Landon Dyer, Donkey Kong and Super Pac Man
Landon Dyer started as a software engineer in the Atari home computer division in 1982, where he specialized in converting arcade games to the Atari 8-bits. There, he programmed the Atari 400/800 versions of Donkey Kong, and Super Pac Man — which was never officially released by Atari (but has been widely available for many years.) After the Tramiels bought Atari, he worked on the Atari ST, including BIOS boot code and the floppy disk driver. Landon’s blog, at DadHacker.com, has many interesting posts about his Atari days.
This interview took place December 9, 2015.
“In many ways, Atari marketing was completely divorced from the process of making games. They didn’t understand what programmers did, they didn’t understand what manufacturing cycles were.”
“To get ROMs made inside of Atari you had to go through a mastering lab. So basically you’d hand a couple of guys disks. They would disappear into their lab, smoke some dope, and come out with ROMs. And often, keep the disks.”
Landon’s web site: http://www.dadhacker.com/blog/?p=987