Activision were one of the greatest software houses in the 80’s during the home computer boom. They developed games for all the major 8-bit computer formats. One of the advantages that they had was employing the game programmer and designer David Crane – an innovative, clever guy, who created some of the best games to grace a home computer. David was behind some of the best selling computer games of all time – including the tremendously successful Pitfall, Ghostbusters and Little Computer People.
We spoke to the writer and designer of Ghostbusters, David Crane, Activision's top programmer, when he visited this country from California recently, Ghostbusters was far from David's first big success - he wrote many early games for Activision on the Atari VCS machines, not to mention Pitfall and Decathlon, also available on the Commodore.
When you formed Activision, to what extent did you find yourselves prisoners creatively of the machine to which you pitched your earlier games - the Atari 2600 VCS which, although the definitive dedicated videogame machine, is by any consent limited technically and architecturally?
Following on from last month's exclusive review of Pet Person we now present an interview with Pet Person creator, DAVID CRANE. Quite unusual really, because David prefers to stay away from the limelight and the computer press in general. JULIAN RIGNALL, never one to turn down an opportunity to use the phone, rigged up a tape recorder and dialled the USA. It was 5.30 in the afternoon, and Julian was thinking of home. David, on the other hand, had not long arrived at work. It was 9.30am over in the States...
David Crane's work is almost exclusively for the C64. But his reputation in America is based on the VCS titles he wrote for Activision. Games like Pitfall I and II and Decathlon were all classics and Pitfall is reputed to have sold more than five million copies around the world. When Pitfall fever was at its height one American magazine suggested that Crane had earned more money from royalties on Pitfall than Michael Jackson had currently earned for Thriller.