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Adam Savage's Tested



Late last night I ran across a post on Facebook by Kurt Mayer about Adam Savage's Tested (he of Mythbusters fame). Had trouble sleeping afterwards, thank's Kurt ;)

Tested team members Jeremy Williams and Sean Charlesworth decided to build a new arcade cabinet running Starlords, a game they've built from scratch and introduced at California Extreme last year. As the name suggests, the game is an homage to Warlords. They enlisted the aid of Mike Mika and Kevin Wilson of Other Ocean. In this initial video, of a seven part series, they play-test Warlords and Medieval Mayhem on the 2600 and make their plans.

The other six episodes are behind the paywall at Tested. I don't know if they'll show up on YouTube, though I did find a couple videos of Starlords in action at California Extreme. They are being added to YouTube, as they appear I'll add them to the end of this blog post.

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

Part 7:
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I saw that the other day, too and meant to mention it.


I thought the shoutouts to Medieval Mayhem, AtariAge and homebrewing were pretty cool. Nice to see people discovering that. Too bad the rest of the project is behind a paywall, but it's nice to see the final game in action. It looks very polished.


I really need to get up to CA Extreme some year.

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I'd love to make it out to CA Extreme. Not far from Tesla, so would take the factory tour while I was there.


Won't happen this year though, family wedding that weekend.

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Sounds intriguing. I have Discovery via WatchTV, but they don't have this show set up for streaming on demand. I wasn't planning on a streaming service like this, but AT&T bundled it as a free add-on to my cell phone plan.


Checked at Discovery and they have most episodes available for streaming, but they're not set up to log in via WatchTV.

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Agreed. Found this photo online - it's hard to tell for sure but the bottom of the openings appear to have the same slop as the control panel, which wouldn't work well for drinks. Maybe they ended up using it for the speakers.


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I'll be curious to see if they mention why they didn't make ambidextrous controls. (Not that I'm complaining, since I'm right-handed.) But the layout of the panel has a space for a right-hand fire button, and the cost would be negligible.

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That they do. I liked the Angry Mac to denote the computer players. Spotted a Coke bottle in one of the cup holders.

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Wow really cool!

Thanks for posting. I would probably never seen it otherwise.


Too bad they did not show more on code choices or what language, libraries, or APIs used... Did anything give them any trouble etc.

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Did anything give them any trouble etc.



Yes, they cover issues like the unit shutting down due to overheating in part 7.

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We coded it in C++ using our internal studio library. We have a cheap little windows box inside. The power up and power down was never cleanly solved, although now we are porting the game to Raspberry PI4 to solve it once and for all. We're huge fans of Medieval Mayhem. HUGE fans. Did I mention big fans? It's always on the ready in the office.


The biggest trouble for me was figuring out how to maintain the balance of power and fairness with six players. You really need to have that broadside battle that is at the heart of the game, so a lot of math and iteration went into solving that. The shapes of the bases were the result of all that work. THEN the physics were a pain. I leaned on my fellow engineer, Ian Sherman, to help there. Reflection with so many angles was a lot harder to deal with, because you get really weird shapes in the bricks and you could get bizarre reflection traps. So many little htings like that could fill an entire episode, but it would probably put most people in the audience to sleep (Save for people like all of us).

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1 hour ago, MikeMika said:

If any of you guys are ever in the bay area, feel free to drop me a line and set up a visit to check it out.


Will definitely take you up on that.  Not sure when that'll be, but most likely next time I next attend PRGE as we make it a 2 week road trip with sightseeing on the way there and back - we did the Grand Canyon and Napa Valley in 2017. We're thinking Yellowstone and the Tesla Factory Tour in Fremont for the next time.

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