Interview: Scott Adams
Interviewed by Peter Ellison
Interviewed by Peter Ellison
Adventure International has been in the software business for over five years now and has recently become very involved with the Atari market. They also make software that is available for the Trs-S0, Apple, Texas Instruments, Northstar, and IBM. I think this wide selection of computers shows the versitility of the company. Many of the new programs for the Atari include Airline (a colorful game of high finance and corporate affairs), S.A.G.E.(Scott Adams' Graphic Editor), and The Disassembler (Compatible with most of the assemblers on the market).
Q. Scott, when did you first become interested in computers?
A. It was back in grade 3 at a science fair when I saw an IBM computer behind some glass. We were told not to go behind the glass. It was then that I wanted to be one of those people behind that glass.
Q. When did you start Adventure International?
A. I started Adventure International in 1975.
Q. How difficult was it to transfer your programs from the Apple to the Atari?
A. It was fairly easy to transfer programs from the Apple to the Atari as I have a Bachelor of Science in computers.
Q. Do you plan to use a voice synthesizer in any of your new adventure games?
A. Well we're supporting for the Atari and the Apple, the Blowtrack sythesizer and similar ones like it.
Q. Did you begin working out of an office or out of your home?
A. I started in a small bedroom which I used for my office.
Q. How big is your office at this time?
A. Over 11,000 square feet.
Q. Where do you get all of your ideas for an adventure?
A. Same way novelists or artists get their ideas, they just come.
Q. What type of theme do you like to dwell on best?
A. I don't have any preferences. I just enjoy writing adventures. At heart a frustrated writer, always wanting to write books. A tremendous avid reader I have thousands of books in my personal library and adventures have turned out to be my creative outlet.
Q. How long on the average does it take you to write one of your adventure games?
A. A couple of months.
Q. Now that Adventure International has grown so greatly in the last year, do you have time to oversee all your new software programmers?
A. I try to for sure.
Q. How many programmers do you have working for you at this time?
A. We're basically a publishing house for freelance authors and we have over 60 authors world wide.
Q. What do you do when you are not programming?
A. Well running the business, in itself, is a full time job. I've got two kids that I spend alot of time with. I don't seem to have alot of free time. I'm either programming at the office or playing with the kids.
Q. What kind of deal do you offer to an outside programmer, such as Russ Wetmore, author of Preppie?
A. A very attractive one. We have a standard author pack we're glad to send to anyone that is interested in becoming a software programmer.
Q. What age group are your programs directed to?
A. From preschoolers on up. We try to find something for everybody.
Q. Do you ever use suggestions from letters and incorporate them into your own programs?
A. Usually not although somebody will come along and find a bug in a program and suggest a modification.
Q. Do you plan to make use of the new Atari 1200XL?
A. Right now we haven't, but you never know what the future will bring. Our biggest thing right now is making sure our current programs are compatible with the 1200. There are problems with that and we have just about got that licked. One main reason we haven't brought out programs specifically for the new 1200 is because so far its not selling as well as the 400.
Q. What new programs does Adventure International have planned for the near future?
A. We have all sorts of new programs under development.
Q. What direction do you feel computer games are going?
A. Well we have got more sophisticated, and the days of '3D tic tac toe' and 'name that song' are long gone.