Shamus VIC 20 two versions ?

History and Preservation Issues

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thecollector
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Shamus VIC 20 two versions ?

Postby thecollector » Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:52 pm

This is a question for VIC 20 aficionado's!

I thought I knew a fair bit about the VIC 20 and the gaming history, but it never ceases to surprise me!

Apparently the first port of the game Shamus for the VIC 20 was by Mac Senour, the 2nd port of the game was by Tom Griner.

I thought Tom Griner did the first and only port for the VIC 20, but clearly I am mistaken!

I found this on a retro gaming blog:
Mac, you’re truly a retro gaming legend. How did you get into the video game industry in the first place?
I answered a two line ad for a game programmer in 1982. The company was HES and I did the FIRST port of Shamus from the Atari 800 to the Vic-20. I say first because they published the second one done by someone else.

I have two copies of Shamus both with by Tom Griner on the label, and very soon I will have Shamus with by Mac Senor on the label.

I have no idea whether there are any differences with the ports, but I am assuming that if they were done by different programmers, then it is likely they are, unless Tom built his port from the Senour code ?

Anyone have any more information on this ?

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Re: Shamus VIC 20 two versions ?

Postby Ola H » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:12 pm

I have never heard about another version and find this extremely interesting. Please keep us posted!

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Mayhem
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Re: Shamus VIC 20 two versions ?

Postby Mayhem » Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:08 am

Yeah, not aware of this either, let us know what you find :)

EDIT: In fact I just ran into a Shamus auction on eBay that has "By Mac Senour" on the label...
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hasseapa
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Re: Shamus VIC 20 two versions ?

Postby hasseapa » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:33 am

I'm very curious too. If it's only half as good as the Griner version, it still must count as one of the best VIC-games.
Last edited by hasseapa on Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Shamus VIC 20 two versions ?

Postby Mayhem » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:45 am

What I suspect might be the case is that the game on all cartridges is the version by Tom Griner, but the labels weren't changed properly on the first run, and originally had Mac's name on them.
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thecollector
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Re: Shamus VIC 20 two versions ?

Postby thecollector » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:27 pm

We will know soon, because I will have the Shamus with Senour on the label for testing.

Will be interesting to see if Mayhem is right about this, because that could indeed be the case.

It may be that they were not happy with the original port, and then got Tom Griner to redo it, but Senour labelled carts were already printed ?

Will get back when I know more.

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Re: Shamus VIC 20 two versions ?

Postby Mayhem » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:09 am

Plot thickens slightly. I went to check my CIB copy of Shamus. Cart label has Tom Griner on it. However, the box has a black sticker on the front covering up something. I suspect the box originally said by Mac Senour on it heh. This isn't my box, and the size is pitiful, but you can hopefully see what I mean as this box has the same sticker: http://images.multiplayer.it/thumbs/ima ... 00_q85.jpg
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thecollector
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Re: Shamus VIC 20 two versions ?

Postby thecollector » Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:46 pm

Major Update!

I have managed to find and email the original programmer regarding this Mac Senour.

It is indeed true and therefore correct that Mac Senour did the first port of Shamus to the VIC 20, not Tom Grinner.

Mac researched the original Shamus, so his version would faithfully recreate Shamus on the VIC.

Unfortunately after about 3 days of intense programming, the game was lost due to disk corruption.

Therefore Mac Senour's version of the game was never published, but early copies of the game cartridges and boxes may have by Mac Senour on them.

So the first port is lost forever, a shame to say the least, but at least we now have an answer to the question.

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Re: Shamus VIC 20 two versions ?

Postby hasseapa » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:26 pm

Thanks a lot for your research! A shame indeed, but maybe a blessing in disguide considering the quality of Griner's version :?

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thecollector
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Re: Shamus VIC 20 two versions ?

Postby thecollector » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:35 am

Certainly Grinner's version is an excellent port and actually one of my favorite VIC 20 games.

However, we can't compare to the original port... so we will never know which was the better version...

But we should be thankful that the VIC had a version of Shamus considering what happened, after all, if the artwork and labels for the cartridges and boxes - were not already in production, perhaps they would of dropped it and moved on to something else... :shock:

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Re: Shamus VIC 20 two versions ?

Postby Mayhem » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:28 am

Strange he didn't want to restart, given it was only three days work, but maybe he lost the will to try again after what happened.
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Re: Shamus VIC 20 two versions ?

Postby thecollector » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:12 pm

Well I have the answer to that one!

Lets just say that due to what happened there were issues with management and a bit of a falling out.

and it pretty much went all down hill from there... with the bit of info that I have, basically I think they were rather nasty to say the least, instead of being understanding, and therefore Grinner ended up with the job to do the port.

This is a long time ago and in the past but I certainly get the impression that Mac has never forgotten the incident, because of how badly they handled it.

It is a shame, because a version of the game that was already in a playable state has been lost that we will never ever see.

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Re: Shamus VIC 20 two versions ?

Postby Kakemoms » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:19 am

This is a very interesting story, thought sad, it also says something about the poor management methods of the 80ies.
If the first author could have described his port, it would have been a great thing to recreate it. :mrgreen:

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Re: Shamus VIC 20 two versions ?

Postby Kweepa » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:56 pm

Three days' work doesn't seem like a lot.
I suspect there wasn't much in the original port.

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Re: Shamus VIC 20 two versions ?

Postby MacSenour » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:24 pm

It was the LAST 3 days of work. The game was complete. I will say not NEARLY as pretty as Tom's, but it was MUCH more faithful to the original. The original map had a glitch, and I mapped the glitch. I had worked for MONTHS and just needed to finish the last big boss. I was DONE, and the disk crashed taking it all away. I had backups, but missing the last 3-4 days and the deadline was the next morning. No time to recreate the lost code. HES thought I was lying and gave me no extra time.


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