Dan Sunday’s History Part 2

Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 22:22:00 -0500
Subject: Re: The old Vectorbeam days...


Thanks for your interest in these vector games. They were a lot of fun.
I haven't gotten your emulator yet, but will do so. I will try to answer some
of your questions in the following:

Zonn wrote:


> There has been a long, on going, search for the game Scramble, and all that
> has ever been found is a B&W hand drawn flyer, and one guys memory of
> playing it once. There was some doubt as to whether this game had indeed
> really existed, or whether only the flyer was circulated.
> It's nice to > know it at least existed!


Yes, it existed. It was the very first game the new Vectorbeam company made.
Remember, Vectorbeam only existed for 1 year: I recall Sept 1978 to Aug 1979,
but may be off a month either way. So when it first started things were
really hectic -- a scramble. We were trying to get everything off the ground,
and get a game to a big annual trade show in Chicago. We managed to quickly
put together a video pinball game, Scramble, and actually it to the Chicago
trade show.


It sold some, but not big, however enough to keep us alive. Next was Speed
Freak which was more of a success. Then Tailgunner which was the third rated
game that year (after Pac Man and Space Invaders I recall), and was a very big
success. That was the game the resulted in Cinematronics making an offer to
buy Vectorbeam from Larry, and he accepted and left. So did some of the rest
of us, myself included. Right at the end, though, a new game was being
developed in the R&D lab: OOPS.



H o m e

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> I have another question you might be able to answer. There is a rumor of a > game called "OOPS!" The object of this games was to control a hypodermic
> needle and inject spermicide, and thereby keeping a bunch of sperm from
> reaching the egg. The game was supposedly written by Larry Rosenthal, or at
> least his company (I guess that would have been you?!?)


For the record, the max company size was about 80 employees. I don't remember
many full names, but:


Gil was the general manager, and ran the company. He put it all together and
made the place work. He was really upset when Larry dumped us all, and I
heard that he was trying to sue Larry for some of the profit from the sale.


There was an electrical tech, Sid, who did all kinds of stuff. Eventually,
when Exidy bought Vectorbeam (you knew that, right?), Sid programmed Armor
Attack (I think that's what it was was called) with a helicopter.


In the final summer I also had a summer student (CS major from Berkeley)
working for me. He went back to school.   
In the final summer I also had a summer student (CS major from Berkeley)
working for me. He went back to sch