In the third and final segment, Scott Adams and I discuss his later games, which include the Questprobe series featuring Marvel super heroes. We also cover the graphical remakes of is earlier text adventures, and the problems those graphics caused for his tiny company. Inevitably, Adventure International was being crushed by much better funded, large scale projects from Sierra and Infocom.
In this week's episode, industry pioneer Scott Adams talks about his first foray into commercial publishing with Adventureland, the first in what would become an epic series of text (and later illustrated) adventures for the smorgasbord of early 80s computer platforms. Scott talks about his experiences with Colossal Cave Adventure, his favorite platforms, and the trials and tribulations of managing a hugely successful business without any formal training whatsoever.
Hi, guys. This episode is the first installment of my interview with the great Scott Adams, designer and publisher of many early adventure games for home computers. He talks here about his early days as a child prodigy, programming computers and dazzling his teachers and professors with his amazing skills.
On his excellent TRS-80.org Website, Matthew Reed has a nice blog post and break down of Atari's 1981 anti-piracy advertisement, which was merely the marketing tip of the legal iceberg that would have ramifications throughout the industry. This is still something of a hot topic in the burgeoning homebrew community--it seems many of today's top homebrew programmers are content with creating more perfect versions of well established arcade hits rather than creating original designs. While a fan and purchaser of these amazing programming efforts, I still philosophically fall on the side of wanting to see something original created with that talent, even if it may be flawed. As industry legend Scott Adams stated himself in his somewhat dated, but still relevant quote found in Reed's post, "I would like to suggest that anyone writing arcade-style software base it on original ideas. Novel and original arcade games will be best sellers, and who knows, maybe your arcade software will end up on a coin-operated machine!"
While it's unlikely anything will end up on a coin-operated machine these days, a quality original homebrew design might just make the next great mobile game design, as one possibility, and with the plethora of easy-to-use development tools, that scenario is actually quite plausible. After all, even if you do create the best 8-bit home version of Satan's Hollow ever, it's still really not your creation and you are skirting copyright law. Of course, sometimes it's the proverbial kettle calling the pot black, as Scott Adams himself was no stranger to "borrowing" ideas, particularly when it came to his legendary first commercial product and Colossal Cave Adventure. A multi-layered issue indeed...
Today's second set of casual photos (Magnavox Odyssey 300 (1976); Electronic Arts' Foes of Ali (1995) and Absolute's Rise of the Robots (1995) for the 3DO; Adventure International's Questprobe Featuring Spider-Man (1984) for the Atari ST; and Atari's Video Chess Special Edition (1979) for the Atari 2600 VCS) are taken with my Panasonic digital camera, and, instead of telling a semi-coherent story to go along with the photos, I'll talk about each one in brief in turn. Photos to follow the commentary (I had some issues with my image processing software at work, so I was unable to finish cleaning these up).