Gravitar Site update page: A lot is done - A lot still to do

A lot has been done - still a lot to do

This page lists the updates to the site and what I want to get done.

Done Still To Do Thank you list


• Posted up the site (May 28 - June 9, 2003) all pages with working links and spell checked.

• Screen captures for all 4 planets in the 2nd Solar System are posted.

• Java pop up windows with animated gifs for the Home ship, the Atari pin & the Death Star.

• Close Window mouseover turned out as a pretty nice effect. (in the java popup windows and links pages)

• Animated gifs for all the 12 planets on the individual solar system pages + animated gifs for Home, Death Star and the alien-ships-attack (see the home icon link from the individual solar systems)

• Added links from the Flow Chart to the 3 solar systems and of course the 3 solar systems page is up now. I recreated the Icon thumbnails for the 3 solar systems, as I was not happy with the way the jpegs looked when they got shrunk down to size (so that took a little bit of time to get right, but I think they look pretty nice)

• 2 Red planet pages are complete -- including a Java pop up window from the Solar System pages + a main Red planet page that leads to a page with a screen captures of how to play the first red Planet, and additional differences in the other variations that the players can expect.

• Added a 2 links pages (the 2nd one is devoted to personal arcade collectors sites)

• Added the blue vertical margins on a bunch of pages (that took a lot of work figuring it out)

• 12/25/03 Added the Mame recording page

• 1/8/04 emailed several people that I am linked to and asked if they would link to my Gravitar site.
Hopefully this will help Google find the site and list it in the search. See the Thank you list list below.

• 1/11/04 added screen captures for 2 planets in the 3rd solar system (South East and South West planets)

• 1/12/04 added screen captures for the most difficult planet:
-- in the 3rd solar system (North West planet) including hints for the invisible landscape. That only leaves the 1st Solar System's 4 planets to go.

• 1/13/04 added the Atari 2600 page page with the jpegs of the packaging.

• 1/14/04 I just searched Google and Yahoo -- and the Gravitar site is ranked as the 10th link when searching for Gravitar, so I've been Googled -- Yeah.

• 1/17/04 added the Atari Gravitar commercial page (with permission from

• 1/19/04 added screen captures for 1st planet (North East) in the 1st solar system.

I just searched Google and Yahoo -- and the Gravitar site is now ranked as the 9th link when searching for Gravitar, so the links must be helping. Thanks to everyone for linking to the site.

• 1/21/04 added screen captures for 2nd planet (South East) in the 1st solar system.

• 1/22/04 added screen captures for final 2 planets in the 1st solar system (North West and South West planets).

So that completes all 11 planets + the Red planet (spiral tunnel) -- Yeah!

• For Solar system 1 - I posted the 4 planets -- 2,000, 4000, 6,000 & 8,000 planets -- just as single individual captures, as well as the screen captures & hints for them off of the solar system 1 page.

• 1/26/04 I just searched Google and Yahoo -- and the Gravitar site is now ranked as the 4th link when searching for Gravitar (Unbelievable!) so the links must be helping. Thanks again to everyone for linking to the site.

• 2/1/04 added the Fold-up Spaceship page (with permission from

• 2/4/04 added the cabinet photos of the actual game,
including the European version, previously owned by Mikko H. Hyppönen - European Gravitar page I found the pics of it on his personal web site and have permission to post them on the site (he has since sold the game)

• 2/5/04 Added some Gravitar Link Icon buttons with the correct link code -- so if you are interested in linking to the Gravitar site and want a graphic for that purpose, then you could use one of them.

• 2/9/04 Added the confidential Atari Memo, dated June 25, 1982. Did Atari produce a cabaret and cocktail version of Gravitar? -- this memo would seem to confirm it.

• 2/11/04 added the Starcade Gravitar video -- with permission from James Caruso at Starcade.

• 2/15/04 added the pages about Lunar Battle -- the Gravitar prototype.

• 2/15/04 I just searched Google and Yahoo -- and the Gravitar site is now ranked as the 3rd link when searching for Gravitar (Unbelievable!) so the links must be helping. Thanks again to everyone for linking to the site. I realize these ranking change based on algorithms -- last week it was ranked at #5, but #3 is the highest the site has ranked thus far.

• 2/25/04 added the Gravitar Guest Book & message board. Visitors need not register to post (unless you want to). I welcome everyone to the forum (keep it some what clean please :-)

I had signed up for a guestbook only through another site, but I like the forum idea as it allows for more discussion if people want to leave more info.

• 2/26/04 I had received a lot of emails regarding the site -- so I posted them to the Guest Book and added the emails about my Gravitar Victory for people to read.

• 3/16/04 posted the Interview with Mike Hally, Gravitar designer/producer for Atari.

I've also emailed Scott Evans about contacting Rich Adam -- hopefully he will visit the site and contribute to the interview, as he was the programmer for Gravitar.

Mike emailed me on 2/3/04 and responded with a few things (that are included with the interview) but regarding the Gravitar site he said:
    "Your Gravitar web site is pretty impressive as I had forgotten some of the scoring design that I created for this product... a tremendous effort on the Gravitar web site." Mike Hally
Thanks Mike, that means a lot to me that you like the site. I think Gravitar fans around the world will really appreciate the insights only Mike Hally and Rich Adam can provide.

• 3/17/04 I've spoken with and emailed Brad Chaboya, Atari's graphic artist (back in the day) and asked him if he would contribute some thoughts about the process of how he worked on the games creating the art, a bit of info about George Opperman perhaps, and how the art dept. worked, etc... and of course Gravitar specifically.

Just waiting for Brad to email with some information and I'll post it to the site when I get it.

• 3/17/04 Fed Ex delivered Mike Hally's Gravitar project binder in great shape. There is a lot to look through and I'll start scanning the documents this week and posting them as I get scans and photos ready for the site. I felt like I was looking at the Holy Grail :-)

Mike sent along The Gravitar Hanging Mobile -- a single piece of art (double sided, same image, just reversed, so when it's hanging you see the image on both sides) of the Gravitar man with the spaceship taking off and the sun over his shoulder -- it looks great, just perfect. I doubt many people ever saw one back in 1982. It measures about 9.5 x 11 inches total.

I'll get a better scan and photograph it for the site then upload it to the site as a pdf for people to download --- I think it could be easily printed on a sticker and mounted on foam core if people want one for their game room.

• 3/20/04 I just checked Google and for the first time, the Gravitar site is ranked at #1 when searching for Gravitar. I've taken a screen capture for my archive -- click on the thumbnail to view the full screen jpeg:

• 4/8/04 I spoke with Rich Adam today. Rich was the programer for Gravitar and also worked on Missile Command and Empire Strikes Back while at Atari. Rich agreed to contribute to the interview, as if the interview had taken place at the same time with Mike (which is what I wanted from the beginning) -- So I will add his comments when I get them.

• 8/23/04 I received an email today from a Gravitar fan named Darren. He explained the playing tip/trick/cheat bug that allows a player to get inside the 8,000 point planet. I have heard & read about it, but never been able to figure out where in the game it exists, so I never believed it, until now. Thanks to Darren's examples, I was able to give it a try and it works great. It's great to get confirmation on this -- I'll post up the trick soon.

• 8/24/04 I finished scanning Mike Hally's Gravitar project binder. That was some project to scan! -- it took longer than I thought to get all the documents scanned (5 months) -- of course I do have a secret life that doesn't revolve around Gravitar.

• 12/10/04 added the Gravitar cheat-bug page

• 12/16/04 I just checked Yahoo and for the first time, the Gravitar site is ranked at #1 when searching for Gravitar. I've taken a screen capture for my archive -- click on the thumbnail to view the full screen jpeg:

• 12/16/04 I just checked MSN and for the first time, the Gravitar site is ranked at #1 when searching for Gravitar. I've taken a screen capture for my archive -- click on the thumbnail to view the full screen jpeg:

• 4/27/05 added the link to the page, Interview with Mike Hally. (Part 1 is 2:28, Part 2 is 1:53)
    "Season One of Coin-op.TV continues in 2005 with Taryn Southern interviewing MICHAEL HALLY at the California Extreme show. Michael's career as a game designer with ATARI spans over 28 years. Designer of the classic arcade hits like Gravitar, Star Wars and Area 51. (added 1/27/05)"

• 12/18/06 Updated the gravitar.html page, adding the information about my new high score of 3,995,700 (since changed to reflect the new world record), as well as the photo of Ray Mueller and myself.

• 12/23/06 Updated the gravitar.html page, adding the information about my new world record of 8,029,450, as well as links to a picture of me and the high score screen on my game.

• 12/28/06 Updated the index page, adding the "Home of the Gravitar world record holder Dan Coogan" and the "Breaking News" pop-up window. I also updated the Ray Mueller page to include the new information about the world record, added the photo of Ray and myself to the page, as well as formatting the page a little nicer.

• 12/30/06 Added the "Who is Gravitar?" page to the site.

• 12/30/06 Finished working on Mike Hally's Gravitar binder page, which includes the documents (over 350 pages) he created as Team Leader for Gravitar (and Lunar Battle). I added 5 photos of the actual binder, as well as Mike Hally and Rich Adam's Atari employee id badge.

• 12/30/06 Added the Computer+Video Games Magazine, Feb. 1983 issue, page to the site, which includes a review of Gravitar.

• 12/30/06 Added the Drew Gardner article page to the site - finally !

• 12/30/06 Rich Adam sent me his responses to the interview, now titled: Mike Hally and and Rich Adam: Interview with the designers of Gravitar -- Thanks Rich. I added in his answers, as well as a few minor formating issues, and added color to each of the names to make it easier to read.

• 12/30/06 Updated the gravitar.html page, just changing the order of the links so they cascade -- again trying to make it easer to read for the viewer.


Still (a lot) to do:

• Hints for Invisible planets.

• Look into the video capture idea (I actually did look into this with a program called Snapz Pro, but could not open the file for some reason, but I have a few other tech people to draw information on for this). I have posted the Mame page, but I'm afraid a lot of people cannot view it. Also it would be great to be able to break the video apart into Quick Time for each planet and post it with the page of screen captures as well as a separate page with just the video.

• A page of Icons of all the main graphic elements.

• Continue linking appropriate links from the Overview & Manual description pages as I get new information posted.

• A page of quotes from some Gravitar fans (taken from the RGVAC newsgroup and from Google) about their love of the game. Also have a series of posts from RGVAC about it being one of the hardest games to master.

• Possibly a Gravitar owners registry (similar to this one): Great Game - Gravitar Entry
I might pass on this idea as games are bought and sold so often, that I really don't want to be responsible for the information, as it will be outdated every so often -- though I might just post it and if owners want to have it listed with their name, city and email address, then that's a possibility.

• A bit of information about the practice mode - as this is a pretty nice way to experience the different planets, if you don't have the skills.

• Some type of interesting information/observation/review/comments page of things I find around the web and in the newsgroups.

• I'm sure there will be more to do as I think of things and keep moving towards the eventual goal of completing the site, but it's getting there (actually since posting up the last of the 11 planets, the site is technically complete).


Thank You list:

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This page last updated: 1/6/11