Sat, 9 April 2016
Alan Newman: Domination, Tutti Frutti, Hotel Alien
Alan Newman published several programs for the Atari 8-bit computers: Domination, a Hamurabi-style management game, was published by Atari Program Exchange. It first appeared in the Fall 1981 catalog, where it won first prize in the entertainment category. Next he created Tutti Frutti, an arcade-style game that was published by Adventure International. And Hotel Alien, a graphical adventure game published by Artworx. He also wrote Spy Vs. Spy — not the Mad Magazine game published by First Star Software; a word game that was to be published by PDI but didn't get wide release. Alan has sent me that program to archive, so it's now available online for the first time.
This interview took place on February 2, 2016.
"I wanted to move to California. I wanted to do this full time. But when I realized how much copying was out there, it became a bad idea."
Spy vs. Spy scans and downloads: https://archive.org/details/SpyVsSpyWordGameAtari
AtariMania's list of Alan's games: http://www.atarimania.com/list_games_atari-400-800-xl-xe-newman-alan-m_team_969_8_G.html
Thu, 7 April 2016
Darren Schebek, Envision character set editor
Darren Schebek wrote Envision, a character set editor for the Atari 8-bit computers. It was published in Antic magazine’s software catalog in 1986. Envision cost $19.95: “Create giant, multi-screen, 8-way scrolling pictures. Build effortless animations (up to 128 frames at 10 speeds). ENVISION has over 50 commands giving you total control over the Atari’s 6 incredible text modes. On the 130XE, Envision supports 16 simultaneous fonts.” After we conducted this interview, Darren sent me the Envision source code, which is now available at the Internet Archive.
Darren later wrote two more games for the Atari: Death By Solitaire and Yahtzee.
He worked for Canadian software publisher Distinctive Software, where he wrote the Commodore 64 port of Road Raider (porting it from the Atari ST version), and later worked at Mindspan Technologies where he created the Commodore 64 version of Mondu's Fight Palace.
This interview took place on January 30, 2016.
“My dad would come back from work, and he’d visit computer shops and stuff. He’d bring home flyers for different computers. He brought home an Apple // flyer one day, and one day he brought home this Atari 800 flyer. And I’m looking at these two flyers, and I’m comparing these things, like, ‘I don’t get it. There’s no decision to be made here.’”
Envision source code: https://archive.org/details/AtariEnvisionSourceCode
Darren’s web site: http://www.user.dccnet.com/dschebek/envision.htm
Darren on AtariAge http://atariage.com/forums/user/37813-darren-schebek/
Tue, 5 April 2016
Jerome Domurat, artist and interface designer
Jerome Domurat worked at Atari from November 1981 through July 1986 as an artist and interface designer. He started creating art for the home game systems, including E.T., Krull, and Raiders of the Lost Ark for the Atari 2600; and Jungle Hunt, Pengo, and Baseball for the 5200. He made the transition when Jack Tramiel bought the company: he worked on user interface design for the Atari ST. He also helped design the NEOchrome paint program, and adapted the graphics and animation for the ST version of Star Raiders.
Picture of Jerome with Jim Eisenstein and Dave Staugas, March 1985 - http://i.imgur.com/hBIja3X.jpg
This interview took place on February 1, 2016.
"User testing with people — like I would just get random people to sit down and go through the system and have them think aloud. I would ask them what they thought this symbol meant or that symbol meant. I mean, you show people a trash can [icon] now and they immediately know that that's 'delete'. But at that point, they thought, 'Oh, it's a can for storing things for later.'"
Sun, 3 April 2016
Alan Henricks, Controller
Alan Henricks was Controller at Atari during the Warner Communications era. He was there from 1978 through 1983.
This interview took place on November 17, 2015.
"Had the next generation of technology - the personal computer - succeeded, Atari would be where Apple is today."
"The first thing he said to me, looking me in the eyes ... he said, 'I speak to you on fear of my life.' My response was, 'I so don't want to be here.'"
Fri, 1 April 2016
On this episode of ANTIC the atari 8-bit podcast: we find a lot of new hardware gadgets for our Atari 8-bit machines, and learn all about Atari-branded printers.
What we’ve been up to
New at Archive.org