Polygonal Graphics

Ironically, one of the last projects that the old Atari, Inc. released to the arcades reaffirmed the fact that the company’s designers could be as innovative as ever: I, Robot was the first game that featured state-of-the-art 3D polygonal graphics, which was a technique that was nearly ten years ahead of its time. This bizarre game, designed by Tempest and Missile Command programmer Dave Theurer, borrowed features from earlier arcade games like Galaga and Pac-Man. The object of the game was to destroy the boss eye of Big Brother that watched over each level. In order to do this, the player controlled a robot that had to cross the red squares on the maze. This turned the squares blue and destroyed part of the shield that protected the eye. Some portions of the maze needed to be jumped, and if the player was in the act of jumping while the eye was red, the player would get zapped and lose a life. Other hazards abounded in the maze, such as birds, bombs, and flying sharks.  There was also a time limit for helping the robot fulfill its task on each level, of which there were 99 in all, each with a unique layout.

 

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Leonard Herman Leonard Herman (7 Posts)

Leonard Herman, The Game Scholar, is regarded as one of the earliest and most respected videogame historians. The first edition of his book Phoenix: The Fall & Rise of Home Videogames, which was published in 1994, is considered to be the first serious and comprehensive book about the history of videogames. He has written articles for Videogaming & Computer Illustrated, Games Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, the Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, Pocket Games, Classic Gamer Magazine, Edge, Game Informer, Classic Gamer Magazine, Manci Games, Gamespot.com and Video Game Trader, which he also edited. He has also contributed articles to several videogame-related books, including Supercade, The Video Game Explosion and The Encyclopedia of Video Games. Mr. Herman has also written the book ABC To the VCS (A Directory of Software for the Atari 2600), a compendium of game summaries. He has also written and designed user’s manuals for the following Atari VCS games: Cracked, Save the Whales, Pick-Up, Rush Hour, Looping, The Entity and Lasercade, as well as the user’s guide to Ralph Baer’s Pinball! for the Odyssey2. In 1994, he founded Rolenta Press, a publisher of videogame books, whose catalogue included Videogames: In the Beginning, by Ralph H. Baer, the inventor of the videogame console, and Confessions of the Game Doctor by Bill Kunkel, the world’s first videogame journalist. Two Rolenta Press books were included in a list of the top ten videogame books of all time by Game Informer magazine in 2008. Mr. Herman has served as an advisor for Videotopia, Classic Gaming Expo and the National Videogame Museum. He has appeared in several episodes of G4’s Icons and in the documentary, The King of Arcades. In 2003, Mr. Herman received a Classic Gaming Expo Achievement Award in recognition for his accomplishments in documenting game history


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