Welcome to Throwback Thursday!
In late 1980, a few months after my brother Garry finished his first 2600 game, SPACE JOCKEY™, we decided to start a new company, Imaginative Systems Software, in the basement of his New Milford, New Jersey home. We focused on designing games for the Apple II computer.
Our first paying project was a port of an Othello game called REVERSAL™ from the Apple II to the Atari 400. As I recall we were paid $4,000 for the work. That project, lead by Garry, opened up a door to our first game publisher, Hayden Software. Soon after REVERSAL™ was completed, we signed a six game deal with Hayden and delivered these games over the next year. I believe we were paid $6,000 per game.
Recently I found a complete set of the games in the original packaging. Some still have the $34.95 retail price tag on them.
It was in that basement where Garry wrote the Atari 2600 version of Donkey Kong, where I started coding my first Atari 2600 game which would later become CRACKPOTS™, and where a year later, we were meeting with Jim Levy and Tom Lopez, the President and Vice President of a little publishing company called Activision.