Lost Treasures

October 26, 2015

Episode 12: Adventure

Interview with Warren Robinett

Adventure Boxart

Our special guest this week is none other than Warren Robinett, the man behind the classic Atari 2600 game, Adventure.  Warren regales us with the inspiration behind the game itself as well as what it was really like to be a game developer for Atari back in the late 70’s.  If you weren’t aware, what we now call Easter Eggs in game was actually started by Warren himself in this very same game. We also learn, however, that he did not call it an Easter Egg back then.  It is our absolute pleasure to have Warren join us this week and we hope you enjoy it too.

Warren’s Website: www.warrenrobinett.com

Adventure. It’s both the name of this Lost Treasure, and the genre it defined. Of course, I’m not talking about the text-only adventure based on Colossal Caves, the the text adventure created on the old huge mainframes. Instead, today we are talking about Adventure from Atari, for the Atari 2600 that came out in 1979 which helped definite the action adventure genre with many firsts.

Designed by then Atari employee Warren Robinett, Adventure claims many first distinctions including being the first action adventure game for a console and the first video game to feature an easter egg – something hidden inside the game by the programmer (or programmers) that, in this case, was a complete surprise to management at Atari. After it was discovered (approximately one year after the game was out in the wild), Atari decided to label it as an intended feature and promised gamers that other hidden secrets would show up in other games they were publishing.

Adventure was quite a technical achievement for its time, overcoming the quite severe limitations of the Atari 2600 for a type of game that became much easier to design on home computers that were built in the 80s. It was different from the shorter gaming experiences that were common on the system at the time (since many of them were arcade translations, intended to grab up as many
quarters as possible). The game received mix reviews at the time of its release but has since gotten better reviews as people now understand and appreciate the genre more. It’s definitely a lost treasure to dig up for its important role in the history of video games and for breaking the rules of what we thought video games should and could be.

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About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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