David Lamkins, Former Activision and Parker Brothers Employee - Guest Speaker in Portland OR - PDXCUG.org

On December. 9, 2010, the Portland Commodore Users Group (PDXCUG.org) in Portland, OR hosted a special guest speaker, David Lamkins, to discuss his early days as an Atari 2600 video game developer.

David initially worked for Parker Brothers, but later "defected" with four of his colleagues to Activision.

Here is his story of what it was like back in the days of early video game development and provides some insight into the decline of the Atari 2600 games and consoles. For you to enjoy, by the Portland Commodore Users Group.

Note: Here are some factual updates from what he says in the discussion:

  1. ~25:00 during discussion of how the big game makers provided incentives for their programmers: Parker Brothers initially paid a straight salary (in contrast to Activision and Atari).
  2. "One sprite per line" - actually, the Atari 2600 could display two: one per player.
  3. Flickering sprites on the Atari 2600 is due to multiplexing, not the HREMOVE technique.
  4. Rex's golf game developed during our time at Activision was on the Commodore 64, not the Atari 2600.