LucasArts Entertainment Company, LLC is an American video game publisher and licensor. Until 2013, it was a video game developer. LucasArts is best known for its graphic adventure games, as well as games based on the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, its headquarters are in California. It was founded in May 1982 by George Lucas as Lucasfilm Games, the video game development group of his film company, Lucasfilm. Lucas served as the company's chairman. During a 1990 reorganization of Lucas companies, the Lucasfilm Games division was renamed LucasArts. LucasArts was acquired by The Walt Disney Company through the acquisition of its parent company Lucasfilm in 2012. On April 3, 2013, Disney halted all internal development at LucasArts and laid off most of its staff. However, LucasArts remained open. Development of games based on the Star Wars license will be carried out by Electronic Arts, through an exclusive license, for the core gaming market. Disney Interactive Studios retained the ability to develop, LucasArts retained the ability to license the franchise for the casual gaming market.
Development of video games based upon other Lucasfilm properties will now be assumed by Disney Interactive Studios or licensed to third parties. In 1979, George Lucas wanted to explore other areas of entertainment, created the Lucasfilm Computer Division in 1979, which included a department for computer games and another for graphics; the graphics department was spun off into its own corporation in 1982 becoming Pixar. The Lucasfilm Games Group cooperated with Atari, which helped fund the video game group's founding, to produce video games. Though the group had spun out of Lucasfilm, the video game development license for Lucasfilm's Star Wars were held by Atari at the time, forcing the group to start with original concepts; the first products from the Games Group were unique action games like Ballblazer in 1984, Rescue on Fractalus!. Beta versions of both games were leaked to pirate bulletin boards one week after Atari had received unprotected copies for a marketing review, were in wide circulation months before the original release date.
In 1984, they were released for the Atari 5200 under the Lucasfilm Games label. Versions for home computers were not released by publisher Epyx. Lucasfilm's next two games were The Eidolon, their first games were only developed by Lucasfilm, a publisher would distribute the games. Atari published their games for Atari systems and Epyx would do their computer publishing. Maniac Mansion was the first game to be developed by Lucasfilm Games; the early charter of Lucasfilm Games was to make experimental and technologically advanced video games. Habitat, an early online role-playing game and one of the first to support a graphical front-end, was one such title, it was only released as a beta test in 1986 by Quantum Link, an online service for the Commodore 64. Quantum Link could not provide the bandwidth at the time to support the game, so the full Habitat was never released outside of the beta test. However, Lucasfilm Games recouped the cost of development by releasing a sized-down version called Club Caribe in 1988.
Lucasfilm licensed the software to Fujitsu, who released it in Japan as Fujitsu Habitat in 1990. Fujitsu licensed Habitat for world-wide distribution, released an updated version called WorldsAway in 1995; the latest iteration of Habitat is still called WorldsAway. The Games Group worked from Lucas' Skywalker Ranch near Nicasio, California. In 1990, in a reorganization of the Lucas companies, the Games Division of Lucasfilm became part of the newly created LucasArts Entertainment Company, together with Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. ILM and Skywalker Sound were consolidated in Lucas Digital Ltd. and LucasArts became the official name of the former Games Division. During this, the division had moved out of Skywalker Ranch to near-by offices in San Rafael, California. In the same year, LucasArts started to publish The Adventurer, their own gaming magazine where one could read about their upcoming games and interviews with the developers; the final issue was published in 1996. IMUSE is an interactive music system used in a number of LucasArts video games.
It synchronizes music with the visual action in the game, transitions from one musical theme to another. IMUSE was developed in the early 1990s by composers Michael Land and Peter McConnell while working at LucasArts; the iMUSE system is patented by LucasArts, was added to the SCUMM game engine in 1991. The first game to use iMUSE was Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge and it has been used in all LucasArts adventure games since, it has been used for some non-adventure LucasArts titles, including Star Wars: X-Wing, Star Wars: TIE Fighter, Star Wars: Dark Forces. The first adventure game developed by Lucasfilm Games was Labyrinth in 1986, based on the Lucasfilm movie of the same name; the 1987 title Maniac Mansion introduced SCUMM, the scripting language behind most of the company's adventure offerings. The adventures released in the following years, such as Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders in 1988, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure in 1989, the 1990 titles Loom and The Secret of Monkey Island helped Lucasfilm Games build a reputation as one of the leading developers in the genre.
The original five
A computing platform or digital platform is the environment in which a piece of software is executed. It may be the hardware or the operating system a web browser and associated application programming interfaces, or other underlying software, as long as the program code is executed with it. Computing platforms have different abstraction levels, including a computer architecture, an OS, or runtime libraries. A computing platform is the stage. A platform can be seen both as a constraint on the software development process, in that different platforms provide different functionality and restrictions. For example, an OS may be a platform that abstracts the underlying differences in hardware and provides a generic command for saving files or accessing the network. Platforms may include: Hardware alone, in the case of small embedded systems. Embedded systems can access hardware directly, without an OS. A browser in the case of web-based software; the browser itself runs on a hardware+OS platform, but this is not relevant to software running within the browser.
An application, such as a spreadsheet or word processor, which hosts software written in an application-specific scripting language, such as an Excel macro. This can be extended to writing fully-fledged applications with the Microsoft Office suite as a platform. Software frameworks. Cloud computing and Platform as a Service. Extending the idea of a software framework, these allow application developers to build software out of components that are hosted not by the developer, but by the provider, with internet communication linking them together; the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are considered development platforms. A virtual machine such as the Java virtual machine or. NET CLR. Applications are compiled into a format similar to machine code, known as bytecode, executed by the VM. A virtualized version of a complete system, including virtualized hardware, OS, storage; these allow, for instance, a typical Windows program to run on. Some architectures have multiple layers, with each layer acting as a platform to the one above it.
In general, a component only has to be adapted to the layer beneath it. For instance, a Java program has to be written to use the Java virtual machine and associated libraries as a platform but does not have to be adapted to run for the Windows, Linux or Macintosh OS platforms. However, the JVM, the layer beneath the application, does have to be built separately for each OS. AmigaOS, AmigaOS 4 FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD IBM i Linux Microsoft Windows OpenVMS Classic Mac OS macOS OS/2 Solaris Tru64 UNIX VM QNX z/OS Android Bada BlackBerry OS Firefox OS iOS Embedded Linux Palm OS Symbian Tizen WebOS LuneOS Windows Mobile Windows Phone Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless Cocoa Cocoa Touch Common Language Infrastructure Mono. NET Framework Silverlight Flash AIR GNU Java platform Java ME Java SE Java EE JavaFX JavaFX Mobile LiveCode Microsoft XNA Mozilla Prism, XUL and XULRunner Open Web Platform Oracle Database Qt SAP NetWeaver Shockwave Smartface Universal Windows Platform Windows Runtime Vexi Ordered from more common types to less common types: Commodity computing platforms Wintel, that is, Intel x86 or compatible personal computer hardware with Windows operating system Macintosh, custom Apple Inc. hardware and Classic Mac OS and macOS operating systems 68k-based PowerPC-based, now migrated to x86 ARM architecture based mobile devices iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers devices running iOS from Apple Gumstix or Raspberry Pi full function miniature computers with Linux Newton devices running the Newton OS from Apple x86 with Unix-like systems such as Linux or BSD variants CP/M computers based on the S-100 bus, maybe the earliest microcomputer platform Video game consoles, any variety 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, licensed to manufacturers Apple Pippin, a multimedia player platform for video game console development RISC processor based machines running Unix variants SPARC architecture computers running Solaris or illumos operating systems DEC Alpha cluster running OpenVMS or Tru64 UNIX Midrange computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM OS/400 Mainframe computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM z/OS Supercomputer architectures Cross-platform Platform virtualization Third platform Ryan Sarver: What is a platform
Jack Tramiel was a Polish American businessman, best known for founding Commodore International. The Commodore PET, Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore 64 are some home computers produced while he was running the company. Tramiel formed Atari Corporation after he purchased the remnants of the original Atari, Inc. from its parent company. Tramiel was born as Idek Trzmiel into a Jewish family, the son of Abram Josef Trzmiel and Rifka Bentkowska. After the German invasion of Poland in 1939 his family was transported by German occupiers to the Jewish ghetto in Łódź, where he worked in a garment factory; when the ghettos were liquidated, his family was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was examined by Josef Mengele and selected for a work party, after which he and his father were sent to the labor camp Ahlem near Hanover, while his mother remained at Auschwitz. Like many other inmates, his father was reported to have died of typhus in the work camp. Tramiel was rescued from the labor camp in April 1945 by the 84th Infantry Division of the U.
S. Army. On November 10, 1947, Tramiel immigrated to the United States, he soon joined the U. S. Army, where he learned how to repair office equipment, including typewriters. In 1953, while working as a taxi driver, Tramiel bought a shop in the Bronx to repair office machinery, securing a $25,000 loan for the business from a U. S. Army entitlement, he named it Commodore Portable Typewriter. Tramiel wanted a military-style name for his company, but names such as Admiral and General were taken, so he settled on the Commodore name. In 1956, Tramiel signed a deal with a Czechoslovak typewriter manufacturer Zbrojovka Brno NP to assemble and sell their typewriters in North America. However, as Czechoslovakia was part of the Warsaw Pact, they could not be imported directly into the U. S. so Tramiel used parts from Zbrojovka's Consul typewriters and set up Commodore Business Machines in Toronto, Canada. After Zbrojovka began developing their own hardware Commodore signed an agreement in 1962 with Rheinmetall-Borsig AG and began to sell Commodore portable typewriters made from the parts of older Rheinmetall-Borsig typewriters.
In 1962, Commodore went public, but the arrival of Japanese typewriters in the U. S. market made. Struggling for cash, the company sold 17% of its stock to Canadian businessman Irving Gould, taking in $400,000 and using the money to re-launch the company in the adding machine business, profitable for a time before the Japanese entered that field as well. Stung twice by the same source, Gould suggested that Tramiel travel to Japan to learn why they were able to outcompete North Americans in their own local markets, it was during this trip that Tramiel saw the first digital calculators, decided that the mechanical adding machine was a dead end. When Commodore released its first calculators, combining an LED display from Bowmar and an integrated circuit from Texas Instruments, it found a ready market. However, after realizing the size of the market, TI decided to cut Commodore out of the middle, released their own calculators at a price point below Commodore's cost of just the chips. Gould once again rescued the company, injecting another $3 million, which allowed Commodore to purchase MOS Technology, Inc. an IC design and semiconductor manufacturer, a company which had supplied Commodore with calculator ICs.
When their lead designer, Chuck Peddle, told Tramiel that calculators were a dead end and computers were the future, Tramiel told him to build one to prove the point. Peddle responded based on his company's MOS Technology 6502 processor, it was first shown at the Chicago Consumer Electronics Show in 1977, soon the company was receiving 50 calls a day from dealers wanting to sell the computer. The PET became a success—especially in the education field, where its all-in-one design was a major advantage. Much of their success with the PET came from the business decision to sell directly to large customers, instead of selling to them through a dealer network; the first PET computers were sold in Europe, where Commodore had introduced the first wave of digital handheld calculators. As prices dropped and the market matured, the monochrome PET was at a disadvantage in the market when compared to machines like the Apple II and Atari 800, which offered color graphics and could be hooked to a television as an inexpensive display.
Commodore responded with the VIC-20, the Commodore 64, which became the best-selling home computer of all time. The Commodore VIC-20 was the first computer to sell one million units; the Commodore 64 sold several million units. It was during this time that Tramiel coined the phrase, "We need to build computers for the masses, not the classes." An industry executive attributed to Tramiel the discontinuation of the TI-99/4A home computer in 1983, after the company had lost hundreds of millions of dollars, stating that "TI got suckered by Jack". Gould had controlled the company since 1966, he and Tramiel argued, but Gould let Tramiel run Commodore by himself. Tramiel was a micromanager. Adam Osborne wrote in 1981: The microcomputer industry abounds with horror stories describing the way Commodore treats its dealers and its customers. However, Jack Tramiel has built a profitable organization by offering a capable product. Tramiel plays h
Epyx, Inc. was a video game developer and publisher active in the late 1970s and 1980s. The company was founded as Automated Simulations by Jim Connelley and Jon Freeman using Epyx as a brand name for action-oriented games before renaming the company to match in 1983. Epyx published a long series of games through the 1980s; the company went bankrupt in 1989 before disappearing in 1993. In 1977, Susan Lee-Merrow invited Jon Freeman to join a Dungeons & Dragons game hosted by Jim Connelley and Jeff Johnson. Connelley purchased a Commodore PET computer to help with the bookkeeping involved in being a dungeon master, came up with the idea of writing a computer game for the machine before the end of the year so he could write it off on his taxes. Freeman had written on gaming for several publications, joined Connelley in the design of a new space-themed wargame. Starting work around August 1978, Freeman wrote the basic rules, mission sets, background stories and the manual, while Connelley coded up the system in PET BASIC.
The two formed Automated Simulations around Thanksgiving 1978 to market the game, released it in December as Starfleet Orion. Examining contemporary magazines suggests this is the first commercial space-themed wargame for a personal computer; as the game was written in BASIC, it was easy to port to other home computers of the era, starting with the TRS-80 and the Apple II, the latter featuring rudimentary graphics. They followed this game with 1979's Invasion Orion, which included a computer opponent so as not to require two human players; the company's next release, 1979's Temple of Apshai, was a major success, selling over 20,000 copies in an era of few computers. As the game was not a "simulation" of anything, the company introduced the Epyx brand name for these more action-oriented titles. Rated as the best computer game by every magazine of the era, Apshai was soon ported from the TRS-80 to additional systems, such as the Atari 400/800 and the Commodore 64. Apshai spawned a number of similar adventure games based on the same game engine, including two direct sequels, branded under the Dunjonquest label.
The games were so successful that they were re-released in 1985 as the Temple of Apshai Trilogy. Using the same BASIC game engine, a series of "semi-action" games followed under the Epyx brand, including Crush and Chomp!, Rescue at Rigel, Star Warrior, each of which added twists to the Apshai engine. Freeman became frustrated by Connelley's refusal to update the game engine, he left the company to start Free Fall Associates in 1981, leaving Connelley to lead what was now a large company. In 1983 the company assumed its brand name, becoming known as Epyx. Connelley reorganized his own development team as The Connelley Group, but continued to work under the Epyx umbrella, releasing Dragonriders of Pern; however 1983 was the year that Jumpman became a big hit. Management decided the future was in action games, Connelley left the company, releasing games with other labels such as Brøderbund. By early 1984, InfoWorld estimated that Epyx was the world's 16th-largest microcomputer-software company, with $10 million in 1983 sales.
A string of successful action games followed, including the hits Impossible Mission and Summer Games. The latter created a long run of successful sequels, including Summer Games II, Winter Games, California Games, World Games; the company branched out into "Computer Activity Toys", licenses of Hot Wheels, G. I. Joe, Barbie. In Europe, the British home computer game company U. S. Gold published Epyx games for the Commodore 64, ported many of the games to other major European platforms such as the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC. For the bestselling Commodore 64, Epyx made the Fast Load cartridge which enabled a fivefold speedup of floppy disk drive accesses through Commodore's slow serial interface. Additionally, the FastLoad featured convenient disk access commands, a disk editor—a hacking tool allowing for direct low-level access to floppy disks. Another hardware product was the Epyx 500XJ Joystick, which used high-quality microswitches and a more ergonomic form factor than the standard Atari CX40 joystick while remaining compatible.
Starting in 1986, Epyx developed a color handheld game system, internally called the Handy. Unable to continue due to high costs, it was sold to Atari Corporation who brought it to market in 1989 as the Atari Lynx. In 1987, Epyx faced an important copyright infringement lawsuit from Data East USA regarding Epyx's Commodore 64 video game World Karate Championship. Data East thought the whole game, the depiction of the referee, looked too much like its 1984 arcade game Karate Champ. Data East won at the US District Court level and Judge William Ingram ordered Epyx to recall all copies of World Karate Championship. Epyx appealed the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, who reversed the judgment and ruled in favor of Epyx, stating that copyright protection did not extend to the idea of a tournament karate game, but specific artistic choices not dictated by that idea; the Court noted that a "17.5 year-old boy" could see clear differences between the elements of each game subject to copyright.
Epyx had become dependent on the Commodore 64 market, which accounted for the bulk of its revenues most years, but by 1988 the C64 was an aging machine now in its sixth year and the focus of computer gaming was shifting to PC compatibles. Although the console market, dominated by the NES, was lucrative, Epyx objected to Nintendo's strict rules and licensing policies and instead initiated a failed attempt to develop their own game console
Crash was a magazine dedicated to the ZX Spectrum home computer focused on games. It was published from 1984 to 1991 by Newsfield Publications Ltd until their liquidation, until 1992 by Europress; the magazine was launched to cater for the booming Spectrum games market. It was popular owing to its quality of writing and distinctive, though controversial, artwork created by Oliver Frey. By 1986 it had become the biggest-selling British computer magazine with over 100,000 copies sold monthly, but struggled towards the end of the decade after other magazines put cassettes of games on the front cover. In the 2010s, a number of retrospective issues were created via a kickstarter campaign. Crash was launched in 1983 in Shropshire by Roger Kean, Oliver Frey and Franco Frey; the trio had met the previous year when they were working for newspaper publisher Alan Purnell, learning how to write and produce a magazine from scratch. Franco Frey had worked for an electronics company, had been asked by one of his business contacts if could get hold of video games.
Kean remembers that "The High Street was ignorant of computer games" and they wanted to source titles and sell them. They set up a mail order catalogue called Crash Micro Games Action and advertised in contemporary computer magazines such as Computer and Video Games, it was successful, so by late 1983, they decided to launch a dedicated magazine, forming the company Newsfield to do so. Kean and Oliver Frey wanted a catchy title for the magazine, choosing "Crash" after J. G. Ballard's novel of the same name. Though he had played video games throughout the 1970s, the middle-aged Kean realised that the target market for the magazine was teenagers and young men, the writing needed to accommodate this, he hired teenage staff writer Matthew Uffindel and the pair recruited local schoolchildren to review the games, including Ben Stone and Robin Candy. To produce screenshots, a camera was set up to directly capture the television set or monitor that the Spectrum was plugged into; the film was processed in-house and delivered to a local print shop to prepare the final page.
The first issue was intended to be published in November 1983, in time for the pre-Christmas trade but owing to a conflict with retailers WH Smith it was published in February the following year. The magazine maintained focus squarely on Spectrum gaming, it was an instant hit thanks to Kean's writing, assisted by Uffindel. Kean and the Frey brothers would continue to be involved with the magazine throughout its lifetime. Reviewers would give their direct opinions on whether a game was good or not, regardless of advertising or any pressure from software houses. Though publishers sometimes tried to bribe the magazine editors to give games good reviews, the children would not do that, once gave a game a low score of 9%; this honesty gave Crash a good reputation and made it influential in the games industry. If a game was awarded a "Crash Smash", the industry believed it was genuinely good and it would sell well. Notable Crash Smashes included Sabre Wulf and Head over Heels. A games compilation "Four Crash Smashes" was produced.
In October 1986, Crash reported sales of over 100,000 copies. Its ABC figure of 101,483 copies a month for the period of January to June were claimed by the magazine to be higher than any other British computer magazine. By 1989, rival Spectrum magazine Your Sinclair came with a free cassette attached to the cover that contained a complete game and various demos. Crash had featured cassettes on the cover, but began to lag in circulation, it was relaunched that June with a free cover-mounted cassette with a number of complete games, which continued as a regular feature. This came at the expense of page editorial content, both of which were reduced. Kean was annoyed by having to put tapes on the cover to keep up with the competition, as it increased costs and obscured Frey's cover artwork. Newsfield was suffering increasing financial difficulties by the early 1990s; the last edition of Crash published by the company was in September 1991. Following the company's liquidation, the magazine was relaunched by Europress that December, continuing until the final issue in April 1992.
After this, Crash was bought by publisher of Sinclair User, who merged the two magazines. In practice, this meant little more than the appearance of the Crash logo on the front cover. In May 2016, No. 2 King Street, Ludlow was awarded a Blue plaque as the premises of Newsfield while it was publishing Crash and ZZap!64 from 1984–9,which both hired pupils from Ludlow Church of England School alongside professional journalists. In 2017, the magazine was commemorated in a special exhibition in Ludlow Buttercross Museum documenting Newsfield's contribution to the local industry; the same year, a special edition of the magazine was issued following a Kickstarter campaign that raised £12,000. Kean, Oliver Frey and Nick Roberts all returned to contribute to this issue; the following year, a similar campaign led to the 2019 Crash annual – issue 100. Crash featured distinctive cover art drawn by Oliver Frey. Much of his work was published in book form for the first time in 2006; the cover of issue 18, July 1985, which depicted a scantily clad sorceress with a man on his knees in collar and chains, was considered provocative by some shops who moved it to the top shelf.
Issue 31 in August 1986 was criticised for the front cover featuring staff writer Hannah Smith in a swimsuit mud wrestling with an alien. The cover of issue 41, June 1987, was a violent image depicting two barbarians fighting, with one about to slit the
The Commodore 64 known as the C64 or the CBM 64, is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International. It has been listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-selling single computer model of all time, with independent estimates placing the number sold between 10 and 17 million units. Volume production started in early 1982, marketing in August for US$595. Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore PET, the C64 took its name from its 64 kilobytes of RAM. With support for multicolor sprites and a custom chip for waveform generation, the C64 could create superior visuals and audio compared to systems without such custom hardware; the C64 dominated the low-end computer market for most of the 1980s. For a substantial period, the C64 had between 30% and 40% share of the US market and two million units sold per year, outselling IBM PC compatibles, Apple computers, the Atari 8-bit family of computers. Sam Tramiel, a Atari president and the son of Commodore's founder, said in a 1989 interview, "When I was at Commodore we were building 400,000 C64s a month for a couple of years."
In the UK market, the C64 faced competition from the BBC Micro and the ZX Spectrum, but the C64 was still one of the two most popular computers in the UK. Part of the Commodore 64's success was its sale in regular retail stores instead of only electronics or computer hobbyist specialty stores. Commodore produced many of its parts in-house to control costs, including custom integrated circuit chips from MOS Technology, it has been compared to the Ford Model T automobile for its role in bringing a new technology to middle-class households via creative and affordable mass-production. 10,000 commercial software titles have been made for the Commodore 64 including development tools, office productivity applications, video games. C64 emulators allow anyone with a modern computer, or a compatible video game console, to run these programs today; the C64 is credited with popularizing the computer demoscene and is still used today by some computer hobbyists. In 2011, 17 years after it was taken off the market, research showed that brand recognition for the model was still at 87%.
In January 1981, MOS Technology, Inc. Commodore's integrated circuit design subsidiary, initiated a project to design the graphic and audio chips for a next generation video game console. Design work for the chips, named MOS Technology VIC-II and MOS Technology SID, was completed in November 1981. Commodore began a game console project that would use the new chips—called the Ultimax or the Commodore MAX Machine, engineered by Yash Terakura from Commodore Japan; this project was cancelled after just a few machines were manufactured for the Japanese market. At the same time, Robert "Bob" Russell and Robert "Bob" Yannes were critical of the current product line-up at Commodore, a continuation of the Commodore PET line aimed at business users. With the support of Al Charpentier and Charles Winterble, they proposed to Commodore CEO Jack Tramiel a true low-cost sequel to the VIC-20. Tramiel dictated. Although 64-Kbit dynamic random-access memory chips cost over US$100 at the time, he knew that DRAM prices were falling, would drop to an acceptable level before full production was reached.
The team was able to design the computer because, unlike most other home-computer companies, Commodore had its own semiconductor fab to produce test chips. The chips were complete by November, by which time Charpentier and Tramiel had decided to proceed with the new computer; the product was code named the VIC-40 as the successor to the popular VIC-20. The team that constructed it consisted of Yash Terakura, Shiraz Shivji, Bob Russell, Bob Yannes and David A. Ziembicki; the design and some sample software were finished in time for the show, after the team had worked tirelessly over both Thanksgiving and Christmas weekends. The machine used the same case, same-sized motherboard, same Commodore BASIC 2.0 in ROM as the VIC-20. BASIC served as the user interface shell and was available on startup at the READY prompt; when the product was to be presented, the VIC-40 product was renamed C64. The C64 made an impressive debut at the January 1982 Consumer Electronics Show, as recalled by Production Engineer David A. Ziembicki: "All we saw at our booth were Atari people with their mouths dropping open, saying,'How can you do that for $595?'"
The answer was vertical integration. Commodore had a reputation for announcing products that never appeared, so sought to ship the C64. Production began in spring 1982 and volume shipments began in August; the C64 faced a wide range of competing home computers, but with a lower price and more flexible hardware, it outsold many of its competitors. In the United States the greatest competitors were the Atari 8-bit 400, the Atari 800, the Apple II; the Atari 400 and 800 had been designed to accommodate stringent FCC emissions requirements and so were expensive to
Chris Crawford (game designer)
Christopher Crawford is a computer game designer and writer. He designed and programmed several important computer games in the 1980s, including Eastern Front and Balance of Power. Among developers he became known for his passionate advocacy of game design as an art form, founding both The Journal of Computer Game Design and the Computer Game Developers Conference. In 1992 Crawford withdrew from commercial game development and began experimenting with ideas for a next generation interactive storytelling system. In 2018, Crawford announced that he had halted his work on interactive storytelling, concluding that it will take centuries for civilization to embrace the required concepts. After receiving a B. S. in physics from UC Davis in 1972 and an M. S. in physics from University of Missouri in 1975, Crawford taught at a community college and the University of California. Crawford first encountered computer games at Missouri, when he met someone attempting to computerize Avalon Hill's Blitzkrieg.
While teaching he wrote an early version of Tanktics in FORTRAN for the IBM 1130 in 1976 as a hobby wrote Tanktics and an early version of Legionnaire for personal computers such as the KIM-1 and Commodore PET. In 1978 Crawford began selling the games and by 1979 "made the startling discovery", he said, "that it is far more lucrative and enjoyable to teach for fun and program for money", he joined Atari that year, founding the Games Research Group under Alan Kay in 1982. At Atari Crawford started game work with Wizard for the VCS, but this work was abandoned and would not appear until some time later, he turned his attention to the new "Home Computer System", now referred to as the Atari 8-bit family. His first releases on this platform were Energy Czar and Scram, games written in Atari BASIC. Finding development on the systems difficult due to a lack of clear information, he started experimenting with the Atari 8-bit computer's hardware assisted smooth scrolling and used it to produce a scrolling map display.
This work was used to create Eastern Front, considered one of the first wargames on a microcomputer to compete with traditional paper-n-pencil games in terms of depth. He followed this with Legionnaire, based on the same display engine but adding real-time instead of turn-based game play. Using the knowledge gathered while writing these games, he helped produce technical documentation covering most of the advanced features of the Atari computer, from the hardware assisted smooth scrolling to digitized sounds, with the information presented in a friendly format for a wide audience; this included videos distributed by ACE Support to user groups, a series of articles published in BYTE magazine containing most of the content of the book, De Re Atari that would be published later. Another book followed, The Art of Computer Game Design. By 1983 BYTE called Crawford "easily the most innovative and talented person working on the Atari 400/800 computer today", his name was well enough known that Avalon Hill's advertising for a revised version of Legionnaire mentioned Crawford as author.
Laid off in the Atari collapse during the video game crash of 1983-1984, Crawford went freelance and produced Balance of Power for the Apple Macintosh in 1985, a best-seller, reaching 250,000 units sold. Additional strategy games followed; the Game Developers Conference, which in 2013 drew over 23,000 attendees, began in 1987 as a salon held in Crawford's living room with 27 game design friends and associates. The gathering's original name, the Computer Game Developers Conference, would remain into the 1990s until the word Computer was dropped. While the GDC has become a prominent event in the gaming industry, Crawford was ousted from the GDC board, made his final official appearance at the gathering in 1994, he returned to the conference, giving lectures in both 2001 and 2006. Crawford acknowledged that his views on computer game design were controversial. In a 1986 interview with Computer Gaming World he stated that he began writing software as a hobby that became a job with the goal of writing the best possible game.
Crawford said. While denouncing hack and slash games, text adventures, the Commodore 64 and Apple II series, he stated that Dan Bunten, Jon Freeman and Anne Westfall, himself were the only designers who had proven that they could develop more than one great game. Crawford admitted that some critics called his games inaccessible: In many ways, I'll agree with it. That's another way of saying, "Crawford's games aren't that much fun." And there is some merit in that. I don't strive so much for simple-minded fun... do you want a game that will punch you in the stomach or affect you?... None of my games are great, none of my games have touched people but, what I am learning how to do... none of my games can hold a candle to any of Charlie Chaplin's works. I don't think I've reached D. W. Griffith's level yet. I hope that someday I will... If I didn't think that possible, I would get out of the business. At the 1992 CGDC, Chris Crawford gave "The Dragon Speech", which he considers "the finest speech of life".
Throughout the speech, he used a dragon as a metaphor for video games as a medium of artistic expression. He declared that he and the video game industry were working "at cross purposes", with the industry focusing on "depth", when Crawford wanted more "breadth": to explore new horizons rather than furthering what has be