The Minds Behind The Games - Title

The Minds Behind The Games By Patrick Hickey Jr.

On the site as well as the Diary podcast, I have made my statement about the need to document the history of video games. While we are still able to in fact from those that worked in the industry back in the day. Which is of course why I was glad when Patrick Hickey Jr. contacted me last week. As he so happens to have written a book entitled The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers.
The Mind Behind The Games - cover A

I have not had the pleasure of reading The Minds Behind The Games as of yet. However here is an exceptional breakdown of the book by way of the press release:
“Who wrote “Romeo & Juliet? Who first sang “Thriller”? Who played Captain America in the last Avengers flick? All of these questions are basic pop culture knowledge that everyone, regardless of their geekdom, knows. But who are the minds behind some of the most influential video games of all-time? Don’t know, right? Don’t use Google, either!

But here’s the bigger question: Why aren’t their names enshrined in our memories, too? Why aren’t these men and women’s names just as synonymous in pop culture lore as those in music, film and literature?

“The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Game Developers” is the first video game book of its kind to get access to some of the most iconic and unique video game developers from the past 40 years, from the Atari 2600 to the PlayStation 4 and even failed consoles the likes of the Ouya and NEMO. 

Didn’t know those consoles existed? It’s just another reason to read this behind the scenes look at the industry, which also features all-new exclusive interviews with everyone from Yars’ Revenge creator Howard Scott Warshaw to NBA Jam mastermind Mark Turmell and Mortal Kombat co-creator John Tobias. 
The Minds Behind The Games - Howard Scott Washaw - Steven Spielberg

Written by award-winning journalist and educator Patrick Hickey Jr., the book contains profiles of 36 of the coolest video games ever created. 

“We know so much about video games, but we know so little about the amazing people that made them,” Hickey said. “That was the main reason I decided to write this book. Imagine 36 episodes of VH1’s Behind the Music. That’s what this book is- an unaltered, behind-the-scenes look at some of the coolest, infamous and unique games ever made.”

Seeing a problem that desperately needed to fixed, Hickey reached out to some of the most iconic video game developers David Crane (Pitfall), Garry Kitchen (Donkey Kong) and Rob Fulop (Night Trap, Missile Command) and many more- the end result was a passion project that would finally give the greatest minds in video games their due.”

You can order the book from Amazon or Barnes and Noble right this minute. For those of us that can see the importance of the history of video games. This is obviously a pretty important tome to say the least.

I may not have had the opportunity to check out The Minds Behind The Games yet. That does not mean however that you cannot check out what others have said about it.

For example the Huffington Post, Forbes, and the New York Daily Post!

Ghouls’N Ghosts Arcade Flyer (1988)

Image courtesy of the Arcade Flyer Archive.

Image courtesy of the Arcade Flyer Archive.

When doing research on Frank Cirocco for the Yars’ Revenge Podcast I stumbled across this wonderful looking flyer for Ghouls’n Ghosts, the sequel to Ghosts’n Goblins back in 1985. For some reason Capcom decided the first go around wasn’t quite hard enough to play.

[Via] Lowlife Lenny
Thanks as always to The Arcade Flyer Archive for the scanned image you see above.

Yars’ Revenge Cartridge

While cleaning up my computer room, I ran across my Yars’ Revenge cartridge for the Atari 2600.

Nothing special about it; Atari made thousands (maybe millions) of them.

Oh wait, I almost forgot: mine was signed by Howard Scott Warshaw, the creator of Yars’ Revenge.

Someday, if possible, I’d like to also get the cart signed by Ray Kassar, former CEO of Atari. For those of you who don’t know, “Yar” is “Ray” backwards. In the game’s manual, players learn that Yars are from the planet Razak (Kassar, reversed phonetically).

Fans of the game should check out Sean Hartter’s custom Yars’ Revenge artwork and The Retroist’s minimalist Yars’ Revenge Wallpaper. If you would like to know more about the development of Yars’ Revenge, check out the amazing book Racing the Beam. It’s a must read for anyone who has ever wondered how programmers squeezed all that magic out of the Atari 2600.

And, if you want to know how to beat the game … here you go: