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Made LCD games for MGA

 
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marigul
Tomy Blip


Joined: 21 Aug 2010
Last Visit: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:21 am    Post subject: Made LCD games for MGA Reply with quote

Hi,

I have developed about 50 or so LCD games, let me know if anyone wants an interview, questions, etc.

thanks
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Rinku
Bandai FL Burgertime


Joined: 04 Jul 2008
Last Visit: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 100
Location: Behind a gossip stone

PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What games did you make?
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marigul
Tomy Blip


Joined: 21 Aug 2010
Last Visit: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All Bratz electronic games of that era
casino games
arcade games like pac man
A flash based HHG console that was never released
Some virtual pets
XO/1234 brain tests
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physics223
Entex Crazy Climber


Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Last Visit: 15 Nov 2012
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you make the Goosebumps LCD games?

I'm curious, because I have it but I don't have the manual! Smile
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Dan
Atari Cosmos


Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Last Visit: 29 Oct 2014
Posts: 566
Location: Neenah, WI

PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tell us all about it! How many developers were involved? How long is the development cycle? What tools did you use? I presume some kind of computerized virtual screen? What computer language(s)? What does it cost to have it boiled down to a chip and a screen? What kind of quantities get produced? Does management generally say "okay, good enough, ship it" when you'd rather spend more time improving the game play? Et cetera, et cetera!
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marigul
Tomy Blip


Joined: 21 Aug 2010
Last Visit: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't work on goosebumps that was before my time.

Most games were made pretty quickly. Most 2nd tier lcd games actually come from a catalog where we can pick the game, if we want to we can change some of the segments. But most games were made from segments not pixels. Madrigal a regular on this board did at least 2 games, that came out great.
Almost everything comes from HK & china. We used very few US developers. Many of the Bratz games were pretty good like Bratz Kidz Recess games or the SHrek games, but they probably sold the leasyt. The most popular were pac man and poker!
The basic process was we would make a mock up case with a sample image representing the game. If walmart or target buys in, then we develop full game and insert into the case. Since it is the toy ails not video games, no on really cared about gameplay, just the high concept. We had protypes for a pop cap bejeweled game, but it was ahead of its time and no one bought it. It was the quality of the gameboy advance.

As stated cheap and crappy usually triumphed over quality, but it was fun to be a part of it.
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physics223
Entex Crazy Climber


Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Last Visit: 15 Nov 2012
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What were the most high-brow games that MGA produced during your time? I mean, the ones that were in limited amount and quite expensive, with complex gameplay?

Thanks for the reply, by the way.
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marigul
Tomy Blip


Joined: 21 Aug 2010
Last Visit: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While the execution was not good miuchiz was probably the most ambitous as it combined a color virtual pet with motion sensor with online world. Too bad noone cared.

We also did a great pixel based 5 in 1 touchscreen game that had sudoku, crossword and other puzzle games. It was probably too expensive for walmart so it never got made. It was great. I have a prototype if anyone wants to buy it from me.

The XO/1234 games were a pretty good take on the brain age trend. Simple, maybe too simple.

Madrigal designed a Galaxian and Columhs knock off which were great.
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physics223
Entex Crazy Climber


Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Last Visit: 15 Nov 2012
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are they still selling those Columns and Galaxian knock-offs?
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marigul
Tomy Blip


Joined: 21 Aug 2010
Last Visit: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

probably online

the columns like game is called jewelry jam. Galaxian is called Galxian, it was licensed from namco.
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physics223
Entex Crazy Climber


Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Last Visit: 15 Nov 2012
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sent you a PM asking about that prototype. Are there any pictures online? Smile
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eltiopool
Mattel Football


Joined: 17 Nov 2010
Last Visit: 24 Feb 2011
Posts: 13
Location: Córdoba Argentina

PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marigul wrote:

...Most games were made pretty quickly. Most 2nd tier lcd games actually come from a catalog where we can pick the game, if we want to we can change some of the segments. But most games were made from segments not pixels...


Hi! Some questions that might be beyond your desitions in the company, but you could maybe know the answers...
What is the reason for a company to license a game from another?
I'm not talking about famous bestselling franchises like Zelda or PacMan, but about simple games, like a race car game, or catch all falling items game.

On one hand, one might think it could mean more profit for the company to produce own original (maybe inspired) game, which is probably not a big deal, given the simplicity in lcd games.

On the other hand, and this is what I want to confirm, is that the license could be actually cheaper since there is a cost reduction in ROM program.
If it were PROM based, it be different, but in order to produce a ROM, the chip manufacturer has to make the "masks" which is an expensive step.
Now for games whose masks are ready, that'd mean an important cost reduction.
Does this play a role in the license desition?

You said you could change the drawings in some segments after selecting a game from the catalog, but you didn't say you could change the software behavior of said game.

I'm asking these questions because I've always been curious about the fact that some companies sold different title games which were the same inside, and they only changed the drawings in the lcd screens, that is, you could swap screens and the units keep on working normally.

I think other costs reductions could be presented in the plastic design as well.


Or do they license just because they see it is a good selling game and want to take their share? But you said no one really cared about gameplay....
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marigul
Tomy Blip


Joined: 21 Aug 2010
Last Visit: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eltiopool wrote:
marigul wrote:

...Most games were made pretty quickly. Most 2nd tier lcd games actually come from a catalog where we can pick the game, if we want to we can change some of the segments. But most games were made from segments not pixels...


Hi! Some questions that might be beyond your desitions in the company, but you could maybe know the answers...
What is the reason for a company to license a game from another?
I'm not talking about famous bestselling franchises like Zelda or PacMan, but about simple games, like a race car game, or catch all falling items game.

On one hand, one might think it could mean more profit for the company to produce own original (maybe inspired) game, which is probably not a big deal, given the simplicity in lcd games.

On the other hand, and this is what I want to confirm, is that the license could be actually cheaper since there is a cost reduction in ROM program.
If it were PROM based, it be different, but in order to produce a ROM, the chip manufacturer has to make the "masks" which is an expensive step.
Now for games whose masks are ready, that'd mean an important cost reduction.
Does this play a role in the license desition?

Answer: those licenses would be for complete game code. It just saves on development time.

You said you could change the drawings in some segments after selecting a game from the catalog, but you didn't say you could change the software behavior of said game.
Answer: minor behavior could be changed--speed rate of fire, lives, etc.

I'm asking these questions because I've always been curious about the fact that some companies sold different title games which were the same inside, and they only changed the drawings in the lcd screens, that is, you could swap screens and the units keep on working normally.

Answer: pretty much, also games were sold in different territories to different companies, so thats part of reason for similarities, and most factories tend to supply multiple companies for similar product.

I think other costs reductions could be presented in the plastic design as well.
Answer: yes sometime cases are changed to reduce cost, refresh product, etc.


Or do they license just because they see it is a good selling game and want to take their share? But you said no one really cared about gameplay....
Answer: yes if tetris is selling everyone makes a tetris clone
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