Before my brother Garry and I joined Activision in early 1982, I had started working on what I hoped would be my first 2600 game.
In those days we worked on Apple II computers out of the basement of Garry's home in New Milford New jersey. Garry had designed a board that plugged into one of the Apple's peripheral card slots that had 4K of RAM on-board. A ribbon cable was plugged into the back of that board with the other end plugged into a cartridge board inserted into an Atari 2600.
We would write our code in Apple memory, then "download" it into the hand-wired board and flip on the 2600 to see the result. That was the system Garry used to develop SPACE JOCKEY™ and DONKEY KONG™ and what we used when we first joined Activision (before they installed a PDP-11 for us).
This Apple Disk I found today from 1981 is the earliest known code from that game I had hoped would one day be my first Activision game. I called it FLOWER POWER. Activision named it CRACKPOTS™, and the rest as they say, is history.