167 episodes

Love of the worlds created by video game designers and personalities drives Alex Smith & Jeffrey Daum (history, law, CS degrees) to provide a scholarly yet light-hearted discussion of how arcade, home console, and PC games merged into a Video Game Industry. Emphasis is on the combination of business and creative elements needed for financial success. Interviews of Atari, EA, Activision, & other execs with detailed source evaluations produce the insights you hear in these 122+ hours!

They Create Worlds Alex Smith, and Jeffrey Daum

    • History
    • 4.9 • 38 Ratings

Love of the worlds created by video game designers and personalities drives Alex Smith & Jeffrey Daum (history, law, CS degrees) to provide a scholarly yet light-hearted discussion of how arcade, home console, and PC games merged into a Video Game Industry. Emphasis is on the combination of business and creative elements needed for financial success. Interviews of Atari, EA, Activision, & other execs with detailed source evaluations produce the insights you hear in these 122+ hours!

    Activision and Kotick Part 1

    Activision and Kotick Part 1

    TCW Podcast Episode 167 - Activision and Kotick Part 1

     

    In part one of our look at Activision and Bobby Kotick we look at the early life, and history of the man.  We see from an early age how business was always a driving factor in his life.  Furthermore, we see some of his early companies and challenges as he transitioned into the technology field.  With the help of influential businessman Steve Wynn, Bobby Kotick was able to start a software company.  Wynn further helped in financing the eventual buy-in of Mediagenic when the company was floated as a cheap way to get into the game market by Nintendo.  We finish by looking at how Kotick and others took control of Mediagenic and renamed it Activision.  With the need to file for bankruptcy Kotick has the long task of building up the company from scratch.  Promising investors to at least break even over the next four to five years.

     

    TCW 009 - History of Mediagenic Part I: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/history-of-mediagenic-part-i/

    TCW 010 - History of Mediagenic Part II: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/history-of-mediagenic-part-ii/

    TCW 126 - Activision and Atari: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/activision-and-atari/

    Bobby Kotick in Moneyball: https://www.engadget.com/2011-08-07-why-bobby-kotick-has-a-cameo-in-moneyball-the-charitable-conclu.html
    TCW 027 - The Magnavox Patent Lawsuits: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/the-magnavox-patent-lawsuits-friday-september-16-2016-1003-am/

     

    New episodes on the 1st and 15th of every month!

     

    TCW Email: feedback@theycreateworlds.com 

    Twitter: @tcwpodcast

    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theycreateworlds

    Alex's Video Game History Blog: http://videogamehistorian.wordpress.com

    Alex's book, published Dec 2019, is available at CRC Press and at major on-line retailers: http://bit.ly/TCWBOOK1

     

    Intro Music: Josh Woodward - Airplane Mode -  Music - "Airplane Mode" by Josh Woodward. Free download: http://joshwoodward.com/song/AirplaneMode 

    Outro Music: RolemMusic - Bacterial Love: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Rolemusic/Pop_Singles_Compilation_2014/01_rolemusic_-_bacterial_love 

     

    Copyright: Attribution: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Centuri

    Centuri

    TCW Podcast Episode 166 - Centuri

     

    We look at the rebirth of Allied Leisure under new management and funding.  The company found a niche importing Japanese games from lesser known companies.  They also continued to leverage licensing to do cocktail cabinet styles of popular games.  Most notably the big four games that made the company rocket to the top were: Eagle, Phoenix, Pleiads, and Vanguard.  Later on the company would join into a partnership with Konami to import their games.  With Japanese companies opening their own manufacturing in the states the deal with Konami ended.  That combined with other issues lead to Centuri going out of business a few years later.

     

    Eagle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zuq0ptnKRw

    Moon Cresta: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dl5stQgPGYQ

    Phoenix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eUUTZhkb1Y

    Pleiads: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5YEx4-3TBo

    Vanguard Cabinet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plZd5MzIELI

    Vanguard Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MwVWsHBm5g

    The Pit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTIjYc-ZH-A

    Tunnel Hunt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6HqxB8eQ_w

    Track and Field: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozcE8qzTdHo

     

    New episodes on the 1st and 15th of every month!

     

    TCW Email: feedback@theycreateworlds.com 

    Twitter: @tcwpodcast

    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theycreateworlds

    Alex's Video Game History Blog: http://videogamehistorian.wordpress.com

    Alex's book is available for preorder and should be released through CRC Press in December 2019: http://bit.ly/TCWBOOK1

     

     

    Intro Music: Josh Woodward - Airplane Mode -  Music - "Airplane Mode" by Josh Woodward. Free download:http://joshwoodward.com/song/AirplaneMode 

    Outro Music: RolemMusic - Bacterial Love - http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Rolemusic/Pop_Singles_Compilation_2014/01_rolemusic_-_bacterial_love 

     

    Copyright: Attribution: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Allied Leisure

    Allied Leisure

    TCW Podcast Episode 165 - Allied Leisure

     

    We look at the origins of the coin-op company Allied Leisure! The company came from a coin-op veteran who wanted to help his son establish a company he could call his own. Despite some notable successes Allied Leisure was plagued with quality issues in production. They made some unique games in coin-op with F-114, their pong clone, and pinball with cocktail cabinets. Unfortunately many setbacks including a fire, the death of  Robert Braun, the stigma of the company being known as Allied Looser, and the near liquidation of the company when the bankruptcy was declared. Allied Leisure had a fascinating history and would be reborn as Centuri when David Braun sold the company.

     

    Slot Cars in the 60's: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFQWsUABpPk

    Monkey Bizz Flyer: https://flyers.arcade-museum.com/?page=flyer&db=arcadedb&id=1088&image=1
    Picture of Unscramble: http://www.pinrepair.com/arcade/unscram.htm
    Wild Cycle Cabinet Unboxing and Tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhInZ6cUSL0

    Wild Cycle Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fij6jpYb1T0

    Sonic Fighter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ8AAxGOvHQ

    Spoolsville: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esLVT3A9Bfg
    Sea Hunt Cabinet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSzLZ6BQJBs&t=1s
    Sea Hunt Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5fkypjoKts

    Paddle Battle Pictures: https://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=8963

    Pictures of Tennis Tourney: https://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=10072

    Ethan Johnson's Article History of How We Play: https://thehistoryofhowweplay.wordpress.com/2017/12/31/the-mysteries-of-2017/
    Zap Pictures: https://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=10666

    Super Shifter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9sP-cq8eCA

    F114: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgJ1PgGLlqQ

    Street Burners (Cabinet pictures and short video): https://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=9801

    Pinball Dyn-O'-Mite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXmGJqQrIsM

    Good Times Dyn-O'-Mite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5rKZs6HnB4

    Name of the Game Article: http://allincolorforaquarter.blogspot.com/2012/09/allied-leisures-name-of-game-home-video.html

    Name of the Game Console Overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbHIQA2yjcc
    Name of the Game Console cleanup and Demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cPc-ZHJibs

    The Entertainer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKW2stl6Cfg

    Take Five: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGBKjuXpKXA

    Star Shooter Cocktail Pinball: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Mm3DE07Jm8

     

     

    New episodes are on the 1st and 15th of every month!

     

    TCW Email: feedback@theycreateworlds.com 

    Twitter: @tcwpodcast

    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theycreateworlds

    Alex's Video Game History Blog: http://videogamehistorian.wordpress.com

    Alex's book is available for preorder and should be released through CRC Press in December 2019: http://bit.ly/TCWBOOK1

     

     

    Intro Music: Josh Woodward - Airplane Mode -  Music - "Airplane Mode" by Josh Woodward. Free download:http://joshwoodward.com/song/AirplaneMode 

    Outro Music: RolemMusic - Bacterial Love - http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Rolemusic/Pop_Singles_Compilation_2014/01_rolemusic_-_bacterial_love 

     

    Copyright: Attribution: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Fallout

    Fallout

    TCW Podcast Episode 164 - Fallout

     

    History. History is always changing. Greek historians recorded tales in scrolls, and simple books. Historians of the modern era use interviews, micro-film, and court documents to decipher history. In this episode Alex and Jeffrey look at the Fallout of all that historical work. How they can shape and mold it into the continuing narrative of the video game industry. Fallout almost was not a thing and possibly could not be made today. The game faced many challenges in its creation, but ended up being a very influential work affecting not just video games but role playing games as a whole.

     

    Wasteland 1 DOS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v17LQ7Ukrsk

    GURPS Explained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZMLhphjB-g

    GURPS Lite: http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/lite/
    Wiz-War: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP5vZQJG1Vo

    Isometric VS Oblique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tAXW_xn6rU
    Oblique VS Isometric Drawings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w503xvjt7mA

    Short Video of Knight Demo: https://youtu.be/T2OxO-4YLRk?t=904

    Rex and Bobby Quest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yzms-rfYdKk

    Crusader No Remorse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUnvNTvHMnQ

    Mad Max Trailer 1979: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caHnaRq8Qlg

    Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior 1981: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlwtiOyaoo0

    Mad Max 3 Beyond the Thunderdome 1985: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JKZKjFjHDM

    The Omega Man 1979: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWB6Ufh4O98

    A Boy and his Dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTck2RnpPy4

    The Day After Reaction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG-e52yAxfs

    The Day After Movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iyy9n8r16hs

    Intro Fallout 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geLiEiAiQJA

    Fallout Endings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwXA_fIB2Ro

     

    New episodes on the 1st and 15th of every month!

     

    TCW Email: feedback@theycreateworlds.com 

    Twitter: @tcwpodcast

    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theycreateworlds

    Alex's Video Game History Blog: http://videogamehistorian.wordpress.com

    Alex's book is available for preorder and should be released through CRC Press in December 2019: http://bit.ly/TCWBOOK1

     

     

    Intro Music: Josh Woodward - Airplane Mode -  Music - "Airplane Mode" by Josh Woodward. Free download:http://joshwoodward.com/song/AirplaneMode 

    Outro Music: RolemMusic - Bacterial Love - http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Rolemusic/Pop_Singles_Compilation_2014/01_rolemusic_-_bacterial_love 

     

    Copyright: Attribution: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 1 hr 42 min
    California Pacific

    California Pacific

    TCW Podcast Episode 163 - California Pacific

     

    We look at the company California Pacific. Founded by Al Remmers the company played a large role in launching the careers of Bill Budge and Richard Garriott. Al Remmers was in a unique position as a publisher. He had contacts with retailers spanning the entire country. In a way California Pacific was both one of the first distributors and used the EA model of programmers as rock stars. Promoting the games made by talented people, and promoting the individuals themselves. Unfortunately California Pacific had a too high royalty to those same programmers, and once dedicated distribution companies started to take over business declined. Al Remmers struggled with delegation, and unfortunately he developed a drug addiction.  Though not well known today California Pacific did play a vital role during a crucial stage of the computer video game industry.

     

    A little Energon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sy_6yo04Hjc

    Overview of the S100 BUS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVblKM9bJxA

    Super Invader/Apple Invader: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNSFD7mC-Oo

    Bill Budge's Trilogy of Games: https://archive.org/details/wozaday_Bill_Budge_Trilogy

    Picture of the packaging: https://web.archive.org/web/20220530014930/https://www.ebay.com/itm/203822308767
    Bill Budge's Space Album: https://archive.org/details/wozaday_Bill_Budge_Space_Album

    Akalabeth: https://archive.org/details/Akalabeth_1980_California_Pacific_Computer
    World Od Doom Akalabeth Packaging: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/apple-ii-akalabeth-world-doom-1889507320

    Who is Lord British: http://www.softalkapple.com/more_to_the_story/remember-when-softalk-asked-who-lord-british
    Ultima 1: https://archive.org/details/Ultima_I_1981_California_Pacific_Computer

     

    New episodes on the 1st and 15th of every month!

     

    TCW Email: feedback@theycreateworlds.com 

    Twitter: @tcwpodcast

    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theycreateworlds

    Alex's Video Game History Blog: http://videogamehistorian.wordpress.com

    Alex's book is available for preorder and should be released through CRC Press in December 2019: http://bit.ly/TCWBOOK1

     

     

    Intro Music: Josh Woodward - Airplane Mode -  Music - "Airplane Mode" by Josh Woodward. Free download:http://joshwoodward.com/song/AirplaneMode 

    Outro Music: RolemMusic - Bacterial Love - http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Rolemusic/Pop_Singles_Compilation_2014/01_rolemusic_-_bacterial_love 

     

    Copyright: Attribution: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Spinnaker Software

    Spinnaker Software

    TCW Podcast Episode 162 - Spinnaker Software

     

    Often we laugh at educational games and software.  We tend to view the products as jokes and something that cannot fully succeed.  In our look at Spinnaker Software, we learn that there is more to it.  The company was short-lived but was founded by people with a deep passion for technology and gaming. They released games, and software that helped to show that there is more one can do with a computer than just drills.  If one of them went on to become a major World Of Warcraft raid leader it can't all be bad right?

     

    Facemaker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seh6DyUPV8w

    Story Machine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpbrcpfVwPY

    Snooper Troops: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJOFAPPfZ2I

    Alphabet Zoo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1m4Lt-7cY8

    Adventure Creator: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nb_7-rlocKo

    Rendezvous with Rama: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VMbPzf_pq8

    Fahrenheit 451: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnET12whCYs

    Dragonworld: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ens1xbetX88

    Amazon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTojZBzyFrI

    Shadowkeep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igXOcweWz_M

    Below the Roots: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pI87UAC3JzQ

    WindowWorks: https://winworldpc.com/product/pfs-windowworks/2x
     

    New episodes on the 1st and 15th of every month!

     

    TCW Email: feedback@theycreateworlds.com 

    Twitter: @tcwpodcast

    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theycreateworlds

    Alex's Video Game History Blog: http://videogamehistorian.wordpress.com

    Alex's book is available for preorder and should be released through CRC Press in December 2019: http://bit.ly/TCWBOOK1

     

     

    Intro Music: Josh Woodward - Airplane Mode -  Music - "Airplane Mode" by Josh Woodward. Free download:http://joshwoodward.com/song/AirplaneMode 

    Outro Music: RolemMusic - Bacterial Love - http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Rolemusic/Pop_Singles_Compilation_2014/01_rolemusic_-_bacterial_love 

     

    Copyright: Attribution: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 1 hr 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

@legendarypuns ,

The Definitive Video Game History Podcast

Not only is this podcast consistently jam-packed with historical facts and anecdotes from video games past, but the hosts’ voices are so soothing, they make some legitimately boring stories immensely enjoyable to listen to. I’m not even kidding—these guys make the dullest of topics worth listening to. Highly recommended!

jl22222222 ,

The Best History Podcast Out There

I’m a college professor and have been studying video games for years. This podcast is fantastic - it’s meticulously researched, and fun to listen to. Alex really does his homework for each episode, interviewing industry figures, reading annual reports, you name it. Alex and Jeffrey are passionate about games, and each episode is a delight to listen to.

Terry Hanson ,

Outstanding

If you like gaming history this is for you. What an outstanding detailed account of the history of so many companies!!

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