Sign up FAST! Login

Eugene Jarvis still believes in the arcade video game - Chicago Tribune

Stashed in: Steve Jobs, Hackers!, Gamification!, History of Tech!, Gamers!

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Jarvis, who is responsible for a remarkable number of gaming innovations and an absurdly long list of successful titles stretchingicon1.png four decades, is something of a video game Zelig, a game developer with a Forrest Gump-like ability to have witnessed (or had a hand in) a number of pivotal moments in the history of the medium.

Scrolling games, for instance. Jarvis pioneered scrolling. (Which is like being the first guy to say, “Hey, what would happen if we added pages to this stone tableticon1.png?”) Also, dual joysticks — he created dual joysticks.

As a teenager he attended the meetings of the legendary Homebrew Computer Club, which included Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. After college, he was hired by Atari, where founder Nolan Bushnell was pushing innovations (and Jobs was designing a new “Pong” game named “Breakout”). During the pinball era, Jarvis' successes included Atari's “Superman” and Williams Electronics' “Firepower” and “High Speed.” During the early '80s he designed “Defender,” “Stargate,” and “Robotron”; during the late '80s and '90s, he made “Narc,” “Smash TV,” and the “Cruis'n USA” franchise. More recently, he's the guy behind the “Fast and Furious” driving games, the publisher of “Big Buck Hunter” and the developer who recognized, as Hollywood did decades earlier when faced with the threat of television, the physical size of the medium would be key to its survival: Raw Thrills' machines, the industryicon1.png standard, are loud and gigantic.

Wow, he's a Renaissance Man. He has designed many kinds of games!

I should have mentioned that I got here from an epic tale of having and prodigy effort,

er Eugene Jarvis- Around 1987 a kid in Canada named Christian Gingras completely analyzed the machine code in the ROMS and synthesized an entire Robotron source listing from the Roms.  He then sent  a list of 7 bugs he found in the game just by reading the code, and we fixed them.  One of them was the infamous diagonal shot crash bug!

You May Also Like: