Today, video games are the leading voice of pop culture. Academics could deny it, film buffs and audiophiles may not accept it, but it’s indeed the case. The highest grossing form of entertainment in the world, the impact of video games on several generations is just the start of what the medium can and eventually become. Rewind over 35 years however and the industry was in complete flux, thanks to the infamous “crash” of 1983. In spite of captivating millions of people worldwide, the business of video games was thought by many to be more a fad than the foundation of a new form f creativity and storytelling it is today. For the thousands that worked in the gaming field, their dreams were all of sudden
under attack.

Garry Kitchen, known already by those in the field and players alike for his ability to enthrall and entertain, thanks to his work on original games the likes of Space Jockey and Keystone Kapers and his wildly successful Atari 2600 port of Nintendo’s arcade smash Donkey Kong, was in a precarious position. A career in gaming was his wildest fantasy come true. In order to continue to support himself and his family through his work, he had to press the reset button and use his skills to create something completely different That new product was GameMaker. Creating the software so gamers could learn how to create their own software, Kitchen’s creation was able to not only educate, but also reignite many people’s love of games. While it’s not the first game creation software, as Broderbund’s The Arcade Machine came out three years prior in 1982, Kitchen’s name recognition and ability as a developer made it an application that affected a plethora of would-be creators and changed the industry forever. The road that eventually led to GameMaker was far from predictable, however.

“As you may know, the video game market (Atari 2600, Intellivision, Colecovision, etc.) crashed in the 1983/1984 timeframe,” Kitchen said. “It crashed badly; essentially, every major retailer refused to buy video games. In reaction to this
disaster, Activision decided to refocus our game development effort from the consoles to the computers – Apple II, Commodore 64, Atari 400/800 and IBM PC. Of those, I decided on the Commodore 64 as my platform of choice.,….Read the rest of this article on page 17 os OSG #28 by clicking here (Paid Login Required)

 

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