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2002 Stan's Atari Excellence Awards
Atari Achievement Award

Atari Achievement Award

Thomas Jentzsch

Thomas JentzschI cannot imagine anyone else who has single-handedly done as much for the classic gaming “community” than Thomas Jentzsch. While this award is for the year 2002, I think it also applies retroactively over the past few years. From his tireless work on television format conversions, to his controller hacks of classic Atari favorites, to his sheer brilliance in creating some of the best homebrew games the hobby has ever seen, Thomas has done it all.

A constant presence in the homebrew community, Thomas is always willing and able to help fellow programmers with programming quandaries or provide tips to make great games even better. A cornerstone of the programmers’ group known as XYPE, Thomas is always at the forefront of VCS innovation.

Thrust Plus: DC EditionThe year 2002 saw a particularly strong showing from Thomas and his handiwork was ever-present in the classic gaming “community.” His jaw-dropping homebrew from 2000 Thrust continued to make waves, for better or worse, with the release of Thrust+, a version of the incredible homebrew compatible with virtually ever controller made for the VCS. He was also responsible for the creation of seven unique and significant hacks. His hacks of Missile Command, Asteroids, Battlezone, Omega Race, Sprintmaster and Robot Tank adapted those classics for use with various controllers that made gameplay more true to their arcade counterparts. He also dug deep into the code for River Raid to unravel the mystery of the "hidden tanks" and in the process found a nugget of extra space to add in hot air balloons to increase the challenge of the game. On top of that, Thomas continued his work of converting games previously only for PAL formatted televisions for use on those with NTSC formatting.

An all around nice guy and a significant contributor to the classic gaming community above and beyond the call of duty, the 2002 Stan Atari Excellence Achievement Award goes to Thomas Jentzsch, well earned.

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