First Generation Gaming

Reserved for classic gaming discussions.
User avatar
scotland
Posts: 1997
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Re: First Generation Gaming

Postby scotland » December 9th, 2017, 1:23 pm

mbd36 wrote:I've never played the original Odyssey but it looks like 99.9% of its appeal was the novelty of manipulating objects on a TV screen. The light gun/rifle looks pretty neat though. The gun games could be amusing for a bit.


Many of the later Pong machines have 2 forms of shoot the dot lightgun games. Some of the light guns would certainly fail consumer product safety standards today as being too realistic. I tried taping a laser pointer on one just to cheat once.

Sut
Posts: 639
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 4:23 pm

Re: First Generation Gaming

Postby Sut » December 9th, 2017, 2:50 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:Also thanks for turning me onto this Chronogamer guy. He has a good sense of humor.


Yes he’s a fun read especially his Odyssey and Studio II reviews. Shame he seems to have stalled once he hit the 2600.

Sut
Posts: 639
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 4:23 pm

Re: First Generation Gaming

Postby Sut » December 21st, 2017, 4:42 am

Basketball - Odyssey (via OdySim)

I know you’ve got to make allowances for it being the first video game console, but it’s surprising how poor the Odyssey is at Pong style games. The dedicated consoles and GI chip based carts really did build on and improve upon the Odyssey’s foundations.

Basketball is two player only and your (identical) squares have to bounce (dribble ?) whilst the other player tries to steal the ball. The object is to then shoot into the hoops on the overlay. Imagine a one on one Basketball Pong game. Now the Odyssey cannot keep score nor is it easy to identify each player, you also have to keep pressing the reset button to bring the ball back on court. And breaking away to manually keep score didn’t help retain my daughters attention.

Chronogamer and his son seemed to get something out of this, but it didn’t hold my daughters attention for long and she soon resorted to just whizzing around the screen and using the ‘English’ controls to ‘force control’ the ball. Which is something I’m finding with the Odyssey. For all the (sometimes complicated) game rules and game boundaries are on the overlays and/or accessories, there is nothing stopping a player from completely ignoring the game rules.

I couldn’t see anything to hold my interest either, I will admit to not enjoying many American sports games but games of this vintage can hardly be described as simulation.

Score this one a D.

CCF3DB87-0C45-4ABF-9FCB-B4D65AE8BC31.png
CCF3DB87-0C45-4ABF-9FCB-B4D65AE8BC31.png (15.69 KiB) Viewed 130 times


Going to rope my daughter into a game of Cat and Mouse next - bless her.

User avatar
scotland
Posts: 1997
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Re: First Generation Gaming

Postby scotland » December 21st, 2017, 7:30 am

That's a great review and screenshot, Sut

Having played the Odyssey via SIM now, do you think how poorly it actually plays impacts Ralph Baer's claim of being the father of home video games, or not?

Sut
Posts: 639
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 4:23 pm

Re: First Generation Gaming

Postby Sut » December 21st, 2017, 8:37 am

scotland wrote:That's a great review and screenshot, Sut.

Having played the Odyssey via SIM now, do you think how poorly it actually plays impacts Ralph Baer's claim of being the father of home video games, or not?


Interesting question. I’m finding a vast bulk of the games more akin to board games than actual video games. The only ones that resemble video games are very poor versions of Pong (I know this predates Pong) and semi playable light gun games. You could make the case that the first generation did build on Tennis and the Light gun games and produce more polished variations.

This is an interesting read:
https://www.gamecrate.com/gaming-litera ... ssey-world’s-first-game-console/16309

It seems Ralph wasn’t keen on all the board game style accessories either and wanted it to be more of a game console (ie one that could keep score). Although sometimes these articles tend to revise history in Ralph’s favour.

I still believe Nolan Bushnell and Atari really kicked off video gaming with Pong and popular or not I think they would have done it with or without Ralph’s brown box, remember computers were kicking around universities it was only a matter of time.

pacman000
Posts: 441
Joined: December 30th, 2015, 9:04 am

Re: First Generation Gaming

Postby pacman000 » December 21st, 2017, 11:06 am

Corrected URL: https://www.gamecrate.com/gaming-litera ... sole/16309

Interesting to hear that RCA considered releasing the Odyssey

Small mistake:
These dedicated systems would shape the video game market for years to come. The market became saturated with consoles that played only one game, and this saturation lead to the first video game crash of 1977. We wouldn’t see another multi-game console until 1976 with the release of the Fairchild Semiconductor Channel F, and we wouldn’t see multi-game consoles become popularized until after the Atari 2600 and the NES’s breakout success.


Behold, the Philips Tele-Spiel, from 1975: http://www.old-computers.com/museum/com ... st=2&c=664

I still believe Nolan Bushnell and Atari really kicked off video gaming with Pong and popular or not I think they would have done it with or without Ralph’s brown box, remember computers were kicking around universities it was only a matter of time.

If I remember right there was an interview somewhere where Baer admitted that someone would've eventually made a video game, with or without him.

User avatar
scotland
Posts: 1997
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Re: First Generation Gaming

Postby scotland » December 21st, 2017, 12:11 pm

To be fair, some 'Pong machines played more than Pong style games. From light guns to pinball to tank to breakout were in the mix. What they were were games, like buying a Simon, and not versatile ecosystems for games. People in 77 were still buying fixed inventory of games electronic devices - in fact, the LED handheld boom was just starting with Mattels Auto Race and Football.

I don't wish to diminish Baer's footprint, but the Intel 8080 and more importantly, the MOS 6502 were around by 1975. I think it was a ticking clock for someone to get the video ball rolling.

Sut
Posts: 639
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 4:23 pm

Re: First Generation Gaming

Postby Sut » January 3rd, 2018, 3:40 pm

Cat and Mouse - Odyssey (via OdySim)
1972

A0C1A13B-1810-4ECF-BAC7-19778A05BAA8.png
A0C1A13B-1810-4ECF-BAC7-19778A05BAA8.png (13.21 KiB) Viewed 23 times


Despite this looking like another convoluted board game hybrid for the Odyssey. Cat and Mouse is actually a simple chase and ‘tag’ game. Player 1 is the mouse and starts on the mouse icon, player 2 is the cat and starts on the cat icon. Depending on which square the cat catches the mouse the score is determined by adding (yay math) the numbers on the top and sides of the overlay.

Sounds simple fun right ? Again the Odyssey’s limitations (or Magnavox’s over ambitious ideas) come to the fore. See the blue coloured squares ? Your not supposed to go through them, they are maze walls if you will.
Of course the Odyssey doesn’t know they are there, they are merely static images on an overlay. So once again the game rules are easily bent (or smashed in this case). Therefore the games with my daughter ended up descending into games of tag which was fun for about two minutes.

Another D score.

Sut
Posts: 639
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 4:23 pm

Re: First Generation Gaming

Postby Sut » January 3rd, 2018, 3:58 pm

Dogfight - Odyssey (Via OdySim)
1972

D7A87FF1-507F-4D5B-936B-46E5370BB4FF.png
D7A87FF1-507F-4D5B-936B-46E5370BB4FF.png (27.94 KiB) Viewed 23 times


This is one of the four ‘Rifle’ games. We actually found this game mildly entertaining. Probably because it feels like an actual video game.

One player controls the Red Baron (or white square) and must follow the flight path indicated on the overlay. Whilst the other player tries to shoot said square, er I mean the Red Baron.
The only time you can hit the Red Baron is in the round window target points on the flight path.
This time the overlay does actually stop any game breaking from the rifle user as it will not register a shot unless the Red Baron is in a target window.
The player controlling the Red Baron though as usual with most Odyssey games can go anywhere on screen thus feasibly breaking the game.
Though Dogfight did keep my daughters attention and this time she kept within the game rules. Soundly beating her Dad and his aging reflexes.

The downside to (I presume all) the rifle games is one player must always provide the moving target whilst the other player gets to do the shooting, but hey this is 1972 and I can imagine many younger siblings getting lumbered with task.

One of the better games.
Score C

User avatar
scotland
Posts: 1997
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Re: First Generation Gaming

Postby scotland » January 3rd, 2018, 7:07 pm

Sut wrote:Cat and Mouse - Odyssey (via OdySim) 1972


Interesting Sut. This Odyssey game may have inspired a TI99/4a game A-maze-ing.
Image


Return to “Classic Gaming”