RE: [stella] Stella @ 20

Subject: RE: [stella] Stella @ 20
From: "G. E. Maser" <gemaser@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2000 16:35:07 -0500

Maybe you should put together a documentary about the "documentary" and
include all of the cutting room floor stuff?


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-stella@xxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-stella@xxxxxxxxxxx]On
Behalf Of Glenn Saunders
Sent: Friday, August 25, 2000 5:53 AM
To: stella@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [stella] Stella @ 20

At 11:21 PM 8/24/2000 -0500, you wrote:
>I just recieved my copy of Stella at 20, and was completely awstruck.
>Just thought I would recommend it to anyone who hasn't gotten it yet.  If
>you are at all interested in the history of the developement of the VCS or
>Atari, or even want to pick up a few of the programming tips, I think you
>will find it quite worth it.

Thanks a bunch.  This is the most positive review I've read so
far.  Classic Gamer Magazine had a couple nice things to say about it too
in their coverage of CGExpo 2000, and also Atari2600 Nexus.  I'm still
trying to get the bad taste of Tom Russo's Next Generation review out of my
mouth.  The tapes aren't meant for everyone, but I think that those who
want to know everything about the 2600 and to a letter extent about Atari
culture, will get a great deal out of the tapes, and not just information,
but what I feel is a really special, often personal and emotional moment in
time for these people--something you can't get out of a book or even a CG
Expo keynote speech.  I also think Volume 1 is the kind of tape that anyone
too young to know Atari should watch as a mandatory history lesson, and
both volumes would certainly be a great viewing for anyone working as a
programmer in the game business today, regardless of whether they are Atari

One thing.  Make sure you watch past the credits on Volume 1.  I didn't
want to put Doug Neubauer's interview before the credits because it wasn't
a fitting finale, so the interview is tacked on at the end as elegantly as
I could.  I think a lot of people are stopping their VCRs at the end not
knowing there is more, though.  Some how I need to get the word out.

>BTW, Glenn, is that you with the cake?  Do you appear at all in either

Yes, it's me.  The late Jim Nitchals and his wife put the cake together for
me.  It was kind of a mutual idea between us all to have the cake.  We
brought it in early in the morning and Nolan's wife stored it in their huge
fridge until the lunch break.  As far as I know, it was a total surprise to
everyone when I came out with it, including Nolan.  Right as everyone
breaks for lunch Nolan says "this is too much fun."  That is what gave me
the greatest sense of accomplishment, that I could somehow get so much
great content without making it a chore to people.  You know, traditional
one on one interviews are not fun.  They are highly structured.  They have
makeup people, lav mikes going up your shirt, careful lighting, plenty of
stops and starts.  You just don't get the same kind of off the cuff
material in such a sterile setting.  Technically, it's better because it's
more controlled, but I sacrificed the technical aspects in favor of the
sincerity of the moment.

It was just a really lucky break that I managed to convince everyone to do
this thing, and originally Nolan was not on board.  He jumped in when he
realized everyone else was going to do it, and agreed to host at his place,
which was very gracious.  But I could go on and on about the behind the
scenes...  There is way too much to tell in this 3 year epic of a project...

I'm not in Volume 2 at all.  I appear in the background during the opening
of Volume 1 incidentally, like when Jerry Jessop, Larry Anderson Jr., and I
are crowded around Nolan Bushnell showing him pictures of someone's
Computer Space collection.

The only time you hear me ask a question is during Nolan's talk about
making the Axlon carts, where I asked him how he felt about being the
"attendant to the death rattle".   Luckily, asking him to elaborate led to
a wonderful additional monologue on the Tramiels.

It should be noted that there is still plenty of good stuff left on the
cutting room floor, so to speak.  We'll see how it goes with Volume 1.  It
may be possible to put something good together with what's left, especially
if it also includes that 2600 technical primer I failed to include with
Volume 1.  But realistically we're talking another year before that
happens.  In the meantime I'm at least going to try my hand at 2600
programming.  After having programmed in AtariBasic, 3 years of
Javascript/VBScript, and about 10 months of Cold Fusion, plus 3 or so years
of researching the 2600 I think I may have finally developed the aptitude
to write a 2600 game, and I think the process of doing that will make me
that much more qualified to draft the tutorial stuff myself.

But the pressure's off now because the really best stuff that exists is out

Glenn Saunders - Producer - Cyberpunks Entertainment
Personal homepage:
Cyberpunks Entertainment:

Archives (includes files) at
Unsub & more at

Archives (includes files) at
Unsub & more at

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