Archive for June, 2007

Midwest Gaming Classic 2007 pictures

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

I’ve finished the MGC 2007 pictures. There are the Pre-show pictures, showing what I did before the show. Part I are pictures taken by myself (Ozyr), and Part II are pictures taken by my brother-in-law Greg and good friend Erica.

I put them all under one link now (in the Blogroll – right side). The one link now consolidates the Pre, Part I and Part II pictures into one area. Select each section with the title at the top when in that area.

That is now it for MGC 2007! Thanks for all those that I met at the show, and for Erica and Greg for being such helpful people. And of course, a special thanks to Gary and Dan, plus J.D. and Marty -and Rene and Rick!

Now, onto working on MGC 2008! πŸ˜›

More Pictures from the MGC ’07 show

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Late for sure, but I’ve just posted my ‘other’ pictures from the actual Midwest Gaming Classic 2007. Link is in the Blogroll (right side) along with the Pre photos from the weekend as well. I will be added a third tab in a day or two with other photos from Erica and Greg.

Enjoy for now.

Pictures for the MGC ’07 show…

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

Well, I’m a bit late on getting the pictures up for and from the MGC ’07 show. I have now managed to get all the Pre-show pictures up, for the UC work I did early before the show. These are now under the ‘Picture’ Links on the right side. I should have the actual MGC ’07 show pictures soon (probably a few days), as I’m going to be busy most of Sunday and Monday during the day (Job hunting stuff). Till then, enjoy the ‘Pre’ pictures, which are mostly from the blog, but in one nice location now.

On a side note, the 2006 pictures have been update (fixed from last year). When in slide-show mode, they now display a description, instead of just the jpg file name.

Philips G7200, pulls out of coma!

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

I have no idea what happened with this little system w/built in screen from Europe. All I know is that I went to take a picture of the screen for some people trying to help me fix it, and now the thing works!? No problem at all, except for a slight issue with the volume control. I’m just glad it is back, but still wonder what went wrong!

Overview of UC ’07

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

It is finally time for the summary of the Underdog Chamber 2007, that ran at the Midwest Gaming Classic on June 9-10th. I’m going to go over each system here, along with its ranking in popularity and comments from me.

Note: Ranks are represented here by Green and Yellow bars. Longer bars = more popular systems/games, short bars = less popular.
Green is ‘play’ interest, where people actually sat down and used the system.
Yellow is ‘casual’ interest, where someone took more than a glance at the system, but made no attempt to use it or ask questions about it.

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Summary of system rankings for the UC ’07:
Apple IIgs
Play
Casual
Arcadia 2001
Play
Casual
Astrocade (Bally)
Play
Casual
Atari 7800
Play
Casual
Intellivision
Play
Casual
Odyssey2
Play
Casual
Philips G7200
Play
Casual
Philips G7400
Play
Casual
Timex/Sinclair 1500
Play
Casual
Apple Macintosh LAN (Quake)
Play
Casual

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Play
Casual
Apple IIgs – The Underdog of the Apple computers, at least that is how I see it. Apple let this computer die a slow horrible death, and the Apple IIe was the actual last Apple II to be manufactured. This computer was setup with an external hard drive, along with a small selection of 5.25 and 3.5 discs based games. The IIgs did reasonable well for the UC ’07 show, but the vast majority of people played the feature game that I put up, which was Arkanoid II. Most show attendees that saw this game recognized it on sight, at least those into the old Apple computers. I did get a request for a few other older games, like Crisis Mountain, but Arkanoid II was the hands down winner for this system. I may bring it back next year, but if so, will try to show off different games. I am undecided at this point if it is coming back in 2008.

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Play
Casual
Arcadia 2001 – A definite Underdog console if ever there was one. This system, as with last year, got the least amount of attention in the UC area overall. It was not terrible, it just did not get very much attention. The main game played here was Funky Fish, along with some Jump Bug requests. I do not plan on bringing this system back for some years now.

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Play
Casual
Astrocade (Bally) – This contender from the late 70’s just couldn’t compete with the Atari 2600, and lost out before the video game crash of ’84. However, this year it did rather well in my area, with about half of the people that played it remembering it from their childhood. People played The Incredible Wizard, Gunfight, Galaxian, and a few others off of the multi-cart I have for this system. I would have to say that Gunfight got the most use, as many friends gave the system a try, and liked playing a game that was two-player!

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Play
Casual
Atari 7800 – The Atari 7800, a true underdog in the Atari line of game systems, did very well for a so-called new display in the Underdog Chamber. With the help of the Cuttle Cart 2, people had the chance to play with the entire library of games for this system. Games that got a decent amount of play were: Asteroids, Centipede, Dig Dug, Joust, Ms. Pac-Man, Ninja Golf, and TitleMatch Pro Wrestling. I got a decent amount of questions about the Cuttle Cart 2 as well, and the video on the system (updated by Kamino) was rather nice. This system, however, will probably not be back in 2008. Main reason is that I want to show the 5200 next year, and these systemw are too close in their game library.

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Play
Casual
Intellivision – The world’s first true 16-bit video game system was the 2nd most popular thing in the UC area this year, as it was last year as well. The Intellivision, even though an underdog, is enjoyed by many game players – many of which remember it from years ago. I got a lot of interest in the Cuttle Cart 3 I was using to run almost the entire library of games for this system. People where just amazed that you could get over 100+ games on a cart, and I was happy to point out that it is currently for sale – but for a limited time only – just search through Google for Cuttle Cart 3 to find it! Popular games for the Intellivision were: Astrosmash, Burgertime, Demon Attack, River Raid, Shark! Shark!, and Tron Deadly Discs. Burgertime was the hands down winner of these game! As for 2008, I am still leaning towards having this system at the show, as it does so well each year.

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Play
Casual
Odyssey2 – The true American underdog of the late 70’s and early 80’s, this system was running games alongside its European counterparts – the G7200 and G7400. While the Odyssey2 didn’t do incredible well, it faired better than the Apple IIgs, and it got a lot more people actually playing games on it than it did last year. The most played games for the Odyssey2 were Attack of the Time Lord, Frogger (most likely because it is something many people recognize), K.C. Munchkin, Pick Axe Pete, Puzzle Piece Panic (cool homebrew game), and the pre-release demo of Tutankham. Note that I may bring this back in 2008, but may downscale the display from what I had this year (which was pretty big).

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Play
Casual
Philips G7200 – This Europe version of the Odyssey2 with a small built-in black and white screen did reasonable well in my area. I’ll have to admit that I was surprised by the attention it did get, which included a decent amount of people sitting down and playing games on it – most notably Frogger and Puzzle Piece Panic. The only sad thing here is that the system developed a hardware problem on Sunday, and is out of commission for now. I hope I can get it fixed!

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Play
Casual
Philips G7400 – The Europe version of the unreleased Odyssey3 here in the States did okay in the Underdog Chamber this year – much better than last year. Part of this was probably the way I had the Odyssey2/Philips games setup – right in front of my area with some large cardboard stands displaying various Odyssey promotional material and the like. (Thanks to Marty for the Pick Axe Pete material.) Best part for this G7400 was that it had the Voice module built in (thanks René), which helped show of some Voice games, as I did not bring the Voice for the Odyssey2. Popular games for this system are listed under the Odyssey2, with some of them playing with the ‘+’ graphics backgrounds on the G7400.

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Play
Casual
Timex/Sinclair 1500 (T/S 1000, ZX81) – This system was back again for 2007 with a new digitized part of the original aluminum iPod Nano commercial, running with wonderful black and white graphics on a 1MHz system with no sound. This system did not do as well as it did last year, mainly because there were less Japanese groups and those who remember the old Timex/Sinclair computers. Of the two Japanese groups that came through, they loved the thing! And, even though it didn’t get tons of attention this year, those that did give it a good look took some type of photograph or video of it! I am not sure if this will return in 2008 – put it in the ‘maybe’ category.

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Play
Casual
Apple Macintosh LAN – I had six Classic Macintosh computers running Quake this year, which celebrates its 10th year on the Mac. Quake was originally release in 1997 by Macsoft, who ported it from Windows which had their version release in 1996. I won’t deny that I was rather amazed at the popularity of this game. A few hours after the show opened on Saturday, after gamers had a chance to buy things in the selling area, the Quake LAN was swamped with people. This game ran virtually the entire show, with very little breaks in the action, all the way up to closing time on Sunday at 5pm! This game setup also marks the first time I can recollect someone thanking me for bringing in a LAN game that they enjoyed! As for next year, it is very probable that Quake will return, but that is not 100% certain. I may try to have the OS X version next year (it was OS 9 for this year), if I can get the newer OS to run well on these older systems. I am also thinking of doing another game that is based off of the original Quake game engine, such as Hexen II. Time will tell…

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And that is it for my summary, ratings, and comments on the Underdog Chamber ’07 exhibit. It was a very, very busy time, but it was fun as well. Here’s to march 2008, when the UC area should make its return once again from the recesses of my basement!

And, one last time, thanks again to Erica and Greg for helping me run the Underdog Chamber. Without them, this whole thing would not have been possible!

Midwest Gaming Classic ’07 recap

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

I’ll have to admit first off that I did not get to see too much of this year’s MGC ’07 show. Unlike previous years, my Underdog chamber area was so busy this year that I got little time to check out other parts of the show. However, I’ll comment on things I saw, and give my usual honest opinion (if you don’t agree with me on some things, just realize that I am entitled to my own opinion – comment if you wish too).

Atari Jaguar Festival – This area included some some really cool games, demos, and such, along with some Nuon DVD games too. The area was setup rather well and got good attendance throughout the show, as did everything in the Exhibit hall.

Tom L’s area (which really needs a name), next to the Jaguar area was comprised mostly of Nintendo systems, along with his huge collection of every Lynx game ever made (including the rare Eye of the Beholder – which I am still trying to convince him to sell to me!) Tom’s corner was very busy, as his Nintendo stuff always does good, including the rare Virtual Boy.

To the right of the Jaguar area was the new Turbofest area, which did a marvelous job with many of NEC’s various renditions of the old Turbo gaming systems

Of course, the Classic Gaming and Computer Museum was tremendous this year, with many systems up and running, and a ton of older stuff on display – including a cool 512K Mac. My favorite was the Wii area, with many people playing this cool system (I’m still trying to find one to buy it!).

The Chicago-land Commodore Group was in attendance on Saturday only this year, showing off a reasonable collection of many Commodore computers, from the Vic20 to the C64 and more. Very nice display, but I did wish they could have been there both days.

Of course, there was my area, the Underdog Chamber. I’ll be the first to admit that the Quake Macintosh LAN (I did Marathon the last 2 years) was a huge success, much to my surprise. Quake ran the entire two days almost non-stop, with all that played it have a very good time. I expected Quake to do well, but not as well as it did. (I will more than likely return with Quake in 2008, but may do another game based off of the Quake game engine instead.)

As for the rest of my area, everything else did very well too, from the Arcadia 2001 to the Timex/Sinclair. The best played system here was the Intellivision, by a hair, followed closely by this years new comer to the UC display, the Atari 7800. The Odyssey2 did reasonably well for a true Underdog, and it was nice to see people actually sitting down to play this system for the ’07 show (last year was mostly casual glances only). I’ll be posting a recap of the individual areas for the UC ’07 in a separate post later this week, along with a popularity chart (of sorts) showing which systems got more play than others.

Back to the Midwest Gaming Classic, I’ll have to admit that I did not get to watch any of the guest speakers, so I can’t really comment on them. Same goes to any tournaments as well. I really need to get in on some of this one of these years, if I can get a little extra help in my UC area.

There was some Music at this years show, but I did not get to hear much of this, except for William Sides from Chicago, Illinois. And the only reason I heard this guy, was that he was way too loud for the small hall the music was in. Security ended up shutting him down, and I have to be honest in the fact that I was glad they did (and most people there were glad as well – they told me so!). I don’t have anything personal against this guy, but he needs to mature a bit and realize that blasting music so loud in a resort hallway is just dumb. Everyone complained about ringing ears, except for some of his groupies from Chicago (one commented that I should have worn earplugs – like I was expecting a concert in a hallway – just not thoughtful). Oh well, each to their own I guess.

As for Vendors for the 2007 MGC show, I did get some time to check them out, from AtariAge to Warpzone Video Games. I hate to complain here, but I did find the vending area somewhat weak this year. It was the same size roughly as 2006, but for some reason it just seemed to ‘thin’ this year. In simple terms, there did not seem to be as much for sale, as a whole. All of my friends agreed on this fact. Some booths were pretty good, like AtariAge, 8-Bit Classics, and the Goat store, but most others just didn’t have enough things for sale. Just my humble opinion here on this, but I hope they can improve on this for next year.

About the only thing I hate about running my own area of the show is not being able to see much of the show in general. As with last year, I did not check out Team Freemont or even play any Arcade or Pinball games. Speaking of which, this year the Arcade and Pinball machines seemed smaller than last year. In truth, it was the same as last year, just spread out more. This definitely gave the illusion of less, and I hope they try to fix this for the 2008 show.

That is about all I have to say about the show in general. In all, I thought it did rather well, with a very good turnout on Saturday. That day the event area was just packed with gamers, all day long. And that is not a bad thing at all! Heck, the show even managed to attract the Milwaukee Channel 6 News crew! Two guys playing in my area, along with one of my small black and red joysticks made it into the newscast that night (but I didn’t πŸ™ ).

Back later today (probably Wednesday night) with more stuff. Plus I still need to get my photos in order.

MGC ’07 is over!!!

Monday, June 11th, 2007

The Midwest Gaming Classic for ’07 is over and done! It was a very busy show this year, and the Underdog Chamber was more crowded that it has every been. 2004 was okay (that year I didn’t have the UC name), 2006 was good, but this year was fantastic!

Fact is, the Underdog Chamber did so well, that I am very tired today. Thus this small post for now. I will be posting recaps and comments on the show (good and bad) as this week goes on, and should have all of my information posted here by Saturday at the latest.

For now, all I have to say is thanks for all the people who attended this years show (and for meeting Rick – a big O2 fan), and of course for Dan and Gary for actually putting the MGC show together. Thanks also to J.D. and Marty for their help with some things in the UC area – and just for being fun guys to hang around with.

Of course, I also have to give a big ‘THANK YOU’ to Erica and Greg for helping out with running the UC area during the show. Without their help, I would have went nuts!

That is it for now… Time to rest a bit more… More to follow as the week goes on…

I’ll leave you with this YouTube link – sorry, embedding was not allowed (watch for my G7400 in this – with Attack of the Timelord playing)!
MGC ’07 YouTube clip

MGC starts in 2 1/2 hours!

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

I’m up early again, doing one last thing before the show (loading up a iPod shuffle with some music). If the show follows the same pattern it has since it started years ago, today will be rather busy. Hope I can handle being on my feet for 8-10 hours. Should be a real fun time though, as it has been every year! πŸ™‚

Almost done setting up

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

It is now very early Saturday morning, and I’m going to get some sleep now. I was at the Show site from around 12pm to 9:30pm, and almost completely setup in my UC area. Only thing missing is a TV set that was supposed to show up around 5pm, but by 9:30, I was getting to damn tired to wait any longer for it. Hopefully the TV set will be there Saturday morning, otherwise the Arcadia 2001 gets pulled so I have something to run the Intellivision on (that is the system currently missing a TV). Everything else has been setup and tested, and all seems pretty good as a whole.

The only thing I pulled last minute was a G7000 unit. I was just going to have this on display, not running, but there just wasn’t room for it as I had enough O2/Videopac stuff already on display. That is the thrill of not 100% knowing what will fit and what won’t. Oh, and I came across a glitch in the Quake game. Nothing drastic, but for some unknown reason one of the keyboard keys won’t work with the game now? Mouse button works for it, but it is a puzzler, as I’m positive it worked in that pre-test a bit back. Guessing it is just a setting I changed since then, but can’t find at the moment. However, it is too late for that, and I don’t think anyone will really have an issue with this anyway.

I also bumped into J.D., Marty, Kamino, Dan, Gary and a few other folks from last year. Nice to seem the guys back again (especially the guys running the show). Also nice chatting with J.D. and Marty – fun guys all around – and friendly too (can’t beat that). That is it for now. I’ve taken some pictures already, but I’m damn tired, and won’t post them till after the show. Sorry, but that is just how it work.

Off to get some sleep now… Zzzz…

On the road again!

Friday, June 8th, 2007

It is now early Friday morning, and it seems like I just went to bed an hour ago (6 actually). Doing a few last minute paperwork things, then get something to eat and start packing the car while I wait for Greg to show up with the very big van he has (family van, but boy does it pack the stuff!!).

See anyone reading this at the show on the weekend. I’ll be taking pictures, so look for recaps here hopefully sometime next week. I may post a few shots here, if I am not tired enough. Saturday is the worst (fun but crazy), as it is really bust and the day is long.

Later…