MESSAGE FROM CHUCK SOMMERVILLE

Here is a message from the original Chip's Challenge programmer, Chuck Sommerville:

"Chip's was originally written for the Atari Lynx, in my opinion, the best version. The IBM version was a conversion done by the games group up at Microsoft, directed by an old friend of mine, Tony Garcia. This is probably what the "thanks to Tony is all about". The original had only 148 levels. I don't really care much for the IBM version, since the monsters jump from square to square, instead of sliding across in 1/4 square increments like the original does. It makes it much harder to see which way they are going. This was one of the very few games I was able to do from the heart, instead of just writing a game a publisher asked for, I wrote it for myself. It will always have a special place in my heart. The game was started at home, since I could not get company approval for development. It was first done in low-res on the Apple II with colors defining the tile types. The simple map and logic code was done this way. After I got up a few simple levels and components to demonstrate it, I was able to prove it could be fun. Epyx was anxious to get as many games for the launch of the Lynx as possible, so gave me the go ahead, since it looked like the logic design was simple enough. We got an artist or two to do some character graphics, I took leftover songs the sound department had done for some other games, hired Bill Darrah, a puzzle desiging guru and friend of mine to help design levels, and got the help of all the other Lynx programmers who were waiting for their games to make it through test to help design levels as well. I designed about 1/3 of the levels. Bill Darrah designed about 1/3 of the levels, and the rest were done by everybody else. After we got a bunch of levels together, We got an army of testers to make sure each level could actually be solved, and rated them for difficulty. They were grouped into easy, medium, hard, and very hard. The game was done in record time with all the help of the designers and testers. It took about 10 weeks from start to finish, a time unheard of now, or then."

As you can see from Chuck's statement, he prefers the Atari Lynx version (the original version) of his game to the adaptation done by Microsoft programmers for the Windows environment. If you want to look into getting one, look up Video Game Liquidators .

Here's the original picture.

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