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ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Podcast

hosts: Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold
twitter: @AtariPodcast
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May 18, 2016

Tod Frye, Asteroids

Hi, there!  Welcome to the next in the series of Atari-related interviews being produced by Antic, the Atari 8-bit computer podcast.  My name is Randy Kindig and I’ll be leading this interview.  Most notably, while working at Atari, Tod Frye developed the 400/800 version of Asteroids and the 2600 version of Pac-Man, converting them from the coin-op version.  He has many other games to his credit.  He later worked for Axlon, Nolan Bushnell’s company.

This interview was conducted on January 3, 2016.

Teaser Quotes

  • “While I was at Atari, it went from a pretty big company, to a huge company, to a complete flop.”
  • “I didn’t work at Atari; I LIVED at Atari; and I loved it.”
  • “Because of the CTIA and GTIA and Antic, the sprite hardware was WAY better than the sprite hardware on the Commodore.”
  • “The hard parts were: writing code that was fast enough, writing code that was small enough to fit in the cartridge, and writing code that would fit in the RAM.  Basically everything was hard.”