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Akka Arrh - Atari game resurrected by Llamasoft/Jeff Minter - Feb 2023


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  • Clipper changed the title to Akka Arrh - Atari game resurrected by Llamasoft/Jeff Minter - Feb 2023

I don’t buy many games due to gamepass easily supplying enough stuff to fill the spare time I have for gaming.

 

but I make an exception for llamasoft as the industry will be a poorer one once he (and Giles) hangs up his keyboard.

 

switch and Xbox for me this time. Just noticed tempest4000 is on Xbox as well! Time for a triple dip on that one!!!

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I won't have a hope in hell of keeping up, my eyeballs will dry up, and I will have synaesthetic flashbacks for days, but I'm in.

 

I fully expect to score billions with no idea of how I did it, but vivid dreams as a result.

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Surprised at the very muted response to this everywhere, even on Jeff's own forum. Kind of a big deal Yak being back with Atari and updating an obscure vintage title, no? Thought there'd be more excitement and interest. The announcement has fallen a bit flat.

 

I'm surprised that Jeff and Giles have had to do everything themselves, with regards to the various different versions for multiple platforms. With a company like Atari publishing this, I naively assumed that the designers would focus on the actual game and the versions would be done in-house at Atari. Seems like a massive undertaking for two people.

 

Bit of a shame that this wasn't included on the big Atari 50th compilation where it would have more exposure and visibility.

 

Looking forward to it though.

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I read about the original game on Wikipedia last week and I’m sure I read that it had since been made available on some compilation or other? Not Atari 50?

 

It’s going to be a tough sell anyway, the title is gibberish and there is nothing relatable in the gameplay footage at all. What have this version of Atari got against VR? Jeff and Giles do it so well :(

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Wonder if he's got the license this time or is he just going to release it and then get a cease and desist? The TxK excuse of "tube based shooter is a genre" was so weak.  But, as always with Llamasoft this is a day one purchase for me.  TxK is still one of my desert island games, a definite all time classic.  

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26 minutes ago, dumpster said:

Wonder if he's got the license this time or is he just going to release it and then get a cease and desist? The TxK excuse of "tube based shooter is a genre" was so weak.  But, as always with Llamasoft this is a day one purchase for me.  TxK is still one of my desert island games, a definite all time classic.  

 

The new owners of Atari seem to be very much in trying to do interesting things with their remaining IP. I suspect that this is a case of them approaching him to do something with the old concept. The video in the first post has the Atari logo and the musical sting they've been using this year for their announcements.

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1 hour ago, dumpster said:

Wonder if he's got the license this time or is he just going to release it and then get a cease and desist?

He has been licensed to do it by "atari" so no worries there.

 

As for a couple of other linked points. Someone asks why they are doing all the ports and saying oh it is "atari" not Atari.

 

Atari is indeed only a shell company that own all the IP etc. They license it out to various 3rd party devs to do stuff as they have no developers themselves. So there is noone to do the ports so that is up to whoever they license it to.

 

And, as we know, "Atari" have licensed out to people who have produced great stuff like Atari 50, Jag emu, Tempsest 4000 and now this ... and they have licensed out to stuff like the Atari VCS.


So it is very much a random chance of greatness with anything with Atari's name on it. But it is Llamasoft so no worries :D

 

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It's maybe my age but as I sit here surrounded by the latest tech, I'm spending my time on Vampire Survivors, Mr Driller, Tempest 4000 and TxK. There's so much enjoyment to be obtained by these comparatively simple, basic games.  Elden Ring, for example, sounds incredible from reading the thread yet doesn't sound like something I want to play at all.  Long may Llamasoft keep doing what they do. Hope EA never buy them .

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I was joking about the licence issue, but it really seemed quite naive that they did TxK without a licence. From the words 'Superzapper Recharge" to the techno music and visuals, there are many "tube based shooter" games but it's clearly not a genre, as every one of them is written by Jeff Minter as an evolution of Tempest 2000. Even Tempest X was officially licenced. What was he doing, thinking he could just re-release a majorly improved version of his own Tempest 2000, call it TxK (which to me always translated as Tempest 10,000) and not expect to be sued?  I just assumed it was officially licenced and couldn't believe it when I learned it wasn't.

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To be fair though, I think in terms of mechanics and how you interact with the game, Elden Ring feels like a much more "old school" adventure in many ways than any modern AAA blockbuster, despite putting them to shame as well. I compared it to Firelord when I reviewed it earlier this year.

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1 hour ago, dumpster said:

I was joking about the licence issue, but it really seemed quite naive that they did TxK without a licence. From the words 'Superzapper Recharge" to the techno music and visuals, there are many "tube based shooter" games but it's clearly not a genre, as every one of them is written by Jeff Minter as an evolution of Tempest 2000. Even Tempest X was officially licenced. What was he doing, thinking he could just re-release a majorly improved version of his own Tempest 2000, call it TxK (which to me always translated as Tempest 10,000) and not expect to be sued?  I just assumed it was officially licenced and couldn't believe it when I learned it wasn't.

by 2014 "Atari" was a husk and plenty of people make homages to games that get away with it. Minter obviously thought it was dead and if they complained be able to negotiate with them. It isn't even crystal clear if "Atari" would have won any legal battle as Minter himself pointed out that Atari diddled him out of Tempest X3 royalties because they had changed Tempest 2000 juuuuuust enough when they ported it to ensure they could avoid paying Llamasoft.

 

Jeff's view is here...

 

https://venturebeat.com/games/abject-bollocks-tempest-2000-creator-calls-out-atari-for-trying-to-block-his-followup/

 

specific interesting points

 

Quote

“I had hoped we could maybe work something out,” Minter wrote in a blog post. “Maybe ‘Atari’ would commission an officially licensed version from us; we made it clear we’d be willing to negotiate about that sort of thing.”

Quote

As you can see, the two games are very similar. Minter acknowledges that. He was trying to make a spiritual successor.

But Atari tries to justify its complaint by making very specific claims. Atari alleges that Minter must have had access to and stolen Atari’s source code for Tempest 2000.

“I wrote the source code for Tempest 2000 and didn’t need to refer to it at all to create TxK,” wrote Minter. “So I stole my own work out of my own brain, I guess.”

Another Atari complaint claims that the music in TxK is identical to Tempest 2000. Again, Minter takes issue with this.

 

“The TxK soundtrack is entirely original and highly acclaimed,” he wrote. “It won a Develop award and went to No. 1 on Bandcamp.”

The most interesting complaint from Atari is that the ships in TxK can jump. Tempest 2000, of course, did not invent jumping in games.

“All [of the complaints are] abject bollocks,” wrote Minter. “But [they are] set up legally so as to be expensive for anyone to contest. Even just going back and forth a few times with letters responding to their threats ended up running up a couple of grand in legal bills, and there is simply no way on God’s earth I can afford any kind of a legal battle.”

 

Tempest actually has a history with ports and paying royalties. Minter points out that Atari released a game called Tempest X for the PlayStation that was essentially just a port of Tempest 2000.

“I always wondered why the name was changed and other little aspects of the gameplay were altered,” wrote Minter. “I managed to chat online with the guy who did the port, and he told me that the changes were made ‘to reduce the royalty burden.'”

It turns out that Atari has to pay royalties to Minter for any copy of Tempest 2000 that it sells. So to avoid paying that, the company changed the name and made some very minor changes to ensure the new release was precisely different enough to avoid owing money to Minter, the developer claims.

 

So, essentially, Atari is trying to get Minter from both sides. Cutting him out of money by releasing his game — with his source code — but by changing a few things. When he does something similar, Atari calls in the lawyers.

 

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Surely though Atari or some other company was the owner of the game, Jeff was the creator.  For example, if Llamasoft was hired to write Mario 64, he'd be crazy to think he could start writing mario games himself. (I get that's a silly example but you see the point). 

 

Jeff never owned Tempest, he only created a whole new version of it for another company.  

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48 minutes ago, dumpster said:

Surely though Atari or some other company was the owner of the game, Jeff was the creator.  For example, if Llamasoft was hired to write Mario 64, he'd be crazy to think he could start writing mario games himself. (I get that's a silly example but you see the point). 

 

Jeff never owned Tempest, he only created a whole new version of it for another company.  

He never said he did own it. The article is pretty clear on his position.

 

Making a homage or spiritual successor can sometimes be just fine to pick an example at random Llamatron was an homage to Robotron and Llamasoft didn't get sued over that as far as I know. He did Minotron 2112 on mobile as well without a peep coming from the rights owner

 

He tried to make amends with Atari when they complained and at that time they weren't interested. Later they obviously struck a deal for him to make Tempest 4000.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Was just about to hit post on a new topic after searching for this then I realised I'd completely misspelled the name...

Needless to say I am ridiculously excited about this, played a load of the original on MAME to see what it was all about (obviously you all know theres a slightly dubious reason the rom got dumped...) and really enjoyed it.
I've spent and unholy amount of hours playing various guises of Llamasoft's Tempest releases this year, indeed most of the catalogue of their output, the whole vibe they put out has really sat well with me and provided exactly what I wanted (post Elden Ring), exiting arcade psychedelic batshit crazy fun.

I cannot wait.

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  • 1 month later...

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