Alan Murphy live chat at Coinopspace – August 8th, 2009

Another in a series of live creator chats this year, Alan Murphy of classic gaming fame will be sitting down with collectors for an hour on Saturday August 8th to answer questions about their favorite games. Alan worked for Atari, was one of the developers on A.P.B. and many other games and has been interviewed several times including Scott West’s ‘Once Upon Atari’. Mark your calendars to pop by, and here is some more information about Alan’s career in the gaming industry.

Alan’s artistic work on Atari’s classic games

Following the trend of all of our chats at Coinopspace, this live session will be moderated. If you want to ask Alan a question, submit it to the Alan Murphy thread. I will be able to ask about 10-15 questions and then in the last twenty minutes of the chat session we’ll open up the floor to members to ask any question they want. (Within reason ;))

Since Alan has been interviewed a number of times, here are some links to get acquainted with his body of work. Alan has worked on quite a few games over the years; much more than the several released coin-op titles developed in his time at Atari. Alan worked on a ton of well known games for Atari’s consoles;

Alan’s Atari 5200 Credits
  • Pacman
  • Galaxian
  • Breakout (pong)
  • Soccer
  • Xari Arena
  • CounterMeasure
  • Space Dungeons
  • Xevious
Alan’s Atari 2600 Credits
  • Defender
  • Bugs Bunny
  • Demons to Diamonds
  • Volleyball

Alan has also worked for well known modern game company Electronic Arts (EA) as well as Sega on games like Spiderman and X-Men. Let’s not forget Alan’s credits at everyone’s favorite Atari – A.P.B, Indiana Jones and Gauntlet to name just a couple;

The most recent interview Alan did was for a Russian gaming website called If you can speak Russian, you might be able to find the interview online. Here are a couple of snippets from that interview;

I was an illustrator for ‘InfoWorld’ magazine before in the late seventies. I don’t know if you could call it a game industry job, but I did a lot of illustrations of computers, nerdy programmers, that sort of thing.

I originally wanted to work on box art for video games but I was offered a job as an animator at Atari and took it, thinking that it would be more interesting working on computers instead of painting them.

I’d never animated anything in my life but I guess Atari figured that with pixels as big as legos, how good did you have to be, right? Anyway, it was a gamble.

Another interesting change has occurred lately, time was artists were second-class citizens and programmers were god. Now a talented artist makes more money than most programmers. It’s a good day to be alive if you’re a game artist if you’re up to date with modern art tools. The potential is even more inspiring. One look at a next gen console game is all the proof you need that game artists are pushing the limits of visual art itself.

Other things of note that might give some context about Alan;

  • He works remotely – In Hawaii
  • He enjoys swimming
  • His first career path choice was that of an oceanographer
  • He is a huge Halo fan – He and a couple of co-workers got the opportunity to play some of the Bungie guys in a game or two

Hope you all can join us, it should be a good chat. If you want to submit questions now, visit the Alan Murphy questions thread and then drop by ready to roll on August 8th. See you then.

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