Archive for the ‘MGC 2011’ Category

MGC 2011 recap

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Been meaning to put up a recap for the MGC 2011 show for a while, so here it is (finally). Note: I did not see a lot of the show, due to just maintaining my own area, so I will only comment on what I actually saw (which wasn’t a lot – there was much more than I’m recapping here).

Staring in my neck of the woods:
Atari Jaguar Festival – I’ll have to admit that this area was setup pretty good this year, but I did not take much time to check out what was being offered. Looked good though.

Die-Hard Gamer Console Arcade – New name for the Modern Museum. John Norman is the main guy behind this area, and as always, it was setup incredibly well for the 2011 show. Signs for practically every system, with lots of cool information on them. Plus so many consoles hooked up and ready to play. I did not play much myself in this area, but saw lots of people at the show having fun, and that is what it is all about.

E2M Museum – New name for the Classic Museum. This year Marty (and friends) went with a ‘dark’ arcade-like theme for the E2M room. Lots of good stuff was up and running, from Erik and his TI stuff, to a Commodore group, CoCo setup, Coleco Adam, and a rather nice 6502 area. In all, very (and I mean very) well done! My only gripe, a little too dark, but that is just my opinion. I know a lot of people liked the room with the lights down. I just would have liked a bit more light to see stuff with (maybe more rope lights would have helped). Gripe aside though and no joke, if it wasn’t for Marty’s museum area, there would be no Underdog Chamber (and that is a fact)!

Family Game Room – Nice setup this year, done by J.D, as Tom was out for 2011. While the area did rather well, I missed Tom and his kids. Hopefully they will return for 2012.

Turbo Fest – This was in the hall this year, and looked like fun. I didn’t stop by too long, but people were showing an interest during the whole show.

Underdog Chamber – Need I say more. My area did great. I still find it amazing on how people always tell me that I have one of the best setups in the show (at least that is what they tell me). Guess I’m just a little to critical in how I see my area. I always know it could be better, even if it is great the way it is. I’ve got plans for next year already – expect some major changes!

As far as show Events go, I missed them all. Suck to be me. I should have checked out Ben Heck, but just didn’t get around to it. 🙁

Panels and Presentations – I only got a chance to see Ralph Baer and Ted Dabney. I can honestly say that Ralph is just a great guy. He’s getting up there in years, but his mind is still sharp, and he’s still working on gaming devices. Very, very interesting guy too. I loved his skype presentation. Ted was pretty cool too, especially talking about the early days of Atari. Fun guy with a great sense of humor.

Other than that, I did get some chance to play some stuff in the Pinball/Arcade room. There were a LOT of machine for 2011, which was just fantastic!

The vendor hall had a lot of variety for 2011. From pinball parts to magic wands (seriously). I did pick up some things, but not a lot. My collection is getting tighter, and it was hard to find specific things this past show, not that there wasn’t a lot to buy (just not much for myself). I wish I would have caught GWH’s big sale on Sunday!

That is about it. As stated, I spent a lot of time in my own area. Still, it was a great show, and it just gets better each year. Here’s to 2012, and whatever it brings! 😀

P.S. Someday, I’ll finally post pictures of 2010 and 2011 here…

Time flies…

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Time sometimes goes by too quickly, or so it seems. I still have yet to put up any type of 2011 MGC recap, and have not yet posted anything for next years show (at least of substance). Things are in the works, as my secret lab is running some equipment right now. Soon I hope to remedy the recap, and post new information. Till then, I’m still putting the final wraps on the UC 2011 page, recapping what happened for the 2011 UC area.

Be back soon, hopefully…

MGC 2011 recap, eventually…

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Been super busy with school and work. I still plan on doing a recap of the entire show, or at least what I saw of it, but it’ll have to wait till near the end of May. Till then, game on.

Music

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

I forgot to really put anything in here about the music I had playing for the UC ’11 display. Normally it is just a backdrop, but I turned up the volume in 2011, and added the iTunes visualizer on a 17″ monitor. The selection this year was mostly 80’s, with other stuff mixed in, all picked out by Erica (thanks). It goes some attention, and I even noticed some people getting into the music now and then, which is a good thing in my book. Best scene, which I think was late on Sunday, was just too cool. There was a group of gamers walking past the T/S 1500 display, with the iTunes screen, and the Birdhouse In Your Soul video came up from They Might Be Giants (yeah, there were videos mixed in with just the visualizer). This group stopped to watch the whole video, along with myself and Erica. Turned out, the group of about 5 people were all TMBG fans, and they simply loved seeing the video. That reason along will bring that feature back in 2012, hopefully with more videos, as I’ve been working on getting them into iTunes. And in case your wondering, I own the videos, they are not bootleg! I don’t pirate, which I’m damn proud of. Musicians needs to make a living too. Rock on!

Quake LAN – UC ’11 recap

Monday, April 4th, 2011

The Quake LAN is the final recap for the UC ’11 display. The Underdog area itself opened at 11am on Saturday, as I have in the past, so I can shop for any hour to get some deals (not that I found much of what I was looking for – good stuff was for sale, just not what some special stuff I wanted). It was amazing when we (Greg, Erica, and myself) opened the UC doors at 11am. In less than 30 seconds, the entire 11-player Quake LAN was filled up from gamers who were waiting in the hall. Totally and utterly outstanding! 😀

For a Mac game from 1997, and the original too (no Mods or such), this game just does better and better each year. I bumped the LAN up to 11-player for 2011, and the seats were full for the majority of the show (except for those moments when gamers leave the room, and new folks filter in). It was a bit of a bummer when one iMac lost video late on Saturday, as I just got this machine recently too (and thankfully it will be fixed soon). Sunday morning another iMac got a corrupt system disk, so it was down to 9-player Quake on Sunday, but no one seemed to mind. As long as it was there to play and have fun doing so! Nothing like fragging your friends! It is also just cool to see an old blocky looking 1st-peson shooter that is still so much fun to play. A true classic.

On that note, was this the last year for the Quake LAN? At this point, I honesty can’t say. I’ve been meaning to upgrade it (to OS X), or replace it for years now (with something a bit more modern), but it just doesn’t happen (yet). But I’ll be honest in that something will change for 2012, and not just Quake either. I’ll let folks know when it happens. It is in the works, and I’ve been getting parts in place since last Summer (better hard drives, more memory, better iMacs, and PowerMac tower units too). We shall see! 😉

(And with that out of the way, I’ll recap MGC ’11 itself when I get the chance. May not be till this coming weekend, but it’ll happen.)

Dreamcast – UC ’11 recap

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

Up at the top for console and computer systems (excluding the Quake LAN), there is the Sega Dreamcast system. As I expected, this system did very well in the UC area for its first appearance, and easily topped all other gaming systems that I had running this year.

While the Dreamcast only lasted a few years, back from 1999, I still think this is an outstanding gaming console. Too bad Sega didn’t stick with this thing, but there still is a good library for the Dreamcast, even from its show lifespan. For the UC ’11 area, I ran a portion of the small group of games I currently have to this system. Crazy Taxi was cool, but it confused people, as they weren’t sure what to do, so this was not up for long. Demolition: No Exit was the favorite, as anyone could get into this cool racing game, with that nice tough of smashing into things as part of the game. House of the Dead 2 attracted teenagers like kids to candy, while Speed Devils was another nice racing game that anyone could get into. I may try to vary the games a bit more next year, but I’ve found that just a few games goes a long way for one weekend.

Will the Dreamcast return? Do pigs not fly? When though, I cannot say. I vary it up every year, and it will remain that way (more than likely). Variety is the spice of life after all.

(One more thing to recap, then I’ll post comments on the rest of the show, or that which I actually saw).

Odyssey2 – UC ’11 recap

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

2nd from the top in popularity between consoles and computers in the UC area for 2011 was a nice surprise for me this year, that being the Odyssey2! Note once again that this was not by a wide margin, compared to most other systems, but still #2. This old system from the late 70’s and early 80’s had a nice selection of games running. People were playing Attack of the Timelord, as this was recognizable as a shooting type game. Q*bert got some play, along with Turtles and few other games. Frogger, as has been the case in prior years, got the most play on the Odyssey2. The only issue, being the Brazil version, is that you have to land at the end on land not water. This did confuse a few folks, and I honestly don’t know why they (Parker Brothers) switched this between the Brazil and Euro versions. Go figure.

Seeing a decent amount of people playing games on the Odyssey2 was a treat for me, as it is not normally a real popular system (but not totally unpopular either). Sad but true. I did get some folks asking about the system, but not many though. However, with the attention that it got, I’m more than satisfied with how it worked out. Of course, being my favorite older system, this will be at the show every year. I did par it down though for 2011, as it was just the basic console, but with real Odyssey2 joysticks for the first time. I did hear a few people commenting on how ‘new’ the system looked, and that was become it practically was (this was the cleanest and most preserved Odyssey2 I’ve ever come across). Next year, I might try to do a system Mod that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I’ve got the stuff to do it, I just need to do it. 😉

Here’s to the Odyssey2! 😀

(Philips) CD-i – UC ’11 recap

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Getting even higher in popularity for the UC ’11 exhibit, there is the Philips CD-i system, borrowed from JD Norman (thanks). This rather low-key system, as it did not sell that well during its time, was introduced in 1991. With a relative high price, Philips found itself stuck between PC gaming and regular console gaming of the time. Thus, it became a true underdog system, lasting for a while before being dropped by Philips.

At the UC exhibit, there was just a selection of five games. Tetris did poorly from the start, so I switched to Dragon’s Lair II and Space Ace, which actually faired well in terms of game play from those at the show (I avoided Dragon’s Lair due to the fact that it did not have visual clues, making it too hard to play). There was even one guy at various time during the weekend who did very well at these games, having played them years ago, when I asked why he was so good at them. It was rather cool to see someone get really far in these types of games.

The most surprising thing to me was the small but enthusiastic group of gamers that asked for Hotel Mario throughout the weekend. This by far was the most popular game on the CD-i, and is the main reason this system nudged into 3rd place in regards to system popularity in the UC area (excluding Quake of course). As mentioned before though, most systems were pretty close in popularity, with only the bottom and top systems standing apart more than the others. Still, it was nice to see a somewhat rare system get its due attention.

Will the CD-i ever return to the UC area. That is doubtful, but you never know.

Channel F – UC ’11 recap

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Going even a bit farther up the popularity list of computers and consoles for UC 2011, we have the (Fairchild) Channel F. Yes, you read the correctly, the Channel F did fairly well for its first time in the UC exhibit. I had a total of 3 games I was going to show off on this old 1978 system, but ended up just running two game, Alien Invasion on Saturday and Dodge It on Sunday.

The Channel F system I have is the model II, which allows sound out of the TV set, which is nice in that you can control the volume. I had the system setup at the entrance to the UC room, and it got a fair amount of people checking it out. The odd (compared to today’s) controllers were one thing that attracted people, and it was the age and two old games running that did the rest. Alien Invasion did well, being a Space Invaders ripoff, which made it recognizable (but a bit hard to start – as you pull up on the joystick, instead of pressing ‘start’ to start the game – I didn’t write this software, so don’t blame me). Sunday was the big day for the Channel F, when I switched the game to Dodge It. In this simple game, you are a small blue square, and simple must dodge red squares as they enter the play field. The longer you last, the higher your score. Very, very simple to play, which is why I think it did pretty good on Sunday. Kids passing by got the hang of the game immediately, and knew exactly what to do. Simplicity at its best, and much to my surprise as well, as I just didn’t see this game or system doing too well. Just shows you how things can surprise anyone.

Will the Channel F return? Probably, but wether it it next year or two years from now, that I cannot say. But it will return, as it has proven itself worthy (and to think I hated this system just over a year ago – things do change, and people too [blame this change on Jeff – who proved to me that there are some good games for the Channel F])! 🙂

Apple IIe & T/S 1500 – UC ’11 recap

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Farther up the popularity list, about midpoint between zilch and outstanding, we have two systems from the UC ’11 exhibit.

First off is the Apple IIe, which did moderately well, especially with such games as Load Runner and Crisis Mountain. (Other games didn’t fair as good). I’d have to say that Load Runner was the best game running on the old Apple IIe, which I know got moderate attention due to its age. Those that played it did so because they remembered the few games I had running on it, as I could see them play the games with little difficulty. I did put up Battle Zone for a while, and that did fairly well, but it does run at tad too slow on the IIe. Some people did ask questions about the IIe, but not to any major extent, but it was still nice to talk about the old Apple II.

—-

A slight notch up and we have the Timex/Sinclair 1500, which I simply had running digitized iTunes commercials (along side the iSkull and a monitor running music with the iTunes visualizer). As is the case almost every year, people are fascinated by this old computer running a recognizable commercial (even at the low resolution of the T/S 1500). I even fielded some questions about the system, and the software too (from my online friend Ted). Overall I’d call it just above average for its popularity for 2011, and that is cool with me. As for future years, not sure if I’m bringing this system back. I may give it a rest for a bit, or I may try to get Ted to digitize some different commercials than the few I currently have (I only have two).

And that is it as far as computer systems go. Still up, recaps for the remaining 4 console systems, one of which did rather well considering its age!