Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

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Kirkman
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Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby Kirkman » Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:53 pm

I used to call Flash BBS in St. Louis back in the early 1990s, and among my favorite games was Space Empire Elite. SEE of course was the inspiration for Solar Realms Elite, an immensely popular SEE clone for PC BBSes, which spawned Barren Realms Elite, Falcon's Eye, and many others.

Anybody else out there have good memories of Atari BBS door games? Better yet, any former ST door game programmers?

I want to help preserve the history of these old games. Years ago I create several articles (including one for SEE) on Wikipedia. But now the scourge of "notability" has begun to claim them. Activist editors deleted the SEE article because of a dearth of reliable sources about its history and significance.

Computer historian Benj Edwards wrote a blog post this morning about that deletion: http://www.vintagecomputing.com/index.php/archives/922

Anyway, anticipating the deletion, I mirrored the SEE article (along with all other Wikipedia BBS door game articles) onto a new wiki: http://breakintochat.com.

My immediate goal is to preserve these old articles, but my longer-term goal is to expand and strengthen them. I know this forum is full of history-minded folks, and also folks who have access to old magazines and the like. If you come across anything relevant to old BBS door games, please visit my site and contribute what information you can!

--Josh
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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby DarkLord » Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:33 am

Er.... <cough>.

Not only a fan, but I'm running some of them... (see sig!).

BBS'ing isn't quite dead on the ST yet.

8)
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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby Kirkman » Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:32 pm

Of course, I call your board!

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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby DarkLord » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:52 am

Apologies for the less-than-ideal pics but here are a few of SEE in action, using
VT52 graphics, from DarkForce:

SEE_VT52001.JPG


SEE_VT52002.JPG


SEE_VT52003.JPG


SEE_VT52004.JPG
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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby Kirkman » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:48 am

Absolutely love the title screen image. Wish I had a way of doing a screen capture myself.

The very best solution (for me anyway) would be some way to fire up an emulator on my Mac (Hatari, etc), load up a terminal like Freeze Dried Terminal or something, and connect to a BBS using telnet. But I have no idea how to make something like that work, although I imagine there must be a way.

--Josh

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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby DarkLord » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:21 am

I don't use emulators so it's hard for me to comment on that, but...

What I use on my real ST hardware to logon to my BBS and get VT52 graphics
is a program called "TAZ".

taz_100b.zip


If I want ANSI graphics, I use ANSITerm.

ANSI190.zip


I don't know how these 2 behave under emulators but they both allow telnet
from my STacy using a Lantronix UDS10, and "ATDT ip address".

HTHs.
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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby Kirkman » Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:57 am

I am not sure if I ever used TAZ, but I am quite familiar with ANSIterm. It was my everyday term program for many years. I still have the disk image on my Mac, but the program is useless because I have no phone and can't dial out on my Mac.

That Lantronix UDS10 sounds very interesting. If I ever get some Atari hardware, sounds like I will have to get one of those.

Anyone out there know if any Atari emulators offer a similar functionality, but in the software?

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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby calimero » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:17 pm

hey DarkLord, how I can download files from your telnet/BBS with Mac OS X and Terminal?

x-modem does not work...

hm... maybe better question: how I can connect with Falcon and MiNT to your telnet/BBS? :D

I will finish my MiNT setup... and browse BBS in style :)
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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby Kirkman » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:03 pm

Hey Calimero, try using SyncTerm instead of Terminal on the Mac... Much better ANSI support, and I *believe* it supports regular BBS file transfer protocols.

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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby calimero » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:13 pm

Thanx mate! :)
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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby DarkLord » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:59 pm

If you're using an ST based system, ANSITerm and TAZ seem to do really good for
me.

However, I'm not sure if they run on the Falcon. Anyone know? Thanks.
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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby Kirkman » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:56 pm

YES! I got it working tonight! Attached is a screenshot of Space Empire Elite, using Van-Term in VT-52 mode, in Hatari emulator on my Mac.
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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby DarkLord » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:06 am

Awesome work guy! Congratulations.

If you don't mind, like you said earlier, post a small write-up somewhere
(the AtariForum Wiki springs to mind :roll: ) so everyone can see it.

Thanks!
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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby Kirkman » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:59 pm

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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby DarkLord » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:18 am

Many thanks! :)
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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby simonsunnyboy » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:07 pm



Nicely summedup. It will probably work as simply under Linux. Maybe I'll try this someday too.
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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby skeezix » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:19 am

There are many 'terminal emulators' that include vt52 functionality in them, for most operating systems. I've got my old BBS up in 'archive mode' for telnet into it (I wrote an emu for it, so its running virtuqalized for some 15 years. Its fairly compatible, but not perfectly so, so a few door games don't work. Heck, a lot of applications dont' work due to y2k bugs :)

But yeah, for awhile I tyhink my system was the only ST board up anywhere, or at least online.. then DL bnrought up his, on real hardware (that was a good trick, the lantronic gizmo.. I keep an eye out, in case I find a cheapo one.. or maybe run a bbs on my Firebee? :)

But now theres a half dozen ST boards up around, I think..

We should make a list for the wiki :)
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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby lschafroth » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:30 am

I live in Iowa and that was one of the closest ones to me. I played it all the time. I never got to enjoy a Atari with the full power. I could never afford a 4Mb machine nor a hard drive so I spent all my time BBS'ing and using my modem a lot!

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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby Kirkman » Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:52 am

skeezix wrote:There are many 'terminal emulators' that include vt52 functionality in them, for most operating systems. I've got my old BBS up in 'archive mode' for telnet into it (I wrote an emu for it, so its running virtuqalized for some 15 years. Its fairly compatible, but not perfectly so, so a few door games don't work. Heck, a lot of applications dont' work due to y2k bugs :)


Do you remember the names of any of these terminals?

I've never seen a terminal for the Mac that offered support for Atari's flavor of VT-52. Not even SyncTerm offers VT-52, and it supports ANSI, PETSCII, and ATASCII.

In any case, I'm really happy with my emulated Atari setup. I can use FzDT or ANSIterm to call my favorite BBSes now from my Mac. :)

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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby skeezix » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:21 pm

I've written code for Macs, but typically don't _use_ them, so nothing comes to mind; there was "ZOC" or something? I bet PuTTY does it and putty is for most OSes ... and I also think VT52 is a subset of other terminals, so possibly a modern vt102 will also handle vt52..

Another approach could just be using the terminal.. open Terminal, set it to VT52 (TERM=vt52, that sort of thing), and use a dumb terminal. I'm a coder mind, so I don't mind getting into all sorts of crazy spots :)

VT52 is just cursor control and some colour tables, so not too bad; its stuff like C64 terminal emulation which is a right pita, since it implies the character set as well.

Using the emu is pretty classy though, to get the whole experience; keep doing that.. thats very unique :)

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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby Kirkman » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:06 pm

One door game I have been enjoying lately on both The Grove and Dark Force BBS is Assassin.

I would love to get in touch with the game's authors. I think I may have found Wayne Myers on some social networks (though he hasn't responded to messages), but no luck with Kevin MacFarland.

Anyone know/remember them?

--Josh
Last edited by Kirkman on Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby DarkLord » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:12 am

I love Assassin. One of the best things is that, turn based, you get to compete
against other players. I've got a pretty high level character there. :roll:

Reanimator is another good one for competing against other players, as well
as Final Frontier II.

I'll reset Reanimator to a new game/start if anyone is interested in playing.

It's a blast. :)
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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby skeezix » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:20 am

Pyroto Mountain I think it was called, was always a classic:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyroto_Mountain

Even TradeWars on the DOS BBSes was classic, though we had Final Frontiers to compete..

If only I had free time I'd play .. I always wanted to get DL and my BBS to ahve Space Empire BBS-to-BBS competition going :)

ST BBSes always suffered for lsack of multiuser desig though .. I mean, multi simultaneous uysers .. limits how many people can play at a given day :/ Makes it hard on the net,...

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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby Kirkman » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:07 pm

skeezix wrote:VT52 is just cursor control and some colour tables, so not too bad; its stuff like C64 terminal emulation which is a right pita, since it implies the character set as well.


Came across a fun VT-52 demo. Check it out: http://breakintochat.com/blog/2013/01/2 ... ck-part-2/

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Re: Any fans of Atari ST BBS door games?

Postby skeezix » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:31 pm

Kirkman wrote:
skeezix wrote:VT52 is just cursor control and some colour tables, so not too bad; its stuff like C64 terminal emulation which is a right pita, since it implies the character set as well.


Came across a fun VT-52 demo. Check it out: http://breakintochat.com/blog/2013/01/2 ... ck-part-2/


Very awesome .. never saw it before :) Honestly, I'm not sure Iv'e seen anything like that .. there were lot sof 'heres the Enterprise flying abck and forth' type limited ANSI showoffs and a few spinny cursor VT52 tricks.. but doing a bouncy 3d cube.. *nice* :) I'm tempte dto rip apart the vt52 and see whats up.. but I iamgine they just generated screencaps of a 3d demo, and then converted each screen into vt52, and then spam them to the poor display whole .. maybe with an optimization tool that looks for changes, so as not to overload the vt52 interpreter too much. Neat stuff :)

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