The screens David had been 'playing around with' previously were the equipment buying stages and the vertical view of the car on the road, used in the final version when the ghost busting team set off to trap slimers.

"I had this vague idea for a game whereby you were buying weapons to wipe out some kind of baddies you might then meet on the road. They fitted in quite nicely with Ghostbusters."

Ghostbusters Equipment Activision
Ghostbusters by Activision

David worked on these screens as a starting point. "In the first two days that I worked on it I had my game plan defined, by sitting down and looking at the constraints I had to work within. I had some screens, I had to produce something that was recognisably from the movie, I had to include features from it, I wanted to include some of the humour in the movie. At the same time, I very much wanted to write a game that would stand up on its own as a game without the Ghostbusters logo attached to it.

"The comic elements - such as the vacuum cleaner and the tins of marshmallow sensor, I was particularly keen on. After all, it's hardly hi-tech to go around chasing ghosts with a vacuum cleaner."
The music, which was distinctive on Ghostbusters, was also David's. "That was fairly easy - it was just a case of sitting down with the sheet music from Ray Parker Jnr's song and tailoring it to the capabilities of the Commodore.

Then, as the song was such a big hit at the time, I thought it would be nice to include the lyrics, and came up with the bouncing ball idea at the beginning.

"The speech, which I didn't do - that was commissioned by Activision from Electronic Speech Systems (ESS), a Californian company - went in because it was fun, and that was the main idea we wanted to put across in the game."

"The final version of Ghostbusters was handed in at Activision bang on the six week deadline."


Ghostbusters by Activision
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Since then, David has not yet started work on a new game. He was so enthused by the way that the 'team' format had worked for Ghostbusters that he is keen to try it for all future Activision releases.

"I'm trying to promote the idea of a group project, and setting up a team within Activision with some of our younger designers. Though if I get an idea for a new game, I can always drop everything and go and work on it."

Apart from the speed at which Ghostbusters was produced, the game marked a departure for David in other ways.

"Previously, I had simply been developing my own ideas, rather than being given a theme to write around. Over the five years I've spent at Activision, I've experimented with all types of games - I think the only thing I've never tried is a straight adventure program.