146 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
    • 4.8 • 32 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!

    Storytime with a Book 2

    Storytime with a Book 2

    TCW Podcast Episode 146 - Storytime with a Book 2


     


    Alex reads and annotates a chapter of the book dealing with the founding of Activision!  We cover not just the chapter but the thought process, and behind the scenes that went into the chapter.  The story is helped with extra information that Alex was able to gleam from interviews, and trial transcripts.  A larger perspective telling of the early formation of Activision, where the popular historical record needs to be corrected and more!


     


    Atari Archive: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo_f7y6sBDmFnGbZoq1Ce_w


    TCW 094 - Epyx not Epic: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/epyx-not-epic/


    TCW 046 - Atari, Ray Kassar and Warner: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/atari-ray-kassar-and-warner/


    TCW 027 - The Magnavox Patent Lawsuits: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/the-magnavox-patent-lawsuits-friday-september-16-2016-1003-am/


    Boxing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5reJLuRgz-A


    Dragster: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTy9zS899wk


    Fishing Derby: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWaX-NcK5PQ


    Checkers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbE1QxqZrNE


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


    Bridge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sckeVsRrsc


    Skiing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVBcKKCEkB0


    Laser Blast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvnq96SVQh0


    Tennis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TueiMj2l3k


    TCW 009 - The History of Mediagenic Part 1: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/history-of-mediagenic-part-i/


    TCW 010 - The History of Mediagenic Part 2: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/history-of-mediagenic-part-ii/


     


     


    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/

    • 55 min
    Revisions and Updates 3

    Revisions and Updates 3

    TCW Podcast Episode 145  - Revisions and Updates 3


     


    Our sixth year anniversary!  In this episode we look back at the podcast and correct some of the errors that were made in the past.  First we explore the company Fun Games which was sued by Atari for making clones of Atari products using stolen equipment.  The source and story of this is better told with new information that has come to light.  Other new information includes the discovery that the 100 yen coin shortage in Japan was real!  The circumstances around the shortage is a lot more complicated.  The final major item was discovering the first game sold on a micro computer.  This particular game was published as a book, and not on tape or magnetic media making it unique for the first game of this type.


     


    Trailer with Video Games: https://twitter.com/QuarterPast83/status/1261412414618128385


    TCW 008 - Birth of the Japanese Game Center  Go to 1hr 25 minutes: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/birth-of-the-japanese-game-center/


    Scelbi's Galaxy Game: http://www.scelbi.com/files/docs/books/Galaxy%20Game.pdf


     


    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 22 min
    Ascension into the Black Gate

    Ascension into the Black Gate

    TCW Podcast Episode 144 - Ascension into the Black Gate


     


    In our final part looking at the history of the Ultima series we start off looking at Ultima VII.  This game is considered by many to be the pinnacle of the series.   The game combines story elements with a massive world to create a truly unique experience.  The game is followed by two major commercial failures.  Those failures being Ultima VIII and Ultima IX.  The reasons behind those failures are many.  However a lot of the blame for Ultima VIII's shortcomings, especially the jumping, can be laid at the feet of the development team and not EA.  Because of the disaster of VIII, Ultima IX was plagues with issues.  Especially since they had a rotating staff, technology issues, and other challenges the game was an ignoble end to a series that touched many.  However like many of the Ultima games, it is not the destination, but the journey that is the true heart of Ultima.  


     


    Intro to Ultima VII: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ttf9YrkBdQ


    The Story of The Fellowship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mlZVHuK4wM


    Museum of the Avatar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIaOiMH8SKg


    Retro Tea Break | Richard Garriott tells his Ultima Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU90N4Cbj10


    Secret of Money Island 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXRMEz6n5SM


    Prince of Persia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv20j8ChtRY


    Ultima VII: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkrCUXc-frY


    Ultima VIII: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzfnuxXfQ2M


    Ultima IX: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6kXFf7iyC4&list=PLSlejFTVB3ksWWOh2mePsahP5Kew5rHwc


    TCW 038 - Origin Story: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/origin-story-1489274251/


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


    Meridian 59: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUsJ6de9mRU


     


    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 48 min
    The Prophet of the Avatar

    The Prophet of the Avatar

    TCW Podcast Episode 143 -The Prophet of the Avatar


     


    In part two of our look at the Ultima series we start with how Richard came to the morality system that became a central feature of the franchise.  Using a combination of features he likes from various worlds religions, his own experiences, and so on Richard crafted the eight virtues that the play, who would become the avatar, would have to emulate.  In the following two games. The story focused on how not all choices are black and white like in Ultima V, and how without all the facts you may be fighting against a group that may just be trying to survive.  This is a fascinating look at morality in videogames that is unprecedented at the time, and is rarely, if at all, emulated today.


     


    Download Ultima IV: https://www.gog.com/game/ultima_4


    Museum of the Avatar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIaOiMH8SKg


    Softline Interview: http://www.applevault.com/magazines/softline/v3n1/origin.pdf


    The Eight Virtues Explained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wFzZx-L4LI


    Ultima IV Apple II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYGFh3I3IG4


    Ultima V Apple II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GvWMmlfmgs


    Ultima VI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nBWuV_E6Eg


    TCW 038 - Origin Story: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/origin-story-1489274251/


     


    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 38 min
    Ultima: Exodus to Akalabeth

    Ultima: Exodus to Akalabeth

    TCW Podcast Episode 142 - Ultima: Exodus to Akalabeth


     


    In this episode we look at the legendary series of Ultima!  We look at the lead up inspiration, and influences that led to the creation of Ultima.  This episode ties in heavily with our look at Origin Systems.  In this we use the creation of Ultima as a microcosm of the development of the PC industry.  The plight of the bedroom coder.  Wanting to make cool games, finding themselves thrust into a wider PC game world, and the eventual whirlwind of having publishers involved.  We mainly focus on how the creation of the games mirrors Richard's growth as a game designer and eventually perfecting the base formula with Ultima III.


     


    TCW 038 - Origin Story: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/origin-story-1489274251/


    TCW 117 - Wing Commander: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/wing-commander-1593278423/


    Introduction to the Society of Creative Anachronism : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=046bs9DY7QY


    Escape: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM2tb0-9uyg


    Download Akalabeth: https://www.gog.com/game/akalabeth_world_of_doom


    Apple II - Akalabeth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKAlDUu7zko


    Apple II - Ultima I: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrQFzWO4pYo


    Apple II - Lemonade Stand:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dUbDDmXp2I


    Trailer for Time Bandits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vioocIR0gHQ


    Apple II - Ultima II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts-zYdjDyAI


    TCW 039 - On-Line Systems: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/on-line-systems/


    TCW 040 - Sierra On-Line: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/sierra-on-line/


    TCW 114 - The Wizards of Sir-Tech: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/the-wizards-of-sir-tech/


    TCW 115 - The Return of the Sdraziw of Sir-Tech: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/the-return-of-the-sdraziw-of-sir-tech/


    Apple II - Ultima III: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FvHQI2qSKQ


     


    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 19 min
    The Console Market of the 70's and 80's Part 2

    The Console Market of the 70's and 80's Part 2

    TCW Podcast Episode 141 - The Console Market of the 70's and 80's Part 2


     


    In our second part we look at the emergence of the programable consoles.  We see how many companies kept falling into the same trap of FCC regulations, heat issues, and chip shortages.  By the time most of these issues were sorted out, with the notable exception of the Apple II being classified as an "industrial computer", the industry was in the midst of a console transition led by the ColecoVision.  However the video game crash caused it all to be reset, and many promising paths of development were never really explored.  Stay tuned to the end for info on Alex's guest appearances, the topic of our live stream recording this year, and getting stickers!


     


    TCW 076 - A Fairchild Story: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/a-fairchild-story/


    Media Regulation Crash Course: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6LKl4RKIew


    History of Radio and the FCC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob_db-kxEQw


    Vintage 1963 FCC Film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzPIOfpKkRM


    How Radio Works 1937: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEDzmbsvBPw


    The Vacuum Tube Radio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UKCUMghTrc&t=32s


    Applying the inverse square law to EM waves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1yy-zhVM0Y


    How to understand the inverse square law in lighting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO-J42VM448


    Cats and Dogs living together: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA1SxZoFmOU


    Sport Utility Robot: https://futurama.fandom.com/wiki/Sport-Utility_Robot


    Atari Archive - RCA, FRED, and the Studio II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o35y6W9hI-o


    Bally Home Computer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QCkUk8ZA6w


    TCW 90 - Lion and Bally Manufacturing: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/lion-and-bally-manufacturing/


    TCW 091 - Bally: The Road to Fitness: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/bally-the-road-to-fitness/


    George Plimpton Commercials: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPUMfUvRAOE


    Atari VCS Space Invaders: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opru6qPsPa4


    The Visions of Coleco Part 1: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/the-visions-of-coleco-part-1/


    The Visions of Coleco Part 2: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/the-visions-of-coleco-part-2/


    Video Game History Hour: https://gamehistory.org/ep-31-spacewar-dual-to-the-death/


    Super Mega Crash Bros. Turbo: https://pencilandpaperproductions.podbean.com/e/super-mega-crash-bros-turbo-171-creating-worlds-with-alex-smith/


     


    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 25 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

Terry Hanson ,

Outstanding

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

Are Pee Gee Fan ,

How did I miss this podcast!?!?

Beautifully put together and in depth looks into the wonderful and exciting history of video games! Another wonderful resource to consume fully as I continue my personal venture into the lifestyle of game design. I can’t wait to make it through the entire back catalog this year while still keeping up with the mew episodes. Keep it up! 😋

VeroDeb ,

Interesting, historical info from past CEOs and other business leaders

I am amazed that Alex has been able to interview corporate leadership-present and deceased-to capture their perspective on why their corporations succeeded or failed. Kudos to Alex and his co-host Jeffrey for bringing this info to our ears for the last 4 years.

Congrats on the debut of a your first Volume in bookstores and on Amazon.

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