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Ducky01

Fairchild Channel F Programmers

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Is there a list of known programmers and the videocarts they programmed for the Fairchild Channel F system? Hopefully this information has not been lost to time.

 

 

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Wow. I really just want to follow this thread to see what the answer is! LOL Great question.... I assume it would be assembly or something at the metal/hardware level.

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Information as best as I have been able to assemble:


Lawrence Haskel: original prototype versions of Hockey, Tic tac toe, doodle

Jerry Lawson: Space War

Michael Glass: Democart, Spitfire, Maze

Rick Maurer: Pro Football, Hangman, Pinball Challenge

Vilas Munshi: Desert Fox, Math Quiz 1 and 2, Hockey (conversion from prototype by Haskel)

Brad Reid-Selth: Video Whizball, Alien Invasion

 

Don Ruffcorn and Brad Fuller were also programmers but dunno what games they did at this time.

 

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This information is greatly appreciated. One of the carts I am most interested in is Pinball Challenge (#17), identified as being programmed by Rick Maurer. It is obviously a breakout game, but named after pinball with bumper icons on the box. Was this a marketing decision?

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If I had to guess it would have been a marketing choice. There are some internal docs at the Strong Museum in Rochester from Jerry Lawson's collection - nothing about that game specifically, but having different names for projects in development didn't seem unheard of. I don't know that anyone has tracked down and talked to anyone from Fairchild's marketing division, though.

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Just my personal opinion but I imagine Pinball Challenge was named and arted specifically to cash in on titles being released elsewhere. It may have also been a way of not infringing on ataris naming rights, as that period of time was rife with lawsuits and the video game industry was experiencing a few around that time. 

 

I know in the 20 years of Stella interviews or however long it was there is some brief mentions of the channel F as programmers worked on both systems. I assume some of them are named above, I'm not great with names. 

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Yeah a few bounced over to Atari. Rick Maurer went to the consumer software division and wrote Space Invaders and Maze Craze. Vilas Munshi worked on software for the 400/800 computers, such as calculator and tax-related programs. And I think Don Ruffcorn ended up writing a couple games published by Telesys but I haven’t been able to talk to him.

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Minor update: I recently was able to get in touch with another former Fairchild engineer, and while we haven't arranged an interview yet he volunteered that he, Rich Olney, wrote Blackjack alongside two other staffers. So add his name and that game to the list.

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