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Look What The Cat Drug In... (not typo)
Posted By: REBDate: 2/25/02 1:38 a.m.

In Response To: Sorry, don't think so. I'd like to see it too. *NM* (Callie21V)

The Marathon Scrapbook

Page 1

Marathon

It all started with PONG. Well, a ripoff of PONG anyway.

It was 1991 and Alexander Seropian was in his basement apartment in Chicago's Hyde Park, cheerfully blowing off classes at the University of Chicago. Normally this quiet, intense young man would be too responsible to do this sort of thing, but this day was different. Alex had stumbled upon a resounding truth while chewing his Cheerios that morning, and his whole outlook on life changed in an instant.

"It is better to be The Man," Alex realized, "than to work for The Man."

Alex scribbled out a list of career options that would allow him to rapidly ascend to The Man-hood in comfort and style. "Starfleet Commander" was out; Alex needed a short-term solution. He also crossed out "Sultan of an Oil-Rich Country," although the idea of buxom wenches feeding him goat cheese and fanning him with peacock feathers was incredibly appealing. After crossing out "Jimmy Page circa 1970" he found himself left with a single choice: "Benevolent Dictator of a Computer-Game Empire."

Alex Dropped his cereal bowl in the sink, jogged down to the campus bookstore and skulked up to the register with a copy of Think C. He returned home to his Macintosh, determined to do whatever was necessary to become a one-man wrecking crew in the software industry, He agonized over what he would name his company, finally settling on "Bungie" because "it sounded fun."

His first shot at glory, GNOP!, fell somewhat short of the global-dominance mark. A black-and-white clone of the game that started the whole home videogaming industry back in 1972, GNOP! was enjoyable enough if you had an unquenchable nostalgia for the 'Good Old Days of Gaming,' but most people saw it for what it was: Pong, but backwards.

Alex distributed GNOP! as shareware via online services and the Internet. A handful of people sent in their shareware fees, and a few kind souls even took him up on his "Complete GNOP! Source Code for $15" offer. Encouraged, Alex set about writing his next project: Operation: Desert Storm. O:DS was a more ambitious project than GNOP. Alex spent a lot of time researching modern tank warfare and wove a fair amount of detail into the game. Operation: Desert Storm was also the first boxed, shrinkwrapped Bungie product aimed at capturing shelf space. Packaged in Alex' apartment, on floppy disks swiped from Alex's summer internship at a megalithic software company, O:DS was an unknown property from an unknown company and had a hard time finding distribution. Alex still managed to sell about 2500 copies of the game.

Shortly thereafter, Alex met up with fellow University of Chicago student, Jason Jones, a talented 23-year-old programmer who had written a game called Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete. Minotaur was a top-down tile-based fantasy game in the tradition of the early Ultima series, with one major difference: it had no single-player scenario. A proper game of Minotaur required two or more people playing over a network - a remarkable option at the time. Minotaur was little more than a dorm-room diversion in Jason's eyes, but after a few all-night Minotaur sessions, Alex realized it was a viable commodity and convinced Jason to publish Minotaur as a Bungie Software title. Minotaur began shipping in the spring of 1992. Once again finding distributors for the game proved nearly impossible. Alex and Jason, quickly tiring of their bean-burrito-and-tapwater diet, took a grassroot approach selling the game at trade shows and directly to the consumer. A handful of distributors eventually took an interest in the game, but sales topped out at the 2,500 mark.

(It's worth noting, purely as a point of contrast, that these days Bungie gives away about that number of copies of each new game to journalists and industry pundits.)

Note: "...a megalithic software company..." Microsoft.

Page 2 (Pictures)

Picture 1: GNOP! screenshot.
Text: Bungie's first game, GNOP! or pong spelled backwards. It was released as freeware in late 1990. Check out those amazing graphics!

Picture 2: O:DS screenshot.
Text: Bungie's first commercial game, Operation: Desert Storm. Norman Schwarzkopf would be proud!

Picture 3: Minotaur screenshot.
Text: Minotaur, Bungie's second commercial game, made just enough dough for Alex to splurge on a brand new-white Dodge Neon. According to Alex it "handles a lot better than a Testarossa."

Note: "handles a lot better than a Testarossa." A reference to John Carmack?

More to come...

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Pre-2004 Posts


Replies:

Is the Marathon scrapbook online somewhere?zudo 2/23/02 3:54 p.m.
     Sorry, don't think so. I'd like to see it too. *NM*Callie21V 2/23/02 8:06 p.m.
           Look What The Cat Drug In... (not typo)REB 2/25/02 1:38 a.m.
                 Re: Look What The Cat Drug In... (not typo)Fernando. 2/25/02 1:42 a.m.
                       Re: Look What The Cat Drug In... (not typo)REB 2/25/02 3:04 a.m.
                             Re: Look What The Cat Drug In... (not typo)zudo 2/25/02 3:09 a.m.
                             Re: Look What The Cat Drug In... (not typo)Fernando. 2/25/02 3:46 a.m.
                                   Abandonware?REB 2/25/02 5:24 a.m.
                                         Re: Abandonware?Mark Levin 2/25/02 6:48 a.m.
                                         Re: Abandonware?/hamish please readFernando. 2/25/02 6:49 a.m.
                                               ReadingHamish Sinclair 2/25/02 9:30 a.m.
                                                     Re: ReadingM-Class 2/25/02 3:15 p.m.
                                                           Re: ReadingDjof 2/25/02 5:00 p.m.
                                         Re: Abandonware?Callie21V 2/25/02 9:38 a.m.
                                         Re: Abandonware?M-Class 2/25/02 3:09 p.m.
                                               Re: Abandonware?Vid Boi 2/26/02 2:58 a.m.
                                                     Re: Abandonware?Hamish Sinclair 2/26/02 5:12 a.m.
                                                           Re: Abandonware?Dan Aris 2/26/02 6:06 a.m.
                                                                 Is that soon or Soon™ ?zudo 2/26/02 8:16 a.m.
                                                                 Is that soon or Soon™ ? *NM*zudo 2/26/02 8:16 a.m.
                                                           Oh yea, the action sack...I forgot that one. *NT*Vid Boi 2/26/02 8:29 a.m.
                                         Re: Abandonware?Malcolm 11/6/02 6:37 a.m.
                 Thanks REB! Great work! *NM*Callie21V 2/25/02 9:37 a.m.
                 Scrapbook Pages 3 - 4REB 2/25/02 11:37 p.m.
                       Re: Scrapbook Pages 3 - 4Hamish Sinclair 2/26/02 12:14 a.m.
                             Re: Scrapbook Pages 3 - 4REB 2/26/02 4:20 a.m.
                             Re: Scrapbook Pages 3 - 4Matt 2/26/02 11:09 p.m.
                                   Re: Scrapbook Pages 3 - 4Hamish Sinclair 2/27/02 12:25 a.m.
                                         Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...REB 3/1/02 2:34 a.m.
                                               Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...Hamish Sinclair 3/1/02 12:21 p.m.
                                                     Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...REB 3/3/02 4:30 a.m.
                                                           Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...Matt 3/5/02 5:31 p.m.
                                                                 Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...Hamish Sinclair 3/6/02 12:07 a.m.
                                                                       Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...Matt 3/6/02 12:05 p.m.
                                                                             Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...Hamish Sinclair 3/6/02 1:03 p.m.
                                                                             Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...Speaker-To-Animals 7/3/03 10:09 p.m.
     I would if I had a scanner *NM*Vid Boi 2/24/02 3:38 a.m.
           I'd scan it all but i dont have the scrapbook!Ernie TMBM 2/25/02 6:54 p.m.
                 Re: I'd scan it all but i dont have the scrapbook!Callie21V 2/26/02 2:26 p.m.
     Actually...Hippieman [B.Org] 2/26/02 1:23 p.m.
           Re: Actually...Pedrof 2/26/02 3:37 p.m.
                 Re: Actually... (+Hamish)Djof 2/26/02 5:00 p.m.
                 Re: Actually...Matt 2/26/02 11:07 p.m.
                       Re: Actually...Hippieman [B.Org] 3/1/02 12:09 a.m.
           Re: Actually...archon 2/27/02 12:28 a.m.
                 Re: Actually...Hamish Sinclair 2/27/02 12:40 a.m.
                       Re: Actually...archon 2/27/02 9:18 a.m.
           Scrapbook Pages 9-10REB 2/27/02 5:49 a.m.
                 Typo!REB 2/27/02 5:55 a.m.
                       Scrapbook Pages 11-12REB 2/28/02 2:30 a.m.
                             Scrapbook Pages 13-14REB 3/1/02 4:47 a.m.
                                   Scrapbook Pages 15-16REB 3/2/02 2:41 p.m.
                                         Scrapbook Pages 17-18REB 3/3/02 4:21 p.m.
                                               Scrapbook Pages 19-22REB 3/4/02 9:01 a.m.
                                                     Scrapbook Pages 23-26REB 3/5/02 1:22 p.m.
                                                           I Want My Zombie Pfhor!REB 3/5/02 1:28 p.m.
                                                           Re: I Want My Zombie Pfhor!Callie21V 3/5/02 3:59 p.m.
                                                                 Re: I Want My Zombie Pfhor!Vid Boi 3/5/02 4:49 p.m.
                                                                 Re: I Want My Zombie Pfhor!Djof 3/5/02 5:10 p.m.
                                                                 Re: I Want My Zombie Pfhor!Boomer 3/6/02 4:18 a.m.
                                                           Scrapbook Pages 27-31REB 3/6/02 9:56 a.m.
                                                                 Thanks Raul! :-) *NM*Hamish Sinclair 3/6/02 10:09 a.m.
                                                                       Re: Thanks Raul! :-)D-M.A. 3/8/02 1:46 a.m.
                                                                             Re: Thanks Raul! :-)REB 3/8/02 9:48 a.m.
                                                                                   Re: Thanks Raul! :-)Hamish Sinclair 3/8/02 1:14 p.m.
                                                                                         Speaking of typos and errors...poena.dare #CP# 3/8/02 2:03 p.m.
                                                                                               Re: Speaking of typos and errors...Hamish Sinclair 3/9/02 4:52 a.m.
                                                                                               Then There Were Eightpoena.dare #CP# 3/9/02 9:19 a.m.
                                                                                         Scrapbook Pages 5-8REB 3/9/02 1:09 p.m.
                                                                                               Whoa! the man is back! Nice post. :-) *NM*Hamish Sinclair 3/9/02 4:11 p.m.
                                                                 Re: One last word...mnemesis 3/6/02 11:26 a.m.
                                                                 Re: Scrapbook Pages 27-31Vid Boi 3/11/02 4:18 p.m.
                                                                       Isn't F**k Microsoft 2 words?REB 3/11/02 6:41 p.m.
                                                                             Re: Isn't F**k Microsoft 2 words?Vid Boi 3/12/02 4:28 a.m.
                                                     Re: Scrapbook Pages 19-22Andrew Nagy 3/7/02 6:51 a.m.



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