Questions For Jon "Atari, Electric Dreams, Activision" Dean

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jdanddiet
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Questions For Jon "Atari, Electric Dreams, Activision" Dean

Post by jdanddiet » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:06 pm

Hello everybody,

For the next In The Chair I'll be speaking to Jon Dean. If you've got a question for Jon 'The Guv' Dean, let me know!
Jon started out in the eighties working at Atari's International Division in the UK, working as Product Support Specialist.
The he moved to London to work at Atarisoft as a producer, working on such games as Pole Position, Pac Man, Ms Pacman and dig dug for the Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, BBC and Dragon 32.

Jon was at Atari when things went pear-shaped, and then joined Electric Dreams/Activision in 1985/6, starting Software Studios in Southampton, managing Activision's external developers. His biggest game of this time was the movie adaptation of Aliens.

Subsequently Jon moved to Argonaut while also starting his own management consulting company, involved throughout the 90s in software production, eventually moving the US. He joined Midway in 2002 to work in its sports game deivision and then Electronic Arts.

He also teaches games production at the University of Utah.

Quick games list:-

Prodigy
Enduro Racer
Monopoly Hotels
Night Shift
Super Sprint
Aliens
Soccer Nation
StarFox
Konix Multi System

Jon's full credits on Moby Games: https://www.mobygames.com/developer/she ... rId,29517/
For retro news, full articles, retrospectives and a gallery of my work check out http://wizwords.net/
Wizwords on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Wizwords
and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wizwords

NorthWay
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Re: Questions For Jon "Atari, Electric Dreams, Activision" Dean

Post by NorthWay » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:24 pm

How was Atarisoft handling the conversions? Just chucking around the name to random developers, or did they have access to sources and original material? Were they independent of the US namesake or was there some co-ordination/co-operation? Was there any code sharing between the different ports?
Who/how were the targets for the ports picked? Any non-published ones?

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Eric
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Re: Questions For Jon "Atari, Electric Dreams, Activision" Dean

Post by Eric » Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:56 pm

Was Enduro Racer a smooth project to work on or was there obstacles that needed to be overcome?

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ivarf
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Re: Questions For Jon "Atari, Electric Dreams, Activision" Dean

Post by ivarf » Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:59 am

jdanddiet wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:06 pm

The he moved to London to work at Atarisoft as a producer, working on such games as Pole Position, Pac Man, Ms Pacman and dig dug for the Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, BBC and Dragon 32.
Was any work done for these games for the Amstrad CPC? If so, whow far in development were they and why didn't they get released?

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merman
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Re: Questions For Jon "Atari, Electric Dreams, Activision" Dean

Post by merman » Wed Oct 28, 2020 2:28 pm

How did you come up with the idea for Mr Fixit aka Night Shift?

What was your worst crunch period to get a game finished?

Did you have libraries or code to help transfer games between formats?

Which unfinished or unreleased game were you most upset about?
merman1974 on Steam, Xbox Live, Twitter and YouTube

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jdanddiet
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Re: Questions For Jon "Atari, Electric Dreams, Activision" Dean

Post by jdanddiet » Mon Nov 02, 2020 1:59 pm

Hi guys, thanks for the questions some good ones there which I've sent over to Jon.
For retro news, full articles, retrospectives and a gallery of my work check out http://wizwords.net/
Wizwords on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Wizwords
and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wizwords

psj3809
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Re: Questions For Jon "Atari, Electric Dreams, Activision" Dean

Post by psj3809 » Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:59 am

What was the process for Super Sprint ? Did you have the arcade machine in the office ? Did you have to take photos of the screen for the graphics artist to recreate those images for the game ?

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