————–Future ideas to explore——————–

TBA- Random Robot Generator

  • Using the stacked image above, how does the random robot generator work?
  • ALAN MCNEIL REPLY-

TBA- Nobody is Home!  Was the “Empty Room” by design or a facet of the Random Robot Generator?

  • This Youtube clip shows the path to reach the elusive empty room
  • ALAN MCNEIL REPLY-

TBA- You lose!

At the 39,180 point mark in this Youtube clip we see the Human get in a “no win” situation.  Avoiding being hit by” highspeed angle shots” is a situation that only a tiny fraction of players can manage.

  • Is this type of setup a facet of unlucky random robot generation or was there a skew put in the randomization to help place robots at those “perfect” angles?
  • ALAN MCNEIL REPLY-

BerzerkSlicedStart

TBA- Keeping Secrets

  • Did you ever think about putting in a secret room, like was done in the Atari 2600 Adventure game?
  • ALAN MCNEIL REPLY-

TBA- Slow Bullets vs Fast Bullets

  • In the day of the internet and MAME, Berzerk players can enjoy both the Fast and Slow versions of Berzerk.
  • Is there any more to the “gameplay aspect” of switching Berzerk from the Slow to Fast iteration of the design, beyond needing to optimize the code for Cocktail versions? 
  • ALAN MCNEIL REPLY-

TBA- Redemption and a good comeback story.  And a design wishlist

  • One addictive characteristic of Defender and Robotron (and Frenzy!) is the ability to recover from utter failure, through generous ability to earn bonus points and extra lives.
  • Have you ever thought about revisiting the Slow Bullets design and adding some elements of depth since gameplay is no longer driven by “pennies-per-minute” profits?  Adding continual bonus men and progressively increasing robot difficulty
  • ALAN MCNEIL REPLY-

 

  • Author’s wishlist- I have a vision that slow bullets could be “spiced up” by adding bonus lives every so often, and every 5k increasing the robot difficulty to match the robots seen in Fast Bullets.  It would add an element of redemption along with a ceiling of brutal difficulty due to a fast Otto and fast robots. Would that be contrary to your design vision of the game?
  • It seems that the slow bullet version with a fast Evil Otto gives the player the full spectrum experience of the design intentions of the game.   It is a superb experience, but the games can become lengthy in time.
  • Fast bullets seems to be a full-on sensory onslaught which is dependent on surviving the first split-seconds of the maze start.  But it lacks the sense of overwhelming urgency of being chased by Evil Otto (which later became the main element of endless running games like Temple Run).  It also doesn’t allow a novice player to explore the core strategies of survival in a maze, like learning to take angle shots at robots.

TBA- Psychological awareness of the paying customer:

Now that we can look back 30 years upon the “Golden age of video games” it is evident that Berzerk stands atop the pinnacle of greatest classics, which is a very small precipice! (ie Robotron, Defender, Pacman, Donkey Kong, Asteroids, Space Invaders)

  • It is also evident that there was a clear striation in psychological profiles that were drawn to specific types of games.  Most notable is the “perception” that Pacman and Centipede helped draw female customers to gaming.
  • Berzerk, like Robotron, seems to be well-suited to science/math brained thinkers that love to seek out pattern and order in the problem solving process.
  • At the time of development were you aware of this type of psychological marketing analysis, or were you just having fun creating an exciting figment of your imagination?
  • ALAN MCNEIL REPLY-

TBA- The voice of angels…errrrr….robots-

  • Was this purely electronic speech generation or any human voice soundbytes (ie like Steve Ritchie’s use of soundbytes in Black Knight pinball)?
  • A German version of speech has been discovered, was this generated by the same Speech Synthesis program as the original English design? (in how many different countries was Berzerk released by Stern?)
  • Sean R- I don’t know about speech, but the text for things like Insert Coin, Press
    Start, High Scores is in English, French, German and Spanish.  MAME source code
    also shows those as DIP switch settings.
  • ALAN MCNEIL REPLY-

TBA- How many months did it take to produce Berzerk, from the first ideas jotted down to the first production machine?

  • ALAN MCNEIL REPLY-

TBA- No Neck! In the attract screen we see the Human survive a shot through the neck.

  • Was that an intended survival strategy or a clever design element?
  • ALAN MCNEIL REPLY-

TBA- Considering each byte of space was precious, how were the gameplay re-enactments of the attract mode crafted or scripted?

  • ALAN MCNEIL REPLY-

TBA- Pop Culture icon?

  • Thought I saw an early trailer with a Berzerk robot but haven’t located it yet?
  • I also recall seeing reference to a dumb berzerk robot in cartoons, possibly” adult swim?” but can’t find it on google search
  • Over the years anyone ever contact you during the development process of any movies or pop culture references to your wonderfully classic Robots and their devilish smiling leader, Otto?

TBA- 1982’s Atari hero Pitfall Harry and The Humanoid have some similar design characteristics?

  • Have you ever had the opportunity to converse with David Crane about game design?
  • I can’t find any online interview references to David Crane speaking about Berzerk’s influence on Pitfall, but it seems logical that he would have been aware of Berzerk and been affected by the concept of a simplified running man in a maze environment?
  • ALAN MCNEIL REPLY-

TBA- “I got a fair amount of respect from the engineers because I…even passed their 3 trick questions for electrical engineers test.”

  • What were those 3 questions, incase the general public ever runs across such a group?
  • I envision that the 3 questions don’t have proper answers, instead you had to reprogram the context of the exercise, much like Captain Kirk during his Starfleet training…


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