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Old 17 September 2008, 00:48   #1
Codetapper
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Question Who are/were the best programmers?

I am curious as to what others think about who the best game programmers were from the 80's and early 90's (Amiga heyday!).

In the arcades, they seemed to have incredibly well written games, they rarely crashed (I can only remember a few games that hung or reset, possibly due to faulty hardware) and had pretty good AI on the whole. And usually pretty good pixel-art graphics.

However, was that due to good programmers, or really good hardware? What kind of games would someone like Andrew Braybrook, in the hands of some decent hardware that allowed multiple layers of graphics to be combined in hardware have come up with?

The huge games in the mid to late 80's like Out Run, Afterburner - was fast graphics hardware hiding mediocre programming? Could the guy that made Out Run in the arcades come up with anything half decent on a humble Amiga 500?

Which country produced the best programmers? From the mags I read at the time, it seemed the UK programmers squeezed a lot more out of their 8-bit machines than the US guys could - with the exception of crap teams that churned out shite like Tiertex etc. US teams seemed happy to go with huge multiload titles (Accolade etc) while the UK guys would often squeeze an entire game in a single load.

The Germans and Scandanavian countries seemed to always come up with slick games and effects. The few Aussie games I can think of were pretty terrible (I think of ECP products here!). Most NZ stuff was pretty well written but not technologically brilliant. The French were just weird!

Are there any coders that really were legends? What the Reflections guys did with dual playfield mode on the Amiga was incredible in terms of graphics. Geoff Crammond did F1GP on a humble A500. Rainbow Arts seemed to make silky smooth 50fps games that you didn't notice were only 16 colours etc etc...
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Old 17 September 2008, 01:03   #2
Dastardly
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I was always impressed by Team 17's games TECHNICALLY. They always seemed super slick and fast with loads of colour.

I also think they were soul-less and dull for the most part.
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Old 17 September 2008, 01:19   #3
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Ian Bell and David Braben. other than them, i wouldn't know: it's easier to spot bad programmed games than the opposite

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Old 17 September 2008, 01:24   #4
Coagulus
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Archer Maclean, Geoff Crammond and Manfred Trenz spring to mind.


[edit] whoops, you'd mentioned two of them already! [/edit]
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Old 17 September 2008, 02:14   #5
DDNI
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Paul Woakes is my programming god!

Amiga Encounter
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Old 17 September 2008, 02:31   #6
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Michael Bittner (Most Thalion games, in particular Ambermoon 3D texture mapping)
Chris Jungen (No Second Prize 3D)

If we are including demo coders : Taipan of Complex (Amazing 3D demo code, realtime bobs)

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Old 17 September 2008, 12:31   #7
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i wanna see realtime boobs!

seriously, among:
http://www.pouet.net/groups.php?which=1219
what is a good exemple of Taipan coding? i don't know much about demo scene, alas
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Old 17 September 2008, 12:53   #8
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http://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=5423
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Old 17 September 2008, 14:22   #9
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As for most arcade machines: they had way better hardware and years earlier than the Amiga could even dream of.
Even early games like OutRun runs on very powerful (for its time) dedicated hardware.
That's where the money was at the time.
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Old 17 September 2008, 14:29   #10
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Andrew Braybrook and Archer Maclean for me. They're way too smart! Have you seen their code?!
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Old 18 September 2008, 00:35   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Codetapper View Post
The few Aussie games I can think of were pretty terrible (I think of ECP products here!).
Same thing with games made from italians (Italy is my homeland): just horrible.

For me the best on 64 and Amiga were the programmers of Bard's Tale, Speedball, Neuromancer, Armalyte and Wasteland. And of course people working for Sensible SW, Microprose, Lucasarts...
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Old 18 September 2008, 09:39   #12
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Pierre Adane is a great coder Fernando Velez too, french
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Old 18 September 2008, 10:07   #13
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Fernando Velez was Spanish wasn't he?
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Old 18 September 2008, 13:16   #14
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nope he is french a french demomaker..
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Old 18 September 2008, 13:57   #15
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One of the greatest game designers is Peter Molyneux.
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Old 18 September 2008, 14:25   #16
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SCUMM by Ron Gilbert and Aric Wilmunder is quite neat.
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Old 20 September 2008, 03:49   #17
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Just to name a few :

Sid Meier, Peter Molyneux, Geoff Crammond, Shigeru Miyamoto, the people at Infogrames & Electronic Arts , the people who were making games on the Spectrum platform, Liquid Design (the makers of Slam Tilt), Irem (the makers of Moon Patrol, R-Type ), Matthew Smith (for Jet Set Willy : How can such a simple game be so addictive & fascinating ), David Braben & Ian Bell (the makers of Elite), Marc Cerny...

The inventor of micro-switch, applied to joysticks (although not all good joysticks had micro-switches...)

Might not be exactly the kind of answer that Codetapper expected, but the time when an individual coder made a great game is long gone, inmho...
I assume he's interested in coders with exploit pedigrees, operating in highly competitive areas not game designers per se.
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Old 20 September 2008, 04:15   #18
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If memory serves, there was an article in Amiga World once that described Jez San as the best 68K machine language programmer in the world. I took that with a grain of salt. Clearly a sharp cookie but "best" is an awfully vague moniker.
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Old 20 September 2008, 11:16   #19
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the guy who gave us powerpacker and requester tools nico, dont know about the best
but were very useful
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Old 20 September 2008, 11:34   #20
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I'm a great fan of Chris Butler, he made very nice games on C64; later I know he worked on Super NES.
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