[Coladam] A look at NIAD Newsletter

Steve Pitman swp at cinci.rr.com
Mon Feb 22 03:00:53 CET 2010

The early ones were Smartbasic programs with some machine code.  Later games 
like Robothief and Adam Bomb 2 are 100% machine code.

For Adam Bomb 2, I used Smartbasic as my work enviroment when writing it 
early on,  I would work on a module and put the code into DATA statements 
and use Smartbasic to poke them into memory,  once that part of my code was 
tested and I was happy with it I then saved that section of memory to a 
binary file, deleted the Smartbasic program and began on the next module. 
Eventually I ended up with like 50 machine code files that were all parts of 
Adam Bomb 2.  Eventually memory got full to the point where I had to ditch 
Smartbasic alltogether so I wrote a utility that would load all my code into 
memory, including the stuff that would reside in the 64k expander (graphics, 
text, etc..) and it allowed me to edit/write code directly into memory and 
then execute it.  it was a scary thing to do, I saved often  :)

That covers the coding part of Adam Bomb 2,  as for the graphics I made a 
game editor,  it allowed me to scroll around the world in Adam Bomb 2, I 
think the game covers 180 screens...  and with the editor I could place a 
rock, tree, item, person, etc... anywhere I wanted to.  I could click on an 
object and a small paint window would pop up so I could modify the object. 
I could click on a person and another window would appear that allowing me 
to enter data for that person, his name, the text that he would say, any 
objects that he would give you, etc. it also had diagnostics that would 
check all the screens for errors, for example... making sure that you don't 
walk off one screen and end up in the middle of a tree on the next screen, 
and it would keep track of items,  there was no way I wanted to manually 
scroll through 180 screens counting things like people or crystals, lol. 
Everything you see in Adam Bomb 2 was done with this tool, fonts, sprites, 
etc...    I spent over a year making this tool and Adam Bomb 2,  my idea was 
that I could easily use it to produce future sequels in a fraction of the 
time that Adam Bomb 2 took me, and with almost no new coding required. 
Well, that was my plan at the time...

I started "Adam Bomb 3: the RPG" shortly after but didn't go very far with 
it. It was to be similar to Adam Bomb 2 (built with my same game editor) but 
included monster battles (like the typical Dragon Warrior or Final Fantasy 
turn based battles), My idea was to distribute this small "monster maker" 
Smartbasic program that I wrote and people could use it to paint a creature, 
set all the stats and then send me the file.  I would take the files that 
people submitted and add the monsters to the Adam Bomb 3 game and return the 
favor with a free copy of the game when it was finished.  This would have 
been a blast several years earlier, there are some very creative people out 
there, no telling what they would have came up with,  but two things stopped 
me from finishing that project....  the fact that it would have required 
more than 64k of expansion ram (which some people didn't have) and also by 
that point I didn't think that there would be more than a few people left 
who would be playing it.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Daniel Bienvenu" <newcoleco at yahoo.fr>
To: <coladam at adamcon.org>
Sent: Sunday, February 21, 2010 3:21 AM
Subject: Re: [Coladam] A look at NIAD Newsletter

Nice to meet you, Steve Pitman

Well, I'm kinda happy of poorly introducting the subject of NIAD 
newsletters, otherwise I'll have missed the opportunity to get a reaction of 
people I did heard about but never talked to.

For those who may not know, and I think I may be the only one actually, 
Steve Pitman is the author of several cool ADAM games like the one and only 
ADAM BOMB I've heard about during years by ADAMCon members. If there is a 
walkthrough or hints somewhere...

If you can tell me how you did your games, I would like to know.


--- En date de : Dim 21.2.10, Steve Pitman <swp at cinci.rr.com> a écrit :

> De: Steve Pitman <swp at cinci.rr.com>
> Objet: Re: [Coladam] A look at NIAD Newsletter
> À: "Jim Notini" <jnoti2 at comcast.net>, coladam at adamcon.org
> Date: Dimanche 21 février 2010, 2h25
> Yeah, definitely no piracy with NIAD,
> they were one of the most trustworthy
> businesses that I have ever dealt with. I wish I
> could say that about all
> of the Adam related businesses but unfortunately there were
> a couple of
> dishonest ones. I received regular orders or payments
> from NIAD for years
> but there were a couple of other major Adam retailers that
> I received
> nothing from, except disappointment when some people
> registered their
> software with me and I found that they were sold copies
> with non-existent
> serial numbers (back when I was doing the duplication
> myself and had serial
> numbers). I not a very religious person either but thank
> god for NIAD, it
> was refreshing to see that some businesses truly did care
> about the Adam.
> There were a lot of people upset with Solomon Swift back
> then (Digital
> Express, Nibbles & Bits, Phoenix 2000, etc...), I
> don't know all the
> stories but I personally never had a problem with
> him. I was shocked when
> he contacted me awhile after he disappeared from the Adam
> scene just to pay
> me what he owed me, I never expected that.
> Developing software for the Adam was never about the money
> though, I was
> making games for the fun of it, games that I wanted to play
> and I was glad
> that some other people found them entertaining as well, at
> least some of
> them... I now fully understand now why nobody was
> able to get the hang of
> Robothief, it's incredibly difficult! back then
> I had so much experience
> from playing it for those several months that I spent
> writing it that I
> really didn't think it was hard, it actually seemed
> easy to me back then...
> but I played it recently and holy
> cow!! what was I thinking? I can't
> get
> past the first few levels! lol
> hey, I most likely hold the record for
> the most difficult piece of software ever written for the
> Adam, ha ha!
> Oh well, just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents :)
> See Ya
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Jim Notini" <jnoti2 at comcast.net>
> To: <coladam at adamcon.org>
> Sent: Saturday, February 20, 2010 7:32 PM
> Subject: [Coladam] A look at NIAD Newsletter
> > Daniel,
> >
> > Let me first start by introducing myself. My name is
> Jim Notini and I
> > worked for Lyle Marschand at his computer store where
> NIAD was also
> > operated from 1988-2002. Shortly after starting work
> for Lyle, I gradually
> > assumed more and more of the duties of NIAD's
> operation from tech support,
> > running the mail order, writing articles for the
> newsletter, etc., etc.
> > and then finally becoming the editor of the
> newsletter. Lyle took a back
> > seat rather quickly once I came onboard... this is by
> no means a knock on
> > Lyle as he had started NIAD all by himself in 1984 and
> spent countless
> > hours building it up into the success that it became
> (with the help of
> > many others who will go unnamed here) all the while
> working a full-time
> > job and raising a family, etc.
> >
> > Before I get into the main subject, let me thank you
> for your continued
> > support of the ColecoVision. I have really enjoyed
> your titles and thank
> > you for making them available in ROM format to be used
> with an Coleco/ADAM
> > emulator.
> >
> > I saw your post regarding the NIAD Newsletter and wish
> to clearify a
> > couple of points you made.
> >
> > First, Lyle was a born-again Christian and everything
> he did and said was
> > based on those principals of Christianity. I
> personally didn't like the
> > inclusion of this in the newsletter that was about a
> computer (especially
> > since I'm not a very religious person) , but it was
> his business.
> >
> > As far as your misconceptions to the ADAM Software
> that was being sold by
> > NIAD... there was no PIRACY going on unlike what your
> message might infer.
> > The software titles that started with the name NIAD
> Public Domain.....
> > were just that, freeware programs for SmartBASIC,
> SmartLOGO, CP/M,
> > Graphics, Coleco Unreleased software, etc., etc. Other
> titles listed in
> > the Product List were either distributed by NIAD
> through agreement with
> > the author, bought in bulk from other ADAM retailers
> of the time or bought
> > in bulk from the actual software designer. So even
> though NIAD doesn't
> > exist anymore, please exercise a little caution as to
> how you phrase your
> > posts.
> >
> > As far as the ADAMcon dates, the only thing I can
> think of is that you
> > have a copy of a NIAD issue that was hand-typed into a
> computer by someone
> > and the dates were entered wrong. If your in
> possession of the actual
> > printed newsletter or one that's been digitally
> copied, then I guess it's
> > simple a typing error on the part of the person that
> entered the text for
> > the newsletter. I should know cause I was at ADAMcon
> 01 in Orlando, FL -
> > 1988!
> >
> > On a different note, I have been working with Joe
> Blenkle to organize as
> > complete a collection of ColecoVision & ADAM
> software to be used with
> > emulators or transferred back to ADAM media to be used
> on the real thing.
> > Check out Joe's website for a listing with
> pictures. Also, Steve Pitman
> > (the author of many great ADAM games like ADAM Bomb 2
> and of course
> > Virtual ADAM for Windows) is working on scanning a lot
> of the user's group
> > newsletters into PDF files. Contact Joe for info on
> how to get access to
> > all this stuff we've been compiling, he's on the
> list.
> >
> > Jim Notini
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Coladam mailing list
> > Coladam at adamcon.org
> > http://adamcon.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/coladam
> _______________________________________________
> Coladam mailing list
> Coladam at adamcon.org
> http://adamcon.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/coladam

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