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williamc

Interview with Odyssey2 Graphic Designer

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Forgive me if you've already seen this notice on RGVC or some other site, but I'm trying to get the word out as much as possible!

 

As I've recently come to learn, Ron Bradford of Bradford/Cout Design was the principal graphic artist for the Odyssey2, responsible for producing all the game box art, advertising direction and packaging design. Not only that, but he also developed the Master Strategy games in tandem with his partner and longtime friend, Steve Lehner. He was also responsible for the packaging designs and screen overlays for the original Magnavox Odyssey console.

 

Ron's son and daughter-in-law recently contacted me and helped me to arrange an interview with Ron, and here it is! In the interview, Ron discusses his involvement with Odyssey2 and provides some incredible never-before-seen photos, including designs for the never-released Sherlock Holmes game! If you're into the O2 at all, you'll want to check this out!

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Sweet, Did they actually begin programming the Sherlock Holmes game?

I don't think I ever heard of that before today.

Thanks for the info!!

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I think there's a proto out there, but nothing that's been dumped. I'd like to think that maybe the revelation of this material would encourage whoever has it to make it available.

 

Did Bradford have any left over design documents, aside from artwork, for Sherlock Holmes?

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I have neglected my O2 collection a bit lately but will be adding 2 more games...for a total of 18 games.

 

They are fun and very simple games. Hell, I couldn't sell my O2 cuz it means too much to me now.

 

I'd like to find boxed Imagic games and other 3rd party games for the O2.

 

I read the interview that was mentioned..very nice.

 

Are there any interviews with the developers themselves?

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I've had an interview with Bob Harris (of Killer Bees fame) up for quite a while, and there are some vintage (early 80s) interviews in the Odyssey Adventure magazine scans section as well (those can be accessed from Will's site too).

 

I'd give various seldom-used parts of my anatomy for the chance to do an in-depth interview with Ed Averett, though. Assuming I could keep myself from going "duhhhhh...." before thanking him for writing a large portion of the games that I spent my childhood on. :D

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I almost forgot about your website.

 

Sorry dude.

 

It's just that it seems like the O2 will never be as popular as the other systems. I have heard contrary opinions saying that the O2 is more powerful than the 2600..but with less colors. I couldn't disagree as I have some nice games for the O2 .

 

However, it's very cheap to find on EBay and worth every penny. The Odyssey2 is a system that doesn't deserve to die in mediocrity! :D

 

And I do like Phosphor Dot Fossils. You do have a rarity guide there, eh?

 

I just recently added my O2 carts to my main collection list so need to keep track of their rarity values.

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In discussing solutions for the Odyssey2 we were looking for something -- EXPLOSIVE! That key word generated and became the visual graphics approach for the entire logo and packaging look!

 

Ah, gotta love the "vanishing point" theme, and all the exclamation points :)

 

Just remember, it's not "Crypto-Logic"... it's "CRYPTO-LOGIC!"

 

--Zero!

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The Sherlock Holmes proto IS out there, but it's supposed to be pretty much unplayable without the instructions. I've heard it's fairly complete though.

 

Ron Bradford didn't mention whether or not the instructions still exist (or even if Steve Lehner actually started writing them). The last thing I want to do is become a pest, but I do plan to send Ron a few follow-up questions. You can bet my main question will be about the whereabouts of the manual. :) If you have any suggestions for follow-up questions, feel free to post them. I'll probably send them in the next day or so.

 

I have a hunch we'll see Sherlock Holmes dumped and available someday, no matter what happens. Keep your fingers crossed.

 

BTW, Halcyon Days has an informative interview with Ed Averett here. (I just keep forgetting to link to it from my site.)

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*crosses fingers for Sherlock Homes ROM and manual*

 

Great interview William. Thanks for posting the link. :D

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Will's missing a few games so I assume that his guide is not complete.

 

Here's what he's missing:

 

Blackjack

 

Therefore, I cannot use his guide unless it is complete.

 

I assume that Digital Press has a guide. However, I don't know if I can view it online or not. I've seen a complete O2 rarity guide somewhere before but I lost the link. I need to document the rarity for my game collection list...the 02 section of it.

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For the O2, Blackjack is the same as Las Vegas Blackjack - rarity 1. That's an interesting one, since the cart says Blackjack, but the box and manual say Las Vegas Blackjack. Not sure why they did it that way.

 

Here is its listing in Will's guide.

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When I saw the title of his thread I wondered if this was the guy that

designed the Odyssey2 "Man" and wondered if they actually needed an

artist to design him.

 

But it turns out this guy designed the graphics for the packaging, not

the games themselves. Which led to my next question; is he the guy

that decided to end every sentence with an exclamation point?!

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The Games Database section of my site lists NEARLY every game -- there may be a prototype or homebrew or two that it's missing. I'm always updating it with new photos and info when I have time. The U.S. section, at least, contains every game I know of (PDF is correct: Blackjack is Las Vegas Blackjack). @Kepone: did you notice anything else missing?

 

@tkarner: In the interview, Ron says that the design company decided on an "EXPLOSIVE" tone for the packaging:

 

The "excitable" tone for the advertising emerged from the graphic "EXPLOSIVE" look we created in the logo and packaging as well as suggestions for related materials.

 

So I suppose he's at least partially responsible for all those exclamation points.

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