Midway and Jarvis had a long history, one filled with collection of arcade hits. It was also a relationship that wasn’t entirely planned. What was clear from the beginning was that the video game industry was the career of choice for Jarvis; he spent far too many hours of his younger years rooted in local game rooms and playing hits of the day like Pong and Breakout. In college, he often went down to the lab basement at the University of California Berkeley at two in the morning to play SpaceWar! until dawn. What wasn’t as defined was how he would get his start. His intention to be a game designer burned strongly after he graduated in 1977 with a BA in Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, but his attempt to land a job at Atari went unanswered. Jarvis took a job at Hewlett Packard, but it turned out to be less than exciting. In fact, it proved too boring for him, and he lasted a total of just three days. Luckily, fate had better things in store for him, and he landed his dream position when Atari finally came calling. For the next two years, Jarvis got to work at Atari under Nolan Bushnell and program some of the first pinball machines that used microprocessors.

“The conventional approach for 3D rendering over the years has been to use only triangular polygons, due to the complexity and non-planarity issues of processing N-sided geometries [N = the number of polygon sides. N=3 for triangle, N=4 for quad, etc.]. After some experimentation with 3D modeling, we noticed that by using quads, poly counts could be reduced almost in half, and rendering speeds doubled with better image quality. So, we designed the V-Unit chip for quad rendering.”

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Ken Horowitz Ken Horowitz (0 Posts)

Dr. Kenneth Horowitz is an English professor who has taught research and writing for 20 years. He has been writing about video games for well over a decade and is the author of Playing at the Next Level: A History of American Sega Games by McFarland & Co, which chronicles Sega of America’s game development history. His work has also been featured in numerous video game publications like GamesTM and Hardcore Gamer Magazine and several enthusiast websites (GotNext, The Next Level). Ken has also published academic articles about using video games to teach English as a second language in professional publications that include Language Magazine and the Hispanic Educational Technology Services Journal. His next book, The Sega Arcade Revolution, will be published in 2018 by McFarland.