to live up people's imagination.

This all seems to be getting a little complicated.
I kind of like the simplicity of my current Beta. Also
I'm not sure if I'm going to be spending *all* that much time
on this.

Maybe a flying egg could just hatch (ala 2600 Joust) after a certain
number of volleys.

But there's kind of a philosophical reason *not* to make
this game too joust like in control; the cool thing about
Joust is that "All Riders Are Created Equal", more or less;
every player, whether human or computer controlled, has the
same chances and abilities as every other player. If the
humans are stuck in 1D, and the computer players have the
full 2Dness, the game is assymetrical. Maybe not unbalanced,
but it loses the beauty of symmetry.


BTW, I'm making a seprate post for the relase of the .2 Beta,
with the option of a computer controlled

"Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less
boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it." --Alice Walker

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