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Creating Eastern Front (1941)


Chris Crawford
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I'm not sure if any of you folks have seen this photo, but I ran across it in an archive just now and thought that perhaps you might get a laugh out of it. It's just a photo of me while I was working on Eastern Front (1941).

attachicon.gifEasternFront.jpg

 

Haha... perfect!

 

What model is the Sony you're using there? I've never seen one of those before. It looks like a pretty cool monitor.

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I know I have seen that picture sometime before I was on the Internet. If I can remember correctly, that picture was in the instructions in the version of Eastern Front that I owned. Can anyone else confirm it? Sadly, I threw away all of my 8-bit stuff when my 800XL died in 1992.

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I'm not sure if any of you folks have seen this photo, but I ran across it in an archive just now and thought that perhaps you might get a laugh out of it. It's just a photo of me while I was working on Eastern Front (1941).

attachicon.gifEasternFront.jpg

Haha, that would be a great Limited Edition, comes with an Allied or Axis uniform that you have to wear while playing the game.

 

If I may ask a couple questions, I always wished for an Atari 5200 version of that game coming out. Would that be something you might consider doing? Also, was there ever a plan to add different "fronts" or war eras to the game in the form of sequels or a naval element?

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Chris - dying to ask - but did you ever have trouble getting the highest score possible on the original version whilst play testing the game?

I cannot recall; during playtesting, scores are all over the map as different elements of the game are brought into focus. I do recall that when I made the second (cartridge) edition, I set as a goal making the game harder to win, because the first edition was too easy to completely clobber.
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I know I have seen that picture sometime before I was on the Internet. If I can remember correctly, that picture was in the instructions in the version of Eastern Front that I owned. Can anyone else confirm it? Sadly, I threw away all of my 8-bit stuff when my 800XL died in 1992.

I'm pretty sure that it was not in the instructions to the game. I have the instructions that accompanied the cartridge version and it's definitely not in there. My guess is that you saw it in some press story.
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Haha, that would be a great Limited Edition, comes with an Allied or Axis uniform that you have to wear while playing the game.

 

If I may ask a couple questions, I always wished for an Atari 5200 version of that game coming out. Would that be something you might consider doing? Also, was there ever a plan to add different "fronts" or war eras to the game in the form of sequels or a naval element?

I never did anything for the 5200; I actually did a little work on "Western Front 1944" but never finished. The game could certainly be applied to different theaters. However, the AI would probably not work well in a broken front environment.

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Chris - I have a real vague memory of you presenting a talk on this game at a Jersey Atari Computer Group meeting at Bell Labs in the early 80s. I would tag along with my Dad, I couldn't of been more than 8 or 9 at the time. I haven't thought about this game in years.

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Eastern Front is cool but what I really loved was your 1981 series of articles for BYTE magazine. I had been reading BYTE since 1976 and was disappointed it did not cover the excellent Ataris much. Your articles finally brought the best 8-bit computer and the best computer magazine together. I had also read the 400/800 technical references but your fine articles put it all together for me. I remember reading your DLI tutorial and then sitting down to write my snowy Christmas tree demo. Thanks for that!

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Eastern Front was a total inspiration to me as a young man, a wargamer used to recreating WWII battles with model soldiers and plastic tanks it was a revelation!

 

When the source code was released via APX I poured over it - trying to understand how it worked.

 

It's the reason I got into programming and later designing games and have been a professional game developer for over 26 years as a result - thank you!

 

sTeVE

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