Electric Eggplant

ballblazer
video from 1984 press conference

After the Lucasfilm Games logo,
there will be black screen and SOUND ONLY for one minute 50 seconds.

This video was first shown at the Lucasfilm Games press conference on May 9, 1984 to introduce their first two games, Rescue on Fractalus! and Ballblazer.

About the Game

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.

© 1984-2014 Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. All rights reserved.
COURTESY OF LUCASARTS, a division of LUCASFILM ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY LTD.

Credits

The Lucasfilm Games GroupFrom the game manual: Ballblazer was created by the Lucasfilm Computer Division Games Group. 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.

Additional Links

About the Video

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.

Video Director: Laurie Bauman Arnold
Encoded for the Web: David Fox
Audio Recording Engineer/Mixer: Mark Escott
Voice Talent:
   
 Slan Sterling – Bob Sarlatte
    Arboster Kipling – Rick Cimino
    Lazer Lite Announcer – Laurie Bauman Arnold

Technical Problems

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.

Contact Information

  David Fox - www.ElectricEggplant.com
  LucasArts - www.LucasArts.com