Chunkout 2600: the background
In May 2009 the idea for Chunkout 2600 was born after Josh Byerly contacted me saying that he had been in discussions with Rick Weis about the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, and Rick had made a comment about whether it would be possible to get a copy of Chunkout made for the Atari 2600. While I hadn’t really delved too deeply into the 2600 architecture in the past, the familiarity of the 6502 CPU from coding on the NES kickstarted the learning process nicely.
With some help from Rick and Josh to obtain some hardware for testing, I soon had a working demo that was up and running on a real 2600 with a ROM cart that I built. With playtesting coming along quickly, the final version of the game was complete by July, ready for cartridge building. At the same time as development of the game was wrapping up, development of the complete package was underway including the manual and box art. The idea behind this release was to create something authentic from the late 70s or early 80s, like the first games released with the Atari 2600. We are hoping that with special touches like a detailed backstory in the manual, packed in warranty card, pilot’s dogtag and more, that the boxed version of Chunkout 2600 will be a great item in any Atari collector’s collection.
- Rick Weis – Production support
- Jon Rose – Manual design and story
- David Fiondella – Original Artwork
- Josh Byerly – Project support
Chunkout 2600 went on sale at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo on the 20th of September 2009.
Copies of Chunkout 2600 are now available over on AtariAge.
Chunkout 2600: the storyline
While each of the Chunkout games I have designed in the past didn’t have a storyline as they were in essence an abstract puzzle game, the history of the Atari 2600 platform showed that you didn’t need fancy graphics to draw someone into imagining the context and environment of the game they were playing. I really wanted to play on the popularity of Space themed games in the late 1970s around the time the 2600 was launched (think Space Invaders, Asteroids, Yars Revenge etc) and with the help of Jon Rose, Chunkout 2600 gained the backstory worthy of an Atari original.
Exerpt from the back of the box:
Those evil Xotec are at it again, and this time, only you can save the peaceful planet of Zarilon from certain destruction! Equipped with the latest Atari Z2PA Advanced Calculation Computer, you must break through the Xotec Homeworld’s dangerous Pulsar Fields, and take them down, piece by piece. It won’t be easy. Aim your mining laser and fire! The colors disappear as you go. One wrong move and Zarilon is doomed! The Pulsar Fields get tougher the farther you go in. Do you have what it takes? Join the Zarilon Defense forces and find out! Only on Chunkout, for Atari Video Computer Systems
Chunkout 2600: The Packaging
Complete Box package (note that a cartridge + manual version was also sold)
Chunkout 2600: The screenshots