Ballblazer is a one-on-one soccer match set in the future and originally developed for the Atari
800 and 5200. You control a rotofoil and try to snare a floating ball called a Plasmorb, which can then be fired
or carried into the opponent's goal. You play on a simple 3D playfield, watching a split-screen first person point
of view from both rotofoils (yours and your opponent's). Play against a computer-controlled droid rotofoil or a
rotofoil controlled by a human player.
Feel free to watch this video, but please do not download or re-distribute it.
From the game manual:Ballblazer was created by the Lucasfilm Computer Division
David Levine created the concept, directed the project, and
designed and implemented the screen graphics, physical dynamics, control structures, and mainline program. Peter
Langston, the Games Group Leader, designed and implemented
the sound effects and practice Droid intelligence, composed and programmed the music, and helped devise the game-play
mechanisms and strategy. David
Riordan and Garry
Hare of Search and Design contributed game design elements and
game rules. Charlie Kellner helped conceptualize game
dynamics. Ideas and support were provided by other members of the Games Group: David
Fox provided aesthetic support and Gary
Winnick contributed to the Rotofoil design. Special
thanks to George Lucas.
View the box photos, download the ROM image, read reviews here
At the press conference in 1984 where this video was first shown, the idea was
to present only imagery captured directly from the game. We felt our first two games were breathrough enough that
we didn't need any special effects, and indeed, we were concerned that if anything on the screen was created outside
the game, people might think everything was. That's why we chose to show a blank
screen for the first minute and fifty seconds rather than creating any non-game imagery.
Sound was a different matter, though. While all the sound effects
and music were from the games, personal computers of the early 1980s were not powerful enough to do voice (other
than maybe a word or two).
To prepare this video, first a script was written with all the dialog and scene descriptions. Dialog was recorded
at Robert Berke Sound in San Francisco using professional voice-over actors. Then the video was captured to tape
directly from an Atari 800 computer. The video and the voice were then edited together, and a few video transitions
added between scenes. The only part of the video that was not from the Atari is the "Lazer Light" commercial
and the end sequence.
Are you having trouble streaming the video? Here are some things to try:
If there's only a black screen after the Lucasfilm Logo plays in the beginning, that's ok. The first minute
and 50 seconds uses only a black screen and sound. This is how the original video was created to avoid confusing
the audience by adding non-game originated imagery.