Ed Fries - Romox Jul 29, 2015 16:28:57 GMT
Post by The Laird on Jul 29, 2015 16:28:57 GMT
What titles did you work on for the Atari 8-bit?
I worked freelance while going to high school and later college for a company called ROMOX. They saw a Frogger clone I wrote called Froggie and asked me to make changes to it so they could release it as Princess and Frog. After that I wrote two more games for them: Anteater and Sea Chase. My first game for the A8 was a Space Wars clone called Space Combat that I wrote before Froggie but sadly it was never published.
What did you think of the machine when you first encountered it?
I received it as a Christmas present and at first I was disappointed because I had used Apple II’s at school and was hoping for one of those, but once I played around with the machine a bit I realised how much better it was.
How do you think the Atari 8-bit stacked up against its rivals?
It was a great little machine, you could really tell it was built with games in mind. As a programmer you had hardware sprites, good sound and great graphics architecture too.
What were the good/bad points about the system?
On the good side, as I said above, the graphics and sound really were great for the time.
On the bad side, the whole SIO bus thing was awkward and made for expensive peripherals of which there were not very many of them compared to the Apple II.
Do you have any memorable stories regarding your time with the machine?
When I moved away to college I brought my Atari 800 on the airplane but had to ship out a small TV to use with it so I didn’t have that when I arrived. I had forgotten to bring an alarm clock and needed to be awake at a certain hour the next morning so I programmed the Atari to wake me up. It was a fun challenge to work “blindfolded” without a screen and sure enough it started buzzing at the right time in the morning just as I planned!
What were your own favourite games for the machine?
M.U.L.E. was my favourite with Star Raiders a close second.
Why do you think the Atari 8-bit machines should be remembered?
It was released around the pinnacle of Atari’s success and was really a wonderful machine to both work and play on.
This interview was conducted by Kieren Hawken and is not to be shared elsewhere without strict permission.