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The Guy Who Made the 'Worst Game Ever' Has Nothing to Apologize For


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#1 Justin

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 01:27 AM

c_fit,h_1280,q_80,w_720-http---images-origin.playboy.com-ogz4nxetbde6-4PaFHOaJc4AW6qIWIaCes4-bbbd201454fa818470d312ffd64f3935-ET-Game.jpg

 

There's a new interview with Howard Scott Warshaw out this week. It's actually quite a nice interview and I wanted to share the article with you. This quote really hit home:

 


“But, you know, the funny thing about the whole ET situation is if I were to take two more days, and gone in and cleaned up the well thing, the falling in, and straightened out a few more things, it probably would have made it just an OK game and we probably wouldn’t be talking about it right now. It would have literally changed history in a way that would have been much less interesting to me.” --Howard Scott Warshaw
 

 

You can read the full story here:

http://www.playboy.com/articles/the-guy-who-made-the-worst-game-ever-has-nothing-to-apologize-for


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#2 StormSurge

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 09:06 AM

Thanks for sharing Justin.

Like I said on FB, I'm an E.T. apologist. Anyone that thinks this is the worst 2600 game, let alone video game of all-time, hasn't played many 2600 games.

 

I have fond memories of getting this for Christmas & playing it. It wasn't my favorite game in my collection but it was fun and I enjoyed. I had no idea it had this reputation until many years later.


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#3 AlamoAtari

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 10:14 AM

Howard Warshaw was a very innovative programmer. It was the short deadline that ruined the game. I don't think that it's a bad game, it's a very frustrating game that can be difficult to play on the normal setting.
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#4 greenween

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 12:06 PM

Thanks for sharing Justin! Warshaw is awesome.

 

 

Howard Scott Warshaw Best.png


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 "Better to be king for a night than schmuck for a lifetime."


#5 Justin

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 03:59 AM

I monitor our social media trends quite closely, and ever since Atari: Game Over came to the public mind on Netflix and Showtime I have seen a measurable change in how people generally approach the ET / Howard Scott Warshaw story.

This story was posted to our Facebook page the same it was posted here. Since then, our post has been shared dozens of times and has been seen by nearly 10,000 people on our Facebook page alone. More importantly, most of the ET comments, which usually trend aggressively negative, this time have been overwhelmingly positive - particularly in support of Howard and the notion that ET as the worst game ever made is preposterous.

You can see the post here: https://www.facebook...968124696564348

The turnaround in public opinion is astounding. There's been a noticeable shift away from unfounded hatred and cynicism, and towards a more reasonable understanding of the story, what happened, and that while not great it certainly wasn't the worst game of all time. It's wonderful to see Howard finally get the recognition he deserves, I think after 35 years that's a wonderful development in Atari's history.
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#6 StormSurge

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 09:02 AM

:thumb:  :et:  :et_elliott_bicycle: :et_elliott:

 

That's fantastic. HSW definitely did not deserve the scorn he received over the years.

 

:yars_revenge:  


Edited by StormSurge, 30 September 2015 - 09:03 AM.

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#7 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 01:27 PM

Well said StormSurge.

 
I find it somewhat ironic that in today's era of day 1 patches (and big ones at that, followed by patches to fix bugs in earlier patches) being seen as acceptable, that people still refer to E.T as the worst game in history.Yes it was rushed, as indeed have so many titles since then, but article writers often never bothered to look deeply into why it turned out the way it did.
 
 
It was'nt the only movie licensce to be turned around in 5 weeks either, Rebellion's Jason Kingsley talking to me on an RVG interview about PSP AVP:
 
Jason Kingsley 
 
Yup 5 weeks from start to finish with an existing engine in place and lots of retained knowledge. They even managed to make us change the end game boss to avoid film spoilers, then release the film trailer complete with spoilers in it anyway.

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#8 Retrogamer81081

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 09:31 PM

Agree! It is not the worst 2600 game or let alone the worst video game of all time. It is especially not fair to label a game that title when it was taken a little over a month to program and develop it. The game is similar to Adventure as the Dragon is like the scientist, the bat as the FBI agent and so forth. It is not my favorite 2600 game of all time but decent and is frustrating due to the wells mainly. You have to give Howard credit and respect for what he did with all that pressure in a short period of time. I grade E.T. a C-. If you want to see horrible 2600 games...Play Ssssnake or Firefly now they are bad!
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#9 Lost Dragon

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 06:58 AM

Just been reading through Chris Wilkins rather splendid 'The Story Of US Gold' book, interviews with a good few coders from Tiertex, who've always had a reputation for a rather 'mixed' output, quality wise...but when you read that they did'nt have the budget to write seperate ST and Amiga conversions, coders did'nt recieve royalties, there was a single sound guy, part time who was shared across the company, were told to simply copy everything they could from the coin-op in shortest possible time, very little in way of quality control or play testing, the wrong ST disks were taken for duplication on Mercs (had the worse scrolling method coder had experimented with), were not allowed to be credited on the games and virtually every game was coded and released within 6 months....

 

 

You start to look at the games in a new light and realise what a nightmare, in terms of pressure the coders, artists etc must have been under and yet they'd be the ones taking 'flak' for poor quality conversions.


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#10 kamakazi20012

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 03:14 AM

I found E.T. to be one of the first adventure games where you had to pay attention to what you were doing.  It could have used a little bit more work in the collision detection area but what was done in 5-6 weeks was astounding!  It is also the only movie-based game that I have played that is true to the movie.  This is more than I can say for NES movie-to-game ports.  Warshaw did an awesome job and deserves and award for his programming talents.  Long live E.T. the video game!


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#11 Scott Stilphen

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 04:34 PM

VCS wasn't the only game to have been developed in such a short time, although most of the other games were 2K or 4K.  For example, Ed Salvo cranked out a bunch of his games in short time: http://www.ataricomp...w_ed_salvo.html

 

Skeet Shoot - 4 weeks

Spacechase - 6 weeks

Racquetball - about 4 weeks
Lost Luggage - about 4 weeks
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - about 6 weeks
Mountain King - 6 weeks (very impressive, if true)
 
He also did Colecovision Gust Buster in 6 weeks.  


#12 TrekMD

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 07:29 PM

Everytime I hear someone say that ET on the 2600 is the worst game ever, I have to cringe.  The game may not be perfect but, given the time he had to work on it, it is not a bad game.  I have always enjoyed playing it, despite the issue with the pits.  I think people just didn't read the instructions and had no clue what they were doing when they played it.  


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#13 nosweargamer

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 10:47 PM

Everytime I hear someone say that ET on the 2600 is the worst game ever, I have to cringe.  The game may not be perfect but, given the time he had to work on it, it is not a bad game.  I have always enjoyed playing it, despite the issue with the pits.  I think people just didn't read the instructions and had no clue what they were doing when they played it.  

 

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#14 RickR

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 10:53 PM

It's a simple scapegoat for a complex situation.  There was a crash in 83 that was a culmination of many many bad decisions and situations.  E.T. wasn't a terrible game, but Atari certainly paid too much for the license, rushed the design process, and manufactured too many copies.  See?  Even that one game was a culmination of many bad choices.  Most people just go with the simple instead of digging for the truth. 






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