Made Video Games
I designed, programmed and
released three games for ATARI. Yar's Revenge, Raiders of the Lost Arc,
and E.T. There was also a fourth game under development when I left. I
designed it as the original title "Saboteur," and then later it was designated
as the cart to be used for the "A-Team" license. This game was never released,
but I have seen some bootleg copies around at classic gamer meetings and
While at ATARI I did
a lot of work, had a lot of fun, met some fascinating people, made a lot
of money, did a pretty fair amount of drugs, got to fly on private jets,
negotiate behind closed doors, dabble in corporate adventures, eat in executive
dining rooms (although no time was spent in their washrooms) and I even
got to work with Steven Spielberg (who is a very cool guy that thinks like
a director and sees like a child).
You can say a lot of
things about me and my games and my time at ATARI (and people do, and a
great deal of it is true), but there is one fact that is undeniable: Every
one of my games sold over one million copies (even after accounting for
returns), and I believe I am the only VCS game programmer who can make
Fun. Adventure. Controversy.
Here they are...
This is my first game and possibly my favorite. Because I am, in my soul,
an action gamer. My goal here was to make a game that I would enjoy
playing. This game set records in play testing, but the one group it scored
highest with was adult women! Marketing couldn't handle it. Their response:
"Adult women don't like space shoot-em-ups." Numbers be damned!
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The biggest, most challenging adventure game on the VCS. Since Warren Robinette
had done such an amazing job with "Adventure," there was no point in doing
another adventure style game (in my opinion) unless it was a quantum leap
forward from where he left off. Did I succeed? You are the judge.
Rarely is one given the opportunity to topple a billion dollar industry
single handedly. Yet according to the May '95 issue of New Media magazine
(p. 27) this was my shot. And I quote: "Everybody's wary. They still remember
E.T. ... the disastrous Atari video game of the hit film that many cite
as responsible for the crash of the video game business in the mid '80s."