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After 27 Years, a New High Score For Asteroids

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the toothpicks-for-eyelids dept.

Classic Games (Games) 193

blair1q writes "In a marathon 3-1/2 day session, John McAllister, of Portland, Oregon, has broken the 27-year-old high score for Asteroids, set in 1982 by Scott Safran. The attempt was broadcast via webcam."

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first (-1, Offtopic)

Clom (1759586) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758968)

he is first then and so am I!

Re:first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31758976)

second

Re:first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31758980)

I second that

Re:first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759960)

The posters above me are ball-gargling faggots.

That said, Asteroids is the shit.

Sudden persepective. (5, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758978)

I have a whole new appreciation for the awesome, interesting things I do with my life.

Thanks.

Re:Sudden persepective. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759042)

Code on drupal? What can you do in Drupal in 3,5 days which helps your name go into geek history?

from the article:

Once you master the basics, Asteroids is simply a game of endurance: Can you keep from falling asleep? And if you can, will the arcade cabinet you're playing on stay glitch-free and powered up for three days straight?

which adds value to it. Human nature drives us (or more so men) to excell and try to push the limits. You wont achieve the same. Sometimes, achieving a thing that seems very unlikely (high continued concentration) makes some go out and try to do it, just because they can or want to push themselves. That in itself is admirable, wheverever you cannot see value in that.

It translates to 84 hours of persisted activity. If the average person watches 8 hours of TV a day, he just did something more useful and challenging for 10 days where the median average just is vegetating in front of a light box on a dialy base over an average 71, that's 598 hours of tv which do not amount to anything. Over a population of 309,018,640 in the us. How does that put things into perspective for you?

Re:Sudden persepective. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759110)

Look, I'm all for being impressed at somebody's achievements rather than just denigrating it because you feel like the reason you can't do better is that you have better things to do. But I don't really see it as more useful (challenging, yes, but not more useful) than watching TV -- in fact, depending on what you watch, there's a fair chance you can learn something even from bad TV. I also don't see it as admirable. That's a different thing from impressive.

I don't think he's a bad person for doing this, don't get me wrong. But I do not at all admire him for playing Asteroids for 84 hours.

I have, in fact, done persistent activity for a similarly long time, a few times. I don't think staying up 84 hours to do something is *particularly* rare, though breaking a record doing it is (think of all the people who failed to break a record doing this!). It's not a common thing and not one people generally care to repeat, and even as young as 27 that gets much harder -- I'm 25 now and already know that I just don't have the same ability to stay awake for long periods of time as I did at 21.

Re:Sudden persepective. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759398)

I have, in fact, done persistent activity for a similarly long time, a few times. I don't think staying up 84 hours to do something is *particularly* rare, though breaking a record doing it is (think of all the people who failed to break a record doing this!). It's not a common thing and not one people generally care to repeat, and even as young as 27 that gets much harder -- I'm 25 now and already know that I just don't have the same ability to stay awake for long periods of time as I did at 21.

Dude 84 hours is a long time. Half a freaking week to be precise. That's a long time. Staying up that long to do something is fairly rare in my book unless the something you're staying up to do happens to be amphetamine.

I'll be 42 this year. When I hit the 18 hour mark I'm pretty much ready for bedtime. When I hit 24 hours I'm more than ready for bed and I'm damn grumpy to boot. If I get much past 24 then I'm basically on autopilot and craving braaaaaains.

Re:Sudden persepective. (2, Funny)

xonar (1069832) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759514)

I just got 3 hours of sleep, braaaaaaaaaaaaains

Re:Sudden persepective. (1)

erayd (1131355) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759552)

...unless the something you're staying up to do happens to be amphetamine.

Or polyphasic sleep, although admittedly polyphasic sleep does involve short naps, so it's not continuous waking-time, but it's pretty close.

Re:Sudden persepective. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759634)

Bloody hell. My partner, who is 30, can't stay up longer than 12 hours without sleep.

Uh... what? (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759570)

I don't think staying up 84 hours to do something is *particularly* rare

Do you smoke crack or something? I don't think I've ever been awake for 48 hours straight, let alone 84.

Re:Uh... what? (1)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759860)

I don't think staying up 84 hours to do something is *particularly* rare

Do you smoke crack or something? I don't think I've ever been awake for 48 hours straight, let alone 84.

You've never had a full time job as an IT or System Administrator then!

Re:Sudden persepective. (4, Informative)

addie (470476) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759060)

For anyone who hasn't seen The King of Kong [imdb.com] , a documentary about shooting for the world record in Donkey Kong, I highly recommend it. It's a bit disturbing to see what goes on in the minds of these types of gamers, and at some points it's hard to believe it's a documentary. However it's an excellent movie, and a lot of fun.

That said, it's easy to criticize someone like this. But hey, we all have our hobbies and talents right?

Re:Sudden persepective. (4, Insightful)

beh (4759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759262)

That said, it's easy to criticize someone like this. But hey, we all have our hobbies and talents right?

As my sister puts it about me (though - luckily (for me), not about old arcade games; and not meant in a creepy fashion (I hope)):

My brother does not have hobbies. He has obsessions!

And somehow I feel, here on slashdot, I am not the only one for whom this statement is true...

Re:Sudden persepective. (1)

Island Admin (1562905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759656)

And somehow I feel, here on slashdot, I am not the only one for whom this statement is true...

I am not obsessed .... I merely like certain things so much, that I spend every waking moment either thinking of them or doing them.

Re:Sudden persepective. (4, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759998)

She's a female after all...

If women have a compulsion to wash their hands often, they'd:
a) Be ashamed of it and try to keep it a secret.
b) Go seek help from therapists.
c) Just wash their hands often.

If men have a compulsion to wash their hands often, they'd:
a) Try to find the best soap, water, time and method to do it.
b) See how many times they can do it per minute/hour/day, or how few times they can do it.
c) Brag about it and have long arguments with fellow "hobbyists" about a), b) and other related matters. :)

Re:Sudden persepective. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759910)

In this are of high speed internet, when referencing to a movie, dont point to the imdb link. But to some place where you can make your own opinion instead of been feed some 'internet' critic one.

http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4670384/The.King.of.Kong.2007.LIMITED.Documentary.DVDRip.XviD-SeRbOvItCh

Also, please seed.

Re:Sudden persepective. (3, Funny)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759936)

The question is, is his "a life well spent" or "a life, well, spent".

Score (5, Informative)

kickme_hax0r (968593) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758982)

For those too lazy to read the article, he scored 41,338,740, with the previous high score being 41,336,440

Re:Score (3, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758996)

Maybe in 2039, someone can score 41,339,486.

Re:Score (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759260)

No sorry, the timestamp for the highscore will overflow the year before. Your highscore would be saved as 1901.

Re:Score (4, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759320)

Making it the new longest gaming record in history. Win-win.

Re:Score (2, Interesting)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759020)

I wonder what the theoretically possible highest score could be. LONG_MAX? ULONG_MAX? Or something entirely different?

It's infinate (5, Informative)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759100)

In the game the score wraps around to zero again so the "score" in this case is calculated by taking note of the number of times the score wraps.

or even infinite (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759108)

oops.

Re:Score (1)

shippo (166521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759136)

There's no maximum as the score counter rolls over at 100,000. You need to have someone to manually keep track of the number of roll overs.

I remember being in an amusement arcade in Redcar, UK in the early 1980s, when someone was attempting an Asteroids record. He had an assistant with a clipboard to verify the roll-over count.

Re:Score (2, Interesting)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759742)

Why doesn't the game include a roll-over counter?

Re:Score (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759816)

There's a save score memory and score board patch daughter board you can buy for the Asteroids PCB so you don't have to do that anymore.

Re:Score (1)

ijakings (982830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759892)

Im pretty sure thats over 9000

NOT THREE DAYS (4, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31758998)

It took approximately 58 hours, not over 72.

LESS THAN TWO AND A HALF.

When you repeat old news, it might help to GET IT RIGHT.

Re:NOT THREE DAYS (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759006)

If you read the summary properly, it said 3-1/2 days, i.e. 3 minus a half day.

Re:NOT THREE DAYS (-1, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759066)

The summary and article are BULLSHIT.

How about knowing people that were at the event?

As I said, OLD NEWS. 58 HOURS. I HAVE THE ENTIRE DAMNED SESSION ON VIDEO.

Re:NOT THREE DAYS (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759102)

*Woosh*

Re:NOT THREE DAYS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759942)

*Metawoosh*

Re:NOT THREE DAYS (4, Funny)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759206)

Movie night must be fun at your place. Should I bring over some Soviet WWII films for next week?

Re:NOT THREE DAYS (2)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759420)

That's for pussies. Eat this [amazon.com] . Hungarian post-soviet socio-drama in 435 minutes!

Re:NOT THREE DAYS (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759432)

Comes on 4 DVDs, but it's intended to be watched in one session. 435 minutes is roughly 7.5 hours, so the target audience is those, who watch movies for a living. It's one shift + lunch break.

Re:NOT THREE DAYS (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759468)

"The film was briefly out on VHS and DVD in the 1990s, but went out of print very quickly, but is now available on DVD. It is infrequently shown due to its lengthy running time. It is sometimes shown in two parts, or in its entirety with two intermissions. Tarr has said the film should be shown without any interruption, but this is usually difficult to do given the restrictions of both film and video projection."

So the DVD is a big compromise, having to change discs. I hope there will be a blue-ray version, so that we can enjoy it the way it's meant.

Re:NOT THREE DAYS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759224)

Damn son, calm down. What are you, like 16 years old or something?

Re:NOT THREE DAYS (4, Funny)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759230)

I hereby propose a new moderation option: "-1 Shouts Too Much".

Re:NOT THREE DAYS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759466)

Christ. Stop being such a dick.

-The Internet.

Re:NOT THREE DAYS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759034)

That's what TFS said. A three minus one-half day session.

Re:NOT THREE DAYS (-1, Redundant)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759070)

TFS and TFA are full of shit considering every other outlet reports 58 hours and that's how long the gameplay footage I have is.

YouTube it or GTFO (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759272)

TFS and TFA are full of shit considering every other outlet reports 58 hours and that's how long the gameplay footage I have is.

Will there be a directors' cut? A special edition boxed set including "the making of..."?

[insert obligatory dig at George Lucas here]

Re:NOT THREE DAYS (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759278)

I think you are missing the joke. The summary states 72 hours (3 days) minus half a day (12 hours.)

So the punch line is the summary states 60 hours which is close enough to 58 for you to just let it go.

Re:NOT THREE DAYS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759906)

No way, I totally forgot about order of operations. Here I was thinking it was (3-1)/2 = 1 day. Then I was thinking about whether the article writer believes a day is 12 hours or 24 hour hours.

Eventually I settled on it taking 12 hours, and everyone else, the writer, the submitter, the gamer, and all of /. being incorrect.

Obligatory (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759584)

THERE... ARE... FOUR... DAYS!

This reminds me of... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759004)

Once you master the basics, Asteroids is simply a game of endurance: Can you keep from falling asleep?

Anyone remember those dance marathons from the 1950s where people would dance for days to beat the world record?

Okay, neither do I. But I *did* see it in an episode of Happy Days. So that still makes me old.

where's the virgin tag? (0, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759024)

i bet this guy is powered by hot pockets and mountain dew.

Re:where's the virgin tag? (4, Funny)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759050)

Duly tagged.

Re:where's the virgin tag? (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759098)

Should've been 'neverbeenlaid'

Re:where's the virgin tag? (1)

warGod3 (198094) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759674)

I vote for a "neverbeenlaid" tag.

Re:where's the virgin tag? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759708)

when in fact, now he's getting all sorts of girlgeek poontang.

nerd girls in skirts & glasses.... Drool

Re:where's the virgin tag? (1)

Luke Wilson (1626541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759144)

The previous record holder was 15 when he set the record. This guy is 27. And I don't think Scott had an arcade cabinet in his house in 1982.

Re:where's the virgin tag? (1)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759590)

Is he 27? Where does it say his age in the article?

Aw, no rematch. (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759032)

[Previous record holder Scott Safran] died in 1989, due to injuries sustained when he fell from the roof of his Los Angeles apartment. [wired.com]

Perhaps he has a son to avenge him.

Hmm. Or given his geek credentials, more likely not.

Re:Aw, no rematch. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759062)

fell from the roof of his Los Angeles apartment.

Just like a falling asteroid no less.

Re:Aw, no rematch. (1)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759292)

Negative gravitational force-fields are a real bitch, man. They can really ruin your day.

Re:Aw, no rematch. (1)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759458)

It's the positive ones that always catch me by surprise.

yeah, a real shame.... (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759460)

Unfortunately for him, the never before tried personal hyperspace button on his wristwatch actually worked, though he hadn't counted on the potential issues of a having an x, y, and z axis to worry about in a gravity well.

Doh!

I can beat that ... (4, Interesting)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759058)

Just had the idea: Wouldn't it be a sort of cool project to build a robot that plays Astroids? I mean the actual arcade version? Shouldn't be that difficult. Such a device could beat the world record, no? ... In fact, it could probably play endlessly.

Re:I can beat that ... (4, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759088)

I spent 75 aud on a robot arm kit from Jaycar. 20 aud on an atmel atmega8 and about 20 aud on transistors, etc. That and about a weeks work got me a robot which can feed my fish when I am away from home.

Staying with the atmel idea I could build an eye to detect spots of light with a mechanically scanning photodiode. Then the robot arm just has to push a lever left and right.

The main limitation is that the plastic gears in the robot arm are not good for continuous operation. I have considered squirting lubricant into them but I expect their life is limited.

Maybe this could be an offshoot of my sexbot construction project.

Re:I can beat that ... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759116)

This one ?
http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=KJ8916 [jaycar.com.au]
I have seen a few of these kits and they look all too slow and imprecise for doing even a simple thing like playing an arcade game. I don't know this one, is it different ? Do you think it could change a joystick position 2 times per second during 10+ hours ? If so, I think I have to make a participation to Australia GNP...

Re:I can beat that ... (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759164)

Instead of using a motorized arm, mount solenoids to push the stick from the four directions. You should achieve a fast response time and long cycle-life.

Re:I can beat that ... (1)

SuperMonkeyCube (982998) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759390)

It's 5 buttons, no joystick. Rotate Left, Rotate Right, Hyperspace, Thrust, and Fire. Your left hand gets the two rotate buttons, your right gets thrust & fire. The Hyperspace button is in the middle but away from normal hand reach - you have to abandon something else to press it.

Re:I can beat that ... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759582)

then just tap in and put relays on all the button contacts. one HD camera and it should be trivial to write the auto player for it.

Re:I can beat that ... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759578)

I spent $13.25US on a robot to feed my fish when I was gone AND when I was home. Slit in the fish food can, Hobby servo, Pic and some junk from the trash.

It spins twice a day and with the huge can of food on the thing, I'll refill the food in about a year. Fishies are happy, Nest up, automatic water changes! I already have a automatic water make up with a float valve from a toilet.... and I dont need to clean the glass, I found that snails are far easier to get than making little robots to clean the glass....

Re:I can beat that ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759714)

Dude, dont buy avrs from Jaycar - the markup is insane. Farnell & Rs australia now has free shipping and no minimum order, buy your chips from them.

Re:I can beat that ... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759140)

different game, but you might be interested in a computer playing Super Mario World [joystiq.com]

Re:I can beat that ... (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759180)

The German computer magazine c't held a contest [heise.de] (German link) for the best Asteroids-playing artificial intelligence - it wasn't mechanical, but merely transmitted virtual keystrokes to a server that was running the game.

I suppose adding a robotic element would add additional complications such as the reaction time of the limbs, and recognizing the playing field via optical sensors.

Re:I can beat that ... (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759308)

Looks like people won against the computer [google.com]

Re:I can beat that ... (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759312)

Re:I can beat that ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759868)

Here's some more information about that contest, in case anyone's wondering how a human can get to a 41 million score while the best of algorithms can only achieve 140000-ish scores: The contest games were limited to 5 minutes!

Some of the coders reverse-engineered the random number generation in the Asteroids game, so their algorithmic players could deduce the initial values from events happening on the screen and have full information about the internal game state after a few frames. Consequently they could even use the hyperspace function without risk. When you look at the recordings, you'll notice that they fire before the asteroids appear and still every shot is a hit.

Re:I can beat that ... (1)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759994)

Nah, the true hacker way would be to byte-change the binary of the game so that it plays itself.

So... (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759126)

...when is he expected to be visited by Centauri?

Re:So... (5, Funny)

tgd (2822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759574)

Only on Slashdot would that be moderated "interesting" and not "funny".

2 Things have to be said (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759158)

First, props to the quality of old time hardware. Do you think you could still play games on contemporary machines, almots 3 decades in the future?

And second, bathroom break almost costing him the title? There's a REASON these machines were found near the bathrooms in the bars where they have been propped up back in the days! Not to mention that there are other ways to make sure you don't waste a life just because your waste ... well, throws an interrupt. Fffft, amateur! :)

Re:2 Things have to be said (5, Interesting)

mccalli (323026) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759214)

First, props to the quality of old time hardware. Do you think you could still play games on contemporary machines, almots 3 decades in the future?

Another detail about Asteroids - it's a game you really can't emulate without specialist hardware. Yeah you can load up the ROM in MAME and it plays nicely enough, but the true Asteroids machine had vector monitor hardware. This really makes a difference to the feel of the thing and those beautifully glowing intense bullets look vastly better on the real thing than when played on standard raster hardware.

I have a MAME cab and an ArcadeVGA adapter to power a Hanterax 20" screen - it makes even 320x128 look fantastic. But Asteroids is something it simply can't get right - without a vector monitor, you're stuffed.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:2 Things have to be said (3, Informative)

Alioth (221270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759328)

If you want to get vector hardware for the home, there's always the Vectrex. A Vectrex in decent condition can be had for less than $100. The built-in game is Mine Storm, an Asteroids-like game, plus with some flash memory you can build a multicart with lots of games.

Re:2 Things have to be said (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759612)

It's not hard to make a regular TV tube a vector one anyways, it's just the phosphor mask that makes it a PITA to get crisp lines. I screwed with that back in college, I had a couple of sweep generators powering the X and Y fields on a color TV tube making some really cool designs before I fired some of the TV electronics.

Oh and scanning OUTSIDE the mask was bad, with enough voltage you can bend the beam too far. What I loved was finding cracked flybacks that had a visible blue aura around them..... those rocked!

Re:2 Things have to be said (4, Insightful)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759788)

First, props to the quality of old time hardware. Do you think you could still play games on contemporary machines, almots 3 decades in the future?

Nope, because the DRM servers will have been shut down 29.5 years earlier...

Gotta be that guy from the Buy More (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759178)

After all who but the Buy More crew has the best nerds ;)

("Chuck" reference :)

Re:Gotta be that guy from the Buy More (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759314)

The funny thing is the post under yours refers to "flash" which is what Chuck does as a spy.

Flash version (2, Informative)

trACE666 (731643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759192)

For those too young or too old to remember, there is an almost authentic Flash version of the game available over at Atari. http://www.atari.com/arcade/arcade.php?game=asteroids [atari.com]

Re:Flash version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759304)

I reached an awesome 730 points before I got bored...

Damn you interwebs! My ability to concentrate has been ruined!

fight the chicks off (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759198)

I bet he has to fight the chicks off with a shitty stick.

And the failed attempt (3, Informative)

bigpistol (1311191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759334)

An Oregon man named Bill Carlton settled in for a marathon session in 2004, which ended in failure when his machine broke down after 27 hours of play. He had scored more than 15 million points, placing him 15th in the record books.

Oh dear lord - and I thought it was bad when my mouse packed in half way through a CS match!

Re:And the failed attempt (1)

bigpistol (1311191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759352)

Oh and yes, mouse packed in due to a number of sudden impacts with a table......we lost that game

Strategy. (5, Informative)

shippo (166521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759412)

The strategy behind the game is to clear the playfield of all bar a handful of small asteroids, and then wait for the flying saucers to appear. If you're moving fairly quickly up or down the screen you can avoid the saucers with practice. As the game awards 1000 for the small saucers and a bonus life every 10,000 points it's a somewhat easy task to rack up many extra lives. Once the last asteroid was eliminated, the game would restart, increasing the number of large asteroids at the start up to a limit of around 12.

Early versions of the game were even easier as broken game logic resulted in an area of the screen that rendered the player immune to attacks. There wasn't even any means for making the game harder by setting the game's dip-switches - these only controlled the initial number of lives and other sundry settings such as language and coin count. Suffice to say experienced players could easily play the games for hours at a time.

Atari later released Asteroids Deluxe which was somewhat harder. This included a second type of saucer that split into components which homed in on the player, as well as amendments to other parts of the game logic.

Defendor* of the planet! (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759452)

So who would you rather have defending us when an asteroid with our name comes around, him or Bruce Willis?

I think he's probably got better eye-hand coordination and his stamina... did he get bathroom breaks?

* deliberately misspelled like the movie which I haven't seen yet, is it any good?

Is that impressive? (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759602)

Once you master the basics, Asteroids is simply a game of endurance: Can you keep from falling asleep? And if you can, will the arcade cabinet you're playing on stay glitch-free and powered up for three days straight?

So it's incredibly easy to master the basics, and all you need to then do is keep from falling asleep and hope your lucky enough that the machine doesn't crash.

So you are saying this isn't a very impressive feat huh? It's definitely not a very interesting one.

Re:Is that impressive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759628)

...hope your lucky enough that the machine doesn't crash.

You've been working in Windows for too long - I can't say the old stand-up console machines crashed very often, if ever. Maybe a transient voltage spike or something.

Oh, and Slashdot editors? The submitter isn't the first to submit this story, so why does he get the credit? Just wondering.

Spheres of Chaos (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759604)

Spheres of Chaos [spheresofchaos.com] is the Asteroids clone I grew up with. There's now a freeware release for Windows and Linux.

This is no usual Asteriods family member, SoC is the difficult nephew. The one with all the good albums who stayed out late and got that girl into trouble back in school. Those particle effects? You can recognise the family traits as being present and correct, but somewhere in the past you can see some Minter has entered the bloodline.

For those unable to afford even the smallest portion of crack, Spheres of Chaos will dilate the pupil of your third eye and give you change from a fiver.

the life wraparound was the real problem (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31759622)

The real killer on Asteroids is the 8 bit life counter, meaning every couple of hours you'd suddenly find yourself with no spare ships. The rules we played forbade suicide to keep the ship count down, otherwise we could just have kept the lives at around 200 and stopped worrying.

On casual days, we'd rack up 240 lives or so, hand the game over to any passing stranger then take 50min off for lunch. The same game was always still going when we came back!

It really is a trivially easy game, so easy we had to invent rules to make it more challenging!

This might be newsworthy (2, Insightful)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759632)

if he beat the record set for the Tron arcade game...

National Lampoons Vacation (3, Funny)

RemoWilliams84 (1348761) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759756)

Cousin Dale: "Ya' got Asteroids?"
Rusty: "Naw, but my Dad does."

records (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759830)

Sometimes a record stands the test of time because none can approach it, other times it stands because nobody feels like bothering to try.

"High Score" Documentary which is about this (1)

SirStanley (95545) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759912)

There is a documentary called "High Score" it is about a guy named "Bill" who tried to get the high score on Missile Command and attempted Asteroids.

It's pretty interesting.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/135697/high-score [hulu.com]

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