I am Tommy Tallarico - CEO of Intellivision & creator of a brand new video game platform. 30yr game industry veteran, Guinness World Record holder, video game composer, contributor to 350+ games, Video Games Live tour creator, host & co-pr...
Yo! Can you believe it's been five years since my last AMA? I can’t! I’m happy to be back, answering any and all of your questions!
So what’s been going on? My life over the last few years has been consumed by bringing a vision to life -- a vision of bringing people together again, having fun playing video games the way it used to be. A “who’s who” roster of industry all stars (AMA about them!) and I are creating a new video game console called Amico. We have built an AMAZING team of people across so many disciplines, and I’m excited to share what we have been working on!!!
This whole adventure started when we watched a rift in the video game industry grow wider and wider. Simple, social, couch co-op gaming has taken a backseat to extreme graphics, complex controls, and expensive hardware. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that, I’m one of those gamers, but we have excluded so many people from gaming by creating these huge barriers to entry. Growing up, almost anyone was able to pick up a controller and play games together -- it was more like a board game experience and you didn’t have to be hard core to enjoy it. Many of us played video games with not only friends, but parents and even grandparents! This is what we are all about, we want to bring people together to enjoy games together again!
Looking forward to answering your questions about Amico, video game music, how many quarters it took as a kid for me to eventually earn a world record for playing video games as an adult...or anything else on your mind! AMA!
Check out the Amico here: https://www.intellivisionamico.com/
Check out my full bio here: https://www.tallarico.com/bio
Hi! Yes! Eventually we will be making most of the original Intellivision games available on the Amico. We intend on selling them in packs. For example... we may have an original Intellivision SPORTS pack which includes Baseball, Football, Hockey, Soccer, Bowling, Boxing & Basketball and sell it for around $6.99 - $7.99. So you would be paying around .99 cents per game (just as an example). And the cool thing would be that you wouldn't need to put the overlays in! They would show up digitally on the color touchscreen on the controller! :)
We won't be doing those until further into 2021. The reason being is that we need to establish Amico as it's own new platform and we don't want people to think it's just some kind of retro box or Intellivision mini, flashback, plug & play, etc. Super important that folks understand this is a BRAND NEW console... but with an incredible legacy company/name and old school mentalities when it comes to game design and everything else!
I have been a fan of yours since Judgement Day was airing on G4, and I've been to VGL few times now.
What are some recent games you have played and really enjoyed?
Hi! Thanks for the question! It would sound totally biased if I mentioned ALL of the games I've been working on and designing for Amico... so I won't go there! (even though it's the truth) Hahhahaha! :)
I'm a big Formula One fan so I've been playing a lot of that lately (on my PS4).
Awesome! Thanks for the mostly non-biased answer lol.
(Also just want to say you still need to work Persona and NieR into VGL... just saying ;) )
We actually did NieR on my Video Games Live: LEVEL 6 album! Check it out on Spotify, YouTube, Amazon, etc.! Here's the YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mq6W1FfJwM
Hey Tommy, hope you are doing well and staying healthy. Founders Edition buyer here, excited for October. Do you have any ‘Treasure Of Tarmin’ - like RPG’s in the works? If not, are there any other RPG style games planned?
Thanks for the question and support! You probably saw the AD&D Cloudy Mountain looking game in our last big gameplay trailer: https://youtu.be/4R2CRuQNBzk
We're are currently looking for a proper type RPG and have been speaking to a few indie developers. If you know of any indie projects on Steam or Switch or Mobile that you think would be a great fit for Amico... please let us know. We don't mind taking games that are currently released and spending a ton of money to upgrading them for our controller & console to make them super unique. Imagine how cool an RPG would be with a color touchscreen and motion controls!! You could make potions, cast spells, etc.
Great question, I saw some previews for Cloudy Mountain (aka Crown of Kings) but Tarmin would be great to chew on!
Yeah! Loved Tarmin on the original as well!
Hi Tommy. Back when we ordered the T-shirts, we received a RFID "golden ticket"...when can we use them?
GREAT question and I'm glad someone asked it! We expected to start that program in February... but the whole virus thing has us behind on that as we've had to pull the internal resources on to other things as we complete the hardware. The idea is that we are going to give away some cool prizes each month by having everyone tap the RFID on to their phones (make sure to check out and download the Amico Club app available for both Apple IOS & Android). So to make up for the delay. Instead of doing it one a month... we'll do it once a week when we get it going... to make up for the lost time. Hoping to start that up by the end of April or early May. Will also be updating the Moon Patrol demo in Amico Club too! A full and complete level coming and the ability to log your high score! Just a little bit of fun for everyone. :)
Hey Tommy, Jason here, EIC over at CheatCC.com. Appreciate you doing this AMA. It’s a welcome distraction for sure! I was hoping you could update us on what to expect from the next Earthworm Jim on the Amico (which was a staple of my good ole' 16-bit days). Thanks brotha!
Hi Jason! We showed a little sneak peak of an Earthworm Jim run animation on our YouTube page. Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaogPd_Eu40
When the original team created EWJ we had so many things we wanted to do but were unable because of the technology of the Sega Genesis & Super Nintendo. We have literally been waiting over 25 years to get the team back together and create something really special that ONLY the Intellivision Amico controllers can pull off! Things like everyone having their own screen on their controllers, motion, speaker, microphone, lights on the controller and the base unit, etc., etc. We'll be combining platform elements along with a TON of new and funny gameplay that has never been done before. We're all super excited about it.
We always started with the JOKE first... and then built the gameplay or level around it. This time is no different! Fans of Earthworm Jim are really going to be blown away. Currently on schedule for Christmas/Holiday 2021.
Heya Tommy, thanks for doing this.
Can you tell us if there's any updates on licensing for Tron and Dungeons&Dragons titles?
In the works! Nothing official just let. WE GOTTA GET TROOOOOOOOON!!!!!!!!! :)
When do we see first footage of Earthworm Jim für Amico?
We showed off a little bit of animation here on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/CaogPd_Eu40
But the first playable and demo of the game will probably be next summer (about a year from now). Although expect some things to be shown every few months until then. :)
Will controllers for Amico be available at launch separately? What RRP?
Yes! We will sell them individually or in a 2 pack (which would also include a charging base). We don't know the retail prices for those just yet. I'd LOVE to keep them in the $39 - $49 range if at all possible. Still lots of pricing issues going on because of Coronavirus... so we'll need to wait and see where we're going to fall.
Official Switch Joy-Con's are an additional $80 and an XBOX Elite controller goes for $180!! Yikes!!
Hi, Tommy. What is the differentiator for Amico? How do you you see the Intellivision console competing in a marketplace that seems dominated by major market players? Is there a way to evolve the system toward innovation, kind of like Stadia has?
Our differentiators are that EVERY game is single player AND couch co-op. Every game is family friendly (no Teen or Mature rated games)... but the BIGGEST I feel is that ANYONE (no matter what your skill level) can easily pick up a controller and play and compete right away! No complex menu screens or controls or 30 minute firmware updates each time you turn the machine on, etc. The Wii accomplished this 14 years ago.... we are going to bring that kind of vibe back... except we're really focused on every game being for family and friends! We are very different from the big 3 and don't feel they are competition at all because we are focused on an entirely different market and "player".
If you add up all of the "hardcore gamers" in the world (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Google, PC/Mac) it's about 200 million people. Yet approximately 3 BILLION folks are playing casual and mobile (but they are playing it by themselves!). We appeal to those 3 BILLION folks more than the 200 Million hardcores. Although I know that once the hardcores play Amico... they will love it as well... but for different reasons. I don't think a hardcore will buy Amico over a PS5... but they may have it as their 2nd console because its so different and they'll be able to use it to play with all their non-gaming or casual friends & family. :)
I really liked Intellivision INTV “Tower of Doom.“ Is there Any chance of this one showing up for the Amico?
Heck yeah! It's definitely on our future "to do" list!
Hi Tommy, This is great! Thank you for doing this AMA. What was the deciding factor for you to create the Amico console?
Hi! Thanks for the question! There wasn't a way I could play anything new with my mom or dad or any friends & family that weren't gamers. I saw the frustration that most casual and non-gamers have when it comes to modern consoles and I thought it was a shame that SO MANY people are being turned off and away from video games because the platforms and games aren't built for them. I was also frustrated that all the hyper-casual and edutainment for kids is all on mobile and it's all SOLITARY!! It seems like technology has been driving families APART in the 21st century. Everyone on their phones and doing something else... even though they are in the same room together. Wouldn't it be GREAT if we could use technology to bring people together! That is my biggest goal! ENTER... Intellivision Amico! :)
Do you see a Tarmin reboot for the Amico? Hands down my favorite game growing up. Thanks
Something that is on our "to do" list for sure!
Will the "shifty-eyed" dealer make a return on the Amico?
Hells yeah!! :)
Although a lot of folks have been falling in love with Puffy from Shark! Shark! You can check him out here: https://youtu.be/Nh6NSLwmamQ?t=46
Tommy -- when is the next Judgment Day Mafia meetup? - Don Bubbles
But really, what plans are in the mix to combine your love for baseball with the Amico? I was surprised I didn't see any baseball games in the launch trailer.
Hahahha! Yo Don Bubbles! It's been YEARS!! Maybe even DECADES! Wow!! Hope you're doing great!
We have something SUPER SPECIAL planned around Baseball. You'll be hearing more by the end of this month... and then SEEING something big in July! Timing is everything and everyone is going to be very impressed with what we have lined up and what we're announcing. A lot of upcoming "mic drop" moments on the horizon!! :)
How long does it take to create the games for amico ?
Great question! It could take anywhere from 6 - 18 months with a team of anywhere from 5 - 10 people (plus 4 - 6 people at Intellivision as well). I would say the average is probably around 9 - 10 months.
That awesome shiny pink purple amico, when and where can I get it, because I need it!?
Hahaha! Yeah... that's been a super popular one! That will be a retail exclusive with one of our retail partners. We will hopefully be announcing that within the next 2 - 3 months. Make sure to sign up to our mailing list at: IntellivisionAmico.com to get the news and info first! :)
Will I be able to purchase Amico software gift certificates for my Amico owning friends?
Heck yeah! And the great thing is that because we have built in RFID... they'll just need to TAP it right on the console. No more inputting a 32 alpha numeric code on a stupid joystick or dpad. Don't ya hate that! :)
Hi Tommy! I’ve been a big fan of yours for 20 years and I’m always so happy to see you continuing your work in the industry. When will the next Gamer Warz come out?
Hahahha! My finest work on film. :D We all gotta bug the Mega64 guys!! Lets all hit them up on Twitter and DEMAND that we start production on Gamer Warz 6! :)
What is your all-time favourite game and why? (Aerosmith Rock Band doesn't count ;p)
Hahaha! Okay... fine. ;) In fact I won't mention any Intellivision games or any of the games I worked on (Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Metroid Prime, Earthworm Jim, Disney's Aladdin, Madden Football, Sonic, Spider-Man, etc.) Oops... just did. :)
Probably Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo. The first Red Dead Redemption would be up there along with games like Beyond Good & Evil, Shadow of the Colossus and Metal Gear Solid (PS1).
What are the chances that we'll see Atari's Gauntlet on the Amico? That was such a memorable multi-player game from the 80s :)
Atari doesn't own Gauntlet anymore. Midway had the rights and now I believe those are all owned by Warner Bros.
WB LOVES what we're doing and is really excited about working with us. I would say the chances are VERY HIGH that the ultimate couch co-op game Gauntlet will make it to Amico at some point! :)
I second that. "Gauntlet" on the Amico with multiple players in couch play would be awesome. "Your wizard needs food badly!" coming out of your controller…
Yo, Tommy! I'm a big fan of video games, music, and stand up. How'd you feel about Aziz Ansari referring to you in his stand up?
Yo! Hahahhaa! Yeah... that was actually pretty cool and a big honor! His little brother was a big fan of mine at the time (as mentioned in the stand up routine) and that was before Aziz hit it big. For anyone reading this wondering what he is referring to... here's the Aziz Ansari standup routine where he talks about me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxSkxxqhpVg
I was wondering, with all this pandemic and the fact that the systems are being built in China (like everything electronic), do you see anything affecting the delivery of the Amico, such as the Delivery date, Number of units built/sold, the Price point, ...etc?
Great question. Yes. Absolutely. It has already affected the amount of units we are able to produce for this year (so make sure if you're at all interested to PLEASE pre-order now at IntellivisionAmico.com ! We won't be able to make as many as we'd like (and that have been ordered by our retail partners around the world and it has affected the price point in 2020 a bit as well. We were hoping to keep the price around $199 - 229 but because of the scarcity and price hiking on everything (components, memory, etc.) the initial price will probably be $249 for the black or white units and $279 for the Vintage Woodgrain (only available directly through us via our website). Our goal would be to get the price point down closer to the $200 range ASAP, but our incredible pre-order success has proven that early adapters aren't turned off by the current $249 price. But again... we need to get it closer to $200 for the real BOOM to happen! :)
As of today... April 6, 2020 we are still on track to launch a limited number by 10.10.2020. Our "tooling" phase has already started. But if this pandemic starts to move into May... that release date could be in jeopardy. We will know a LOT more as soon as the planet resides back to normal. Hopefully this will all be over by the end of April and not the end of May or into June. :(
Tommy, what are you going to do to make sure that Amico is listed on product comparison matrices like in Consumer Reports and major newspapers when holiday shopping time comes around? I'm worried that the media will only acknowledge the big guys.
Hi! No need to worry! We have a TON of incredible marketing and partnerships in place that will put us right in the conversations with everyone else! Our "Go To Market" strategy is very different (and more grassroots) than the "big 3". But because of who we are and what our goals/mission is (bringing families & friends TOGETHER AGAIN) and our unique partnerships... we're able to do things that the others can't in terms of marketing and partnerships!
We're also doing really cool things like partnering and sponsoring things like the Mom 2.0 Summit. It's multi-day event/conference where all the top "mom influencers" get together! You can read more about it here: https://mom2.com/official-sponsor-intellivision-entertainment/
Does Intellvision have a plan to balance it's software categories for future content releases or will it most likely target whatever is driving the most software sales?
Right now our software categories are split into 5 (20% each). Those categories are...
Original IP's (new games no one has ever seen or played)
If we see that certain categories are MUCH MORE purchased and liked by the audience who is buying the machine... then we would definitely "adjust" those percentages if needed. But our initial general rule is to try and get 20% of each of those on the machine at launch. From there... we are fine to adjust if needed.
I heard some Amico games would have physical versions. I was wanting to know more about that. Are there discs? Carts? Digital codes? Will there be manuals too?
Great question! We'll be revealing all of that info sometime in June or July. Lots of cool things to announce! I wish I could tell you more, but we are still finalizing partnerships as well as pending patents. I can tell you this though... it's gonna be SUPER COOL and very unique!!! And there won't just be one type of media... there will be multiple things. :)
Is there an updated Thunder Castle in the works?
Not currently... but there WILL be!! :)
I've seen some rumours that Lock'n'Chase could come to Amico. As the current World Record holder for the Intellivision Lock'n'Chase, I am excited to hear if we really might see a version on Amico. Is it true? I need to know if I should start training to defend my title.
Oh wow!! Thanks for stopping by and CONGRATS!! What is the high score and record??
Yes! We have it on our "to do" list but haven't started it just yet. When we do... we will DEFINITELY need to get you involved with helping us test, produce and create it!
Any plans for party games? I need some family game night fuel! Also, can you ship to my house NOW?????! Going quarantine crazy :D
Hahahaha! Yep! We have a TON of party games! In fact... EVERY game we do has some kind of couch co-op mode for anywhere from 4 - 8 players! Most of them are playable no matter what the skill level is of the player! Our motto is TOGETHER AGAIN. That is exactly our #1 goal!
The impact Amico can have on the games industry is enormous. Are you at all afraid that other companies may look at Intellivision's success, copy the model, throw more money at it than you can and sideline you somewhere down the line?
Great question! Haven't been asked that one a lot! Thanks.
They won't be able to do that initially... and by the time they do... we would have already been established. It takes a LOT of time and money to do something like this. It's not a one or two year project.. even if you had all the money in the world. We will easily have a 3 year start on anyone looking to knock us off... and by then... we will already be established.
We also don't believe someone like Sony & Microsoft are interested in straying from their technology first vision. They aren't going to pivot and are already trapped into the next 7 year cycle. Nintendo has always danced to the beat of their own drum and they will always do something cool and unique and don't really care what others are doing. Consider this... out of all the people who play video games in the world... only about 7% of them play on home consoles! So I believe there is room in the marketplace for more players. Especially for a simple, affordable family entertainment system that anyone can pick up and play. And if some big outside industry player wanted to dive in (Facebook, Amazon, Disney, Samsung, Viacom, WB, Universal, Paramount, etc.) it would be easier for them to just acquire us as opposed to building something themselves from scratch.
So my question is about the FE edition will you (Tommy) be numbering them in the order that we reserved them. Example if your order # was say 25 will it say #25 and your signature?
Hi Pete! That sounds like a logistics nightmare! Hahhaa! :) I'm not sure how we will be numbering them. Not sure if it's random or if it will match the order in which they were received. I do know that every box will be opened (see what I did there!) and I will personally be hand numbering and signing all 2,600! PHEW!!!
What was it like working on the classic game Color A Dinosaur?
It was the greatest and most rewarding time in my life. :) Okay... not really. Considering I only worked on it for a total of about 48 hours.... it was INSANE!! Had to learn a brand new audio driver and system I had never worked on before (NES) and write 2 songs and do all the sound effects by the next day. Phew!! :)
Thanks for the reply! CAD is something of a joke in our gaming community and it's always cracked me up that the music was far and away the most memorable part.
Proud to be a founder of this system. Thus far I have seen lots of old school point grabbing games and I 'm all in for that experience but I am a big fan of 80's/90's like platformers with story. What does the Intellivision have in store in terms of those types of games? Thanks!
Aside from a game like Earthworm Jim and a "yet to be officially" announced "dolphin game from the team and creator of Ecco the Dolphin"... we always have a really cool and unique platformer that utilizes the touch screen and motion controls in a VERY unique way. I can't wait to show it to folks! Probably in about 4 - 5 months.
As you know, the original Intellivision came with Las Vegas Poker and Blackjack. In keeping with the Intellivision tradition, would you agree that LV P&B should be a built in Amico game?
Not this time. We really want our pack-in games to appeal to the entire family... especially younger kids. But it will be a game available at some point for sure. Just not as a pack-in.
Gotta get an updated shifty-eyed dealer at some point! Hahaha!
Hello! I saw VGL in Toledo, Ohio a few years ago and it was definitely a highlight of my life. I went and bought all the soundtracks since then and have kickstarted everything since.
So far all the Kickstarters I've seen have been fairly successful and have delivered on time. Do you plan on completing more and more albums indefinitely or do you want to complete the discography at....10 or so? (arbitrary number). If you keep making them I'll keep buying them!
Thank you so much for your support! I think I'd like to do at least one more. Video Games Live: LEVEL 7. I'd probably stop there as my main focus is Intellivision. However... even though I have typically done 30 - 50 performances of Video Games Live per year (around the world)... I dialed it back to about 1 performance a month on the weekends (while I launch Amico). Unfortunately because of the virus all of our shows were postponed til the end of the year... but when it gets going again... I'll always be doing at least one or two a month on the weekends... just because I love it so much.
Thanks again for the question and the continued support! So glad to know that you are enjoying the Video Games Live music. Makes me super happy! Thank you!!!!!
What did you do before joining the gaming industry?
I was in a band and I worked at an arcade passing out tokens and fixing and cleaning video games and pinball machines!! It was a place in the Holyoke Mall in Holyoke, MA called Just Fun. :)
Concerning the Amico console, in a video I watched, you mentioned how the controllers can basically double as memory units, and that if I go to a friends house to play on his Amico and I bring my controller, we can play my games. How will this function if I instead decide to use my phone utilizing the app to play games on my friend's console? Will my games still carry over? How will this function?
You'll need to bring your physical Amico controller.
Hey Tommy, I have a few questions, I have learned about the Amico recently and it has gotten my attention, it shows alot of promise, but I do have some questions.
- So yesterday I watched your mean comments video, and one of the mean comments was that all the games would be exclusives meaning their would be no ports, and you responded by saying that there can be ports, just not direct ports. My question is that say yacht club games decided that they wanted to port over Shovel of Hope to the amico, what changes would they have to make in order for it to be allowed on the platform? For example the playstation version has kratos as a hidden boss, the xbox version has battle toads, and the nintendo version has amiibo support. Would adding a boss or something like a new level be enough, or would they have to make an all new campaign with the same gameplay, or something in between both of those extremes?
(Answered in an interview) 2. I am really interested in how the controller works more. One of my questions about the controller is that the disc seems as though it can be spun and that you can press it. So is pressing it and spinning it two different forms of input. My idea is that if they are two different forms of input then you could potentially have a game where you press on it to move and you spin it to cycle through items in a hot bar.
(Answered) 3. My third question is about the 4 shoulder buttons on the sides of the controller, now I like the design that the controller can be used and held in a variety of different directions. However, I was wondering if it was possible for all 4 buttons to do 4 different functions in a game?
(Answered in an interview) 4. The controller has a touch screen on it, so another question is have is that will we see games that you can play on the controller while someone else is using the tv? This could allow possibilities where everyone has their own screen to look at without the need of split screen multiplayer in some games meaning no screenlooking. I think that a game like tetris would benefit from a feature like this.
Thank you for your time, and being so active with everybody and making a AMA!
Hi! Thank you so much for your great questions!
1. We would want a little bit more than what you described. More levels, more music and a unique way to use our color touch screen and/or motion controls would be cool. I'm not familiar with the game you referenced so I'm not sure exactly how new things could be implemented, but for us... it wouldn't just be one special character and more than likely... if its running on a PS4 or XBOX, our processor may not be able to handle the graphics anyway! :)
No. Pressing and spinning is not 2 different inputs. Like the original Intellivision controller you can spin it... but it doesn't have any kind of effect. Only when you press down does it "engage". But at that point you can then spin it. Also... it has multiple press points as well!
Yes. You could use all 4 buttons in different ways for a game.
The screens will absolutely contain data and things that can be "played" while others are doing something else. :) For example... there could be a mini game on one controller that "mom" is doing that is somehow helping someone else who is doing something on the main screen. :) So many cool and unique things to do with our controller!!
Hi Tommy, Hi from Montreal where many french-canadians are still very big fans of the good ol' Intellivision system and very excited about the new Amico system. This is like a re-birth of the Intellivision III prototype that we were all waiting for back in the day and never came out.
First of all, Congrats on the pre-sales! I know you got 2,600 units Founder's Edition reserved in a matter of 5 hours or so, and the last we heard of the VIP Editions the numbers were somewhere around 10,000 units in a few days. What are the exact numbers so far, and are you happy with that number at this point?
Hi! Thanks for the support and kind words! We'll probably be releasing the final pre-order numbers when it's finished. Right now we've extended the pre-order until this Friday at midnight! Please help us spread the word! The pre-order link is: https://www.intellivisionamico.com/amico-vip-pre-order-info
Heck Yeah! We are trying to get Burgertime out for launch!
Hahahaha... you won't have cord issues anymore... but look on the bright side... you can THROW a wireless controller right at your buddies head if he annoys you too much! :)
check 1, 2. Is this thing on?
I hear ya loud and clear! :)
What kind of chair would you recommend to go along with my Amico?
A golden throne would probably be the best. Although the right answer is a big couch so that all your friends and family can join in on the fun as well! :)
Tommy! Any chance we will see a voice module expansion for the Amiico?
Nothing on the drawing board yet. Although the cool thing is that every controller has a built-in microphone & speaker so we can do a TON of super cool and unique stuff with voice. :)
I’m ready for a job?
What do you do?
Hi Tommy! Me and my Father are super excited for our Intellivision Amico founder’s edition to come later this year. My questions are will any licensed tv show/movie games be produced for the Amico? and are there any games you can tell us about that have not had any info released? Thank you for all the things you have done for the video game industry and for making the Intellivision Amico!
Hi! Thanks for the question. Yes. We have some big movie & TV licenses for sure! Will be announcing some big stuff at the end of this month.
Thank you for the kind words and support! It really means a lot!
I’m very excited for the amico, what are chances of Intellivision working with Sega to bring back some of their dormant ips? I would love to see Vectorman get remade or perhaps a third game in the series. It’s hands down one of my favorite games of all time
Yes! We have been in discussions with them for over a year! Hope to be partnering with them for a few different things! Nothing confirmed just yet.
Will all the games have overlays on the screen like the old system ? Does the controller have replaceable battery’s ? Can you give an example on how you plan to use the ring of light around the console? Any attachments planned for the future like keyboards :). Have you considered any games that might also include a physical board. Now that board games are exploding it Knut be fun to have a D&D game with a board kind of like Quest fro the rings like the odyssey 2 had for example. Last question, what games is Mike Mika working on , perhaps sea battle :) we need some online play for that one.
Keep up the great work.
Hi!, Lots of good questions here... let me try to answer as many as possible
1. Some of the new games will utilize the color touchscreen for information and to initiate certain things... just like the originals. But we're also using the screen in a lot of different and unique ways.
No replaceable batteries in the controllers. Although I'm sure at some point someone will make a DIY on YouTube. They always do! hahahha! ;)
The lights on both the console base and the controller (both the disc and buttons) can be utilized in many different ways. Imagine trying to unlock a secret area by having to press in the correct direction of where a certain color is. There are so many unique ways to use it!
Yes... we have a number of different peripherals on the drawing board. Nothing confirmed as of yet.
Yes. A physical board would definitely be something cool to incorporate. Especially considering we have RFID built into the entire system already. Would make for some very interesting designs with our controller.
Mike Mika and his studios are working on a number of amazing games with us. At least 4 or 5. Night Stalker and our AD&D game are the ones we've shown so far. Mike is AMAZING and has been a part of our Hardware Advisory Board for years!
I'm kind of surprised nobody else has breached this subject, so I will.
I've watched nearly all of the videos you've posted concerning the Amico. And what I'm seeing are games that could have been launched on iPhone or Android five or six years ago. You're pricing them to compare with App Store games (where people are used to paying a buck for shovelware they'll stop playing in a few days) but the buy-in is another piece of plastic sitting under the TV at a price point that hits higher than retail prices for current generation AAA consoles (or even their upgraded models if you get a good sale).
What is the value proposition here? If you end up with a warehouse full of unsold plastic, are you going to recycle it and release the games on mobile?
No disrespect here, but I'm genuinely astounded that you are asking people to spend this much money on iPod Touch games.
I believe you've missed a few very important points about what we're doing and how we're doing it. First... NONE of the games that we are doing on Amico can be done on mobile. I know that may be a hard thing to consider from just watching our gameplay trailer... but it's true. Having simple tactile controls (which no video game system has had since the Wii) as well as simple color touchscreens for everyone playing, plus simple motion controls for certain games and ALL games having single player AND couch co-op has NEVER been done before. Mobile games are too solitary and console games are too expensive, violent and complicated. We take the best of both worlds and make gaming for EVERYONE as opposed to just hardcores or hyper casuals. Imagine a video game system where EVERYONE feels like they have a chance and people are playing TOGETHER. Aside from a very small handful of popular games (such as Jackbox) you can't do that on mobile!
What is the vetting process like for indie developers being allowed to create games for Amico? I think I've heard you mention that developers will be supported financially during the development process for the system -- how do you determine who is worth this support and not? Thanks.
Hi! Great question! Yes... we financially support projects and we LOVE Indie Developers! Please send and e-mail if you are interested in becoming a developer. You can sign up here: https://www.intellivisionamico.com/contact
Does Intellivision have a plan for allowing developers to create content for the Amico?
Yep! Please sign up here for more info: https://www.intellivisionamico.com/contact
Make sure to send us YT links of your past work. It really helps. Thanks!
Hey Tommy, Mike here. Not sure if it's been asked but any update if there will be a delay for release date considering CV19?
Hi Mike! As of today (April 6, 2020) we are still on track for a limited 10/10/2020 release. As everyone knows there are a lot of things happening in the world right now that are still unknown and up in the air. If this pandemic is still happening into May, it could affect our initial launch and push it. We'll know a lot more within the next month or so. That being said, we've already started the "tooling" process. This is why we are doing pre-orders on our website right now. The folks who are interested will get those machines before anyone else! No matter what happens... things will be scarce this Christmas/Holiday no matter what.
You can find more info on our VIP page: https://www.intellivisionamico.com/amico-vip-pre-order-info
I know I'm very late, I was helping take down my Mother-In-Laws porch awning. So, nothing major for questions, however- what are you thoughts on a game like Sinistar, something like it making it to the Amico?
Couch co-op Sinistar would be AWESOME!! You can see in our Asteroids demo that you can mine the asteroids (similar to Sinistar)... so if you're a fan of Sinistar, you'll probably want to check out our Asteroids game as well!
What is your approach to leitmotifing, and can we expect to see an HQ release of Pac-Man World's soundtrack for the 20th anniversary (of the 20th anniversary game) this year?
I like to try and keep it as simple as possible. If I can't hum it... then I won't use it. :) I'm all about simple melodies. I try not to think too much. And if there is something I'm struggling with or just feels a little so-so... then I just trash it completely, take a day or two off and then start over in a few days.
I didn't realize it was the 20th Anniversary of the 20th Anniversary! Ha! Pretty cool! Namco owns all the rights to that one, so they would need to release that.
Yo Tommy! This is your buddy Dave from Florida! I think on an old episode of EP I saw you wearing a Tommy Tallarico Studios t-shirt. Was that a one-off shirt? How can I get one in a medium size? ;)
Hi Dave!! I had a bunch of those shirts made up back when I first started my company over 26 years ago. I don't sell them... but I'm sure I have a few extras around here somewhere. Next time I play in Florida you'll need to remind me so I can bring one along and hook you up! Thank-you for your continued support!
Hey Tommy! Thanks for all the work, any chance you could elaborate on the sidescrolling running game from the Gamescom 2019 trailer, also whether it might be developed by ChoiceProvisions?
Yep! The Intellivision logo is The Running Man! So The Running Man should get a Runner game! :) We are working on a few different projects with Choice Provisions and they are super duper talented folks! Of course they are very well known for their Bit Trip Runner games! If we were gonna make an endless runner style game... I'd want some of the best in the biz to be working on it! :)
new question, Why did I enjoy Shark! Shark! so much? ok, a Thank You... Shark! Shark! is the ONLY game I have Ever played... period... played with my son, now he brought it our, playing with my grandson, Thanks, and good luck in your ventures!
It's such a fun and simple game to play! Doesn't matter what your skill level is or whether or not you consider yourself a "gamer". Easy to pick up and play and explain to people.
I can't wait for you to play the new one! It's really amazing and it's one of the leading scoring games in our focus group testing! Which is why it's one of six games that comes as a FREE pack-in with the console!
I heard that you attempted to miss a mile stone birthday by flying over the international date line, that true?
Yep! Absolutely! :)
I was going to be turning 30 years old on February 18th (my birthday)... I was having a bit of a hard time with it so on February 17th I decided to drive to the airport by myself and bought a plane ticket for Australia! I took off on the 17th, crossed the international dateline and landed in Australia on the 19th. Thereby NEVER having my 30th birthday. I guess that means I'll always be stuck at 29 forever! :)
Was wondering if you will take advantage of the Turbografx/Konami licenses like a New Bonks Adventure game for Amico...or maybe a new Air Zonk... Also will there be some shooters on there? And what other platformers are you planning on besides Earthworm Jim..??? And will the shifty eyed dealer make a return??? sorry for the long questions.
Hi Chuck!, Yep! We definitely have shooters coming. Definitely expect to see the "Shifty Eyed Dealer" at some point! :)
Aside from Earthworm Jim (and our "dolphin" game) we are also working on an really cool platform game that utilizes our controller is a really unique way.
Alright, I'll bite, since you've been ignoring me since E3 last year anyway...
Farkle and Cornhole? Seriously, Tommy? What in the world makes you think for one brief moment that these are "good" pack-in titles that'll help you sell systems?
For starters, the people who play Farkle aren't going to go out and buy a new $250 console to play it on. Chances are they already play it on Facebook or through a Mobile App on their phone - nobody's going to fall all over themselves to get a new way to play Farkle.
And Cornhole makes zero sense unless your controllers are motion sensitive, much like the Nintendo Wii/Wii-U. #1, most adults are going to want to play Cornhole IRL. They'll either go to their local dive bar and play, or spend the $20 total it takes to literally make your own from raw materials.
These titles just don't make sense. In fact, they make about as much sense as the group of finely-bearded hipster Millennials you dragged into your E3 cubicle while me - a Gen Xer who actually owned a classic Intellivision, AKA the only market you're ever going to hope to reach out of the gate - sat ouside. Farkle and Cornhole aren't going to lure them into spending $250 on a new console, and they're most certainly not going to get the nostalgia factor unless they're among the absolute oldest 1% of Millennials who actually physically remember ANY of the 1980s.
I get that D&D and Tron titles are out of the question, unless you're willing to deal with Wizards of the Coast or the Disney Juggernaut. And if you're mocking up cheap versions of games people already widely play elsewhere and don't need a whole new console for, chances are you don't intend to even attempt to release "Cloudy Mountain," "Deadly Discs" or "Maze-A-Tron."
Even with the above, you still have DOZENS of classic titles to pack in with the system. And they'll attract your only truly viable initial market: Former Intellivision owners. Space Hawk, Star Strike, B-17 Bomber, Utopia, Night Stalker... None of these are pack-in titles, yet I played the CRAP out of them in the early 80s, and so did every other Intellivision owner I knew.
None of them played "Cornhole," we actually called it bean bag toss. Cornhole is just... Yeah. Eww, no. And Farkle wasn't even a word back then, let alone a mindless microtransaction vortex of addictive, repetitive inanity.
What's the thought process behind this, exactly?
I'm guessing by the tone of your questioning that the reason I haven't answered before is because of the aggressive and somewhat off-putting way you present your questions. :)
You say "Cornhole doesn't make sense unless we have motion control". We DO have motion control and the game tests OFF THE CHARTS in our focus group testing. Cornhole is actually the #1 growing sport in the world right now... and how many people play it in wintertime? ALL OF THEM can on Amico! :)
We have TONS AND TONS of market research, data and focus group testing that is completely the opposite of your argument above. You think that Space Hawk, Star Strike, B-17 Bomber, Utopia & Night Stalker are games that non gamers, casual gamers and familes will enjoy out of the box and play together?
I think the big mistake you're making is that you are assuming that only old school Intellivision folks are going to be buying the product. That assumption would be VERY incorrect. Once you get by that... it's easy to see who are market really is and why the pack-in games make complete and total sense.
Hi Tommy, can you release Kid Chameleon for Amico? It was really one of the best game on genesis and I think best 16 bits game and I was a snes fan. Also Gauntlet that was on nes and Genesis I think? :) Thank you
I'd love to! Great game! I'll look into it! Yes! Definitely Gauntlet as well! PERFECT for couch co-op!!
Any remake or reboot of Wild 9 on the horizon?
That would be pretty cool! And we could incorporate a couch co-op mode as well! Maybe have your friends play the bad guys! "I'm all.... PowerUp!" :)
Hi Tommy, thanks for taking the time to do this AMA! I’ve read most of the questions here, and no one has asked yet about the edutainment titles yet. Is there anything you can speak to now that can give us an idea about the kinds of titles that might be coming in this category? This Founder and person who does IT in a school is interested, and is looking for an excuse to introduce the Amico to the classroom! Thanks again, and my son and I can’t wait for ours!!
Hi! Thank you so much for asking that question!! Not many people do. I wish more did!
We plan on having 20% of our entire launch library be dedicated to edutainment and kids.
The great thing is that we have the biggest childrens education company in the world as our partners. We should be announcing them by the end of April or early May. The great thing about the edutainment stuff we're doing is that we're making it multiplayer/couch co-op! Most edutainment stuff is just for 1 person (i.e. every app out there!)... we wanted to make sure that if mom or dad (or sister, brother, friend, etc.) wanted to follow along, learn, have fun, feel they are a part of it as well... then we allow that to happen! We're very happy and proud of our edutainment program and will be working with the top folks in the world to bring the best and most high quality learning and fun we can. Thanks again for asking! I wish more people did. :)
Hey Tommy, I know you said no paid DLC but how about free DLC levels and skins?
Hi Tony, Because of the low cost of our games, our approach for popular titles is to come out with new versions each year. For example... something like Skiing comes with 10 "mountains". We would work on doing Skiing II and include 10 more mountains and a few new modes/ways to play. Same with a game like Moon Patrol. The current one is called Moon Patrol: The Milky Way Chronicles. It takes place on at least one moon per planet in our Solar System. The idea though is to have a brand new experience & storyline with new levels, vehicles, modes/ways to play, etc.
This allows us to keep our pricing as low as possible and pass on all of the savings to our customers.
What is the Amico QA process like for games, from test-after-build to human playtesting?
We have both an internal and external process for quality assurance. Our developers typically have in house folks as well. We also do extensive focus group testing to see what non-gamers or casual gamers or younger kids may think of a particular game or even things like menu screens and controls.
How many games do fit onto the internal memory?
Great question! We currently have 16GB internal memory and you can expand in the back through our SD slot or USB. We are watching the prices of memory closely as we hope to expand our internal memory to 32GB or... keep internal at 16GB and maybe include an additional 32GB in the back!
That being said.... our OS (operating system) and 6 pack-in games will probably be in the neihborhood of 6GB... which would leave around 10GB free on the internal drive. Game sizes range anywhere from 300MB up to 1GB with the average probably clocking in around 500MB. So you could probably fit anywhere from 15 - 20 more games just on the internal memory (if it stays at 16GB).
Thanks for the great question!
Hey Tommy, big fan of yours. Been waiting for this AmA to ask you some questions. What happened to the "CONGRATULATIONS! You are one of the first 100,000 people to sign up to our list! This will give you the opportunity to purchase a very special and exclusive Limited Edition Intellivision console that will NOT be sold in stores!" I was confused about that. Was that the founders edition or im missing something here?
2nd question. I gave my deposit in for a founders edition. On the page, it was saying we will be getting founders exclusive updates on development, features, games, and the official Amico release! I LOVE what you guys are doing. I was just wondering what happened to these?
3rd question is, will you preserve your prototypes of Amico, for preservation sake or loan them out to museums or to display them in your office once the amico comes out?
4th question is, How many quarters did it really take for you to be a world record holder, or what does it mean in your twitter bio, creator of "oof!"?
1. Yes... those are the Vintage Woodgrains. They are ONLY available directly through us and the website.
It's all those e-mails you've been getting. For example the 2 Meet Amico videos that came out last week and the 5 pack-in game videos, etc. The Mailing List gets a lot of that info before anyone else.
Heck yeah! :)
I hold 7 Guinness World Records... but not for high scores. Here are a few...
a) Person who has worked on the most video games in a lifetime (over 350).
b) Longest running symphony tour (Video Games Live) over 520 performances.
c) Biggest symphony show ever seen live (752,000+) in Beijing, China!
Creator of "Oof" means that I am the person who created the famous "Oof" sound from the game ROBLOX. One of the most famous sounds in all of pop culture. Literally billions of views and meme's and repeated on playgrounds around the world. :)
Stupid trolls... really have nothing better to do than to get on a reddit for something you hate ?? Damn. Can't wait to see you all backpedaling when this ends up being a hit. Go back to your mom's basement and shut up!!
Hi Tommy~! Question; have you ever considered music from the series Eternal Sonata for a Video Games Live show?
I'm not familiar with that music. Can you post me a link or two below?
I'm super excited for the Amico and have bought the Founder's edition. I was wondering if you remember the game, "The Adventures of Tiny Knight" by Collectorvision Games? It was supposed to be released on the Coleco Chameleon but of course that console never came out. The last information about the game I've found was that it was in development and going to be released on the SNES and Wii U eShop but I haven't heard anything since (so I'm assuming it was never released). As such I thought it would be cool if the game could be revived by released it on the Amico. What do you think? Is something like that possible?
Hi! No... I haven't heard of that game. Are there links of it on YouTube you can send or post here? Is it a couch co-op experience?
Question: Can we introduce the Oof sound in a game?
But of course! Why not! I own it! :)
Hi Tommy, very excited to see a new Shark! Shark! game. With Data East no longer around and their IPs sold to different companies, what are the chances of seeing some of their old Intellivision games coming to the Amico? Lock 'n Chase, BurgerTime & Bump 'n' Jump?
There was a game that reminded me of a AD&D game on the Intellivision on the Amico trailer. Very excited to see that. I also remember there being another dungeon crawler D&D game on the Intellivision. With the Intellivision 10 Commandments of Game Design, does that mean a retro dungeon crawler wouldn't be allowed to release on the Amico if it didn't support multiplayer? I know of one dungeon crawler on the NES Swords and Serpents that supported multiplayer. It would be cool to see something that like.
Hi! Data East titles are now owned by a company called G-Mode. We have a partnership with them and will be bringing all of those games you mentioned to Amico at some point! Burgertime first, then Bump n' Jump and the Lock n' chase.
It's actually pretty easy to incorporate multi-player into a dungeon crawler. And that game you saw will definitely have that! :)
Way back in the day, I was excited to learn about "Tunnels & Trolls" for the ColecoVision. However, it was never released probably due to the video game Crash of 1984.
I don't suppose there's any chance that you'd have an interest in creating a T&T game for the Amico?
Oh wow. I never heard of that one. I'll have to check it out! Thanks for the tip and the link!
Random Question... You and Vic reviewed a game back in the day on RotR. You could create your own 3D character in the world to play the game, like Spore but 3rd person. Do you recall this game?
Yikes! I have no idea. I don't remember that. You may want to ask Vic on Twitter.
I ordered a Founder edition Amico and while I am happy I was able to get in on that offer, would it be possible to get a different color Amico than woodgrain?
I second this question. If there were a way to open up other colors for existing Founders Edition purchases and let us change, that would be great. Don't want or need to buy a second VIP edition just to get a color I'd rather have...
Looking forward to it either way
Unfortunately only the Vintage Woodgrain is part of our Founders Edition.
Not for the Founder's Edition. Founder's Editions are only in Vintage Woodgrain. We currently have 3 colors available for pre-order right now (ending this week though!). We have the Vintage Woodgrain, Glacier White and Graphite Black: https://www.intellivisionamico.com/amico-vip-pre-order-info
Same thing as before. $100 down payment that is 100% REFUNDABLE at ANY time!
Machines and quantities are going to be super scarce this year! I bet you could sell that Founders Edition on Ebay for a pretty penny! Hahhaa! :)
Have you put any of the Amico controllers down your pants like how you used to in the EP/ROTR days? ;)
Hahahhaa! Absolutely! Gotta test that force feedback somehow! :)
- So to set up your Amico, we know you need: HDMI to monitor, power to wall, Wifi hookup to get any new content, and bluetooth pairing for the controllers. What can Intellivision do to make onboarding any easier than the market leaders? Please be specific.
- Also, is Amico doing anything to help people with disabilities? The original Intellivision was awful in terms of accessibility, it literally /required/ a color television, and many games relied on sound cues without any visual cues. What, if anything, is Amico going to do in this regard? Only Microsoft seems to be taking accessibility seriously.
Sorry... I don't answer questions from phonies and frauds like yourself who think you're so funny to start an alternative thread to make fun of us. What a sad life you must lead that you feel the need to bully people on the internet. I am flattered that you've spent hours of your day stalking me though. Clearly we're in your head and you can't stop thinking about us. More proof that we have something really special on our hands. The fact that you can't ignore us proves how big we're gonna be. Now go run off and say more negative things about a video game system you've never played. :)
Most of us in the Intellivision community refer to some of the games as "AD&D games". Do you have any worry that Wizards of the Coast will take exception to the reference? Should we start referring to the games by their non-WOTC names?
Not quite yet!
We've been in discussions with them for over a year and have some very good friends who work there. :)
The background music that you used for Amico's Astrosmash is epic! Where can I get that track? I don't suppose it'll also be included in the game?
Hi! Thanks for asking! That is a song from an album I produced with BT. Armin Van Buuren also helped on that one! The album is called Electronic Opus and I can't recommend it enough!! If you liked that song then you're gonna LOVE the rest of it as well!
Here is a mini documentary we did on making the project!
And here is a trailer for the concert we did!
A lot of time and energy was spent on explaining and showcasing local couch multiplayer. Can you tell us more about the plans for online multiplayer (which would be a massive option right now if the Amico were magically released right now), with regards to matchmaking, friends list management, etc?
We don't plan on incorporating online multi-player at this time. One of the main reasons being that the cost of everything would be up a lot. Especially the software, budgets, timelines, etc. It would also mean that we would need to start charging a monthly service fee for online games. Just not something that we are interested in focusing on and it counter-productive to our messaging.
HOWEVER!! If after a year or so we find that the majority of folks who purchased an Amico REALLY want online multi-player and are willing to pay higher prices for those types of games as well as a monthly service fee (just like all of the game companies currently do) then we would consider it. The way we would set it up however is that people would need to REQUEST a friend to connect. It wouldn't be an open type system where a bunch of strangers shout nasty things at each other. :)
Will there be game updates, whether for bug fixes or new game features/levels?
Great question! Yes... we don't have any problem with doing a patch if there is a major bug that somehow slipped by us. What we DO want to avoid is upcharging people for additionally priced DLC or microtransactions or Loot Boxes or even in-app ads!
Any plans to bring Wild 9 to the system? Will there be remastered games from other systems on the Amico?
Would love to bring back Wild 9! Such a cool premise. And imagine couch co-op where your buddies are the bad guys! :) "I'm all... POWERUP!"
Yes... we are definitely doing reimagined games from many different consoles from the past!
What are the odds that we'll see a trailer for TRON DEADLY DISCS?
I'm hoping VERY GOOD!! Still talking with the powers to be at Disney. :)
just wanted to say an eternal thanks for being a huge part of my childhood and me watching G4 and you and victor lucas shaping my game buying dreams as a kid haha. how was that experience, do you feel it shaped a lot of what you're doing now? thanks for being you!
Hi! Thank you so much for the kind words and support! It really means a lot! Damn... you're making me feel old now! Hahhaha!
I'll tell you how Electric Playground and Reviews on the Run/Judgment Day helped me on this journey. Because of those shows I was literally playing 4 - 5 games per week for over 12 years! And not just skimming through them... but really getting into them in order to feel comfortable to do an in-depth enough review for TV. I was able to see what things I liked and didn't like... and a lot of those things I am reminded of when designing most of the games for Amico now.
Thank you again for your question and I really appreciate your continued support.
My big question, if you could address it at some point, is will the original form of the games be available for Amico? I like that the games have updated graphics but for nostalgia purposes I’d be interested in playing the old versions (and seeing box art).
View HistoryShare Link