Game Design Essentials: 20 Atari Games

As some distance as the [arcade] enterprise itself goes it had turned out to be — and nonetheless is — severely polarized. The only titles that were succeeding have been SSJPK fighting video games — Side-Scrolling, Jump-Punch-Kick — a totally few sports titles, and excessive-tech using titles. The market had become absolutely indifferent to innovation in sports design.
It seemed that each one our control wanted to peer in development turned into anything changed into presently getting cash. For so many years Atari had led the industry in innovation by constantly looking forward. Now we were not even searching over our shoulders, we had been suffering to climb on a tired bandwagon.
What befell to the Atari fanboys? Nintendo and Sega have theirs, Blizzard and Bungie too, Square and Enix, Capcom and SNK. Yet Atari Games, in its heyday, produced a number of the maximum notable arcade recreation designs the arena has ever visible. Unique and idiosyncratic, at its exceptional it made games the likes of which no one else could. Later, it’s far unhappy to say, it produced video games that no one else would need to.
Some humans rave approximately Nintendo; how its designers provide you with new thoughts so frequently, about its fearlessness in taking risks with unconventional designs, and how it reinvents its franchises with no end in sight.
But even Nintendo has in no way been as authentic, as outstanding, as decided to design what builders assume fine regardless of what control, critics, and in the end, even players may have to mention, as become Atari Games in its heyday. A ride through Atari’s traditional arcade game catalog is like a direction in recreation design all with the aid of itself.
A World of Ideas
Arguably, this was the agency that stored the spirit of traditional arcades alive the longest — as overdue because of the early ’90s. Even now, the company-which-calls-itself-Atari — which should now not be stressed with the business enterprise this newsletter is dedicated to — shills out the reminiscence of the previous arcade powerhouse with GBA and DS ports of traditional-generation video games.
Many of Atari’s games have been the targets of unequaled numbers of home diversifications. Rampart has over a dozen, and no one knows how many variations of Breakout are obtainable, thinking about how shareware authors have adopted and colonized the concept — not to say Taito, and Arkanoid.
Atari, mainly the arcade division that cut up off from the organization in the ’80s rechristened “Atari Games,” regarded restless with ideas. Do a recreation wherein players race marbles via an international of grid lines? Float innertubes down great rivers? Defend castles with walls and cannons? Skateboard while chased by means of bees? Deliver newspapers?
While the employer also had its proportion of less-than-memorable ideas (Pit-Fighter, Thunderjaws, Batman, maximum games after 1991), it is easy to miss such missteps when the corporation also gave us Tempest. And at its first-rate, Atari Games regarded almost embarrassingly innovative.
Other corporations should deliver with the absurd premise every so often (what the hell changed into Namco smoking when it launched Phozon?), however, Atari used to do it all of the time. At least, Atari failed to forestall doing it in 1986. It released an update of Breakout the identical 12 months Capcom commenced promoting Street Fighter II. I recall this to be unspeakably exquisite, but it ought to be understood that maximum players at the time could have disagreed with me.

Randolph Palmer

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