Help us with Discussions with the Most Fascinating People in Videogame History - Who do you want to read about?

Bill Loguidice's picture

There's a potential project that's a bit too early for Matt and me to talk about in detail that I thought would be worthwhile to seek everyone's help with, since many of you were so helpful with the Vintage Games book. Who do you think are the most fascinating people in videogame history? There are some obvious ones, like Ralph Baer, Richard Garriott, Roberta Williams, Bill Budge, Chuck Peddle, etc., and I've already come up with a list of roughly 23, but it really needs to be fleshed out (and Matt still needs to take a crack at adding to it). The goal is to get as many names as possible. The only criteria is that they must be living, live in North America or be readily available via e-mail (or Skype) if elsewhere, and probably speak English reasonably well. They might have helped create a great computer or videogame console or some component thereof, they might be great programmers, they might be great tools or middleware developers, etc. Any fascinating person in our industry's history. Who do you want to read about? Let us know as soon as you can as it would be a huge help. There's no reason to share the current list, as it would be helpful to validate some of the names I/we've already come up with independently. Thanks everyone!

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Statsman1
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Joined: 01/02/2009
Names

I would love to hear from...

Al Alcorn
Norman Bushnell
Chris Crawford
The founder of Nintendo (the video game empire, not the playing card company) - Hiroshi Yamauchi (I think)

...though I suspect the Nintendo fellow would be a difficult find since your qualifications would tend to preclude him.

I can probably think of a few more, but I can think of 'em, you've probably already got 'em.

Bill Loguidice
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Thanks. By all means, even

Thanks. By all means, even if you think we thought of them, let's hear the names anyway. It's just validation that if we have trouble finding a name or names that people keep mentioning, we need to try harder!

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Statsman1
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Heroes

Well, hopefully you get a good chat with Richard Garriott. If not for that guy, I wouldn't play computer games, I don't think. The Apple II version of Ultima III got me hooked forever.

Matt Barton
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Great idea, Bill! I'm still

Great idea, Bill! I'm still mulling over my list (I wanted to try to think independently before seeing who you came up with), but I want to ask about a few particular things. I'm hoping Seb and some others with some insider exp. can chip in here!

Basically, I'd like to get people who represent each of these aspects of game development and have been highly influential, innovative, or just damn good:

1. Graphics
2. Audio/sound/music
3. Modding/user-gen content
4. mobile gaming
5. independent gaming

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Rowdy Rob
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Graphics
Matt Barton wrote:

Basically, I'd like to get people who represent each of these aspects of game development and have been highly influential, innovative, or just damn good:

1. Graphics

I have to add J.D. Sachs, of C-64 (Saucer Attack) and Amiga (Defender of the Crown) fame, as well as probably the most famous Windows screen saver of all time, Marine Aquarium.

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Rowdy Rob
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A few names off the top of my head

Scott Adams - the text adventure guy

Bill Hogue (& Mike Konyu) of Big Five software (Miner 2049'er) fame - their story of teenagers making it big in the early days of gaming software would be fascinating.

I second Statsman1's recommendation of Chris Crawford.... there's probably nobody more fascinating than that guy.

John Romero of "Doom" fame.

Will Wright of "The Sims" and "Spore" fame.

Sid Meier of "Spitfire Ace," and "Civilization" fame.

A stretch here, since he is Japanese and would be very difficult to interview... Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo fame.

Brodie Lockard, the creator of "Shanghai," the huge 16-bit Mahjongg tile-matching hit in the 90's, that spawned all these "Mahjongg" clones out now. If I recall correctly, his story is.... interesting.

Okay, that's all for now.

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Bill Loguidice
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Good stuff

Thanks, Rob. I'd love to get Hogue, but I recall having trouble getting him in the past. This will be a great excuse though to get him. Same thing with Romero, as Matt and I had established initial contact with him for "Vintage Games", but he never got back to us.

I would love to get Miyamoto, but I just don't know if it makes sense for this particular book, as the "lessons learned" or what-have-you may not be entirely applicable to the US. However, some of the US guys might be interesting (even the execs), but their names slip my mind at the moment. Same thing for Microsoft and Sony US execs. Any thoughts on any of those names?

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Catatonic
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How about Steve Wozniak. He

How about Steve Wozniak. He designed the Breakout machine and designed the Apple II to be a good games machine. He seems like an approachable guy and his autobiography is awesome. (Read it if you get the chance)

Bill Loguidice
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The Woz
Catatonic wrote:

How about Steve Wozniak. He designed the Breakout machine and designed the Apple II to be a good games machine. He seems like an approachable guy and his autobiography is awesome. (Read it if you get the chance)

Actually, he's one of a couple of guys who we can't touch because it's already been done in the book, "Founders at Work". Anyone already interviewed in that would be rather redundant. He's a cool guy, though, and it would have been neat. As I understand it, he will also be appearing on "Dancing with the Stars" this season...

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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I'm not sure we "can't touch

I'm not sure we "can't touch him," Bill, are you? I haven't read the book you're talking about, but I wonder if it's focused as much on his gaming relationship as we would take the interview. What do you think? I can't believe everyone who'd buy our book will also be familiar with the founders book, so some overlap seems okay to me.

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