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ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Podcast

hosts: Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold
twitter: @AtariPodcast
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Jun 9, 2016


Rob Zdybel, Star Trek, Missile Command, Bug Hunt

Rob Zdybel was a long-time employee at Atari, having worked there from 1979 to 1996, when the Tramiels left.  Rob has a long line of credits including Pigs in Space, Real Sports Football, Stellar Track and Star Trek for the Atari 400/800, SOS for the Atari 2600, Missile Command for the Atari 5200, and Bug Hunt for the Atari XE.  He also designed the system BIOS for the Atari 5200.

Rob mentions the SYLVIA game system in the interview, although he couldn’t remember the name of the system at the time.  It was the machine that was supposed to come between the 2600 and the 5200 and which Doug Neubauer worked on.

Niles Strohl and Doug Neubauer are both mentioned in the interview, both of which I’m working to get interviews.

Please note that this interview does have some profanity.

This interview took place on January 17, 2016.

Teaser Quotes:

  • “I said Good Lord, Man, I don’t know if I can stand the idea of using computers to kill people more accurately.”
  • “They were going to give us a free Atari 800 computer.  That’s one of things you got for signing on with the Atari crew.”
  • “I signed on to the Atari 2600 program at the time.  I was not actually interested in writing 2600 programs, but where my heart was really at was the Atari 800 computer because it was so much more powerful.”
  • “The lights had come on: you CAN’T win at Marketing Adventure.”
  • “You’re talking to the man who’s responsible for Chris Crawford being in the game industry.  It’s my fault.”


list of Rob’s games at AtariMania

PRGE 2013 - Bob Smith, Rob Zdybel, Joe Decuir - Portland Retro Gaming Expo -

“Once Upon Atari” -