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11.009 Where did the Apple II Game Gods go?


This article is from the Apple II Csa2 FAQ, by Jeff Hurlburt with numerous contributions by others.

11.009 Where did the Apple II Game Gods go?

    Interesting bit of info: about a year and 1/2 ago, i was touring Sculptured
Software in Salt Lake City, UT.  I had just finished talking to the Mortal
Kombat team and was rounding a corner, passing some offices and i noticed a
name on the door, "Peter Ward".  I instantly thought, "NO WAY!".  There was a
guy in the office and i said, "Are you Peter Ward???!!"

The guy said, "No, Peter is at home, sick right now."

Me: "Is that the same Peter Ward that created Black Magic for the Apple //?"

Him: <slight pause>  "Wow. You are the ONLY person i've ever met that knew
that. That was a LONG time ago!"

Me: "Oh man, i am a BIG fan of Peter's work. I even have some of his earlier
stuff -- South Pacific Quest, remember that one?"

Him: "Nope.  I gotta tell Peter about this!"

I've never heard from Peter though.

Another interesting tidbit: remember Threshold?  It was THE COOLEST Space
Invaders clone ever to grace an Apple // screen (actually it was more of an
Astro-Blaster clone).  It was created by Warren Schwader (he also did that
Cribbage game that had a bad bug in it.)  Well, back in March 1992, we of id
Software travelled to Sierra (Online) to show them a pre-alpha version of
Wolfenstein 3D.  Sierra was interested in buying id Software back then (for a
very, very CHEAP price!) and we wanted to show them our n

ew 3D technology to get them all juicy.  Well, i was asking Ken Williams if he
knew where any old Apple // guys were and he said he had ONE still working at
Sierra.  He brought us into a room with an older guy and said, "This is Warren
Schwader."  Instantly, i was saying, "We're not worthy!  We're not worthy!
Threshold was a KICK ASS game!  You created a legend!"

Sierra balked at our asking for a $100K advance payment on the buyout, so the
deal died and we released Wolfenstein 3D.

That summer of 1992, just after Wolf3D was released, John Carmack and i drove
to Kansas City for one of the last A2-Central conferences.  We brought a laptop
and a copy of Wolf3d with us because, lo and behold, Tom Weishaar got ahold of
Silas Warner (creator of the original Castle Wolfenstein) and had Silas give a
seminar.  What a night.  Carmack and i sat out in the hallway for hours talking
to Silas and Bill Heineman about all kinds of old A2 stuff.  We have an
original Wolf3D manual with Silas' signatur

e on it.  It's framed.  :)

Am i on a roll or what?  I have even more info....

As soon as The Secret of Mana was released, i bought it because i absolutely
LOVE Squaresoft's games.  I worship at the altar of Squaresoft. :)  As soon as
i plugged the SNES cart in, I just sat to watch the demo. (BTW: always, ALWAYS
sit and watch game demos. Lots of work goes into them and sometimes there's
very useful stuff there.)  I was reveling in the beautiful music and unfolding
Mana Tree graphic when the first line of the credits scrolled up.  "PROGRAMMED

THE BEST GAME SOFTWARE AVAILABLE! (sorry 'bout the caps.)

I was blown away.  If you want to experience the epitome of 65816 game
programming after 15 years of practice (5 of that being 6502), get The Secret
of Mana for SNES and luxuriate in the masterful codesmithing of Nasir once
again.  Nasir is one of the Old Ones, alongside Bill Budge, Bob Bishop, Olaf
Lubeck, Don Fudge, etc, etc.  I could go on and on.  I remember every game and
every name.

And here's another one...  :)

In 1995, i went to the Computer Game Developer's Conference in Santa Clara. It
was fun seeing and talking to other game designers.  Well, at the CGDC there
was a Job Fair, which is where people go to get information on various
companies so they can try to get a job there.  There were many companies
represented at the Job Fair.  This is so funny: Dan Gorlin was at the Job Fair
and he walked over to the Broderbund booth and talked to them.  He even had a
name tag on, but the Broderbund people HAD NO IDEA WHO

 HE WAS!!!  The creator of one of Broderbund's biggest titles (okay, a while
ago. :) was TREATED LIKE A WANNABE GAME PROGRAMMER!!! I mean, we're talking
about the guy that created Choplifter and Airheart!  Amazing!  I mean, how many
other games of Broderbund's have been ported to a stand-up coin-op? NONE!

Well, I haven't heard about what Dan's been up to nowadays, but.....another one
of Broderbund's previous blockbuster programmers HAS been busting his hump for
a while on the NUMBER 2 RPG game of 1995 (voted by GamePro magazine)!  The name
is Doug Smith and the game is The Secret of Evermore (SNES).  What did Doug do
for Broderbund???  Well, he ONLY CREATED LODE RUNNER!!!!  Sierra just brought
Lode Runner back into the light recently, since they had it updated for the PC.

Whew.  That tired me out.  But i have more.  If anyone here is an old Apple II
game fanatic, i'd love to trade email with ya.  Especially if you have any
juicy info on Where Are They Now?

| John Romero                   |
| johnr@idsoftware.com          |
| id Software, inc.             |
| Release date: When it's done. |


Nov 2003 Update

I have an incredible amount of information to share regarding the whereabouts
of several Apple II legends…..and also write about the amazing Apple II Reunion
that I had back in 1998 in Dallas at my company Ion Storm.  I have 6 hours of
videotaped interviews with Nasir, Bill Budge, Warren Robinnett, etc.  I also
have an audio cassette with interviews of Dan Gorlin, Joel Berez and others.  I
need to get this stuff in MPG and MP3 form…. Hopefully in the next few months
I’ll be doing that.

John Romero
Project Lead, Design Lead
Midway Home Entertainment

By:  ANO_NYMOUS and Erik Struiksma


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