HELP WANTED: Derived games

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Einar Saukas
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HELP WANTED: Derived games

Post by Einar Saukas » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:54 pm

Sometimes authors release updated versions of their own games, with noticeable gameplay differences (not just a different name and new loading screen). Notorious examples are Bride of Frankenstein and Frankenstein Jnr, Sorcery and Sorcery+, Chess and Masterchess, Jet Set Willy II and Jet Set Willy II+.

Traditionally Martijn classified these updated games under different IDs. Perhaps it would make more sense to keep all variants under the same ID, but it's too late for that. These IDs already exist, and I see no point spending time to change everything now. I would rather dedicate my free time adding useful information instead...

Anyway, I don't want to classify these improved games as "mod", because this term implies a new title produced from hacking into someone else's code. When authors released a new game that was basically an improved update of their own previous title, I'm now using the term "derived". For instance, Bride of Frankenstein was derived from Frankenstein Jnr.

However sometimes it's not easy to identify the original game, when they were both released in the same year. Does anybody know which one of these games (listed below) is the original?

Automonopoli or Go to Jail

Dracman or 3D Bat Attack

Blood 'n' Guts or Fantastic Voyage

Spinads or Chopper X-1

Rays or The Yellow Door

Time Zone or Time Switch

Treble Champions or Treble Chance

Wimbledon or Super Brat

Mica Pospravljalkald or Mica Spremacica

Any help is appreciated! :)
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Re: HELP WANTED: Derived games

Post by Joefish » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:14 pm

I thought that 'Fantastic Voyage' was the original title but it was recalled and re-issued because it didn't have the rights to the movie. Though the Wikipedia page on Quicksilva says it was the other way round. Maybe a look through magazines of the time for adverts would help?

My guess is 'Wimbledon' came first - looking at the cassette inlay it looks very amateurish, and appears to have been self-published. I would guess the more professional release came later, but needed a name change because of unauthorised use of the title in a tennis game. 'Super Brat' seems a strange alternate title, but was presumably a reference to McEnroe?

The screenshot for 'Go To Jail' still says 'Automonopoli' on its loading screen. Again, I would assume 'Automonopoli' was the original title, but the 'Monopoly' people complained.
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Re: HELP WANTED: Derived games

Post by Joefish » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:25 pm

OK, 'Fantastic Voyage' got re-releases under that title, so I guess that was the later one - they must have had official license to use the movie title.
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Re: HELP WANTED: Derived games

Post by Joefish » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:31 pm

Is it safe to assume 'Treble Champions' is the later title, since that got ported to other platforms?
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Re: HELP WANTED: Derived games

Post by 8BitAG » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:47 pm

Einar Saukas wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:54 pm
Rays or The Yellow Door
Rays came first. Yellow Door second, in order to fit in with the "Door" series of Tartan games.

I've not played it for a while, and I've not done a side by side comparison of the Quill database, but it's pretty much the identical game as far as I remember. (Edit: The start is slightly different in Yellow Door, as it features the standard "Door" series framing device)

Another game in that series, Crisis at Christmas, which started out as a type-in release, was similarly rebranded as White Door (Crisis at Christmas) to fit in with the "Door" series.

https://spectrumcomputing.co.uk/index.p ... 96&id=7179

There seems no real reason why Rays gets two entries and Crisis at Christmas only one!

Similarly, there are other text adventures in the database that were originally written with the GAC or Quill and then got later recoded as a PAWed game. That's a bit more than a cosmetic tweak, but from what I remember, the versions of the games are listed under the same ID.

Please see the notes here viewtopic.php?f=32&t=1425&p=24963&hilit=theseus#p24963 for examples of text adventures that don't have the different IDs (despite being recoded, different versions... certainly more different than Rays/Yellow Door).

One of the deciding factors for WOS splitting versions of games in the past, seems to be if they had a DIFFERENT title.

...I can't help thinking you've opened a can of worms here. :)
Last edited by 8BitAG on Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: HELP WANTED: Derived games

Post by 8BitAG » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:08 pm

8BitAG wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:47 pm
Another game in that series, Crisis at Christmas, which started out as a type-in release, was similarly rebranded as White Door to fit in with the "Door" series.
https://spectrumcomputing.co.uk/index.p ... 96&id=7179
There seems no real reason why Rays gets two entries and Crisis at Christmas only one!
As both an aside, and continuing along that theme, the snapshot listed under Crisis at Christmas is, as far as I can see, NOT the Sinclair User type-in version from 1987. It's the Tartan "White Door" rebrand, with the added 'Door' series "You opened the door, didn't you?" and a choice of playing as Mum or Dad (rather than Ron or Nancy as specified in the Sinclair User type-in).

This means that the original type-in version of Crisis at Christmas is not actually in the database.

(Edit: Presumably the link given in the magazine references http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~jg27p ... isisac.zip once pointed to a typed-in version of the game? Edit # 2... That file has been retrieved from the Internet Archive and DOES NOT contain the type-in version... Making the links inclusion there pointless/incorrect.)
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Einar Saukas
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Re: HELP WANTED: Derived games

Post by Einar Saukas » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:41 pm

Joefish wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:14 pm
The screenshot for 'Go To Jail' still says 'Automonopoli' on its loading screen. Again, I would assume 'Automonopoli' was the original title, but the 'Monopoly' people complained.
Confirmed here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automonopoli

Thanks!
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Einar Saukas
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Re: HELP WANTED: Derived games

Post by Einar Saukas » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:20 pm

8BitAG wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:47 pm
Rays came first. Yellow Door second, in order to fit in with the "Door" series of Tartan games.
Thanks!

8BitAG wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:47 pm
Another game in that series, Crisis at Christmas, which started out as a type-in release, was similarly rebranded as White Door (Crisis at Christmas) to fit in with the "Door" series.
There are 5 titles in this series:

https://spectrumcomputing.co.uk/index.p ... oup_id=235

Are they supposed to be played in any specific order?

8BitAG wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:47 pm
There seems no real reason why Rays gets two entries and Crisis at Christmas only one!
Are there any differences between Crisis at Christmas and White Door?

Never mind, I just noticed that you have already answered this question in another post!

8BitAG wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:47 pm
...I can't help thinking you've opened a can of worms here. :)
Kinda. However I'm not really doing anything new. Right now, "Rays" and "The Yellow Door" are already separate entries, but the relation between them is stored as written comments. Replacing these comments with proper "derived from" relations will provide more precise information, that could be used in advanced searches for instance.
Last edited by Einar Saukas on Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Einar Saukas
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Re: HELP WANTED: Derived games

Post by Einar Saukas » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:27 pm

Joefish wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:25 pm
OK, 'Fantastic Voyage' got re-releases under that title, so I guess that was the later one - they must have had official license to use the movie title.
OK, that's a safe bet. It would be insane to obtain the movie license, then rename the game to something else.

Thanks!
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Einar Saukas
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Re: HELP WANTED: Derived games

Post by Einar Saukas » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:32 pm

Joefish wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:14 pm
My guess is 'Wimbledon' came first - looking at the cassette inlay it looks very amateurish, and appears to have been self-published. I would guess the more professional release came later, but needed a name change because of unauthorised use of the title in a tennis game. 'Super Brat' seems a strange alternate title, but was presumably a reference to McEnroe?
That's also a good guess. Thanks!
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