TGI Trading Card Profiles: Brian Cady

Brian Cady

Name:  Brian Cady

Favorite Classic Game:  Tempest

Why it is your favorite:  It took so many quarters in my youth and helped get me into the IVGHOF.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aa_b8C0KxfY[/youtube]

Bio: 

Brian Cady enjoys maintaining and restoring classic pinball and arcade games as much as he enjoys playing them. He was inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural 2010 group, is the Vice President of the non-profit organization that produces the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show and is the Senior Twin Galaxies Referee for pinball.

Brian has worked in the IT field for over 15 years and held leadership positions at IBM, Washington Mutual and Microsoft. He also enjoys photography and writing and has had numerous articles published including several in the Pin-Game Journal. Brian lives in Bonney Lake, Washington with his wife Shirley (who has the world record on Sky-Line) and three children.

World Records

96,832 Tempest (Extreme Settings) 03/15/2009*
1,673 Bank-A-Ball (pinball)    06/13/2009*
386,430 Klax                        03/25/2010*
2,480 Space Fever (Game A) 10/01/2011*
2,160 Space Fever (Game B) 10/01/2011*
2,870 Space Fever (Game C) 10/01/2011*
* Scores were world records on these dates

Ten Questions with Tony Gonzales

Romstar logo
Romstar logo

Tony Gonzales

What is your professional background related to gaming?

I had taken electronics in school and a regular hang out type at the local college arcade, I always wondered about the electronics inside and enjoyed looking in when they were being repaired. One particular game was a pain in the neck; the owner had it repaired several times. I idly slapped the cabinet and it did an immediate reset. Turns out that the power supply had leads poking onto a metal casing. Insulated fish paper repaired it for good. That is when he asked me if I wanted a job working on his games. I said yes and games have been a part of my life ever since. The game was Plieades, by the way and the tech at the time with the arcade later went onto fame as the world’s first videogame champion and one of the founders of a major game software company.

Personally when did you start gaming and what did you play?

Always loved pinballs and mechanical games. 7,8,9, no idea of a starting date for liking games. I loved them, though!

One of the companies you worked for was Romstar, can you tell us about what you did there as well as the company itself?

Romstar was my first manufacturing job. I was half the tech department and later headed up the consumer division. Repair, beta testing, phone counselor, manual writing, I was there. Some previous work I did with a friend on an in-house hardware game system resulted in Magic Darts for the NES. I also helped ship, beta test since I had the only truck at the company (strange but true fact, the cabinet for Ninja Warriors was designed to fit the truck, an 88 Toyota short-bed. I still have that truck today). Basically, all of us wore many hats there. Your readers may find this a bit surprising that for a game company that did manufacturing and home games as well as design, the amount of personnel was 14.

Can you tell us about repairing arcade games?

Always a puzzle, always a lot of fun, except when they don’t respond. Each repair teaches me more, and I grew hungry for more knowledge along the way. I still do. Right now as I type this, I am sitting with a Galaxian board in my lap that I had repaired.

What was it like working for SNK?

Lots of fun, lots of hard work. A great balance. Creative juices got out to play, we worked hard to give the customers and distributors good value. Great group to work with, some I still remain in contact today. A huge family, as it were. Same situation at Romstar.

Can you tell us about working on a project that never gets released, does that upset you or are you just glad you had the opportunity to do it?

Tera was probably my favorite project I worked on. That was an in-house designed hardware system. Our vice president had brought in a friend named Doug Hughes, who had designed the old US game board system for Taito (Qix). I spent a week up north on his ranch helping in the design and learning to program it. It was 286 based and programmed in Borland C. Sadly; the system never saw the light of day though some of the programming formed the core game design of Magic Darts on the NES 8 bit. I still have the schematics to this puppy. Might have to hit it up on a CPLD someday 🙂

What was your favorite game related project of your career?

Probably Tera,  I have drawings for what I hope would be a Tera ][ eventually. I revamped the design for a brand new microprocessor I hope to be working with soon called Terbium. Terbium is a 32 bit 65C02 and much more….

What are you currently working on?

I have several projects. The biggest game one I call Pinball Mind. There was a pinball made in the 1970s called Fireball and sold for homes. When the CPU dies on those, they are un-repairable. I designed a piggyback CPU board for those. I have some fun display and light animations at present and I am revamping the code into a cleaner library format. It will release with a whole slew of features to make it worth the cost, including 4 games, a built in contest, possible linking and video capabilities and a software developer’s kit. It is based on the 65C02.

Some other projects include several arcade and redemption games, an alternate reality game which has been in design and some play over the last 4 years, and some music CDs to butress 2 movie soundtracks I am composing.

What games are you currently playing?

Roller Coaster Tycoon 2. Otherwise, I don’t play too much. No time these days!

What is your favorite classic game?

Got too many for different reasons, but Haunted House pinball and Sinistar probably rank in my top, along with Tempest and Chiller.

Smashing Ideas: Gamer Profile

Smashing Ideas logo

Name:Victor Allen

Company: Smashing Ideas

Profession: Associate Technical Director

“It’s hard to choose:”

Favorite Classic Game: Tempest

Quote: “Avoid Spikes”


Favorite Classic Game: Joust

Quote: “Flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap bonk”

Favorite Classic Game: Sinistar

Quote: “Beware, I live. Run Coward! ReeeeeeeeeAAAAAAAAaaaargh!!!!”


***************************

Name: Steve Markey

Company: Smashing Ideas Inc.

Profession: Games Producer

Favorite Classic Game: The Legend of Zelda:  a Link to the Past


Quote: Probably the best incarnation of “classic Zelda.”  The balance of exploration, story and ability progression just pushed all my buttons the right way (I still giggle at the thought of firing a hookshot).   It  actually made me call that old “Nintendo Help Line”.  For hours I couldn’t find a dungeon area.   The phone “helper” casually tossed off  “Okay, push the block off the ledge, then go straight, then left, then right, then…”

“Wait! Stop. Go back.  I can… push blocks?”

“Um, yeah. You can.” *Facepalm*

********************************

Name: Avi Mizrahi

Company: Smashing Ideas

Profession: Associate Producer

Favorite Classic Game: The Secret of Monkey Island


Quote: This was one of the first games I played where you were given the freedom to experiment with your surroundings and think ‘outside of the box’. These actions often lead to humorous outcomes and commentary from the game’s characters, and LucasArts ability to poke fun at themselves never got old. Plus, how can you go wrong with a game that consists of both Pirates AND Monkeys!

Favorite Game Dialogue:

Guybrush: At least I’ve learnt something from all of this.

Elaine: What’s that?

Guybrush: Never pay more than 20 bucks for a computer game.

Elaine: A what?

Guybrush: I don’t know. I have no idea why I said that.

**********************************

Name: Carrie Peters

Company: Smashing Ideas

Profession: Director of PR & Marketing

Favorite Classic Game: Centipede


Quote: Great game, fun to play and reminds me hanging out in the roller rink in the 80’s when life was simpler!

****************************

Name: Dimitri Sevenster

Company: Smashing Ideas

Profession: Director of Finance

Favorite Classic Game: Mike Tyson’s Punch Out – Original NES


Quote: My favorite thing was the many different fictional characters/boxers from around the globe and their unique qualities that added spiritm humor and challenge to the game.

Quote of the Game: “Those are the fastest fingers I have ever seen.”   …..Mike Tyson’s standard comment when beaten.

Key Cheat Code: 007-373-5963 to skip all and go straight to Mike Tyson.  Code still seared into my memory 23 years later.   🙂

The Obsolete Gamer Show 3

Alienware Breed logo
Alienware Breed logo

You ever watch a tv pilot and the set, the lighting and everything else just doesn’t seem network ready? Then next week comes and the show looks completely finished as if polished and shined to look better. Well that is what we are doing with The Obsolete Gamer Show.

For podcast number three I was finally able to get Ignacio/honorabili to join me and if that wasn’t cool enough we are now recording from a radio station. I always wanted to be a radio broadcaster and after the show I realized I still have a lot to learn.

However, it was a still a good show overall starting with Ignacio explaining how Obsolete gamer came to be and from there we moved on to discussing how our Gamer Profiles feature has grown leaps and bounds in just a few months. We covered our Facebook question that asked if anyone had ever said anything game related during sex which somehow led into a conversation about Lindsay Lohan’s gamer profile.

Ignacio informed us of the reason he has not posted much on Obsolete Gamer. He has had a good time playing games like, Global Agenda, Need for Speed World and Battleforge. We also had a take on young kids coming up playing games such as Pokemon.

After a time it was back to business and we were able to have a conversation with Yusney (Jay) Garay who created the Breed campaign for Alienware and his opening of a new creative studio in Miami.

All in all it was a good effort and we plan to bring you a weekly show with more interviews and less of us going off topic and on a tangent. For now have a listen, tell us what you think and stay tuned for more.

Chris Skaggs: Soma Games

SOMA Games logo
SOMA Games logo

Name: Chris Skaggs

Company: Soma Games

Profession: CCO / CTO

Favorite Classic Game: Tempest

Quote: “The pacing in Tempest is just brilliant. You put your quarter in and are instantly drilling flippers. Plus, something about early vector graphics always lights me up. Battlezone is a very close second.”