Atari was a corporation that was “born” in 1972. The first arcade game released by this fledgling company was Pong. After that, Atari released games such as Breakout, Sprint (both 2 and 4), Night Driver, and Firetruck to name a few. In 1977, Cinematronics released a game called Space Wars that was created by Larry Rosenthal. Atari realized that this would be the next genre in a logical progression, so Howard Delman was tasked with creating a vector generator for Atari. In 1979, Howard Delman’s vector generator was used in Lunar Lander. In 1978, Space Invaders took the world by storm. With Space Invaders, a whole slew of space-type games entered the arcade.

Lyle Rains proposed a new game to Ed Logg which involved shooting asteroids. Ed Logg modified the idea to include multiple sizes of asteroids and to use the vector generator instead of the standard raster scan monitor. Hence, the beginning of Asteroids was as a game which would have the player in the middle of an asteroid field and their purpose would be to destroy said asteroids. In addition, asteroids would not be the only hazard. Alien ships would also be shooting at you. This would basically force the player to not only have to deal with the asteroids coming at them, but also to contend with saucers shooting at them. The game also featured some relatively new things such as being able to put up your initials for a high score and a wrap-around screen.

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Kevin Butler Kevin Butler (6 Posts)

Since he played on the first Magnanvox Odyssey in 1973, Kevin was bitten by the video game bug. It didn't matter what the games looked like, they were just fun. When Space Invaders was released in the United States in the late 1970's, he spent a ton of quarters in his local Aladdins Castle trying (unsuccessfully) to master the game. He continued to play on various console and arcade games (even learning to program the Apple II+) until he joined the navy in 1983. Joined the navy in 1983 and became a Hospital Corpsman in 1984. While in the navy, Kevin was able continue his hobby of programming PC's and playing videogames. In the early to mid 1990's, Kevin learned to program the Atari ST and worked for Majicsoft for a couple of years. Before retiring from the navy in 2004, Kevin started to write FAQ's for GameFAQ's. His forte was arcade FAQ's since that was his real passion still. His FAQ's have appeared in many places that seek to preserve the arcade game history. This is especially true for the MAME project where his guides are a part of the documentation. After retiring from the navy, Kevin has been more involved in computer repair, networking, and computer security but he still is involved in the arcade history arena. He currently lives in Neosho MO with his wife and one son who is also a video game hobbyist.