Tag Archives: Chris Crawford

Atari A to Z Flashback: Wizard

If you know your Atari history, you’ll recognise the name Chris Crawford. He was responsible for a number of fascinating and innovative games, including the strategy title Eastern Front and the weird-ass social ’em up Gossip.

Wizard is a prototype he worked on back in the Atari 2600 days, but it never made it to release for various reasons — chief among which was the fact that Crawford crammed it into 2K, but Atari’s marketing department decided that all games from that point on should be 4K. Silly in retrospect, yet — but at least we can enjoy Wizard today.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: Gossip

Today’s indie scene is quite rightfully regarded as one of the most creative spaces in the games industry. But it’s been that way for a lot longer than most people realise.

Some truly fascinating games came out through the Atari Program Exchange or APX, a programme run by Atari where consumers (or indeed Atari employees) could submit their pet projects and get them published by the company — perhaps the earliest take on today’s “indie specialist” publishers such as Devolver Digital and its ilk.

One such example that it seems never quite made it to final release was Gossip, a fascinating game by Atari’s master of simulations, Chris Crawford. Gossip is an attempt to simulate social interactions using a mathematical model of affinity as a basis. As a game, it takes a bit of getting used to, but as you start to figure out what’s going on it becomes a fascinating experience. Check out my attempts to woo the virtual ladies in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z