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doing some RealSports research


Zwackery
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Hey fellow AAers,

 

I'm working up a brief piece about Atari's RealSports brand. I've been looking at the differences between Atari's early sports games and the RealSports releases, and I'd like to speak a little more to the technical side of things. Namely, how did Atari use the same hardware to produce better games through improvements in the coding of the games? Additionally, how was the refinement in coding an attempt to deliver video game experiences that were more faithful renditions of the physical sports? I'd appreciate some help articulating these differences a bit more than my basic knowledge of Atari programming can articulate.

 

edit/follow-up:

 

Please navigate to: http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/imr/2017/03/25/blocky-good-atari-and-their-realsports-brand

and watch a video slideshow along with a curated note about the RealSports brand. I'd appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

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I haven't disassembled any of those games, but if you just look at the size of the ROM, you will spot a major difference. Having more ROM allows for more and more complex kernels, better graphics, better sound etc. Also you can add extras, which are not relevant to the core game play. Those enhance the atmosphere of a game.

 

And last not least, more enhanced programming techniques allowed to utilize the limited CPU power more efficiently, especially in the kernel.

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Real sports baseball is full of shit. Every time I try to throw a decent pitch, it becomes an intentional ball or gets thrown into the outfield. The AI is extreme on defense.

Quite a number of different people have noted problems with the AI in the RS titles.

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Real sports baseball is full of shit. Every time I try to throw a decent pitch, it becomes an intentional ball or gets thrown into the outfield. The AI is extreme on defense.

I can't speak to the technical side of how the games were made but I do agree that RealSports Baseball is pretty much unplayable due to the extremely tough computer AI. On the other hand I do really like RealSports Volleyball and RealSports Boxing is probably the best 1 vs 1 fighting game on the Atari 2600. If you're looking for a good baseball game though I'd recommend checking out Pete Rose Baseball instead. The graphics are quite nice, the controls make sense, and the computer AI difficulty feels just right to me.

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I find Realsports Volleyball to be an enjoyable game. It looks a bit primitive at first but it plays well and I find it a well designed game with some nice little atmospheric touches.

Edited by davyK
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I am no fan of sports games, but I quite enjoyed this presentation -- it was well-written and researched!

 

One question -- were the earlier sports games dropped from the line-up when the RealSports games launched, or did they continue to be sold?

 

Ditto, when the RealSports games were subsequently replaced by newer titles?

 

e.g. Football -> RealSports Football -> Super Football

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I am no fan of sports games, but I quite enjoyed this presentation -- it was well-written and researched!

 

One question -- were the earlier sports games dropped from the line-up when the RealSports games launched, or did they continue to be sold?

 

Ditto, when the RealSports games were subsequently replaced by newer titles?

 

e.g. Football -> RealSports Football -> Super Football

 

All the titles continued to be sold (Football, RS Football, Super Football). Compounding this are the release dates across the lifespan of the console coupled with changes in Atari ownership and overseas sales of older titles (not just international editions but also things like the grey box re-releases).

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