Crystal Castles coin-op Atari 1983
programmed game and tools, design, background art, music and sound
This is my first game. I recently found out that I’m the first programmer at Atari coin-op who had their first game published. The odds were about one in three, so I guess I was a little bit lucky and it helped that I had four years of very extensive programming experience and arcade game playing experience when I started.
This game has many firsts, including the first game at Atari coin-op with an ending (other than racing games). There was a history of successful games there that just went on and on without an ending, such as Asteroids, Tempest, and Centipede.
Yes, those are my initials. They are the default initials when the arcade game is first powered on. The initials get replaced with the all-time high score initials after that. This was possible because the playfield is dynamically generated in a RAM bitmap rather than just a bunch of stamps, which was the usual way games were made back in 1983.
There’s tons of information about this game (and the band too) on the web. Here’s the wiki for the game: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_Castles_(video_game)
Toobin’ NES Tengen 1989
programming, level layout, conversion design.
After taking a break from game development during the big crash of the mid 80’s I got a job at Tengen. This was my first NES game and it was a port (if you can call it that) of the arcade game with the same name. The NES was much less powerful than the arcade hardware so the game had to be drastically redesigned. For more, check out this link: http://nesguide.com/games/toobin/
Ms. Pacman NES Tengen 1990
programming, design, graphics.
This is the back of the retail box for this game. You can see some of the weird new mazes and even Pacman with Ms. Pacman on the screen at the same time! This game has both cooperative and competitive modes.
There’s a secret in this game: if Pacman and Ms. Pacman bump into each other in a tunnel on a high enough level they make babies.
The Genesis version of this conversion went on to be the #1 selling 3rd party Genesis game of all time. At least that’s the rumor I heard. And no, I didn’t get any royalties, just a bonus, most of which I didn’t receive because I left Tengen several months after the game’s release.
Krazy Kreatures NES, American Video Entertainment 1990
This is the first Bitmasters game, published by yet another unlicensed NES publisher, American Video Entertainment. Dave O’Riva and I formed Bitmasters with the dream of making original huge selling NES titles. Alas, this never happened, but we had a good run doing conversions and this small puzzle game. This is a really early match-3 game where you rearranged the animals with a cursor and if you got 3 or more in a row they flew off the screen.
Rampart NES, Jaleco, 1991
Once again it was time to do a coin-op conversion, this time Rampart, which is a three player simultaneous trackball game, converted to 2 player on the NES with joypads. It was particularly challenging to develop the connected component algorithm on the NES in assembly language with its limited horsepower and RAM.
Rampart SNES, Electronic Arts 1992
The SNES has this thing called “Mode 7″ which allowed you to do 3D effects, sort of. This is probably the first published game using 3D Studio to prerender objects for a console system. We basically used it to make the spinning rocks thrown by the Kraken.
Championship Pool SNES, NES, Genesis, Gameboy Mindscape, 1993
programming, physics, design.
NCAA Final Four Basketball SNES, Genesis, Mindscape, 1995
Gubble various versions for, PC, Mac, PS1, iPhone, iPad Actual Entertainment, 1997 – 2011
This screenshot is from the iPhone version. Find out more about Gubble at www.gubble.com
Super Sprint, NES, Tengen, 1989
Millipede, Atari coin-op, 1982
Gremlins, coin-op, Atari 1985 (unreleased)