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Episode 3: The Game's The Thing

Nolan Bushnell used to say, "Easy to learn. Tough to master." That was the "design criterion" for any ATARI video game. Well, what more do you need to create a game?

Designing games is a most cryptic and demanding art. It really has little to do with technical specifications and design parameters. It all comes down to one thing: Do people want to keep playing this game? Is it fun?

This naturally begs the question: What is fun?

In this episode you will hear the game makers discuss and debate exactly that. How do we approach the creation of a new game concept? What type of person is most suited to develop a "fun game?" How can we brainstorm pure creative flow? From where does the inspiration, the seminal moment come? What types of activities do and don't contribute to making a fun game?

Produced entirely in DIGITAL VIDEO, start to finish.





Episode 4:The Agony & The Ecstasy

The fourth episode, which is the first to be produced and available, is "the agony & the ecstasy." This episode reveals the technical details and difficulties of actually programming the 2600. It also shows the wonderful and exciting rewards of having your work distributed and appreciated by the public.

Find out what it's like to walk into a store and see your game there on the shelf. To hear people talking about your product. There is also a segment on the favorite games of the game makers.

This episode is dedicated to classic gamers, the people without whom Atari could never have existed. It has the technical information about the 2600 game machine most coveted by serious enthusiasts. It is to these people that I (and all Atari alums) owe their fantastic journey. It seemed appropriate to make my first production for these people.

So I did.

Here is what Scott Crawford (creator and head of Electronicon, the Classic Video Game Convention) had to say about this episode:

"Once Upon Atari: The Agony And The Ecstasy is a great start to Howard Scott Warshaw’s Once Upon Atari video series. It’s an entertaining, educational, and most importantly, REAL glimpse of what happened at good ol’ Atari. The video focuses on interviews with 2600 VCS programmers like Rob (Night Driver, Demon Attack, Missile Command) Fulop, Tod (Pac-Man) Frye, Carla (Star Raiders, Warlords, Indy 500) Meninsky, and Larry (Air-Sea Battle, Kaboom!) Kaplan. These interviews are at times hilarious (Frye’s description of how he programmed 2600 Xevious, Fulop’s profanity-laden rant in praise of VCS programmer Rick Maurer), as well as insightful (Ex-Atari Director Of Software George Kiss’ regret that he didn’t write a line of code while at Atari, and Fulop’s description of the job as “the definition of his life”) ... it is well worth picking up, as I’ve watched it about a dozen times in the 2 months since I got it."

In this episode: Tod Frye, Rob Fulop, Carla Meninsky, Me, Jerome Domurat, Jim Huether, Dave Staugas, Larry Kaplan, Rob Zdybel, George Kiss, Alan Murphy, Eric Manghise, and Bob "Bobco" Polaro. All members of the 2600 development team.

Produced entirely in DIGITAL VIDEO, start to finish.




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