Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I will be part of a panel with the legendary Atari 2600 game creator David Crane at this year's DICE. For more on the legend who created such classics as PITFALL! and LASER BLAST click here.  If you are a youngun' or just new to games I get how you could have no clue who this man is. But trust me, he made some of the best pure fun games of all time and it's such an honor to be sharing the stage with him. Surreal as hell, but a major honor for me.

From time to time, me and the teams I work with hear people telling us how much our work has meant to them, how much joy/fun/good times they've gotten from our games. And man, what a great feeling. But I gotta say, I feel the SAME WAY about Mr. Crane as people say they feel about us and our games! Me and my brother and my neighbor Michael would spend HOURS in our den, parked in front of our Atari 2600 and just lost in the worlds that David created.  To me- as a lover of all things Indiana Jones- Pitfall! is one of the best games ever created. Not only did it introduce so many of the concepts for the genre we now define as the platformer, but it just oozed adventure and excitement and stirred the hell out of my 6th grade imagination!  And Laser Blast...oh man, what a game! My brother was the best Laser Blast player but I could hold my own in that one. Oooh, and he made GhostBusters too! Oh, and Pitfall II which was crazy ambitious for the time...and a really fun game as well.

David and his games really shaped and defined my childhood in the same way that the 70's and 80's works of Lucas and Spielberg did. And I know he's just a guy, just a man...but damn, to be sitting with him, to be sharing a stage with a person who had such a significant impact on games, gameplay, the game industry, and- most importantly- my life...well that's gonna be a hell of a thrill! I hope he doesn't think I'm some kind of stalker :)

Ok, so in other news: back home from all the video editing for our video. We're showing the game to the folks at SCEE and needed to cut a trailer to give them a quick idea of what our game is. Now that that's done, back to working on the game itself! Man, sometimes the press and dog and pony and E3 and PAX stuff takes up so much time you wonder when the hell you'll be able to get back to actually working on the damn game! But hey, at least it means people care and are interested in what you and the team is making. Beats the alternative :)



UPDATE: Just to be fair, some people credit Crane with the first ever platformer in Pitfall! Donkey Kong doesn't count to many because it was one screen/level where Pitfall! allowed the player to run back and forth with screens linked into a seamless (for the most part) cohesive world (ala today's 2d Mario games). The thing about this is, I'm not sure if Pitfall! was the first to do this or if it was actually Smurf's Rescue on Colecovision. Since they both hit in 1982 however I think it's safe to assume they were both working to crack the nut around the same time. So, there's that :)