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They Create Worlds

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They Create Worlds

Alex Smith, and Jeffrey Daum

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Love of the worlds created by video game designers and personalities drives Alex Smith & Jeffrey Daum (history, law, CS degrees) to provide a scholarly yet light-hearted discussion of how arcade, home console, and PC games merged into a Video Game Industry. Emphasis is on the combination of business and creative elements needed for financial success. Interviews of Atari, EA, Activision, & other execs with detailed source evaluations produce the insights you hear in these 140+ hours!
 
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show series
 
TCW Podcast Episode 151 - Grand Theft Auto 1 We start our look at the legendary game series Grand Theft Auto. A game series that had many influences that came out of the British PC market. The game may not have seen the light of day if it was not for developers and executives championing the game to BMG Interactive. With the help of a PR campaign t…
 
TCW Podcast Episode 150 - Gottlieb Part 2 In part two we look at the further development of Gottlieb as a coin-op company, and how they established themselves during the 50s through the 70's. Eventually acquired by Columbia Pictures. Gottlieb would start making small steps into the video game space. Though many inside the company still viewed thems…
 
TCW Podcast Episode 149 - Gottlieb Part 1 We look at the company Gottlieb which was a major coin-op company founding during the roaring twenties, and rising to prominence in the great depression, and post war era. The company is most well known for pinball, and the many contributions to making it more than a gabling device. We follow the rise of th…
 
TCW Podcast Episode 148 - The Mysteries of Imagic We look at the company Imagic. This company only lasted a few short years during the lead up to, and through the crash. The company is notable for innovative packaging, and creating games that pushed the graphical fidelity of the Atari VCS to new levels! They were also one of the first companies to …
 
TCW Podcast Episode 147 - Others in the Field Too We look at the contributions of other in the field chronicling video game history, and trying to write perspectives on what we know at the time. To start we look at Gaming Alexandria which has become one of the major communities dedicated to preserving video game history, and has many contributors w…
 
TCW Podcast Episode 146 - Storytime with a Book 2 Alex reads and annotates a chapter of the book dealing with the founding of Activision! We cover not just the chapter but the thought process, and behind the scenes that went into the chapter. The story is helped with extra information that Alex was able to gleam from interviews, and trial transcrip…
 
TCW Podcast Episode 145 - Revisions and Updates 3 Our sixth year anniversary! In this episode we look back at the podcast and correct some of the errors that were made in the past. First we explore the company Fun Games which was sued by Atari for making clones of Atari products using stolen equipment. The source and story of this is better told wi…
 
TCW Podcast Episode 144 - Ascension into the Black Gate In our final part looking at the history of the Ultima series we start off looking at Ultima VII. This game is considered by many to be the pinnacle of the series. The game combines story elements with a massive world to create a truly unique experience. The game is followed by two major comme…
 
TCW Podcast Episode 143 -The Prophet of the Avatar In part two of our look at the Ultima series we start with how Richard came to the morality system that became a central feature of the franchise. Using a combination of features he likes from various worlds religions, his own experiences, and so on Richard crafted the eight virtues that the play, …
 
TCW Podcast Episode 142 - Ultima: Exodus to Akalabeth In this episode we look at the legendary series of Ultima! We look at the lead up inspiration, and influences that led to the creation of Ultima. This episode ties in heavily with our look at Origin Systems. In this we use the creation of Ultima as a microcosm of the development of the PC indust…
 
TCW Podcast Episode 141 - The Console Market of the 70's and 80's Part 2 In our second part we look at the emergence of the programable consoles. We see how many companies kept falling into the same trap of FCC regulations, heat issues, and chip shortages. By the time most of these issues were sorted out, with the notable exception of the Apple II …
 
TCW Podcast Episode 140 - The Console Market of the 70's and 80's Part 1 We look at the early dedicated hardware systems in the United States. We have talked about many of these companies in the past. However we have not brought the story together at a large scale looking at the influences these companies had on each other, the consumer market in g…
 
TCW Podcast Episode 139 - Tec Toy and Brazil We look at the video game industry in Brazil. A big thanks to Marcus Garrett and his book "1983+1984 " which details a lot of the video game industry in Brazil. We delve into the interesting history of outside companies operating in Brazil and the gray market that has developed as a result. Once we have …
 
TCW Podcast Episode 138 - Dave Nutting Associates This is our second half looking at Dave Nutting and specifically Dave Nutting Associates. We see how they are able change the industry by showing the viability of solid state Pinball. Despite the setback of not being able to license the technology to Bally/Midway they pressed on with developing vide…
 
TCW Podcast Episode 137 - Dave Nutting & Nutting Industries In part one of our two part look at the contributions of Dave Nutting to the video game industry, we see where he came from. Some of his contentious relationship with his brother, and some of the design contributions he did that led to developments in the future with coin-op games. With th…
 
TCW Podcast Episode 136 - Ocean Software We look at the company Ocean Software. The company was founded by David Ward and Jon Woods as Spectrum Games, and was later renamed to Ocean Software. The company specialized in a mail order business harnessing the best of the bedroom coder scene in Brittan to produce ports of popular arcade titles. In fact …
 
TCW Podcast Episode 135 - The Famicom Disc System In our second part look at the Family Computer we start off with the launch in Japan. We see all the early games, and the slow start the system had. However it rapidly gained steam and gained widespread adoption. Nintendo faced one of their first challenges which was the overheating of the graphic c…
 
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